It is officially the Halloween season, with the holiday just a few weeks away. For many this is a time of year to indulge in the horror genre more so than usual, with horror films and games being downloaded and played much more frequently. However one medium that fans may be surprised to see horror delving into is the animated television genre.
Between children’s programming and more adult-themed horror shows, the world of animated television is filled to the brim with classic and entertaining horror shows. Here is a look at the ten best horror animated series to watch.
10 The Grim Adventures Of Billy And Mandy
One of the first shows that incorporates the horror genre into it’s programming has to be Cartoon Network’s The Grim Adventures Of Billy And Mandy. The show premiered in 2001, and focused on two young children named Billy and Mandy. After cheating and beating the Grim Reaper at a game of Limbo, the Reaper was forced into servitude for the children.
The show ran for six seasons, and often featured the Jamaican accented Grim Reaper being forced to use his supernatural powers to explore areas like the Underworld or to even meet famous monsters like Dracula and the Wolf Man.
9 The Real Ghostbusters
Originally airing on ABC, the next horror show that needs no introduction has to be The Real Ghostbusters. Beginning in 1986, the show focused on the original Ghostbusters after the events of the first film, seeing the team take down paranormal apparitions and threats around New York City.
After the show’s fourth season, the show was rebranded as Slimer! And the Real Ghost Busters. This new setup for the show focused on the infamous green ghoul Slimer from the original film, haunting the Sedgewick Hotel and having adventures with various other ghosts and characters, facing his antagonist Professor Norman Dweeb.
8 Tales From The Cryptkeeper
One of the more cult classic horror animated series to air was Tales from the Cryptkeeper, an animated continuation of the hit show Tales from the Crypt. Airing for only three seasons, the show continued the format of the original live action series, with the infamous Cryptkeeper greeting the audience and introducing original horror stories.
Each story would impart some sort of lesson to the viewer, but the show’s mythology expanded in season two with the introduction of the Cryptkeeper’s rivals, the Vault-Keeper and the Old Witch, who continuously tried stealing his show as they had no show themselves.
Another popular animated horror series based on the works of a live action series has to be Beetlejuice. Loosely based on the iconic horror film from 1988, the film follows Beetlejuice and his “best friend” Lydia as the two explore the Neitherworld and the “real world”, a small New England town called Peaceful Pines.
As in the film, Beetlejuice is a con man who is constantly trying to pull one over on the residents of both Neitherworld and Peaceful Pines. He would often scam people and supernatural creatures alike, from sitting on babies of the Neitherworld to auto racing victims.
6 Aaahh!!! Real Monsters
Getting back to the world of children’s animated television, one of the most popular kids shows to ever feature the horror genre has to be Nickelodeon’s Aaahh!!! Real Monsters. The show ran for four seasons, airing 52 episodes starting in 1994 and running until 1997.
The show focused on three monsters named Ickis, Oblina and Krumm. Attending a school for monsters in New York City, namely in a dump in the city, the monsters were taught by The Gromble how to become perfect monsters, scaring people all around the world. It is definitely considered one of the best horror comedies.
5 Todd McFarlane’s Spawn
One of the most adult horror genre animated series of all time has to be Todd McFarlane’s Spawn. Notorious for featuring one of the first African-American superheroes in film, television and comics, Spawn followed a former commando and government assassin in a covert black ops division who was betrayed and lost his life to a close friend.
Vowing revenge and hoping to reunite with his wife, the man made a deal with the devil Malebolgia to become one of his soldiers, the Hellspawn or just Spawn, in exchange for returning to Earth. He becomes a rotting corpse called Spawn.
4 Invader Zim
While considered closer to the sci-fi/dark comedy genres, the animation style and horror elements incorporated into the show make Invader Zim one of Nickelodeon’s best shows to feature horror genre elements. The show focused on Zim, an alien part of Irken Empire who is often mocked for his failures as an invader.
Sent to Earth in an attempt to get rid of him, Zim makes Earth his home and makes several attempts to conquer it, all while battling his human nemesis Dib. The show was for older audiences and featured some scary visuals, making it a horror/sci-fi show.
3 Creepy Crawlers
This next horror genre animated series that was a major hit for the time was Creepy Crawlers. What made this show unique was that it was based on a popular children’s toy action figure series from the company ToyMax. Beginning in 1994 and run by popular company Saban Entertainment, the show ran for two seasons.
The show followed a normal kid named Chris Carter, who worked in a magic shop and designed a device called the Magic Maker. One night the machine produced three mutant/bug creatures called Hocus Locust, Volt Jolt and T-3, who fought evil with Chris.
2 Courage The Cowardly Dog
Cartoon Network’s greatest horror based animated series has to be Courage the Cowardly Dog. A series that followed an anthropomorphic pink dog named Courage, the show aired starting in 1996 and aired for four seasons. The show incorporated several genres, from sci-fi to heavy influences of horror themes throughout the series.
Following Courage along with his owners Eustace and Muriel in Nowhere, USA, Courage was abandoned as a pup when his parents were sent into outer space. Muriel found him and brought him home. Constantly yelled at by Eustace, Courage protects the couple from supernatural and horrifying monster threats.
Probably the most popular modern day horror series in the animation genre has to be Netflix’s Castlevania. The show has aired for two seasons thus far, with a third season green-lit for production. Premiering in 2017, the show is based upon the popular video game series from Konami of the same name.
After the passing of his wife after being accused of witchcraft, the powerful vampire Count Dracula seeks revenge and determines to punish the people of Wallachia by sending an army of demons to overrun the nation. Monster hunter Trevor Belmont gathers allies to battle the vampire’s forces.