Special Report

The Most Popular Horror Shows on TV Right Now

Brian Koellish / Getty Images

Horror films have existed for nearly as long as movies have. The first example is considered to have been the 1896 silent short “The Haunted Castle,” made by French cinema pioneer Georges Méliès. Ever since then, audiences have sought the thrill of motion pictures that frighten, disturb, and immerse viewers in the morbid and macabre. (These are the 50 best horror movies of all time.)

It’s no surprise that the horror genre has long been popular on television, too – from shows like “Lights Out” (1950), “The Twilight Zone” (which premiered in 1959), and the supernatural-themed soap opera “Dark Shadows (first aired in 1966) to modern-day supernatural terror-fests like “Resident Evil” and the “Walking Dead” franchise. (Here is a list of the 25 best original episodes of “The Twilight Zone.”)

To compile a list of the 30 most popular TV horror shows, either running right now or available to watch on streaming platforms, 24/7 Tempo reviewed a ranking by popularity computed by IMDb, an online movie and TV database owned by Amazon. The popularity measure is based on several factors, including search engine traffic, and is current as of Aug. 17, 2022. Average IMDb user ratings are current as of the same date. Note that the horror genre often overlaps with other genres, especially science fiction and drama, but the shows on our list are all tagged as “horror” by IMDb.

Click here to see the most popular TV horror shows of all time

Source: Courtesy of Netflix

30. First Kill (2022)
> IMDb quality score: 6.3 / 10
> Cast: Sarah Catherine Hook, Imani Lewis, Elizabeth Mitchell, Aubin Wise

“First Kill” is a teen drama (now canceled) based on a short story of the same name that follows two girls that fall in love. The problem is that one is a hungry vampire and the other one is an ambitious vampire hunter.

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Source: Rich Polk / Getty Images

29. Wednesday (2022- )
> IMDb quality score: N/A
> Cast: Jenna Ortega, Christina Ricci, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Luis Guzmán

This upcoming comedy horror is based on the Wednesday Addams character in the Addams Family cartoons. The show follows Wednesday as she comes of age as a high school student while she tries to master her psychic powers.

Source: Courtesy of Netflix

28. Archive 81 (2022)
> IMDb quality score: 7.3 / 10
> Cast: Mamoudou Athie, Dina Shihabi, Evan Jonigkeit, Julia Chan

“Archive 81” is a supernatural horror show based on a podcast of the same name. The Netflix series, which lasted for only one season, centers on an archivist who takes a job restoring old tapes and gets pulled into an investigation involving a demonic cult.

Source: Courtesy of CBS

27. The Twilight Zone (1959-1964)
> IMDb quality score: 9.1 / 10
> Cast: Rod Serling, Robert McCord, Jay Overholts, Vaughn Taylor

The series of tales of the macabre and the unexplained, which debuted in 1959, is the gold standard for thought-provoking and inventive television and enjoys a loyal following to this day. The Golden Globe- and Emmy-award winning series was hosted by master storyteller Rod Serling.

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Source: Courtesy of HBO Max

26. The Last of Us (2023- )
> IMDb quality score: N/A
> Cast: Pedro Pascal, Bella Ramsey, Nick Offerman, Anna Torv

“The Last of Us” is an upcoming post-apocalyptic show based on a video game of the same name. It ranks No. 26 in popularity even though it has yet to screen based on audience interest as indicated by search traffic. The show follows two people who go on a trek across the country after a devastating pandemic, fighting killers and other monsters in order to survive.

Source: Courtesy of National Broadcasting Company

25. Grimm (2011-2017)
> IMDb quality score: 7.8 / 10
> Cast: David Giuntoli, Russell Hornsby, Silas Weir Mitchell, Sasha Roiz

“Grimm” centers on a homicide detective in Portland who finds out he is a descendant from hunters known as the Grimms, who fight supernatural forces and creatures.

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Source: Courtesy of YouTube

24. Helluva Boss (2019- )
> IMDb quality score: 8.0 / 10
> Cast: Brandon Rogers, Richard Steven Horvitz, Erica Lindbeck, Vivian Nixon

“Helluva Boss” is an adult animated series that centers on an assassination company from Hell that targets the human world with the help of an ancient book of spells.

Source: Courtesy of The CW Network

23. The Originals (2013-2018)
> IMDb quality score: 8.3 / 10
> Cast: Joseph Morgan, Daniel Gillies, Claire Holt, Phoebe Tonkin

A spinoff of “The Vampire Diaries,” “The Originals” concerns a thousand-year-old family of vampires who return to New Orleans, which they helped build, to reclaim it.

Source: Courtesy of Buena Vista Pictures

22. Gravity Falls (2012-2016)
> IMDb quality score: 8.9 / 10
> Cast: Jason Ritter, Alex Hirsch, Kristen Schaal, Linda Cardellini

Disney’s animated series “Gravity Falls” is about twins Dipper and Mabel Pines, along with their great uncle “Grunkle” Stan, as they experience the extraordinary in the enigmatic titular town.

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Source: Courtesy of National Broadcasting Company

21. Hannibal (2013-2015)
> IMDb quality score: 8.5 / 10
> Cast: Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, Caroline Dhavernas, Laurence Fishburne

Set before the events that take place in the 1991 movie “Silence of the Lambs,” “Hannibal” is about a young Hannibal Lecter and his relationship with an equally young FBI criminal profiler.

Source: Courtesy of The CW Network

20. Legacies (2018-2022)
> IMDb quality score: 7.2 / 10
> Cast: Danielle Rose Russell, Aria Shahghasemi, Quincy Fouse, Matthew Davis

“Legacies” is a spinoff of “The Vampire Diaries” and “The Originals” in which the daughter of a vampire and a werewolf hybrid and several others are coming of age as witches and other creatures, learning how to fight their evil impulses.

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Source: Courtesy of The CW Network (The CW)

19. In the Dark (2019-2022)
> IMDb quality score: 7.5 / 10
> Cast: Perry Mattfeld, Casey Deidrick, Morgan Krantz, Keston John

“In the Dark” follows a blind young woman who is desperately trying to find out what happened to her best friend, whom she believes has been murdered.

Source: Courtesy of American Movie Classics

18. Fear the Walking Dead (2015- )
> IMDb quality score: 6.8 / 10
> Cast: Kim Dickens, Frank Dillane, Cliff Curtis, Rubén Blades

“Fear the Walking Dead” is the first spinoff to “The Walking Dead” TV show. The show starts as a prequel, showing how the apocalypse began, but eventually catches up with the timeline of the original series and some characters even cross over.

Source: Courtesy of Adult Swim

17. Primal (2019- )
> IMDb quality score: 8.7 / 10
> Cast: Aaron LaPlante, Laëtitia Eïdo, Fred Tatasciore, Tom Kenny

“Primal” is an adult animated adventure series set in a prehistoric world where dinosaurs and humans coexist.

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Source: Courtesy of AMC Networks

16. Tales of the Walking Dead (2022- )
> IMDb quality score: 6.4 / 10
> Cast: Chelsea Reuter, Parker Posey, Terry Crews, Kersti Bryan

Another spinoff of the hit zombie-themed show, this is the fourth series in the “Walking Dead” franchise. Episodes are independent of each other, following individual characters – both new and already established in the original series.

Source: Courtesy of Netflix

15. Love, Death & Robots (2019- )
> IMDb quality score: 8.4 / 10
> Cast: Fred Tatasciore, Scott Whyte, Nolan North, Noshir Dalal

This animated series features short stories in a variety of genres such as science fiction, horror, and comedy. Among the creators is David Fincher, whose credits include the 1997 movie thriller “Se7en.”

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Source: Courtesy of Showtime Networks

14. Yellowjackets (2021- )
> IMDb quality score: 7.9 / 10
> Cast: Melanie Lynskey, Tawny Cypress, Ella Purnell, Sophie Nélisse

The show tells the story of four members of a high school girls soccer team who survive a plane crash in the wilderness of Canada, showing how they survived – and how the experience affects their current lives.

Source: Courtesy of The CW Network

13. The Vampire Diaries (2009-2017)
> IMDb quality score: 7.7 / 10
> Cast: Nina Dobrev, Paul Wesley, Ian Somerhalder, Kat Graham

This eight-season series stars Nina Dobrev as a high school teen new to the town of Mystic Falls who becomes involved in a love triangle with two brothers who are vampires. Three of the show’s eight seasons, which originally aired on The CW Network, have a perfect Freshness score from Rotten Tomatoes critics.

Source: Courtesy of Peacock

12. From (2022- )
> IMDb quality score: 7.6 / 10
> Cast: Harold Perrineau, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Eion Bailey, David Alpay

The sci-fi horror show “From” follows several residents of a small town that somehow traps everyone who enters, preventing them from leaving as they try to survive and find a way out.

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Source: Courtesy of CBS

11. Evil (2019- )
> IMDb quality score: 7.7 / 10
> Cast: Katja Herbers, Mike Colter, Aasif Mandvi, Michael Emerson

In this supernatural drama, a forensic psychologist who doesn’t believe in the supernatural partners up with a Catholic seminarian and a technology contractor as they investigate purported supernatural events, including people possessed by demons.

Source: Courtesy of Adult Swim

10. Attack on Titan (2013-2023)
> IMDb quality score: 9.3 / 10
> Cast: Josh Grelle, Yûki Kaji, Yui Ishikawa, Marina Inoue

This is a Japanese fantasy animated series, adapted from the manga of the same name. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, the show features a young soldier and his friends who have vowed to rid the world of the man-eating Titans, hoping to save humanity.

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Source: Courtesy of Netflix

9. Resident Evil (2022- )
> IMDb quality score: 3.9 / 10
> Cast: Ella Balinska, Tamara Smart, Siena Agudong, Adeline Rudolph

“Resident Evil” is a Netflix original horror series partially based on a video game of the same name. The plot is spread out over two years – 2022 and 2036. A teenager is fighting to survive after a virus outbreak has all but wiped out human civilization.

Source: Courtesy of FX Network

8. American Horror Story (2011- )
> IMDb quality score: 8.0 / 10
> Cast: Lady Gaga, Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, Sarah Paulson

Each season of this anthology horror show is like a miniseries. The similarly structured stories revolve around such subjects as living in a house with a murderous past, trying to survive an insane asylum, and joining in a witch coven. Some of the performers have appeared in numerous seasons, playing different roles.

Source: Courtesy of The WB Television Network

7. Supernatural (2005-2020)
> IMDb quality score: 8.4 / 10
> Cast: Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Jim Beaver, Misha Collins

The long-running CW series is about two brothers whose mother is killed by malevolent forces and who are raised by their father to fight demons, monsters, and other supernatural beings. Nine of the show’s 15 seasons hold a perfect score from Rotten Tomatoes critics.

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Source: Courtesy of FX Network

6. What We Do in the Shadows (2019- )
> IMDb quality score: 8.6 / 10
> Cast: Kayvan Novak, Matt Berry, Natasia Demetriou, Harvey Guillén

“What We Do in the Shadows,” which originated on FX, is a comedy-horror series about the daily lives of three vampires who’ve lived together for more than 100 years on Staten Island.

Source: Courtesy of FX Network

5. American Horror Stories (2021- )
> IMDb quality score: 6.1 / 10
> Cast: Sierra McCormick, Paris Jackson, Merrin Dungey, Selena Sloan

“American Horror Stories” is a spinoff of the hugely popular anthology series “American Horror Story.” Every episode is a self-contained narrative, as opposed to the season-long arcs of the original show.

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Source: Courtesy of American Movie Classics

4. The Walking Dead (2010-2022)
> IMDb quality score: 8.2 / 10
> Cast: Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Melissa McBride, Lauren Cohan

AMC’s smash zombie series “The Walking Dead” is based on a comic book series of the same name written by Rob Kirkman at Image Comics. Frank Darabont, writer/director of “The Shawshank Redemption” and “The Green Mile,” was the original showrunner for the series.

Source: Courtesy of Netflix

3. Locke & Key (2020-2022)
> IMDb quality score: 7.4 / 10
> Cast: Darby Stanchfield, Connor Jessup, Emilia Jones, Jackson Robert Scott

The fantasy horror drama, based on the comic series of the same name, returned this month for a third and final season. In it, the Locke family explores its new ability to make keys themselves as they defend themselves against their biggest threat yet.

Source: Courtesy of Warner Home Video

2. Stranger Things (2016- )
> IMDb quality score: 8.7 / 10
> Cast: Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard, Winona Ryder, David Harbour

The disappearance of a boy in a small Indiana town leads to paranormal occurrences. The show was inspired by the ’80s-era small town adventure and horror works of Steven Spielberg, Stephen King, and others. According to a 2016 report from Netflix, viewers were generally hooked on the series after watching the second episode.

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Source: Courtesy of Netflix

1. The Sandman (2022- )
> IMDb quality score: 7.8 / 10
> Cast: Tom Sturridge, Boyd Holbrook, Patton Oswalt, Vivienne Acheampong

“The Sandman” is a fantasy drama based on Neil Gaiman’s iconic 75-part DC Comics series. The show tells the story of Dream, a mortal wizard and the master of dreams, who escapes imprisonment after being held captive for 106 years. He is now on a mission to restore the kingdom of Dreaming.

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