Top Ten Scary Trek Episodes

Happy Halloween from

 see below for our picks of the top ten scariest Trek episodes

10. Catspaw (TOS: 2×01)


This one is obvious…it has witches, skeletons and everything. But crazy Sylvia was truly a scary kitty.

9. Conspiracy (TNG 1×25)

A classic invasion of the body snatchers theme topped off with the unforgettable gross-out moment where Remmick goes boom

8.  Darkling (VOY 3×18)

Picardo puts in spooky performance as the Doctor expands his programming to include just a tad too much of a psychopathic Mr. Hyde

7. Impulse (ENT 3×05)

Early in Enterprise’s 3rd season the show takes a dark turn for essentially ‘Night of the Undead Vulcans’

6. The Haunting of Deck Twelve (VOY 6×25)

Neelix (who who is scary enough) tells a ghost story about a mysterious creature haunting the Voyager.

5. The Man Trap (TOS 1×05)

The first ever aired episode of Star Trek set the standard for giving kids nightmares with the creepy Salt Vampire.

4. Q Who  (TNG 2×16)

Before the Borg went all touchy feely they were an unstoppable downright terrifying new monster

3. Wolf in the Fold (TOS 2×07)

Jack the Ripper (aka Redjac) makes his way to the the 23rd century, but he still has a thing for knives

2. Empok Nor (5×24)

The darker series gets real dark with a visit to an abandoned station and Garak getting all medieval on their asses

1. Schisms (TNG 6×05)

The crew discover they are being abducted by aliens
for nightmare-inducing experiments


Honorable Mentions

The Lights of Zetar (TOS)

And The Children Shall Lead (TOS)

The Enemy Within (TOS)

What are Little Girls Made of (TOS)

Power Play (TNG)

Genesis (TNG)

Night Terrors(TNG)

Phantasms (TNG)

Whispers (DS9)

Distant Voices (DS9)

Memorial (VOY)

Emanations (VOY)

Fight or Flight (ENT)


…Of course this is just our view…what are some of your favorite scary Trek moments and episodes?

(contributing to this article were Tony, Matt, Chuck, John, Rick, and Paul)

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FIRST! Best of Both Worlds anyone?

I always found “Night terrors” really scary. “One moon circles”, “Eyes in the dark” – spooky.

I like ‘Star Trek’ a lot. I’ve never considered it to even approach ‘scary’ or even contemplated ‘scary’ being one of the show’s attributes or thought about using the adjective to describe any aspect of the series. Funny isn’t it, the differences in perception people have?


TNG Frame of Mind

Trek meets The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari.


Frame of mind and Genesis should be in there.

As a kid, I always thought the unknown mysterious creatures and constructs had the most creepy potential, such as the gigantic, seemingly unstoppable, and unknown ‘Doomsday Machine’, which seemed a scary prospect to confront…

Unlike say, Klingons or Romulans. ;)

Happy Halloween all.

Yeah, where’s Night Terrors? I know it isn’t anybodies favorite, but its totally a Halloween episode.

Schisms…oh my God, I still can’t watch that episode straight through. I remember the first time I watched it, during the holodeck scene, I had to pause it mid-scene because I was having the weirdest physiological fear response — cold sweats, trembling, dizziness….very few things scare me, especially in movies, but that episode still scares the HELL out of me.

Frame of Mind was pretty frightening too…actually of all the movies & TV shows I’ve watched, Trek has some of the scariest moments for me.

When I was a kid I found some of the TOS episodes really scary–especially the Lights of Zetar. The face of the dying woman on Memory Alpha, the matching brain wave scans. Brr. Catspaw, not so much. Where No Man Has Gone Before was pretty creepy–the energy barrier, the glowing eyes, Mitchell’s growing powers.
What about Devil in the Dark?

Trek’s efforts to be scary were usually hampered a.) when the protagonists of the episode are never actually scared themselves (such as TOS’s “Catspaw”), or b.) when you just know there’s going to be some technobabble cause and solution to the frights (any “scary” TNG episode from the third season or so on).

That said, along with what there is on the list already I’d add that there are some genuinely creepy moments in “First Contact” (the film, not the episode) as well as ENT’s first season episode “Silent Enemy.”


Why isn’t Voyager’s “The Thaw” on this list?

An episode based on a character who embodies fear itself.

I was certain that was going to be number 1… but it wasn’t even on there.


I grew up in a medium sized Texas town which supported 3 Universities all with religious affiliations. One Baptist. One Methodist and the other Church of Christ. To say the least, it was a very conservative town. I’d been watching the Star Trek re-runs that the nation was enjoying in the early 70’s for about three years when it was announced one day that we would be getting 5 episodes that we’d never seen. They were all episodes that dealt with deities or related scary subjects. They were:

Where No Man Has Gone Before
Wolf In The Fold
Return To Tomorrw
The Lights of Zetar

and Catspaw

Where No Man Has Gone Before always scared the hell out of me, what with Gary Lockwood’s great creepy performance and those EYES.

DS9’s two-parter “Homefront” and “Paradise Lost.”

Scary because it was so prescient on our current foreign policy follies.

You know, “RETURN OF THE ARCHONS” was pretty atmospheric in and of itself. Maybe not a flat-out “horror” episode, but the “Festival” sequence was extremely unsettling. More creepy than scary, but it still manages to get under your skin! I think you could easily get away with showing this one on Halloween, too!


Oh, and Devil in the Dark scared the crap out of me when I was 3 years old. Does that count?

And don’t forget “ARENA!” That Gorn scared the bejesus out of me as a kid… I had to watch the episode from behind the family couch, much like the “Bigfoot” episodes of THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN!

I think the only moment in Trek that ever sent a chill down my spine was when Nagilam popped onto the viewscreen in… what… “Where Silence Has Lease.”

For me, most of the TOS episodes mentioned were the scarier/creepier ones simply because I originally saw them as a child. Not so scary as an adult, of course, but I remember how I felt watching them as a kid.
However, if I had the chance to view the later series as a kid, I’m sure many of those episodes would have creeped me out to no end also. :-)

Can’t believe no one’s mentioned Charlie X. That faceless woman, Charlie’s eyes rolling up in his head, Spock’s broken legs, and Charlie turning that nice Tina into an iguana all creeped me out as a liddow boy.

Scott B. out.

P.S. I agree with SPB that Return of the Archons had a creepy vibe to it too.

Schisms always scared me as a kid. So did Where Silence Has Lease. A lot of early TNG was creepy.

The scariest trek moment of all time is in ST II when the eels are crawling into Chekov and Terrel’s ear. I couldn’t watch that scene until I was in my twenties it creeped me out so much

# 3, I agree. Re: never considered it to even approach ’scary’
I never thought of any Trek as being scary, What’s up with That? Been watching since the 60’s….. I’d have to say, I seen every show many times and I ‘ve saw every show on it’s first Air Date.
Maybe Star Trek XI will scare me,,,

I’d agree with most of your choices, but Frame of Mind definitely, definitely deserves to be on that list… that and Schisms are probably the two scariest episodes in my book. Empok Nor is pretty darn frightening too…

Genesis just for that bit where Barclay jumps up at the window as a half-spider. I know it’s coming and I still jump every time.

Frame of Mind was borderline hilarious, but first time I watched it I was also kinda freaked.

Night Terrors was a horrible episode, but I can still barely watch that bit in the morgue when all the bodies sit up.

Voyager episodes like One and Persistence of Vision are pretty freaky too, in places.

And not to leave out DS9, Empok Nor and The Adversary off the top of my head. I haven’t watched enough TOS and I don’t like enough ENT to pick anything from them.


Ooh! The Assignment from season 5 of DS9 is pretty freaky, in the same way that TNG’s Power Play is. I mean, Keiko was scary even before she was taken over by evil spirits.


Sorry. Hard Time from DS9 as well.


What about TNG Gothic ghost story, “Sub Rosa”? One of my favorites…

Is “The Thaw” the one with the supposedly scary clown? That episode, and Michael McKean’s performance, was so bad it was scary…

The movie “First Contact” is definitely the scariest Star Trek ever on screen. Maybe it was excluded b/c it is not an episode per se?

I agree that “Schisms” is probably the scariest, but I think “Frame of Mind”, “Night Terrors” and “Genesis” should be on the Top 10 as well. Those episodes really freaked me out. If anything, TNG did the best job of all the Treks, as far as scary moments go.

What about ‘The Corbomite Maneuver’. ;)

That Balok really creeped me out! And I’m not talking about the puppet — it was the creepy little bald Clint Howard with the weird dubbed voice that gave me the heepie-jeebies.

As a young boy, I had many nightmares about being chased by little Blalok, trying to force me to drink tranya. :-)

RE: #32

oops! Freudian Slip!

I meant I had nightmares about being chased by little BALOK, not BLALOK.

(although I must admit, If I was a young teenage lad during the run of ‘Enterprise’, I probably would have had dreams about Ms. Blalock.)

Crap. I can’t remember the name …

But the episode where Riker is trapped in the alien mental institution is possibly the only episode of Star Trek that ever really freaked me out.

There’s been cool “scary” moments all over, sure. But that episode makes me cringe.

It’s pretty scary that Threshold still plays in re-runs.

Genesis is full of fun boo-scares.

#34, RetroWarbird:

The episode was ‘Frame of Mind’, from season 6.

Is Ann Rice credited at all for Sub Rosa? She should be.

dark frontiers (voy). seven watching the assimilation of an entire culture – remember the screams? the assimilation chamber? the guy she holds before he is assimilated?
another scene that scared the hell out of me was in “identity crisis” – the holodeck record scene with the strange shadow on the wall…

Wow, “Night Terrors” got the shaft. That was the first episode I thought of. The scene with Crusher seeing all the dead bodies sitting up still haunts me. But “Catspaw?” They weren’t even trying to be scary on that one. :-)

The lights of Zetar with the creepy woman’s voice. It was like the Exorcist to me.

I think “What Are Little Girls Made Of?” would be on my list.

Genesis was the most terrifying when I watched it, I had nightmares that night! But Schisms was also scary, I started feeling faint I sware.

I always thought the best villains on Voyager were the Vidiians – the organ harversters. They had a couple of creepy episodes, plus that really creepy makeup.

Right, “Faces” is scary, when Sulan steals Durst’s face.

I think “Fistful of Data’s” was one of the scarier episodes. I mean, Brent Spiner in a dress. Creepy.


Great list!! I have to agree with a lot of people here that Night Terrors and Frame of Mind should be on the list.

When I was a kid Galt from Gamesters of Triskelion kind of freaked me out, there was something creepy about him back then.

Hey guys there’s in interesting article at aintitcool about the star trek script that preceded JJ’s!

This is what makes Star Trek great. The format allows for straight up comedy, drama, horror, and plain old sci-fi.

What about the riker episode where his mind is getting screw with. Is in a play is he in an assain assylum. When I was younger, hat episode scared h sh** out fof me. Yah and schism too. The other ones i;ve seen off the list, not soo much.