The 13 Creepiest, Bloodiest, and Creaturiest Star Trek Episodes


Let that eerie glow of the terrorvision set embrace you in its sinister shroud, and lose yourself in 13 of the scariest Star Trek episodes this Halloween.

Episode three of Star Trek: Discovery, “Context is for Kings”, was appropriately creepy viewing in time for Halloween season – or, as it’s known by others: October.

A mysterious captain, strange occurrences, and a creature running amok and twisting people into grotesque, pink and red pretzels. “Context is for Kings” had it all.

While this is possibly the closest Trek  has ever come to sci-fi horror, it’s teased us with it before.

In horror honor of Halloween season, I present you with a list of the creepiest, the bloodiest, and the creaturiest (if Doctor Frankenstein can create a monster, surely I can create a word?) episodes to grave grace our screens.

Settle now, deep in your sepulcher. Let that eerie glow of the terrorvision set embrace you in its sinister shroud, and lose your soul yourself in 13 Scare Trek episodes.

The Cage  (TOS 1×01)

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“They had never seen a human. They had no guide for putting me back together.”

There’s a lot of horror in “The Cage”, most of which is in the dialogue directed at Pike’s Number One, and in Vina’s reasons for wanting to stay on Talos IV. But there’s also a creep factor in the Mars Attacks-like bulging brains of the Talosians, their mind-reading abilities, and the Frankenstein’s monster meets the Hunchback of Notre Dame appearance of Vina herself.


Catspaw  (TOS 2×07)

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It wouldn’t be a Halloween list without “Catspaw”, which originally aired October 27th 1967.

Curses, castles, cats, mysterious mist, wailing witches, and “very bad poetry, captain”. This is the episode you watch with the lights out.

Skin of Evil  (TNG 1×22)

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A seemingly innocuous oil slick turns out to be remorseless killing machine in season one’s “Skin of Evil”.
Tasha’s death by Armus was horrific enough, but throw in the way it toys with Troi, and then scares the life out of us by sucking Riker into its dark depths, and this becomes an anxiety-filled episode with a meaningless death that leaves us all a little empty, sad, and angry. Not unlike Armus himself.

Conspiracy  (TNG 1×24)

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Data’s forced laughter at Geordi’s joke might have been the scariest thing about “Conspiracy”, had the last few minutes not happened. Paranoia, slimy parasites, and exploding heads (and it’s as messy as it sounds). You’d be forgiven for wondering if you were watching an eighties horror instead of an episode of Star Trek.

Seriously. Just go watch that scene again. It’s a gruesome moment of chunky beauty.

Phantasms  (TNG 7×06)

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Bodies are losing cellular cohesion and are on their way to collapsing “into nothing but a few pounds of chemicals”  thanks to organisms attaching themselves to people and feeding off them.

Slowly being eaten alive by invisible creatures? I’d call that scary, and so “Phantasms” makes my list.

It gains extra Halloween points thanks to the bizarre cellular peptide cake in the shape of Troi, and Beverly sucking Riker’s brains out through a straw. “Do you want some?” she asks. “It’s delicious.”
Um… Pass, thanks.

Sub Rosa  (TNG 7×14)

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The haunted house episode, “Sub Rosa”, makes us all cringe – for the wrong reasons. It’s almost unanimously considered to be one of TNG’s less finer moments. To me, it’s a bit like riding an amusement park ghost train as an adult and realizing how lame the rickety ride really is. Meanwhile, it’s a dark and stormy night, the ghosts are trying to bone you, and those plasma-based candles you’re carrying are actually energy receptacles…
You know what? Every good list needs one episode you watch ironically. This is it.

Genesis  (TNG 7×19)

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Synthetic T-Cells devolve the crew after hypochondriac Barclay gets a shot of them to stimulate a dormant gene. And that’s when the fun really begins in “Genesis”.

Soon Worf is spitting venom like one of Jurassic Park’s Dilophosaurs, Troi’s suddenly related to the Creature from the Black Lagoon, Riker’s a stereotypical ancestral hominid, all while the Enterprise is drifting like a ghostly house of horrors in space.
But the best part is the moment when spider!Barclay pops up and scares the ever-living Earl Grey out of Picard.

Empok Nor  (DS9 5×24)

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An abandoned station, dead Cardassians, and a team being picked off one by one. There are no strange creatures here, but psychotropic drugs amplifying xenophobic tendencies makes for a dark, tense atmosphere aboard the “Empok Nor”.

Macrocosm  (VOY 3×12)

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An eerie buzzing, like blowflies in summer, is the haunting score throughout “Macrocosm” that’s bound to get stuck in your head – long after the macrovirus has hatched from your neck. The  giant bugs are replicating at an exponential rate. But don’t worry, Janeway’s there, channelling her inner Ripley, crawling through Jefferies tubes and saving the day.

The Haunting of Deck 12  (VOY 6×25)

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There’s a gremlin in the system, and if that alone isn’t terrifying enough, it’s affecting the coffee.

During a planned power outage Nelix tells the ex-Borg kids a scary campfire story about the entity that’s responsible for “The Haunting of Deck 12” – but is it fiction?

Dead Stop  (ENT 2×04)

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“Dead Stop” is unsettling, and it reminds me more of a Doctor Who episode than Star Trek. The fully-automated repair station that welcomes them in is amazing, fixing the Enterprise quickly and at a good price (just a couple of hundred liters of warp plasma. A bargain!). But the hidden cost turns out to be higher than the crew could ever imagine. What makes the station so effective? What enhances its processing power? Why, that would be the brains of the unconscious people hooked up to it in its core – of course.

Impulse (ENT 3×05)

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Zombies, zombies, zombies, zombies.

Really, that’s all I need to say here.

Context is for Kings (Discovery 1×03)

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The crew have gone through the looking glass, onto the tulgey atmosphere of The Glenn, and what they’ve found there is reminiscent of the Jabberwocky. The once lively Glenn is now a dark place, and its corridors are littered with bodies mangled by a creature that soon earns a fitting name from Michael.

An intriguing, macabre episode, “Context is for Kings” has a foot planted firmly in sci-fi horror territory, and left me highly anticipating episode 4.

Next: 7 Star Trek actors who have done voice acting

Do you like scary Star Trek episodes, Sidney? What’s your favorite scary episode?