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What kind of horror TV series watcher are you? Do you watch them when you feel like it? Do you binge on horror TV series? Do you watch them when they present themselves? Do you use air, cable, or the interwebs to satiate your serial tooth?

TV series classified as Horror are certainly less in quantity than the available plethora that belongs to many other genres, maybe less in total quantity than series of genres that are less popular with audiences. Still, they are many, and the total figure may amaze you.

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How Many Horror TV Series are There?

Tons. If you consider all the series since the inception of the horror TV series format in 1960 with Boris Karloff’s “Thriller”*, there are a lot of them.

This list lists almost 4000 all-time horror TV series, certainly impossible to watch them complete in a single lifetime.

Horror TV series aren’t like horror movies in the sense that they require a considerable time investment from watchers. Far a greater investment than the one we put into horror movies and horror movie sagas.

You may want to trust your horror instincts and follow the information trails that you think will help you in discovering horror TV series that you would like to watch.

But if you want to watch a lot of them, then you need to carefully curate the ones that are most likely to be the right ones for you; the ones that you will watch from start to finish, without giving them up.

Approaching them in this way has many advantages above just focusing on horror series in a stream of consciousness fashion.

Beware: In Horror TV Series, There’s a Buck to be Made

Let’s accept the fact that these days consciousness is tainted by the intrusion of commercialism. One may have pure consciousness and a definite sense of taste. Still, when you begin to tally your horror TV series watching (because sometimes, for some persons a tallying of many series watching is required), you discover things about your watching habits that can help you consume them in a much more efficient and optimized way.

This is a controversial subject, from any side you take it. You have to be willing to accept that as soon as you begin doing the hard thinking, measuring, and testing, for non-essential things like entertainment, you detach from the groupthink.

Your findings as well as your decisions based on those findings may not be what is desired and expected of you from society in general, and the commerce wing of society in particular. When you reach that point, even counter-cultural affiliations you have may not like it.

If you dive deep into things like this, and at the same time, you have a reputation to maintain, and credibility to defend, things get even more tricky.

As soon as you introduce words like ‘consuming’, and ‘optimized’ in your artistic and leisure philosophies, something may die inside the counter-cultural crowd you belong to; when they hear you uttering them. They are words of commerce and others are right to be apprehensive towards such terms.

On the other hand, you also can upset those that are in horror TV series for the money. The time you dedicate to an old, probably worn-out TV series of a previous generation that is not commercially remarkable in any way,  you aren’t not consuming something that is contemporary and part of a scheme to make money, thus not helping the commercial flow of the horror audiovisual media world.

How to Start Optimizing your Horror TV Series Watching

I would say that if a horror series that you begin watching can’t keep you glued to your sit, or if you can’t from pass an episode to the next seamlessly, then maybe you should be watching a different one altogether.

I recommend you to make an experiment to prove what I stated in the above paragraph. Starting from the fact that you are a fan of the horror genre, pick several series belonging to other genres.

If you are dead sure that from the choice you have you are going to deeply enjoy two, then pick another one that you think you may not enjoy as much.

If you pick three in that manner, and you discover that you also enjoy the third pick, then pick another, but this time try to find one that you are almost sure you aren’t going to be able to get into, but somewhat you also feel it may have something for you.

Watch two or three episodes of each of the three or four series you picked.

After you watched your nine/twelve episodes of this experiment, don’t tell me that it feels right to continue watching picks number three and number four.

Of course that when a series isn’t for you, it doesn’t feel right for you by the second or third episode. If you continue watching you either are a masochist, or you have a lot of spare time to burn.

An experiment like this, made while you’re disconnected from horror series, will show you how easy is to get sidetracked by watching a determinate horror series that you shouldn’t be watching because they eat up the time that you could be investing in the watching of more needful sagas.

I mean, our love for the genre may make us obstinate, and we may end up recklessly binging on something that wasn’t for us in the first place, just for the sake of getting done with it. I could give and explain an example of this that I experienced myself with “Twin Peaks” vs “Northern Exposure”, but I rather give a horror example of this.

My example was the night I went all worked up and full of enthusiasm to watch “An Evening of Edgar Allan Poe” featuring Vincent Price, and thought it was going to be another run of the mill Roger Corman Poe Cycle horror movie, movies that I love, and are among my top 50 horror movies.

Horror when I did find that it’s just a sub-feature-length anthology Victurkey with good old Vince in Victorian garb, and one nineteen-century location per story, and nothing else, and I just stopped watching it after confirming it was going to be the most static and long fifty-three minutes I will have to endure in my horror watching career track up to then.



I hope that with this article I have inspired you, showing you that if you love horror TV series, there’s a lot to think about them, how they are commissioned, green-lighted, made, advertised, promoted, commercialized, watched, enjoyed, critiqued. Most importantly, how they impact the horror intake of horror fans that like to be constantly knowing new stories in different formats.

Below, an example of a mini case study on horror TV series.

Dark Shadows as Example of Low Priority Horror Series

Dark Shadows (1971)
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This mini case study is not about “Dark Shadows” itself, but about the experience of someone that hasn’t watched many of the classics and essentials, about the reaction to a work of such scope as the “Dark Shadows” serial.

I, personally, I’m not big in horror TV series. I love them but my audiovisual horror subject of study was and still is movies. When I began streaming horror movies I began watching horror series.

One that called my attention is Dan Curtis’s “Dark Shadows”. The movies of Dan Curtis were always extremely enjoyable for me, so I was very intrigued about “Dark Shadows”.

I understand that “Dark Shadows” is not technically horror. I haven’t watched enough of it to confirm this statement.

I say this because the several episodes I watched didn’t have many horror devices. Besides, I saw that elsewhere it is classified as a Gothic soap opera, and that’s why I’m still not sure it’s horror.

Problems / Challenges

The problem that made me rethink my watching of “Dark Shadows” was that is simply too big for the stage in the journey of horror series watching I am at right now. “Dark Shadows” is 1225 episodes, that is simply too much, and I decided to let it for the future, when I have finished watching a long list of other horror series I want to watch.

Results / Solution

Short horror series, without being miniseries, are around ten episodes. Most are short because they are yet one or two seasons. Medium length horror series are any quantity of episodes from 20 to 40. The longest ones can be from 100 to 200. None of these is a four-figure episode count like “Dark Shadows”.

Instead of going through 1225 episodes of “Dark Shadows” I rather watch short ones like “The Frankenstein Chronicles”, or “Damnation”, mid-length ones, like “Hemlock Grove”, “From Dusk Till Dawn”, “Castle Rock”, “Van Helsing”, or “Winona Earp”, or even finish some of the longer ones like “The X Files”,  “Z Nation”, or “American Horror Story”.

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