'AHS,' 'Haunting of Hill House' & More Horror Anthologies to Binge in October

Horror Anthologies Twilight Zone Black Mirror Haunting of Hill House
CBS; Netflix (2)

Celebrating October and the coming of Halloween may feel pointless when 2020 has felt like one long spooky season. Even still, our options for horror television continue to expand every year, and although you may feel tired of being terrified, it will be hard to resist the new material on your screens this October.

The anthology, in particular, is a format that suits horror well. This was proved most recently and pivotally by Ryan Murphy's American Horror Story. The FX series premiered in 2011 and subsequently drew millions of viewers into the different worlds constructed for each season: a haunted house, an asylum and a witches' coven, to start.

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The anthology is the screened version of round-the-campfire ghost stories: episodic, enticing and new at every turn. This October, revisit some of the anthologies that defined the genre (like Alfred Hitchcock Presents), anticipate your returning favorites (like The Haunting of Hill House's move to Bly Manor), or try out a completely new series (like Monsterland) — the options for your Halloween viewing are limitless.

Alfred Hitchcock Presents
CBS

Alfred Hitchcock Presents (Peacock)

The “original” horror anthology may be hard to narrow down, but Alfred Hitchcock Presents comes close. With its premiere in 1955 and a run that lasted 10 years, this suspenseful anthology featured thrillers and dramas alike. Hitchcock, who already had a robust career in film, created, hosted and produced the series. Can’t decide on a specific episode? Try “Lamb to the Slaughter,” an adaptation of a short story by Roald Dahl that led to an Emmy nomination in 1959.

Monsterland trailer
Hulu

Monsterland (Hulu)

Coming to Hulu on Oct. 2 is a new horror anthology series that invites “mermaids, fallen angels and other strange beasts” into its stories, according to the official synopsis. Monsterland boasts some familiar faces, like Orange Is the New Black‘s Taylor Schilling and Unbelievable‘s Kaitlyn Dever. We don’t know much, but we do know that every episode is titled with a different city. From Eugene, Oregon to Newark, New Jersey, we are eager to travel across the country with these characters.

The Twilight Zone
CBS

The Twilight Zone (Netflix)

Go back to basics again with The Twilight Zonethe anthology that inspired countless pop culture references and theme song renditions. First premiering in 1959, the anthology-turned-franchise bent genres with its mixture of horror, suspense, comedy and science fiction. We fell in love with the series’ hallmark twist endings that persisted through five seasons. If you’re looking for something more contemporary, try Jordan Peele’s reboot of the series that premiered in 2019 on CBS All Access.

AMERICAN HORROR STORY: APOCALYPSE
Kurt Iswarienko/FX

American Horror Story (Netflix)

American Horror Story may very well be credited with the renaissance of the horror anthology. From its premiere in 2011, the series is known for its cast, which is recycled — give or take (Lady Gaga, anyone?) — with each season, its body horror, and its fragmented storytelling which gradually  gives way to the bigger picture. With nine seasons already complete and a 10th on the way, there is plenty to watch, and, as a perk of the anthology format, it need not be in order. Try the beloved “Murder House” or “Asylum” to start. Then, for a nostalgia trip, try “Apocalypse,” full of callbacks and tie-ins to the earlier seasons.

Carla Gugino Hill House
Netflix

The Haunting of Hill House (Netflix)

The Haunting of Hill House was an instant hit when it premiered on Netflix in 2018. Like This Is Us with ghosts and gore, this family drama meets horror in a way that makes us cover our eyes (which may also be filled with tears).

On Oct. 9, the second installment in the anthology, The Haunting of Bly Manor will premiere on Netflix. Borrowing from American Horror Story‘s playbook, it will feature much of the same cast in a different setting. One thing is confirmed, though: The Haunting anthology will continue to deal with ghosts — the ones we see in movies and the ones we carry ourselves.

Folklore trailer
HBO Asia

Folklore (HBO Max)

Folklore may have flown under your radar in recent years, but it shouldn’t this season. Suck it up and turn on subtitles for this six-episode anthology that indulges superstitions and myths from six Asian countries: Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and South Korea. Premiering in 2018, the series features six up-and-coming Asian horror directors. If ghosts are your Halloween thing, Folklore will be too.

Black Mirror 02x02
Netflix

Black Mirror (Netflix)

While this one might hit too close to home, there’s no denying that Black Mirror is a truly terrifying anthology worthy of an October watch. The series, which premiered in 2011, makes us confront our relationships with technology and modernity in a way that is a bit too relatable. This relatability is the show’s genius, though, and Black Mirror has a way of taking its viewers to the darkest corners of humanity’s potential. Watch the earlier seasons to buy into the craze that brought the show its fame or explore the more recent interactive film, Bandersnatch, for a choose-your-own-adventure thrill.