FX

12 Shows Bringing Evil Children Back To TV

The kids are not all right

If you’re a TV fan currently in the market to have a kid, you might want to rethink that decision. There have always been creepy kids in movies, like the twins from The Shining, Gage Creed from Pet Sematary, and the killer kid squad from both Sinister movies, but over the past few years, there’s been a huge resurgence of evil kid characters on television.

Back in the day, The Twilight Zone, The X-Files,, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, and Goosebumps all had their fair share of horror kid plotlines, but lately, it seems the trend is returning. The most recent example is Channel Zero: Candle Cove, the anthology series based on Creepypasta stories, which just wrapped its Season 1 finale — complete with a horde of evil kids.

Grab your flashlight and dash under the covers as you check out these 12 spooky shows.

  1. Allen Fraser/Syfy

    These kids were seemingly possessed by the fictional TV puppet series Candle Cove, which convinced them to kill people via giant hooks, knives, and pushing victims off of cliffs. You can’t tell from the pic, but those kids were murdering a police officer while Jawbone from Candle Cove watched. Oh! And there was a child-size monster made entirely out of kids’ teeth who loved to lurk around.

  2. The CW / Katie Yu /The CW

    Last season, we watched The Darkness, a.k.a. Amara, grow up before our very eyes, and the child Amara (Gracyn Shinyei, right) was especially creepy, sucking souls out of people with no remorse. Plus, how could anyone forget evil demon child Lilith (Sierra McCormick, left) who gave the Winchester brothers such hell in Seasons 3 and 4?!

  3. Supernatural, Part II
    The CW

    There’s no way I’m making this list and leaving off the Changelings from “The Kids Are Alright.” This early SPN episode introduced us to Dean’s (Jensen Ackeles) mini-me, Ben (Nicholas Elia). Changelings were monsters who looked like children, but were anything but. They fed on humans and only showed their true form in reflections. Dean had to help save Ben and the other neighborhood kids from the vicious monsters.

  4. A&E

    Though Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore) is a teenager, not a kid, he is still a freaky almost-adult and we can’t ignore him. The Psycho prequel series follows budding taxidermist and murderer Norman, who suffers from multiple personality disorder and develops a psychotic break.

  5. Freeform

    Evil girl Max (Isabel Myers) was the freaky “twin” girl on one of the Halloween episodes of PLL, before jumping ship and heading to the short-lived spin-off series, Ravenswood. Max pretended to be all sweet and innocent, but was definitely nothing of the sort.

  6. Chris Helcermanas-Benge/CBS via Getty Images

    This whodunit miniseries from 2009 involved a seriously drama-fueled family, which included Madison Allen (Cassandra Sawtell). This kid loved scaring her family with a severed finger magic trick, talking about a “new friend” who told her people died on the island, and saying freaky stuff you don’t expect to come out of your typical 9-year-old’s mouth. Girl, bye.

  7. Ben Mark Holzberg/CBS via Getty Images

    Another whodunit miniseries, this more recent show featured sociopathic Jack Hawthorne (Gabriel Bateman), who was obsessed with death from a “scientific” perspective. This kid chopped off the tail of a cat while it was still alive, stole his neighbor’s teeth and stuffed them in his puppet’s mouth, and watched his young cousin almost drown after tricking her into jumping into the pool.

  8. Niko Tavernise

    Gabriel Bateman played another freaky kid on the horror show based on the comic book series by writer Robert Kirkman and artist Paul Azaceta. His character, Joshua Austin, was possessed by a demon, eating cockroaches and his own fingers, bashing his head against the wall, and attacking and biting people. As one does.

  9. This canceled-too-soon series revolved around children murdering their family and causing havoc because some invisible entity known as “Drill” encouraged them to do so to win a game. Minx Lawrence (Kylie Rogers) was definitely the evilest child on the show, and had the kids and adults afraid of her. Seriously, just look at her “Bitch, don’t mess with me” face.

  10. Victor from the French version (left) and the American one (right) rarely spoke, hovering in the background when people least expected him. He caused an entire bus to drive off a cliff, and bodies coincidentally began piling up around him.

  11. John P. Johnson/HBO

    Remember when Anthony Hopkins wanted to hang out with his younger self and dog, but his younger (robotic) self confessed to killing the dog because Arnold told him to do so? This kid had soulless eyes and hardly blinked — not unlike Hopkins’s Hannibal Lecter character from The Silence of the Lambs. Unnerving.

  12. Doug Hyun/FX

    Did you really think this list wouldn’t include AHS? The opening scene of the entire series was of young Addy (Katelyn Reed) telling twin boys, “You are gonna die in there,” so the show clearly started off with a bang. Since then, we had Lady Gaga’s entourage of Aryan vampire children on Hotel, as well as a vampire brigade of 12-year-olds who relentlessly murdered people. Even Roanoke had its fair share of freaky children, including the Grudge-like Chen siblings and ghost child Priscilla.