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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.

Row3

October 29th, 2010
10:21 am

Gabe

October 29th, 2010
10:22 am

The exorcist wasn’t scary at all. I laughed during it. The grudge was scary. Some of the Saw flicks.

Hall

October 29th, 2010
10:24 am

The Descent was pretty scary.

scared...

October 29th, 2010
10:29 am

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is the scariest movie I’ve ever seen!!! (the remake…can’t even imagine the original, yikes!) That movie pretty much soured any and all other scary movies for me…still gives me the creeps thinking about it!

timthebrave

October 29th, 2010
10:37 am

Here are my 4 and 5 star horror movies that I can think of. I love to scare myself. My favorite is exorcist because I saw when was about 12 and couldn’t sleep for days…..boooo
The exorcist
texas chainsaw massacre
nightmare on elm street
aliens
seven
the shining
jaws
shutter island
ringu (the ring) both versions are good
the silence of the lambs
evil dead
psycho
night of living dead
sweeney todd
legend of sleep hollow
halloween
friday 13
paranormal activity
orphanage
poltergeist
drag me to hell
28 days later
the descent

Yellow Jacket

October 29th, 2010
10:40 am

Can’t beat the early Friday the 13th installments!

No fraidy-cat

October 29th, 2010
10:41 am

1, 2, Freddie’s coming for you… 3, 4, better shut the door…. 5, 6, grab your crucifix…. 7, 8, gonna stay up late…. 9, 10, never sleep again…. *yikes!!!* …

back then, that was the scariest! that, and the supernatural, biblically-referenced THE OMEN and because of my “it could happen” belief, it would be all time scary movie for me. (the supernatural stuff always do it for me. everything else is laughable at best)

Derrick

October 29th, 2010
10:46 am

Carrie (original). Saw it as a kid, refuse to watch it now.

Also, Children of the Corn. I used to live in Ohio and the cornfields really freaked me out!

Other good ones include The Grudge, Sleepaway Camp, and Amityville. Texas Chainsaw didn’t do anything for me.

jc_atl

October 29th, 2010
10:51 am

The Shining – hands down.

Woody

October 29th, 2010
10:51 am

I LOVE the original George A. Romero Dawn of the Dead from 1978. A very smart, gory film. Anything with a zombie getting his head cut off by a helicopter blade HAS to be great!

Michael

October 29th, 2010
10:52 am

RxDawg

October 29th, 2010
10:54 am

The Ring. Best done scary movie I’ve seen. I saw it when it came out in the theatre. There were large men holding onto their dates during it lol. Plus, I couldn’t sleep in a room with a TV for years. Great movie!

kevin

October 29th, 2010
10:56 am

“Bob” from Twin Peaks is the scariest character ever.

Jason

October 29th, 2010
11:00 am

The Exorcist, The Ring, & Paranormal Activity I & II
Are the only “Scary Movies” that have actually made me sleep with the light on for several nights.

RxDawg

October 29th, 2010
11:02 am

For an under the radar, blast from the past nomination……..

The Howling

SayWhat

October 29th, 2010
11:02 am

The old, original Haunting of Hill House

JMM

October 29th, 2010
11:07 am

The one movie that truly scared the mud out of me as a child is the original Haunting with Julie Harris. It’s in black & white, made in 1963 and to this day that movie can make the hair stand up on the back of my neck. Don’t watch it on tv with commercials, get the DVD and turn out the lights.

P F

October 29th, 2010
11:10 am

In no particular order:

Suspiria
Original Halloween
Original Nightmare on Elm Street (the body bag scene still creeps me out)
Any and all Hammer Horror moives (SAW just can’t compete with these)

KP

October 29th, 2010
11:14 am

Exorcist and Children of the Corn. “he wants you, too, Malachi” yikes, will never look at a cornfield the same! these are two movies that I’ll probably never watch again … EVER!

ADL

October 29th, 2010
11:15 am

The only thing scary about Blair Witch Project was…..that they made a second one!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

Worst.Movie.Ever.

Billo

October 29th, 2010
11:26 am

Kyderdog

October 29th, 2010
11:27 am

“Ju-on” Its the Japanese movie that “The Grudge” if is far more creepy and scarey.

Patrick

October 29th, 2010
11:27 am

The Shining – remake with Steven Weber
The Others (Nicole Kidman)
Shutter
Ringu
Ju-On

JDC

October 29th, 2010
11:33 am

“To Wong Too, Thanks for Everything” scared the crap out of me… I still have nightmares of Wesley Snipes dressed as a woman! Yikeeeees!

JayP

October 29th, 2010
11:38 am

I love scary movies…here are a few of my favs
Hostel
ANY of the Saw movies
Last house on the left
Seven
The Wicker Man
Frayed
Children of The Corn
Friday the 13th
Halloween
Psycho

Antoine

October 29th, 2010
11:50 am

I LOVE scary movies these are the best to me:

The Exorcist- My friend had this on VHS when I was about 10. Scrared the crap out of me

Nightmare on Elm Street- The oringinal is a beast

Audition- Japanese horror classic gives me the creeps.

Psycho- The detective falling down the steps scrared me for awhile

The Ring- The girl out of the TV, a new classic horror scene

The Silence of the Lambs- My brain was totally out of commision by the end of this flick.

Brenda

October 29th, 2010
11:51 am

Paranormal Activity. I saw it months ago and I still don’t sleep well. That scene where the ghost grabs the woman’s foot and drags her out of the bed is chilling.

David Granger

October 29th, 2010
11:52 am

One of the best I ever saw was “The Other”, an old made-for-TV movie based on the Thomas Tryon novel. It’s an intense movie, and you have to watch carefully and pay close attention…you’ll be confused as hell up to about halfway through…but it’s a good one.
I also liked the original “Halloween”, just because it initiated so many modern “cliches”…the missing knife from the rack in the background, the killer who keeps “reviving”, etc.

CC03

October 29th, 2010
11:56 am

As a kid, Poltergeist, Friday the 13th, and Nightmare on Elm Street. Movies that I enjoyed as an adult: The Exorcist, Psycho, Scream, The Ring, The Grudge.
I HATED Candyman! I saw that movie when it premiered in the theatre. I was in high school at the time and that movie totally freaked me out! I am 35 years old and I will never watch that movie again!

Billo

October 29th, 2010
12:01 pm

ls

October 29th, 2010
12:09 pm

I love the old dracula and warewolf movies with Bela Lugosi and Lon Chaney. My scariest movie would have to be Salem’s Lot. Working the night shift, having to park in the back of the house and walking to the front door got awfully scarey after that movie.

Yep

October 29th, 2010
12:11 pm

Diary of a mad black woman……..!

doktor

October 29th, 2010
12:28 pm

Children of the Corn!!!

Renee

October 29th, 2010
12:28 pm

The Evil Dead
The Zero Boys
The House on Haunted Hill – original version
Hellraiser

MOG

October 29th, 2010
1:23 pm

WOW!! no one mentioned, Return of the Living Dead!!

Another one that was missed “Deadly Friend”!!! had me sleeping with my parents as a kid!

Lori

October 29th, 2010
1:42 pm

None of the zombie/monster movies or killer/slasher movies really scare me because they are so fake!! Jaws had the lasting impression. I can’t get in the ocean past about my waist before I start having bad visions!! I’d say the scariest movies are the ones that stick with you!

donkey200

October 29th, 2010
2:42 pm

The Omen and Body Snatchers (the original with Donald Sutherland). Both scared the beeejeeebies out of me. To this day, I am not fond of horror movies (I saw them when I was a tweenie). Oh, and The Exorcist – but that’s mainly just gross.

Billo

October 29th, 2010
3:40 pm

For Colored Girls?

MOG

October 29th, 2010
5:11 pm

I am telling Tyler on you Billo!! lol

Mandi

October 30th, 2010
6:15 am

Anything with children creeps me out!! Ghost Ship, Children of the Corn… Last Exorcism had me feeling like I needed to pray when I walked out of it!! Paranormal Activity had my heart racing…even tho I watched it in the middle of the day, in full daylight!! OH!! And The Hills Have Eyes!! And as stupid as it was “House of Wax” had it’s scary parts!!

Sopwith Camel

October 30th, 2010
7:57 am

The scariest thing I’ve watched is the first half of this season’s UGA football games!!! If you had bet a lot on those games, they would have scared the P out of you!!

JRuss

October 30th, 2010
8:11 am

The Descent – this was the only movie as a grown ass 30+ year old man that made me jump and let out a slight scream…Candyman is also still a horror classic and as educated as I am you would never get me to say his name times into a bathroom mirror

Libby

October 30th, 2010
9:06 am

1 – Nightmare on Elm Street (original) terrifies me every time, and gave me Freddie nightmares for years.
2 – The Sixth Sense had some chills and is wonderful, but it makes me cry every time.
3 – The Scream movies are still scary fun.
4 – The Changeling was the first one that really scared me – need to look for that one.
5 – The Ring was also pretty creepy and I watch it again from time to time.

a man

October 30th, 2010
9:07 am

nothing scares me

wimps

that guy

October 30th, 2010
11:06 am

Batman and Robin. Till this day I can’t get over the horror of watching that movie and hearing the kids behind me say “What are they doing dad? Make it stop.”

jeas3

October 30th, 2010
11:54 am

Nothing has ever scared me as badly as the original Halloween, but The Shining came close (never, never piss off Jack Nicholson!)…

jeas3

October 30th, 2010
11:59 am

@donkey200 – FYI, the ORIGINAL Invasion of the Body Snatchers was made in 1956: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0049366/, and it does not star Donald Sutherland – although his version was quite good.

Marie

October 30th, 2010
3:22 pm

I love scary movies. I’ve seen most of the mentioned, But no one mentioned the following:

The Grudge
The Ring
Rosemary’s Baby
and my favorite, an oldie..Children shouldn’t play with dead things!

Alicia

October 30th, 2010
8:33 pm

Candyman scares the h!@# out of me. I can’t even stand to see it on the T.V or even on the internet. I could barely type this. How dare they put his picture on this page now I won’t be able to sleep tonight. Thank You very much. L.O.L

Jimmy 'Superfly'

October 31st, 2010
5:33 am

1. Halloween 1 and 2 original version…. Have literally watched that movie about 1,000 times and it still scares me like it was the first time… I still hear that music and see that mask in my sleep

2. The Ring: That little girl……… That’s all I can say

3. Paranormal Activity and Blair Witch…. Always expected the unexpected

4. Alien… Out in space where no one can hear you scream!!!!

5. The Exorcist…… What a rush!!!!

6. The Thing…. Out in the middle of cold nowhere where no one can hear you scream!!!!

Honorable Mention: The Happening…… How do you fight/escape nature?

BP

October 31st, 2010
6:52 am

The Fearless Vampire Killers Staring Sharon Tate!

Tinachi

October 31st, 2010
7:24 am

1. Halloween
2. Friday the 13th
3. Salem Lot
4. IT
5. Amityville Horror
6. Children Of the Corn
7. Omen
8. The Bats
6.

Mark

October 31st, 2010
7:59 am

Phantasm…The Birds…Poltergeist…The Shining

Buzz G

October 31st, 2010
8:37 am

An Inconvenient Truth.

What’s frightening about it is that people actually believe the crap Al Gore is shoveling at them.

S

October 31st, 2010
9:08 am

Salem’s Lot…I am from Maine and Stephen King was a professor when I was in college. I had read the book and later saw the movie. When the movie was over, about 11 pm) I had to walk a mile and a half to get home. I walked from the downtown area towards the less habitated areas. Then every time I walked under a street lamp…it went out! After 3 of these lights going out I took off running. Inever ran so fast in my life! I don’t think I slept for a week after that!

Darlene

November 1st, 2010
12:22 am

The Flying Biscuit…hands down.

Gary

November 2nd, 2010
2:40 pm

Paranormal Activity and The Village, both scary and suspenseful without being gory.