9 Eerie TV Episodes to Stream for Halloween

9 Eerie TV Episodes to Stream for Halloween

It’s the season of horror movies—but if you don’t have the time or the fright tolerance to watch a feature, why not stream a spooky TV episode instead? Here are 9 to get you started, with animated and live-action picks; please share your favorites (and where to watch them!) in the comments below.

The X-Files, “The Post-Modern Prometheus” (season 5, episode 5)

Screenshot: Fox/Hulu

The X-Files made a lot of famously scary episodes, but the show’s “monster-of-the-week” format maybe reached its ultimate form in this standalone that pays tribute not just to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, but (with its black-and-white styling) the 1931 James Whale film starring Boris Karloff. Though it has some unsettling moments, the episode also has a generous helping of weirdness and sweetness; Seinfeld-era John O’Hurley plays the Victor Frankenstein-inspired character, and there’s also a Cher theme running throughout. (Disney+)

Evil, “E Is for Elevator” (season 2, episode 4)

Photo: Elizabeth Fisher/CBS

Fans are still eagerly waiting for season four of Evil, but this quirky, freaky series has plenty of existing episodes perfectly packed with jolts of terror. With a plot that riffs on the viral “elevator game,” the team takes on a missing-person case that leads them to a building with a murky past, where Ben (Aasif Mandvi) takes his usual skeptical, logical approach to the mystery… and goes to a very dark place as a result. (Paramount+)

Bob’s Burgers, “Full Bars” (season 3, episode 2)

Screenshot: Fox/Adult Swim

Bob’s Burgers is beloved for its delightful holiday episodes, including this Halloween tale in which the kids journey to a ritzy neighborhood located on a nearby island, intent on raking in the greatest candy haul of their lives. It’s almost too late before they realize the price of pursuing that epic sugar high. (Disney+)

Rick and Morty, “Night Family” (season 6, episode 4)

Screenshot: Adult Swim

Summer transforms into a badass villain in this clever episode styled like a horror movie. Thanks to, of course, a Rick invention, the Smith family starts exploiting their sleeping selves to handle chores and other tedious tasks like studying and exercising—but things get hairy when “the Night Family” inevitably rebels. (Netflix)

The Greatest American Hero, “The Beast in the Black” (season 2, episode 6)

Screenshot: ABC/Amazon Freevee

The Greatest American Hero was known for its goofy hijinks, but “The Beast in the Black” finds reluctant superhero Ralph Hinkley facing genuine fear when his tough-guy partner, Bill Maxwell, becomes possessed by a sinister ghost while bumbling in a haunted house. (Amazon Prime Video)

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, “Hush” (season 4, episode 10)

Screenshot: The WB/Hulu

The only Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode to receive an Emmy nomination in the writing category, “Hush” also features some of the series’ most chill-inducing creature design. It explores the chaos that erupts when malevolent “Gentlemen” (including one played by Doug Jones!) come to town and start stealing voices and ripping out hearts. (Disney+)

Doctor Who, “Blink” (season 3, episode 10)

Screenshot: BBC/Max

You knew those damn Weeping Angels were gonna pop up here, right? (Binge)

The Orville, “Firestorm” (season 1, episode 10)

Screenshot: Fox/Hulu

After experiencing a crisis of confidence, The Orville’s young Chief of Security endures a nightmarish array of seemingly impossible horrors aboard the ship, including a leering murder clown and a rampaging giant spider. The series tackled a similar “face your fears” scenario in season three episode “Morality Complex,” which took members of the crew away from the Orville itself for some vividly awful experiences, including drowning, being attacked by bullies, and a realistic plane crash. (We’re still hoping for a season four renewal, by the way.) (Disney+)

The Simpsons, “Treehouse of Horror IV” (season 5, episode 5)

Screenshot: Fox/Disney+

The Simpsons is still producing new material, somehow, which means there are now more “Treehouse of Horror” episodes than can fill two or three entire seasons of an average TV series. Everyone has their favourite, but we’re especially partial to this 1993 entry containing “The Devil and Homer Simpson,” “Terror at 5 1/2 Feet,” and “Bart Simpson’s Dracula.” (Disney+)