Even though it has been on the air for a decade and counting now, American Horror Story is still going strong. Ryan Murphy’s loving ode to the horror genre is a fan favorite thanks to its sprawling cast of regulars and willingness to completely upend viewers’ expectations at a moment’s notice. From the ghosts that haunted season one’s Murder House to the undead residents of the Hotel Cortez, you never know when a character or place from a previous season will pop up again — and that’s all part of the show’s charm. TV shows like American Horror Story were once a rarity, but in the decade since the series launched on FX in 2011, it seems like nearly every network or streamer has gotten in on the anthology show game.
American Horror Story was truly ahead of the curve in terms of reviving a genre that hadn’t been popular since the early days of television. If not for AHS‘ success, the industry may not have taken a chance on shows like Fargo, Black Mirror, or True Detective, never mind the rest of Murphy’s ever-growing collection of series like American Crime Story and Feud. However, AHS itself owes a great debt to anthology series like The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits, as well as trailblazing horror series like Twin Peaks and The X-Files.
Murphy and his team have never been secretive about their love for horror as a genre. As a result, AHS feels at once on-trend and like a throwback — the latter thanks to its many references to pop culture touchstones from the past. The spooky series loves to pay homage to slasher films, creature features, and all manner of Americana (with its own dash of twisted humor, of course). Thankfully, quite a few shows from the past and present share AHS‘ devotion to scarring TV fans for life.
Below, you’ll find a list of shows that should be required viewing for anyone looking for more TV horror goodness. Although, take note: You should start with the official American Horror Story spinoff, American Horror Stories on Hulu, if you haven’t had time for a proper marathon just yet.
These Shows Are Just As Creepy As American Horror Story
1. The Haunting of Hill House (2018-2020)
If you still have a soft spot for the Murder House season of American Horror Story, then The Haunting of Hill House and The Haunting of Bly Manor should satisfy your love of creaky old houses teeming with ghosts. Like Ryan Murphy, Hill House creator Mike Flanagan has a troupe of actors he loves to cast over and over again, so both seasons feature many of the same stars even though they tell different stories. However, each season has its own unique arc, with season one telling a family-centric story, while season two is more of a tragic love story — and like AHS, you can watch the series in whatever order you like.
2. Castle Rock (2018-2019)
There’s no doubt the works of Stephen King have influenced the American Horror Story franchise. King remains the modern master of horror, and Castle Rock is a monster mashup of his greatest hits. Set in the titular town of Castle Rock, the series brings together characters from Misery, The Shawshank Redemption, The Dead Zone, and more of King’s novels. But while the premise may sound gimmicky, the show is full of eerie moments and terrific acting from the likes of Sissy Spacek, Jane Levy, and Lizzy Caplan.
3. Monsterland (2020)
American Horror Story has never found a creature that’s too out there for the show. From the Pig Man to aliens, the franchise is full of monsters, and so is Hulu’s short-lived anthology series Monsterland. Each episode of the series tells a self-contained story featuring creatures ranging from mermaids to angels, all set against the backdrop of modern-day America.
4. Creepshow (2019- )
The modern reboot of Creepshow is just as wickedly funny and terrifying as the 1982 film that inspired it. Much like American Horror Story, you never quite know what to expect with this show, and that’s all part of the fun. The series features everything from possessed dolls to zombie apocalypses, which pretty much guarantees horror fans will never get bored.
5. Evil (2019- )
Evil started on CBS before moving to Paramount+, where it can be as scary as it wants to be. And trust us, this show about a priest in training, a forensic psychologist, and a contractor who investigates strange happenings is one of TV’s most consistently frightening shows. This is thanks largely to Lost actor Michael Emerson, who plays a rival forensic psychologist/occult expert who may or may not also be the devil himself.
More Shows Perfect for Fans of American Horror Story
- The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (2018-2020)
- The Twilight Zone (1959-1964)
- Slasher (2016- )
- Lore (2017-2018)
- Two Sentence Horror Stories (2019- )
- Black Mirror (2011- )
- Lovecraft Country (2020)
- Channel Zero (2016-2018)
- American Crime Story (2016- )
- Servant (2019- )
- Twin Peaks (1990-1991; 2017)
- The X-Files (1993-2002)
- The Terror (2018- )
- Bates Motel (2013-2017)
- Penny Dreadful (2014-2016)
- Salem (2014-2017)
- Into the Dark (2018- )
- Hannibal (2013-2015)
- Dead Set (2008)
- True Blood (2008-2014)
- Inside No. 9 (2014- )
- Scream Queens (2015-2016)
- Room 104 (2017-2020)
- Bloodride (2020)
- A Discovery of Witches (2018- )
- American Gothic (195)
- SurrealEstate (2021)
- Ratched (2020)
- Marianne (2019)
- Dead of Summer (2016)
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