Netflix’s Stranger Things has been one of the streaming giant’s biggest successes ever since its premiere in 2016. Each season has managed to surpass the last with amazing horror, romance, and drama plotlines, and all of the characters have become beloved by mainstream audiences.
With Halloween drawing closer and more spooky content being released, here are some similar television shows with paranormal and mystery elements to keep fans of Stranger Things well catered to, especially since the fourth season has already been heavily binged, and a fifth season isn’t being released soon.
1. I Am Not Okay With This
If you’re a fan of awkward, super-powered teenage girls who don’t know how to handle their powers, I Am Not Okay With This will be right up your alley. The show follows a girl named Sydney who, while dealing with the death of her father and navigating her sexuality, suddenly develops telekinetic abilities. Fans of Eleven will definitely take a liking to Sydney and the dark elements of the show will keep viewers hooked until the end.
People who enjoy Stranger Things for the mysterious thriller elements will love Dark. Set in a small German town, the story of Dark spans several generations and starts when two children go missing. In the search for the missing children, four families uncover the dark past of their town as well as the secrets that lie between them. A small town with a dark past is exactly what people who love Hawkins will be interested in, but while Stranger Things has some lighter, comedic moments, Dark is all psychological thriller, from beginning to end.
3. The OA
The OA follows a blind young woman named Prairie Johnson who reappears seven years after she went missing. Now able to see, and calling herself The OA, she assembles a group of five people to reveal her secrets to, thus kickstarting the paranormal plot of the show. Just like Eleven, The OA has the government agencies trying to understand what she has become, but she has her own agenda, and in some way, Prairie feels like an older version of Eleven and the suspense of this show is laid on thick from the very first episode.
4. The Society
In this modern rendition of Lord of the Flies, a group of high school students leave town for a camping trip, only to return and find out that all the adults have disappeared. The town becomes surrounded by an impenetrable forest, forcing the teens to figure out how to survive in isolation. What starts as a fun, adult-free adventure takes a dark turn, as the group realize they have to develop systems and hierarchies to survive.
5. Locke & Key
Locke & Key leans more heavily on the fantastical and magical than Stranger Things does, but it has enough suspense to keep fans of the latter interested. The Netflix show follows three siblings who move into their father’s ancestral home after he is murdered. They find out that the house is filled with magical keys that unlock doors leading to magical dimensions and revealing secret powers. As they investigate the estate and the keys, they find that such powers may attract dangerous people, and uncover truths about their pasts.
6. Twin Peaks
Twin Peaks is a classic television show from the 90s. Set in the fictional titular town in Washington, the show follows the investigation of the mysterious death of the town’s homecoming queen. As the investigation proceeds, secrets are revealed in a blend of detective, horror, and supernatural genres that makes the show one of the best paranormal releases of its time. A third season was made in 2017, 26 years after the cancellation of the original series..
When eight people scattered all across the world suddenly find themselves able to access each other’s thoughts and actions, they have to investigate where their strange powers have come from, all while handling their own hectic lives. If that wasn’t frustrating enough, they come to discover that other mental links exist for other groups of people, and there is a secret organization that has been hunting down people like them. Sense8 may have some more mature and explicit themes and imagery than Stranger Things, but the mystery of their powers and fight against an evil organization rings similar. Already hailed as a cult classic, the series is one of Netflix’s most loved series, and fans continue to clamor for its renewal, several years after its unexpected cancellation in 2018.
8. The Haunting of Hill House
This time-jumping thriller was another Netflix success and is perfect for Stranger Things fans to get into. The series is centered on Hugh and Olivia Crain, a pair of house flippers who unknowingly move with their children into a haunted house. The show skips between the past and present, with the past showing the Crain family’s experience in Hill House and the present showing the estranged state they are now in after the youngest Crain sibling dies.
9. The Leftovers
The Leftovers deals with a more subtle type of haunting menace than Stranger Things‘ Demogorgon and the Upside Down, but it is still a thrilling show worth watching. When 2% of the world’s population suddenly disappears in what is called ‘The Sudden Departure’, the people left behind are struggling to piece their lives back together and try to make some sense of what happened. The show deals with heavy themes like grief and loss while balancing a supernatural plot.
10. American Horror Story: 1984
The American Horror Story anthology series has consistently delivered chilling seasons of campy, horror television. For fans of Stranger Things, the ninth season will surely be a hit. Set in a summer camp called Camp Redwood, the season follows a group of teenage camp counselors as they uncover the secrets of the camp while facing off against a killer and an evil curse. The 80s aesthetics and references will make any Stranger Things fan feel right at home, even though 1984 is more of a slasher than a mystery thriller.