Planning to stay indoors this Halloween but also wondering how to bring in that festive vibe without donning costumes and heading to parties? Here’s what you can do to create a perfect spooky ambience and set the mood right for the festival held on 31 October each year.

Get into those comfy pjs, snuggle up in a warm blanket, keep the popcorn ready and begin a marathon of some of the scariest shows to watch all day or night. Apart from the décor, candies and costumes, doesn’t watching a good horror show bring in that missing element to the festivity?

To make things a tad easy for you, we have created a list of some of the scariest shows on Netflix that will make you look over your shoulder, do a quick check under your bed or watch the curtains move intently to make sure you are safe.

Extremely well-made and critically acclaimed, these shows comprise all the elements of mystery, action and horror for this special occasion. From English to Korean and Egyptian, here are 10 outstanding scary shows you can watch on Netflix for a spooky night in.

Kingdom (2019– )

Kingdom
Image credit: Netflix

The South Korean period zombie horror has been universally praised for its outstanding performances, gripping story and visceral scenes.

One of the scariest shows on Netflix in any language, Kingdom has had two seasons consisting of a total 12 episodes so far.

Its story centres around crown prince Lee Chang (Ju Ji-hoon), whose position is politically threatened by conspirators. He embarks on a quest to find a cure for his father’s illness. In the process, the prince stumbles upon a raging pandemic that threatens everyone in the kingdom. As a result, he now has to save himself, his position, and his people from getting wiped out from history.

There is no clarity on whether the show will have a third season but the makers released a special extended episode, Kingdom: Ashin of the North, in 2021, exploring the backstory of Ashin (Jun Ji-hyun) — a character who is connected to the events in the main series.

Among other principal cast members of the main series are Bae Doona, Kim Sungkyu, Ryu Seung-ryong, Kim Hye-jun, Kim Sang-ho and Heo Joon-ho.

Watch Kingdom here.

Watch Kingdom: Ashin of the North here.

The Walking Dead (2010– )

The Walking Dead scariest shows on Netflix
Image credit: Netflix

The acclaimed horror series is based on the book of the same name by Robert Kirkman and artist Tony Moore. It is set in a post-apocalyptic world thronged by zombies threatening any living thing.

Its main protagonist is Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), a sheriff who wakes up from a coma to find that the world he knew no longer exists. He inadvertently becomes a leader of a band of survivors as they try to find safety and security in a desolate and dangerous environment.

Together, they have to not only protect themselves from zombies but also deal with other groups who would go to any length to stay alive in the collapsed world.

As tensions rise with each passing day, the group begins to grow increasingly threatened by their own selves and those they believe are their own.

The show, among the scariest shows on Netflix for a long time, has been praised for building extreme tension and gory elements. Blood and emotions flow throughout the 10 seasons that have been released so far. It is set to conclude with the 11th season, which will be released in 2022.

Watch it here.

Sweet Home (2020)

scariest shows on Netflix
Image credit: Netflix

One of the scariest shows on Netflix you can stream this Halloween is Sweet Home. It is based on the webtoon of the same name by Kim Carnby and Hwang Young-chan. The 10-episode-long show is excellent for those who love to binge-watch.

The show focuses on a lonely young teen Cha Hyun-Su (Song Kang) who moves into an apartment following the death of his parents. When his world is threatened by humans turning into blood-thirsty monsters bent upon killing and rampaging through everything that comes in their path, the reclusive Hyun-Su joins forces with neighbours of his apartment to protect themselves.

A notable aspect of this show is its visual effects. A few prominent special effects teams from Hollywood were brought in for this show. Of them is Legacy Effects — known for its work on several Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movies, including Avengers, and shows such as The Mandalorian (2019– ) and Star Trek Discovery (2017– ) — and Spectral Motion who contributed to Stranger Things (2016– ).

Watch it here.

The Guest (2018)

scariest shows on Netflix
Image credit: Netflix

Three people — a psychic, a catholic priest and a detective — put their skills together to prevent crimes caused by mysterious forces. While at it, they also have to counter a powerful evil that was the cause of a tragedy that affected them years ago.

The Guest is described as a horror masterpiece by critics and is one of the scariest shows on Korean television. The story is tightly woven and the performances are powerful.

It stars Kim Dong-wook as the psychic Yoon Hwa-pyung, Kim Jae-wook as the priest Choi Yoon and Jung Eun-chae as detective Kang Gil-young.

Watch it here.

JU-ON: Origins (2020)

Ju On Japanese horror show
Image credit: Netflix

The Japanese horror series is based on the immensely popular franchise known as Ju-On or The Grudge, which spans movies, video games and novels. JU-ON: Origins is the first television series of the franchise.

The story follows a paranormal investigator Yasuo Odajima (Yoshiyoshi Arakawa) who is trying to find a cursed house where a tragedy took place decades ago. Now the house is a site of ghastly incidents for those who live there. At the centre of the haunting is a mysterious entity known as The Woman in White.

JU-ON: Origins is one of the scariest shows on Netflix. Comprising only six episodes, the series begins in 1988 and traces events through 1997, with flashbacks to 1952 when the horror cycle in the house began. Like many of the films of the franchise, the series has been lauded by critics for its horror elements and underlining of human tragedies because of it.

Watch it here.

Detention (2020)

Detention Taiwan Netflix
Image credit: Netflix

Based on the acclaimed 2017 video game of the same name, Detention is a brilliant tale of political turmoil and supernatural horror.

While the game is set in the 1960s, the series begins in the 1990s. Its protagonist is Yunxiang Liu (Lingwei Lee), who arrives at the Greenwood High School as a transfer student. There she encounters the ghost of Ruixin Fang (Ning Han), who is connected to the horrific incidents that happened at the school decades ago during Taiwan’s brutal military dictatorship known as the White Terror. As Yunxiang realises that oppression continues in the school, she makes a pact with Ruixin the gravity of which she would realise later.

Detention is a good choice for anyone who loves horror shows. Because of its dark past, the pain and suffering of ghostly students and teachers appear to be trapped within the walls of the school. The acting and direction are so well done that it makes the eight-episode-long Detention a poignant watch.

Watch it here.

The Haunting of Hill House (2018)

scariest shows on Netflix
Image credit: Netflix

A broken family comes together following a tragic event connected to their paranormal experience years ago, which forced them to flee from their old home — the Hill House. As the memories of the horror they endured at the home continue to haunt them, the family members try to reconcile and fight the demons both in their minds and those haunting the house.

The miniseries reimagines Shirley Jackson’s novel of the same name, which was released in 1952, and has been adapted for films, radio and theatre previously. The show alternates between past and present and thus the characters are depicted as both adults and their younger selves. Prominent cast members include Timothy Hutton, Carla Gugino, Michiel Huisman, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Mckenna Grace and Henry Thomas.

Watch it here.

The Order (2019-20)

scariest shows on Netflix
Image credit: Netflix

Jack Morton (Jake Manley) is a young college student who joins a secret society known as the Hermetic Order of the Blue Rose at his university. His purpose? To avenge his mother’s death.

However, Morton soon finds that the order is much more than what it appears, with dark magicians and werewolves fighting a pitched battle.

The Order holds a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 100 percent and has two seasons. Unfortunately, despite its critical standing and fan-following, Netflix cancelled the show in 2020.

Besides Manley, the cast includes Sarah Grey, Matt Frewer, Katharine Isabelle and Max Martini among others in prominent roles.

Watch it here.

Marianne (2019)

Marianne
Image credit: Netflix

What happens when a writer finds that the horrific events she is detailing in her novels are turning out to be real?

The show follows a famous author named Emma Larsimon (Victoire Du Bois) who discovers that Marianne, a witch she and her friends mistakenly released back in their picturesque French town of Elden in the past, is haunting and killing everyone — from her dear ones to those who read her books.

Emma, who herself battles the witch in her nightmares, returns to Elden and combines forces with her childhood friends to undo the terror they unleashed.

The French horror serial was widely praised by both critics and audiences alike. The legendary American author Stephen King also praised the show in a tweet saying that it has “a Stephen King vibe”.

 

However, despite being one of the scariest shows on Netflix, the streaming platform cancelled it after one season.

Watch it here.

Paranormal (2020)

Paranormal
Image credit: Netflix

Paranormal is Netflix’s first original Egyptian series. Spanning six episodes, the show is based on Ahmed Khaled Tawfik’s supernatural book series Ma Waraa Al Tabiaa.

Its lead character Refaat Ismail (Ahmed Amin), a hematologist about to turn 40 and going bald, is led into supernatural events that also affect his family. With support from Maggie Mckillop (Razane Jammal), his university colleague from Scotland, Refaat tries to find answers to the events that are connected to his past.

Refaat is depicted as having a dark sense of humour. He doesn’t believe in ghosts and is extremely frustrated to the point that even the abnormal appears to be normal to him.

The show has been received positively by critics and fans many of whom particularly praised Amin, a renowned Egyptian comedian, for his performance.

Watch it here.

(Main and Featured images: Netflix)

written by.
Manas Sen Gupta

Manas Sen Gupta enjoys reading detective fiction and writing about anything that interests him. When not doing either of the two, he checks Instagram for the latest posts by travellers. Winter is his favourite season and he can happily eat a bowl of noodles any time of the day.

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