20 Underrated Horror TV Shows For Fans of the Genre

Looking to start a new horror series that will deliver but it feels like you’ve seen everything out there? We’ve got you covered with these 20 underrated titles.

Dario Argento directed the “Jenifer” segment of Masters of Horror which sees a police officer saving a deformed young woman.

Shows like American Horror Story, The Walking Dead, True Blood, and The Haunting of Hill House come to mind when you think of horror television. As a horror aficionado, sometimes it can feel like you’ve truly seen all there is to see when it comes to scary TV shows. This truly isn’t the case, however, as there’s so much more out there to explore for fans of the genre—so many hidden gems that demand to be uncovered. 

From ‘80s treasures to currently airing series, curated on this list are underrated shows that every horror aficionado should check out. Some of these shows have been forgotten with time or have fallen into obscurity. There’s other titles on this list that flew under the radar for most viewers. All of the entries here merit much more discussion than they get. Scroll down to discover these great shows that have been lurking in the shadows and waiting for you. 

Tales From the Darkside (1983 to 1988)

After the success of his collaborative effort with Stephen King on the 1982 anthology film Creepshow, George A. Romero and Laurel Entertainment wanted to waste no time in expanding the feature into an ongoing TV series, but Warner Bros. owned the rights to certain elements of the movie. After some creative changes that included a major rebranding, Tales from the Darkside was born. The anthology show ran successfully for four seasons, making use of its limited production value. Some episodes were adaptations of well-known authors, or written by the authors themselves. Such writers include names like Clive Barker, Stephen King, and Harlan Ellison. An unknown narrator sets the stage in each episode in this series that spans various genres of horror, sci-fi, fantasy, and black comedy. The show isn’t currently available to stream online, but you can find a physical copy of the complete series here.

Masters of Horror (2005 to 2007)

The “Jenifer” segment of Masters of Horror was directed by Dario Argento.

Inspired by his regular dinner parties with fellow horror filmmakers, Mick Garris teamed up with Showtime to create this anthology series. The delightfully sinister Masters of Horror features hour-long episodes by legendary directors of the genre, such as Tobe Hooper, Dario Argento, John Carpenter, and Joe Dante. The “masters” of horror essentially had free creative license to work their magic however they pleased for 60 minutes. While the series itself is a mixed bag, some of the episodes are masterpieces and went on to become cult icons, such as John Carpenter’s “Cigarette Burns.” “Imprint,” directed by Takashi Miike, the director of Audition (1999), is another episode prominent among the horror community, and arguably the show’s most frightening. The segment was so violent and stomach-churning that it was pulled from the schedule by the network. Masters of Horror had a two-season run, spanning 26 episodes total that are totally worth the watch.

The Strain (2014 to 2017)

A mysterious strain of a virus causes mayhem in The Strain.

The Strain is a horror drama that aired on FX and is based on a book trilogy of the same name by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan. It centers around a deeply mysterious viral outbreak in New York City with indications of an ancient strain of vampirism. The vampires in this show are distinctive from the seductive, sexy vampires seen in other media. They’re downright frightening and disgusting—and nearly impossible to defeat. After the show’s first successful season, it fell somewhat into obscurity. It stars Corey Stroll as Dr. Ephraim Goodweather, the head of the CDC’s New York-based Canary Project. 

The Enfield Haunting (2015)

The Enfield Haunting explores the same case the Warrens investigated in The Conjuring 2.

This three-part British miniseries covers the same case from The Conjuring 2 (2016), but from a different side. Apologies to The Conjuring Universe, but this TV show is a considerably better telling of the story and extremely more terrifying than the movie. The show has some big names attached to it, such as Timothy Spall, Juliet Stevenson and Matthew McFadden. While this rendition doesn’t at all feature the Warrens, it does revolve around the same family, the Hodgsons, who experience a haunting by a malevolent spirit in their home. They call on paranormal researcher Maurice Grosse, played by Spall, who is integral to the story and whose role is significantly sidelined in The Conjuring 2. This complex and disturbing case would not have been anywhere near as well documented had it not been for Grosse. His character in the show is dealing with the loss of his own child, and is using the Hodgsons not only to fill the void, but to prove that there is life after death—he wants to know his son is at peace. Seasoned horror fans will be impressed by this nuanced miniseries that makes you believe that the possibility that this family experienced a haunting is downright plausible. 

Ghoul (2018)

Ghoul is a Netflix hidden gem.

This Indian horror miniseries from Netflix is set in a dystopian future in a fascist India. It centers around Nida Rahim (Radhika Apte), a new military recruit tasked with aiding in the interrogation of the infamous terrorist Ali Saeed (Mahesh Balraj) at a top secret detention center. Unknown to our protagonist, this mission is far darker than she could have ever imagined and Ali holds the secrets of her past. The titular ghoul is able to disguise itself as other humans, but the real terror in the series is compliance to an authoritarian regime. Ghoul delivers a strong political message, while managing to give you fuel for your nightmares. 

Channel Zero (2016 to 2018)

The monster in season one of Channel Zero is made up of human teeth.

American Horror Story who? The less popular network SyFy has had its run of underrated shows over the years, but none deserves more praise than Nick Antosca’s Channel Zero. It’s a shame that the anthology series only lasted four short seasons because it had great potential for longevity. It was overshadowed by more popular horror shows at the time, but none hold a candle to Channel Zero. The series was truly artistic, with more surreal horror than its peers. Each season had six episodes and followed a different narrative inspired by popular Creepypastas or Reddit’s NoSleep forum.

The first season, “Candle Cove,” is excellent for fans of the lost or cursed media subgenre. It follows a psychologist who returns to his hometown and discovers a link between his brother’s disappearance in childhood and a show that was airing at the time. In “No End House” a young woman and her friends visit a house of horrors that changes the course of their lives forever. “Butcher’s Block” follows a young woman and her schizophrenic sister as they move to a haunted city plagued by a series of disappearances. The final season “The Dream Door” focuses on a couple who discover a secret door in their basement that alters their relationship. If you want to watch a genuinely spine-chilling series that will give you nightmares, then Channel Zero is it.

The Terror (2018 to present)

The Terror is horror meets historical drama.

The Terror stands out from other horror anthology shows thanks to its historical setting each season. It’s a slow-burn horror drama with plenty of scares and incredible cinematography.  Season 1 focuses on a fictional reimagining of Sir John Franklin’s lost expedition to the Arctic in 1845 to the fabled Northwest Passage. The Royal Navy ships Erebus and Terror get stranded on ice, and those aboard the ship must survive the harsh conditions while being stalked by a sinister menace. Season 2, titled “Infamy,” is set during WWII on the American West Coast and follows a Japanese-American community haunted by a folklore creature in the Japanese internment camps.

Marianne (2019)

Marianne is one of the scariest shows on Netflix.

While the Netflix French series Marianne garnered a fan base who was devastated by the news of its cancellation, the show still remains in obscurity and under the radar for most horror aficionados. Don’t let the fact that it only ran one season dissuade you from watching it. The show ended on somewhat of a cliffhanger to leave room for future seasons, but it did an otherwise excellent job of wrapping up the story. It centers around Emma Larsimon (Victoire Du Bois), a famous horror writer who transformed her recurring childhood nightmares into a bestselling book series. When she returns to her hometown she discovers that the character in her book—the evil spirit who plagues her dreams—is wreaking havoc in the real world. Marianne is a superbly crafted series that delivers on an unsettling atmosphere and frights. After Mike Flanagan’s creations, it’s the best horror show available to stream on the platform. 

30 Coins (2020 to present)

30 Coins is the best recent horror show no one is talking about.

It’s truly confounding how aficionados of the genre aren’t talking more about this Spanish horror mystery production by HBO Europe. It was created by Álex de la Iglesia, an undeniable horror legend from Spain. 30 Coins delivers on everything horror lovers have come to love and expect from the genre—suspense, atmosphere, thrills, drama, and nuance. The show literally has something for everybody, such as gore, demons, Lovecraftinian monsters, spirits, global religious conspiracies, and even body horror. It follows the supernatural phenomena experienced by a remote Spanish village after a priest is exiled there following an exorcism gone wrong. Each episode feels new and different, with new monsters every week, but the show has an overarching theme, which is hinted at in its title—a dark order within the Catholic Church is working tirelessly to recover the 30 pieces of silver paid to Judas when he betrayed Christ. Paul Giamatti joined the cast in season 2, and recently shared that he hopes to be included in the third season. The show is available to stream on Max

From (2022 to present)

Harold Perrineau in From.

Although its first season flew under the radar, From has since gained a faithful fan community on social media, but this masterclass of a horror show from the creators of Lost still isn’t anywhere near discussed as much as it should be. The name Harold Perrineau should be enough to sell you on this show. Here he plays Boyd Stevens, the sheriff of a small town in Middle America…but this is no ordinary town. The town is full of people who have been randomly stranded there, some for years and even decades. It traps travelers who enter it, with no means of escape, but the horror doesn’t end there. At night, the town is plagued with terrifying flesh-eating creatures who look like humans on the outside and whose origins are a mystery. Residents are forced to hide and lock themselves at night, keeping a talisman on their doors to keep the monsters away. This show is great for those who love a puzzle-solving mystery and enjoy horror with excellently crafted lore. It has an intriguing plot that hooks you and amazing direction and character-building. Catch up now on MGM and thank us later. From has been officially renewed for a third season.

More underrated horror TV shows that you should check out…

Hammer House of Horror (1980) a British anthology series created by Hammer Films that features an hourlong story each episode. The 13 episodes delve into everything horror—haunted houses, ghosts, werewolves, demons, and more. 

Scream (2015 to 2019) this series based on Wes Craven’s masterpiece deserves more recognition than it gets. There’s so much to enjoy in this angsty teenage horror. A brutal murder in the small town of Lakewood stirs up memories of a killing spree in the town’s past. 

Slasher (2016 to present) this anthology horror series focuses on a different story each season, each featuring a masked killer. 

The Exorcist (2016 to 2018) fans of the original movie will not be disappointed in this series. It follows Angela Rance (Geena Davis), born Regan Macneil, who after being plagued with horrible nightmares comes to suspect something sinister is happening in her home. 

Evil (2019 to present) a skeptical psychologist and a priest in training investigate the Catholic church’s backlog of unexplained mysteries. 

Creepshow (2019 to present) makes for a thoroughly entertaining watch when you’re craving horror, but still want to play something mindless. 

50 States of Fright (2020) a horror anthology series executively produced by Sam Raimi that features scary stories from every state in the country. 

Monsterland (2020) this anthology shows how “encounters with mermaids, fallen angels and other strange beasts drive broken people to desperate acts.”

Interview With the Vampire (2022 to present) is a beloved series that deserves a far wider audience. This adaptation beats the 1994 film and is much, much gayer. 

Mayfair Witches (2023 to present) is based on Anne Rice’s book of the same name. The series follows neurosurgeon Dr. Rowan Fielding (Alexandra Daddario) who learns she’s the heiress to a powerful dynasty of witches haunted by a sinister entity.

Further reading:

Meet The Author

Natalia is a writer, poet, and collage artist living in Houston, Texas. Her favorite scary movies include Pearl, Midsommar, and Jennifer’s Body. In her spare time, she enjoys writing “good for her” horror fiction.