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5 Horror based TV shows to get you ready for Halloween.

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Halloween is usually a time when we bust out our favorite classic horror flicks and spent our weekend terrified to open our closet, but what about the TV shows that make being scared fun? Here are 5 (6) picks for some great Halloween entertainment.

1- American Horror Story

This freshman series has only aired 4 episodes so far, but has already left it's mark as the creepiest and most unsettling show on TV (right after Toddlers & Tiaras, of course) Unlike other vaguely "horror" based shows, American Horror Story stands out in an incredibly unique way. It plays itself out like a very long movie rather than an episodic drama; following the Harmon family as they are emotionally tortured by the ghosts and creeps that reside within their new home. As the family settles in, they are visited by various haunts and hallucinations that prey on their personal lives. Each episode features the backstory of another ghost that roams the house, and the gruesome death that left them trapped on earth. Saying anything more than this would spoil a show full of a constant stream of questions and answers, so you'll have to actually watch the show if you want a good idea of what it's really about.

Despite using classic themes and tropes, American Horror Story isn't a forgettable or unoriginal experience. With a healthy blend of creative film editing and a constant stream of new mysteries, the series has really established itself beyond anything we've seen before on TV. Many of the scenes definitely push the limits of cable, both graphically and in subject matter. If you are looking for a true and pure horror experience, American Horror Story is tailor made for you.

2- The Walking Dead

Nothing says Halloween like the post apocalyptic nightmare that is The Walking Dead. This AMC show is a drawn out look at what would come to pass if a deadly virus was unleashed on the world, turning everybody who comes in contact with it into one of the walking dead. A group of people from different backgrounds come together in Atlanta Georgia, where they learn how to survive in a world where they are constantly being hunted by swarms of zombies. Besides the obvious nerd factor, the great thing about The Walking Dead is the genuine chills. The writers are exceptionally diligent about making sure that each scene is full of drawn out tension that sets your teeth on edge. It has the natural flow and pacing of classic zombie movies like Dawn of the Dead, only with the extended plot of a television production.

The best part about the show is that they don't skimp out on anything. This is a high budget production. AMC has invested a lot into this show, renewing it for a third season after airing only two episodes of the second. The special effects are first class for television, and the actors are all immensely talented. It's both a mixture of quality horror and quality TV bundled into an undead package that is nothing short of addictive.

The Walking Dead season one is available to watch instantly on Netflix.

3- Supernatural

The early episodes of Supernatural were like an epic love letter to the horror genre begging the US to appreciate it on cable TV. Creator Eric Kripke was dead set on making a show that genuinely scared people, but was still accessible to the mainstream. The end result was a highly conceptual meta horror-drama with slightly homoerotic undertones that eventually erupted into fantasy epic with one of the strongest fan bases on TV. The one rule that is always followed by the Supernatural writing staff is that all of their monsters and myths need to be based off of real legends. Supernatural isn't always scary though, Sometimes it's funny, heartwarming, cheesy, or completely depressing. It's a show that attempts not to limit itself, but that strong base of things that go bump in the night is just as prevalent now as it was when the show first premiered. It's also evolved a bit on the gore front. Newer episodes will unapologetically saddle you with as much blood and guts as they can get past the censors; opening up new mediums to spook and surprise you.

4- Tales From the Darkside & Tales from the Crypt

If you haven't heard of at least one of these show, you have been living under a rock. I have grouped them together because essentially, they have the same premise and allure. Both Tales series (unrelated) are horror anthology series inspired by the classic Twilight Zone series. Each episode centered around a new story, and usually ended unhappily. Episodes would sometimes incorporate black humor and heavy doses of irony, and individual plots would range from serious to hilarious. Occasionally, they were written or directed by authors, directors, and screenwriters who were famous in the genre.

These two shows are meant to scare you. They aren't designed as character pieces with extra fluff. Think of both Tales series as mini horror movies with a lower budget, but often of a substantially higher quality.

Tales from the Darkside is the senior of the two shows and was directed by horror legend George A Romano. While Crypt didn't have the same iconic force behind it, it originally aired on HBO, so it was able to get away with more extreme plot lines and graphics scenes.

5- Harper's Island

It's something that happened once and never again. A slasher tv series. Harper's Island was designed as a one season summer series with major plot elements that mirrored the Agatha Christie classic And Then There Were None. It tells the story of a group of people who travel to a remote island for a wedding. The group is slowly picked off and killed, and the killer is among them. What starts off as a bit of a juvenile mystery show with splashes of romance quickly devolves into a full on survival horror program. Harper's Island had it all. Gory kill scenes, tense hide-and-go-seek scenes with the killer, and a really great mystery to boot. As an added bonus, the series actually did have a lot of depth, and even in a series where anyone could die at any moment, the characters were nicely fleshed out and given life. Most slasher movies don't have enough time to make you care about who's getting picked off, but Harper's Island had 13 episodes. More than enough time to give you a sense of empathy for these people involved and really, really not want to see them put in life threatening situations.

The complete series of Harper's Island is available to watch instantly on Netflix.

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