american horror
Check out "American Horror Story," "Castle Rock" and "The Exorcist" on Hulu now. (Image via Hello Giggles)
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american horror
Check out "American Horror Story," "Castle Rock" and "The Exorcist" on Hulu now. (Image via Hello Giggles)

Hulu and tremble, anyone?

Hulu has a plethora of addicting shows to watch, ranging from comedy to horror fiction. If you’re into horror/crime shows, look no further than Hulu’s “Horror and Suspense” genre for your perfect fix.

Here are three of the most chilling and suspenseful horror series available to watch on Hulu right now with descriptions of their first few seasons and episodes based on the series’ length.

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1. American Horror Story

“American Horror Story” is, quite arguably, one of the most thrilling and chilling horror shows to ever hit the scene. Although the same actors return every season, each new set of episodes follows a new plot line, a dynamic that helps keep the show feeling both familiar and reinvented every few months.

First airing in 2011, the show’s pilot season, “Murder House,” caught the world by storm with its unparalleled twists and surprises. Out of the seven current seasons (with an eighth season premiering later this year), it is up to the viewer to decide which is their favorite. The first three seasons set the tone for the eerie plot twists and surprises that follow the cast as they venture through vastly different stories and time periods.

In Season 1, “Murder House,” viewers are introduced to the Harmons, a family of three, who have recently moved from Boston to Los Angeles to try to forget about their past family anguish. What the Harmons don’t know, at first, is that they’ve moved into a house that is haunted by demonic beings who love to kill and torture every family that moves there.

American horror season 1
Season 1 follows the story of a family moving into a haunted, demonic home. (Image via SciFi Now)

In Season 2, “Asylum,” a journalist named Lana Winters ventures into an eerie insane asylum called Briarcliff to investigate the arrival of a new patient dubbed “Bloody Face.” However, the overseeing nun, Sister Jude, who runs the asylum believes Lana is overstepping and snooping around to find something that could shut down Briarcliff.

Sister Jude finds Lana in the depths of the asylum and knocks her unconscious. When Lana awakens, she finds herself tied down to a bed and is told she has been admitted to Briarcliff because of her homosexuality. Through harrowing events and unspeakable determination, Lana makes it her sole effort to escape the asylum and expose it for the hell-house it really is.

Season 3, “Coven,” is primarily set at a secret school for witches in New Orleans. A young woman named Zoe Benson is sent to the special Louisiana school — run by headmistress Cordelia Foxx — after discovering that she possesses a dangerous supernatural ability. There, she joins other young women who possess the same qualities as her as they endeavor through spell-bound adventures.

2. Castle Rock

Although “Castle Rock” very recently made its debut on Hulu, airing on July 25, it is definitely one to watch. The psychological horror story takes place in Castle Rock, Maine, and is based off of several of acclaimed author Stephen King’s books, such as “The Dead Zone,” “Doctor Sleep” and “Revival.”

“Castle Rock” includes themes and worlds that unite many of King’s novels, including Shawshank Prison. An anonymous phone call received by death-row attorney Henry Deaver draws him back to his hometown of Castle Rock. He feels apprehensive upon arriving in the town, but believes it is his duty to speak with a sinister, mostly mute man being kept in a cage beneath Shawshank.

Only three episodes have aired so far, but within those three episodes viewers have been enchanted by the suspenseful plot line. The first episode of “Castle Rock” opens up with a classic King scenario: a frozen lake, cold atmosphere and an old car driving down a deserted road. Viewers learn that the man driving the car is a younger version of Castle Rock sheriff Alan Pangborn. Pangborn is searching for a boy, Henry Deaver, who has been presumably missing for 11 days. When Pangborn eventually finds Deaver, he is standing absolutely still in the middle of a frozen lake.

Bill Skarsgård stars in “Castle Rock,” playing a Shawshank prisoner. (Image via Vox)

The setting then fast-forwards to the year 2018, and viewers are introduced to the warden of Shawshank Prison, Dale Lacey. At first it seems like he’s going off to work, but then viewers discover that he is off to commit suicide by car. The staff at Shawshank have to pick up the pieces after Lacey’s sudden death and scour through a cell block that has been blocked off for most of Lacey’s time as prison warden.

Two of the guards find a vault in the floor and curiously climb down into it to see what might be hidden there. They find a young man locked up in a cage, silent and looking terrified and uncivilized. The guards assume that Lacey had kept the man hidden in the vault for countless years. The only words the caged man can utter are to call Henry Deaver, who is now a lawyer living in Texas.

3. The Exorcist

This series is only 10 episodes, but once it gets going it is truly a thrilling and suspenseful story. Angela Rance believes something is seriously wrong in her suburban Chicago home. Experiencing increasingly frightening nightmares, she is not the only one who is being effected by the oddities within the house — her husband Henry seems to slowly be losing his mind while their older daughter spends all of her time locked up in her room, and the younger one swears she constantly hears strange noises within the walls. Desperate for answers, Angela seeks out the aid of Father Thomas Ortega.

In the first episode, “Chapter One: And Let My Cry Come unto Thee,” viewers are introduced to Father Thomas, a Chicago priest who sermonizes at St. Anthony’s. When Father Thomas visits the house of Angela Rance, he tries to assure her that nothing demonic is going on within the household. He speaks to the oldest daughter, Kat, who convincingly explains to him that she is not possessed but that Angela has gone insane because Kat “liked” her friend’s Wiccan Facebook page.

the exorcist
The 10-episode series follows a retelling of “The Exorcist.” (Image via Vox)

Over dinner with the family, Father Thomas attempts to strike up a conversation with Henry, but to little avail. It seems as though the man is experiencing some type of cognitive impairment. However, in a moment of lucidity, Henry oddly explains to Father Thomas where to find St. Aquinas and another priest named Father Marcus. The moment is fleeting, though, and Henry quickly returns to his odd state of delirium.

While speaking to Angela, Father Thomas admits that he felt God was calling him to come to the aid of the family. Right at that moment, they hear a strange noise upstairs. In the attic, they find Casey, the younger daughter. She claims to have just killed a rat, and suggests that they put rat traps throughout the house.

As Father Thomas disposes of the rat’s body outside, he looks up to the attic to see Casey’s chilling smile looking down at him from the window. At that moment, an eerie version of “Tubular Bells” begins to play and Father Thomas realizes he is dealing with something less than human.

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Anastasia Cottone

St. Bonaventure University

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