There has been a peculiar and enduring fascination with the allure of ghastly-looking monsters on TV that has held viewers hostage since the medium’s inception.
These grotesque creatures have stalked our screens, both big and small, leaving a lasting impression deep in the viewers’ minds and annals of popular culture.
In this article, we delve into the fascinating world of the most memorable and haunting monsters ever to grace the television screen, dissecting their features and appearances that make them so disturbing.
From the old timers like Game of Thrones’ The Night King to the latest attractions (are they though?) like The Hyde from Wednesday and Vecna from Stranger Things, you better hope these monsters don’t appear in your dreams. Check out the list, and sweet dreams!
The Hyde from Wednesday
There are a lot of odd characters on Wednesday, but for all their weirdness, none is as scary as The Hyde. It is hard to classify its general appearance because it has more animal features than human ones.
Being bipedal, for the most part, is what is most humane about it. The hair resembles that of an offspring from a wolf and a hyena.
The most horrendous thing about it is its face, which features humongous bulging eyes like those of a tarsier, a tiny nose, and a vast mouth that opens to reveal a row of sharp, oddly spaced fangs.
Its first complete transformation from cute Tyler to that thing was one of the scariest monster transformations on TV ever.
Smiley from FROM
The monsters on FROM are some of the weirdest, but Smiley stood out because of his persona.
While most of his behaviors, like the slow, measured steps and the neutral mocking voice, are similar to other monsters, the smile is the most unnerving.
Smiley features a wide, generous smile that, when someone sees him draw closer, they know their time has ended.
The smile evaporates to expose rows of sharp teeth that rip the skin of its victim.
Vecna from Stranger Things
Vecna is as important to the show as the characters.
He has a humanoid shape with elongated limbs that look stretched from all sides. It stands tall and can grow extensive body parts out of nowhere.
His skin looks like it was stopped mid-decay, making it look disgusting.
The Night King from Game of Thrones
There are many horrors in Game of Thrones, but the White Walkers easily take the lead.
Vaguely resembling humans, The Night King also resemble a frozen skeleton. These skeletons were frozen with skin intact, giving them a pale appearance.
Many people are suckers for blue-eyed individuals, but the blue in The Night King is not attractive at all. He has very sharp features that look like they would kill someone in one swing. His glassy appearance completes the look but coupled with his sharp features, he is like a walking weapon.
Behind his blue eyes is nothing but an emptiness that draws the viewer in if they stare too long.
The Angel from Midnight Mass
The corruption of the image of what an angel is supposed to look like is not the worst thing about The Angel.
Also embodying a humanoid form, The Angel has a confusing appearance where he looks like a failed experiment from a mad scientist.
He has pale, wrinkly skin that resembles that of a newborn rabbit before the fur grows. He has broad wings resembling the classic wings of an angel, but they are also scary to look at.
The only common thing they have with angelic wings is that they can fly. Without any feathers, the wings look like stretched skin from its body.
The Butts from Doom Patrol
Doom Patrol might be funny and The Butts can chorus a good song, but don’t let that fool you.
Resembling literal human buttocks, one can be fooled by their appearance.
But once those cheeks open, they reveal a deep cavity with rows of many teeth.
The Butts are a complete entity with thoughts and personalities. They have limbs that help them move around, which can be amusing until they put those teeth to use.
Pennywise from IT
There is much to say about Pennywise, but let’s stick to his appearance, which is initially innocent enough.
He looks like a clown, but behind the colors and the flair, he can turn to look quite different.
Pennywise is quite scary when he grins, and that mouth stretches beyond what’s possible, but the true horror lies in when he opens his mouth wide enough to reveal the teeth it houses.
He is tame in comparison to the appearance of several of these monsters, but that’s the idea. He is almost inviting in appearance until he gets his prey where he wants them.
Pinhead from Hellraiser
Everyone has an idea of what a human head is supposed to look like, but Pinhead whether from the original film or Hulu corrupts that image.
Completely shaven and lacking distinct facial features, Pinhead looks like something that would haunt a child in their nightmare.
But there’s more. They derive the name from having pins protruding from every surface of their pale, hairless head in an unsettling pattern. It looks like someone took the time to do that in a precise manner, because someone did.
To complete the look, their face features an emotionless appearance. They can torture you and fail to show any emotions concerning how you are feeling.
The Death Angels from A Quiet Place
After The Office, John Krasinski went to protect his family from otherwordly creatures. While these creatures borrow a lot of features from others we have looked at before, they have something extra that makes them scary-looking in their own right.
Being bipedal and standing uprightish, they have a humanoid form, a recurring theme. Every part of their body is a perversion of the human form, from their variegated skin to two more protrusions that resemble arms.
They are tall and somehow wide, which gives them an overbearing and domineering appearance.
To complete the horrendous appearance is the massive head without distinct human-like features. The cavity on the head opens to reveal rows of sharp teeth they use to devour their prey. The scariest thing about them is their “ears,” which detect the faintest sound, and when they charge toward their prey, their appearance is enhanced.
Leprechaun from the Leprechaun Movies
The Leprechaun is one of a kind. His ability to use his cunningness while being absolutely ruthless is one of his scariest attributes, but his appearance completes the package.
Short in stature, it is easy for someone to dismiss him with his little shoes and green hat.
But upon close inspection, his tough-looking skin with a beard and sparse hair is a telltale sign. He has a regular-looking mouth, but what it houses is irregular. The Leprechaun has small, discolored protrusions that resemble teeth.
And if you injure him, red is not what you’ll see because he oozes a green substance.
The Hillbillies from the Wrong Turn Movies
Before American Horror Story scared with deformed humans, The Hillbillies of Wrong Turn did it and they still should send cold shivers down your spine.
They resemble humans but with severe deformities from generations of inbreeding.
The Hillbillies are rabid, often showing no emotions from the atrocities they commit.
With their disfigured bodies and faces, their feral behavior makes them scary when someone glances at them.
They are also cannibals who prefer feeding on their victims while alive.
Over to you. What did you think of our selection?
Are there some we left out that you think should be on this list?
What do they have in their appearance that merits being on this list? Let’s hear your thoughts.
Denis Kimathi is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. He has watched more dramas and comedies than he cares to remember. Catch him on social media obsessing over [excellent] past, current, and upcoming shows or going off about the politics of representation on TV. Follow him on X.