'American Horror Story'
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4. "Twin Peaks"
Years: 1990 - 1991
Why it was scary: David Lynch has always had a fascination with the way communities show one face to the public and another face behind closed doors, and he was definitely drawing on the same fears of placid suburbia in "Peaks" that drove "Blue Velvet." The difference was the way he grafted the lunacy of soap operas onto something so genuinely dark and horrible, while adding a healthy dollop of comedy to make it all feel unique. He and Mark Frost built a fascinating playground for their characters, even if they didn't always seem completely sure what to do with it. Even so, when they went dark, they went darker than network television had ever seen before and even now, over 20 years later, there are images that still seem fresh and horrifying, and the ending of the series lingers as one of the grimmest things I've ever seen.
Scariest moment: The first appearance of Bob, the unsettling drifter spirit, and the full-bore meltdown it causes in Sarah Palmer (Grace Zabriskie), mother to the murdered Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee), has got to be one of the happiest accidents in the history of television, and no one does better at making you feel like you're having an actual nightmare than Lynch.