Why deal with your own demons when you can watch fictional people deal with literal demons? And vampires? And werewolves? And haunted dolls? You get where we're going with this. It just so happens that all of those things pop up in our recommendations for the best supernatural shows to watch right now. This list includes classics like The X-Files, comedies like What We Do in the Shadows, and lesser-known gems like Crazyhead, so no matter what kind of paranormal show you're searching for, we've got you covered.
Supernatural shows (along with science-fiction and fantasy programming) can sometimes border on horror, but others are more light-hearted and filled with humor even as they explore the unexplainable. The possibilities they create are endless. So if you're looking for a mini vacation from this mortal plane, the following supernatural shows streaming on Netflix, HBO Max, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and more are a good place to start.
Looking for more recommendations of what to watch next? We have a ton of them! We also have hand-picked selections based on shows you already love, as well as recommendations for Netflix (movies/shows), Amazon Prime Video (movies/shows), Hulu (movies/shows), Disney+ (movies/shows), HBO Max (movies/shows), Apple TV+, and Peacock.
Apple TV+'s cockeyed horror show Servant, a claustrophobic thriller created by Tony Basgallop and executive produced by M. Night Shyamalan, began as a wild-eyed but mechanically precise story about a family unraveling in the wake of a tragedy. In Season 1, Dorothy (Lauren Ambrose) and Sean Turner (Toby Kebbell) hired live-in nanny Leanne (Nell Tiger Free) to care for the lifelike "reborn doll" that a grieving Dorothy believed was her son — only for the doll to somehow become a living baby. Since then, Servant has gone full supernatural as Leanne's true nature is exposed. It's the details that make this show stand out, like the rich wallpaper of the Turners' Philadelphia brownstone, the wet, wet, shoes of Leanne's weird uncle (Boris McGiver), and the most unsettling food design since Hannibal. -Kelly Connolly
If you've yet to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayerand its darker, more adult spin-off Angel(which some might argue was actually the better series), we won't hold it against you... much. Running for seven seasons across The WB and UPN, Buffy starred Sarah Michelle Gellar as the titular blonde teen, a "chosen one" called by fate to defeat vampires, monsters, and everything else that falls under the category of "will probably kill you." The show, which spun off David Boreanaz's vampire with a soul, Angel, after the third season, gave the traditional coming-of-age series a supernatural spin, making many of the horrors of high school literal monsters to be defeated by Buffy and her friends, the Scoobies. As the show aged, the Big Bads became more dangerous and the lessons more adult, but Buffy never gave up, becoming a symbol of strength not only to her friends but to the show's impressionable viewers as well. Considered one of the greatest TV shows of all time, Buffy continues to have a tremendous influence on pop culture.
Netflix is a factory for producing intriguing supernatural programs, and its new release Warrior Nun is yet another show worthy of your attention. The comic book-based series is set in Spain (which means it's gorgeous) and stars Alba Baptista as Ava, a young woman and former quadriplegic who is given a second chance at life -- and the use of her arms and legs! -- when an angel's halo embedded in her back revives her from the dead and gifts her with special powers. As Ava attempts to come to terms with what's happened to her and explore her newfound freedom, she also finds out she is part of an elite and secret order of nuns tasked with tracking down and killing demons on Earth. Fans of Buffy will recognize a number of parallels in the 10-episode first season, which subverts expectations and features a confident Chosen One who refuses to bend to anyone's will, including that of the Catholic Church. The show might have one of the wildest premises we've ever heard, but it's the perfect escape in these trying times.
While several shows on this list are plenty funny, they have nothing on the FX vampire mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows, which is somehow both the funniest and dumbest comedy on TV right now. Existing in the same world as the beloved film of the same name from Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi, the half-hour series follows a trio of vampires (Kayvan Novak, Natasia Demetriou, and Matt Berry) who live on Staten Island with a human familiar (Harvey Guillen) and an energy vampire (Mark Proksch), aka a vampire who intentionally drains a person's emotional energy and feeds off it. You'd think the show would grow tiresome subsisting largely on vampire gags and jokes stemming from the fact the vamps don't understand the modern world or technology -- there is an entire episode in which they believe they've actually been cursed by a chain letter -- but that's really not the case. There's no reason the show should be as funny as it is, but thanks to the excellent comedic talent both in front of and behind the camera (Clement and Waititi are also executive producers), it continues to be a cool reprieve from the horrors of the actual world.
It's a crime against humanity that we only got one season of the great British horror-comedy Crazyheadfrom Misfits creator Howard Overman. The series is just six episodes, making it a quick binge. It stars Cara Theobold and Susan Wokoma as Amy and Raquel, two young women in their 20s with the ability to see demons who become quick friends and allies after they team up to save Amy's best friend when she becomes possessed. When a group of demons try to bring about the end of the world, it's up to the self-trained hunters to stop them, all while trying to navigate the familiar trials of young adulthood. Crazyhead will appeal greatly to Buffy fans, as the show owes a lot to the Slayer, and is a well-balanced mix of the supernatural and comedy. The only bad thing about the show is that you'll be left wanting more after devouring all six episodes.
It's literally right there in the title. Supernaturalenjoyed an incredible 15-season run across The WB and The CW and created a global fandom in the process. The show, if for some reason you don't already know, stars Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles as Sam and Dean Winchester, two brothers who travel America and hunt monsters while sometimes also saving the world in the process. Despite a somewhat simple premise, the show was, at times, one of the most creative series on TV -- one episode saw Sam and Dean transported to another universe in which actors named Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki starred in a TV show called Supernatural, while another revealed there is a series of Supernatural books based on their adventures, and yet another featured them turning into cartoons and meeting up with the cast of Scooby-Doo. Although the show has its roots in the horror aspect of the supernatural -- the really early stuff can be a bit creepy -- that quickly fades away to an expansive mythology that covers heaven, hell, and literally everything in between.
Penny Dreadfulis the perfect watch if you're looking to escape into an underworld where even the chills are literary. Showtime's tastefully gory gothic horror stars Eva Green as a powerful medium, Vanessa Ives, who keeps company with characters like Victor Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway), Dracula (Christian Camargo), and Dorian Gray (Reeve Carney). She's even got a star-crossed romance with a gun-slinging American werewolf (Josh Hartnett). The drama is tightest in the second season, which pits Vanessa and friends against a coven of witches led by Helen McCrory, but Green's ferocious performance is unmissable throughout. Plus, it's a great companion piece for the newer series Penny Dreadful: City of Angels. - Kelly Connolly
Known in France as Zone Blanche, which refers to the fact the isolated small town at the center of the series is a cellular dead zone, the suspenseful and atmospheric thriller Black Spot mixes elements of the mythological with the tension of the best crime dramas to create an eerie but highly bingeable series. The show kicks off when a prosecutor arrives to investigate why the town has such a high murder rate, but what you quickly find out is that the forest that surrounds said town is full of dark secrets, and as the series progresses and the head of the local police digs into her own past and the area's past, a clear-ish picture begins to take shape. What is revealed is likely crazier than anything you could possibly dream up yourself.
It took many years and a few different networks/streaming services to make a Locke & Key series a reality. Based on the comics by writer Joe Hill and artist Gabriel Rodriguez, the Netflix series follows the three Locke children -- Tyler (Connor Jessup), Kinsey (Emilia Jones), and Bode (Jackson Robert Scott) -- who, along with their mother, move back to the expansive Locke family home in New England after the murder of their father. It's there, in the estate's darkened corners and creepy shadows, that they find a number of different keys, all with different magical abilities. One key allows a person to go inside someone's head, while another allows a person to open any door anywhere in the world that they've seen before. But the Locke children are not the only people looking for or interested in using the keys -- there's a demonic force at play, and it makes things quite dangerous, quite quickly. However, the show is not nearly as as dark as the comics -- in fact, the show has a number of key differences (pun intended) -- but as more keys are discovered and more family secrets are revealed, the show becomes more and more addictive.
If you like your experience with the supernatural with a good helping of laughter, Reaperis probably more your style. The supernatural dramedy follows Sam (Bret Harrison), a slacker working at a home repair store who at 21 reluctantly becomes a reaper for the devil, played hilariously by Ray Wise, after he finds out his parents made a deal with him many, many years before. Tasked with capturing escaped souls from hell, Sam is aided in capturing them by his slacker friends (Tyler Labine and Rick Gonzalez) before delivering the demons in any number of odd items (think vacuum cleaner, lighter, etc.) to the DMV, which is obviously a portal to hell. The fact the show only lasted two seasons is a crime against humanity.
More than 25 years after its debut, The X-Files still gets under the skin like nothing else on television. The Fox procedural about two FBI agents investigating the unknown — which spanned 11 seasons, including the revival, and two movies — is the ideal watch if you're looking to lean into that primal gut feeling that everything is upside down and authorities can't be trusted. But for all the show's shadowy alien conspiracies, the bond between Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) grounds The X-Files in a strikingly pure hope: that good people can find each other. It's a moody show, but in that sense it's cozy, too. - Kelly Connolly
Netflix's adaptation of Charles Forsman's graphic novel I Am Not Okay With This expands upon the source material to create a supernatural superhero story out of a bleak metaphor for mental illness. Sophia Lillis stars as Sydney, a teenager from small town Pennsylvania who discovers that she has telekinetic abilities she cannot control. A metaphor for adolescence and being a teenager trying to find their place in the world while lacking the ability to properly express one's self, the show's first (and, tragically, only) season feels more like a prologue to a larger story, as it doesn't offer up a lot of answers for Sydney's growing list of questions. But it's also only seven 30-minute episodes and features a really cool soundtrack, making it a quick and easy binge.
There's a really good chance you've already watched Stranger Things, but if you haven't, this is your cue. The Netflix show kicks off in 1983 with the disappearance of Will (Noah Schnapp), a young boy from Hawkins, Indiana, after a nearby lab opens a portal to another dimension known as the Upside Down and allowing monsters into our universe. The series, which features bursts of comedy and horror, became a word-of-mouth sensation when it premiered because it didn't feel like an homage to the '80s films of the era, it felt like a series that might have come from the '80s and was only just discovered in someone's basement. As the show progresses and monsters become larger and stakes become higher, the series continues to rise to the challenge by mostly sticking to its tried-and-tested formula but also rises to new heights by fleshing out its growing cast of characters, which includes Will's friends (Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Finn Wolfhard), his mother and brother (Winona Ryder and Charlie Heaton), a psychokinetic young girl (Millie Bobby Brown), and the local police chief (David Harbour), among others.
This isn't your parents' Teen Wolfwith Michael J. Fox riding on the hood of a Jeep. No, the MTV drama series stars Tyler Posey as Scott McCall, a clumsy high school lacrosse player who gets bitten by the neighborhood werewolf while out stalking crime scenes with his best friend, Stiles (Dylan O'Brien), in the sleepy town of Beacon Hills. Over the course of six seasons, Scott and his friends team up to face terrifying supernatural enemies, pushing each other to be their absolute best (what's up, true alphas!), and saving each other when they become their worst (Stiles deserved an Emmy, fight me). Teen Wolf isn't a perfect show, but it keeps its characters and their relationships at the heart of the action and combines humor and drama with some legitimately terrifying thrills. Plus, everyone involved is really, really, really, pretty. - Megan Vick
A supernatural Western based on the IDW comic series of the same name, Wynonna Earphas been compared to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and in similar fashion, the Syfy series has made a name for itself through its unconventional heroine. Wynonna (Melanie Scrofano) is a descendent of the legendary lawman and gunslinger Wyatt Earp, and thanks to a family curse, is tasked with sending revenants -- the men and women Wyatt killed who became demons upon his death -- back to hell. A flawed woman who's been thrust into an unpredictable situation and who rarely has any of the answers, Wynonna still shows up every damn day -- though she might be hungover -- and luckily, she also has a great group of friends who help her out, including her sister Waverly (Dominque Provost-Chalkley), an immortal Doc Holliday (Tim Rozon), and a man-lizard hybrid who's also a U.S. Marshal (Shamier Anderson). The show's willingness to take the story in directions rarely seen on TV coupled with Scrofano's dynamite performance makes Wynonna a powerful entry into the TV superhero lexicon.
Starring Nina Dobrev as a teenage orphan who finds herself torn between two vampire brothers, Stefan (Paul Wesley) and Damon (Ian Somerhalder) Salvatore, the CW drama The Vampire Diaries has everything you could ever want in a teen supernatural show: a great love triangle to get overly invested in, a well-developed ensemble of characters to root for (and relate to), and a rich mythology that leads to surprising twists and shocking betrayals. It's no wonder the show launched two spin-offs with all that going on! And with eight seasons available to stream, there are more than enough episodes to make for a satisfying and addicting binge. - Sadie Gennis
True Blood admittedly went off the rails the older it got, but the first few seasons of the HBO series based on Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse novels were the type of wild that meant engrossing, can't-miss TV. Set in a world in which synthetic blood has allowed vampires to make their presence known, the show stars Anna Paquin as telepathic waitress Sookie who meets and falls for Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer) -- known to fans as Beel -- a 173-year-old Southern vampire. Lasting for seven seasons, the show was a metaphor for minorities fighting for equal rights as vampires tried to assimilate into a society determined to keep them out. But at its heart, True Blood was a messy-in-the-best-way monster series that featured everything from werewolves, vampires, shapeshifters, maenads, witches, faeries, and mediums, and although a love triangle involving Sookie, Bill, and vampire club owner/one-time Viking warrior Eric Northman, played by extremely good looking human specimen Alexander Skarsgard, broke out, it was the show's ambitious, if not always well-executed storytelling, that made it worth watching. Well, that and Eric's second-in-command, Pam (Kristen Bauer van Straten), who cared little for humans and infused the show with plenty of attitude.
Twin Peaks has it all: supernatural mythology, murder mystery, soapy drama, quirky comedy. And that's just in the first two seasons. The third season, subtitled The Return, is something else entirely. It has all the stuff the first two seasons have, but it's also the closest thing to Surrealist art that's ever been on TV. If you're a newbie to Twin Peaks, you're in for a real treat (cherry pie and damn good coffee), as you puzzle over "who killed Laura Palmer?" and "what is the Black Lodge?" If you're returning, it's just as wonderful and strange as you remember. - Liam Mathews
Misfits is one of those highly underrated shows that make you think, "Where has this been all my life?" The show goes through a lot of cast changes throughout the course of its five seasons, and the plot admittedly gets a lot weirder the longer it goes on, but here's how it starts: A group of young people are tasked with a community service project after committing various offenses and, after a mysterious electrical storm, find themselves developing supernatural powers that mirror their own experiences. (Lauren Socha's Kelly, for instance, is constantly judged for her class, so she can hear the thoughts of others; Nathan Stewart-Jarrett's Curtis, trying to escape a mistake in his past, discovers he can literally turn back time.) The series later goes on to deal with everything from cults to teleportation to zombies. It's wild! - Allison Picurro