Now I know what you're thinking: We covered the best horror film themes, but what about the great horror television themes? Well, worry not, because this list will mention eight of the best television themes. That doesn't mean there aren't other great TV horror songs out there, but these are some of the top "ghosts."
Television is still catching up to the powerhouse that the horror film genre is, but there have been some great theme songs introduced on the small screen. Bear in mind that not every television theme is considered to be from a "horror" show, but the following are just creepy enough to justify the inclusion. The way I see it, anything that might be on your Halloween party playlist every year is eligible.
8. 'The Addams Family'
Composer: Vic Mizzy
This is definitely on the lighter side of the spectrum and is easily more fun than anything else, but you can't exclude The Addams Family. One of the first "spooky" TV families in America, the theme to accompany them has been a favorite on everyone's Halloween party playlist for decades.
7. 'Are You Afraid of the Dark?'
Composer: Jeff Zahn
Are You Afraid of the Dark? originally aired on Nickelodeon's "late night" block, Snick. It was for a good reason, because this show was downright scary for little kids. Along with the spooky ghost stores in each episode, this intro and theme song was enough to creep you out all on its own.
Composer: Jack Lenz
Although this is more of a fun "horror" theme, it is still a good one. Along with the great intro, the theme for Goosebumps was always enough to creep you out — even if it was only when you were a kid.
5. 'The Walking Dead'
Composer: Bear McCreary
Although I wouldn't say the theme on its own is scary, it lends a sense of isolation and nervous energy that is a big part of The Walking Dead. Without being setup in the intro, you wouldn't have that uneasy feeling to start your night with.
4. 'American Horror Story'
Composer: Charlie Clouser & Cesar Davila-Irizarry
Even though the intro and theme for American Horror Story has changed each season, that doesn't make it any less creepy. It features dark tones and a subtle melody that makes it chilling enough when it sticks in your head for a couple of days.
3. 'Tales from the Crypt'
Composer: Danny Elfman
The Crypt Keeper was always scary enough, right? Along with the creepy skeleton, the theme is instantly recognizable as belonging to Tales Ffom the Crypt and gives you a definite chill up the spine.
2. 'The Twilight Zone'
Composer: Bernard Herrmann
The Twilight Zone theme is iconic all on its own, and for good reason. It's suspenseful, catchy, and it has a quality that you associate with the weird mysteries of the show. It's meant to creep you out to an extent and it does its job well.
1. 'The X-Files'
Composer: Mark Snow
The theme for The X-Files is almost like its own character. The out-of-this-world show had this theme accompanying it for the whole ride, and ever since its debut we've associated it with the creepy, the unknown, and the mysterious.
'The Simpsons': Treehouse of Horror
Composer: Danny Elfman
You can't have Halloween television without The Simpsons. Although the Treehouse of Horror specials have become more silly than actually trying to be scary, you still have to admit it's a great twist on the classic theme song. I also remember being creeped out by it as a kid.