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Happy Halloween: The Scariest, Most Unnerving TV Shows That Aren’t Part of the Horror Genre

There don't have to be blood and guts or jumps and frights for a TV show to truly terrify you.

Rhys Darby in "The X-Files"

Ed Araquel/FOX

Sometimes the scariest part of a TV show is what you don’t see.

An adage applicable for horror and non-horror series alike, the above certainly plays to our topic of the day: Halloween. While many will be celebrating by dressing up and going out, those that dress down to stay in have plenty of options in front of them for safe, cinematic frights. But what about the less popular Halloween picks? You know, the shows that really get under your skin without making you watch as they literally peel it back. The series that defy a ratings system because maybe there’s no gruesome violence, but parents still feel iffy about letting their kids watch it.

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These shows will rattle your bones, shake you to your core and, yes, frighten you in (we hope) a refreshing, progressive manner. Your hosts for Very Good TV Podcast, IndieWire TV Editor Liz Shannon Miller and TV Critic Ben Travers, have compiled a list of said programs, detailing specific scenes that freaked them out without any garish onscreen brutality. Here’s a short list of a few of their choices:

After all, what truly terrifies you long after Halloween is over is a feeling, not an image.

Don’t forget to subscribe via Soundcloud or iTunes, and follow IndieWire on Twitter and Facebook for all your pertinent TV news. Check out Liz and Ben’s Twitter feeds for more, more, more. Plus, don’t forget to listen to IndieWire’s other podcastsScreen Talk with Eric Kohn and Anne Thompson, as well as Michael Schneider’s new podcast, Turn It On, which spotlights the most important TV of each week.

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