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21 TV Episodes So Terrifying, People Still Think About Them To This Day

I'm going to have nightmares tonight.

Recently, we asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us what they think are the most terrifying TV episodes. Here are some of the scariest!

Spoilers ahead!

WARNING: Some of these submissions contain descriptions of graphic violence. Read at your own risk!

1. Criminal Minds, "Our Darkest Hour"


"The episode where the unsub breaks into people’s homes, tortures and kills whoever is there, and has been doing so for 20+ years. He has an odd obsession with one of LA detectives and ends up killing him in front of the man's daughter (who the unsub kidnaps) and Derek. The unsub is just brutal all around and I will never forget to check the locks on my windows or doors again."


"Tim Curry is absolutely terrifying in those episodes. What a brilliant performance from a true legend!"


2. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, "Hush"

The WB

"I’ve been watching that show from a very young age and that was the only episode that scared the shit out of me. Whenever the Gentlemen were in a scene, I would run out of the room until they were gone."


"The way the Gentlemen make no sound and float around with creepy smiles on their faces? First time a jump scare has actually made me scream."


"Seeing Tara run from the Gentlemen and pound on the doors for help, all while they moved so slowly and no one would let her in…and she can’t even scream! It was so scary!"


3. Doctor Who, "Blink"


"The ominous ending where they just showed loads of statues gave me chills and the whole episode is just jump scare on jump scare!"


"That episode terrified me when I was younger because you never found out what the creature actually was, or what they wanted, and David Tennant’s acting in that episode was phenomenal. He scared me."


"Any episode of Doctor Who with the angels. They’re statues while you’re looking at them, but try to attack as soon as your eyes are off them. 'Don’t blink'...terrifying."


4. The X-Files, "Home"

the mother tells Scully, "Maybe one day you'll learn the pride, the love, when you know your boy will do anything for his mother"

"It was beyond disturbing because it had nothing to do with UFOs or any sort of monster. Instead, we get three sons who keep on having sex with their mother to have children of their own; and then they bury the babies if they turn out deformed like they were. I skip that episode every time I rewatch the series!"


5. American Horror Story: Murder House, "Smoldering Children"


"When Violet finds her own body in the basement crawlspace and Tate explains how he found her after overdosing and couldn't save her...that was a truly horrifying and deeply devastating moment."


6. Supernatural, "Wendigo"

 A Wendigo arching back and roaring
The CW

"After what my friend told me about the series I expected some lighthearted sibling banter with monsters and then I saw this episode! It honestly creeps me out every time I watch it."


7. CSI, “Squeegul”


"The serial killer wore a full body latex suit, could walk on all fours, and didn't leave any DNA evidence. And when he walked, the suit made this noise and it's the noise of nightmares."


"It was absolutely horrifying. I can’t believe they allowed that one on primetime TV. I still have nightmares about it."


8. Twin Peaks, "Traces to Nowhere"

Sarah screaming when she sees Bob behind a bed

"Season 1, Episode 2 of Twin Peaks has haunted me forever. Killer Bob crouching behind furniture in the corner. That creepy flash of his malevolent face. Sarah’s sudden scream. I had nightmares. I’ll probably have nightmares tonight after remembering it. Thanks, BuzzFeed. Thanks. A lot."


9. The Twilight Zone, “Living Doll”

a doll of a little girl saying "My name is Talking Tina, and I'm beginning to hate you"

"The episode is centered around a little girl and her new doll. 'My name is Talky Tina…and you’d better be nice to me!' Soooo creepy."


10. Doctor Who, "The Empty Child" and "The Doctor Dances"


"The gas masks and the creeping people and the repetition of 'Are you my mummy?' freaked me out as a kid. I had nightmares for WEEKS."


"The part where the gas mask grows out of the doctor’s face still gives me nightmares and I’m 20."


11. The Haunting of Hill House, "Two Storms"


"The continuous shots gave it a really uneasy feeling, and you always felt like you had to watch the background because something was going to pop out at you."


12. American Horror Story: Coven, "Bitchcraft"


"One of the first scenes showed Madame LaLaurie’s attic full of tortured slaves and to know she was a real person and that this scene echoed a horrifying and deeply disturbing reality shook me to the core. I could barely keep my eyes open during that scene and I wanted to vomit afterwards."


13. Supernatural, "Skin"

the shapeshifter sheds his skin and teeth as he turns from Dean into the monster again
The CW

"So many episodes of this show creep me out, but Season 1 produced some of the most terrifying episodes. This one in particular was their introduction of shapeshifters — monsters who literally shed their skin to transform into different people. In this episode, the shapeshifter transforms into Dean, and we then see him shed skin/teeth/etc. Maybe it’s because I adore Jensen Ackles and seeing him in such a gory moment hit on another level, but every time I get to the episode on a rewatch, I fast forward as soon as I know that scene is coming."


14. Hannibal, "Buffet Froid"

Hannibal hands Georgia scissors, and she looks at them

"It starts with a girl being dragged under her bed after hearing strange sounds, and then we see the crime scene and her ‘smile.’ Then, Georgia is inside Will’s house UNDER HIS BED and the dogs are acting up. He jumps out of his bed and onto the floor and AHHH! I was nearly in tears, I was so scared! And then there was the scene with a faceless Hannibal cutting the doctor's face off with F*CKING SCISSORS. Then he sees Georgia, calmly walks over to her, and hands her the scissors as she stares blankly back at his non-face, and then he JUST. LEAVES. And not to mention THE COMB FIRE!! There are a lot of absolutely terrifying deaths, scenes, plotlines, etc, in Hannibal, but for a whole episode, this one takes it."


15. The Twilight Zone, "The Hitch-Hiker"

Nan sees the hitchhiker from her car and looks troubled

"I always get scared of the Hitchhiker episode of The Twilight Zone. It creeps me out and then when you realize she was dead the whole time, I just get chills!"


16. The Flash, "All Doll’d Up”

The CW

"The thought of Rag Doll coming through my vent still terrifies me."


"I hate Rag Doll so much for being so freaking creepy! He’s come back in another episode or two, and I literally couldn’t watch him."


17. Legion, "Chapter 5"

David saying "No no no no" with his eyes filmy, then they see a vision of a woman turning her face into a paper mache head

"A team goes to save the main character David in his adopted home. There's a parasite that has taken over his mind and he's no longer in control of his body. The team enters the house and they can no longer hear each other. They are all tormented by the parasite with visions of the world's angriest boy and Aubrey Plaza acting nuts."


18. Castle, "XY"

the torturer drops a tarantula on Castle's face and asks him where Beckett is but he says he doesn't know.

"In the last season of Castle there’s an episode where Castle gets tortured for information about Beckett’s whereabouts. They put a bag full of tarantulas over his head and as a person who can’t stand spiders, every time I watch the series I have to fast forward through it."


19. Six Feet Under, "That's My Dog"

the hitchhiker puts his gun in David's mouth

"This episode is f***ing terrifying! The psychological torture and literal torture David goes through make this episode so hard to watch."


20. Fear Itself, "Skin and Bones"

Grady is told not to let what's eating him devour him, but Grady lunges at the man and says it already has

"Its about a man (played by Doug Jones) that goes into the woods and when he comes back, he undergoes a very creepy transformation. I saw it once and it stuck with me. Terrifying!"


21. And finally, Doctor Who, "Midnight"


"It's so claustrophobic and it is a perfect demonstration of how mass hysteria works and what it will push people to do. Not to mention, that entity was one of the few to almost best the Doctor."


"What makes the episode so scary is that it not only reveals what darkness humans are capable of when it comes to fear, but the Doctor also had no idea who the alien was. It is never revealed to the audience either. Just super super eerie."


Note: Submissions have been edited for length/clarity.

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