Do you remember what it was like to watch TV before the advent of streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Shudder? The entire model of a single episode airing once a week, sometimes even ever other week, lengthening out over the course of a season. You anticipated every new episode, and at the height of it all, it felt like an event. It’s very different now, and also it feels a whole lot like the increase of content, so many new shows, movies, documentaries, added to the machine that is the modern streaming model, we’re losing out on a lot of shows that pop up, only to be forgotten as the machine moves to the next slate.
We gathered up seven horror television shows that have been mostly forgotten by time.
Yup, you’re reading this correctly. Stephen King’s eponymously titled novella wasn’t only adapted into a film but also turned into a limited series. It originally aired in 2017 on Spike TV and lasted a single season (10 episodes) before being canceled. Like the film and source, it explores the strange mist that suddenly consumes a small town, bringing haunting and ghastly monsters with it. It focuses on the hysteria and paranoia of the survivors as they cower inside increasingly tenuous shelters. Fans of the film and novella should really unearth this one.
Bring on found footage. For some, this may be a deeper cut, but the Lost Tapes originally aired, on Animal Planet (of all channels) back in 2008. It lasted three seasons before going dark. Lost Tapes is designed to be a fictional found footage docuseries aimed to focus on the supernatural and mythological creatures that originate from our nightmares. We’re talking mainstays like bigfoot and the Chupacabra, while also diving deeper into other creatures. It’s a fun distraction for those that love this sort of thing, think how The Blair Witch Project marketed itself with fake documentaries and videos online.
666 Park Avenue
Despite the admittedly cliched title, 666 Park Avenue is a surprisingly entertaining show that originally aired on ABC back in 2013. Adapted from a novel by Gabrielle Pierce, it tells the story of Jane and her partner Henry, who manage a hotel called the Drake off 666 Park Avenue. Naturally, the hotel—owned by an eccentric billionaire couple—has its own haunted past, and Jane, Henry, and guests of the hotel soon become privy to what lies hidden in the shadows and behind closed doors.
This one definitely hits different in 2022 rather than when it originally aired in 1961. The show is was hosted by none other than Roald Dahl and consisted of an anthology of dark tales cast in complete black-and-white. Dahl was noted to provide excellent commentary and dark humor to the show, and though it started off strong, the show was canceled only 14 episodes.
The show is remarkably tough to find nowadays, though some episodes have found their way onto YouTube. It's worth digging up, if only for its unique atmosphere after so many decades in the vault.
Debuting on ABC back in 2012, The River might not have been launched on the best channel or platform for a horror found-footage series, and though it lasted a season, it was soon canceled, which perhaps had a lot to do with ABC not knowing what to do with it. As it stands, it’s a great series for found-footage fans, with a great premise surrounding a celebrity explorer that goes missing when he attempts to find something magical in the Amazon. After many years of silence, an emergency beacon goes off, reopening cases gone cold and causing a hasty rescue operation to be formed.
Darkroom is an anthology series that aired on ABC back in 1981. It was inspired by Rod Serling’s Night Gallery and consisted of completely disparate stories, packaged typically as a two-for amid a 60-minute runtime. The content of each show almost always erred towards the unexplained, with a sense of suspense and oddity that made it fit well with The Twilight Zone.
Though the series garnered a star-studded cast of actors, it has since become relegated to the annals of television history. It’s worth going back and living through its venerable performances.
Originally aired in 1995 on Yorkshire television, this British horror anthology series didn’t have much of a shelf life before being lost to television’s ever-present hustle for new programming. However, among its 5-parts it managed to create an interesting balance of the supernatural in episodes like “Toby” and “The Man Who Didn’t Believe in Ghosts.”
Like so many other anthology shows, each episode stands alone and tend to live on by way of the series’ overarching themes. Chiller’s episodes managed to explore concepts that would later be seen in films like Final Destination and with the furor that you just don’t see anymore. You could tell the writers were really going for it, not thinking about demographics, and really more so chasing where the story might lead them.