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The Addams Family
64 episodes (1964-66) 30m


Kooky and creepy, this show was one of two gothic sitcoms to premiere in 1964. John Astin and Carolyn Jones star as Gomez and Morticia Addams - presiding over a mansion of weirdos including Uncle Fester, Cousin Itt, Thing and two kids with scary pets (an octopus and a spider). Remains popular in frequent reruns.





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The Munsters
70 episodes + 4 movies (1964-66) 30m


A more family-oriented gothic sitcom than its main rival - The Addams Family. The show follows the misadventures of the Munster family consisting of the Frankenstein look-alike Herman, vampires Lily and Grandpa, werewolf son Eddie and Marilyn - the plain one. The humour was somewhat sophomoric, but had wide appeal.





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Dark Shadows
1225 episodes (1966-71) 30m


Gothic soap opera about all sorts of night crawlers - like ghosts, vampires and werewolves. Like most daytime dramas of the time the production values were pretty tacky, but this didn't stop it from developing a legion of dedicated shadowers. A 1991 big-budget primetime attempt to revive the show lacked the original's soul.





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Kolchak - The Night Stalker
20 episodes (1974-75) 60m


Another series adept in freely mixing a combination of speculative fiction elements. A newspaper journalist with a nose for the extraordinary tracks all sorts of monsters, demons, aliens and other problematic creatures. Somehow he keeps working even though he always gets the villain, but never gets the scoop. Fun stuff, with a short-run remake appearing in 2005.





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Tales From the Darkside
90 episodes + movie (1983-88) 30m


Name actors that had seen better days regularly feature in this anthology series boasting scripts adapted from stories by the likes of Harlan Ellison, Stephen King and Clive Barker. Very much in the Twilight Zone vein, modern audiences probably won't find too much that is truly scary here given it was made for TV in 1980s.





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Tales From the Crypt
93 episodes + 3 movies (1989-96) 30m


The rather bizarre EC horror comics from the 1950s provided the inspiration for this fun series. Each week the Crypt Keeper (a puppet) introduces another offbeat ghoulish story that inevitably ends with a twist. Highly successful series that spawned movies, a cartoon series, mountains of merchandise and even a gameshow.





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American Gothic
22 episodes (1995-96) 60m


Created by Shaun Cassidy, this is an offbeat horror show about a small-town sheriff, Lucas Buck, who for all intents & purposes is the devil incarnate. A brief run on CBS and a repeat on the Sci-Fi Channel was the only chance it got, however, much to the dismay of its steadily-building fan base. The complete series has been released on DVD.





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Goosebumps
74 episodes (1995-98) 30m


Based on R L Stine's popular children's books, Goosebumps was a delightful and not-too-scary anthology show where just about anything could and did happen. Green goo goes wild, a toy town is full of horrors - and all sorts of ghosts, monsters and other scary things regularly cause havoc of some kind. Loads of fun for all ages.


Scary Stuff
Television shows with mostly tongue-in-cheek scary stuff
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