11 Shows Every Stranger Things Fan Will Love

Stranger Things sated every sci-fi lover's TV cravings. The runaway Netflix hit features a cast of absurdly endearing middle schoolers, a small town chock full ‘o oddballs, a juicy supernatural mystery, and 1980s Easter eggs. With such ingredients, the show achieved the golden balance of being both addictive and substantial. Stranger Things has since turned into a huge phenomenon, and created an oft-copied Halloween costume (thank you, Eleven).
But as all Stranger Things fans know, 12 episodes of binge-watching zooms by pretty quickly. With an October 31 return date all too far away, what shows can elicit the same excitement in the meantime?
From paranormal detective duos to anthologies of chilling tales, each of these shows has something in common with Stranger Things. In some, you’ll find small towns with occult secrets, in others, a dash of '80s sensibilities or episodes oozing with creepiness. And for now, these shows will have to do.
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Twin Peaks

Who killed Laura Palmer? That’s the question at the heart of this cult favorite, seeping with the surreal, Pacific Northwest gloom, and eerie aesthetics. In the show, FBI agent Dale Cooper travels to Twin Peaks, Washington, to investigate the murder of high schooler Laura Palmer. Cooper finds that in Twin Peaks, nothing is as it seems. With the show’s reboot coming in May, resurrect this ‘90s classic on Netflix and prepare yourself for oodles of oddballs and questions where there should be answers.
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Ken Staniforth/20th Century Fox Television/REX/Shutterstock
The X-Files

One thing that The X-Files, an iconic show about a special (and supernatural) division of the FBI, has over Stranger Things? Sheer length. Spanning over 10 seasons, FBI Agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) reinvented the cop drama by applying their detective wits to unexplained phenomena. While the aliens are all good and fun, it’s the dynamic between Mulder, the believer, and Scully, the skeptic, that kept fans rapt with attention for seasons.
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Murray Close

Ever feel like you were uncannily connected to another person? Well, imagine how the eight strangers of Sense8 feel when they discover they can enter into each other’s lived experiences in real time? These eight “sensates,” living on different continents and speaking different languages, discover they share a mental and emotional connection after they all experience the violent death of a woman named Angelica. Soon, they discover they’re being hunted down by another sensate called “Whispers,” who's attempting to infiltrate their psychic link.
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CBS Photo Archive / Contributor
Twilight Zone

Couldn't get enough of Stranger Things' creeping sense of dread? How about you take that feeling, and inject it into hundreds of equally imaginative story lines? You’ll wind up with The Twilight Zone, Rod Serling’s ground-breaking anthology show that explores tales of the twisted, imaginative, and utterly unforgettable. Though the surreal stories on The Twilight Zone exist in another dimension, they reveal essential truths of human behavior. Watch classics like “The Eye of the Beholder” and “The Masks” to see what we mean, and for a true fright, there’s nothing like “Living Doll.”
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Frank Ockenfels/Blinding Edge Pictures/ De Line Pictures/Storyland/Fx Productions/REX/Shutterstock
Wayward Pines

From the mind of M. Night Shyamalan comes a take on the quintessential sci-fi TV show trope: a federal agent arrives to small town where things are not as they seem. In this instance, the agent is Secret Serviceman Ethan Burke; the town is seemingly idyllic Wayward Pines, Idaho. Ethan's hunt for two missing secret agents leads him to Wayward Pines, where he finds that inhabitants are trapped by an electric fence and a set of stringent rules by sheriff Arnold Pope. Any attempts to leave are punished by public executions, called reckonings. With conditions like these, Ethan has more to worry about then just finding the secret agents.
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Joseph Lederer / A&E
The Returned

After a group of formerly dead locals suddenly reappear, the residents of the small town in The Returned can certainly relate to the people of Stranger Things' Hawkins, Indiana. The Returned haven’t aged, and are determined to rejoin their families and get back to business as usual. Of course, with a homecoming as strange as this, you can’t expect integration to get off seamlessly.
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JoJo Whilden/Netflix
The OA

Heralded as the adult Stranger Things, this mind-bending Netflix original begins with Prairie Johnson returning home after a seven-year disappearance with one marked difference: She’s no longer blind. With scars on her back and restored vision, this changed Prairie refers to herself as “the OA.” She refuses to tell her adopted parents or the FBI the facts of her story. Instead, Prairie confides in a group of young locals and enlists them to help recover other missing people she claims are trapped in another dimension.
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Steve Wilkie/Netflix
Hemlock Grove

What is it about creepy Netflix originals set in small towns? Hemlock Grove, Pennsylvania, was once a bustling steel mill town. Since the mill closed, the town is now separated along a huge socioeconomic divide, with the impoverished living side-by-side with the fabulously wealthy. When a teenage girl is brutally murdered, Roman Godfrey, heir to Hemlock Grove’s wealthiest family's fortune, teams up with the town’s newcomer to investigate. In a town full of secrets, that’s easier said than done.
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Photo: Showtime/Photofest.
Dead Like Me

You may have missed this supernatural gem during its stint in the early 2000s, but thanks to streaming services like Amazon Prime and Hulu, it’s resurrected from the TV graveyard. In the Dead Like Me universe, some souls are offered the job of being grim reapers after they die. These grim reapers are able to stay on Earth until they fulfill their quota of souls. The newest member of the team is 18-year-old Georgia Lass, who was a grump on Earth and remains a grump in reaper-dom. The drama-comedy explores the team of reapers and the repercussions Georgia’s death has on her family.
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Photo: Ambling/Universal/REX/Shutterstock.
Amazing Stories

If your favorite part of Stranger Things is its roots in 1980s lore, look no further than this sci-fi anthology show from that very era.

Steven Spielberg helmed Amazing Stories, a collection of shorts that went down different surreal rabbit holes. Despite their half-hour length, each star-studded episode packs quite a punch. Think Twilight Zone but with an '80s retro spin.
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NBC/Universal TV/REX/Shutterstock

Fans of the show Heroes will know what I mean when I say, “Save the cheerleader. Save the world,” was one of the most memorable catchphrases on TV. Alas, if only saving the world were as easy as saving a cheerleader. In this show, a group of geographically disparate characters struggle to gain expertise over their superpowers so they can save the world (and the cheerleader).