These Horror Book Series Would Make Great TV Adaptations



Hollywood has fallen in love with two things in recent years: remakes and adaptations.


Television is flush with remakes of beloved classics. From sitcoms to dramas, a slew of programs are currently airing, with some getting a 21st-century reimaging that audiences have connected with.


There are also plenty of adaptations out there, beloved books that have spawned award-winning television fare, think Game of Thrones, and quirky romantic dramas with passionate fanbases like Virgin River.

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Horror shows, in general, are hard to come by on television, though Disney+ has seen much success with its Goosebumps series, which was recently renewed for a second season.


Based on the Goosebumps series by R.L. Stine, the supernatural horror series brought in longtime readers of the popular books and new viewers experiencing the lore for the first time.

Scared Teenagers on Goosebumps


Perhaps the most well-known and popular adaptation of all time, The Walking Dead, still reigns supreme some fourteen years after its premiere, with various spinoffs seeing success. Yes, we know it’s a comic and not a book series, but it always deserves a mention.


There’s a market for horror, and many already-established stories out there could successfully leap from page to screen.


Seeing the success of these shows got us wondering what other horror book series could flourish on the small screen, and a few stand out to us.


Check out our list and tell us in the comments what series you think should get the TV treatment.

Bloodied & Bruised - The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live Season 1


The Babysitter by R.L. Stine


R.L. Stine is kind of the king when you think about children’s and young adult horror authors.


And while Goosebumps may be his most famous work, he’s got a long list of novels to his credit and a few series that could translate well to television, though maybe none more than the Babysitter series.


Babysitter horror tales have been done over the years, especially on the big screen. Still, it would be rather interesting to see what a serial killer hellbent on terrorizing teenagers would look like in this day and age with cell phones, the internet, and social media to throw into the mix.


While the book series follows Jenny Jeffers and explores her plight while being harassed by a crazy killer and the aftermath, it may be interesting to follow a different babysitter in a new location every season.

In the Ambulance - The Walking Dead: Dead City Season 1 Episode 6


Everyone loves a good whodunnit, and there’s a lot of potential here.


Chain Letter by Christopher Pike


Can all the Christopher Pike fans please stand up?


Admittedly, I was the biggest Christopher Pike fan as a teenager, devouring the books in droves, and none was more compelling than Chain Letter.


The premise sounds an awful lot like I Know What You Did Last Summer, now that I think about it, with a group of friends being tormented with letters after engaging in a deadly crime they swore never to discuss.

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But instead of bringing this story and updating it to the times, it would be fun to see teens in the 80s receive actual chain letters and try to navigate ‘The Caretaker’ who stalks their every move.


Think Stranger Things, but less sci-fi and more slasher scares.


Today’s teens may not be super familiar with the fear that used to come with breaking a chain letter, but a great television thriller could really tap into that and deliver a tasty horror treat for young adults, just as the book did.


Final Friends by Christopher Pike


Didn’t I say I was a big Christopher Pike fan back in the day?

Cemetery Hang - The Vampire Diaries Season 1 Episode 1


The Final Friends series deals with a lot of heavy topics and centers around an apparent suicide at a teenage house party meant to merge two sets of students from different schools.


There’s a lot of material to work with, and it’s easy to envision an eight-episode streamer series that starts with the death at the party and works backward to figure out how everything got to that point.


The best part about the Final Friends series is the characters more than the mystery, and with the right cast bringing the diverse “friend” group to life, there’s a lot of potential for a compelling limited series.


The Zombie Uprising Series by M.A.Robbins


Zombie apocalypses have been done before, but what about a zombie apocalypse in the Arctic tundra?

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The series is about a young woman looking to reconnect with her estranged father and soon finding herself face-to-face with the undead, and it’s as action-packed as it is creepy.


There are a lot of zombie stories in existence, and what sets the book apart from many others could be the thing that sets a television series apart: its frozen landscape.


The beginning of the end of the world, starting in this somewhat isolated Arctic atmosphere, is riveting all on its own.


Clown in a Cornfield by Adam Cesare


With a name like that, it deserves to be seen on television.

Putting on His Game Face - The Vampire Diaries Season 1 Episode 1


The 2020 novel revolves around a high school student who moves from a big city to a small town and soon finds herself stuck in the crosshairs of the town’s mascot, Frendo the Clown.


While film rights for the novel have been optioned, a television series would be neat and unlike anything else on television. A killer clown that no one can catch?


Think “A” in the Pretty Little Liars series, but this time, it’s a very menacing clown targeting unsuspecting youths in a tiny little town where nothing ever goes wrong.


We’ve seen clowns on the big screen, but television also deserves that kind of horror!


The Shining by Stephen King

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What was I saying before about Hollywood’s adoration of remakes?


One of the biggest television shows currently airing is the Anne Rice classic Interview with the Vampire, which was also a pretty big motion picture when it premiered in 1994.


Why couldn’t The Shining have success with some tweaks to make it a little more television-friendly?


Yes, we know there was a 1980s miniseries, but we’re talking a complete series here with all the bells and whistles.

Upset Bill - True Blood


While the movie is a masterpiece in many people’s eyes, an updated series would allow many of the novel’s various plot points more time to breathe.


It gives me chills just thinking about how bloody fantastic that could be.


What horror have you read that you believe would make a great series?


Drop your thoughts in a comment below.

Whitney Evans is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. She is a lover of all things TV. Follow her on X.





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