Everyone knows what it’s like to feel overwhelmed by all the options on Netflix. Hulu, HBOMax, and Peacock, it’s exhausting scrolling through page after page of series, movies, and specials. Sometimes, it’s a good idea to just bypass the decision-making process altogether and indulge in a classic sci-fi/horror television show with enough seasons to keep viewers occupied for several days—or even several weeks.
Whether it’s zombies, angels, demons, vampire hunters, or criminal investigators, the best streaming services are full of classic series that lean toward the spooky and unexplainable. From contemporary standards like The 100 to canonical fare like The Twilight Zone, there’s a long-running series for every type of sci-fi/horror fan.
10 Supernatural (2005 – 2020): Netflix
Netflix carries all 15 seasons of the CW’s insanely popular and addictive paranormal series Supernatural. It follows the trials and tribulations of the Winchester brothers, Dean and Sam, who spend their days hunting down evil, otherworldly forces.
In their old Chevy Impala, the Winchesters, played by Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles, travel across America, making human friends and demonic enemies. They even gather some magical allies along the way, such as the angel Castiel, played by Misha Collins.
9 The X-Files (1993 – 2002; 2016 – 2018): Hulu
“I want to believe.” This classic series features the world’s favorite fictional FBI agents, Dana Scully and Fox Mulder, and their investigations into the paranormal are currently available on Hulu.
The X-Files made stars out of Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny, but it also normalized aliens, conspiracy theories, and bizarre phenomenon with its weekly plots focused around insane creatures and government cover-ups. Hulu offers up both the original nine-season run of The X-Files, as well as the two-season revival.
8 The Walking Dead (2010 – Present): Netflix
The zombie apocalypse unfolding in FX’s The Walking Dead feels very real, as do the stories of the human survivors who band around Sheriff’s deputy Rick Grimes, played by Andrew Lincoln, as they attempt to rebuild their society while fending off flesh-eaters around Atlanta.
This ensemble, action-packed saga is based on the comic books by Robert Kirkland. Netflix carries the first nine seasons of The Walking Dead, which is plenty of content to work through before the series returns in 2021.
7 Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955 – 1965): Peacock
NBC’s streaming service Peacock offers up plenty of old content, including the thrilling anthology series Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Airing between 1955 and 1965, each episode digs into tales of mystery, suspense, and murder.
Peacock carries all seven seasons at the moment. These hour-long gems feature performances from well-known actors like Vincent Price, Robert Redford, Steve McQueen, and John Cassavetes.
6 The 100 (2014 – 2020): Netflix
Based on the novels by Kass Morgan, The 100 is another beloved recent series from the CW. The series, which just wrapped up in 2020, follows a group of juvenile delinquents tasked with figuring out if Earth is inhabitable 100 years after a radioactive fallout.
All seven seasons are available on Netflix. While it does little to push the boundaries of dystopian sci-fi stories, The 100 is noted for its suspenseful plot twists and compelling performances, especially from Eliza Taylor, who plays the main character, Clarke Griffin.
5 The Twilight Zone (1959 – 1964): Hulu & Netflix
The original run of Rod Serling’s influential anthology series The Twilight Zone is available on both Hulu and Netflix. While Hulu carries all five seasons, Netflix is missing the fourth installment.
These mystifying, paranoid stories combine psychological terror, Cold War anxiety, and lessons about morality in compelling ways. The show’s surreal tone has been replicated by other series time and time again, but few come close to Serling’s mind-bending vision for television.
4 American Horror Story (2011 – Present): Netflix & Hulu
With its tenth season on the horizon, American Horror Story remains an indulgent, theatrical fan-favorite among horror buffs. With its ensemble cast, sexy storytelling, and over-the-top violence, each season’s unique narrative digs deep into what makes American culture and history so terrifying.
Hulu is streaming all nine seasons of American Horror Story, while Netflix carries the first eight only. From witches to ghosts to cults to the Anti-Christ, every installment is replete with pretty faces and insane situations.
3 Buffy The Vampire Slayer (1997 – 2003): Hulu & Prime
Sarah Michelle Gellar kicks serious butt as teenage vampire hunter Buffy Summers. Joss Whedon’s melodrama Buffy the Vampire Slayer follows its titular character as she navigates the halls of Sunnydale High School while fending off supernatural forces.
Fortunately, Buffy is aided by her librarian Watcher Giles and her group of buds known as The Scooby Gang. Hulu and Amazon Prime both carry all seven seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
2 Unsolved Mysteries (1987 – Present): Netflix, Hulu, & Peacock
“Join me. Perhaps, maybe you can help solve a mystery!” Unsolved Mysteries has been through many iterations over the decades, including a recent Netflix revival, but many fans still believe it’s best years are the ones where it’s hosted by Robert Stack.
Unsolved Mysteries doesn’t just expose everyday crimes; it offers up plenty of strange and inexplicable supernatural anecdotes from participants. In addition to Netflix’s two new seasons, Peacock currently carries 12 seasons and Hulu has four.
1 Doctor Who (1963 – Present): HBO Max
For those sci-fi fans who like their television quirky and British, Doctor Who is the ideal series. This BBC show about a planet-saving Time Lord has been on the air in some form since 1963, minus a gap between the mid-90s and mid-2000s.
The Doctor has taken different forms over the seasons, and actors like Peter Capaldi and David Tennant have taken on the role in recent years. Jodie Whittaker is the 13th and current Doctor. HBO Max carries all 12 seasons of Doctor Who since it’s 2005 resurgence.
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