Most of the horror shows on television are aimed at an adult audience, but not all of them. Children have been able to get their horror fix over the years via Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon and other networks as well. With shows like The Walking Dead and American Horror Story dominating horror blogs and websites, today we are going to looking at the ten greatest horror television shows for kids.
10. The Real Ghostbusters
The Real Ghostbusters is a series spun-off from the Ghostbusters franchise, the show ran from 1986 to 1991. Probably one of the most successful shows on this list, The Real Ghostbusters found success with the show and tons of tie-in merchandise. Any kid during the late ‘80s or early ‘90s had at least one Ghostbusters toy in their house. The two movies weren’t the only thing responsible for all that success. The series follows the continuing adventures of the four Ghostbusters (Dr. Peter Venkman, Dr. Raymond “Ray” Stantz, Dr. Egon Spengler, & Winston Zeddemore), their secretary Janine, their accountant Louis, and their mascot Slimer, as they chase and capture rogue spirits around New York and numerous other areas of the world.
If you were a kid during the late ‘80s then you surely remember this immensely popular show well. This man needs no introduction but we’ll offer one anyway. We are, of course, talking about Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetl…..wait a second. The show follows the life of Goth girl Lydia Deetz and her undead friend Beetlejuice as they travel around The Neitherworld, an afterlife realm inhabited by monsters, ghouls, ghosts, and zombies.
8. Tales from the Cryptkeeper
While it was based on the live-action HBO series, Tales from the Crypt, Tales From the Cryptkeeper is significantly milder than its adult counterpart. The great thing about this show is the fact that the Cryptkeeper is once again voiced by John Kassir (same as always). So it should be easy for a child to become familiar with the character and slowly start becoming familiar with some classic episodes from the live-action HBO version.
7. The Addams Family
The original 1973 animated show focused more on the 1930s comic strip than on the popular show at the time. Twenty years later, after the success of the live-action film the family got another shot at the small screen. The show combined the best of the comics, TV show and the movie. Geared towards children, much of the family’s macabre nature was toned down; although, Uncle Fester’s love of light bulbs and explosives remained intact.
6. The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy
The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy (also known as Billy & Mandy) is a Cartoon Network show that began in 2003, it is a spin-off of the 2001 film Billy & Mandy and the show Grim & Evil. The series follows two children named Billy and Mandy, who after winning a limbo game to save Billy’s ten-year-old pet hamster, gain the powerful Grim Reaper as their best friend in eternal servitude and slavery forever and ever. The children use his magical abilities and supernatural powers to venture into supernatural places, such as the underworld, inhabited by an assortment of grotesque monstrous beasts.
5. Courage the Cowardly Dog
Courage the Cowardly Dog is a horror comedy series created by John R. Dilworth for Cartoon Network. The show revolves around a rather anthropomorphic pink/purple dog named Courage who lives with his owners, Muriel and Eustace Bagge, an elderly, married farming couple in the “Middle of Nowhere” (the imagined town of Nowhere, Kansas). Courage and his owners are regularly thrown into strange misadventures, often involving the supernatural/paranormal and an assortment of villains. The show is known for its surreal, often disturbing humor and peculiar plot twists. A show a child or an adult could easily get into.
4. Eerie, Indiana
Although this early ‘90s show only lasted for a mere nineteen episodes, Eerie, Indiana has gained a cult following over the years. The show follows Marshall Teller, a teenager whose family moves to the dismal town of Eerie, Indiana, population of 16,661. The show featured Bigfoot, a still living Elvis Presley, and even a sinister group of intelligent dogs that are planning on taking over the world. Although the show was host to a overabundance of jokes, it also featured a serious X-Files-like tone.
3. Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!
Scooby Doo, Where Are You! is the first incarnation of the long-running Hanna-Barbera Saturday morning cartoon series, Scooby-Doo. Originally titled Mysteries Five, and later Who’s S-S-Scared?, the series underwent a number of changes from script to screen (the most noteworthy of which was the downplaying of the musical group angle on loan from The Archie Show). However, the simple concept—four teenagers (Fred, Daphne, Velma, and Shaggy) and a cowardly, awkward Great Dane (Scooby-Doo) solving supernatural-related mysteries—was always in place. Many more incarnations came afterwards but we still prefer the original.
Goosebumps is a horror fantasy anthology series based on R. L. Stine’s Goosebumps books. It was one of the two popular horror anthology children’s series in the 1990s (the other we‘ll get to in a moment). When Goosebumps was first broadcast on Fox Kids, every episode would begin with a warning “Goosebumps is rated GB-7, because it may be too spooky for children under seven.” Although the show is rather tame by today’s standards, during the time the show was deemed quite disturbing for young kids.
1. Are You Afraid of the Dark?
Any kid growing up during the ‘90s probably spent their Saturday nights watching Nickelodeon’s SNICK and getting the crap scared out of them by the horror/fantasy-themed anthology show Are You Afraid Of The Dark. The show revolved around a group of teenagers who referred to themselves as “The Midnight Society”. Every week, at a undisclosed location in the woods, one member would tell a creepy story to the group. The show featured paranormal phenomena, such as ghosts, dragons, goblins, magic, haunted houses, aliens, magical curses, witches, vampires, and werewolves. The big difference between this and your run-of-the-mill horror film is the fact that very young kids were usually the ones in harms way. Notable guest stars included; Bobcat Goldthwait, Charles S. Dutton, Ryan Gosling, Neve Campbell, Will Friedle, Melissa Joan Hart, Tia Mowry, Tamera Mowry, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Gilbert Gottfried, Jennifer Finnigan, and Tatyana Ali.