PopHorror’s Favorite Historical Costumes In Contemporary Horror TV Series


The genre of TV horror has become more popular than ever, with production value levels as high as some movies. With that in mind, the costumes have become better than ever before! Let’s take a look at some of the best, including a few I hope you might not have thought of yet.

Penny Dreadful (2014-2016)

“Explorer Sir Malcolm Murray, American gunslinger Ethan Chandler, scientist Victor Frankenstein, and medium Vanessa Ives unite to combat supernatural threats in Victorian London.” Truly one of the most complex and visually stunning shows out there. This show manages to weave characters from many different canons into one fascinating storyline that always keeps you interested. And the costumes are amazing!






Game of Thrones (2011-2019)

“Nine noble families fight for control over the mythical lands of Westeros, while an ancient enemy returns after being dormant for thousands of years.” It may have started with a bang and ended with a thud, but as far as costumes go, Game of Thrones will always reign supreme. From the frozen north of Winterfell and beyond to the burning sands of Dorne, the costumes were always impeccable.





Salem (2014-2017)

“Set in the volatile world of 17th century Massachusetts, this show explores what really fueled the town’s infamous witch trials and dares to uncover the dark, supernatural truth hiding behind the veil of this infamous period in American history.” This is, hands down, the only show that can give Game of Thrones a run for its money in the costumes department. My goodness! The costume department on the set of Salem knows how to make a corset and dress. The witches on this show wield not only power over men, but are also dressed to perfection, too.






The Strain (2014-2017)

“A mysterious viral outbreak with hallmarks of an ancient and evil strain of vampirism ravages the city of New York.” The Strain is an amazing show that takes the vampire genre to a whole new level — by treating it like a virus and removing the romance. And it’s utterly brilliant. But they did keep enough of the typical costume trappings to make it cool to look at, even as the terror spreads.




Sleepy Hollow (2013-2017)

“Ichabod Crane is resurrected and pulled two and a half centuries through time to unravel a mystery that dates all the way back to the founding fathers.” This is a fun and surprising reboot of a classic story that actually works. The introduction of Ichabod’s wife, Katrina, brings even more costumes to the show — along with more drama!





American Horror Story franchise (2011-present)

“An anthology series centering on different characters and locations, including a house with a murderous past, an insane asylum, a witch coven, a freak show, a haunted hotel, a possessed farmhouse, a cult, the apocalypse and a slasher summer camp.” Whatever season we are talking about here, American Horror Story is always gorgeous to look at. Many of the seasons, especially Coven, Hotel, and Apocalypse, feature costumes to die for.

Image result for american horror story jessica lange




Masters of Horror franchise (2005-2007)

“Anchor Bay has amassed some of the greatest horror film writers and directors to bring to you the anthology series, Masters of Horror. For the first time, the foremost names in the horror film genre have joined forces for the series consisting of thirteen one-hour films each season.” One of the best anthologies of all time, this series features great directors such as Tobe Hooper, Dario Argento, John McNaughton, Lucky McKee, Mich Garris, Peter Medak, and Takashi Miike.






The Alienist (2018)

“Newspaper illustrator John Moore meets with criminal psychologist (alienist) Dr. Laszlo Kreizler to investigate a serial killer in New York during the late 19th century.” Based on one of my favorite books of all time, this show had a lot to live up to — and it did a fine job. It captured the gritty feel of New York through the perfectly chosen and styled wardrobe choices. Sara Howard (Dakota Fanning) looked especially smart and self-assured as a woman trying to make it in a man’s world.





What We Do in the Shadows (2018-present)

“A look into the daily (or rather, nightly) lives of three vampires, who’ve lived together for over 100 years, on Staten Island.” This hysterical TV show was spawned off of a movie of the same name, but has taken on a glorious life of it’s own. The three (or four, depending on your point of view) vampires bumble through the modern world, but never lose their stylish attire.





Dracula (2013-2014)

“Dracula travels to London, with dark plans for revenge against those who ruined his life centuries earlier. However, his plan is complicated when he falls in love with a woman who seems to be a reincarnation of his dead wife.” This is a criminally under-seen version of the Dracula story. This beautifully shot and acted version featured the ever talented and alluring Jonathan Rhys Meyers as the title character. The costumes were especially exquisite.






Taboo (2017-present)

“Adventurer James Keziah Delaney (Tom Hardy) returns to London during the War of 1812 to rebuild his late father’s shipping empire. However, both the government and his biggest competitor want his inheritance at any cost – even murder.” Dark and grim is the look of this show, with everything but the lens of the camera covered in grime. But the long, dark clothes set the mood for a delicious thriller, and if clothes do indeed make the man, then what a dark and dangerous man he is.





Are there any shows with great costumes that you think we missed? Let us know in the comments below!

About Christine Burnham

When not writing, Christine Burnham is watching TV, Horror films, reading, cooking, and spending time with her menagerie of animals.

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