Movies have long been able to explore complicated ideas with creative freedom, but television is the real forefront of experimentation. Showrunners have potentially 10 to 20 episodes a season to fill with content, and they’re able to come up with some fascinating and frightening ideas. Read on for a list of the scariest TV show episodes of all time.
The Twilight Zone – “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street”
Sometimes, the scariest thing isn’t what’s out there but what’s in us. The Twilight Zone has always effectively explored complicated human ideas and used allegories to reveal interesting things about society. “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street” isn’t any different, as it shows what a world will come to when they think they are potentially in the middle of an alien invasion. Spoilers ahead, but in reality, the aliens barely interfered at all, and all the monstrous acts that humans did were of their own volition. It mirrors many sentiments that were happening at the time during the Red Scare and White Flight, and the message of the episode still rings true today in this polarized world.
Doctor Who – “Blink”
Doctor Who has always been a show that pushed the normal boundaries of what a show could be. It’s been around for nearly 60 years and has defined many science-fiction tropes that characterize today’s media. However, one of its most memorable and frightening episodes does a better job of encapsulating horror. There’s some finesse required for decorating with sculptures, but that all goes out the window if those sculptures have a mind of their own.
In this episode, a young Carey Mulligan tries to solve clues left by the Doctor and prevent Weeping Angel statues from capturing the TARDIS, half time-machine, half spacecraft. The horror elements come from the fact that the angels don’t move when you’re looking at them, but when you turn away, they creep closer and try to kill you. It’s incredibly frightening and still regarded as one of the series’ best episodes.
Twin Peaks – “Coma”
Twin Peaks is an eerie and unsettling series from the minds of David Lynch and Mark Frost, showcasing the dark underbelly of the daytime soap operas that were common at the time. Evil is a common theme throughout the series, and its appendages are in almost everything throughout the fictional town of Twin Peaks. BOB was a character with infrequent appearances in the first season, but he makes his presence known in this season two episode when Maddy has a vision of him coming to get her. The show has always been unsettling, but at this moment, many of those feelings come to a head, and BOB’s presence punctuates everything else for the rest of the series.
TV can be scary, but these scariest episodes of all time reveal that their limits are endless. The term “scary” can apply to so much TV, as there are a seemingly infinite number of terrifying subjects for media to explore. These are the scariest episodes now, but many more will likely come out in the future.