10. Unsolved Mysteries
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.
9. Tales from The Crypt
It was scary it wasn t always but when it managed to perfectly capture the tone of the ec comics that provided the inspiration for the series tales from the crypt packed a wicked punch scariest moment the season three episode abra cadaver taps into a fear that was also utilized in a memorable episode of alfred hitchcock presents but this may be the best example of the trapped in an immobilized body story i ve seen on any anthology show tony goldwyn and beau bridges star here and the episode perfectly embodies the sort of moral tale that crypt did so well in the comics this one milks the premise for everything it s worth and there is a hopelessness that is scarier than all the monsters and gore the show ever piled on.
8. American Gothic
It was scary american gothic covered the classic battle between good and evil with malevolent glee sheriff lucas buck played with sociopathic charm by a never-better gary cole presided over the tiny town of trinity s.c and its denizens many of whom had already unintentionally sold their souls to their satanic overlord pity anyone who challenged buck especially if they got between him and his son caleb the result of a brutal rape as he cultivated an unknowing caleb to be his successor buck used his expert knowledge of human nature to destroy all who got in his way…except for those with the purest intent buck s ability to find each person s weakness and use it against him made the show a psychological supernatural devilish delight as campy as it was scary even better the show was co-created by former teen idol shaun cassidy scariest moment someone s at the door american gothic s equivalent of redrum.
7. Night Gallery
Night gallery was less focused and more uneven than the twilight zone but that didn t make it any less unnerving when shot in color instead of black-and-white stars like joan crawford seemed if anything more worn and while serling eventually washed his hands of the series when he wasn t given the creative control he d had on zone his mark though diminished remains scariest moment we never see it but knowing that an earwig is tunneling through laurence harvey s brain in the caterpillar will make you sleep with a pillow over your head at least once -liane bonin starr.
6. The Walking Dead
It s scary the very idea of a zombie apocalypse isn t exactly a comforting one but what makes the walking dead truly scary is that it makes us care about rick lori andrea glenn carl daryl carol maggie dale hershel t-dog and the rest before thinning out their ranks in all manner of heartbreaking ways every time one of these characters bites the dust we feel it and that is truly frightening scariest moment spoiler alert for my money the sheer emotional brutality of lori s death made it the ghastliest moment of the series thus far -chris eggertsen.
5. The Outer Limits
It was scary while the show followed in the twilight zone s creepy footsteps as an anthology show with a spooky voice-over intro the outer limits brought one thing that was different to the table monsters the first season of the show made the big bad concrete in almost every episode whether that meant space aliens mutated humans or little white flowers they were scary too the show though hardly a ratings juggernaut and not as well written as zone had an impact — harlan ellison sued james cameron for ripping off his work on the show for the terminator and ellison won scariest moment in the military-themed nightmare episode soldiers turn on one another while trapped on an enemy planet just see if your blood doesn t run cold when one shrieks don t touch me -liane bonin starr.
4. Twin Peaks
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
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 -daniel fienberg.
2. The x-Files
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 -katie hasty.
1. The Twilight Zone
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 -daniel fienberg.