American Horror Story

Halloween Series to Binge Watch in the October 2021 Spooky Season

With Halloween just around the corner we all have the same thing on our mind: what Halloween series can I watch this year? We have an idea about a few of the best movies to watch and games to play this spooky season, so naturally, the list of series comes next. Over the years some pretty spectacular TV series have been released. Many of those shows are the perfect Halloween binges that will have us wondering what goes bump in the night. Now, this whole list of series are considered to be horrors or thrillers (or both) but may not be particularly scary to many. Scary or not, these series are worth watching when you can spare a decent amount of time to put yourself through them.

Squid Game

Squid Game series poster
credit: soompi

Squid Game has taken the world by storm since its release in mid-September 2021. What is Squid Game about? The 9 part series follows a group of 456 people in Seoul, South Korea, who are morbidly in debt as they take part in a number of children’s games. Winning the games ensures them a sum of 45.6 billion South Korean wong (or 39 million USD). Taking part in these games, however, means that 455 people will die. There is only one winner. Contestants must win the six games, all of which they know from their childhood, to be the one left standing. 

This show gets a spot on the Halloween series list for many reasons. Not only is it the most popular Netflix series ever released, but there are themes that are not for the faint of heart. The gore and bloodiness is not extreme, but this is a psychological thriller that keeps us on the edge of our seats as we watch grown adults play a series of children’s games. 


Supernatural series poster
credit: TVline

A Halloween series full of ghosts, demons, angels, and everything in between. Supernatural can (and should) be watched at any time of the year – it’s just that good. Brothers Sam and Dean are hunters – supernatural hunters. Their line of work is a family business and it all starts when their dad went on a hunting trip and hadn’t been back in a few days. On their journey through 15 seasons the brothers face their worst nightmares, experience a few heart-breaking deaths and become best friends with an angel named Castiel. Over the years the Winchester brothers saved the world more than once and forever have a place in our hearts.

The series started in 2005 and was seemingly low-budget. As the seasons continue it is clear how much the popularity soared as the world fell in love with Sam and Dean. Supernatural is an incredible journey and not one that you want to miss if you somehow haven’t seen it yet. All I can say is: bring tissues and carry on my wayward son.

Penny Dreadful

Penny Dreadful poster
credit: titanbooks

Penny Dreadful is a dark psychological thriller that feels all too real at times. This Halloween series follows Vanessa Ives, a clairvoyant woman haunted by her past, as she unearths supernatural mysteries with sharpshooter Ethan Chandler and explorer Sir Malcolm Murray. The series is set in Victorian era England in the late 19th century. Vanessa is plagued by her abilities and, together with Ethan, Sir Malcolm and others she meets along the way, faces unspeakable evil. 

In this series you can expect to meet werewolves, vampires and even Dr Frankenstein. Penny Dreadful includes themes that many people may find disturbing, including rituals and symbolism. Over the three seasons and a total of 27 episodes there is little not to enjoy if you are able to stomach it.

American Horror Story

American Horror Story: Freak Show movie poster (Halloween series)
credit: filmaffinity

American Horror Story is an intricate series that is all but perfect for Halloween. With 10 seasons that are almost independent of one another, the storyline changes for each. With names like Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson and Jessica Lange among many others, this series has been a Halloween staple since its release in 2011. Although each season differs greatly from the last as well as the next, the word horror is a common theme. This series is disturbing on many levels and features clowns, witches and even aliens. The supernatural elements, however, are not the disturbing parts – people are the worst monsters of all.

V Wars

V Wars (Halloween series)
credit: thenationroar

By this point we are all familiar with outbreaks of various kinds – but what about vampire outbreaks? V Wars is a great Halloween series to watch if you want to see more of the non-traditional side of vampires. This series follows Dr Luther Swann (aka Ian Somerhalder) and his best friend, Michael Fayne (Adrian Holmes). The pair come across a disease that turns one of them into a vampire while the other is immune. What ensues is a dramatic and gory battle within society as the vampire contagion spreads and turns others into blood-sucking creatures of the night. Only a select few with the NH47 gene cannot be turned but that doesn’t stop the world from turning on itself once again as a human/vampire war is on the cusp of breaking out. 

Although there are reports of V Wars being cancelled and thus us not getting a season two – nothing is concrete as of yet. I’m truly hoping that there will be another season as the first did well globally. There are so many questions that still need answers.

The Strain

The Strain series poster
credit: amazon

Can’t get enough of vampires and viruses? Don’t you worry. The Strain is another vampire horror rooted in a strain of vampirism. This time, however, the series is directed by Guillermo del Toro. The events in The Strain follow after an airplane landing where all passengers are found dead. Dr Ephraim Goodweather heads the CDC’s New York-based Canary Project and must investigate the situation. While there, they discover a viral outbreak that has eerie similarities to a strain of vampirism.

The Strain is based on a book by the same name which was written by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan. The first book was published in 2009 before the sequels called The Fall and The Night Eternal came out in 2010 and 2011. On July 13th 2014 the first season of the series was released and finished in September, 2017. A total of 46 episodes aired and can be watched on Hulu and Amazon Prime.

Locke and Key

Locke and Key series poster
credit: DNEG

A murder is often the staple for thrillers – Locke and Key is no exception. The three Locke siblings and their mother make their way back to their ancestral home of Keyhouse after the father is murdered under mysterious circumstances. The house, however, reveals more mysteries to them. Magical keys are scattered throughout the property and the family soon discover that they might be connected to the father’s untimely death.

The Purge

The Purge (Halloween series)
credit: amazon

What would you do if anything and everything was legal for 12 hours? The Purge series continues down the road of the acclaimed movies of the same name. Here, we follow several characters as they try to make it through the hours of the purge. Set in the United States where a totalitarian political party rules, the public are forced to endure the horrors than ensue. Some may look forward to the purge while others dread it – do you think you would survive it if someone had a vendetta against you?


Salem (Halloween series)
credit: syfy

Most of us have heard about the Salem witch trials at one point or another. In Salem, we get an inside look at what happened in the town in the 17th century. The series is loosely based on the historical events and is set in Massachusetts where we follow the story of Mary, a powerful witch. We learn more about what fuelled the witch trials that took place within the town as well as the history of the time. This Halloween series is thrilling but also a romance. The main character, Mary, is at the epicentre of causing hysteria within Salem. When her old love, John Alden, returns from war, the two connect again despite her marrying John’s nemesis, George Sibley. Despite finding out the truth about Mary, John ultimately decides that it is worth protecting his true love, even if her reputation precedes her.

This series was first released in 2014 and continued for three seasons. Unfortunately in December of 2016 it was announced that the series would be cancelled and the final episode aired in January of the next year. This cancellation, however, should not put anyone off watching it. Despite it being cut short, this series is wholly worth watching and, although only loosely based on fact, gives us some insight into what it could have been like for witches during the witch trials.

The Alienist

The Alienist
credit: IMDb

Do you ever wonder why? Just why? Do you want to know what goes on inside people’s heads to make them commit the most atrocious crimes? So does Dr Laszlo Kreizler, a criminal psychologist.  The Alienist series is set in 1896 in New York City. After a spate of murders regarding boy prostitutes occurs, a group of social outsiders including a criminal psychologist, newspaper illustrator and a police department secretary band together to solve the mystery. The group put their heads together and use a mix of forensic and psychological knowledge to track down and convict one of New York’s first serial killers.

This series is based on a best selling book of the same name written by Caleb Carr. There are currently two seasons of the Alienist with another potentially in the works, with a total of 18 episodes to enjoy.

The Enfield Haunting

The Enfield Haunting series poster
credit: amazon

We all love a ghost story. This paranormal encounter may be one of the most famous that the world has known. Based on fact, The Enfield Haunting is a short series about the supernatural events and occurrences that took place in London, 1977 to 1979. An entity known as ‘The Enfield Poltergeist’ took up residence, or at least became known, in a council house in Enfield, London. 

If you have seen The Conjuring, you are probably well aware of this story. Tagging along with novice paranormal researcher Maurice Grosse were Ed and Lorraine Warren. Having lost his own daughter, Maurice is drawn to the paranormal case of the Hodgson family. He enlists the help of Guy Lyon Playfair, who is an experienced researcher, to help him unlock the truth about the house. It is this man, Guy Lyon Playfair, who writes the book ‘This House is Haunted: The True Story of the Enfield Poltergeist’ – the inspiration for the series.


Ratched series poster
credit: IMDb

Nurses are supposed to be kind and caring, but this one isn’t. Ratched is set in 1947 Lucia, California in a mental institution. Nurse Ratched, whose name you may find familiar, worked her way into a position of power and became jaded and bitter. Before long, she became a heartless monster to the mental patients under her care in the institution. Edmund Tolleson is convicted of murdering four priests and is sent to the institution. He, however, claims that they were the reason he was put into foster care as a child after they raped his mother. The series follows the happenings inside the mental institution as every day becomes a nightmare for all who live there.

While Ratched was only released in September 2020, we have a lot to look forward to in the upcoming months (or years). A season two is definitely happening although we do not have an exact date for it as of yet. If you are wondering why Ratched rings bells – the show is based on the woman ‘Nurse Ratched’ from ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’.

Which Halloween Series Will You Watch Next?

'I don't understand that reference' Castiel
credit: nerdsandbeyond

This is just a short list of the possible Halloween series you could watch this October. Half of these I would never have even considered to be horrors or thrillers, but google said they were. Because of that, it only felt right to include a few of my favourites in the mix. Each one of the series mentioned above are worth watching. Not to be biased, but series like Supernatural and Penny Dreadful deserve a place at the top of anyone’s to watch list (so long as they are over the age of 16). Many other series that are considered to be horrors not mentioned on this list. For example The Vampire Diaries and Teen Wolf. While you may have enjoyed these as a brooding teenager (okay, I am re-watching TVD as we speak), they didn’t exactly feel suitable for this list. 

When you have a moment, why not snug up into your favourite blanket with a hot pumpkin spice latte and enjoy one of these series? With the weather outside turning frightful, it won’t be long until the spooky season is over and we start hearing jingle bells everywhere we go. Make the most of it.

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