What is a truly scary television show, something to truly induce nightmares?

Unsolved Mysteries.


Unsolved Mysteries.


I always thought I was either going to be abducted by aliens or wake up to a ghost at the foot of my bed as a child, all due to this show.


I was convinced that I would be murdered by a boyfriend when I grew up!


I admire your confidence and ability to not date crazy people


It wasn't even the show itself but the fuckin music when I was a kid terrified me. It's like when you're asleep and those loud ass lawyer commercials come on at like 3am and you shit your pants...same feeling


Especially the theme music, and when Robert Stacks voice is heard the first time during an episode. It’s just such an eerie and unsettling combination.


This is where my fear of spontaneous combustion began.


Saaaame. That photo of the old lady down to nothing but a foot scared the hell out of me.


I can’t believe some of the stuff we were allowed to watch as kids in the 90s. As a 3rd grader Unsolved Mysterious was my favorite show. I would ask people if they believe in spontaneous human combustion. I would also argue that UFOs do, in fact, exist. I remember explaining at a cafeteria table that we know there are flying objects people are unable to identify. The question is if they are alien tech. No wonder I was such a nerd!


Sounds like we would've been good friends


The first show to genuinely unnerve me was The Haunting of Hill House.


Super creepy. I’m actually heading to a horror fest in CT tomorrow for a Haunting of Hill House reunion! Mike Flanagan’s first convention, gonna try to at least get him and Henry Thomas’ autographs


That's cool! I'm really looking forward to his next couple of shows, especially The Fall of the House of Usher. Good luck to you on getting to meet them!


I didn’t know that was a thing!!


Did it get worse when you started to notice all of the ghosts hiding in the scenes? That show is great


Quite the opposite! I thought it was a nice touch. That creeps me out when things are there that takes a minute to notice. Like the scene in The Strangers where the killer is standing quietly in the background.




Man, I love that movie and have seen it so many times but I never noticed that until people started mentioning it on here. It honestly is unnerving that I never even caught that.


This is one of the only things I actually consider good in horror. Jumpscares and gore I find cheap and boring. Tension, atmosphere, plot, characters, and things that silently creep in without you noticing are what I find actually interesting in horror films (and books). Making the body jump feels cheap. Making the viewer notice something on their own when their own imagination has already made them tense is what takes real skill.


And at the end I was just so incredibly sad


Doesn't help they play that song by Gregory Alan Isakov


Oh my god, I just cried and cried.


One of the few shows that is so terrifying yet will also make you so sad 😭


I watched Dr. Sleep last night, made by the same guy, pretty creepy.




I liked the first few seasons of a Haunting. Not exactly scary but there's some good stories in there.


I love a haunting. Started watching as a little kid and never stopped. They did an episode about a tiny cemetery near my dad and I was fascinated.


Channel Zero, the first and second season are spooky as fuck.


Man, I haven't seen anyone talk about Channel Zero anywhere. Which is a shame because those first two seasons were good. The third was an interesting idea that wasn't executed well and they completely shit the bed with the final season, but I tell my friends that the first two seasons are worth watching.


First season made me sleep with the lights on. It wasn't even the teeth boy or the earwax man that freaked me out, it was the lifesive puppet characters.


There were a tv show in Brazil called "linha direta" (direct line) that used tell and recreate the worst crimes that happened. I was a kid and always had nightmares.


It showed cases where the criminals were still on the loose, that's what made more terrifying.


Don’t forget the “supernatural” cases mixed with real stuff, like the Edifício Joelma one. Shit was spooky af!


I was SCARED as hell when this episode aired. And I don't know why but I was scared by Jornal da Globo also




If you've ever worked in the corporate world - Severance.


That show was pretty meh for the entirety until the ending of the last episode.


I wish cartoons nowadays had the balls that Courage the Cowardly Dog had.


Rocko’s Modern Life was up there with the amount of adult innuendo.


But making an entire episode as a parody of THE EXORCIST?


Ren and Stimpy was pretty freaky too.


Return the slaaaaab


The French series Marianne. It's on Netflix. It's so spooky and fun!


That series was fantastic! I'm a big fan of spooky ghost stuff, and it creeped me the fuck out.


It got a bit less scary as time went on ***SPOILER*** (after the old woman was no longer possessed) but it was still so good! I really wanted there to be a second season but I can understand why they chose to end it where they did.


I'm okay with the show ending where it did. The overall "arc" is resolved, with a teaser suggesting that things are not completely over. A second season would have been nice, though. To me, one of the scariest scenes was the kind of "dream" the main character had where >!Marianne is leading her by the hand along this path on a cliff towards "the city," which is around the bend and out of sight, to see "the dark man."!< It's one of those scenes where nothing directly scary is happening, but everything is just "off," and you know Emma is in danger. Also, that scene in maybe the second episode where Camille is walking around in the dark house and calls the emergency line. So creepy.


It was pretty good! The acting was meh at times, but the creature design was absolutely bonkers- just really creepy and out there. The dread in some scenes was also really well done. One of the scariest scenes to me is when she’s laying in bed and her boyfriend turns around….


I loved that series... Finished in a single go...


While there is so much more to it than horror, I would say Twin Peaks. The quirky/slice of life stuff only makes the horrifying parts that much more so. I’m an avid horror fan, and there are parts of the newer season that I still don’t want to watch by myself.


Diane, just read this reddit comment...


The last episode of season 2 is by far the scariest with dopple-Laura screaming, but any part with Bob is scary.


Gotta light?


Someone already said it, but the French series Marianne is probably the creepiest show I've seen on Netflix. Haunting of Hill House and Midnight Mass, while heavy on drama, were also quite creepy. If you like the Grudge movies, Ju-on Origins will give you similar scares. If you like zombies, there's Kingdom and All of Us are Dead. I don't know if it was exactly "scary," but the series Slasher had some deaths that were horrifying enough that I had to look away. And if you're me back in elementary school, then it's Are You Afraid of the Dark?


The old twilight zones and the dark shadows provoked thinking on dark subject matter which could be quite terrifying.


Dark Shadows scared the absolute *hell* out of me as a kid.


Chernobyl - not supernatural, but still absolutely haunting. As a kid, the BBC special Ghostwatch was terrifying. It all felt so real.


I watched Ghostwatch in Youtube, knowing what I was getting into, and still thought it was creepy. I can't imagine watching it live.


The amazing thing is the amount of times the ghost was [hidden in scenes](https://youtu.be/EVWYs3hG020) in a world where there was no on-demand TV. If you missed the appearances, that was it. You couldn’t go back and check. It really was ahead of it’s time.


Ghostwatch was something special. I caught the full version on YouTube a while back. I could only imagine how great that must’ve been watching it live


I watched it live as a 9 year old and it was genuinely terrifying. At that age, I couldn’t comprehend that it wasn’t real. The fact that it was presented by a respected, serious TV personality in Michael Parkinson, and featured “live” broadcasts just added to the authenticity. It’s probably laughable in this day and age, but it was really ahead of it’s time in the early 90’s.


Really hard to find Ghostwatch now


What about the show “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” Maybe it’s not *that* nightmare-inducing, but that would depend on the viewer. There’s 1-2 episodes about evil clowns, I think, and a very disturbing (imo) episode about two characters playing weird games arranged by weird strangers in some random building…the strangers contact the kids through the TV set at the beginning of the episode or something? There’s also an episode about a kid being trapped in the mall…which was a giant pinball machine somehow…it was eerier than it sounds…


I like how so many of the plots of that and goosebumps involve parents that don’t believe them or are even the bad guys themselves. Fixates on those kind of primal childhood fears of trying to ask your parents for help and not being trusted or believed, or your parents abandoning you with crazy relatives or something. Kind of interesting psychologically.


This is why I particularly like Susan from Discworld. As a nanny, she knows the kids have unique fears, but as the granddaughter of Death she knows those fears are justified. In The Hogfather she straight up beats the tar out of a boogeyman with a poker and the Parents are like, "OH, how inventive!" *right in front of their own kids*. As a result, the kids aren't scared of things that would send others squirming under covers and I think that's a good way to be.


The cold child ghost really got to me.


The tale of the frozen ghost. Classic episode


I had a couple of those stick with me, too. In one of them, the kid finds out everyone around him - including his parents, all aliens lol. In another, aliens visit earth and a kid and they have these bright orange spider webs and adapt to languages


I had nightmares about Dead Man's Float for years!


I loved this show and was never really creeped out by it. Except for the episode with the pool monster. That was some scary shit.


That show gave child me nightmares, but I loved it anyway. The one where the kid steals the clown's nose from the funhouse, and the clown starts haunting him at his house freaked me out. And I think I remember one about shadow people dressed all in black from another dimension?


Yep, I know those episodes. The people in black were spooky!


The monster in Dead Man's Float was and is pure hellish nightmare fuel.


Black Mirror. Simply because we're moving in the direction of what some of the episodes portray.


I can listen to true crime and take a nap no problem, but Black Mirror gives me so much anxiety it wrecks me for a week.


You and me both!


I used to love that show but now I feel like it’s too disturbing


Of all the things that they've predicted, the prime minister having sex with a pig wasn't something I expected to be a reality (was a few prime ministers ago now).




Interesting question. Maybe both?


*The Kingdom*, 90s tv show directed by Lars von Trier creeped me out as a young teen...makes Twin Peaks looks rational.


Will be checking this out


Is it the same as Kingdom Hospital, for the US audience?


It is set in a hospital yeah so I guess so.


I saw it years ago. It was eerie at the time. The ending was crappy, i remember.


Back in the day the IT miniseries freaked me out.


Scariest episode: ”Oracle licensing audit” ;)


Courage the Cowardly Dog


for real. Ramses gave me nightmares. "Retuuurrn the slaaaab" affected me for like 3 days


The man in gauze. The man in gauze.


What's yer' offer?!


*"You're not perfect."*


I always thought the first few seasons of Paranormal Witness were super scary. I love ghost shows that are first person (the Haunted, on Animal Planet, was also super creepy), as opposed to Zac Baggins-type shows with dudes wandering around houses in the middle of the night with e-meters, yelling at the ghosts.


Ooh have you seen "These woods are haunted" which is a similar vein but a bit more Sasquatchey? And "Home town horrors" or something like that...very similar style I think you would like. I love Paranormal Witness and Haunted too.


Yes! I love These Woods are Haunted! Also weirdly terrifying: Hotel Paranormal, about people who see ghosts in hotels, hosted by Dan Ackroyd.


Yep! You're on my wavelength there! My dog is called Elwood Blues because of Dan, too lol!


The X Files.


Amazing show (until the last few seasons without mulder)




I thought so too


Midnight Mass doesn’t have “jump” scares or anything, but the show disturbed my spirit something fierce.


The Haunting of Hill House. I had nightmares for months after watching it (it’s superb)


When I was younger, very occasionally an episode of Supernatural actually gave a bit of a scare or a jump.


I haven’t watched Supernatural in years and years and I’m really not interested in it anymore but I’ll never forget how that episode with the hospital in the beginning of the series gave me nightmares for days.


**Trauma: Life in the E.R.** was legitimately scary to me. It warped my mind as a kid that you could be walking around one moment and dead the next moment. Death and injury doesn't discriminate when it occurs. When your number is called, you're up.




Tales From the Darkside: Inside the closet. I saw that episode way to young.


That episode creeped me out when I saw it as a teenager. Right after I saw that episode, I stayed at someone's house, and their upstairs bedroom had a similar short door in their closet that accessed their attic. I kept waiting for that little door to open all night long.


“Monsters Inside Me”. Actually more of a documentary, it tells stories of people with “monsters” inside them. No, not psychological dual personalities or such. The fact that they were all true stories made it certain that it COULD happen to you too! (under the right circumstances).


I loved Monsters inside me! Great show. I learned a lot about parasites and what to avoid. Swimming in fresh water terrifies me now.


American Gothic which ran from 1995 to 1998. Creeped me out.


Someone’s at the door


Marianne 2019


Yes, this was also my recommendation! So good!


Mr. Meaty.


Mr meaty basically gave me a fear of Muppet esq puppets as a kid. Shit was scary.


Was looking for this one


The Original Unsolved Mysteries


This old show Intervention. The prescription pill addicted people especially. I think it would be even scarier and sadder today with the crazier drugs out there.


Have a hard time watching that show as a recovering addjct/alcoholic myself. But I agree, it can be terrifying


I don’t like scary stories but Yellowjackets was pretty good. It did give me somewhat scary dreams.


As a kid, Unsolved Mysteries used to scare me. Robert Stack's voice is just inherently spooky, and so when he'd come on, saying that ghosts, alien sightings, Bigfoot, murders, and disappearances were unsolved, it really had me convinced that ghosts, aliens in flying saucers, Sasquatch, and serial killers were lurking around every corner, especially in the dark. And they absolutely were there.


A Haunting - a show where they used to reenact peoples’ ghost stories. There’s one episode in particular that I still have seared into my brain.


this terrified my 6"4 firefighter uncle to the point where he had to sleep with the light on.


That's brilliant! I was watching this one night when I was still living at home home. Mum sees what I'm watching and tells me not to bring something bad into her house. I was like, wth?! It's just a TV show. If ghosts are real, watching a TV show about them isn't going to bring them into your house!


Starting watching this a long time ago and initially loved it. But even as a kid I had to stop. Not because it was scary but because it was incredibly unbelievable. I remember this episode where they said it started raining in their house and all of the rain stopped in mid air and one rain drop flew towards someone. I was like okay... nope... that did not happen. Can't watch this anymore, unfortunately.


Spending 8 season only to realize no one had a better story than bran the broken 🤮




Agreed. Amazingly good


I've just started watching this... 6 episodes in. Very addictive.


Handmaid's Tale.


I've only seen the first three or four episodes, but they destroyed me. I hope to be able to watch the rest of the show in 5 years and feel like my fears were overblown, but right now... It's just too prescient, too fucking likely to be enjoyable.


If you want to watch something from 40 years ago that's prescient watch the first [V](https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0085106/) miniseries. It's eerie how the aliens slowly take over and the parallels to current events.


I am in my 50's, so I vaguely remember watching that and the media attention it received. I will look for it again.


I just recently rewatched it and had forgotten many of the political undertones, or maybe I wasn't aware of them because I was a kid when I last saw it, but the relevance today is undeniable.


Oh, waaaaay ahead of you! I have the first part on VHS and the second part on DVD. I absolutely love that show. I re-watch it every few years, and it's taken on a whole new layer of dread recently. I second your recommendation to others, though! V is fantastic.


Despite loving the RL Stine books as a kid, I thought Are You Afraid of the Dark? was much scarier than the Goosebumps show. Definitely had some nightmares from that show when I was younger. Nowadays I find true crime docs and the new Unsolved Mysteries Netflix series more scary. However, Haunting of Hill House was genuinely creepy with lots of great visual scares in the background.


Unsolved Mysteries scared the fuck out of me as a kid 👻


As a kid growing up in the 90s to early 2000s, Round the Twist had some pretty terrifying moments, if you dont know the show, you clearly ain't Aussie.


I'm actually Canadian and we did have that show!! "Have you ever? Ever felt like this!". Used to love that show! 1993 baby


UKer here. I grew up with this show. I wasn't very old when it was airing either! I loved it.


[Ghostwatch](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghostwatch?wprov=sfla1) was a one-off Halloween special from the 90s, back before reality TV was really a thing. It was about a paranormal investigation that turns from being jokey to suddenly appearing very real and dangerous, to the ghost possessing the national TV network. It got a huge number of complaints and apparently a teenager was so scared they committed suicide. It was of course all scripted - again, this was in the days long before this was common. It has never been shown on British TV again.


Classic. I remember back in the early internet days (for me already, early 2000s). Scenes from that show were all over without any context


Honestly? Doctor Who when it's good. For an allegedly family friendly show, it has some really "fuck this I'm out" episodes. I still get nervous about having two shadows in certain light or seeing anyone in a gas mask. Meanwhile, actual bloody horror is "meh I've seen worse" and monsters make me feel sorry for the actor who spent hours in makeup.


Lol true dat


Marianne. A French horror show about a witch. I don’t want to spoil it but it gave me legitimate chills


Some of the stuff in this was seriously wrong! Like...mental wrong. Very, very weird and good.


The Twilight Zone. A classic.


Higurashi no Naku Koro ni (2006.) That anime gave me the chills, when I first watched it.


For being on main stream tv, The Exercist tv series was amazeballs good!


It was so good! I was home alone with only the cat when finishing the last few episodes of the first season and had to stop because I heard a noise in the hallway.


American Horror Story or it's anthology spin-off American Horror Stories.


Twilight zone


“Strange but true “ It always put the shits up me as a kid . I wouldn’t dare sleep for hours.


The 90s show that was on in the UK and hosted by Michael Aspel? My mates and I loved that one, we even formed a “ghost club” where we’d explore the neighbourhood looking for paranormal activity


Sounds class !!! . Ghost watch was another really scary one of show “Pipesssss “.


I've seen a lot of people say Haunting of Hill House (rightfully so tbh) but I think the show that got me the worst was Slasher, specifically the fourth season.


Tales from the Dark Side


The Kardashians


Fox News


The Handmaid’s Tale - way too realistic as time progressed in the US


Monsters Inside Me It’s about parasites. Literally gave me nightmares so I had to stop watching it.


My mom and I used to watch Supernatural together when it was the earlier seasons (1-5). I would warn my mom when there were particularly scary parts, usually the beginning of the episode when someone died. So according to my mom, Supernatural is very scary.


The Haunting of Bly Manor


All of the stories this group have done have been great. I love that the same actors are used throughout, I don't know why, but it's an appealing touch. The later years of the girl's life when she was just waiting for the ghost to take her away... it was good.


Midnight Mass was amazing! Really creepy and great dialogue discussing religion. Wish i could forget it to watch it all over again.


Those bullshit ghost searching shows. I watch them and they piss me off with their editing and manufactured reactions. For some reason though, I continue to watch them and somehow they trigger horrific nightmares.


I posted something like this a little bit back at the beginning of the year I believe. I think the most disturbing someone shared with me was Pingu. It was a kids cartoon that originated in Switzerland. The story that person told was hilarious. Something along the lines of baby sitting their sibling only to watch an episode that introduced a Walrus character in an episode called "Pingu's Dream." It causes them to have nightmares and for their parents to come home. Here is a link to the wiki page. The walrus is truly nightmare fuel. https://pingu.fandom.com/wiki/Giant_Walrus


Yeah Pingu aired here in Canada as well! Definitely had some weird shit


Friday the 13th had some scary episodes.


I misread it as Children show lol Yo, courage the cowardly dog had some creepy ass shit in it.


1,000 ways to die. After watching it,you feel all "extra careful" about everything. Like taking a shit,better not squeeze too hard. Oh, Better not od on this carrot juice Can't be pissing on no fences anymore in case it's electric. Just going outside,you think the chimney gonna fall of the roof and crush you. That show just makes me fucking nervous


*Tales From the Crypt*.


I remember when I was younger my mom would watch X Files. She watched it religiously, was very into it then suddenly she stopped. When I got older I asked her why did she stop and she said she was starting to get nightmares and just couldn’t watch it anymore.


Such a good show. My mom had the same thing! She started getting abduction nightmares which she talks about to this day. There was also a game on PC we had, was like 6 discs or something lol, used to give me nightmares 😂




Great to know I’m not the only one!


News on just about every mainstream


Midnight Mass. It is not scary, but definitely very eerie. I donno why it didn't get much traction. It is an amazing series. A slow burning horror.


Oh it's wonderful.


The Republican Party Presidential Convention.




Keeping up with the Kardashians


Nightly news.


Happy cake day!


Happy cake day


I was going to say "Meet the Press."


Ha, similar storyline. :-)


Happy cake day


Do those 24/7 infomercial channels count as a "show"?


No but I personally love me some 90s "get 40 cds of the decades best love songs" commercials 😂


I mean once it hits the Christian "buy this Jesus merch" infomercials at like 2:30 in the morning things can get kinda scary depending on the preacher they show in the infomercial itself.




She hulk








Better Call Saul