Halloween is here and you may be in the mood to watch something scary tonight! Below are what I think are some of the best scary TV episodes that’ll give you a few thrills and chills on Halloween. If you have suggestions for other scary episodes to watch on Halloween, be sure to let us know on The Cosmic Circus Discord or on Twitter @mycosmiccircus!
The Sandman (Season 1, Episode 5) “24/7”
Netflix’s adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s comic book is a top-notch series, which isn’t surprising when we know that Gaiman himself supervised its production. But when it comes to the supernatural and horror elements of The Sandman, the episode “24/7” is something that should never be considered “just another beautiful and epic episode of The Sandman.” It may be epic and brilliant, but it’s certainly not nice! Instead, it’s scary, brutal, and sometimes disgusting.
The main character of this episode is John Dee (David Thewlis), who is a big fan of telling the truth and despises people who lie. At the beginning, he enters the diner just to eat, but when he finds out about all people there who are lying in their every day lives, he uses the power of Dream’s (Tom Sturridge) ruby to force them to tell truth. As it turns out, this is the worst thing he could do, because as soon as they stop lying, the atmosphere becomes more and more intense. The story turns violent and brutal just after people start telling those less convenient truths.
The main goal of this episode seems to be, to show people how brutal, yet honest and free life can be without having to lie. This is a vision of John Dee’s ideal world. One that can never be realized in the real world, because the consequences would be disastrous. If you’re looking for something that’s scary and shows how broken the real world is, with the addition of blood and violent scenes, this is definitely the episode and series for you.
Ben 10 (Season 2, Episode 11) “Ghostfreaked Out”
While many people may think that scary episodes of series are reserved only for live-action series, here’s a surprise. Ben 10 is one of my personal favorite series to this day, and the fact that it has scary episodes is even better. The entire series tells the story of 10-year-old Ben Tennyson, who finds an alien device called The Omnitrix that allows him to change into various aliens. The entire series is set during vacations when Ben would travel with his cousin Gwen and grandpa Max.
The episode “Ghostfreaked Out” tells the story of one of Ben’s most mysterious and terrifying aliens who escapes from the Omnitrix. It begins when Ben’s nightmare slowly starts to become a reality. When Ben has to transform into an alien to defeat a group of villains on one of the campuses, he turns into Ghostfreak.
When this happens, Ben is no longer the one behind the steering-wheel, and that’s when Ghostfreak’s plot to possess Ben’s body forever begins. Ben must confront his biggest fears and understand why he can’t be scared in this situation. This episode, although doesn’t seem scary, there are quite a few moments of horror while watching, a few mild jump-scares and so.
Supernatural (Season 1, Episode 5) “Bloody Mary”
We’ve known since the first episode that the Supernatural series is supposed to be about paranormal and frightening things. But believe it or not, there are actually really scary episodes of the series where we would prefer that Dean (Jensen Ackles) & Sam (Jared Padalecki) never have to investigate certain events, and this episode is one of them.
In the episode “Bloody Mary”, our heroes must defeat the iconic Bloody Mary from the legend of the same name, who’s inspired by Samara Morgan from The Ring films. The entire threat is fatal only to those who had a hand in the death of innocent people. While killing them, she uses very brutal methods that might be inappropriate for some viewers.
The episode is full of blood, building a lot of tension in just a 40-minute episode, and very intimidating moments. It’s considered by many Supernatural fans as one of the scariest Supernatural episodes ever. One piece of advice, never watch this episode alone and with the lights off.
Doctor Who (Season 3, Episode 10) ‘Blink’
If you’re wondering if there’s another episode in the Russell T. Davies era of Doctor Who as terrifying as “Blink” the answer is definitely no. By introducing the Weeping Angels into the lore of Doctor Who, Davies has given us one of the scariest episodes of his part of the series.
‘Blink’ tells the story of Sally Sparrow (Carey Mulligan) and Larry Nightingale (Finlay Robertson), who find mysterious tapes from the Doctor (David Tennant) and Martha (Freema Agyeman). They learn that they’re trapped in the past due to an invasion of the Weeping Angels – beings locked in quantum space on Earth. Basically, they’re really scary, you can’t blink, and you must always look at them when they’re near. If you don’t, you’ll be sent into the past, and the next time you meet them, you’ll be erased from existence.
When I watched this episode for the first time I was very apprehensive. The design of Angels and their ability to move when you blink or don’t look at them makes them even scarier than you can imagine. If you’ve never watched Doctor Who, you should definitely see this episode which is a fan favorite. It’s full of jump-scares, and other horror stuff that you must see for yourself.
Doctor Who (Season 10, Episode 11) ”World Enough and Time”
Older episodes of Doctor Who back in the Old Who era were sometimes really scary. New Who had a few such moments when Russell T. Davies was showrunner, but with Steven Moffat we got one of the scariest episodes to date. There’s one way to make this episode scarier, and that’s to watch its fan-edited version in black and white with the feeling that we’re dealing with horror productions straight out of the 1960s.
The episode begins as any Doctor Who episode does, with some problems to be fixed by the end of the episode. The twist here is, after there’s a shocking scene at the beginning, we’re divided into three different story arcs. Each of them is scarier than the other, and each place in this arc is creepy.
I can fully recommend this episode as part of the scariest episodes of the series. This is not a happy story about the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) saving the day, but rather a tale of tragedy, about how quickly life can end and that humanity is what separates the good people from the bad ones.
Teen Titans (Season 2, Episode 18) “Fear Itself”
Teen Titans is another teen hero group in the DC universe. They can act like a bunch of teenagers, but when needed, they’ll become mature and responsible. The entire series is full of moments that can shock us, make us laugh, and even scare us sometimes.
The episode “Fear Itself” mainly tells the story of Raven, who wants to prove to her friends that she’s not terrified of anyone or anything. When Beast Boy borrows a scary movie from a blockbuster video place, they start watching a horror movie. During the screening, the Titans disappear one by one under unknown circumstances. There are a lot of scary scenes, terrifying monsters, and the essence of deep darkness in this episode.
Although Teen Titans aired 17 years ago, it still amazes me how this episode, among others, is the one that had the most terrifying scenes in it. We’ve never gotten a scarier episode in the Teen Titans series and probably the whole animated DC series.
The Witcher (Season 1, Episode 3) ‘Betrayer Moon’
The Witcher series is full of many frightening and jump-scare scenes in both season 1 and season 2. The main reason is that the monsters and locations in the series are so well done that you can believe it’s all real. That’s why the “Betrayer Moon” episode is the scariest episode of The Witcher for me.
In the episode, Geralt (Henry Cavill) he has to go to Temeria, where there was a sighting of a monster killing people. King Foltest (Shaun Dooley) hires him to stop this monster because, as we learn, it’s his daughter who has been cursed to be a striga. Geralt wants to do everything to cure the girl, but as a monster, she’s very scary. The monster even eats human entrails right in front of the camera. The normally stoic Geralt is terrified as she scares him by unexpectedly jump-scaring him, (and scaring the viewer as well).
Although there are plenty of horror scenes, there are also some very humane ones to lower the horror tone. The episode is intense, and full of body horror, slashing, blood, killing, and severed limbs. For me, by far “Betrayer Moon” is one of the scariest episodes in the entire series.
But what are some of your favorite scary TV episodes? What are you watching to get in the mood for Halloween this year? Let us know on social media!