Spooky TV shows with a team element
November 26, 2020 12:12 PM   Subscribe

What are some serial TV shows/miniseries which are genuinely scary/in the horror genre, and which follow an established or official team of people investigating a series of scary supernatural occurrences? Not looking for sci fi (a la X-FILES, DARK) or a cop show devoted to investigating one supernatural-tinged crime (a la TWIN PEAKS.) And no anthologies, please - just serials. Thanks!
posted by egeanin to Media & Arts (19 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Scooby Doo, Where Are You?
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 12:34 PM on November 26, 2020 [4 favorites]

Penny Dreadful?
posted by I claim sanctuary at 12:55 PM on November 26, 2020 [7 favorites]

Truth Seekers seems to fit most of your bill.
posted by justkevin at 1:16 PM on November 26, 2020 [7 favorites]

Hmm, how big does a group need to be a team? Because I really liked the TV series "The Exorcist" (2 seasons), in which each season has one central possession situation that the exorcists try to solve.

But the team starts out as one rebellious exorcist (Marcus) and one by-the-book exorcist (Bennett, who's more of the headquarters guy), and ends up being Marcus and a new exorcist (Tomas), with Bennett somewhere else dealing with problems within the organization.

So in a sense, the team is only ever two people at once, with Bennett a kind of head-office third.
posted by theatro at 1:44 PM on November 26, 2020 [1 favorite]

I can't think of a lot of team based shows that fit the bill for you. The 70's (and the late 60's and early 80's) were very much the golden age of this type of thing. There's Kolchak of course, Shadow Chasers (albeit more comedy oriented), there's the 2 pilot movies featuring Louis Jordan for a never released series Fear No Evil and Ritual of Evil, the TV series with Gary Collins - The Sixth Sense, one off TV pilot with Martin Landau The Ghost of Sierra de Cobre. British series from the 70s - Ace of Wands (though its more camp then spooky) or maybe Omega Factor which has some X-files similarities. More contemporary there's Afterlife, Mayday perhaps, Apparitions, Demons, Requiem maybe? How about haunted house shows?
posted by Ashwagandha at 1:57 PM on November 26, 2020 [4 favorites]

Sapphire and Steel is vintage spooky, starring Joanna Lumley.

Also recommend Truth Seekers, genuinely unsettling in parts.
posted by freya_lamb at 2:07 PM on November 26, 2020 [1 favorite]

I'd say the recent Swamp Thing TV series, but it's less of a team and more Abby and Alec eventually working together. Abby has allies, but that's about as far as I'd go. It's far from a perfect show (see the FanFare discussion about it), but it definitely has the horror elements. There is a supernatural thread running under the mad-science triggers for the situation (to be vague with regards to plot spoilers).
posted by sardonyx at 2:15 PM on November 26, 2020 [1 favorite]

Not every case in Lucifer is about supernatural occurrences. OTOH, every case includes Lucifer, so there you go.
posted by SPrintF at 2:26 PM on November 26, 2020 [2 favorites]

The first season of Evil was pretty fun, and exactly what you describe. Fingers crossed for a second season.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 2:36 PM on November 26, 2020 [7 favorites]

Maybe Torchwood is just enough spooky?
posted by freethefeet at 2:54 PM on November 26, 2020

Not really spooky, but comedy about spooky: Los Espookys
posted by Crankatator at 3:11 PM on November 26, 2020 [4 favorites]

The Poltergeist tv series kind of fits the bill and the season that I've seen wasn't bad.
posted by rjs at 10:37 PM on November 26, 2020


Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
posted by edithkeeler at 2:52 AM on November 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

Saw this question and immediately thought of the late-eighties syndicated series Friday the 13th, not to be confused with the hockey-masked serial killer movie franchise.

Basically a male/female duo of blandly good-looking researchers are employed by the owner of a mysterious antique store tracking down and neutralizing cursed “artifacts” that have supernatural powers and are being used for ill effect (or causing harm to people who interact with them etc). Definitely B-movie horror tropes, sometimes minor irony / moralizing, but the tone is not heavy-handed and the banter is generally on the comic side as best as I can remember.

I could’ve sworn that there were two versions of the series, with the same premise but different casts, but all I find online is the one referenced above. Haven’t done too much searching though.
posted by sesquipedalia at 10:34 AM on November 27, 2020 [2 favorites]

Warehouse 13. (To some extent. )
posted by rjs at 3:25 PM on November 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

I also thought of Poltergeist: The Legacy, along with the Friday the 13th Series referenced above (and there was just the one version of the latter, but there was some cast turnover in the late seasons--I stayed up way too late many nights as a child watching it).
posted by Pryde at 6:59 PM on November 27, 2020

Is Doctor Who too far in the sci-fi realm? I get that Torchwood, as noted by freethefeet, is a little more in line with what you are asking for. But some episodes of Who are downright terrifying for me. Some of them are ridiculous and won't be anywhere near what you are asking for, for sure. A couple episodes that might entertain you: Blink, The Unquiet Dead, The Girl in the Fireplace, and The Unicorn and the Wasp. In my opinion, these episodes tend more towards creepy and less towards the usual robot villains. It's been a while, but I think, too, that you don't need to be steeped in the plot to need to understand why there are different people playing the titular character (The Doctor) or the companions in these specific episodes.

Also Buffy.

Also Truth Seekers.
posted by Snowishberlin at 12:24 PM on November 28, 2020

I don't find much in the TV realm genuinely scary, so I have to guess a little on that part. I'll put in a second vote for CBS's Evil, which does succeed in at least being suspenseful and creepy.

I'll also throw Wynonna Earp into the ring. Adorable team of buds investigates supernatural baddies, including revenants, murder trees, face-stealing widows, vampires, and confusing crab puffball parasites. Overall story arcs combined with stories of the week. Not very scary but always fun and off the wall.

Hannibal was pretty horrifying and super-dark but not supernatural. The team element suffers because well...Hannibal does his thing.
posted by See you tomorrow, saguaro at 9:35 AM on November 29, 2020

Oh! Helstrom is trying to be to be horror, with supernatural investigations. It's actually just so bad and boring, but I have a few friends who enjoyed it?
posted by See you tomorrow, saguaro at 9:38 AM on November 29, 2020

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