And we're on day 3 of Halloween Week 2016. Today, I want to give books a little break and talk about TV. Some good old fashioned TV horror. Last year, I listed Ten Spookiest X-Files Episodes. So this year, I've come up with six scariest episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Enjoy!
1. Hush, season 4 episode 10
Often considered to be one of the scariest episodes on television ever, Hush brings grim fairy tales to life, with a touch of Tim Burton. When monsters known as the Gentlemen steal the voices from everyone in Sunnydale in order to do some organ harvesting, Buffy and the Scoobies have to find a way to save their town without uttering a single word.
Written and directed by Joss Whedon, it's one of the highlights of season 4. I don't think I'll ever be able to get the image of the Gentlemen out of my head. Then again, I don't want to. They're fantastic.
2. Helpless, season 3 episode 12
If Hush is a fairy tale, Helpless is a horror movie. The scene where Buffy and her mom are trapped in the cabin with a psychotic vampire is just disturbing. Actually, the whole episode is disturbing. This is where the Council puts Buffy through a "test" by taking away her powers and locking her in with an especially violent vampire. This is the episode were Buffy is betrayed not only by the Council but by Giles too.
3. Passion, season 2 episode 17
We went from fairy tales to horror and now to psychological thriller. This episode broke my heart. This is where Angelus for the first time shows what he is capable of. We finally see the sadistic and narcissistic vampire that Angel has been working so hard to suppress. When the end credits roll, I feel so bad for Angel, because there is no going back from this.
4. Killed by Death, season 2 episode 18
In this episode Buffy is rushed to the hospital with a fever. In her fever-induced dream she sees a monster in the hall. She writes it off as a hallucination at first, but when several kids from the pediatrics are being attacked by some unseen force, Buffy has to take action.
This episode is scary because a) the victims are children, and b) it's very dark and has a dreamy, nightmarish atmosphere.
5. Fear, itself, season 4 episode 4
In this Halloween episode, the gang goes to a frat party, only to find themselves trapped in a house that's filled with secret doors and booby traps, and where their biggest fears suddenly come true. I love the story, and I love the surreal setting. This is without a doubt one of the best "haunted house" stories I have seen on screen.
6. Restless, season 4 episode 22
The season 4 finalé is such a strange episode, even for Buffy. The Scoobies gather at Buffy's for a quiet movie night. Exhausted, they all fall asleep. What follows is a series of Salvador Dali- like dreams, filled with cryptic symbolism, that both reflect the past and foreshadow the future. All these dreams are somehow connected to Buffy, and there's a mysterious presence that is threatening to kill them in their sleep.
These were my picks.