Horror for all the Family
First up we have the Goosebumps series, ask any kid that grew up in the 90s, this was the number one horror show for kids at the time. Based on R. L. Stine’s books of the same name, each episode told a different chilling tale that covered just about ever spooky subject you can imagine, werewolves, yetis, talking dummies, aliens and even evil garden gnomes, Goosebumps had it all. This is the perfect show to introduce the genre to the youth of today without scarring them for life. There’s even a movie that was released in 2015 starring Jack Black if you’re looking for something a little more up to date.
Are You Afraid of the Dark?
In the same fashion as Goosebumps, Are You Afraid of the Dark? was an anthology series originally running from 1992-96. The show revolved around a group of children named ‘The Midnight Society’ who would meet up at night around a camp fire to tell their horror stories; they were then shown as the episode. The show was inspired by The Twilight Zone and contains stories in the same vein, though with many based on stories that are now part of the public domain. For example the first episode, ‘The Tale of the Twisted Claw’ was based on The Monkey’s Paw a short story by W. W. Jacobs, first published in 1902. I remember this being a more hardcore version of Goosebumps; though bear in mind that is using a 7 year olds definition of the word.
The 90’s certainly were something of a golden age for children’s horror, another great show in the genre was Eerie, Indiana. Unlike the previous hits of the era mentioned here, this followed the same characters with an ongoing story. A young boy named Marshall Teller moves to the town of Eerie, most people there however are not normal. He makes a friend with one of the few regular people there and together they come across all sorts of strange goings on, things like dogs trying to rule the world, finding the real and still living Elvis and even getting stuck inside a mummy movie. The show stands out as a truly original series and is as eerie as the title suggests.
The Addams Family
What family horror show list would be complete without the original horror family themselves? The original show aired in 1964 and though it only ran for 2 years has become something of an icon for the genre. The show follows a family of particularly macabre people as they attempt to fit into modern society. The show is more of a comedy than a horror but anyone that appreciates the latter will certainly enjoy this. It was inspired by a series of cartoons printed in The New Yorker and has since gone on to spout many other versions from its roots, two movies in the early 90s, the first having the same name and the second called Addams Family Values, an animated series in 1992 and later a TV movie Addams Family Reunion in 98 which lead to another series, this time called The New Addams Family. So there’s plenty to choose from here.