Mike Flanagan’s eagerly-awaited follow-up to The Haunting of Hill House has arrived, and with it, the reminder that some of the best horror out there right now is on the small screen. As you lose sleep watching The Haunting of Bly Manor, this time adapting the literary works of Henry James rather than Shirley Jackson, remember that there are plenty of other TV horror series out there waiting to haunt your dreams.
Whether you seek out horror with dark undercurrents of family drama or can't get enough of the creaking terror of a secluded estate, these 13 horror shows will keep Bly Manor fans up long into the night…
Our current spate of ghostly films and TV shows wouldn’t be possible without the influence of J-horror films like Ring and Ju-on, aka The Grudge. So if you couldn’t get enough of creepy, long-haired specters in Flanagan’s The Haunting of Hill House, Netflix has you covered with this surprisingly deft TV series examining the roots of the curse that haunts one of J-horror’s most prolific franchises.
Family drama, tormented pasts, and surreal happenings all collide in Channel Zero. Creator Nick Antosca took some of the most compelling creepypastas on the web and transformed them into eerie cinematic narratives, tackling a new story in each of the show’s four seasons. Not sure what a creepypasta is? It’s basically a viral Internet story, purported to be true, that takes on a life of its own. Despite their online origins, these episodes aren’t cautionary tales about social media like Unfriended. They’re every bit as preoccupied with the past as Hill House, and every bit as haunted.
When a successful horror writer returns to her hometown, she must confront the witch that was brought to life by her stories in this creepy French horror series that’s currently streaming on Netflix. If you couldn’t get enough of the ominous atmosphere and cool, subdued color palette of The Haunting of Hill House, Marianne will provide more of the same, and in all likelihood will leave you sleeping with the lights on for a while.
Locke & Key
Adapted from the hit comic series by Joe Hill, Locke & Key follows the three Locke siblings as they move into a creepy mansion with their mother. The house turns out to be filled with magical keys, which may hold the secret to solving the mystery of their father’s murder. Locke & Key may be as much portal fantasy as it is horror, but for fans of Hill House’s familial drama and big, eerie, ancestral abodes, it has plenty of material to keep you queueing up the next episode.
Aside from The Haunting of Hill House, Mike Flanagan has made a name for himself by bringing notoriously “unadaptable” Stephen King stories to the big and small screens. Flanagan wasn’t involved in the creation of Castle Rock, Hulu’s kitchen-sink approach to King’s work that takes as its focus not any one particular story, but the shared universe of the King of Horror’s haunted Maine towns. However, fans of Flanagan will find that King has had a profound influence on the director’s oeuvre, and Hill House and Bly Manor devotees will be right at home on the streets of Castle Rock.
Think of this dark, twisted drama series as the Gothic League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, as figures from classic Victorian horror and science fiction novels go up against Dracula and other threats. There are familiar faces like Dorian Gray and Victor Frankenstein, all given electrifying new spins, not to mention new takes on classic tropes, from Josh Hartnett’s Wild West gunslinger with a savage secret to Eva Green’s showstopping performance as a woman possessed. Don’t expect a Victorian-era Avengers, however. This series is dark and heady and definitely only for grown-ups.
Sherlock co-creator Mark Gatiss writes and stars in this three-part series inspired by the ghost stories of M. R. James. The ominous Geap Manor ties together three ghostly tales set in the Georgian period, the 1920s, and the present day in this short, haunting series that should work as a perfect compliment to The Haunting of Bly Manor. It’s an ideal bit of binge-watching for anyone who can’t get enough haunted houses.
Showrunner Misha Green and producer Jordan Peele tackle the works of a very different author of classic horror in HBO’s Lovecraft Country. Confronting the racist legacy of both H. P. Lovecraft and the United States as a whole, this hit show adapted from Matt Ruff’s novel of the same name is unfortunately topical in the present day, even though it’s set in the Jim Crow era of the 1950s.
As updates of classic horror properties go, they don’t come much bolder than Bates Motel, a long-running A&E series that chronicles the life of a young Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore), the antagonist in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. The show explores his relationship with his mother Norma, played to perfection by Vera Farmiga, who will probably be familiar to fans of more ghostly fare for playing Lorraine Warren in the Conjuring films. Let’s just say that Norma Bates is a very different character from Lorraine Warren…
It got canned after just one season, so your binge may be a little on the short side, but this Netflix series about a monster-hunting family that returns to their hometown—adapted from the comic series by Steve Niles (30 Days of Night) and Damien Worm—has all the supernatural family and interpersonal drama you may be missing after you finish The Haunting of Bly Manor.
Something is very wrong in the isolated town of Fortitude, located near the Arctic Circle. As townspeople begin to behave strangely, disappear entirely, or drop dead, Sheriff Dan Anderssen and the other locals will have to unravel a mystery in a town where seemingly everyone is keeping at least a few dark secrets. This slow-burning thriller should be perfect for those with the patience for a gradual buildup of creepy details that culminates in something truly dark and unsettling.
There’s something about a scary story happening to “regular” people. That’s part of the appeal of The Haunting of Hill House, right? We get to know the family, and watch how the haunting affects each one of them. The Czech/American co-production Haunted takes that reality one step further, as real folks sit down to recount paranormal encounters that they’ve had, which are then dramatized for the camera.
Our modern spate of must-watch horror television owes some of its existence to the classic horror anthology series of yesteryear, such as The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, Thriller, and Night Gallery. Many of those are available to stream online, should you feel the need for a more nostalgic horror kick, but for fans of Hill House and Bly Manor, we recommend The Veil, hailed by critics as “the greatest television series never seen.” Produced in 1958 and hosted by (and often starring) Boris Karloff, the stories of The Veil were inspired by true accounts of mysterious or paranormal encounters. Unfortunately, studio problems meant that The Veil was never aired, but luckily for you, it’s now available to stream on Amazon!
Featured still from "The Haunting of Hill House" via Netflix