October — it’s the scariest month of the year. It’s the month of ghosts, witches, and all sorts of creepy things that go bump in the night.
To celebrate the spookiest season of them all, we’ve curated an episode watchlist of some underrated and scary Star Trek episodes. Some of these episodes are on a more family-friendly scare level, while others may make you want to sleep with the lights on.
These episodes run the gamut from giant unseen creatures to as horrifying an animated, comedy program can get.
Read on and watch these episodes at night… if you dare!
Star Trek: The Original Series – “The Galileo Seven”
As far as underrated gems, first that comes to mind is the monster mayhem that is TOS' “The Galileo Seven." When a shuttle crash-lands on a planet inhabited by giants, Spock must find a way to save his fellow crew until they can be rescued. We never see the creatures who attack, but that leaves plenty for our mind to imagine as they begin to pick off the survivors one by one. While not the scariest episode on the list, it’s the perfect Star Trek survival thriller.
Star Trek: The Next Generation – “Night Terrors”
What happens when a crew can’t sleep? This chilling episode puts the TNG crew to the test. Unable to move the ship and falling prey to hallucinations, the Enterprise-D is on the verge of falling apart. It’s up to Data – who doesn’t need sleep – and Troi – who’s been plagued by strange dreams – to save both ship and crew from becoming lost. Filled with creepy imagery, the episode’s unsettling premise is undeniably nightmare fuel.
Star Trek: The Next Generation – “Schisms”
The idea of aliens abducting and experimenting on humans is one that has haunted many horror stories. Similarly, the idea of the vulnerability of sleep being used against us has served as the backdrop for many others. In this TNG thriller, the crew of the Enterprise-D discovers that someone has been abducting them as they sleep, leading to the death of one crew member. Riker is tasked with saving another missing crew member while determining what is happening. Despite its scares, this episode opens with one of the most heartwarming scenes in all TNG — Data’s poem, “Ode to Spot.”
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – “The Assignment”
Possession is a common trope in horror. In this case, a Pah-wraith (the Star Trek universe’s answer to demons) possesses Keiko O’Brien. They use her as a hostage to force her husband Miles to craft a beam that could kill the Bajoran Prophets, who live in the wormhole near the station. Unable to tell anyone due to threats against Keiko’s life, Miles is desperate to find a way to save his family. If you’re looking for a tense episode balanced out by excellent performances, you can’t go wrong with this one.
Star Trek: Voyager – “The Haunting of Deck Twelve”
It wouldn’t be Halloween without a good ghost story. Neelix regales the Borg children onboard the ship with a story of an entity that haunted Deck Twelve after Voyager disrupted its home. The entity is less of a malevolent spirit and more of a lost creature who simply wants to find a new place to live; though, its methods of expressing those feelings are not particularly helpful. Don’t worry, Neelix claims he made the story up to calm the children down, but the ending throws that into question. Was Deck Twelve “haunted” after all?
Star Trek: Enterprise – “Regeneration”
The Borg are one of Star Trek’s scariest villains. The idea of being assimilated into a new form and losing what makes you you is a terrifying concept that has haunted many writers and readers. In the Borg’s only appearance in Star Trek: Enterprise, the crew is tasked with rescuing kidnapped researchers, only to find out that their captors are far more villainous than anticipated. This sets up a chain of events that will ultimately lead the Borg to the Alpha Quadrant… and their nemesis, Captain Picard.
Star Trek: Lower Decks – “Much Ado About Boimler”
Horror does pair well with comedy! In this episode, the B-plot sees Boimler, now transparent and out of phase thanks to a transporter error, being sent to a medical station for a cure. He’s accompanied by Tendi and her latest creation, a dog that seems like a puppy from Earth but who displays some frighteningly non-doglike abilities. Is their trip to “the Farm” as ominous as the journey seems to be? Of course not, but that doesn’t stop Boimler and Tendi from having their doubts as they go on a creepy voyage.
Star Trek: Picard – “Monsters”
It’s all in Jean-Luc’s head as he wrestles with unresolved trauma in this Star Trek: Picard episode. As the crew tries to save the future while in the past, an unconscious Picard is reliving his worst memories as a child. His father, transformed into a monster, stalks him and his mother through their chateau in France. But is this really all there is to Picard’s story? It’s a chilling look at the different ways trauma can play with our perceptions of realities as Picard grapples with his past.
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds – “All Those Who Wander”
In the most recent scary Star Trek episode, the crew of the Enterprise beams down to a frozen world to investigate what happened to a crashed starship. What follows is a struggle to survive against the Gorn, leading to one crew member’s ultimate sacrifice. It highlights just how terrifying the vase universe can be as Pike, La’An, Spock, and the rest of the crew must face their fears if they want to survive and not become a meal for a handful of violent predators. The tension is high, and you might find yourself having nightmares about the Gorn afterwards.
What is your favorite creepy Star Trek episode? Is there one scene that’s haunted you for years? Let us know on social!
Julian Gardner (they/them) is on the editorial team for StarTrek.com.
Star Trek: Lower Decks streams exclusively in the United States and Latin America on Paramount+, and is distributed concurrently by Paramount Group Content Distribution on Amazon Prime Video in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Japan, India and more, and in Canada on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel and streams on Crave.
Star Trek: Picard streams exclusively on Paramount+ in the U.S. and is distributed concurrently by Paramount Global Content Distribution on Amazon Prime Video in more than 200 countries and territories, and in Canada it airs on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel and streams on Crave.
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds streams exclusively on Paramount+ in the U.S., Latin America, Australia, the United Kingdom, South Korea, & the Nordics. The series airs on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel & streams on Crave in Canada with additional international availability to be announced at a later date. The series is distributed by Paramount Global Content Distribution.