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Please avoid the TV screen, or else you shall forever scream. Even with just a little peek, you shall never, ever sleep...


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Charmed

  • Good lord the banshee from season 3. A demon that prays on people who have suffered heartbreak. You're grieving for some big reason and you hear a wailing in the distance. The things in the room start to rattle and suddenly the windows shatter and she jumps in through the window. She proceeds to scream as loudly as she can, so loudly that it makes all your blood vessels burst which is what kills you. Oh, and if you happen to be a witch, instead of being killed you'll become one instead.
    • Don't forget the scene from the same episode where the banshee attacks a little girl in a phonebooth who is already terrified.
  • From season 1 we have The Wendigo, pretty much a nastier version of the common werewolf that eats people's hearts. It attacks Piper while she's broken down in the middle of nowhere. And yes, if you don't get killed you'll turn into one instead. And no, chaining yourself to a water pipe will not be enough.
  • "The Good, the Bad and the Cursed" from season 3 where Phoebe gets psychically linked to a Native American man stuck in a time loop. That means that when he gets hurt, she feels it and gets the same injury. Near the end of the episode there's a scene where he's being tortured in the middle of the village. Every time he gets whipped it cuts back to a shot of Phoebe screaming in pain as she feels it. If the day hadn't been saved, Phoebe would have been killed along with the man. Oh and Leo wasn't able to heal her.
  • Orin and Cree from season 5's "The Eyes Have It". They attack helpless gypsies and gouge their eyes out with lasers.
  • From season 3 we have demons called The Seekers who read your thoughts to find out everything you know. How do they do it? By biting into your skull and literally sucking your brains out. The scene with Cole's landlady...


Cold Case

  • Cold Case has substantial doses of this, but I had trouble sleeping after the episode "Spiders". The victim's boyfriend was a teenaged neo-Nazi who had murdered a woman the night before, and you see the poor girl trying to find a way out of the house without him noticing-- but both the doors are locked. She goes to the kitchen where his mom looks to be washing dishes or something, his mother already having been established as a kindly, cookies-and-milk kind of woman seemingly innocent to what her son was up to. But when the victim goes to her and starts practically sobbing the story of what happened, and how they have to go to the police, his mother turns with a brittle smile and starts talking about what black men do to white women like them, and how it's so lucky that they have men like her son to protect them... all the while while washing blood out of what looks like a tee shirt. This must prey on some childhood fear (besides the obvious creepy factor of having a crazy-intense skinhead for a boyfriend) of having an authority figure turn out to be one of the bad guys too... and to be trapped.
  • Cold Case also had an episode about a serial killer who kidnapped women and then hunted them for sport. When he is finally cornered by the Lilly, he gloats that his youngest victim, a high school track runner, was so desperate to escape she attempted to run on the stumps of her legs after her feet were practically broken off. It was seriously one of the most disturbing things I'd ever heard on TV. The scene of her wailing "I want my Daddy! just before she is fatally shot doesn't help. And although he didn't rape any of his victims, he seems particularly smug about putting the fear of that possibility into them (he forced his victims to strip before making them run through the woods) and that towards the end, the women were practically offering themselves to him--"You have no idea of the things a woman will beg you to do, if you'll just let her live"--in the futile hopes of surviving their ordeal.
  • "John Smith" from "The Road" - "Once hope is gone... dying is just a formality."
  • Malik from "It Takes A Village". Tortured and abused as a child, he gets his revenge by staking out arcades to find boys that remind him of the ones who tormented him, imprisoning them in a soundproof room where he made them stand in place for days, before finally slashing their throats.
  • The episode "Strange Fruit", which featured a trio of racists beating and hanging a young black man, all while Dr. King's legendary "I Have A Dream" speech played in the background.
  • "Rampage". It begins with two kids screwing around in the mall with a presumably new camcorder. You start to think "Okay, one or both is gonna be shown dea-" and then they randomly whip out guns and start firing into the crowds.
  • The episode with the strangled women both found posed like Ophelia lying in ponds. When they showed the first woman's death Along with the mans whispers of "I make the decisions."


Dexter

  • Every time Dexter has a flashback to his mother's murder. To whit, the sight of a two year old child drenched in blood, with the alternating sound of his mother begging her killer not to do it in front of her son and her telling Dexter not to watch, which then segues into the sound of Dexter crying mixed with his mother's screaming as she is cut to pieces with a chainsaw. No wonder Dexter is so messed up.
  • On a lesser note, the Trinity killer. A batshit insane killer who "kills in threes": a death in the bathtub, a death made out to look like a suicide (by falling), and a bludgeoning. The key here is that the said falling kill has him say that if his victim doesn't do it, he will go back to her (it's always a woman, mother of two) house and kill off her relatives one by one. Then the bludgeoning. In the one we see in the show, he claims that "you made me do this" in a rather sad like tone. And the bathtub one shows him naked.
    • Much worse than this is when he buries unconscious ten year-old boys in concrete.
    • Lithgow's ability to go from a cold authoritarian monster, to a psychotic man child crying over his own crimes to a God respecting family man is perhaps more frightening than his crimes themselves.


Delocated

  • Kinda silly, but Sergei, the Russian assassin, sending a tape to Jon which shows his brother's dead body, and then drinking Jon's Mom's ashes? Watch the episode, it's genuinely frightening.

Farscape

  • Eye Scream is always good for a few nightmares (take a gander), as is the "Neural Clone" plotline - your worst enemy trapped inside your head, being able to control your body at the most inopportune moments, and it's Scorpius!? And then there's poor Yal Henta, who after ambushing and pulling a gun on Aeryn, her childhood friend-turned-traitor, got burned to a crisp by an inopportune burst of steam. These are far from the only examples.
  • "Eat Me" was an entire episode of horror, best summed up by these two lines:

 "They cut your arms... and when they grow back, they hack 'em off again? Why the hell would they do that?"

"Because, because, because THEY'RE EATING MEEEEEEE!"

    • From the same episode, Kaarvok. Just... Kaarvok.
  • Natira. She collects eyeballs from unwanted vistors while crooning sensually, and she's Scorpius' ex-girlfriend. Do I need to say anything else?
  • Moya being infested by a mass of creepers, and Pilot waking up to realise that they've wormed their way up through his body and out of his mouth.
  • The failed Pilot/Sebacean hybrid that Namtar has chained to the wall of his lab, still alive and still screaming.
    • Aeryn slowly mutating into a Pilot over the course of that episode.
    • Namtar and his crippled assistant.
  • Zhaan's nightmare, in which Crichton's spacesuit ruptures, and... well...
  • Diseased Plokavian judges melting all over the place while sentencing Moya's crew to death.
  • Captain Jenek frying a test subject's unborn child alive with Heat Projection.
  • Scorpius as a child. There is a very good reason why we never see under his suit as an adult.
    • Scorpius' nanny getting a broken coolant rod through her eyeballs and dying horribly as Scorpius lowers the temperature of the cell until she freezes to death, alone and blind.


Friday the 13th: The Series

  • There were a lot of disturbing situations in Friday the 13th: The Series, despite its overall cheesiness. One of the freakiest for me involved a body-transferring amulet. A Corrupt Hick with a penchant for stuffing animals (and people) is shoved down the stairs by a chair containing the decayed stuffed corpse of his grandfather and is on the verge of death; rather than dying, he transfers his mind into the corpse. Normally, this would restore the corpse to a living, intact condition, but perhaps being rotten and stuffed with sawdust was too much to overcome. When the madman reappears, he hisses eerily, "Why die?", as if even life as a decaying monster is better than death to him. (Unfortunately, captioning revealed that he actually says "Time to die," which is too trite to be really scary any more.)
  • Personally, I found the episode with "Mesmer's Bauble" quite disturbing. A homely guy uses it to make himself popular and handsome so that he can become the love of a singer he had a crush on. But then he decides loving her is not enough...he has to be her. Cue a scene where he is literally melting into her body. And if that wasn't bad enough, when the bauble is removed all the wishes are canceled causing him to revert from a beautiful woman to a homely man in an equally disturbing way.


Ghost Adventures

  • This trope applies to most shows attempting to record evidence of paranormal activity for haunted houses. A notable example is on Ghost Adventures, where the team leader Zak Bagans was hit by a coat-rack near the door at Pennhurst State School. They reviewed the footage onscreen to make sure it hadn't just tipped over, and saw that the original position was on the other side of the wall.
  • The episode where Zak seemingly gets possessed at Preston Castle. He goes to investigate where he thinks the murderer-ghost is, then suddenly freezes and starts babbling about 'we shouldn't go down there,' and 'I don't feel so good,' while the cameramen look at each other in confusion. Then he suddenly wanders off in the opposite direction and the next thing you know, his buddies have found him sitting in the middle of some random room with his eyes glowing. Granted, the ghost in question seemed to be that of the victim and trying to protect Zak and the crew, but the image of him sitting serenely with eyes glowing like something out of a horror movie, seemingly focused on something nobody else can see, while he smiles this almost demonic smile and tells his buddies that he's perfectly fine...it gives me chills.
  • If that one was bad, the "incident" on Poveglia Island was a million times worse - at Preston, it was just a spirit possession. On Poveglia, it was a demonic possession--out of nowhere, Zak started screaming and cursing at the other investigators (who are his friends), hurling himself at the walls, and the look on his face... Not only did they leave out most of the footage because they were so uncomfortable watching it, they stopped an investigation for the first time to perform a cleansing ritual. Compared to that, the later catches of EVPs in English, despite Poveglia being closed to tourists for centuries, so the odds of someone dying who speaks English on the island are pretty unlikely, is relatively normal for the show's fare.
  • There's also Nick's possible demonic possession at the Moon River Brewing Co. in Savannah, GA. The look on his face freaked Zak out and made him jump back, and when Nick looked up at Aaron's camera a moment later... Well, let's just say that another person described the expression as not fear, but intent, as in the intent to kill. Nick doesn't remember much of the possession, just that he heard a voice telling him to kill Zak and Aaron. *shivers*
  • During the Live Episode on the night before Halloween, Silent Hill fans may be disturbed by one of the gang's devices emitting static when a ghost talked.
  • Most paranormal investigation shows need to do quite a bit of editing for their footage (getting rid of static, increasing the contrast/lighting, etc.). Zak's team makes sure the audio/video is as clear as possible, so you can clearly hear inexplicable screaming or a baby crying or a voice saying, "I hate you."
  • Good god, a brief clip (not by Zak) of the man-baby in Clovis Wolfe Manor was really, really, creepy.
  • Before the show began airing, Zak, Nick, and Aaron did an investigation at the Washoe Club. They were called back because EVPs caught more recently mention them by name, including one spirit saying very clearly 'hate Nick.' And during the investigation, another EVP of 'I hate Nick' was captured. It's the personalized message that makes it High Octane.
    • Nick seems to be referred to the most often by EVP catches. Some just say his name, but there have been a few at places other than Washoe that say they hate him.
  • Online material involved them going back to Bobby Mackey's and getting a recording of a spirit mimicking Zak's voice perfectly.
  • The documentary filmed prior to the series can be terrifying when watching it after several episodes of the show beforehand - you become used to seeing the guys as confident and able to work through their fears. But at the Goldfield Hotel, a spirit throws a brick in full view of the camera and their flashlights, and they run - correction, they haul ass, even getting separated and lost in the basement in the process. Hearing their frightened voices as they call to each other, trying to find one another is absolutely terrifying. Zak and Nick (Aaron wasn't on this investigation) actually jumped out of a second story fire escape, abandoning the lockdown.
  • After the live event at Bobby Mackey's the demonic spirits followed them home, Aaron's marriage broke up because of their investigation. Do Not mess with the demonic, EVER.
  • Return to Goldfield - They catch an EVP saying 'You're fuckin' in my house.' You'd THINK its spine-shivering ability would be dulled by the fact that it requires censoring, but the menace is all in the last three words - the voice gets low, gravelly and distorted at the end, the sound of either static or the voice being something demonic.
    • And, for that matter, at one point the PX device, which allows spirits to manipulate energy to vocalize words audible to our ears, go absolutely NUTS. The PX is a new device, but it's similar enough to other devices they've used that when it emits a long ear-piercing shriek of feedback, you know it's not supposed to be doing that.
      • Well, that and almost every message it gave them...
  • In the Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum episode, they had a conversation with a ghost who gave us a few hints to his identity. Apparently, his name was Noah, got caught cheating in the corner, was sent into a cave, attacked, strangled by his throat and was left alive. Now remember the ghost is somehow IN THE MUSEUM.


The Ghost Whisperer

  • An episode featured a ghost with a breathing mask in a morgue. If you attempt to talk to it, it rasps unintelligbly at you and then has an epileptic fit while bleeding from the eyes (Which are taped shut).
  • Another ghost called Sally Stitch used a terminally ill girl in a hospital to send chain mail that killed people. The bad part was that there's a doll with stitched-shut eyes and mouth that is a cutesy representation of the REAL Sally Stich, who is a victorian woman who had her eyes and mouth sewn shut for gossiping.
  • I haven't seen an episode that really scared me, but I can't watch the opening credits without getting the shudders.
  • That faceless child... It had a completely blank face, no mouth, no nose, no eyes, no brows... Completely empty, except for the two golf ball-shaped indents where the eyes should be. And it giggled.


Jonathan Creek

  • The Grinning Man: The water tank. Oh God, THE WATER TANK. I know several people swearing off baths FOREVER because of that scene. THE FREAKING WATER TANK.
    • You're not the only one. As soon as I saw that scene, I switched to Showers.
      • You guys better not watch Psycho, then.
    • The picture of said "Grinning Man" is very strong nightmare fuel.
  • Another example from Jonathan Creek that always terrified me: "The Three Gamblers". An evil old man is killed after a drug deal goes wrong. He gets six bullets in the head, and is dumped in the cellar of an abandoned house nearby; they put a wardrobe in front of the door. Terrified that the old guy will still come back for revenge, one of the killers insists on going back to check he hasn't moved... only he has, crawled to the top of the stairs and apparently clawed at the door, despite being very dead. And looking it. He was dead. The cellar had flooded, and the body had floated to the top of the stairs. But the body still looked creepy as hell.
  • In the 1998 Christmas special, the backstory involves a magician's assistant who died when some equipment spectacularly malfunctioned and she got sliced in half by a table saw... lengthwise. Gruesome, but it just seems like your run-of-the-mill sort of gruesome--until you really think about the concept of lengthwise. From the bottom up. Maddy sums it up best: "I'm gonna have to sleep with a saucepan between my legs!" Even worse, later there are several flashbacks to this incident, which show that the poor woman was conscious and screaming for entirely too long.
  • In Season 3: The Eyes of Tiresias, a woman is having nightmares about people who are eventually murdered. At first nothing special, just your average Jonathon Creek. Then we get to see one of her dreams, in which a one-eyed man stabs her to death with a sword. Firstly, the amount of blood is really creepy, but then he turns around and has an actually pretty horrible looking mask on. It can really shock you when you're not ready for it.


The Kamen Rider Franchise

  • Various Kamen Rider shows have an element of horror to it. Sometimes the Monster of the Week would go a bit farther then you'd expect a show that you assume was meant just to sell toys.
    • Kamen Rider Kuuga: All of the Grongis have self imposed rules of who or who they kill in their games. One grongi poisons its victims (mainly high school kids) by shooting a needle that gave them fatal seizures four days later after appearing to them like a ghost via super speed. Another loved backing over people in large trucks or vans.
      • The former Grongi, who goes by the name of Go-Jaraji-Da, also has the distinction of being one of the only Grongi to make generally kind-hearted Friend to All Children Yuusuke Godai snap out and go ballistic, resulting in one of the most terrifying scenes of Unstoppable Rage in the franchise. He savagely pounds Jaraji's head repeatedly and bloody into the pavement, rams him with his Cool Bike, drags him to a nearby lake switching to Rising Titan form halfway when Jaraji tries to use the needles on him, and then delivers several rage-fueled slashes with his sword before brutally finishing him off with Rising Calamity Titan. Beware the Nice Ones has never been more appropriate.
    • Kamen Rider Agito: The Unknowns who target victims based on them having psychic powers or being blood related to someone with psychic powers.
      • In the first episode, the first victim of the Unknown is a school boy, whose body is found stuffed into a tree. The Unknown proceeds to do this to the boy's mother and father over the course of the episode.
      • Another Unknown drags victims underground and buries them alive and does so to a family of four while they were on vacation.
      • Draws victims into dimensional wormholes and have them fall to their deaths elsewhere.
      • Another Unknown creates pools of water near the victim, then violently drowns them.
      • Still another phases its victims into solid objects and then stops with the victim half way through.
    • Kamen Rider Ryuki: The Battle Royale element of the series already made it significantly edgier than its predecessors, but Masashi Sudou/Kamen Rider Scissors being eaten alive by his Contract Monster, Volcancer is probably one of the most brutal deaths to occur in the franchise to date. Depending on your level of tolerance, Mitsuru Sano/Kamen Rider Imperer's death is either this as well or a Tear Jerker.
    • Kamen Rider Kiva: The monsters of the week, Fangire, are the equivalent to vampires. Except instead of just draining blood, they usually cause giant energy fangs to drain victims of life to the point the humans become transparent and shatter like glass after being being jolted.
    • Three words: Shin Kamen Rider. I mean my god! His jaw is ripped in half during his transformation and antennas sprout from his head. If that's not enough he is shown to instead of a finisher rip your head off. He takes the cake.
    • Kamen Rider Fourze: A Kamen Rider series that takes in High School. Sounds cute, right? Well, there's a Psychopathic Manchild named Hiroki Makise who's very fucked up having stalked 20 girls at the school (and has a stalker map on them), pours out so many emails, letters and voicemails to his crushes, becomes a monster that can control people and after being scorned long enough decides to drive a bus off an unfinished bridge so they can become shooting stars. This guy is the reason that Fourze has a High Octane Nightmare Fuel Page AND fill sup most of the Fridge Horror section there.
    • Don't forget that in the series from the 1970's,the monsters used to turn people into skeletons or goo after spitting something on them and kidnap children.


The League of Gentlemen

  • Often considered one of the creepiest Sit Coms ever made, The League of Gentlemen is rife with examples.
  • Papa Lazarou. Everything about him. Especially in the Christmas Special.
    • The Christmas Special also manages to turn Herr Lipp (normally a mid case of Paranoia Fuel) into a full-on terror, mostly through excellent camera work. Plus there was the creepy, masked Cult and the Victorian curse. Who ever thought shadow puppets of a monkey screwing an elephant could be so scary?
  • Harvey "Toadface" Denton becomes increasingly sinister and monstrous over the series, and yet he's got nothing on his twin daughters, Chloe and Radclyffe. Their Establishing Character Moment - involving a man trapped inside a scarecrow - is particularly well-remembered, as is their alarming pleasure at killing their father's beloved toads.
    • As well as locking their parents in a room in the basement. It's implied that they never let them out again as they don't appear in the show afterwards.
  • Edward and Tubbs, a pair of incredibly hideous, incestuous Corrupt Hick serial killers, as well as the implied metamorphosis of their son from a normal human being into a monstrous ogre-like creature that lives in the attic. Not something you expect to see on a Sitcom.
  • Hilary Briss is mildly creepy all by himself, but the mysterious meats he sells (and the bizarre, dreamlike scene of him purchasing them from a dealer) are absolutely horrific.
  • The Nosebleed Plague. Even Papa Lazarou was creeped out by that.
  • The scene in the second series where Pauline and Ross wrestle features a moment where Pauline forces Ross onto a table and tries to stab him with a pen, all with a terrifyingly feral look on her face. This was immediately followed by Ross biting down on her breast hard with a sickening crunch!


Masters of Horror

  • Masters of Horror is obviously going to have some Nightmare Fuel, as it's a series of one-hour films by respected horror directors. But some of them just cross the line. The one that really made me shiver was "Imprint". The episode is about an American journalist looking for a Japanese girlfriend whom he had promised to rescue from prostitution. While looking for her in Japan, he meets a young girl who tells him that the girlfriend (Komomo) is dead, and recounts how Komomo died. The young girl was the child of an alcoholic and an abortionist. She was adopted by a Buddhist priest who molested her and inspired an obsession with Hell, and she later beat her father to death because he had raped her. She had to become a prostitute and befriended Komomo, but stole the Madam's ring and planted Komomo's hairpin to frame her. The Madam tortured Komomo and forced her to confess, and after the torture, the young girl killed Komomo. She did this to save Komomo from Hell: by having such an evil friend, Komomo would be damned, and the young girl had planted the hairpin to sever their friendship and free her from damnation. At the end it is revealed that her mother and father were brother and sister, and that the young girl has a parasitic twin on her head that convinced her to plant the ring. The girl also begins to speak in Komomo's voice... That gave me nightmares for a while, I can tell you that. Well, it is by Takashi Miike, so what can you expect?
  • "Jenifer" is disturbing in many ways. Firstly, it's about a succubus with a horrific Nightmare Face but a stunning body who manipulates those who pity her. Not to mention how she is found devouring a neighbor child and an employer's teenage son (the latter sill being alive at the time), really stirring the Adult Fear. And just to make things worse, the segment ends with Jenifer moving onto another guy, thus starting the chain again.
  • "Family" from the second season is also deeply disturbing. It's supposed to be dark comedy, but the particularly twisted take on Unreliable Narrator (Harold hallucinating sexually explicit conversations that clearly were not happening) creeped me out so much I couldn't finish watching. And that's not even considering, you know, Norm from Cheers melting corpses with acid and hanging out with skeletons while cheerful Jesus music plays.
    • Considering it was directed by John "American Werewolf In London" Landis, yes.
  • I saw The Black Cat in 8th grade. Our teacher claimed it was totally OK for middle schoolers to watch. I STILL get nightmares.
  • The Screwfly Solution, full stop. The worst parts had to be severed breasts displayed like trophies and the overall notion that sex and violence are so closely linked. And that's even before the Fridge Horror sets in and you realize that there are men out there in real life who don't need an alien virus in order to behave like this.


Medium

  • Medium has its fair share of Nightmare Fuel, but that's justified given the show's setting.
    • One example? The second episode, in which a couple therapist encourages a man to murder his wife and looks perversely pleased when a splatter of blood hits her in the face. Another one opens quite nicely, with a family photobook, telling the story of a young man who loved animals and a young girl who was the prettiest in her school... Jeffrey Dahmer and one of the Manson girls. After that, we have Joe coming home and finding a bloody, psychotic Ariel with an axe in her hands. And let's not take into account the Libra killer or the Halloween episode 'Bite Me'. Also disturbing were, in season 4, her dreams about what happened to Cynthia's daughter.
    • There's also the fact that just killing someone isn't enough, especially if they know about the afterlife.
    • In a similar vein, Afterlife (Probably the UK's answer to Medium- the psychic was even called Alison) had some seriously disturbing moments. One of the biggest stand out moments was the episode where a couple were being haunted by a ghost which kept talking to their baby through the baby monitor. The episode ended with the Wife putting the baby in the bath, then leaving her baby in the bathroom alone while she got a towel. Just as she was walking back to the bathroom, the door slammed shut, and splashing sounds began to come from inside. The Wife hammered and pushed at the door, but to no avail. When it finally opened, she entered to find that her baby had been drowned. Cut to the baby monitor which now has cries emitting from it, accompanied by the ghost whispering, in a comforting sort of way, "Ssh, ssh, I've got you..."
    • Diedrich Bader in a bikini from the notorious 2009 episode Will The Real Fred Rovick Stand Up? His character wasn't a Wholesome Crossdresser, but an identity thief. It can scare the living daylights out of people, this episode.
    • Plus a few other episodes have heavy doses of Nightmare Fuel, especially those with Ms. Fanservice characters in.

Nip/ Tuck

  • Every single operation scene from this show may count as potential Nightmare Fuel.
  • Every single scene involving the serial killer The Carver.
  • There's also the way Colleen Rose killed a rival talent agent. She jammed the hose for a teddy bear-stuffing machine down his throat and flicked it on, then finished her new creation by pinning two button eyes onto his.
    • Not to mention the close-up of the victim's still-horrified, lifeless face, with those black eyes, blood tricking down his cheeks like tears. *shudder*
      • And later, when his body is found. Horrifying flashbacks of the actual murder ensue for the audience. The person who finds the body has the same reaction as the audience.
  • When Matt beats up the innocent trans woman Cherry Peck. This scene is particularly horrifying to LGBT people who've faced violence.
  • The whole scene in which Matt and Cherry were held hostage in that scary white supremacist guy's basement. Something about the way Cheery flinching in fear when she is threatened is too realistic for comfort.
  • The man singing as his leg had to be amputated after the plane crash.
  • The man who had the compulsive need to mutilate his face.
  • When Matt and his friend nearly killed that girl after they decided to get high and drive around.
  • At the beginning of season 3, when Matt found the rotten corpse of Adrian.
  • In one episode, the patient is conscious during her surgery, can feel all of the pain, and screams and begs for the doctors to stop in voiceover.


Primeval

  • The future predators.
  • The freakin' fungus monster. To quote Lester, "I'll never look at athlete's foot the same way again."
  • The freaking goblin from Season 3. That thing looks and acts exactly like you'd expect a psychopathic little gremlin to, and it can become invisible at will.
  • The Season 3 episode "For the Birds". The Phorusrhacids are terrifying under any circumstances, but watching the team trapped inside an old shack in the woods, as the shrieking predators smash their way in...
  • The dodo parasite, especially the scene where you can clearly see it slithering up the inside of a man's neck!
    • On that note, the effect it has on hosts as well, who can go from calm to batshit crazy in the space of a second.


Space 1999

  • The very premise of the series scared some in a way Star Trek never did. Whenever the base lost personnel and equipment, that's it. There will be no replacements, and they are in growing danger of running out, especially since they apparently have no production facilities. At least in Star Trek: Voyager, the ship had Neelix to rustle up supplies.
  • There's also the episode "Dragon's Domain", and that scene with the tentacled monster dragging screaming personnel into its mouth and spitting out dessicated corpses...
  • I caught one of the later episodes involving a pair of twins with some kind of voodoo power. The girl produced a very lifelike clay bust of Dr. Russel's head and proceeded to sink her fingers into the middle of the bust's face. The resulting scream of agony escaping from Dr. Russel's own fingers as she pressed them over her own face still haunts my thoughts.


Survivor

  • The cameramen seem to have a fetish for spiders in some seasons, but the one that mainly qualifies for this trope is the scene in Tocantins with a close up shot of a ball of spiders reacting to thunder.


Tales From the Crypt

  • For starters there's the Crypt Keeper himself. And then there's the twist endings. The plot for "Ear Today Gone Tommorow" is about a man who gets an operation that gives him the auditory system of an owl- unfortunately it also gives him other owl-like traits and at the end his jaw cracks and he develops an owl's beak. There's also the show finale "The Third Pig", a rather twisted take on the classic fairy tale Three Little Pigs.
  • The episode "Dead Wait" is a definite example of this trope, though being directed by Tobe Hooper, this should come as no surprise. As if John Rhys-Davies' shirtless torso bulging with an assortment of tiny worms under his flesh was not enough, the antagonist performing an impromptu autopsy to remove an ingested pearl from his stomach is added for good measure. In classic Tobe Hooper style, the act is not seen (in favor of facial expression shots from a nearby onlooker), yet it still manages to be just as gruesome offscreen as it would be if actually filmed.
  • What about the episode where Ed Begley, Jr. plays this asshole cemetery plot salesman who gets kidnapped by a psychotic redneck family and gets raped by the redneck family's ugly daughter. Oh, and did I mention that the mother, father, and daughter in this redneck family are all played by Tim "Dr. Frankenfurter" Curry?
    • Oooh yeah, that one as well. It also is kind of similar to that movie Nothing But Trouble.
  • Joe Pesci being cut in half with a chainsaw so a pair of psychotic twin sisters can each have him as "theirs." With close-up of his mutilated insides. Lovely ...
  • There's one where a wannabe model murders several rivals so that she can win a rigged beauty contest and become the new "face" of a mysterious company. She does win the pageant, but then it's time for her to appear in the "grand finale." Next thing we see is the pageant host singing a cheery song about how beauty is great but "it's what inside that counts" as the winner is unveiled - she's been nailed to a board, completely eviscerated, and the audience oohs and aahs over her as she is now the reigning "Miss Autopsy 1992.")
  • How about Abra-Kadaver? A good deal of the episode is told from the POV of a man trapped in his own body thanks to his vengeful brother, who is on the verge of getting cut apart at a medical school. Sure, it turns out to be a prank, but the final shot is of him about to get cut apart...while still feeling everything!
  • One of the worst was one where Lee Arenberg (Pintel from Pirates of the Caribbean) played a nightclub owner that killed his partner - overall, it was a surrealist take on The Telltale Heart, with the voice of the victim nagging on him about his death, etc. What pushes this into nightmare territory, though, is at the very end, the guy has used Q-tips throughout the episode to try and clear the voice out of his head, and is shown at one point mashing them against his ears in a funny way. But then he's shown wandering through the club, unable to hear anything but the persistent voice, and seeing people stare at him oddly. After blurting a confession to murder, the voice in his head tells him that they're not looking at him because they hear the voice too... it's because he's got Q-tips shoved in his ears so far that he ruptured his eardrums!
  • In one episode, a woman marries the boss of a gang of lumberjacks. She is so bored that she begins an affair with one of the other lumberjacks, but cries rape when her husband catches them, resulting in the husband attacking the guy with an axe and blinding him. The other workers' response is to kidnap the woman and her husband and place them inside hollow logs for the blind lumberjack to chop up (he realises what is happening fairly early on, but joyfully goes through with it anyway) with a lovely gory shot of the bodies chopped into four parts.


Miscellaneous Horrors

  • Kathie Lee Gifford celebrating World Nude Day. 'Nuff said.
  • The Australian miniseries version of On the Beach shook and shocked me more than anything else has. It's not enough that the entire population of Earth dies, but the final moments are dedicated to scenes showing how each of the main characters are killing themselves, including a family of a couple and kids who proceed to inject themselves with cyanide syringes before all falling into eternal sleep on their bed. There's no gore involved at all, but emotionally it's just destroying, especially if you make the same mistake as me and end up relating yourself and your beloved to the events; even typing about it gives me very unpleasant memories of it.
  • The Pretend Time episode "I Just Got Voodoo'd" has a man getting cursed with voodoo and cried spiders. It's supposed to be funny, yes, but this will be jarring to the arachnophobic audience.
  • Related to that was the images of the immediate aftermath of nuclear war from The Day After. I was permanently scarred by the farmers, at the very end, looking out over their ash-covered fields, covered with dead livestock and fallen corn, that hasn't even started to rot even weeks after death -- because radiation has even killed the flies and bacteria that would start decomposition -- wondering how the hell they're even going to grow a crop to feed the survivors.
    • The British post-nuke TV-movie Threads was even more grim and hopeless, with the characters futilely toiling to survive under blackened skies, and ending with a.. birth scene.
      • Of a half-dead deformed baby whose very appearence caused the final shot of the whole flim to be its teenage mother screaming in horror. Yeah, that was a cheerful ending.
    • The War Game. 'nuff said.
  • The Rovers from The Prisoner. Imagine, if you will, a large, white, bouncing balloon, that constantly emits a low, quavering whistle, and which roars mouthlessly as it attacks, lunging at its target and pressing against his face. Imagine seeing the impression of said face from inside the Rover. Now imagine seeing this at night. As a child.
    • Add in the fact that the remains of anyone who is "captured" by Rover are never seen again...
      • In the first episode, "Arrival", Number 6 is captured by Rover but survives. Presumably most escaping prisoners are captured alive as well. As far as I know, the only character ever actually killed by Rover was Number Six's duplicate in "The Schizoid Man".
        • Additionally, a recurring theme in the Prisoner is that there are no constant characters at all (except for No. Six, the protagonist, and No. Two's midget butler, for some reason), so you rarely saw characters for more than one episode.
  • In Search Of... was a documentary series that had a combination of a spooky music score and Leonard Nimoy's narration of supposedly "real" paranormal ideas guaranteed to induce nightmares.
  • Jam. Just... no...
  • Life On Mars. In many ways, it is all about Nightmare Fuel (and supposedly Fetish Fuel) coming to life for Sam. I found the Test Card Girl bloody terrifying even before this show aired...
    • Even scarier: Season 2, episode 1. That bloody whistling.
    • And now series 3 of Ashes to Ashes has brought us the Body Horror that is PC Where's-the-rest-of-his-face. Crows cawing will never sound the same again.
    • It Got Worse. PC Where's-the-rest-of-his-face? He's a 20-something year old Gene Hunt who was killed after a week in the police force. In an attempt to stop a robbery on coronation day 1953, he was shot in the head with a shotgun and buried in a shallow grave, where he remained until his body was discovered by police in the present day.
    • What about Viv's death scene, when Jim Keates just holds him and watches him die in pain and terror. Terrifying enough before you find out the latter's true identity and purpose! It Got Worse Keats is either Satan or one of his minions come for the souls of the failed coppers.
  • Tales from the Darkside is usually pretty campy and low-budget, so the attempted scares generally fall flat. A few of them come off as genuinely spine-chilling, though-the Cutty Black Sow, for example, is a fairly simple, straightforward story where a boy tries to fulfill his grandmother's dying wish and perform a rite to keep away a Celtic demon, the Cutty Black Sow, which claims the souls of those who die on Halloween. The rite gets messed up when his little sister disrupts the stone circle, and he spends the rest of the episode being stalked by the Cutty Black Sow, which only appears as a pair of yellow eyes in the darkness outside the window. At the end of the episode, it seems that it's over-the boy's fears were nothing to worry about. His father comes into his dark room to comfort him, then goes to hug his son. What follows is pulled off about as well as it possibly could have been and the low-budget cheese suddenly becomes profoundly creepy.
    • Actually, despite the campy and low-budget feel now, at the time of the show's initial run, the episodes were pretty creepy for its time. In addition, the title and end cards didn't help matters much to your average child.
  • Law and Order: Another early episode, "Indifference," is so obviously inspired by the Lisa Steinberg case that it concludes with a long disclaimer both displayed and spoken about how the real case differed from the story just shown. It is easily the creepiest moment of the entire series considering they used the same title sequence narrator, reading white text on a pure black background to tell the audience that the horrific case and the depraved criminals involved have some basis in real life. The fact that such sickos exist to make their children living in virtual hell for all their short, terrified and miserable lives in North America behind respectable doors will shake your soul to the ground.
    • This was also a first season episode, which means you also got the Universal "Evil Globe" at the end. Have fun sleeping!
    • Also the scene where the mother is about to scald the other child for no reason while the detectives are pounding on and then breaking the door open to stop her.
    • Also when the detectives learn that the boy was returned to those murdering child abusers, you see them charge to the condo while the camera follows them with the show's ominious music score to stop whatever horrors are going on.
    • See also the episode "Bad Faith", which predates the Catholic Church sex scandal by over five years, yet manages to predict it down to the "shuffling parishes".
      • That's because it was probably based on a similar Canadian scandal that predated the US one.
  • Law and Order: Criminal Intent episode "Want". It was based on the Jeffrey Dahmer case, so that should tell you something. One of the victims survived, but suffered "permanent" damage to her speech and cognitive functioning. The doctor tells them the victim has a hole in her head, likely created by a common household drill. Not only that, but her spinal fluid was hypertonic (diluted), and she had slight scalding on her brain tissue.
    • Eames: He drilled a hole in her skull, and poured hot water on her brain.
    • Oh, yeah, the killer also ate part of one of his victim's calf muscles after cooking it with potatoes & onions. Now that's good eatin'!
    • Oh, and the killer himself? He just wanted some cuddling. He's usually much better with women, unless a raygun is involved... or mysterious meat pies.
  • The premise of the Law and Order Special Victims Unit episode "Hammered" isn't anything out of the ordinary: a man wakes up and finds a bludgeoned and raped woman in his apartment and no memory of it because he'd been drinking. The Nightmare Fuel comes later when ADA Paxton has the crime lab make up a videotape showing the sequence of events in the killing, complete with realistic blood spatter, bloody hammer, and the unblinking, psycho-faced head of their main suspect (Noel Crane photoshopped in. I cannot close my eyes anymore without seeing that tape.
    • The Mind Rape games that Elliot and Olivia go through at the hands of Merrit Rook. First, Rook tricks Olivia into submitting to him by telling her he's got a bomb and will detonate it if she doesn't obey him. Later, he tells Eliot that he's got Olivia and takes him to a houser that has two rooms separated by a wall and a window. In one of the rooms, we have a bound Olivia whom we can see through said window, and Rook says he's gonna torture her with electricity. To prove it, he closes the window and blocks it with a fold, then presses a button and we hear a female's scream. Which means, he is actually doing it. Then, he keeps pressuring, browbeating and trying to verbally bitchslap Elliot for some of the creepiest last moments of the whole franchise. Elliot doesn't break down, tho, and then Rook reveals that the screams were recorded and the newly-released Olivia is unharmed. While it's a relief, it doesn't take the fright from the "torture session" away.
      • Oh dear God. I remember watching that episode and never feeling more scared of Robin Williams in my life. I always thought that he was a funny comedian...and then that episode came along and changed my perception very quickly. Either he played that role to perfection or I don't want to know how he pulled it off,
    • The episode "Mean", where a teenage girl is found dead in a car trunk, throat slit and with dozens of little cuts all over her body, which the medical examiner informs us were made while she was still alive, arms and legs bound, with tiny nail scissors--the attacker(s) had apparently been stabbing her with the scissors then opening them in the victim's flesh. And it turns out that the attackers were the victim's close friends, also teenage girls. And you want to know what's really scary? The episode is based on the real-life murder of Shanda Sharer, which was actually far more brutal in many respects, notably that the victim was kept trapped alive in the car trunk for many hours after the murder; the murderers eventually burned her alive. So um yeah. Sweet dreams.
  • I recall being scared by a particular scene from the phantom of the opera episode of Big Bad Beetleborgs , the scene in particular is the one where there's someone playing the organ, someone sneaks up to take a closer look and touches the mysterious figure on the shoulder, when we get a look at the figure playing the organ we see that it's the phantom who turns around and cackles maniacally like Jack Nicholson's Joker.
  • There was an ad shown on The Gruen Transfer for a French Pay TV crime channel, which showed a puppet alligator walking through a forest, ripping to shreds every creature he encountered and leaving guts and eyes behind him (The point was that that would be how they would make a kid's show, should they ever want to.) I was squicked out so much it was awful. It was just... ugh.
    • I, on the other hand, couldn't stop laughing.
  • The Gravelings in Dead Like Me. An entire race of spiky, fanged gremlins whose sole purpose is to set up accidents which inevitably end in the random, senseless and usually gruesome death of some unwitting soul? Brrrr.
    • And how they're made. When someone is murdered that the reapers aren't responsible for, they become one. Because they weren't supposed to die, you get little balls of rage that want nothing but revenge against the living. And they're invisible and silent to almost everyone!
      • That particular graveling was unique and was created when reapers actually committed the murder. The regular gravelings were never explained and appear to just be agents of chaotic death with no particular hatred toward humanity... just amused by the "accidents" they make happen.
  • The description of the attic in Dollhouse. The victim is subjected to near-total sensory deprivation. Near-total, in that the victim feels near a thought at all times with all thoughts. And then, in the same episode, Dominic having the treatment for the attic applied to him.
    • It's debatable which is the more terrifying sequence: watching Dominic get wiped and sent to the Attic...or when they bring him back. In the wrong body. Causing the usually stoic character to freak the fuck out.
      • And if you thought that was scary, wait until we visit there in the appropriately-named episode "The Attic". It turns out the Attic is actually a supercomputer run on the adrenaline and nightmares of the people sent there, including a man eating sushi made FROM HIS OWN FLESH.
      • The very idea of the Dollhouse is terrifying, the technology exists that can wipe your mind away and turn you into a blank zombish slave never questioning ANYTHING, often being put in extremely dangerous situations that your imprint may or may not have prepared you for, you could easily die as a doll, which for some reason I find more creepy than dying know who you really are.
      • Oh and Alpha, psychotic rogue active who likes to kill people by surgically slicing them up in the most painful way possible, in eight seconds flat.
    • A Flash Back in Omega showed the start of Alpha's murderous rampage: him slashing at an active's face with pruning shears, him being pushed into the chair and twisting and crying out in pain as he is caught in the chairs "imprint field" (he's a lot further away from it than an active usually is, making you wonder how close you have to be to get caught in it), then he snarls at his handler "I understand hell now!" and crushes his eyeballs with his thumbs. Then an old man walks in, sees Alpha, screams, and everything goes black... all made worse because before all that Alpha was telling Echo she was special and litrally "watching his step".
      • Epitaph One. Welcome to the ulitmate Crapsack World. While walking down the street you can be wiped and/or imprinted, you can end up in any body, and you can be instantly wiped away, you can be programed to kill everybody who is not imprinted to kill everybody who is not imprinted. Not to mention whose killing everyone in the Dollhouse, because in such a world you cannot trust anybody is who they say they are. Rossum selling active's bodies to extrememly rich people so they can live forever, and Topher's ramblings, which seem at first completely nonsensical, until you realise he's just worked out that thanks to the technology he practically invented he could have made whole armies out of people answering their phones.
        • And then the whole second season gets creepier and creepier as we see events leading closer and closer to the world of Epitaph One.
    • Fiddling with the mind-wiping tech enables one to generate what is essentially an unending stream of agonizing, searing pain, as Bennett so gleefully demonstrates on Caroline. And worse, it leaves no marks and mind-wiping can eliminate the memory of it ever happening, so it is easy to cover up. Even worse than that, though, is Bennett's description of how it works, which mentions that she can prevent you from even passing out from the shock.
  • Night Visions, a horror anthology with two different stories each episode. Two chances to be scared. The one thing that terrified me the most was the one about a radio DJ who, for Halloween, lets listeners call in to tell a scary story on the air. The first caller's story is basically Gorn, so the DJ calls him "disgusting" and shuts him off. As the night goes on, he starts getting more calls, this time from a young woman who claims several things: people are in her house, there's blood in the carpet and she doesn't know how it got there, her roommate is missing...and then the next call has the woman screaming that she found her roommate's body in the closet. Shaken, the DJ disconnects her and plays some music, but the electricity starts acting up. The door bursts open later, revealing a large man with wide-open eyes, screaming in a woman's voice "YOU DIDN'T LISTEN TO MY STORYYY!" In the end we see a couple in their car, listening to the show, as the DJ tells a scary story of his own, about a killer. The DJ, however, has to sign off because it's getting late. The couple sighs that they wish they could hear the ending... And it is revealed the the intruder has imitated the DJ's voice, tied up the real DJ, and is going to kill him. Eventually. Even after that story is over, the host wraps up by staring at the audience and saying "For all you pains-in-the-asses out there, remember--you can only irritate so many people before you piss off the wrong one...."
    • Another episode stars Luke Perry. He plays a guy who cures people of mental instability by absorbing their afflictions into himself. Or something, the show was vague on that. His friend warns him that he's going to get hurt, but he thinks it's worth the sacrifice. Then he deals with a small boy who keeps staring at nothing and going "Now he's coming up the walk, now he's coming in the door, now he's coming up the stairs, now he's coming up the walk..." etc. Perry's character absorbs the boy's hurts, and the boy runs to his mother. Perry starts taking anti-psychotic meds when the boy goes "Now he's coming up the walk!" And...there's actually someone, unseen, coming up the walk. "Now he's coming in the door!" Someone comes in the front door. "Now he's coming up the stairs!" A heavy tread is heard on the steps. Cut back to the room, where the boy is holding his mother, and both are watching Perry staring at nothing, muttering "Now he's coming up the walk, now he's coming in the door..."
  • As ashamed as I am to say it, the only two shows to EVER give me nightmares, were from Nickelodeon. Yup, that kids network. More specifically, the shows The Adventures of Pete and Pete, and Are You Afraid of the Dark?. For Pete and Pete, there was an episode where the school's wrestling team was being cut down one by one in very ..... odd ways. The only two I can currently remember, it having been at least 12 years since the episode aired, were Death by Vibrating Bed and the Reverse Hand Drier, which sucked the wrestler up into the little foot and a half square box.
    • Great. And here I thought I'd put the trauma behind me. Thanks a freaking lot.
  • The season two episode of Rome which featured two exstensive torture scenes grossed me out beyond words. The worst part was the first victim's pleading, and his young age. There is also a season one episode where a man is tortured by ways of being flayed alive, though it mostly happens off-screen and only his screams of agony can be heard.
  • Wildlife documentaries can sometimes show you the more unsettling side of nature, but few have so affected me as much as this sequence from BBC documentary Planet Earth concerning ants infected by the parasitic Cordyceps fungus. The intimate macro view of these creatures' distress as the fungus spreading through their brains modifies their behaviour to suit its needs makes it seem far more personal than simply a bunch of minute insects, and that's even before the Body Horror kicks in as the fungus sprouts from the deceased ant's head, growing until it can release its spores across the colony below. And then, because that's simply not horrifying enough, they go ahead and show a montage of various other insect species' Cordyceps-sprouting corpses, the camera rotating slowly around each one to ensure that no detail is missed. David Attenborough's matter-of-fact narration over the whole thing does nothing to mitigate its effect.
    • And if that's not enough horror for you, this concept was used in The X-Files episode "Firewalker" which had as its premise "What if there was a Cordyceps fungus-like organism that targeted humans?
  • Alien Planet, a Discovery Channel Speculative Documentary based on Wayne Barlowe's Expedition. If you thought his artwork was scary, see the creatures in action.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000 seems to have one moment from the Soultaker episode that stands out in particular. The movie's screenwriter/protagonist babe decides she's going to take a bath. Her "mom" watches her strip down to her skivvies through a crack in the door. Not only is Mom's stare soul-piercingly horrifying, but it also so happens to be that she is really an eyeliner-and-trenchcoat-sporting Joe Estevez in disguise.
  • As maybe the only instance of something actually scary or creepy in Charmed, the demon Devlin (the only one to look nothing like a human) from the season 2 has a slightly transparent stomach with all of this victims screaming and moving inside... the thought that they are eaten, but still alive inside gives me the chills.
  • The skinwalkers and the lycanthropes in The Dresden Files. Skinwalkers are a Nightmare Fuel concept in and of themselves with a nice side of Paranoia Fuel, but it's one thing to read about them and another thing to see a graphic portrayal.
  • So Weird. Every other episode.
  • Flash Forward. Every person on the planet lost consciousness at the same time. Just thinking about the all the car accidents, let alone all the other accidents... millions of people dead, for sure. The only consolation this toper has is that, due to time differences, Australia, and therefore everyone he knows, would be relatively unaffected.
    • Not necessarily. Nothing would prevent a flashforward from taking place during daylight Down Under - as the one in the series finale did.
    • Despite the scene being played as a joke, I am now genuinely afraid of passing out and drowning in a urinal.
  • The horror in Poltergeist: The Legacy has an unfortunate tendancy to end up in Narm territory. But one episode featuring a cursed Cabbage Patch-like doll turning its head and telling a little girl not to talk in a demonic voice freaked this fairly immune-to-horror trooper out.
  • One opening teaser scene of Six Feet Under featured a first person perspective of a three week-old infant lying in a crib. As the adoring parents leave the baby to sleep, the camera (serving as the baby's perspective) looks up at the roof into a rather creepy black and white baby's mobile. As the camera blurs and zooms, the shot fades to white.

 DILLON MICHAEL COOPER

2001 - 2001

  • Realistic and disturbing, "That's My Dog" is an entire episode of a realistically terrifying carjacking. David picks up a "cute" hitchhiker who forces David at gunpoint to take out all his money at an ATM, beats and punches him, forces him to smoke crack, makes him suck the barrel of a gun, threatens to set him on fire after pouring gasoline on him, steals his van, and leaves him in the middle of nowhere, beaten half to death.
  • Recorded Live: a thing by S. S. Wilson was used as filler material on HBO in the late 70s and early 80s. In it, a man goes to a job interview at a film lab and finds something... horrifying... S. S. Wilson would later bring us the Tremors films.
  • On an episode of Myth Busters, the build team is testing the myth that in olden days, if you lost pressurization in one of your diving suits (The ones with the big, brass helmets and watertight latex-covered cloth) in deep water, the resulting water pressure would crush your body into the helmet. To test this, Tori wrapped a skeleton in meat, filled it's chest cavity with organs and fake blood, then the team put the thing in a suit. The myth was confirmed, when once the pressure was cut, the blood, flesh, and organs began to bubble up into the helmet with a freakish popping sound. By the time they dragged the suit up, it was flattened out, the helmet had buckled, and various gore had leaked its way out.
    • You can see it here.
  • Saturday Night Live presents: The Tizzle Wizzle Show! Jammies!
      • What's really scary about that sketch is that you don't see the pill-induced knife-fight coming. You think it's just going to be some silly sketch, but it turns dark real quick.
    • The Digital Short on the last episode of season 35 (Alec Baldwin with musical guest Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers) is not as scary as "The Tizzle Wizzle Show," but it does have some Nightmare Fuel that makes you wonder if SNL is trying to make people laugh or scare them to death (it's a little from column A and a little from column B in this case), like the Soundtrack Dissonance of light, cheery music playing over a pan shot of a trashed kitchen and living room, the convincing make-up job done to Andy Samberg to make him look like a coked-up freak (to go along with Samberg's acting), the sudden break in song when Samberg yells at the dancers not to touch him, how fast the song progresses (reminds me of being in a car with failing brakes), and how the whole thing turns out to be a vivid, drug-induced hallucination.
      • And the part on the Digital Short "Boombox" where everyone in the retirement home has sex with each other when Samberg and special guest star Julian Casablancas from The Strokes use the boombox to change the world though that's more Squick than High-Octane Nightmare Fuel. Maybe it's Squick-mare Fuel.
  • Rescue 911 That show can really scare you straight as they'll show the injuries with great detail. I will never look at hot water the same again after "Baby Bathtub Burn".
  • Hoarders, dear God Hoarders. Sure, I am a little messy, but to see how easily it can get to Collyer brothers-level clutter is horrifying. How it happens: Say you have a favorite toy, one that you can't throw out but its value is purely sentimental, or you grew up in a deprived/poor environment and you had to save clothes and other objects to extend their use. Now, imagine if that sentiment extended to everything in your house, including food; add that obsesive-compulsive feeling that if you ever do throw something out something bad will happen and you're stuck in a firetrap of your own making.
  • I love Monk, but "The Girl Who Cried Wolf" scared the crap out of me. The episode hinges on Sharona losing her mind, going from her losing her checkbook to having hallucinations of a man covered in blood with a knife in his chest and a screwdriver in the side of his head, telling her that her father (who is dead) is worried about her. Of course, it was really just a ploy by the villain, who had been hiding her things and having her boyfriend pretend to be the dead guy, so Sharona's evidence that she murdered her husband would be discredited, but I have had a long-time fear of hallucinations, and- Brr.
  • The Discovery Channel used to have a show called I Shouldnt Be Alive, which of course was Exactly What It Says on the Tin. People recounted real-life instances of being marooned in the wild and nearly dying, with actors reenacting the horror. Nearly being eaten alive (whether by crocodiles, sharks, hyenas, or driver ants), extreme sunburn, hypothermia, frostbite, dehydration, you name the Body Horror, this show had it. Making it worse were the Squicky x-ray views of how the above conditions were crippling the body from the inside and nearly killing the protagonists slowly.
    • The most horrific episode featured some friends stuck in a dinghy after their yacht sank in a storm. One of them got a huge gash on her leg, and the dinghy partially filled with water. Pus and blood from her wounds polluted the water, as well as the group's waste (they were being followed by sharks), so they all started becoming painfully infected, covered with bloody sores. They had no water, and eventually two of them started drinking seawater, which can turn you crazy. Sure enough, they soon started gibbering and howling like lunatics (with a warped Through the Eyes of Madness depiction), and eventually just walked off into the shark-infested water (one said he "just wanted to make a run to the 7-11"). Then the really injured one finally succumbed (one of the survivors said the night before, she started speaking in tongues), leaving just two left out of five. By the time they were finally rescued, the survivors were covered in horrible bleeding sores and scabs. They had drifted over a 100 miles out to sea, but for some reason had been reported arriving safe into port before the storm, so the Coast Guard was never alerted. Yergh. I don't know if I'll ever be talked into a sailing trip again...
    • Discovery Channel has a even more nightmare fuelish serie named Animal X, a cryptozoological documentary series. Just one episode is just enough to make it difficult to sleep at night afterward. Watch it here and enjoy.
  • Caprica has, in the pilot, Tamara Adama's resurrected Digital Avatar unable to feel her own heartbeat. That freaks the shit out of her, her father, and the audience.
    • Made worse when, after momentarily putting her out of sight and mind, the show revisits her character a few episodes later where we learn she's been trapped in the pitch-black virtual prison she was created in for days, causing her to doubt that it's all a dream. She seems to have mellowed, though it seems more out of exhaustion than out of acclimatation.
  • I, Claudius - Caligula. What he does to his sister Drusilla (cutting her open and eating her unborn child, all while assuring her that it won't hurt) is disturbing enough, but at least happens offscreen, and the audience doesn't see the result. His second cousin Gemullus, on the other hand... Gemullus has a weak chest, and won't stop coughing. Caligula finds this incredibly aggravating, and eventually sends him to his room in the middle of dinner, but insists later that evening, when Claudius comes to see him, that he can still hear him coughing. Midway through their conversation, he says that it has finally stopped, much to his relief. Shortly, they are interrupted by Macro... carrying Gemullus' severed head. Which is so mutliated that Claudius doesn't recognise it. And Gemullus is only twelve years old.
      • What makes the whole thing even worse is that Caligula REALLY WAS THAT BATSHIT INSANE.
  • Mystery Diagnosis: Imagine having one of the bizarre diseases that show up on House, only you've been suffering from it for decades.
  • Stephen Fry was one of the lucky people who got to visit and film in the Body Farm at the University of Tennessee. Not only did his tour guide remark that she can now guess what a person's skull looks like under their face (no, her name isn't Temperance or Angela), but according to Fry this is also the first time he's ever seen a dead body.
  • That Latin American priest wasn't the only one terrifed when Puddy on Seinfeld painted his face to "support the team" the New Jersey Devils and did this.
  • Spike TV's 1000 Ways to Die. The tone is darkly humerous but the fact that most of the deaths being reenacted did happen still makes most of the unusual and bizarre deaths horrific.
  • A few Stargate Atlantis episodes reach into this, mostly the ones dealing with Michael's experiments. And one episode dealing with replicators, in which Dr. Weir is infected with nanites that put her into a coma and then a perfect virtual reality simulation of an almost normal life, interspersed with various unsettling moments.
    • The iratus bug was probably designed for this.
    • How about Doppelganger? An episode where an evil alien entity invades people's dreams and turns them into nightmares of their worst fears, to the point of actually killing Kate Heightmyer by having her fall off a balcony and be impaled on one of the city's spires.
    • Talking of Stargate, the Gou'ald, evil alien parasites that possess your body preventing you from communicating and force you to do their will, and every moment you spend in excruciating agony, only known because of the few tines Gou'ald hosts managed to communicate and were obviously in distress.
    • Ida Replicators (or Milkway Replicators depending on your naming preference) can seem like a version of this, seen as they are a silent, all consuming pest.
    • The pest the Ori created, which when starved becomes a carnivore, was a blatant example of this.
  • I recently watched the Sonny With a Chance episode "Sonny With a Secret", and there were two things in it that I was really freaked out by. The first is when you discover Penelope's plot: to have Sonny light up the cheese cannon at her former high school with the bomb she was given by her, which could kill her. The second was when Chad, Nico, Zora and Grady are in the plane, and Penelope opens the door and escapes with both parachutes in hand, leaving the four on a plane with its hatch open in the darkness while wind is blowing outside.
  • Every single episode of A&E's I Survived. Every. Single. One.
  • The fourth season of The Wire took this concept to new heights with Snoop and Chris, Marlo Stanfield's enforcers. The duo go around wantonly executing rival drug dealers and hauling anyone who doesn't bow down to Marlo into a vacant house, where they murder them and leave their bodies in impromptu coffins. The worst example of this occurs the first time we see their process, as Snoop and Chris calmly discuss how they're going to preserve the dead body right in front of the victim they're about to execute. The worst part is the dealer's please ("Chris...please.") and his nonchalant response ("Don't fret, boss. I've got you covered. Quick and clean, I promise"), then Chris shooting him after he's just vomited all over the floor.
    • Marlo ordered one man murdered simply for "talking back". This man was a security guard at a convenient store that Marlo pilfered two dum-dums from. All the security guard asked for was a little respect. By the end of the fourth season, the cops have found 22 bodies in vacant houses, and who knows how many other bodies there might be.
  • Deadliest Warrior. Yes, this show doesn't seem scary, but some of the descriptions (e.g. the Viet Cong's shit-covered spikes and the Nazi's flamethrower having tar to stick to the victims) are regular Nightmare Fuel...but where it really gets scary is telling how Vlad the Impaler impaled his victims...well, I'll just let Dr. Armand Dorian explain: ""It's a 9-foot pole going through someone's rectum all the way out through their clavicle."

Eek.

    • Not on the show proper, but some extra scenes filmed for the show and posted online. For Saddam Hussein vs. Pol Pot, we get to see a demonstration of electric torture and acid bath on pig carcasses. And for Ivan the Terrible vs. Hernan Cortes, we get a demonstration of garroting and drawn and quartering.
  • In the HBO movie If These Walls Could Talk, Demi Moore's attempts to get an abortion in the pre-Roe vs. Wade 1950's. Two HONF moments were when she tries to induce an abortion using a knitting needle, and the ending after she has gotten an illegal abortion. She is on the phone trying to call an ambulance while she slowly loses consciousness and collapses into a pool of blood.
  • I remember an episode of Numb3rs that freaked me out, featuring a bombing attack at a car dealership. It wasn't a bad episode (and it even had a cameo appearance by none other than Bill Nywe the Science Guy!) by the unpleasant close up of the burned remains of a bombing victim... shudder
  • I was quite... unsettled by an episode of Millennium first season, where a female serial killer butchered the federal agent in charge of watching her (the buzzing of files on his corpse...) before kidnapping two boys and keeping them locked while broadcasting the same song over and over in their jail (Love is Blue). After ten years, this song is still an Ear Worm for me. And generally announces a very bad night.
  • Just pray and hope you'll never run afoul of an Artifact from Warehouse 13. Or a previous warehouse. You could be turned into a glass statue, prematurely aged to death, the victim of Spontaneous Combustion or mummified alive. And these are just some examples...
  • There's the speetle from Unnatural History. It has very acidic spit which it used to get out of a jam jar and a fridge.
  • Ok there was a show thats currently on cable from the 80s called monsters and one episode has a stretch armstrong finger that comes out of the drain and at the very end after the guy cuts off the finger a 4 fingered hand on a stretchy that comes out of the toilet... at first it doesnt seem like much but then when you start thinking about what that stretchy arm is attatched too....
  • Animal Planet's show The Haunted can get downright creepy at times, to the point where I can't watch it while I'm home alone at night. One of the creepier episodes involved a family of four moving into an old home that was a couple centuries old. When they moved in, there was a note welcoming the family into the home. Included in the note was something along the lines of "if you hear strange noises, that is just the essences of those who passed away welcoming you." These "essences" turned out to be a malignant entity, possibly a demon, that named itself after the deceased sister of the home's original owner. Once paranormal experts were called in, cue an entire twenty minutes of pure Oh Crap footage: growling, turning lights on and off, creating a suffocating atmosphere that nearly caused several people to pass out, and finally possessing one of the paranormal experts and driving him to tears before finally departing.
    • Animal Planet has another show that is possibly even scarier called Lost Tapes, which is about people being attacked by cryptids. All of them manage to be scary, but the episodes about vampires, the Jersy Devil and Wendigo really take the cake.
  • After years of just High Octane Nausea Fuel, Dirty Jobs finally entered this realm with a trip to a forensic entomology body farm. There they study how bodies decay and how maggots feed in a variety of conditions, such as being rolled up in a blanket, crammed into a trash barrel, or tossed in a dumpster. They used pig carcasses, but the Nausea Fuel was still through the roof. And the allusion is clear; that's how all too many human murder victims end up looking, and this is how they determine the time of death.
  • Misfits. A lot of the more distburning content isn't so bad, because it's lightened up by the humour - they managed to make a main character getting impaled on a pipe funny - but there are exceptions.
    • Lucy the shapeshifter using her powers. She looks like she is tearing her face off, at least the first few times, and it looks painful. (Similarly, Simon's power is apparently painful, according to his Twitter account - apparently he's 'getting used to it).
    • Tim, who thinks he is living in a computer game, calmly killing random pedestrians to 'earn points'.
    • The Milk Guy in the series two finale - He can still manipulate dairy products after you have eaten them. And he is very creative. You're immortal? Fine, he'll use the mozerella from the pizza you ate earlier to give you permanent brain damage. The last we see of Nathan, he's drooling.
  • Once upon a time in The Eighties, there was this Chilean Soap Opera named "Los titeres" (The puppets). It had a freaking CREEPY opening sequence, which terrified thousands of then-kids and is still very disturbing for Chileans in their thirties.
  • I know what you're thinking, Glee? Really? But the episode 'Furt', where we already know that Karofsky is gay and has feelings for Kurt, but the way he stands really close and does a glary/smile thing, along with winking. It looks a little perverse and the audience are left a little violated, along with Kurt.
  • This is Michael Clarke Duncan in a very dark room with a very angry voice giving a very scary... public service announcement.
    • "I don't care if you're rich or poor, young or old. I will come after you. I will hit you so hard, you won't know what dead is. You'll want to scream for help but you won't be able to. I'll cripple an arm or a leg, or maybe, just maybe, I will kill you. I am a stroke."
  • The episode of Spooks with the disaster simulation, where the characters are walled up together in their office becoming less and less certain that there hasn't actually been a major nerve-gas attack on central London; intellectually, one knows the writers aren't going to wipe out the entire country halfway through the season, but watching the characters start to go off the deep end, one by one, had me climbing the fucking walls.
  • Sparticus: Blood and Sand - Since it's about gladiators, of course we get some decapitations, dismemberings, slashed throats and whatnot. That's all par for the course. But when the writers decide they want to shock their hard-to-shock audience, they raise to the challenge.
    • The episode The Thing In The Pit features a gladiator who cuts of the faces of his victims (onscreen) and wears them as masks for the next match.
    • The episode Mark of The Brotherhood features a slave who does something that's very frowned upon, and so is emasculated (the results shown onscreen) and crucified as a punishment.
  • Victorious: "Tori Gets Stuck" might leave you rather uneasy, mostly for the fact that a toy car has been stuck in Robbie's intestine for nearly ten years. As well as the thought of it moving and ripping through that intestine. Plus, the bully that forced the car down Robbie was a girl. And the fact that Tori is forced to give THREE pints of blood (one is painful enough, mind you). In short, this was pretty crazy.
    • The horrifying video Jade played at the prom in "Prome Wrecker."
    • "Locked Up". Being forced to stay in a one-star hotel in a second-world country in the middle of a civil war (as in, there are bombs going off right outside their window, and criminals jumping into said window in a futile escape attempt) is scary enough, and so is being bitten by a deadly insect with the only medical care being the doctor's eleven-year-old son. But being arrested in a foreign country under dictator rule is more than just a horrifying thought; there are places in the world where you can be locked up on one person's orders with no possible escape clause. If Sikowitz didn't have a tendency to sneak out of rooms to avoid trouble, they might all still be there.
    • The earthquake in "Andre's Horrible Girl" can certainly count within childrens' show standards, especially when Hope Quincy gets knocked into a concussion by a falling symbol.
  • The Quantum Leap Halloween episode was just unsettling as all get out, but then we have Satan in the guise of Al trying to strangle Sam while the room whirls around them. Imagine your best friend trying to murder you...
  • In the episode 'The Moor' of The Borgias, the viewers are given the delightful image of a room full of rotting corpses, set up like the Last Supper. They've been there for decades, since he being fed a poisoned buffet. So, in addition to being horribly antisemitic, the Lord of Naples (the perpetrator) was downright terrifying.
  • The scence from Walking with Beasts where the Gastornis chick is eaten alive by a swarm of ants, how the chick struggles to hatch from it's egg as the ants swarm all over body and then the skeleton of the chick when the mother returns.
  • Seaquest DSV: Episode "Knight of Shadows". When Bridger and the command crew are watching a film of the passengers and crew of a long-sunken ship they just found at the bottom of the ocean. He stops the projector because of a sense of foreboding and after the meeting ends wnen everybody leaves the room, the image from the frozen, single frame TURNS AND LOOKS AT HIM - GLARING! The ghost inhabited the image on the wall and was threatening him. I was freaked out for days. In my thirties.
  • There is a season 8 episode of ER with Abby alone in her bathrobe, when she hears a knock on the door, and she hears from the intercom that it's the pizza she ordered. She buzzes him in, and then opens the door to find out that it was the wife-hitter whose wife she had just saved. He tries to find out where his wife is, Abby doesn't tell him and he then leaves after a threat to call the police. She hears another knock on the door, and she stupidly unlocks the door (but leaves the chain lock on) and, it's still the hitter and he somehow forces himself inside and punches Abby until she falls unconscious.
  • Smallville: Just about everything Brainiac does falls under this, but special mention goes to the way he Mind Rapes his victims: by extending his liquid metal fingers into their skulls. And then there's season 7, where he begins feeding on the trace metals in people's bodies to rebuild himself, leaving them comatose or dead in the process. Thanks a lot James Marsters.
  • Hoarders: There was a woman last night on the show whose daughter started talking about how, among other incredibly disturbing things, one day she took the top off the butter dish to find a dead, dehydrated squirrel where the butter should be. I will not be sleeping soundly for a while.
  • In the pilot of American Horror Story. We see Violet leading Leah into the basement with the promise of Cocaine. What happens instead is that she gets attacked by Tate and some sort of creature.
  • On Breaking Bad, the ultimate fate of Gus. Half of his face gets blown off, but we "get" to see him walk out of an exploded room before he suddenly drops dead. Possibly also an awesome moment.
  • The climax of the episode "Meat Puzzle" from NCIS. Ducky is Strapped to An Operating Table, gagged, and gets an IV needle inserted into his neck to make him bleed to death. The camera keeps cutting from Team Gibbs and their race against the clock to rescue Ducky to the sight of his blood flowing down a drain. Thankfully, they do save him in time, but one of the culprits decides that he can't handle going back to prison and slits his own throat while his mother screams in agonized horror.
  • The "alien abduction" scene in the 12th episode in Carl Sagan's Cosmos. If you're going to debunk something, it's not a good idea to present it as absolutely terrifying first.
  • The child abuse episode of Veronica Mars. The ending where Sherriff Lamb appears to hate it, but also can't do anything about it, almost seems realistic in the context of excessively conservative rich families.
  • The Human Machine. Oh man, more Nausa Fuel and Camera Screw than you can imagine mixed with enough Gorn to make Zorin's death look like a tickle fight. Seriously you got a model RIPPING THE SKIN OFF THEIR CHEST in the first ten minutes. This is an educational show.
  • [http:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0072937/ Encounters With the Unknown], a TV show from the 70s, wasn't really so bad until you get to part four. Here, Part 4.1, have a watch for yourself. Don't say you weren't warned.
  • Desperate Housewives: George, a pharmacist, lusted after Bree once she ended their affair together and became jealous of her husband Rex. So he tampered with Rex's prescription drugs by replacing his heart medication with placebos which led to Rex's death. He also beats up and attempts to kill other people who look like they are trying to come in between him and Bree. He also drugged Bree at one point and was seriously considering taking advantage of her. He eventually proposed to Bree and pressured her into marrying him. After the engagement he became increasingly possessive of her, and increasingly violent.
    • Everything about George including his death.
    • The riot against the ex-convicts home which Paul Young set up. Including having Susan trampled, Lee and Bob trapped in a car which is being beat up, Juanita, a child screaming in terror whilst in the car, and the good old fashioned clustrophobia of being pushed along by masses of people. For parents, there is also Juanita beng lost in the mob.
  • In Rizzoli and Isles we have the Ax Crazy sociopath Charles Hoyt. In particular, the way he preys on and tortures his victims, most notably Jane, is uncomfortably and disturbingly reminiscent of rape. He also threatens to rape Maura at one point. The guy is just so unsettling and unpredictable in his behavior, it's scary.
  • This episode of Punky Brewster called "Perils of Punky". Episode was completely out of left field.
  • During The Nineties their was a Spiritual Successor to In Search Of called Sightings. The first 2 seasons was spine tingling unnerving.
  • Unsolved Mysteries had VERY high doses of Nightmare Fuel. Even the true crime segments was bone chillingly creepy.
    • The faceless hitchhiking ghost.
    • Woman and son terrorized while on a canoe trip.
    • The case where a lady comes out of a convenience store and find a Polaroid picture of a young boy and teenage girl (believed to be missing teen Tara Calico) bound and gagged in the back of a van.
    • The Boston Shopping Mall Rapist
    • The haunted bunk bed segment. Yes they made a segment about a haunted bunk bed scary as HELL.
    • The Blind River rest stop murders
    • Allagash Abductions
    • The Dennis Depue case: Which some have accused the first half of the film Jeepers Creepers of partially ripping off.
    • The Tina Resch case where a teen girl was supposedly haunted by a Poltergeist, or suffering from psychokinesis. Tina herself would later go to prison for allegedly being responsible for the death of her three-year-old daughter.
    • Keith Warren's death. It was so obviously not a suicide, that it makes you wonder what was being covered up.
    • The Wacker case, where a seemingly innocent, nice elderly couple are harassed for years by someone who seems to know everything about them. Not to mention that Dorothy Wacker is physically assaulted twice in this segment, one time by someone that she didn't even see.
    • The voice of the Circleville Letter Writer
    • Then there's the composite sketches, and age progression pictures Brr...
    • Satan worshippers. That is all.
  • Boy Meets World season 6 had the appropriately-named "The Psychotic Episode". As if the main plot of Cory having nightmares in which he kills Shawn wasn't bad enough, the subplot with Eric's new roommate could be stretched out into a full horror movie! The man keeps the corpses of his mother, uncle, grandmother and pet parrot around and makes them talk! Plus, it's implied he killed all his other roommates.
  • Noseybonk from the BBC kids' tv show Jigsaw. There's been no official word on whether Jigsaw from the Saw franchise is based on Noseybonk, but they have more than a passing resemblance. Stuart Ashen plays on this creepiness in his own Noseybonk videos.
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