Halloween is upon us, so we present five of the creepiest shows of all time to get you in the mood for the spooky season.

V the Miniseries (1983)

Originally adapted from Sinclair Lewis’ 1935 anti-fascist novel It Can’t Happen Here, Kenneth Johnson’s V tells the story of an invading alien race, known as The Visitors, and their sinister plot to take over Earth. V drew stark parallels with Nazi Germany, with The Visitors mercilessly exterminating scientists and their families, broadcasting terrifying propaganda and adorning themselves with SS-style emblems. The show was remade in 2009, but the original 1983 version wins out for its subtle horror, wild paranoia and uncompromisingly creepy characters.

Buy V: The Miniseries here

Tales From The Darkside (1984)

A classic American anthology series from Dawn Of The Dead director George A. Romero, Tales From The Darkside made its mark by playing on a score of typical childhood fears – hideous creatures living in your closet, untrustworthy authority figures, supernatural disturbances in your sleep – and bringing them to life to horrific effect. The series was followed by a film in 1990, which included contributions from horror master Stephen King and starred Steve Buscemi, Debbie Harry and Christian Slater. As the closing credits note, “The Darkside is always there, waiting for us to enter; waiting to enter us. Until next time, try to enjoy the daylight…”

Tales from the Darkside

Buy Tales From The Darkside (£17.99)


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Twin Peaks (1990-91)

David Lynch’s supernatural, psychological thriller follows eccentric FBI agent Dale Cooper as he tries to solve the mystery behind the murder of 17-year-old Laura Palmer. Set against a backdrop of inscrutable supporting characters and rural Washington’s oppressive landscape, Twin Peaks explored the bone-chilling conflict between small-town respectability and the seedier reality lurking beneath it. Lynch made a shock announcement earlier this month that the show will be returning to our screens in 2016.

Buy Twin Peaks here

Luther (2010-13)

While modern US shows tend to favour all-out blood and guts horror, British TV has long had a knack for nailing the quietly sinister. Luther is a fine example of this, and became one of the most talked about TV shows of 2013 when the mostly silent, long-form opener to its third season shook viewers so violently that many were too disturbed to sleep. The show’s creator, Neil Cross, told Entertainment Weekly that he relished the reaction: “First, there’s the shock during the show itself. But then there’s the kind of long, long tale of ‘I can’t go to bed’… It was this great explosion of terror across the Twittersphere, which was an immense pleasure.”

 

Buy Luther Series 1-3 (£22.49)

American Horror Story (2011-)

Modern horror series have often failed to match the creepy, subversive school of terror TV that emerged in the 1980s, but American Horror Story takes the traditional anthology series and updates it for a modern audience – and the results are genuinely terrifying. With each season acting as its own miniseries, the show is a time-and-space-hopping tour of supernatural malevolence. The fourth series, which premiered in the US this month, follows the dark activity in a 1950s freak show, and promises to be as wholly unnerving as each of its predecessors.

Buy American Horror Story here

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