Halloween conjures images of pumpkins, witches, spiders, vampires, monsters, ghosts and more, and what better way to get in the mood for “Spooky Season” than by watching a spooky TV show? Below, we’ve put together a list of shows to watch on Netflix that will help get you in the spirit of the season (it’s never too early, right?). From Halloween-adjacent stories to straight up fright-fests, these are perfect for setting the mood.
Check out our list of spooky shows to watch on Netflix below.
If the idea that this tentpole series is coming to an end with Season 5 doesn’t frighten you too much, spooky season is a perfect excuse to (re)watch “Stranger Things,” or finally see what all the buzz is about. Whether it’s your first go-around with Will (Noah Schnapp), Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Dustin (Gatan Matarazzo), Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) and Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) or whether you’re on your 20 binge marathon of the entire series, this show has plenty of creatures and sinister activity to put you on edge. It all starts out with something that kidnaps Will Byers, leading his friends, mother Joyce (Winona Ryder), brother Jonathan (Charlie Heaton) and Police Chief Jim Hopper (David Harbour) to search for the missing boy. Joyce’s refusal to give up combined with Hopper’s excellent sleuthing skills bring them to not only discover what happened to Will, but also to stumble upon an entirely threatening new dimension that they have to fight to keep in check in the following seasons, with a more powerful villain arriving each time. If you make it to Season 4, you’re in for quite a location-hopping journey and you’ll be rewarded with the biggest bad of them all: Vecna (played by Jamie Campbell Bower).
Locke & Key
“Locke & Key” mixes elements of “Stranger Things” with those of “Harry Potter,” landing it in the category of fantasy shows that overlap with Halloween. The Locke family — Bode (Jackson Robert Scott), Kinsey (Emilia Jones), Tyler (Connor Jessup) and Nina (Darby Stanchfield) — gets the rug pulled out from under them when their patriarch Rendel gets killed. The death of Rendel leads Nina to move her children back to their ancestral mansion Key House in Matheson, Massachusetts. Bode is the first to discover that Key House is not their only heirloom, because the Lockes have constructed magical keys that do things like take you anywhere you want to go and let you go inside your own head for a memory or three.
Unfortunately, an evil demon named Dodge returns when Bode starts to find the keys, and she tricks him into letting her out of the well house, where the echo of her being was trapped. New seasons bring about more new keys and new ways for the demons behind the black door to scheme to get ahold of the keys. Other fearsome creatures include a giant lobster and Kinsey’s own fear personified and embodied in a weird zombie version of her. Season 3 released on Netflix this summer, so here’s a recap of season 2 if you need a refresher before watching the final season.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
Perhaps the spookiest show on this list, “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” is chock full of witches, monsters and magic galore. Based on the comics of the same name, the series (which is a loose spinoff of “Riverdale”) takes place in Salem and follows the young teenage witch Sabrina as she learns about her heritage and struggles to navigate her life with her newfound powers. Chaos ensues, as plot twists involving doubles and the actual devil throw viewers for a loop.
“The Sandman” series, adapted from Neil Gaiman’s 1989 comics — co-created by Sam Keith and Mike Dringenberg — crept into consciousness in the first week of August. The ten-episode first season follows the story of The Dream King Morpheus, a powerful being aiming to correct past mistakes he made, both cosmically and more minutely. Names behind the television interpretation of the DC comic include Allan Heinberg as showrunner, executive producer and writer, as well as David S. Goyer and Neil Gaiman as executive producers and writers.
The Sandman, who goes by many names including Dream, Morpheus, Master of Dreams etc., dominates The Dreaming — or the dream realm of sleep — weaving worlds out of human fear and hopes. When Dream falls prisoner for a century, his absence results in huge changes for the dreaming and waking worlds as he is not able to man his post. When he returns to his home, he must correct all the chaos that ensued while he was gone. The interdimensional journey brings Morpheus back into contact with old friends and enemies as well as brand new encounters. Each episode is a chapter in the show that blends fantasy and myth. Plus, there is a surprise bonus episode. Perfect for those fascinated by nightmares, bad dreams and terror!
“First Kill” transforms the concept of “Romeo and Juliet” into a more timely, somewhat soapy monster romance. Following in the footsteps of shows like “The Vampire Diaries” and movies like “Twilight,” this vampire and monster hunter show falls most similarly into the vein of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” Calliope (Imani Lewis) is a young monster-hunter-in-training who unknowingly falls in love with a vampire named Juliette (Sarah Catherine Hook). Traces of “Romeo and Juliet” can be found in this vampire soap series directly since the play is in production at the girls’ high school, and more metaphorically as well with Calliope coming from a family of well-known, talented monster hunters and Juliette coming from a line of wealthy elite “legacy” bloodsuckers, who are harder to vanquish than your regular vampire. To make matters further complicated, each young girl is preparing for a right of passage called the “first kill” in which Calliope is supposed to slay her first monster and Juliette is supposed to kill and drink the blood from her first human. The star-crossed lovers’ story has unfolded in one season so far. “First Kill” won’t have any more forthcoming seasons, but that doesn’t mean Season 1 won’t get you into gear for Halloween.
Julie and the Phantoms
This playful Netflix YA series also only has one season, getting cancelled to the disappointment of many, but it’s worth checking out. Executive produced by Kenny Ortega (“High School Musical,” “Descendants”), the musical series sees Julie (Madison Reyes) find her passion for music again after her mom died. Three ghostly guys (Charlie Gillespie, Owen Joyner and Jeremy Shada) from the 90’s band Sunset Curve appear in her mom’s music studio after she plays one of her mom’s old CDs, and once they realize Julie has a true gift, they convince her to join their band. When Julie and the Phantoms perform, everyone can see the guys, but once the music stops, they disappear. Some think they’re holograms, but the boys are stuck in their afterlife stage because of some unfinished business. As the show declares, “You only live once, but you can rock forever!” Balancing ghosts, mean girls and fun performances, “Julie and the Phantoms” can put you on the path to a Happy Halloween.
Guillermo Del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities
From the mind of Guillermo Del Toro comes this series of horror stories, some of which he wrote, which will be streaming on Netflix in October. “Cabinet of Curiosities” conjures beautiful, practical creatures in an anthology style series, in which each episode is envisioned by its director. Through each episode, del Toro hopes to say “Look, the world is beautiful and horrible at exactly the same time,” he mentioned in the first look video. The episodes are titled as follows: David Prior’s “The Autopsy,” Ana Lily Amirpour’s “The Outside,” Panos Cosmatos’ “The Viewing,” Catherine Hardwicke’s “Dreams in the Witch House,” Guillermo Navarro’s “Lot 36,” Keith Thomas’ “Pachman’s Model,” Vincenzo Natali’s “Graveyard Rats” and Jennifer Kent’s “The Murmuring.” The eight episodes start rolling out daily on Netflix October 25.