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Including Midnight Mass, Brand New Cherry Flavor, and American Horror Story
Scary movies have their place, but sometimes you don't just want to be spooked for a couple of hours, you want to be spooked for eight hours — and maybe even for eight full seasons. That's where TV comes in. If you're looking for the best horror shows on Netflix, you've come to the right place: The streaming platform is packed with all sorts of freaky series, from long-running hits like The Walking Dead and American Horror Story to under-the-radar but worthwhile Netflix originals like Brand New Cherry Flavor and Ghoul. Whether you like your horror bloody or cerebral, you can have a frightfully good time.
Of course, not all of the scary shows on Netflix are of equal quality, and it can be difficult (and quite a time suck!) to sort through them all to find the perfect choice for your next binge. That's why TV Guide scoured Netflix's library to select the very best horror TV shows that the service has available to watch. Once you've made it through all the following spooky series, eerie episodes, and terrifying tales, don't forget to check out all the best horror movies on Netflix too!
Looking for the 50 best movies and TV shows to watch on Netflix or the best movies to watch on Netflix? Or 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.
Last updated Dec. 14; newer additions are at the top
Call it Canadian Horror Story. This anthology series from the Great White North tells a different gory murder mystery every season where a group of people try to figure out the identity of the masked killer preying on them before he gets them all. It's a classic slasher movie setup expanded to the length of a whole TV season. This means the audience gets to know the victims better than they do in a typical slasher. Not every standalone season is on the same level of quality; of the three that are on Netflix, the third, 2019's Solstice, is the best, as it mixes its scares with astute social commentary. But every season has a twisty mystery and bloody kills that slasher movie fans will get a kick out of. A fourth season, which came out this fall, is available on the horror-focused streaming service Shudder. -Liam Mathews
Yeon Sang-ho is building a name for himself as a creative force out of Korea, following his zombie films Train to Busan and its wacky sequel Peninsula. He directs his first television series with the supernatural thriller Hellbound, an adaptation of his webtoon Hell, which wades in the murky waters of religion and faith as creatures appear on Earth to drag people to hell after a prophecy from an angel. But Hellbound approaches the subject of sin and paying for those sins through several characters, such as a police detective and a cult leader. The special effects may be a little iffy, but the brutality and philosophy are real. -Tim Surette
This supernatural horror limited series draws heavy head-trip inspiration from two of cinema's greatest Davids, Lynch and Cronenberg. Alita: Battle Angel's Rosa Salazar stars as Lisa Nova, a mysterious young writer-director who arrives in Hollywood in the early '90s with dreams of becoming a great filmmaker. She links up with producer Lou Burke (Eric Lange) who promises her the world only to take it away when she won't sleep with him. So she turns to a bad witch named Boro (Catherine Keener) to help her punish Burke. But Lisa finds that curses have a way of quickly getting out of control. Brand New Cherry Flavor is a slick little revenge drama set in Hollywood's seedy underbelly with strong performances and some memorably gross imagery. Lisa vomiting up kittens is literally just the start of it. -Liam Mathews
Mike Flanagan (The Haunting of Hill House) returns with another miniseries, and this one may be his best yet. Midnight Mass follows a small community on a remote fishing island and their devotion to a new priest (Hamish Linklater) who is seemingly performing miracles. Except -- you guessed it -- something else more sinister is afoot. Sure, strange, horrific events are involved, but what makes Midnight Mass so effective is its dissection of religion and faith, and how far people are willing to go to believe. Stephen King wasn't involved in this in any way, but it's the best Stephen King-ish series, if that makes sense. King loves it, too. -Allison Picurro
Looking to laugh while you're scared? Watch Crazyhead. This short-lived British horror-comedy from Misfits creator Howard Overman balances a brilliant sense of humor with fighting the supernatural to make for a quick and enjoyable binge. Crazyhead follows two young women -- Cara Theobold and Susan Wokoma as Amy and Raquel, respectively -- who become fast friends after finding themselves caught up in uniquely personal battles with demons only they can see. When a group of said demons try to bring about the end of the world, it's up to the self-trained hunters to prevent that from happening, all while trying to navigate the familiar trials of young adulthood. -Kaitlin Thomas
If your only experience with Death Note is the abysmal American live action film, we're sorry because that means you've missed out on one of the best horror animes, a category that has incredibly steep competition. An adaptation of the classic manga of the same name, Death Note follows the story of an incredibly intelligent high school student, Light Yagami, who finds a notebook dropped by Ryuk, a Shinigami, or death god. The notebook gives the user the ability to kill anyone as long as they know their victim's name and face, and Light tries to use the book's powers to eliminate crime. However, the power slowly corrupts Light and his transformation makes for a gripping tale that forces you to question how morality and justice are defined.
Initially created as a limited series, The Haunting of Hill House was such a success that Netflix and series creator Mike Flanagan decided to continue it as an anthology called The Haunting, with each new season tackling a different haunted locale. Hill House is based on the Shirley Jackson book of the same name and follows the lives of the Crain siblings, whose experiences growing up at Hill House continue to haunt them into adulthood. The show is one of the most provocative examinations of grief and trauma, while also being genuinely scary and delivering some of the most devastating twists on TV in recent years. The second season, The Haunting of Bly Manor, based on the work of Henry James, moves the action to a British estate in the 1980s, where an American au pair running from her past takes a job caring for two orphans.
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It's pretty maddening that Ghoul wasn't a bigger hit when it premiered on Netflix in 2018. Starring Radhika Apte as Nida Rahim, a loyal interrogator who works for the fascist Indian regime ruling in a dystopian future, Ghoul follows Nida as she questions a terrorist (Mahesh Balraj) whom she begins to suspect is more than human. This atmospheric monster story is a gripping tale about social change, religion, and the dangers of unchecked political power. And while Ghoul gets off to a slightly slow (but never boring) start, the three-episode miniseries quickly builds to an insane, twist-filled finale that will stay with you long after the credits have rolled.
If you're looking for hardcore horror, FX's American Horror Story isn't for you -- certain seasons, such as Murder House and Asylum, are far more frightening than others, but overall, American Horror Story is less interested in actual scares and more in finding entertaining (and unpredictable) ways to play with classic horror tropes. So if you want to be titillated, shocked, and occasionally grossed out, you can't do any better than AHS. And with each season tackling a different theme, you're sure to find something that fits your mood, though we'd recommend starting with the holy trinity: Murder House, Asylum, and Coven.
While there were a few seasons during which The Walking Dead famously got a little lost, if you stick through the rough spots (or just outright skip Seasons 7 and 8), the show finds its footing again and is well worth your time. Filled with gnarly kills and genuinely moving character moments, The Walking Dead is not only about what people will do to survive, but what you need to live for beyond just surviving. The zombie show all other zombie shows will be measured against, the AMC drama's impact and influence can't be understated when it comes to horror series. And once you start watching, it's easy to see why the show has already spawned two TV spin-offs and an upcoming movie.
Brace yourself before starting Ares because this Dutch series doesn't waste any time before getting into the gore. The story of a biracial college student, Rosa (Jade Olieberg), who joins a clandestine (and mostly white) student society with seriously twisted secrets, Ares is suspenseful, intriguing, and at times outright grotesque. As the series unfolds and Rosa becomes more engrained in Ares, the society is plagued by a series of suicides tied to the mysterious creature that lives beneath the society's headquarters. While any show that hinges so much on answering a complex web of mysteries risks underwhelming the viewer, the reveals are well worth waiting for in the spine-chilling season finale -- especially when you consider Ares is only eight, 30-minute episodes.
Marianne wastes even less time than Ares does before testing your limits with one of the most hard-to-stomach opening scenes we've ever seen. This is not a condemnation of the French drama, but a sign of its confidence in delivering captivatingly unsettling horror -- the kind that seeps into your bones and feels like it may never leave. The French series follows horror author Emma Larsimon (Victoire Du Bois), who rose to fame for her book series about a witch named Marianne. But when a bored Emma decides to end the series, the witch manifests in the real world -- played with chilling conviction by Mireille Herbstmeyer -- and haunts Emma in vulgar and terrifying fashion until she picks up the pen to continue to tell Marianne's story. Marianne is a disturbing, claustrophobic tale made all the more powerful by the grounded relationships at its center, and you'd be remiss to skip out on this one-season watch.
Requiem didn't generate much buzz after its 2018 premiere, but it left us wishing Netflix world produce more shows like it. After Matilda's (Lydia Wilson) mother, Janice (Joanna Scanlan), kills herself in front of her, the young woman discovers Janice had a mysterious connection to a cold case of a missing child who disappeared from a small Welsh town. Matilda decides to uncover the truth with the help of her friend Hal (Joel Fry), but when they arrive at the village Matilda feels an eerie sense of familiarity and realizes that the conspiracy is far more personal -- and stranger -- than she ever could have predicted. This supernatural thriller is a mix of Rosemary's Baby, Sinister, and Wicker Man, and while Requiem never reaches the heights of any of those films, it's a pleasantly surreal (albeit, sometimes perplexing) quick binge.
Starz's cult sequel series to Sam Raimi's original Evil Dead trilogy, Ash vs Evil Dead is a three-season horror comedy that finds Bruce Campbell reprising the role of Ash Williams, the beloved chainsaw swinging antihero of the franchise. Picking up 30 years after the events of the last film, the caddish Ash must once again take up his fight against the undead, giving the show ample opportunities to deliver multiple electrifying action scenes in each episode. Outrageously violent and always fun, Ash vs Evil Dead raised the bar when it comes to horror-comedy shows and it's impossible to watch the campy series without having a good time.
This Australian drama is definitely more spooky than it is scary, but it's a compelling, moody mystery that's definitely worth a watch. The series follows six people who come back from the dead in perfect health but with little memories of who they are or what happened to them. A policeman James (Patrick Brammall) -- whose late wife is one of the returned -- and a local doctor Elishia (Genevieve O'Reilly) hide the Risen from the world while working to uncover the mysteries behind their resurrections, including why an invisible barrier prevents them from being able to leave the small town. While it pales in comparison to Les Revenants, Glitch admirably unravels conspiracies and the Risen's many secrets throughout its three-season run, resulting in a mesmerizing ensemble drama that takes great advantage of the stunning bushland backdrop.
Robert Rodriguez's cult From Dusk Till Dawn film franchise was expanded to the small screen for this El Rey Network series, which continued the stories of Seth (D J. Cotrona) and Richie Gecko (Zane Holtz), the Fullers, and Santanico Pandemonium (Eiza González). The show's slick direction and snappy one-liners will please fans of the original film from the start, although new viewers to the franchise might not be charmed by the hyper-stylized series right away. However, if you stick it out, each season of From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series improves upon the last, culminating in a third and final season that embrace's the shows inherent silliness without sacrificing the action-packed, bloodsucker horror.
Netflix's zombie show is the pretty much the antithesis of The Walking Dead. As opposed to poetic mediations on humanity and morality, Black Summer is built solely on adrenaline and chaos. The series premiere drops viewers into the middle of the action, as a group of survivors in a zombie apocalypse must fight to make it from an evacuated suburb to a sports stadium where refugees are being taken to safety. While Jaime King is arguably the lead, you'll likely never bother to remember the name of her character, or anyone else's for that matter. But the thing about Black Summer is that this doesn't even matter! Both of the eight-episode seasons are fast-paced studies in mayhem, letting action do the talking and character building instead of rambling thoughts on survival.