TV shows most likely to give you nightmares revealed

Taryn Davies
Published: May 25, 2015

Horror films rarely excite audiences these days, but that doesn’t mean Hollywood doesn’t try – but maybe horror fans should be looking to TV shows to give them thrills and scares.

A new study has revealed the TV shows most likely to give you nightmares, and it’s not what you’d expect really, with Crimewatch coming out on top.

The reconstruction show, which ironically has the catchphrase ‘don’t have nightmares’, has been named the TV show most likely to give you nightmares.

Sleeping with the lights on

The research revealed that 61% struggle to sleep if they've watched something scary before their head hit the pillow scary before heading to bed – maybe they need to break it up with some of these comedy shows.

Following Crime Watch at number one was Most Haunted, The Walking Dead and then American Horror Story.

TV news reports came in at number eight, and when you consider some of the terrible things happening in the world, it's not at all surprising.

People have been left so scared by what they've seen, they've even slept with the lights on.

scared watching TV

Would you ever sleep with the light on because you're too scared?

Why does it give you nightmares?

Sally Hotchin, Brand manager at Slumberdown, who commissioned the research, said it's the fact that they're real life why watching shows like Crimewatch leaves her feeling scared and likely to affect her sleep. They're not just made-up stories but they actually happened.

Changing the channel is something that nearly half of us are willing to do in order to avoid nightmares, and some will even choose to watch something a little more light-hearted afterwards before they go to sleep.

Scary films

When it comes to the films that scare us, 1973 horror The Exorcist came out on top, followed by The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Paranormal Activity.

See the infographic below for the full list of TV shows and films most likely to give us nightmares.

Scary TV and film shows