Do you remember these scary TV movies?

Just because it's made-for-TV doesn't mean it's not scary!

Some of the most effective, underrated pieces of horror history were made for TV. Throughout the seventies, eighties, and nineties, networks provided decent-sized budgets for made-for-TV terrors.

There's something subversive in taking the glow of the small screen and using it to scare viewers. We're lulled into a false sense of security, in our places of safety, with the familiar rhythms of commercial breaks. And then: HORROR!

Let's take a look back at some of the scariest TV movies of the past. Let us know which ones you remember, which ones you don't, and which ones were your absolute favorites. We'll definitely miss a few, so please let us know which omissions you love in the comments section below! Happy hauntings!

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  1. "Trilogy of Terror"
  2. "Dark Night of the Scarecrow"
  3. "Kolchak: The Night Stalker"
  4. "Stephen King's IT"
  5. "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark"
  6. "Salem's Lot"
  7. "Duel"
  8. "The Woman in Black"
  9. "The Day After"
  10. "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" (1980)

Do you remember these scary TV movies?

Your Result...

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174 Comments

musicman37 4 months ago
What about "Moon of the Wolf" with David Janssen and Bradford Dilllman?

And the actual title of that first Kolchak movie is just "The Night Stalker".
19611313 musicman37 20 days ago
Moon of the Wolf was very good.
Scream of the Wolf with Clint Walker n Peter Graves was also good.
Tresix 4 months ago
Another good but forgotten scary made-for-TV movie is “Don’t Go to Sleep” (1982) starring Dennis Weaver, Valerie Harper, and Ruth Gordon. This probably dismissed as a “Poltergeist” rip-off (this movie even has the son from “Poltergeist” in it), but it can certainly march its big-screen counterpart scare for scare.
Tresix 4 months ago
90% similar. I wish there was a channel that showed nothing but the made-for-TV movies. Horror and otherwise.
Tim 4 months ago
The Boy Who Drank Too Much was pretty scary
Jespo 4 months ago
Also Bad Ronald was a creepy thriller too
LibraBaby0921 4 months ago
Hey, all. Another obscure made-for-TV horror film is A Cold Night's Death, with Robert Cull and Eli Wallach as a pair of researchers (?) at a very remote lab in Alaska. It's rather a claustrophobic entry but has a neat payoff. It is not easy to find. But if you do find it, it's well worth a look.
Jespo 4 months ago
Also Dan Curtis's other trilogy Dead of Night (the last one is the best one)
Tresix Jespo 4 months ago
That one was remade as part of “Trilogy of Terror II”.
Mirramanee 4 months ago
While I agree that "Dark Night of the Scarecrow" and "Trilogy of Terror" were two of the scariest TV movies from the '70's and '80's, the one I remember as being truly scary was "Something Evil". It starred Sandy Dennis as the mom and her son was Johnny Whittaker (Jody from Family Affair). It was about a family who move out to a farmhouse in the country and the mother starts to realize that there is something very "off" about the place. Eventually, it starts affecting her son and one of the scarier scenes in it was when a TV crew were filming something on the front porch and later on when the film was developed, it showed a pair of glowing evil eyes in one of the windows. I never see this rerun on TV and I think it would be a great film for Svengoolie to resurrect. Like Duel, it was also directed by Steven Spielberg.
frenchman71 Mirramanee 4 months ago
I remember that movie, also. Sandy Dennis hears a sound at night out in the barn. She goes to check it out and in the barn on a shelf is a glass jar with something hideous in it and she goes screaming back to the house. That was a good movie.
Mirramanee frenchman71 1 month ago
Yes! I remember that scene! It was also really scary. I really wish it would get played again, if not Svengoolie, then maybe on Movies!
HpHoward 4 months ago
I'm not sure The Day After needs to be on this particular vlist. It aired in 1983, not in the '70s.
Mirramanee HpHoward 4 months ago
If you read the beginning introduction to this quiz, you would know it included the following:

"Some of the most effective, underrated pieces of horror history were made for TV. Throughout the seventies, eighties, and nineties, networks provided decent-sized budgets for made-for-TV terrors."
Patpayne79 HpHoward 4 months ago
Yeah, The Day After isn't strictly a horror movie, but given that people in 1983 just by a hair's breadth avoided actually experiencing it in real life, twice in the same year (look up Stanislav Petrov and ABLE ARCHER 83 for more details), it certainly qualifies nevertheless ;)
HpHoward Patpayne79 4 months ago
True enough. I'm aware of these near-misses Atomic war films usually are classified as sci-fi, since it hasn't happened -- yet, I mean.
micheleb 4 months ago
80% similar
Get that scary kid away from my window lol
So true though🧛🧛
trogg888 4 months ago
I'm such a horror fanatic. I wouldn't miss miss one if I could possiblyhelp it.if you ever saw the first version with tim curry you would not forget it.i thought it was every bit as good as the recent one.that spider.brrr
19611313 trogg888 4 months ago
Missing is a 1973 gem " The Norliss Tapes"
graceful1970 4 months ago
70% similar
70% similar to the most popular responses
Geronimo 4 months ago
I never seen these movies
80% similar
Snickers 4 months ago
60% similar. Will always remember "The Day After". The scene where the towns people are looking up at the sky as the missiles are on their way to Russia is hard to forget.
KaijuKirk 4 months ago
"Gargoyles" from 1972 gave me nightmares! When the head gargoyle made Diana read to him in the cave, I was terrified!
HpHoward KaijuKirk 4 months ago
Gargoyles is legendary and should have been included here.
19611313 KaijuKirk 4 months ago
Another good one left off, was from 73 "The Norliss Tapes"
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