People love scaring themselves. As if scary books from Edgar Allan Poe or Stephen King are not enough, they also want to see it move in a version of a movie, to scare themselves for two hours straight.
But what is especially interesting is that these days, people scare themselves on a schedule—horror TV shows are getting more and more popular, and the stories seem to get crazier and crazier every time.
Take a look at these shows if you love scaring yourselves over and over again:
Tales from the Crypt
Number of Seasons: 7
Original Run: 1989–1986
Where to Watch it: All 93 Episodes are available on DVD
HBO always had less-strict rules of censorship, and Tales from the Crypt is one of those rare gems that was so horrific in its storytelling simply because they have total freedom from censorship. Everything fun about a horror film was left there to watch—graphic violence, strong language, and even nudity and sexual scenes, which would have been censored in many other networks.
It’s not exactly terrifying in an “I-can’t-sleep-alone-tonight” kind of way, but the Crypt Keeper is certainly beloved, as is the show.
American Horror Story
Number of Seasons: 5, with season 6 coming soon
Original Run: 2011–Present
Where to Watch it: FX or Hulu
The anthology series had a stellar cast that made people want to tune in regularly. It has a new theme every season, but most of the main characters are played by the same actors.
So far, the series has undergone five seasons with five different themes: Murder House in Season 1, followed by Asylum, Coven, Freak Show, and Hotel. The sixth season has already been ordered by the production company and is expected to air beginning October 2016.
What kept people tuning in time and time again is the fact that all AHS seasons are said to be connected in some way and what’s more fun than a bigger type of story in a kind of extended universe-plot to keep fans hooked?
Tales from the Darkside
Number of Seasons: 4
Original Run: 1983–1988
Where to Watch It: All 90 Episodes are available on DVD
Before AHS and Ryan Murphy, the man of horror anthologies is George A. Romero for his work in Tales from the Darkside.
Unlike AHS and its themed seasons, this series has an individual short story for each episode, usually ending with a plot twist. It didn’t limit itself to the horror genre either, as it explored science fiction, fantasy, and even black comedy at times.
In November 2013, it was announced that a reboot of the show is being developed for the CW, but the network passed up on it, but by 2015, it became apparent that it didn’t gather much interest, and no network picked up the series.
In May 2016, however, it was announced that the first three scripts—or what would have been the first three episodes—would instead be published in a hardcover edition that is scheduled for release in October the same year.
Number of Seasons: 4
Original Run: 2013-Present
Where to Watch It: A&E
Remember cute little Charlie from the Willy Wonka movie starring Johnny Depp? Well, he’s all grown up now and is a psychologically disturbed teenager. The series is a modernized prequel to Alfred Hitchcock‘s Psycho and explores the mind of Norman Bates before he became the terrifyingly disturbed killer in the movie.
It has been noted that the story line for Bates Motel differs from the film prequel in Psycho IV: The Beginning, but it’s still interesting to watch Norman Bates lose himself slowly, struggling to maintain what little grip he has left on reality as he slowly succumbs to become the man in the iconic horror film.
Number of Seasons: 3
Original Run: 2013–2015
Like Bates Motel, Hannibal is a psychological thriller-horror series that serves as a sort of prequel to a classic horror film. Hannibal, the TV series, is based on the characters and elements that appeared in Thomas Harris‘s Red Dragon novel.
The story revolved around Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a forensic psychiatrist and cunning cannibal, and his relationship with FBI special investigator Will Graham. Initially, Graham was recruited to help investigate a series of murders, with Dr. Lecter as his supervising psychiatrist, who, incidentally, is looking to manipulate the FBI from within. His relationship with Graham threatens his cannibalistic career, however, so he tries to push the boundaries of the FBI agent’s sanity, aiming to turn him into a cold-blooded killer as well.