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ONTD Original™: 10 Forgotten Horror TV Shows That You Should Watch

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With the premiere of the Scream television series upon us, and then the debut of Scream Queens this fall, could horror be making its way back to the small screen? The popularity of The Walking Dead and American Horror Story have both definitely helped to revive the genre, too. Still not enough to quench your thirst for scary TV? Well, here is just a handful of obscure horror gems from the yesteryears of television.



Death Valley (2011)

The Undead Task Force (UTF) in San Fernando Valley, California is assigned the job of protecting the city from the recent surge of supernatural creatures: zombies, werewolves, and vampires.

Starring Caity Lotz (Arrow), Bryan Callen (MADtv), Bryce Johnson (Popular, Pretty Little Liars), Tania Raymonde (Malcolm in the Middle, Lost), Texas Battle (The Bold and the Beautiful), Charlie Sanders

This short-lived black comedy never stood a chance on MTV. It should have been aired on a more appropriate network like Comedy Central or even SyFy. Fans of Reno 911! might appreciate the dark humor in this mockumentary. While not scary, Death Valley has some laughs and an amusing ensemble.
 
FreakyLinks (2000-2001)

A young man takes over his deceased twin’s website that investigates the bizarre and supernatural. Along the way, he and his colleagues come across ghosts, an Asian vampire, a giant pteranodon, a desert squid, cannibalistic humanoids living beneath the sewers, and more.

Starring Ethan Embry (Can't Hardly Wait), Lisa Sheridan (Invasion), Karim Prince (Power Rangers), Lizette Carrion (Over There)

This X-Files for the younger crowd missed its mark by well over a decade. Seeing as it revolved around the Internet, FreakyLinks was a bit ahead of its time. Embry played the charming ghost hunter and thrill seeker, Derek Barnes, in this drama developed by Haxan, the creators of the breakthrough found footage horror movie The Blair Witch Project. Many of the paranormal cases were silly yet accessible, and the cast worked well together. The technology comes off as dated, but FreakyLinks still holds its own in rewatches.
 
Harper's Island (2008-2009)

A wedding held on a secluded fisherman's island, best known for a series of murders committed there years ago, is targeted by an unknown killer.

Starring Elaine Cassidy (The Others), Christopher Gorham (Popular, Jake 2.0, Ugly Betty, Covert Affairs), Katie Cassidy (Arrow, Melrose Place), Cameron Richardson (Point Pleasant), Adam Campbell (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), C.J. Thomason (General Hospital), Jim Beaver (Supernatural), Richard Burgi (Desperate Housewives)

This whodunnit was basically a slasher in a serialized format. The deaths were quite bloody for network TV, and it kept you on your toes. Just be forgiving once you get to the end as the big reveal is a bit disappointing.
 
 
Night Visions (2001-2002)

An anthology with tales about the supernatural as well as the twisted nature of humans. 

Starring Henry Rollins (host), Thora Birch (Ghost World, The Hole), Timothy Olyphant (Justified), Natasha Lyonne (Orange is the New Black), Randy Quaid (Vacation franchise), Amy Jo Johnson (Power Rangers, Felicity), Jason London (The Rage: Carrie 2), Bridget Fonda (Lake Placid), Bill Pullman (Mr. Wrong), Jonathan Jackson (Riding the Bullet), Katharine Isabelle (Ginger Snaps), Chad Lowe (Pretty Little Liars), Jerry O'Connell (Sliders), Jay Mohr (Ghost Whisperer), Kelly Rutherford (Gossip Girl, The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.)

Anthology lovers will find some entertainment in a few of these stories. Plenty of familiar faces, too.
 
 
Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction (1997-2002)

Five stories are told: some are false, some are based on factual events. At the end of the episode, the truth is revealed.

Starring James Brolin (host), Jonathan Frakes (host)

On average, there was usually only one actual horror story to be found in every episode. For a seemingly family friendly series, the scarier tales were effective. For instance: a young girl's cat is only visible to her; a family is haunted by a pair of disembodied red eyes; a house sitter watches footage of someone digging in the basement of the very home she's staying at; a boy goes missing after entering a closet supposedly inhabited by a monster; and teenagers accidentally summon a malevolent entity with a spirit board. Even when a story is outed as true, more than likely, the real life account it's based on is completely different. Don't let that ruin the fun, though.
 
 
Dead Set (2008)

As a zombie outbreak takes place throughout the country, the staff of the reality show Big Brother is left stranded inside of the studio.

Starring Jaime Winstone (Donkey Punch), Andy Nyman (Peaky Blinders), Kevin Eldon (Hot Fuzz), Adam Deacon (Wilderness), Riz Ahmed (Nightcrawler)

This self-contained series is a wonderful way to spend Halloween night. It's just as cheeky as it is scary and gory.
 
 
Extreme Ghostbusters (1997)

Dr. Egon Spengler recruits a group of college students to help deal with the city's ghost problem.

Starring Maurice LaMarche (Animaniacs, Futurama), Tara Strong (Teen Titans, Drawn Together, The Powerpuff Girls), Pat Musick (Duckman), Jason Marsden (The Lion King), Billy West (CatDog, Doug, Futurama), Alfonso Ribeiro (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air), Rino Romano (Godzilla: The Series, Sailor Moon)

It should be noted that the previous Ghostbusters cartoon was a mostly well crafted show that could appeal to both kids and adults. There were definitely some eerie episodes, too. Unfortunately, its reboot did not last as long. The art was more stylized, and the themes (racism, antisemitism, childhood trauma, ableism) in several episode were not very subtle either. A common gripe amongst fans was that it adhered too much to the "politically correct movement" of the late '90s. Really? With that being said, the show did boast some genuinely ominous stories. The episode "Grundelesque" is especially good.
 
Miracles (2003)

An investigator, Paul, of miracles for the Catholic Church loses his way after a tragic case. Paul eventually joins an organization that solves supernatural anomalies. 

Skeet Ulrich (Scream), Angus Macfadyen (Turn), Marisa Ramirez (Blue Bloods), Hector Elizondo (Pretty Woman, The Princess Diaries)

The failure of Miracles could be narrowed down to ABC's poor handling of it on its schedule. Coverage of the Iraq War preempted the show's airings, too. Fans tried to save Miracles, but it was hopeless. Fans were lucky to find the show on DVD years later, with the entire season included. Despite the show raising conversation about faith and religion, it was not done in a brow beating manner.
 
 
Point Pleasant (2005)

A young woman washes ashore on a small beach town, bringing along with her an epic mystery that involves a timeless war between good and evil.

Elisabeth Harnois (Solstice), Grant Show (Melrose Place, Devious Maids), Sam Page Desperate Housewives, Mad Men), Dina Meyer (Birds of Prey), Richard Burgi (Desperate Housewives, Harper's Island), Aubrey Dollar (Dawson's Creek), Cameron Richardson (Harper's Island), Susan Walters (Teen Wolf, The Vampire Diaries), Alex Carter (CSI, Veritas: The Quest)

This FOX flop was like another similarly themed show, American Gothic. Interestingly, Point Pleasant has nothing to do with the town that the Mothman originated in. Missed opportunity? This series was probably geared towards the O.C. audience yet it may have come off as a bit too heavy or dark.
 
 
Special Unit 2 (2001-2002)

A cop joins Special Unit 2, a secret task force that hunts down monsters called Links.

Alexondra Lee (Paranormal Activity 4), Michael Landes (Final Destination 2), Richard Gant, Danny Woodburn (Passions), Jonathan Togo (CSI: Miami)

Remember UPN? Maybe you saw some commercials for this buddy cop comedy. Back when it was called the Sci-Fi Channel, SyFy aired marathons of this cancelled series. Those who don't mind camp and situational humor in their horror might be down for Special Unit 2. It has fun with itself, and it creates an interesting mythology for its collection of monsters.

Images source: my tumblr




What forgotten shows do you like, horror or otherwise? Recommendation post for general binge watching or creepy post.


Note to Mods: These images are hosted at my tumblr, though. I am not hotlinking from some random tumblr. I host them at my tumblr because TinyPic is acting up.

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