8 Truly Scary Kids' Shows That Were (And Still Are)

Animated and live-action kids shows have some pretty scary moments, and here are eight TV shows that were filled with horror, whether on purpose or not.

Despite kids and family programming's reputation for being bland, eight kids' TV shows were creepy when they first aired. Whether the gruesome images were intentional or not, the shows have traumatized generations of children, many of whom were exposed to real horror for the first time. While these eight shows span different generations, genres, and mediums, they all have something in common that's downright scary.

While many children are too young to watch the most popular horror movies, some TV shows can be just as scary as horror movies. Shows like Invader Zimand and The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy used popular horror tropes, while others only played unintentional horror. However, these eight children's shows are the scariest, from least to scariest.

8 The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack

Cartoon Network's classic animated show The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack is known for its surreal humor, quirky storylines, and gritty character designs. However, Flapjack's adventures do have some real nightmare fuel, especially in the episode "Who Let the Cat Out of Old Bag's House?" This episode features a realistic close-up of a cat Hollow eye sockets and sharp teeth, the image is imprinted in the minds of the audience. Overall, the show is full of creepy sea monsters, disturbing characters, grotesque visuals, and disturbing plot points, like Dr. Barber's lifeless Candy Wife.

7 Adventure Time

The expansive universe of Cartoon Network's Adventure Time and its various spinoffs has created a rather legendary world, and the series features some terrifying characters. The series' main villain, the Lich, is a horned demon with skeletal arms and a face covered in carrion, a stark contrast to Adventure Time's light-hearted, candy-themed visuals. Adventure Time also features episodes revolving around demons, zombies, vampires, and more, all designed to instill fear in the series' young audience.

However, characters and monsters are not the scariest things in Adventure Time. As the series continued, it was revealed that Adventure Time's Land of Ooo was actually a post-apocalyptic wasteland, with the show set long after nuclear bombs destroyed Earth. This nuclear war episode adds a level of survival horror to an Adventure Time story, with the harrowing tale of the Ice King and the remains of Earth before the Mushroom Wars a constant reminder viewers of the dire effects of nuclear conflict. Episode VIII hinted at a post-apocalyptic setting for the first time, meaning it was part of Adventure Time from the start.

6 Gravity Falls

Gravity Falls is known for testing the limits of what the Disney Channel allows, which means the mystery show gets away with some truly horrific visuals. Gravity Falls features possessions, shapeshifters, zombies, and an extended scene where the skulls of dead animals speak while bleeding from their mouths. Gravity Falls' main villain, Bill Cipher, is actually an interdimensional demon who demonstrates his powers by turning a person's face from the inside out, a frightening and unexpected scene. While Gravity Falls only has two seasons, it packs a lot of horror over its 40 episodes.

5 Are You Afraid Of The Dark

Nickelodeon's live-action anthology series Are You Afraid of the Dark? is the first series on this list that falls into the horror genre, and it really nails it. Each episode features a group of kids known as the Midnight Society telling a scary story around a campfire, and some of the episodes are absolute nightmares. The show's iconic "The Tale of "The Ghastly Grimer" is the most famous horror episode of "Are You Afraid of the Dark", but the series also contains a large number of other horror episodes such as "Stories From Midnight Madness", "The Dollmaker's Tale", "The Tale"

4 Over The Garden Wall

Beyond the Garden Walls is an animated cartoon network horror miniseries that is still a horror flick to this day.This surreal drama features Elijah Wood, Christopher Lloyd and other well-known actors, famous performances The hosts used their vocal performances to lure the audience in. The show was very atmospheric, but things like the giant scarecrow, Potsfield, and Lorna being possessed still managed to elicit some serious scares. Even the normal folks on the show , such as Aunt Whisper and the Woodsman are undoubtedly creepy and look like they might be more dangerous than the actual creatures in the forest.

The scariest part of Beyond the Garden Walls, though, is its main villain. Known as The Beast, the The disturbing monster r remained in the shadows for most of the series, haunting the two main characters. The beast's lantern shone ominously, making the creature even more disturbing. However, the beast was eventually revealed to Based on a mythical creature known as the Wendigo, it's absolutely creepy in plain sight. The creature has hollow, glowing eyes, antlers, spindly arms, and a gaping black mouth. The creepiest part, though, is that the Beast is covered with elongated, scarred faces reminiscent of the horrors of Junji Ito.

3 Goosebumps

and "Are You Afraid of the Dark?" Some episodes are scarier than others, but the ones that are horrific are absolutely haunting. "Say Cheese and Die," "Be Careful What You Wish For," and "Night of the Living Dummy II" are all incredibly scary. However, Goosebump's "Haunted Mask" has become so iconic for its horror that even viewers who haven't seen the series know it. This goosebumps horror story has become a classic, and it's ironic that it's the first episode of the series.

2 Courage The Cowardly Dog

Courage the Cowardly Dog is easily the Cartoon Network's scariest show because of its creative use of its scares. The series is littered with various animation styles that really accentuate its horror, making the creatures of the show stand out even more. The clay girl in Bravery, the floating head in The House of Discontent, and the blue nightmare creature in Perfection are great examples of this. However, Cowardly Dog's most famous scare is the CGI scarecrow from "The Curse of King Ramses," which is still seared into the minds of children who saw it.

1 The Animals Of Farthing Wood

While other shows try to scare viewers, The Animals of Farthingwood tops the list as the scariest children's show of all time because it doesn't try to be scary. This 1993 British cartoon tried to be a family-friendly show about a group of animals, but it quickly turned into a bloody, violent parade of dead creatures. Animals were run over by trucks, impaled on brambles and shot at point-blank range with shotguns. That's pretty intense for a kids show. The scariest part, however, is that the TV show is nowhere near as scary as the book series it's based on.

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