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I am a huge horror movie buff (Hi!) and as someone who has grown up consuming horror movies and shows with my daily helping of milk, I can say that the Indian horror genre has seen a scintillating upward climb. From Ramsay Brothers’ gory productions to the hair-raising episodes of Aahat and Zee Horror Show, the way we perceive the supernatural has given us, over the years, a lot to be afraid of. But as much as we shiver at the sight of the proverbial bhoot, chudail and aatma, we cannot help but savour the excitement of those chilling moments. To that end, here are 8 absolutely stellar shows and movies that will forever inspire nightmares till the end of time.

1. Veerana (1988)

A chilling tale of voodoo, possession and seduction ending in a horrifying death, Veerana was groundbreaking and genuinely scary at the time of its release in 1988. And while the demonic Nakita and her Black Widow-esque murder spree hold little scares for the ones watching it now, there’s no denying that it goes down in history as an important milestone in the Indian horror genre.

2. Zee Horror Show (1993)


One of the most chilling opening scenes ever, Zee Horror Show stands as the original perpetrator of horror in the Indian television scene. Presenting a short anthology of nerve-wracking tales, each episode brought with it pure scares in the simplest sense of the word. And while the tropes they used then, might seem pretty harmless now, to the audiences of ’93, it was pretty heavy stuff. 

3. Raat (1992)

From Ram Gopal Verma’s canon comes a simple yet terrifying tale of possession, black magic and horror at it’s simplest best. An innocent family takes up residence in a home, completely unaware of the terror they’re about to be subjected to. If that doesn’t spell cult classic, then I am pretty sure hardcore horror fans remember Revathi’s shark-eyed stare and her chilling smile giving them nightmares for weeks to come. *shudders*

4. Aahat (1995)


Nope. Nope. Nope. I am not even going to begin describing just how terrifying the initial seasons of this show were. Aahat really pushed the envelope on coming up with unconventional stories but it is the simplicity of the horror that stayed on in all our memories. Also a chudail that hangs upside down from your ceiling to claw at your stomach while you sleep? Nope. Nope. Nope.

5. Woh (1998)


This stellar production with its simple storyline is the reason, we’ve developed a deep-seated fear of clowns since our wee days. The joker’s sinister laughter still rings in our memory, making our insides lurch with fear. A story of a clown’s spirit abducting children might seem creepy, but the actual show is credited to put the fear of God in people. 

6. Bhoot (2003)

Another gem from Ram Gopal Verma’s cinematic canon, Bhoot is a simple tale of betrayal, supernatural murders and fearful anticipation so deep that it will leave you slightly in shock. A couple moves into an apartment whose previous occupant had killed her own son and committed suicide. Pretty soon a gory chain of events commences that leaves us too shocked and scared to comprehend anything else. 

7. Achanak 37 Saal Baad (2002)


The small town of Gahota experiences extreme paranormal incidents and bloodshed every 37 years. Undertones of Devil worship, possession, black magic and the birth of an unholy spawn are just at the tip of this terrifying show. 

8. Gehraiyaan (2017)


After decades of horror tropes, chilling demons, terrifying spectres and blood-curdling visages of chudails, the horror we consume has finally arrived in its ultimate form, as an urban thriller digital show. Keeping up with the modern times, we can now gloss over the Internet or download a video on demand service to stream and enjoy such exciting new shows. One such digital show is Viu and Vikram Bhatt’s Gehraiyaan starring the loveable pair of Sanjeeda Sheikh and Vatsal Sheth on Viu. The mere trailer has me intrigued and after watching a couple of episodes, I can’t wait to watch more to know what happens at the end. Check out the show on Viu here.