10 Scariest TV Episodes, According To Reddit

Mike Flanagan's upcoming Netflix horror series The Midnight Club is sure to have a high creep factor as it focuses on hospital patients who tell terrifying tales to each other. It's adapted from the book by Christopher Pike and promises to be filled with as many layered characters and scary moments as Flanagan's other work.

Redditors are discussing the TV episodes that have gotten under their skin and no one wants to watch without any lights on. Whether '90s shows about kids sharing scary stories or mysterious series known for a case-of-the-week format, these episodes are definitely chilling.


"Home" (The X-Files, S4 E2)

Scully and Mulder in the controversial X-Files episode Home

Fans of The X-Files love watching Scully and Mulder investigate strange cases in each episode, and some storylines are darker than others, leaving a haunting and lasting impression. Replying in a thread about creepy TV episodes, Redditor stingerfreak wrote, "X-Files "Home" episode still makes my skin crawl when I think of it (and I really, really try not to think of it)."

This episode is particularly disturbing as it involves the death of an infant and the agents discover an inbred family. While some episodes of The X-Files are funny, this one is definitely difficult to watch and it makes sense that it has stuck with viewers since they watched it.

"Hush" (Buffy The Vampire Slayer, S4 E10)

Camden Toy in Hush in Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Buffy The Vampire Slayer balances Buffy Summers's teenage life with the demons that she faces regularly, and while some story arcs are all about love, friendship, and family, other episodes focus on some truly chilling elements. Redditor RANDOM-HERO mentioned that the show could be eerie at times, writing, "That episode of Buffy in season 5 called Hush was pretty freaky when I first saw it."

The Gentlemen are ghouls who come to Sunnydale and take people's voices so they can't make any sounds at all. The episode is visually interesting and has some fascinating details like the best horror movies, and it's awful seeing Buffy and the other characters struggle to get through to each other.

"The Tale Of The Dead Man's Float" (Are You Afraid Of The Dark, S5 E1)

The corpse in the Are You Afraid of the Dark episode The Tale of the Dead Man's Float

Are You Afraid Of The Dark? scared many '90s kids with depictions of ghosts, whether a prom queen who passed away on that big night in high school to the spirit of a librarian who doesn't want anyone to talk. Redditor IsaystoImIsays "There's also some episode about a closed swimming pool and some ghost which appeared as a red bloody corpse. That one must have scared a lot of kids."

The season 5 episode "The Tale of the Dead Man's Float" might not terrify adults watching it today as it did when they were younger, but it still has many creepy scenes. Clorice and Zeke can see that something awful is in their school pool and they investigate as they feel more and more afraid.

"Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" (The Twilight Zone, S5 E3)

William Shatner sitting on a plane and seeing a gremlin in The Twilight Zone

The Twilight Zone was influential for the horror and thriller genres, telling unnerving stories that always suggest a deeper meaning. One Redditor mentioned "That Twilight Zone episode with the creature on the plane's wing" and added, "It's terrifying."

William Shatner's character Robert Wilson is on a plane where he says that there is a gremlin hanging out on the wing. No one thinks that this is the case but he's convinced that it is. The episode has a sad ending as the other characters believe that Robert is unstable, but the episode brilliantly shows that Robert was the only one aware of the danger lurking in the sky. This trope isn't always used well but here, it feels right.

"Bloody Mary" (Supernatural, S1 E5)

The ghost of Bloody Mary in Supernatural

Supernatural isn't always scary, as the story of brothers Sam and Dean Winchester looking into monsters and mysteries is often seen as more warm, cozy and comforting than terrifying. But some of the best Supernatural episodes have the potential to haunt viewers. Redditor NinjaShira replied in a thread about scary episodes and wrote, "The 'Bloody Mary' episode of Supernatural. Freaked me the hell out!"

This season 1 episode delves into the legend of a woman who shows up in the mirror when people say her name. In this case, teenagers are having fun chanting "Bloody Mary" and Dean and Sam need to kill the ghost to prevent deaths.

"Who Goes There" (True Detective, S1 E4)

Marty and Rust talking on chairs on True Detective

One Redditor posted "Episode 4 of True Detective was pretty scary in a suspenseful kind of way," and in this early episode, Marty Hart and Rust Cohle are looking into a 1995 murder. In "Who Goes There," Cohle is in trouble in 2012 as he took time off to see his dad, who he said was ill, but there isn't any proof of that. In 1995, Cohle and Hart get deeper into their investigation and look into a creepy gang called the Iron Crusaders.

The atmosphere of this episode is especially poignant as it feels like the characters are in danger at every turn. Season 1 of the show is a brilliant character study as the detectives don't share their feelings but their faces are often expressive.

"Episode 29/Beyond Life And Death" (Twin Peaks, S2 E22)

Laura Palmer in the Black Lodge in Twin Peaks

One Redditor shared that the season 2 finale of Twin Peaks was terrifying and described the story as, "Cooper gets trapped in the Black Lodge... Everyone is talking backwards, the strobe lights are going crazy and Laura starts screaming." The fan added, "I swear I screamed just as loudly."

The Twin Peaks Black Lodge has some strange residents and it's a visually stunning part of the series, which is known for being baffling but creative and interesting. The Black Lodge is definitely a setting that stays with people.

"The Tale Of The Midnight Madness" (Are You Afraid Of The Dark? S2 E2)

One Redditor said, "There were a couple Are You Afraid Of The Dark? episodes that freaked me out pretty good as a kid" and wrote that "The Tale of the Midnight Madness" is "probably the scariest one."

A scientist named Dr. Vink wants to show his films at the Rialto movie theater where Katie Halloran and Pete Matt work. They realize that there's something evil about him as they get to know him better. The movies have a real impact on the people who watch them. The end of the episode proves that there's more to be afraid of as Dr. Vink says he has bought the theater and won't stop influencing audiences and putting his movies on.

"Playtest" (Black Mirror, S3 E2)

A man watching TV on Black Mirror

Many episodes of Black Mirror are horrifying as the storylines ask big questions about life that can be tough to answer. Redditor Shayjordann mentioned the season 3 episode "Playtest" and described it as "Spooky, a few good jumps, and a lingering unease like the rest of Black Mirror."

Considered one of the best Black Mirror episodes, "Playtest" sees Cooper down on his luck and getting a job playing a videogame. Unfortunately for Cooper, this is a terrible idea. The episode speaks to how people worry about relying on technology and amps up that fear factor.

"The Bent-Neck Lady" (The Haunting Of Hill House, S1 E5)

The Bent-Neck Lady in The Haunting of Hill House

The Haunting of Hill House is generally considered to be a horrifying season of TV. Mike Flanagan's story of a family being tormented by the mansion where they once lived is emotional but also tough to watch with the lights out.

Redditor Trent_Boyett mentioned that episode 5 called "The Bent-Neck Lady" is scary and added, "You see the twist coming from a mile away, but it's no less effective." Seeing little Nell Crain turn into this figure is not something fans can shake out of their head and is one of the most visually arresting TV images. Viewers find out the truth about Nell as they learn about her grief over her husband and it's very intense but well-done.

NEXT: 15 Best Horror Movies On Netflix, According To Rotten Tomatoes