TV shows can bring out a lot of emotions in their viewers. Episodes can make you cry tears of sorrow or joy, make you laugh, and make chills travel down your spine. Some of the most chilling TV episodes of all time will scare the living daylights out of you, yet keep you thinking about them long after the end credits roll. These episodes of television throughout the years touch on interesting — and sometimes tough or taboo — topics in incredibly effective ways.
Episodes like these prove that TV is so much more than just simple entertainment. The following episodes contain violence, incest, natural evils, supernatural evils, social media evils, and so much more. Because these days, chills and thrills don't just come from monsters and ghouls — they can come from socially conscious issues as well. For instance, the next season of Ryan Murphy's anthology series American Horror Story will focus on the 2016 presidential election, which many considered to be a tough and turbulent period of time for both Republicans and Democrats to experience. So the inspiration for chilling subjects and episodes can literally come from anything these days.
Get a little (or a lot) scared with the following chilling TV episodes (presented in no particular order) that you'll never be able to forget, even if you try.
1The 'ER' Episode "Be Still My Heart"
When this episode aired in 2000, viewers were genuinely shocked at the final scene in which Dr. John Carter (played by Noah Wyle) gets attacked by a mystery assailant in an exam room.
2'The X-Files' Episode "Home"
This unforgettable 1993 episode of the sci-fi series dealt with the mystery of a deceased deformed baby's origins — and how exactly the child connects to the mysterious Peacock brothers. The conclusion was so harrowing that the episode was banned from ever being re-aired on Fox, according to Uproxx.
3The 'Doctor Who' Episode "Blink"
This chilling episode of the British sci-fi series will make you scared to blink your eyes. It also introduces the scary Weeping Angels to the long-running TV series.
4The 'Twin Peaks' Episode "Lonely Souls"
This 1990 episode finally answered the one question on every TV viewers mind: who killed Laura Palmer?
5The 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer' Episode "Hush"
This silent episode of the hit '90s TV series shows that Sunnydale High School is an even spookier place without its witty dialogue.
6'The Twilight Zone' Episode "The Hitchhiker"
In the classic TV anthology series, "The Hitchhiker" shows a woman driving across country and she encounters the same hitchhiker along the way. She thinks that she's being stalked, but the real truth is way more chilling than that.
7The 'Black Mirror' Episode "Nosedive"
In a world driven by people rating each other, Lacie (Bryce Dallas Howard) gets the opportunity to boost her own rating by being the maid of honor at her popular childhood friend's wedding. But her journey to the wedding shows the dark side of the rating system — and serves as a chilling satire on our own social media-driven society.
8The 'Grey's Anatomy' Episode "As We Know It"
The conclusion to the series' big 2006 post-Super Bowl episode ends with one of the most surprising and saddest deaths in Grey's Anatomy history. Series creator Shonda Rhimes even told Entertainment Weekly last month that it was a hard moment for her, too.
9The 'Are You Afraid Of The Dark?' Episode "The Tale Of Laughing In The Dark"
This tale about Zeebo the Clown is downright chilling, even if you do enjoy clowns. Zeebo's fate was no laughing matter.
10'The Twilight Zone' Episode "Long-Distance Call"
In this episode, a young boy receives a toy telephone from his deceased grandmother and continues to speak to her through it, even after her death. But the conversations take a dark turn when grandma wants company in the afterlife.
11The 'American Horror Story: Murder House' Episode "Afterbirth"
There's still something really special and creepy about the very first season of American Horror Story, in which a haunted house wrecks havoc on a Los Angeles family. In the Season 1 finale, the Harmon family sees a new family moving into their former house and the haunted now become the haunters.
So cue up these episodes if you're looking for a good scare or two, but just be warned — you won't be able to forget them.