As a fan and writer of horror, I tend to look for and find the horror in everything. From romantic comedies to presidential debates, I can somehow see the terror, the dread, and the worse case scenario in all stories, real or imagined. But when it comes to my favorite science fiction franchise, Star Trek, the search for horror, both dark and scary, is never difficult. Not the dystopian horror of 1984 or The Hunger Games, but good old fashion B-movie creature feature Halloween horror; vampires, zombies, shape shifters, body snatchers, and even serial killers can all be found in Star Trek.
So when you go to select some Halloween entertainment on this Hallows’ Eve, forget Freddy. That nightmare is over. Jason and Michael, give them a rest this year. This Halloween after the trick or treating is done, and the orange glow of jack-o-lanterns have been extinguished, settle in on the couch, dim the lights, and watch Star Trek.
The following list of episodes is a mix of some of my personal favorites, and those suggested by followers of the Night of the Living TrekkiesFacebook page.
The horror begins with…
Star Trek: TOS, Season 1, Episode 1
The Man Trap – A Shape Shifting Salt Sucking Vampire
Dr. McCoy visits an old flame and crew members start mysteriously dying.
Star Trek: TOS, Season 1, Episode 25
The Devil in the Dark – Alien Creature Feature
The Enterprise is sent to investigate a series of deaths on a mining operation on Janus VI by an unseen creature that can burrow through solid rock.
Star Trek: The Next Generation, Season 4, Episode 17
Night Terrors – Nightmares and reality collide
Adrift in unfamiliar space, the crew of the Enterprise are unable to dream while asleep making their waking hours a nightmare.
Star Trek: TOS, Season 3, Episode 4
And the Children Shall Lead – Children of the Corn / Possession
The Enterprise reaches a Federation colony where the adults have all killed themselves but the children play without care.
Star Trek: The Next Generation, Season 7, Episode 19
Genesis – Science gone wrong
A miscalculation of a medical treatment by Dr. Crusher causes members of the crew to de-evolve into prehistoric creatures.
Star Trek: TOS, Season 2, Episode 14
Wolf in the Fold – Jack the Ripper
Scotty is accused of murdering young women, but as Kirk investigates, a serial killer from Earth’s past becomes the prime suspect.
Star Trek: Voyager, Season 2, Episode 23
The Thaw – a Fear inspired virtual reality
The Voyager crew tries to rescue aliens trapped in a bizarre computer matrix that controls inhabitants with fear and terror.
Star Trek: The Next Generation, Season 4, Episode 18
Identity Crisis – Body Snatchers
An alien species has a very unique and terrifying way of breeding, and Geordi La Forge is their next victim.
Star Trek: Enterprise, Season 3, Episode 5
Impulse – Zombie-like drones
The Enterprise crew responds to a Vulcan ship’s distress call, and is attacked by the brain-damaged undead-like survivors.
Star Trek: TOS, Season 2, Episode 13
Obsession – The Boogeyman
Kirk is confronted with a monster from his childhood — a murderous cloud-like entity — and becomes obsessed with its destruction.
Star Trek: The Next Generation, Season 6, Episode 21
Frame of Mind – Descent into Madness / Asylum
Riker’s reality begins to fall apart within the padded walls of an alien insane asylum.
Star Trek: Voyager, Season 6, Episode 25
The Haunting of Deck Twelve – Spooky Campfire Stories
While Voyager is without power for several hours, Neelix tells the children a ghost story of the events that led up to their current situation.
Star Trek: The Next Generation, Season 6, Episode 5
Schisms – Alien Abduction
The crew is having shared nightmares and memories. Their search for answers leads them to discover the terrible truth.
Kevin David Anderson is the creator and co-author of the mash-up novel Night of the Living Trekkies, from Pride and Prejudice and Zombies publishers Quirk Books. Night of the Living Trekkies earned positive reviews in the L.A. Times, the Washington Post, and Fangoria, and received a starred review in Publishers Weekly. His latest novel, Night of the ZomBEEs, revisits the zombie genre with a much more tongue-in-cheek Shaun of the Dead vibe, filled with geeky goodness and references from James Bond to Star Trek. Night of the ZomBEEs is currently available in trade paperback, coming to Kindle in November, and in December will be available in audio produced by Parsec Award-winning podcaster, Rish Outfield.