It takes only a cursory glance at the plethora of TV series being made today to realize that there are almost no boundaries on what kinds of deeply dark stories can be told. From the violent quasi-historical fantasy of Game of Thrones to the literature-bound Victorian horror of Penny Dreadful to the character-driven crime thrills of True Detective, TV is at its most ominously hodge-podgiest.

We’ve rounded up 10 creepy and unnerving slices of history that definitely deserve to serve as the basis for their own TV series. Would the shows need to strictly stick to the reality of each situation? Of course not; this is TV we’re talking about. And we’re also not thinking of these lasting for ten 22-episode seasons, either, but more as limited “event series” with the beginning, middle and end all figured out ahead of time. Feel free to pass this list along to any TV executive buddies you have.

winchester house
The Winchester House
When it comes to ghost stories, mansions are far more attractive locations than three-room shacks, and the Winchester Mystery House is the granddaddy of them all. A sprawling piece of California construction built by Winchester rifle heir Sarah Winchester, the house was a constant work-in-progress, with carpenters seemingly ceaselessly working on it for many years. Rumors at the time (that have never gone away) claimed that Sarah kept building as a way to confuse the ghosts of the victims of her family’s guns, and the house features several oddities like stairways that go nowhere and doors that open to nothing. Those less inclined to believe such things point out that Sarah has aspirations to become an architect and used her own house as a way to do that, but that doesn’t make for interesting TV. We want to see weird shit happening, and this house is just the mysterious centerpiece to anchor an engrossing horror story.

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