The 53 Most Terrifying Movies Of All Time, Hands Down

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Halloween is, without question, the scariest day of the year. There's a distinct chill in the air, you're legally obligated to provide free candy to hyperactive kids, and you will almost certainly empty your bank account on an uncomfortable costume that you'll wear once. But if all that isn't scary enough for you, then you should watch one of the most terrifying movies of all time to really increase the horror factor this Oct. 31 to borderline insane levels. Now, if you're the type who can't handle scary movies, then this isn't the list for you. There are plenty of other seasonally-appropriate things to watch instead on Halloween that won't cause you to sleep with your lights on. But if you are the type who can handle a good scare, then by all means, read on.

Out of all the films ever made in the history of planet Earth, the following 53 are the scariest. These are the movies that horror fans come back to again and again, and that non-horror fans avoid like the plague. Some of these movies are all-time classics that have been around for decades, while others are relative newcomers on the scene that prove there are still new spooky avenues to explore in the horror genre. So if you're feeling brave, take a look below at the 53 most terrifying movies ever made.

1'The Exorcist'

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Considered by many to be the most frightening film ever made, and it's just as horrifying now as it was in 1976.

2'The Shining'

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The scariest movie to ever be based on a Stephen King novel, and that's saying something.


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This is one Pandora's box you do not want to open.

4'Paranormal Activity'

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With the plethora of sequels and parodies that have been released since this modern classic debuted in 2009, it's easy to forget how scary this movie is.

5'The Blair Witch Project'

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There's a reason this became a phenomenon.

6'The Nightmare'

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A documentary as one of the scariest films ever? Believe it.


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So many classic scenes in this fright fest.


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In space, no one can hear you scream.

9'The Sixth Sense'

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Technically, this isn't classified as a horror movie. That's nonsense, it's horrifying beyond belief.

10'The Ring'

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The Japanese remake that led to the downfall of the VHS industry (probably).


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Stay out of the water.

12'The Others'

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One of the best ghost stories ever, and far from your typical haunted house flick.

13'Rosemary's Baby'

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This deeply unsettling picture from 1968 is still drawing imitators today.


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One of the first slasher films, and still one of the best.

15'The Silence Of The Lambs'

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The only horror movie to ever win the Academy Award for Best Picture.

16'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre'

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Be careful when driving through rural Texas.

17'The Conjuring'

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Just when you thought nothing new could be done in the haunted house genre.


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The Alfred Hitchcock classic is a true icon.


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One of the '90s scariest — and most underrated — horror films.

20'A Nightmare On Elm Street'

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Freddy Krueger became more of a comedian in this franchise's many sequels, but he remains a terrifying presence in the original.

21'The House Of The Devil'

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A modern throwback to satanic cult horror films of decades past, this 2009 film surpasses many of the movies it imitates.

22'Fire In The Sky'

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Allegedly based on a true story, which makes this tale of alien abduction all the more troubling.

23'The Babadook'

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Probably the most frightening film to see release this decade.

24'The Omen'

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The creepy kid movie to end all creepy kid movies.

25'The Descent'

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This one's not for claustrophobes.


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This vastly underrated ghost story from 2013 packs in a surprising number of creepy scenes.

27'It Follows'

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A modern classic that's sure to only grow in appreciation as the years pass.


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There are several found footage films on this list, but this one could be the most terrifying.

29'The Last House On The Left'

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The first film to be directed by the late master of horror, Wes Craven, still holds up 45 years later.


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This 1977 Italian film is considered a horror masterpiece.

31'Event Horizon'

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Simply the scariest space-set movie not named Alien.


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The reason why an entire generation is afraid of clowns.


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A different kind of slasher movie, but no less terrifying.


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"Dueling Banjoes" would never be the same again.


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Stephen King's biggest fear turns out to be pretty scary for everybody.

36'Let The Right One In'

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Not your average vampire flick.


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Evil spirits, a creepy kid... this one's got it all.

38'The Strangers'

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One of, if not the best, examples of the home invasion genre you'll come across.

39'Pet Sematary'

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Sometimes dead is better, as this film proves.


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The oldest movie on this list at 95 years old, Nosferatu won't terrify many people these days, but it still features some downright creepy imagery and was years ahead of its time.

41'Night Of The Living Dead'

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Zombie movies generally leave a lot to be desired, but this 1968 classic from George A. Romero deserves credit for inventing our current idea of the flesh-eating undead.

42'The Thing'

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Of the three versions of this movie that exist, John Carpenter's 1982 rendition is the best — and most chilling.

43'The Haunting'

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This classic haunted house film is one of the best at building suspense and establishing mood.

44'The Birds'

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Who knew birds could be this terrifying?


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The scariest thing about this King classic isn't Carrie herself, but her domineering mother.

46'The Evil Dead'

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The crazy low budget only adds to the fright factor of this franchise starter.

47'The Fly'

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Maybe the best example of body horror ever.

48'Bram Stoker's Dracula'

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Francis Ford Coppola's epic may be the scariest vampire movie ever made, which it achieves not through jump scares, but by creating a wildly unsettling atmosphere.

49'The Orphanage'

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A haunted orphanage? No thanks.

50'Don't Look Now'

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A truly haunting tale of loss and grief.

51'An American Werewolf In London'

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While not a straight up horror film by any stretch, the movie still packs in a couple of seriously scary scenes.

52'The Wicker Man'

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Not the Nicholas Cage remake, but the highly-disturbing 1973 original.

53'Ernest Scared Stupid'

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No joke — this "kids movie" might be the scariest movie ever made.

There you have it, the 53 most terrifying movies ever made. Any one of them will make this Halloween extra frightening, so if you're in an adventurous mood, go ahead and watch as many as you dare.