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10 (5) scariest TV shows of all time



This fall, fans celebrate new seasons of shows like "The Walking Dead" "American Horror Story" and other creepy TV shows, fears we learn to love from the comfort of our couches -- and right in time for Halloween.

HitFix has cobbled together and voted on our top 10 favorite scary shows. Some would be considered horrors, others are anthologies and original programs that simply sent our scare-hairs on end. Recount with us our favorite shocking moments of television like scenes from "The Twilight Zone," "The X-Files," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "American Gothic," "Twin Peaks," "Unsolved Mysteries" and more.

10. "Unsolved Mysteries"
Years: 1987-2002 (original run)
Why it's scary: Robert Stack's chilling voiceover mixed with those eerie musical cues had the effect of making one think that whatever was happening on screen was liable to happen to you right at this very moment, regardless of how outlandish it sounded. I'm guessing I'm far from the only one who lost countless hours of sleep over this show as a kid.
Scariest moment: Too many to count, but anything involving alien abductions was bound to make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.


4. "Twin Peaks"
Years: 1990 - 1991
Why it was scary: David Lynch has always had a fascination with the way communities show one face to the public and another face behind closed doors, and he was definitely drawing on the same fears of placid suburbia in "Peaks" that drove "Blue Velvet." The difference was the way he grafted the lunacy of soap operas onto something so genuinely dark and horrible, while adding a healthy dollop of comedy to make it all feel unique. He and Mark Frost built a fascinating playground for their characters, even if they didn't always seem completely sure what to do with it. Even so, when they went dark, they went darker than network television had ever seen before and even now, over 20 years later, there are images that still seem fresh and horrifying, and the ending of the series lingers as one of the grimmest things I've ever seen.
Scariest moment: The first appearance of Bob, the unsettling drifter spirit, and the full-bore meltdown it causes in Sarah Palmer (Grace Zabriskie), mother to the murdered Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee), has got to be one of the happiest accidents in the history of television, and no one does better at making you feel like you're having an actual nightmare than Lynch.


3. "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"
Years: 1997-2003
Why it was scary: You know what was scarier than ancient vampires, invisible girls, Moloch the Corruptor, marauding werewolves, rogue slayers, haxil beasts, exiled Hell Gods, military-constructed hybrid creatures, mayoral giant lizards, vengeful nerds, out-of-control witches, myriad minions, a Soul-Sucker, several robots, an ever-widening Hellmouth and more apocalypses than anyone could count? High school. College. Sex. Relationships. The uncontrollable death of loved ones. Adult responsibilities. Growing up. "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" was all about the things that terrify us in our nightmares, but also the things that terrify us in our everyday lives.
Scariest Moment: You can either pick any moment from hush, or you can go a different way and say that the scariest moment in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" was Buffy's powerlessness in the face of her mother's death in "The Body." But if you think the latter is more "sad" than scary... The Gentlemen.


2. "The X-Files"
Years: 1993-2002
Why it was scary: While the week-to-week monsters tapped into our imaginations, it was the rampant conspiracy theories, the distrust of government and authority figures and the possibilities of things unseen that really messed with our minds. Whether it was Super Soldiers, black oil, the Smoking Man or -- seriously -- that theme song, it was the unknown and unquantifiables that raised some of the biggest batch of goosebumps.
Scariest moment: The haunted house scenario of "Home" with the horrifying Peacocks lurking brought on a shocking sickness worthy of Halloween-only reruns for the series. Not only did Glen Morgan and James Wong pair pen some silly comic relief, but also some disquiet stomach-turning, like when a wife touches the blood from her own husband, Sheriff Taylor.


1. "The Twilight Zone"
Years: 1959-1964
Why it was scary: "The Night Gallery" was closer to pure horror and "Outer Limits" and "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" went down the scary path at least as much, but "The Twilight Zone" was so much more than just a scary show. It told twisty long-con science fiction tales. It told sad and tragic stories about the human condition. It built up half-hour extended jokes, whether the punchlines could be ironic or even surprisingly low-brow. But yeah, "The Twilight Zone" did scary. And more than just merely "scary," it did countless shades of scary, sometimes just going creepy, sometimes haunting and, yeah, sometimes outright terrifying. I give you slow-builds like "The Hitchhiker" or "Long Distance Call," featuring one of the all-time classic child performances courtesy of Bill Mumy. For haunting, it's tough to top "Night Call," with Gladys Cooper. Even today, a viewing of "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" will mess with your ability to fly, "The New Exhibit" will keep you far away from a wax museum, "Perchance to Dream" will keep you from nodding off and "The Masks" will keep you from ever getting too rowdy at Mardis Gras.
Scariest Moment: "My name is Talky Tina and I'm going to kill you."
hitfix


what is the creepiest thing you have seen on tv ontd?
Tags: creepy post, list, television
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