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What is your favorite scary movie?

Everyone has seen at least one scary movie that leaves a lasting impression.

I saw mine when I was a freshman in college. “Candyman” is inspired by the urban legend of Bloody Mary, only in the movie, if you look in a mirror and say “Candyman” five times, he’ll appear behind you and kill you with a hook.

'Candyman' isn't so sweet if you want to go to sleep after watching it.

'Candyman' isn't so sweet if you want to go to sleep after watching it.

“Candyman” was the last of a horror movie marathon that I and the other residents on my dorm floor had decided to have. We started with “April Fool’s Day,” watched something unmemorable, then someone put it in. When it ended at 5 a.m., I refused to go to the communal bathroom, with all of those mirrors, by myself.

The great thing about scary movies is that everyone is frightened by something different. One friend is terrified by “It” because of Pennywise the clown. Another has issues with “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” even though it’s considered a children’s movie, because of the Oompa Loompas. And the chocolate pipe that sucks up Augustus.

So what is your favorite scary movie? What about it makes it your favorite?

In case you need inspiration, check out our galleries of horror movie villains and can’t-miss zombie movies. Also, see how well you know horror flicks with our scary movie quiz.

107 comments Add your comment

Boses Malone

October 29th, 2010
5:24 am

Paranormal Activity!

McLovin

October 29th, 2010
5:34 am

The Exorcist by far

BillinGA

October 29th, 2010
6:21 am

The Exorcist, which has been banned in England. The recent Blu-ray release is stunning. There are others. When I first saw it, Mimic was pretty scary. Giant roaches! Of the recent releases, I thought the Fourth Kind was much more scary then Paranormal Activity. Check out Night Watch and Day Watch, Russian horror/fantasy movies. There are also lots of good Asian horror movies out that are good for a fright such as Shutter or Ringu from which less scary American versions followed. But i always go back to The Exorcist as the best, most scary, of them all.

Truthpaste

October 29th, 2010
6:48 am

Watching Halloween and the sequel in one sitting. The rest, in no particular order are:

An American Werewolf in London
Sleepaway Camp
The Thing
The Exorcist
The Omen

felixthecat

October 29th, 2010
7:03 am

Exorcist is the scariest movie..No competition..

athensmatt

October 29th, 2010
7:16 am

Funny Games, the original German version.

TechNut

October 29th, 2010
7:17 am

Oh yeah, The Exorcist, for sure; first saw it in the 70’s and even after seeing it dozens of times, it still has me jumping at shadows and noises.

Dec4life

October 29th, 2010
7:30 am

Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th! I don’t know what it is about him. I don’t know if its the hockey mask, or just the fact he never says a word and this charging mass of man killing one person after the next, but that guy has always scared me crapless!

GTfanatic

October 29th, 2010
7:32 am

The Exorcist, The Ring, & Paranormal Activity top my list.

GM

October 29th, 2010
7:47 am

Howard the Duck.

Willy

October 29th, 2010
8:10 am

I’ve seen the Exorcist 127 times and it just keeps getting funnier every time I look at it.

Billo

October 29th, 2010
8:11 am

Showgirls!!!

Seriously Wimpy

October 29th, 2010
8:11 am

:( I am too much of a wimp to watch scary movies lol
The Saw movies are the worst I can take…

Boooo

October 29th, 2010
8:17 am

The Strangers!!!!

Bob

October 29th, 2010
8:22 am

Ishtar and Pluto Nash!

yoyo

October 29th, 2010
8:28 am

The Shining, The Changeling (George C. Scott) with the ball bouncing down the stairs…

dyslexicbunny

October 29th, 2010
8:28 am

Alien. The Thing. I actually didn’t find The Exorcist or Paranormal Activity scary.

computerblue

October 29th, 2010
8:33 am

the exorcist was really good…but never watch it on regular tv… chopped up.. your mother sews socks in hell? are they serious?

my other fave is the original halloween… saw it on a black & white tv while babysitting and kept seeing michael myers’ reflection in the window. the remake was foul though.

Deimoslash

October 29th, 2010
8:33 am

@GM: Howard The Duck? I thought I was the only one who found that movie disturbing. :P

JacketFan

October 29th, 2010
8:36 am

House of 1000 Corpses is pretty damn disturbing. But for pure, adolescent scariness, I have to go back to when I was a kid – the first Nightmare on Elm Street cannot be topped, IMO.

Others:
The Exorcist
Texas Chainsaw Massacre (the original)
Hellraiser
The Omen

I'm just saying . . . .

October 29th, 2010
8:39 am

The commercials torture me. Right now, Paranormal Activity 2 commercials keep the lamps on all night. Yes, it was not a typo. Commercials of scary movies scares the living heck out of me. I hate demonic movies more than anything. I made the mistake of watching IT. I had trouble sleeping for weeks. I hate Halloween just because of the scary movies. I have three more days . . . I will survive. Come on Monday.

KA

October 29th, 2010
8:48 am

Scariest movies for me are oldies in black and white, Night of the Living Dead and Invasion of the Body Snatchers. I don’t care at all for the overblown violence and gore in recent movies, which are not scary, just gross.

love scary

October 29th, 2010
8:48 am

Paranormal Activity! and the first White Noise.

Me

October 29th, 2010
8:53 am

The Exorcist because the evil (Regan) can carry on a conversation with you and can seemingly reason with you. When Father Karras goes into her room to talk to her and she’s talking to him like a friend is downright creepy. You can almost believe that this could happen. To me, the scariest movies are the ones in which an element of the movie could conceivably happen. Psycho, Exorcist, anything with a human as the villain. Monsters and zombies are not scary because you can’t really see that happening in real life.

jwb

October 29th, 2010
8:56 am

The Amityville Horror still scares me

Dani

October 29th, 2010
8:57 am

I saw paranormal activity when I was a few months pregnant and from then I have been ruined. I used to love scary movies, day or night. Now, I can’t watch the previews or even the silly ghost story shows on TV. My husband says it is the fact that I am seeing the world through my child’s eyes. He could be right. Michael Jackson’s Thriller was my first scary movie/video when I was two and I was hooked. Nightmare on Elm Street at 6 with my mom who told me to go to sleep!! But this new stuff they are coming out with is garbage and all these remakes of classics is stupid. Just bring back the old stuff to the theaters remastered. That’ll give you nightmares!!!

I need booze..

October 29th, 2010
9:08 am

The Exorcist III, when that Jesus statue went after that nurse I went for the door and left the movie.
the first Saw was a classic
The Haunting
The Blair Witch Project
Suspiria
Poltergeist
Rosemary’s Baby
The Shining
The Brood
Salem’s Lot
please watch this list at noon with the blinds open.

kalola

October 29th, 2010
9:36 am

My first scary movie was The Birds and since then have loved anything by Hitchcock. The first Saw movie scared me to the point of screaming back at the screen telling her to “SHOOT HIM”(never done that before or since), all the other Saw movies are terrible because they are wannabe snuff films. Cujo and Pet Semetary were good just because of the fear of losing a child but the books were so much better.

kalola

October 29th, 2010
9:38 am

My mother saw Psycho when she was pregnant with me and says that’s what’s wrong with me now.

workininbuckhead

October 29th, 2010
9:39 am

North Over South

October 29th, 2010
9:41 am

Night of the Living Dead (1968)
The Exorcist
The Strangers

HL

October 29th, 2010
9:41 am

28 days later
The Hills have eyes
Last House on the left

San

October 29th, 2010
9:44 am

The exorcist has never been scary to me, but it is to my Catholic husband. Japanese movies , such as Audition or Ringu, tend to scare me the most. Forget Blair Witch Project, all it did was make me queezy from the camera movement. I’ve watched Halloween too much for it to frighten me anymore.

Dave

October 29th, 2010
9:48 am

Exorcist….and it ain’t even close.

Dave

October 29th, 2010
9:50 am

Oh, and Exorcist III is a good one, too. I agree, when that statue went after that nurse with the giant scissors from out of nowhere, I hit the floor.

Josh

October 29th, 2010
9:54 am

Halloween! Scared me as a kid.

dan

October 29th, 2010
9:59 am

Alfred Hitchcocks “The Birds”. I have a bird phobia, so this movie drives me crazy.

Caren Goode

October 29th, 2010
10:04 am

The old black and white Frankenstein and Dracula. So much suspense. The blood and gore is a cop-out.

Chris

October 29th, 2010
10:04 am

Jaws. The music still scares me.

Lee

October 29th, 2010
10:07 am

From the decades I have been watching movies here’s my list:

1960’s: Psycho
1970’s: The Exorcist, Jaws, The Last House on the Left, Halloween, The Town that Dreaded Sundown, The Amityville Horror.
1980’s: The Burning, Friday the 13th (1 & 2), Prom Night.
1990’s: Scream, Blair Witch Project.
2000’s: Paranormal Activity, The Strangers, When a Stanger Calls, Halloween (Remake).

kevin

October 29th, 2010
10:10 am

Twin Peaks
The Shining

The Exorcist is as funny as it is scary.

Row3

October 29th, 2010
10:11 am

My sister took me to the drive-in to see the original Texas Chainsaw Mass. when I was 12. Still scared!

ALS

October 29th, 2010
10:12 am

I love ghost movies — like “The Others,” “Sixth Sense” and “Below” — and some intelligent horror/suspense movies that don’t involve ghosts (and usually don’t involve teenagers or masked/clawed psycho-villains). But as someone said earlier, the scariest movies are the ones that seem like they could actually happen, which is why “Outbreak” was the most terrifying movie I ever saw. That could happen any minute! I walked out of the theater feeling jumpy any time someone near me would cough or sneeze…

Gene

October 29th, 2010
10:12 am

In 1954 or 55, I saw Invasion of the Body Snatchers at a small theater in Alabama. When the movie was over, I ran all the way home, and slept with the light on for at least a week. Later I saw Night of the Living Dead against a bedsheet at a base camp in Vietnam. That was pretty scary too for obvious reasons.

BWH

October 29th, 2010
10:15 am

Kung Pow enter the fist. The horrible acting scarred me for life.

Chuck

October 29th, 2010
10:15 am

Sleepaway camp is awesome!
Poltergeist always gave me nightmares

Chuck

October 29th, 2010
10:16 am

Shaun of the dead
Night of the living dead

Mike

October 29th, 2010
10:17 am

As a grown man, there’s only 2 movies that truly scared me: 1) Blair Witch Project and 2) Silence of the Lambs (pffffffffphs!)

Some other movies that get the scary nods from me: 1) Eyes Wide Shut (believe it or not, it was creepy scary!) 2) The first Nightmare on Elm Street 3) What Lies Beneath 4) The Devil’s Advocate (ugh, the human face/monster transformation in the dressing room!) 5) POLTERGEIST!!! (my favorite)

CB

October 29th, 2010
10:17 am

Dan – I have a bird phobia as well – BECAUSE OF Hitchcock’s Birds. Salem’s Lot also did a number on me.

Row3

October 29th, 2010
10:18 am

Recently, The Fouth Kind, scared the hell out of me.