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13 Shows Like American Horror Story to Watch While You Wait for Season 11

More scary shows to keep you up at night

Maggie Fremont
Sarah Paulson and Sarah Paulson, American Horror Story

Sarah Paulson and Sarah Paulson, American Horror Story

FX

The wildly popular American Horror Story has defied logic and lasted for 10 seasons, a rare feat for TV these days. What's more, it must be doing pretty well still, because FX has renewed the anthology for three more seasons, guaranteeing that American Horror Story will last until at least Season 13. The next installment, American Horror Story Season 11, will be released this fall, but as is usual for Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk's franchise, details on what it's about are unknown. (Our bet is that it's about something totally F'd up.)

What we do know is that you're dying for another new season of American Horror Story. Until then, we've scared up some alternatives to watch until the new season drops. Below we have a list of great horror shows, ghastly anthologies, and other shows from Murphy and Falchuk.

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American Horror Stories

American Horror Stories

American Horror Stories

FX Networks

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that if you are a huge fan of American Horror Story, then you'll probably also like American Horror Stories. The spin-off of American Horror Story takes the anthology to the next anthological level, with each episode containing its own self-contained story written by Murphy, Falchuk, and AHS writer and Dexter vet Manny Coto, among others. This structure makes it more like Tales From the Crypt than American Horror Story, but there are nods to AHS, including familiar cast members and a premiere episode that returns to Murder House. However, it has the same issues that other horror anthology series have, which is that quality between episodes vary wildly. -Tim Surette     


Archive 81

Dina Shihabi, Archive 81

Dina Shihabi, Archive 81

Quantrell D. Colbert/Netflix

American Horror Story loves a good cult, which just so happens to be a major element of Archive 81. The series centers around an archivist (Mamoudou Athie) who's tasked with restoring old tapes that were salvaged from a fire, only to find himself getting sucked into the world of the grad student (Dina Shihabi) who appears in the footage — and the mysterious cult she was investigating. The show jumps back and forth between two timelines, which helps make this an extra twisty, extra scary mystery that any AHS fan should enjoy unraveling. -Allison Picurro


Outcast

Reg E. Cathey and Patrick Fugit, Outcast

Reg E. Cathey and Patrick Fugit, Outcast

Kent Smith

With Outcast, The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman brought us yet another wonderfully messed up and seriously scary show. Unlike The Walking Dead, this one only lasted two seasons, and is much more of a self-contained story, but it's worth checking out for fans of horror TV. The show stars Patrick Fugit as a man who has been dealing with the effects of being possessed by supernatural forces since he was a kid (American Horror Story has dealt with demonic possession, so AHS fans should feel right at home here), and the series deals with different themes like religious fanaticism as well as the nature of evil. It takes itself much more seriously than AHS, but will suck you in with its compelling story. -Allison Picurro 


Midnight Mass

Hamish Linklater, Midnight Mass

Hamish Linklater, Midnight Mass

Netflix

Horror extraordinaire Mike Flanagan makes another appearance later on this list with his anthology series The Haunting, but we also recommend checking out his latest venture, Midnight Mass. This one is set on a remote fishing island in New England that is shaken up by the arrival of a new Catholic priest (Hamish Linklater), who quickly gains a horde of devoted followers in the community as he seemingly begins to perform miracles. But nothing is ever what it seems on a Flanagan show, and it quickly becomes clear that there's a sinister threat looming over the island, each episode unfolding with a certain amount of gripping eeriness. American Horror Story is definitely altogether freakier and sillier than Midnight Mass, a show less concerned with things that go bump in the night than your average scary series, but it won't disappoint you if you're looking for more scares (and why would you be here if you weren't?). -Allison Picurro


Penny Dreadful

Josh Hartnett and Eva Green, Penny Dreadful

Josh Hartnett and Eva Green, Penny Dreadful

Patrick Redmond/SHOWTIME

Always looking to show off your gothic horror knowledge? You'll feel at home with Penny Dreadful. The three-season series, set in Victorian London, kicks off by following Malcolm Murray (Timothy Dalton) and Vanessa Ives (Eva Green) as they set out to rescue Murray's daughter and Vanessa's childhood friend, who's been kidnapped by someone or something sinister. Along the way, they befriend or battle lots of familiar faces for fans of gothic horror literature, like Dr. Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway), Dracula (Christian Camargo), and Dorian Gray (Reeve Carney). There are also witches, vampires, and other creatures that go bump in the night. It's gruesome and strange and full of an endless roster of interesting characters.


Castle Rock

Bill Skarsgard, Castle Rock

Bill Skarsgard, Castle Rock

Patrick Harbron, Hulu

If you're looking for an anthology series that's a little more psychological thriller and less, well, in-your-face-AHS horror, Castle Rock is a great option. It only aired for two seasons, but even within that short time frame it feels like a fully realized horror universe and that's because it came with an advantage: It has the works of Stephen King as its built-in mythology. Although each season tells a different story, both take place in the small town of Castle Rock, Maine, and both are filled to the brim with people, places, themes, and callbacks every King fan will recognize. Lizzy Caplan as Misery's Annie Wilkes in Season 2 is a real standout, and the Season 1 standalone episode "The Queen" is widely considered to be the series' best


Servant

Nell Tiger Free, Servant

Nell Tiger Free, Servant

Apple TV+

Well, if you're looking for a show to haunt your dreams, you've found it. Any horror show with creepy kids is already 10 times scarier than one without, and Servant definitely has that... with an even creepier twist. Servant, executive produced by M. Night Shyamalan, tells the story of Dorothy (Lauren Ambrose), a woman who's had a psychotic break after the death of her baby, and in an attempt to help her heal, she and her husband Sean (Toby Kebbell) use a lifelike doll that they keep in their home. Dorothy believes the doll is their actual son, so you know it's really pushing the boundaries of that creepy scale. But it's only once they hire a deeply unsettling nanny, Leanne (Nell Tiger Free), that things start getting really weird. Like, (SPOILER!) that-doll-may-be-turning-into-a-real-baby weird. And while the premise of the show has that shock value, it's the quiet, claustrophobic way in which the series is shot (the action mostly takes place within the couple's Philadelphia townhouse) that gives it that extra chill-inducing vibe. 


The Haunting of Hill House/The Haunting of Bly Manor

Carla Gugino, Julian Hillard, McKenna Grace, Lulu Wilson, Paxton Singleton, Violet Mcgraw, and Henry Thomas, The Haunting of Hill House

Carla Gugino, Julian Hillard, McKenna Grace, Lulu Wilson, Paxton Singleton, Violet Mcgraw, and Henry Thomas, The Haunting of Hill House

Steve Dietl/Netflix

Who doesn't love a good old fashioned ghost story? Netflix's The Haunting of anthology series has given us two thus far, but Hill House from Season 1 reigns supreme (although those melted face ghosts from Bly Manor will certainly leave an impression). It's not just the scares that set Season 1 apart -- although there are several moments that will have you jumping -- but how seamlessly the horror aspects work into the emotional story of the Crain family, forever changed the summer they move into the titular mansion in 1992. The story alternates between that time and the state of the family in the present, where the now-adult Crain siblings are haunted by both the supernatural and some very real world, internal turmoil that adds some heart and heft to the proceedings. If you remain unconvinced, just wait until you reach the season's high note in Episode 6, "Two Storms," an installment that is not only a technical wonder -- it plays out in a way that feels like one continuous shot -- but a perfect blend of horror and heartbreak. 


Lovecraft Country

Courtney B. Vance, Jurnee Smollett, and Jonathan Majors, Lovecraft Country

Courtney B. Vance, Jurnee Smollett, and Jonathan Majors, Lovecraft Country

Eli Joshua Ade/HBO

Let's talk monsters, shall we? And that's both supernatural monsters and monsters of the human kind, because HBO's Lovecraft Country, based on Matt Ruff's novel of the same name and adapted for television by Misha Green, tackles both. Set in the 1950s, the series follows Atticus Freeman (Jonathan Majors) as he travels through Jim Crow-era America in search of his missing father Montrose (Michael K. Williams) with his uncle George (Courtney B. Vance) and friend (and show-stealer) Letty (Jurnee Smollet). Along the way they fight racists and monsters and monsters who turn into racists. And then things get weird. It only ran for one season, but what a season it was.


Evil

Mike Colter and Katja Herbers, Evil

Mike Colter and Katja Herbers, Evil

Elizabeth Fisher/CBS

If you're not already watching Evil, you're doing it wrong. The series hails from the never boring duo that brought us The Good Wife and The Good Fight, Robert and Michelle King, and just as you'd expect, Evil provides the unexpected. It's a weird and wild procedural that follows a team of three assessors investigating possible demonic possessions and miracles for the Catholic Church: Kristen Bouchard (Katja Herbers), a forensic psychologist and a mostly non-believer; Ben Shakir (Aasif Mandvi), a contractor, techie, and resident skeptic; and priest-in-training, a man of faith and turtlenecks David Acosta (Mike Colter). Yes, Evil provides some truly wild and terrifying cases of the week -- many making thought-provoking and biting social commentary as is par for the course with the Kings -- but it's also building a complex and creepy mythology that continually adds layers to the series. There's demons and angels and unhinged children and hairy horned beast therapists. In short, there's something for everyone here. 


Carnivále

Carnivále

Carnivále

HBO

Season 4 of American Horror Story was the Freak Show edition and it focused on a whole bunch of horrifying things that went down at a circus, which makes sense because the circus is inherently creepy -- I'm not interested in what you're selling, clowns, OK? For more weird stuff happening under the big top, there's HBO's Carnivàle. The series follows a traveling circus during the 1930s Dust Bowl and strikes a startlingly different tone than American Horror Story. It's dense, with a complicated and continuously growing mythology. It's surreal, full of characters having visions, and other-wordly, seemingly impossible, many times sinister events taking place. It is both bleak and biblical as it grapples with real-world problems of life following the Great Depression and the epic on-going battle between good and evil. If any of that sounds good to you, you're in for a treat. 


Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

Kiernan Shipka, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

Kiernan Shipka, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

Diyah Pera/Netflix

There's a healthy amount of shows about witches out there (Charmed, A Discovery of Witches, Motherland: Fort Salem to name a few of the more recent witchy outings), but perhaps the one that comes closest to the camp of American Horror Story: Coven is Netflix's Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Based on the characters from the Archie comics and wildly different from the other Sabrina TV adaptation, the more wholesome Sabrina the Teenage Witch, this version of the part-human, part-witch story, led by Kiernan Shipka as the titular Sabrina, embraces the dark side of the Sabrina universe. Yes, there's still Aunt Hilda (Lucy Davis) and Aunt Zelda (Miranda Otto) and at one point a love interest named Harvey (Ross Lynch), but there's also a lot of Satan worshipping and ruling over hell, and battles between good and evil forces, too. So, like, a little different from the Sabrina you might be familiar with.


American Crime Story

The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story

The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story

Michael Becker/FX Networks

For fans of Ryan Murphy's anthology series format who are ready to take a break from horror for a while (it's for your health), American Crime Story should fit the bill. Each season, American Crime Story does a deep dive into a different true life event. Season 1, The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, told the story of, you guessed it, O.J. Simpson's murder trial from all sides and includes standout performances by Murphy regular Sarah Paulson as prosecutor Marcia Clark, Courtney B. Vance as "if it doesn't fit, you must acquit" defense lawyer Johnny Cochran, and Sterling K. Brown as co-prosecutor Christopher Darden, among others. The second season turned its focus on the 1997 murder of fashion designer Gianni Versace (Édgar Ramírez) at the hands of serial killer Andrew Cunanan (Darren Criss). If neither of those true crime stories do it for you, perhaps you'll be interested in the long-awaited third season of the series, Impeachment, covering Bill Clinton's (Clive Owen) White House sex scandal. Beanie Feldstein takes on the role of Monica Lewinsky, who also happens to be a co-producer on the series. It just arrived on Hulu after airing on FX last year.