Weekend Watchlist: Spooky shows


Image via Wikimedia Commons

“Twin Peaks” title card.

By The Pitt News Staff

It’s spooky season! With Halloween less than two weeks away, here are our favorite spooky shows available to stream.

“Twin Peaks” (Netflix, ABC, Showtime) // Mary Rose O’Donnell, Digital Manager

“She’s dead — wrapped in plastic!” This phrase kicked off the 25-year-long television experience known as “Twin Peaks,” prolific director and professional weird guy David Lynch’s foray into television that revolutionized the medium. “Twin Peaks” is a show about a fictional Washington town of the same name and how its residents grapple with the murder of its wholesome high school homecoming queen Laura Palmer — she’s the person found dead wrapped in plastic. It quickly becomes apparent that things are not what they seem. The local sheriff’s department, led by Sheriff Harry S. Truman (Michael Ontkean), brings in FBI heavyweight Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLauglin). While trying to answer the question “Who killed Laura Palmer?,” many more small town secrets are revealed. Oh, and there are demons, lots of them. And watch out for the owls, too.


“Twin Peaks” only ran for 30 episodes from 1990-1991 before being cancelled by ABC. After its cancellation and intense cliffhanger finale, fans demanded more. A prequel movie detailing the week before Laura Palmer’s death called “Fire Walk With Me” was released in 1992, but it bombed at the box office. In 2017, in correlation with one of the shows most famous lines (“I’ll see you again in 25 years”), the show came back with a third season on Showtime, and boy was it amazing and weird and wonderful.

“Supernatural” (Netflix, The CW) // Maggie Young, Contributing Editor

Upon hearing of “Supernatural,” you’re probably thinking about how the show is currently on its 15th season. “Supernatural” may have been a bit dragged out, but that shouldn’t dissuade potential watchers looking for a spooky binge. The show follows brothers Dean (Jensen Ackles) and Sam (Jared Padalecki) — who you may recognize as Dean from “Gilmore Girls,” funnily enough — as they hunt magical creatures of all kinds, following in the footsteps of their father, John.

While later seasons tend to get a bit silly, the first season holds some of the spookiest plotlines to score a re-run slot on the CW (the first season aired on the WB before the rest aired on the CW). Each episode has the boys hunting a different beast or spirit, with an overarching plotline that has the boys chasing after John, who’s hunting a yellow-eyed demon that killed John’s wife and the boys’ mom. Unlike later seasons, the first will definitely have you scared. If that’s not enough to get you to watch, the series also features a bopping soundtrack of essential ’70s and ’80s tunes, including “Carry on my Wayward Son” by Kansas, which plays at the beginning of every season finale.

“The Haunting of Hill House” (Netflix) // Megan Williams, Staff Writer 

If you’re looking for a truly scary show, “The Haunting of Hill House” is for you. Its story is contained in 10 episodes, divided evenly between the Crane family’s past and the Crane family’s present. The titular house that drove the family matriarch to suicide in the 1980s still haunts many of the siblings in 2018. This drives the youngest, Nell, to death in the first episode. There are frightening sequences and characters throughout the show, but the most terrifying aspect of “Hill House” is the ghost that haunts Nell specifically — The Bent-Neck Lady. A dark, long-haired figure with a broken neck, she follows Nell from childhood to her death. She hovers in dark corners in some scenes, falls like a body being hung in others, and eventually hovers inches above a paralyzed Nell.

My 16-year-old sister and I watched “The Haunting of Hill House” together. One day, my mom called up and asked me to investigate a strange noise coming from our basement, only to be interrupted by my sister shouting, “THE BENT-NECK LADY IS GONNA GET US!” Very few shows have inspired that degree of fear in teenagers.

“Penny Dreadful” (Netflix, Showtime) // Ana Eberts, For The Pitt News 

Though Showtime’s “Penny Dreadful” had a relatively short run of only three seasons, it captivated audiences with its stunning period costuming, strong acting and a plot filled with gothic horror. The show follows Vanessa Ives, a woman marked by the devil, as she attempts to navigate a Victorian society plagued by demons and otherworldly terrors. The show features a complex web of interconnected characters who are heavily influenced by 19th-century literature. Through Miss Ives and her acquaintances, the origins of Dracula, Dr. Victor Frankenstein, Dorian Gray and various other literary malefactors are revealed.

Though gothic horror often focuses heavily on the male experience, “Penny Dreadful” features strong female leads and performances from well-known actresses like Eva Green from “Casino Royale,” Helen McCrory from “Harry Potter” and “Peaky Blinders” and Billie Piper from “Doctor Who. Always spooky and theatrical, the show often relies more on its well-crafted dialogue and decadent visuals than its plot advancement. This makes it the perfect show to watch when you’re seeking an intensely eerie mood and ambiance — without the time commitment required to binge 27 hours of episodes in one sitting. If you want something spooky, beautiful and utterly engaging, “Penny Dreadful” is a must-watch.

“Devilman Crybaby” (Netflix) // Thomas Wick, Senior Staff Writer

There is a lot of anime now being made on Netflix, but the one that stood out the most to me was the 2019 Crunchyroll Anime of the Year winner “Devilman Crybaby.” Set in contemporary society, this show follows a high schooler named Akira who finds out demons have been hiding among society for years — and it is up to him to stop them. Using the powers of a demon, Akira joins his friend Ryo to stop these demons from causing carnage and destruction.

It’s a dark show that tackles many philosophical themes such as humanity, deception, surrealism and the corruptive nature of social media. Coupling intense storylines with some breathtaking animation, “Devilman Crybaby” is one of Netflix’s best series. This is definitely not a show for everyone — it is unapologetically gory, graphic, violent, adult and any other vulgar word you can think of. But if you can handle it, then you will definitely enjoy this 10-episode masterpiece.