An Anthology of TV Horror Anthologies

by Sugarhigharmadillo | created - 18 Oct 2013 | updated - 3 weeks ago | Public

I plan on watching at least a sampling of episodes from all series listed (assuming I can find them all) so expect frequent updates.

This list will only feature episodic series. Season-long anthologies (American Horror Story, The Terror, Channel Zero etc.), hosted movie shows (Elvira, Joe Bob, MST3k etc.) and web series are excluded.

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1. The Twilight Zone (1959–1964)

TV-PG | 51 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

Ordinary people find themselves in extraordinarily astounding situations, which they each try to solve in a remarkable manner.

Stars: Rod Serling, Robert McCord, Jay Overholts, Vaughn Taylor

Votes: 64,436

Series Overall Tone: Smart, thought-provoking and full of grand irony and allegory. There's a reason 'Twilight Zone' is the king of all anthology series.

Frequent Tropes and Themes: Aliens messing with humans, Angel interventions, Robots with humanity, Faustian deals, infinite loop motifs, ironic or cruel twist endings.

Host: Rod Serling!

Notable Episodes Worth Seeing: "Time Enough at Last" [S1E8] "The Monsters are Due On Maple Street" [S1E22] "The After Hours" [S1E34] "The Howling Man" [S2E5] "It's A Good Life" [S3E8] "To Serve Man" [S3E24] "Little Girl Lost" [S3E26] "The Masks" [S5E5]

One of the Worst: "The Betwitchin' Pool" [S5E36]

2. The Twilight Zone (1985–1989)

TV-PG | 45 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

A collection of tales which range from comic to tragic, but often have a wicked sense of humor and an unexpected twist.

Stars: Robin Ward, Charles Aidman, Richard Mulligan, William Atherton

Votes: 9,138

Series Over All Tone:

Frequent Tropes and Themes:

Hosts: (Voice Over Only) Charles Aidman (1985–87) Robin Ward (1988–89)

Notable Episodes Worth Seeing: "Nightcrawlers" [S1E4c] "The Burning Man" [S1E8b] "Dead Woman's Shoes" [S1E9a] "Gramma" [S1E18a] "Toys of Caliban" [S2E5] "Something in the Walls" [S3E19]

One of the Worst: "The Crossing" [S3E3]

3. The Twilight Zone (2002–2003)

TV-14 | 43 min | Fantasy, Horror, Mystery

This second revival of The Twilight Zone (1959) presents tales of suspense, fantasy, science fiction and horror.

Stars: Forest Whitaker, June B. Wilde, Chris Shields, Artine Tony Browne

Votes: 5,040

Host? Forest Whitaker

4. The Twilight Zone (2019– )

TV-MA | 60 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

An updated version of the classic anthology series featuring various tales of science fiction, mystery, and horror.

Stars: Jordan Peele, David Epstein, Paolo Maiolo, Shalyn Ferdinand

Votes: 8,702

Series Over All Tone: Beautifully shot, well acted, often heavy-handed but socially relevant allegorical morality tales.

Frequent Tropes and Themes: Adult fears and not-so-subtle allegories with a whole bunch of nods and direct references to the original series.

Host? Jordan Peele!

Notable Episodes Worth Seeing: "Replay" [S1E3] "The Wunderkind" [S1E5] "Six Degrees of Freedom" [S1E6]

One of the Worst: "Blurryman" [S1E10]

5. Night Gallery (1969–1973)

TV-PG | 50 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

Rod Serling presents tales of horror illustrated in various paintings.

Stars: Rod Serling, Larry Watson, Joanna Pettet, Matt Pelto

Votes: 4,346

Series Overall Tone:

Frequent Tropes and Themes:

Host? Rod Serling!

Notable Episodes Worth Seeing: "Certain Shadows on the Wall" / "The House" [S1E3] "The Devil Is Not Mocked" [S2E6] "Pickman's Model" [S2E11] "Different Ones" [S2E14] "The Caterpillar" [S2E22]

One of the Worst: "Quoth The Raven" [S2E37]

6. The Outer Limits (1963–1965)

TV-PG | 51 min | Fantasy, Horror, Sci-Fi

An anthology series of insightful science fiction tales.

Stars: Bob Johnson, Ben Wright, William Douglas, Robert Culp

Votes: 6,572

Series Overall Tone: Sci-fi stories with a Gothic horror bent, full of surreal imagery and stark, expressionistic cinematography.

Frequent Tropes and Themes: Aliens, Monsters, Time Travel, Teleportation, and Other sci-fi tech used for nefarious purposes.

Host? Not really, although, Vic Perrin's voice opens each episode

Notable Episodes Worth Seeing: "The Sixth Finger" [S1E5] "Nightmare" [S1E10] "The Zanti Misfits" [S1E14] "Don't Open 'Til Doomsday" [S1E17] "Expanding Human" [S2E4] "Demon with a Glass Hand" [S2E5]

One of the Worst: "Counterweight" [S2E14]

7. The Outer Limits (1995–2002)

TV-PG | 44 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

A modern revival of the classic science fiction horror anthology show The Outer Limits (1963). Episodes often have twist-endings and involve aliens. Sometimes, a story from one episode continues in a later episode.

Stars: Kevin Conway, Alex Diakun, Eric Schneider, Garvin Cross

Votes: 10,711

Series Overall Tone:

Frequent Tropes and Themes: Aliens are misunderstood and have some morality lessons for us.

Host?

Notable Episodes Worth Seeing: "Second Soul" [S1E5] "Under the Bed" [S1E11] "Descent" [S5E14]

One of the Worst: "Ripper" [S5E11]

8. Lights Out (1946–1952)

30 min | Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi

Lights Out was an extremely popular American old-time radio program, an early example of a network series devoted mostly to horror and the supernatural, predating Suspense and Inner Sanctum... See full summary »

Stars: Frank Gallop, Jack La Rue, Mercer McLeod, Leslie Nielsen

Votes: 114

Series Overall Tone:

Frequent Tropes and Themes:

Host?

Notable Episodes Worth Seeing:

One of the Worst:

10. Tales of Tomorrow (1951–1953)

25 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

Anthology series featuring both classic and modern sci-fi themes.

Stars: Leslie Nielsen, Cameron Prud'Homme, Edgar Stehli, Theo Goetz

Votes: 266

11. Inner Sanctum (1954)

27 min | Mystery

A hosted horror and mystery anthology series hosted by Paul McGrath, and later by House Jameson as "Your Host".

Stars: Paul McGrath, House Jameson, Edward Binns, Rusty Lane

Votes: 42

Series Overall Tone:

Frequent Tropes and Themes:

Host?

Notable Episodes Worth Seeing:

One of the Worst:

13. Panic! (1957– )

30 min | Thriller

A short-lived anthology series narrated by Westbrook Van Voorhis. Each episode tells its own thriller story and featured its own unique cast.

Stars: Westbrook Van Voorhis, Bill Erwin, Norman Alden, Robert Anderson

Votes: 44

Series Overall Tone:

Frequent Tropes and Themes:

Host?

Notable Episodes Worth Seeing:

One of the Worst:

14. The Veil (1958– )

25 min | Horror

An anthology of horror stories hosted by actor Boris Karloff.

Stars: Boris Karloff, Denise Alexander, Tod Andrews, Harry Bartell

Votes: 307

Series Overall Tone: Classic era Hollywood, black and white with a sweeping musical score, and very dialogue heavy.

Frequent Tropes and Themes: "But I could've sworn I saw them/it/whatever/" "That's impossible because they've been dead for years / They were here the whole time/ no one lives there..."

Host? Boris Karloff!

Notable Episodes Worth Seeing: "Summer Heat" [S1E8] "Jack the Ripper" [S1E10]

One of the Worst: "The Return of Madame Vernoy" [S1E9]

15. One Step Beyond (1959–1961)

Approved | 25 min | Drama, Fantasy, Mystery

Produced at the same time as the more well-known The Twilight Zone (1959), this series was an extension of the tradition of radio horror and supernatural dramas such as Light's Out, The ... See full summary »

Stars: John Newland, Robert Douglas, Olan Soule, Will J. White

Votes: 1,133

Series Overall Tone: Predating 'The Twilight Zone' by only 9 months, "OSB" carries a similar tone only in its hosting by John Newland. Stories were presented as being based on true events, were firmly situated in the realm of the supernatural rather than science fiction, and did not have the social commentary angle of 'The Twilight Zone'.

Frequent Tropes and Themes: Plenty of death premonitions, a decent amount of ghosts, as well as some astral projection, psychic powers, and crazy coincidences, thrown in for good measure.

Host? John Newland

Notable Episodes Worth Seeing: "The Devil's Laughter" [S1E11] "The Clown" [S2E27] "The Death Waltz" [S3E3] "The Sacred Mushroom" [S3E18]

One of the Worst: "The Lovers" [S2E22]

16. 13 Demon Street (1959–1960)

30 min | Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi

A horror anthology series, set at decaying 13 Demon Street where the host, an unnerving Lon Chaney Jr., opened and closed each episode.

Stars: Lon Chaney Jr., Charles Nolte, Alan Blair, Lorri Scott

Votes: 58

Series Overall Tone: Hokey and contrived.

Frequent Tropes and Themes: Enchanted objects wreak havoc over obsessed holders.

Host? Lon Chaney Jr.!

Notable Episodes Worth Seeing: "The Vine of Death" [S1E?]

One of the Worst: "The Secret of the Telescope" [S1E?]

17. Thriller (1960–1962)

50 min | Crime, Drama, Horror

Anthology series hosted by Boris Karloff that originally told ordinary tales of crime and mystery, but later became a showcase for gothic horror stories, many of which were based on works ... See full summary »

Stars: Boris Karloff, Richard Peel, Henry Daniell, Lillian O'Malley

Votes: 1,148

Series Overall Tone: Underappreciated in its time, 'Thriller' balances pulpy and weird well with eerie and haunting. Every bit as good as its more famous contemporaries 'The Twilight Zone' and 'Alfred Hitchcock Presents'.

Frequent Tropes and Themes:

Host? Boris Karloff!

Notable Episodes Worth Seeing: "Twisted Image" [S1E1] "The Hungry Glass" [S1E16] "Late Date" [S1E27] "Pigeons From Hell" [S1E36] “Guillotine” [S2E2] "The Weird Tailor" [S2E4]

One of the Worst: "Child's Play" [S1E2]

18. 'Way Out (1961)

25 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

A new drama in the macabre genre was broadcast each week hosted by Roald Dahl.

Stars: Roald Dahl, Richard Morse, George Turner, Philip Coolidge

Votes: 117

Series Overall Tone:

Frequent Tropes and Themes:

Host? Roald Dahl

Notable Episodes Worth Seeing: "The Croaker" [S1E6] "Sideshow" [S1E12] "20/20" [S1E14]

One of the Worst:

19. Great Ghost Tales (1961– )

30 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

The last regularly scheduled television series to be broadcast live in the U.S. was hosted by Frank Gallop, and featured dramatizations of ghost stories and other tales of the supernatural,... See full summary »

Stars: John Abbott, Lou Antonio, R.G. Armstrong, Barbara Barrie

Votes: 27

Series Overall Tone:

Frequent Tropes and Themes:

Host? Frank Gallop

Notable Episodes Worth Seeing:

One of the Worst:

20. Tales of Mystery (1961–1963)

30 min | Fantasy

Supernatural drama series adapted from the short stories of Algernon Blackwood.

Stars: John Laurie, Ann Castle, Michael Aldridge, John Wood

Votes: 11

Series Overall Tone: Unfortunately, all 29 episodes are missing, so I have no way of knowing :(

Frequent Tropes and Themes: ?

Host? John Laurie

Notable Episodes Worth Seeing: Any. Seeing as all episodes are lost, watching any episode would be kind of a big deal.

One of the Worst: ?

21. Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955–1962)

TV-14 | 25 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

Series of unrelated short stories covering elements of crime, horror, drama, and comedy about people of different backgrounds committing murders, suicides, thefts, and other sorts of crime caused by certain motivations, perceived or not.

Stars: Alfred Hitchcock, Harry Tyler, John Williams, Patricia Hitchcock

Votes: 13,568

Series Overall Tone: Understated English crime thrillers

Frequent Tropes and Themes: Last second plot twists

Host? Alfred Hitchcock!

Notable Episodes Worth Seeing: "Breakdown" [S1E7] "The Glass Eye" [S3E1] "The Perfect Crime" [S3E3] "Lamb to the Slaughter" [S3E28] "Arthur" [S5E1] "Bang! You're Dead" [S7E2]

One of the Worst: "Graduating Class" [S5E14]

22. The Alfred Hitchcock Hour (1962–1965)

50 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

A continuation of the dramatic anthology series Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955) hosted by the Master of Suspense and Mystery.

Stars: Alfred Hitchcock, Hinton Pope, Jimmy Joyce, Lew Brown

Votes: 3,530

Series Overall Tone:

Frequent Tropes and Themes:

Host? Alfred Hitchcock

Notable Episodes Worth Seeing: "Lonley Place" [S3E6]

One of the Worst:

23. Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1985–1989)

22 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Updated remakes of classic stories from Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955) and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour (1962), originally produced by the Master of Suspense. His original opening bits are colorized for re-use here.

Stars: Bernard Behrens, Cynthia Belliveau, David B. Nichols, Kathleen Quinlan

Votes: 2,107

24. Out of the Unknown (1965–1971)

60 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

A classic anthology science fiction series which features adaptations of stories by famous authors including Isaac Asimov, J.G. Ballard, Frederik Pohl and John Wyndham.

Stars: John Gabriel, Charles 'Bud' Tingwell, Erik Chitty, Peter Copley

Votes: 80

25. Mystery and Imagination (1966–1970)

75 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

A British anthology series based on classic ghost stories and chillers from M. R. James, Poe, Algernon Blackwood, Sheridan Le Fanu and others; later branching into feature-length teleplays ... See full summary »

Stars: David Buck, Freddie Jones, Robert Hunter, Mark Moss

Votes: 59

26. Journey to the Unknown (1968– )

60 min | Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi

A British anthology series about everyday people finding themselves put into unusual circumstances...many of them supernatural in nature.

Stars: Michael Callan, Joseph Cotten, Brandon De Wilde, Julie Harris

Votes: 145

27. Menace (1970–1973)

75 min | Thriller

This is a series of thrillers designed to keep the audience on the edge of their seats.

Stars: David Wood, John Wentworth, Sheila Hancock, Anne Kristen

Votes: 15

28. Tales of Unease (1970– )

Horror

British series adapted from a trio of horror-story anthologies which were edited by John Burke and published between 1960 and 1969. The television installments used the cream of Burke's crop.

Stars: Anthony Jackson, Ronald Lewis, Ursula Mohan, Larry Dann

Votes: 9

29. Shadows of Fear (1970–1973)

60 min | Thriller

Anthology series in which characters find themselves in weird and scary situations. Not evoked by the supernatural but by other people.

Stars: Ray Smith, Michael Craig, Ian Bannen, Peter Barkworth

Votes: 45

30. Circle of Fear (1972–1973)

60 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

An anthology of suspense dramas concentrating on individuals confronted with supernatural occurrences.

Stars: Sebastian Cabot, Sheila Larken, Meg Foster, Don 'Red' Barry

Votes: 339

* Also known as 'Ghost Story' for episodes 1-13

Series Overall Tone: Unique, compelling, and not afraid to get weird

Frequent Tropes and Themes: Marital or familial conflicts,

Host? Sebastian Cabot [In Character as Winston Essex for 'Ghost Story' episodes only]

Notable Episodes Worth Seeing: "The Dead We Leave Behind" [S1E1] "House of Evil" [S1E8] "Time of Terror" [S1E13] "Dark Vengeance" [S1E16]

One of the Worst:

31. The Frighteners (1972– )

26 min | Thriller

A horror anthology series, with each episode featuring a different eerie tale.

Stars: Tom Bell, Alison Fiske, Jack Hedley, Ian Hendry

Votes: 26

32. Dead of Night (1972)

50 min | Horror

A horror anthology series of chilling tales.

Stars: Peter Barkworth, John Castle, Anna Cropper, Bernard Brown

Votes: 89

33. The Evil Touch (1973– )

30 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

An anthology horror, science fiction and mystery series that was hosted by Anthony Quayle between 1973 to 1974.

Stars: Anthony Quayle, Mildred Natwick, Jack Thompson, Peter Sumner

Votes: 77

Series Overall Tone: Pulpy 70's B-Film style fun.

Frequent Tropes and Themes: People acting evil, after all, "there is a touch of evil in all of us..."

Host? Anthony Quayle

Notable Episodes Worth Seeing: "A Game of Hearts" [S1E6] "They" [S1E25]

One of the Worst:

34. Leap in the Dark (1973–1980)

45 min | Fantasy, Thriller

Anthology series of supernatural tales.

Stars: Colin Wilson, Linda Blandford, Gordon Snell, Anita Gregory

Votes: 12

35. Thriller (1973–1976)

65 min | Crime, Drama, Fantasy

Anthology series of self-contained episodes with the genres ranging from murder mystery to suspense to psychological and supernatural horror.

Stars: Donna Mills, Gary Collins, Michael Jayston, Robert Powell

Votes: 496

Series Overall Tone: Very 70's dry, British crime thrillers with violence that was nearly always implied and rarely ever shown. Every episode features a generally slowed build accompanied by its own unique score of harpsichord and woodwinds that accentuates more intense moments sometimes acting as a sort of replacement for actual violence.

Frequent Tropes and Themes: Serial Killers, Psychopaths, Cultists, and foreign agents. Investigations kicked off by missing persons, red herrings and frustratingly condescending wealthy, white men who never believe the female protagonists.

Host? Nope!

Notable Episodes Worth Seeing: "Someone at the Top of the Stairs" [S1E3] "A Place to Die" [S1E7] "The Eyes Have It" [S1E9] "A Coffin for the Bride" [S3E1]

One of the Worst:

36. Beasts (1976)

60 min | Horror, Mystery

An anthology series concerning bestial horror created by Nigel Kneale.

Stars: Pamela Moiseiwitsch, Bernard Horsfall, Patrick Magee, Pauline Quirke

Votes: 171

Series Overall Tone: An overall sense of eerie loneliness and detachment. All 6 episodes contain little to no background score or soundtrack and there is no theme music giving you the feeling of jumping in cold. All episodes are broken into two parts with the first setting the scene and getting you somewhat comfortable with the situation before taking a sharp turn at its end which leaves part 2 to be nearly pure climax.

Frequent Tropes and Themes: With only 6 instalments each manages to set itself apart from the other 5 with very little overlap in themes or ideas beyond all featuring a beast of some sort although not always literal or living...

Host? Nope!

The Best: "Baby" [S1E4] The Worst: "Buddy Boy" [S1E3]

37. Supernatural (1977)

50 min | Horror

Chilling anthology series where membership to the secret society, The Club of the Damned, is granted through telling horror stories.

Stars: Andre Van Gyseghem, Billie Whitelaw, Ian Hendry, Charles Kay

Votes: 102

38. Tales of the Unexpected (1977)

60 min | Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Anthology series presenting stories of suspense, mystery and science-fiction, usually with some sort of twist ending.

Stars: William Conrad, David Birney, Bill Bixby, Lloyd Bridges

Votes: 86

39. Armchair Thriller (1978–1981)

25 min | Crime, Drama, Horror

Suspense and mystery-themed anthology series.

Stars: Frank Duncan, Maria Aitken, James Bolam, Zena Walker

Votes: 150

40. The Next Step Beyond (1978– )

30 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

An updated version of the popular series from the late 50's and early 60's, One Step Beyond. Still hosted by John Newland, this series looked for supposedly real stories of hauntings, ... See full summary »

Stars: John Newland, Henry Brandon, Craig Littler, Martin Rudy

Votes: 26

41. Scorpion Tales (1978– )

60 min | Mystery

Anthology series of stories "with a sting in the tail."

Stars: Heronimo Sehmi, Anthony Bate, Tony Britton, Lynn Farleigh

Votes: 12

42. Tales of the Unexpected (1979–1988)

25 min | Comedy, Drama, Horror

Dramatizations of many Roald Dahl short stories.

Stars: Roald Dahl, Andrew Ray, Forbes Collins, Richard Johnson

Votes: 1,369

Series Overall Tone: Dark, dry humour and a very distinctly low budget 70s feel.

Frequent Tropes and Themes: Spouses killing spouses, general murder plots gone awry or successful, but with unforeseen consequences!

Host? Roald Dahl (Seasons 1 and 2 Only)

Notable Episodes Worth Seeing: "The Landlady" [S1E5] "Royal Jelly" [S2E1] "The Flypaper" [S3E1] "Number Eight" [S7E5] "The Open Window" [S7E15]

One of the Worst: "Wet Saturday" [S7E8]

43. Hammer House of Horror (1980)

54 min | Horror

This British anthology series, which was produced by England's leading exporters of horror films, told tales of haunted houses, demons, ghosts, and other supernatural wonders.

Stars: Nicholas Ball, Anna Calder-Marshall, Christopher Cazenove, Peter Cushing

Votes: 1,352

Series Overall Tone: Classic Hammer gothic horror but this time with contemporary settings and plenty of wry camp.

Frequent Tropes and Themes: Foggy Countrysides, Old Stone Buildings, Cemeteries, Bright Red Blood, and Satanic Cults

Host? Nope!

Notable Episodes Worth Seeing: "Witching Time" [S1E1] "The House That Bled To Death" [S1E5] "The Two Faces of Evil" [S1E12]

One of the Worst: "Growing Pains" [S1E4]

44. Darkroom (1981–1982)

60 min | Horror, Thriller, Fantasy

An anthology horror/thriller series, along the same lines as "Twilight Zone" or "Night Gallery." Each week features a new story and a new cast.

Stars: James Coburn, Helen Hunt, Randy Powell, Quinn Cummings

Votes: 244

Series Overall Tone:

Frequent Tropes and Themes:

Host? James Coburn

Notable Episodes Worth Seeing: "Make-Up" [S1E8]

One of the Worst:

45. West Country Tales (1982–1983)

25 min | Horror

West Country Tales was an early 1980s supernatural drama series based on real-life experiences sent in by viewers in response to a BBC appeal. Of the hundreds of letters received, 13 stories were selected and turned into TV scripts.

Stars: Keith Barron, Jack Watson, Brian Jennings, Martyn Townsend

Votes: 33

Series Overall Tone: Soft, quiet narration of British folk horror tales (supposedly based on real-life experiences sent in by viewers) conveys the feel of sitting around a campfire before turning in for the night. Slow and subtle, "West Country Tales" isn't big on scares but presents a nice gentle, eerie tone.

Frequent Tropes and Themes:

Host? Nope!

Notable Episodes Worth Seeing: "Miss Constantine" [S1E7]

One of the Worst:

46. Deadly Nightmares (1983–1991)

TV-MA | 26 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

6.8