Looks like Halloween is staying indoors this year. Probably for the best to avoid all the ghosts, monsters and mass murders on the loose. Oh wait, they’re just inside our screens. Or they should be.
After all, hello? It’s Halloween. Which means now is the time to watch all the fantasy and horror series there is. I mean, yeah you can watch them at any time of the year. However, watching them right now will make it more enjoyable.
There’s just something that about spooky season that makes the fantasy more fantastic. So, buckle up because I’m taking you through some of my favourites. Ones I wish I could have watched with pumpkin lights pinned on my wall and a bucket filled with sweets to munch on.
All while ignoring the insistent knocking on my front door. Sorry, kids!
1. Motherland: Fort Salem
Witches and war make for a truly magical combination. What makes it better? The sheer brilliance of feminism and one of the most intriguing LGBTQ relationships I’ve ever witnessed. BBC bagged the American thriller that stems from the Salem witch trials, so you know it’s going to be good. The series focuses on three very different witches drafted into frontlines of a brewing war.
After witches exposed themselves to the world 300 years ago they now serve as soldiers, but this isn’t just a series about war. Here lies the politics of magic, the looming threat of terrorism, and secrecy that will blow your mind. It’s the perfect addition to your spooky watchlist because we all love a splash of supernatural world-building.
In Fort Salem, you will find conspiracy and romance, but also the fight for survival that comes with being a witch in this age. Not to mention you’ll get a peek at some sexy warlocks too. Here, you’ll witness the history of the witches who negotiated their way out of being burned at the stake and it makes for a history-changing watch. Especially when it’s so nuanced in a way that makes you not want to take your eyes off the screen.
2. The Haunting of Bly Manor
The supernatural follow-up to Mike Flanagan’s ‘Hill House’ is a definite improvement. Not only is it a stylish show with incredible storytelling, but it’s captivating. This series has characters who are engaged throughout the show even when we don’t realise it. Not to mention fan favourite actors such as Kate Seigel and Carla Gugino make jaw-dropping appearances throughout.
However, no character is used as a filler, they all have roles to play that engage audiences. Every episode of the ghost-filled house reveals a fresh layer of mystery that is yet to be solved. Once you start watching, you won’t be able to stop. Not when you keep seeing ghosts in almost every shot or is that just your imagination playing you? Naturally, there are similar themes from the previous season.
We have the sometimes dire children and a collection of broken-hearted ghosts that take us back. You think you have it figured out in one, but the next will throw all your theories to the wind. There is nothing more spooky than ghosts and storytelling, which is why The Haunting of Bly Manor would make an amazing addition to your Halloween binge-fest.
There’s no rest for the wicked. Or that’s at least what the devilish Lucifer Morningstar of hit series Lucifer (Tom Ellis) would vow. We’re not quite talking about the bible’s bad boy but instead a charismatic nightclub owner created by Neil Gaiman. Who speaks a different kind of gospel for viewers.
I love this series because it’s sexy and action-packed; a devil who ran away from home to party on earth? Yes, please. Living it up in the City of Angels, Lucifer lives a life of freedom in Los Angeles. That is, until he witnesses a murder of a woman he once made one of his charming dealings with. His anger and desire for justice kicks in so unfolds his journey of working alongside iron-willed detective Chloe Decker (Lauren German).
However, if these characters aren’t enough to entice you then enter the demonic Mazikeen; spawned from hell itself. Lucifer’s best friend keeps him on the bent and sinful with her wicked taste for blades and hunting humans. We get to the fun stuff throughout the series: does god really control all? Can a demon have a soul? And is immortality really worth living for? All that with some good piano tunes too. The combination of the devil, a kick-ass demon sidekick, and crime make for an amazing Halloween watch.
4. Deadly Class
What’s high school if it’s not normalising murder? Deadly Class has some slasher themes that make for an incredible watch. This series was adapted from Rick Remender’s comic books and was produced by the Russo brothers. Set in the eighties, we experience a different kind of teenage experience. One that rules getting caught as a “cardinal sin” which is how you know it’s going to be exciting.
In ‘Deadly Class’ we watch on the edge of our seats as a homeless teenager is taken off the streets and enrolled in the King’s Dominion High School for the Deadly Arts. A school that is segregated by different gangs; from the Dixie white nationalists to the jocks who are actually children of KGB operatives.
I love that this series has a place for misfits and the kids who are genuinely headed towards a bad place. For once, it’s the villains who are being given the screen, and I love to see it. There’s no better time to get down with the bad than now. So, if you want an action-packed series with lots of blood and entitled teenagers given sharp weapons, add this to your Halloween watchlist.
Murderous mermaids and an ocean filled with secrets? Check that off the list. What makes a mermaid has been redefined by this hit series. Disney has nothing on these sea creatures, who war for authority and tear through anything that gets in their way. The series makes a home in the fictional town of Bristol Cove, where they are famed for their mythical history of mermaids.
However, they are very real and have sharp teeth. Following the story of Ryn (Eline Powell), who is trying to adapt to life on land while ensuring the survival of her people. Siren has thriller themes throughout, but it’s not all gore and fins with spear-like spikes sticking out the bottom. There’s also romance in the form of marine biologists Ben (Alex Roe) and Maddie (Fola Evans-Akingbola), who engage in a relationship with the deadly creature.
Which is why Siren is a must-see to make the chill of Autumn more engaging! Here we see how mermaids survive in the waters plagued by other colonies, and the deadly impact their songs can have on the human mind. Want to be scared straight of beaches? Give this a go.
6. The Witcher
Netflix’s highly praised fantasy drama needed a shout out. After all, the eight-part series makes consumes everyone with Geralt of Rivia’s golden gaze. Here we watch the monster hunter pave his path towards a fate he will never weave himself out of.
The storytelling in The Witcher is incredible, with a timeline sprawled out that we need to keep a sharp eye on, lest we get lost in the action. Trust me, there is plenty of action. When we’re not following Geralt, the ambitious Yennifer who is making her journey towards being a powerful sorceress at a great cost. You know the series is going to be good when it opens with a beast being slain, a warning for watchers that it only gets wilder from there. The series was adapted from the well-known video games that have since gained even more recognition.
However, the series doesn’t just focus on these two iconic characters. Isn’t the saying that it comes in three? Our final focus is on Princess Cirilla. Young royal blood who is fleeing from the army who slaughtered her family. However, she is not as innocent as her sweet face might suggest. As there’s a power that rests in her that is more destructive than what we’ve seen before. So, do you want to watch a stoic but stunning monster hunter making his way towards these women? Of course, you do. Which is why this The Witcher belongs on your spooky series watchlist, so go grab your remote and get to it.
Featured image credit: Cnbc.com
Deputy Editor of Brig Newspaper. Fourth year journalism and English student at the University of Stirling. Lover of covering social issues and creator of 'The Talk' column for everyone who needs to hear it.