Skip to main content

The 25 Scariest Movie Scenes of All Time (a Viewer's List)

Beth Perry is an author and fan of fantasy television and films.

Movie Scenes That Scared Me

My husband and I share a love for horror movies, which -to our delight- has passed on to our children. When Halloween time is approaching we will often rent some of our favorites to enjoy over the weekends. But before we commence into tradition this year I thought this might be the perfect time to make a list of my very favorite spooky scenes from the horrors enjoyed over the years.

The scenes making my list don't all come from my favorite films, nor are the films they come from all particularly great cinematic productions. Nevertheless, I love these scenes for the sheer terror they have given.

The Grudge

The Grudge

25. "The Grudge" (2004): Ghost Boy's Warning

Little kids can be spooky as heck. The scare factor this little guy had going for him was that he could appear perfectly human one moment and in the next transform into the creepiest and yet most pitiful of ghosts. He left you rattled, he left you consumed with anger over the circumstances behind his death, he left you hoping to never see his sunken-eyed cherubic face again. A dark plot and plenty of thrills with The Grudge!

An American Haunting

An American Haunting

24. "An American Haunting" (2005): Girls' Meeting

The only thing worse than living in a new turn-of-the-century home that looks and feels like it's next on the city's condemned list is not having anyone to talk to about the nasty bumps and bruises incurred while being drawn down your new home's crickety stairs by unseen forces. Thankfully the paranormally-tortured teen girl in this film had a BFF; a faceless BFF, yeah, but beggars can't be choosers. Nonetheless, the fact we couldn't see the little kid's face bolstered the suspense and unease. And even as I staunchly disagree with the underlying propaganda of An American Haunting -that men are basically all sexually abusive dogs- the director did provide some genuine and hard-to-forget shivers.

23. "Rosemary's Baby" - Rosemary Sees her Baby's Face

Rosemary's Baby

Rosemary's Baby

The worst aspect of being knocked up by Satan is not knowing what physical traits the baby is going to inherit - your bony features or Papa's eyes. Luckily for Rosemary, she found out in time to get the little devil to a good plastic surgeon. He fixed the kid right up and saved him from a lifetime of social embarrassment. As for the kid's ocular problem, the surgeon simply recommended wearing dark glasses.

Seriously, this film had suspense and chic gothic atmosphere coming out of the yin-yang, and to Roman Polanski's credit he pulled it off brilliantly. This particular scene is the climax, and even after all these years it still provides creeps.

22. The Exorcist - Regan's Head Turns Around

The Exorcist - Regan's head turns around

The Exorcist - Regan's head turns around

Like I said earlier kids in horror flicks can be scary. Take Regan here for example. If it had been her Mom's head getting an inhuman spin the audience may have winced. But since it was a child the demon decided to torture with inhuman contortionist abilities, somehow this scene just grabs our psyche and won't ever let go.

21. "Dead Birds" - Kid Under Bed

Dead Birds - flawed horror

Dead Birds - flawed horror

Oops, another kid. Now I liked the premise of this movie, but the script brimmed with inconsistencies and the characters met disaster mainly because of their stupidity. At least the premise was almost saved by a cool ending and the mysterious kid in the house. And this one jaw-dropping scene was definitely not expected, which made for a nicely done startle amidst the flaws.

20. "Nosferatu": Nosferatu in Doorway

Nosferatu - the classic vampire at his cinematic creepiest

Nosferatu - the classic vampire at his cinematic creepiest

Some readers may remember that the star of this film, Max Schreck, made my list of Best Owned film performances in an earlier article. Playing Count Orlov in this 1919 Dracula-by-another-name film, Schreck's performance was so extraordinary as to stand as the exemplar of silent screen gothic terror.

This particular scene -where Orlov/Dracula first appears in his castle- is pure genius. The stark make-up and wardrobe and glints of unearthly lighting provided a dismal atmosphere to be sure. But it was Schreck's accompanying knack for conveying otherwordly gestures and facial contortions -all without the help of audio- that made this moment electrifying for audiences way back when. Schreck's vampire was the personification of the undead of legend -gaunt, hungry nocturnal predator and wandering lost soul- much more than any other vampire portrayal to follow. It was chilling then and it still is.

19. "Paranormal Activity": Dragging of Katie

Paranormal Activity - Katie gets pulled off the bed and dragged through the hall

Paranormal Activity - Katie gets pulled off the bed and dragged through the hall

For the most part Paranormal Activity was basically just a poorly accomplished rip-off of everything that worked so well for The Blair Witch Project. The exception was this one scene. Now I don't know how they did it but it was perfect -completely unexpected and psychologically terrifying. This single scene is the exception that makes the rule for the rest of the sorry film; and yet that it was so well-done it does make the whole thing worth watching at least once.

18. "The Exorcism of Emily Rose": An Unclean Spirit!

The Exorcism of Emily Rose

The Exorcism of Emily Rose

Watching this movie was painful on several levels; least of all for the fact it so inaccurately recounted (and hyped) the details of a real-life tragedy. Nevertheless, as a film it projected a startling eerie atmosphere and a few scenes were very well executed. The crowning feat was Jennifer Carpenter's portrayal of the allegedly possessed Emily Rose. From the deep, banshee-like shrieks to painful body contortions and to the demonic facial gestures Carpenter was captivating and left the viewer shuddering long after the closing credits. My favorite of all scenes was the one in Emily Rose's bedroom when the raging demon attempts to crawl up the wall. Creepy performance, just wonderful!

17. "Psycho": That Shower Scene

Psycho - the classic shower scene featuring Janet Leigh

Psycho - the classic shower scene featuring Janet Leigh

Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho was one of the very first serial killer horror films and definitely had a bigger box office draw than any of its predecessors. The famous shower scene featured Jamie Lee Curtis's own mother, Janet Leigh, and it set the tone for countless slasher films to follow. But Hitchcock had one thing most of his imitators didn't have - artistic genius. This talent alone helped make Psycho the grim masterpiece it was, and also insured that this instrumental scene would set the standard for cinematic penalties of attractive non-virgins.

16. "Jacob's Ladder": Revelations via the Surreal

Jacob's Ladder - surreal fear, shocking ending

Jacob's Ladder - surreal fear, shocking ending

The horror in this fine story comes in glimpses; ones that bring terror for the main character, Jacob Singer, and the audience. Are the images Jacob keeps seeing just products of his imagination or are they real? And if they are real, is their purpose for evil or something else? A great plot with a mature script and general surreal feel that leads to one of the most shocking endings ever.

15. "Hellraiser": Meeting the Cenobites

Hellraiser - the allure of the Cenobites and the hauntingly seductive music

Hellraiser - the allure of the Cenobites and the hauntingly seductive music

Although this film spawned a gradually predictable series, the original was definitely an audience stunner. While generally I don't like gory films, Hellraiser was different in it was beautifully crafted and left viewers unsure of whether the underlying message is that the line between pain and pleasurable is murky, or that a curiosity for the morbidly brutal is punishment in and of itself.

This scene from Hellraiser is the one that brought me the most goosebumps and , as I've discovered, is a favorite for many other viewers. Here we saw the consequences for humans who get hold of the legendary metal puzzle box. Kirstie has been locked in a hospital room. With nothing else to do she figures out how to open the puzzle box and in the next moment everything changes. A portal opens up and Kirstie investigates. The frightful things she sees compels her to run back to the room. As the portal closes and Kirstie thinks she's safe the white walls begin to crack, a glint of pale light punctures through. There is a pulsating red flower slowing unfolding its petals on the TV screen, the crimson blood spuming into Kirstie's I.V.., muffled moans in the background.. all playing out beneath a rising orchestra of lush music. No typical music, either, but a deep strain of forbidding melody. As it grew louder and quicker in refrain you felt nervous, frightened and yet shivering from head to toe with anxious curiosity. The music reached a clamoring climax..the walls ruptured forth in a blinding splay of white light and the Cenobites came forth. Led by Pinhead, in all his leathery finery. His stern eyes took your breath away and his cool, smooth voice stroked your very soul, making your blood quicken all over again.

Even watching this scene today gives me the shudders. And the need for a cigarette right afterward.

14. "Halloween": Michael Myers has a Problem Dying

Halloween and the immortal Michael Myers

Halloween and the immortal Michael Myers

Throughout the looooong Halloween saga Michael Myers has died more often than the Obamas go on vacation. But it was in this first film that his gift for self-resurrection genuinely frightened. We had watched poor Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) discover the grisly remains of her friends, seen her defend the children in her care, rooted for her as she battled the masked killer and cheered when we saw her finally destroy him. It had been a wild night in Haddonfield and our emotions had been put through the mill. We were ready to breathe a well-deserved sigh of relief for Laurie. Exhausted and psychologically traumatized, she turned her back on the killer's body and opened the door to finally leave the corpse-ridden house. And then just as she catches a breath of fresh air we glimpse -just past her shoulder- the daunting figure of the surely-dead Michael get to his feet.

The first time watching this movie I screamed at this point, making my boyfriend jump and loose our popcorn. His sister, who was sitting on my other side, fainted and slid straight off the seat, taking me with her as she'd had a death grip on my hand for over an hour. I guess it was better than her leaping into my lap for a third time, though in going down I did lose my last Junior Mint.

Yep, that was one memorable night. And one unforgettable movie moment. And my hand still throbs sometimes. Damn that Michael Myers, he owes me at least a Junior Mint.

13. The Blair Witch Project - the final scene

The Blair Witch Project- let Mikey try it, he hates everything about this hovel

The Blair Witch Project- let Mikey try it, he hates everything about this hovel

It was a horror flick made on a shoestring budget, without benefit of any studio sound set and filmed like someone's home movie. There was no theme, not even background music. The script was simplistic and the stars' faces bereft of a single brush of pancake. Does it sound like just some cheesy production thought up by a bunch of unsophisticated college kids? If you've not yet seen this movie think again.

At the time of its release the promotion alone was a big draw factor for movie-goers (like me) who didn't know it was fiction. The Blair Witch Project played out like the homespun yarn of an experienced storyteller.The eerie journey the three main characters partook was one we'd never forget; it discomforted, it made us frustrated, it grew darker and more tedious with every futile twist and turn in the woods.

The dread-inspiring events came to a horrific culmination in this final scene. It was grim, disorienting and absolutely terrifying for what the audience wasn't allowed to witness. Evil confirmed yet remaining elusive. One of the most perfect endings ever for any film!

12. The Others - the Confirmation gown scene

The Others -classic ghost tale with original plot twists

The Others -classic ghost tale with original plot twists

For the ghost story connoisseur The Others had all the classic nuances: the gothic mansion with a history of untimely deaths, a damsel in distress, mists galore and a graveyard conveniently located on the manse grounds. What this one had over other films of this genre was a truly unnerving mystery -actually a couple of mysteries- and a positive nod for ancient pagan beliefs concerning death and the afterlife. With the tight script and fine acting it was only bettered by some deeply chilling moments, and thankfully it delivered these in spades. The scariest scene by far, however, was the Confirmation gown scene. One class-A movie and one unforgettable horror scene!

11. Eraserhead - every single psychologically disturbing second

Eraserhead - so disturbing I will never watch it again!

Eraserhead - so disturbing I will never watch it again!

This is the only inductee here that includes the entire movie. Additionally, it is the only one that I absolutely refuse to watch a second time.

Written, directed and produced by David Lynch, the plot of Eraserhead is quirky but simple enough: a guy has strange neighbors, a stranger girl fiend, a still stranger girlfriend's mother, a strange mystery to solve, a pitifully mutated infant with strange needs and a generally strange apartment radiator. Ok, if this isn't weird enough practically every single second of this movie is drenched in surrealistic imagery of the most unpleasant nature. Even the dialog is surrealistic, and the music and sound effects are either disorienting or inappropriately blithe. Altogether, this film plays exactly like one of the worst nightmares you can ever, ever imagine having. While I give Lynch kudos for making the most bizarre movie I have ever watched, it is something I never want to endure again. NEVER EVER again!

10. White Noise - the things on the television screen

White Noise -dabbling into the supernatural unprotected can be dangerous

White Noise -dabbling into the supernatural unprotected can be dangerous

I love the message of White Noise - that investigating the paranormal, as fascinating a pastime as it may be, requires cautionary measures to protect yourself from psychic and physical harm. When main character Jonathan Rivers (Michael Keaton) begins -for the best of intents- dabbling into the White Noise phenomenon he does so without utilizing a single bit of time-proven psychic self-protection. Jonathan's scientific bent actually nay-says the cautionary advice from a concerned life-long psychic, and he gets so hooked on studying White Noise that he becomes a junkie. Eventually he is drawn into a crime mystery; one that he realizes only too late was designed by malevolent forces that take sheer delight in screwing with the heads of curious mortals.

These forces initially mask themselves behind the benign faces of the dead. But as the film progresses they grow bolder, more audacious, and although the characters don't always know when they're around, the audiences are given startling tip-offs. The most persuasive of these come from the "recordings" playing on the television sets while the characters are out of the room. Unexpected, convincing and thoroughly fear provoking!

9. Prince of Darkness - the voice in the reoccuring dream

Prince of Darkness - horror meets cheese in the cinema and horror wins

Prince of Darkness - horror meets cheese in the cinema and horror wins

Written, directed and scored by John Carpenter of Halloween fame, this movie was a long-shot in the horror genre. The budget looked low, the gore aspects were sometimes only amusing and the premise was unbalanced (was it supposed to be about zombies or the anti-Christ? The audience just couldn't be sure). What Prince of Darkness did have going for it were some really good visual effects, the adeptly talented Donald Pleasence, the underrated Jameson Parker and the always-awesome Alice Cooper. More importantly, however, it had one particularly original and bone-chilling sound effect: the voice in the dream. What scared the bejesus out of me wasn't even so much the netherworld tinny quality of the voice, but the fact -realized only near the very last- as to what and more so, where, this voice actually was. The first time I watched this movie I lost a night's sleep thanks to that darned voice. Yep, for a horror lover, well worth having to endure the cheesy B-movie aspects of the film.

8. The Sentinel - the legions of the damned appear

The Sentinel - creepy, creepy entities from hell

The Sentinel - creepy, creepy entities from hell

The Sentinel was the film adaptation of one of the tightest, most suspenseful horrors of its day. So, as is often the case, the movie version paled by comparison. With one exception, however, the climatic scene where the legion of the damned appear. I won't tell you what about this scene provokes such an utter sense of disturbing horror, because in this day and age the same elements would most likely be considered politically incorrect. But take my word for it, the scene was poignant in a very scary sense of the word. If you like horror and have not yet seen The Sentinel, do yourself a favor and rent it. And then, if you truly want to be enraptured read the novel The Sentinel by Jeffrey Konvitz. I doubt you'll be disappointed.

7. The Shining - Danny meets the twins

The Shining - those oh so wonderfully scary twins

The Shining - those oh so wonderfully scary twins

Whenever I talk about the film adaptation of Stephen King's The Shining, 99 times out of 100 I'm talking about Stanley Kubrick's adaptation not the miniseries that came with King's stamp of approval. Mr. King's cinematic vision aside, while his novel rates with me as one of the two best horror novels ever written, the miniseries totally failed. It was all touchy feely, sentimentality love fest, with a redemption theme that gushed over and suffocated the horror elements of the original novel. Sorry Mr. King, you are an excellent author but very often a film just cannot convey the same sense of horror found in a literary work, and you proved it with that mini-series. I'll never understand why you'd want to self-consciously white-wash a script of every trace of the cynical, smut-mouthed literary style that, while at times tedious, made you famous. And all this for a blunderous, boring morality tale. Sheesh.

Anyway...even as Kubrick's adaptation disappointed King, movie goers have adored this film since it's release. There is one reason: it's freak'n SCARY. One of the scariest moments in the film came when Danny first meets the twins. Sure, they looked sweet and normal enough; oh, for about two seconds..three seconds longer than I think it took Danny to realize they weren't quite the kind of little girls you might expect to bump into. They were surreal, they were damaged in their innocence, and they totally owned that forbidding hallway.

6. The Haunting - the pounding of the walls

The Haunting - faithful and scary adaptation of one of the most terrifying novels ever written

The Haunting - faithful and scary adaptation of one of the most terrifying novels ever written

This film was the first adaptation of the other novel that makes my list of two best horror novels ever written, The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. Released in 1963, it was rather faithful to the novel, though director Robert Wise did seem hard put to convey the depth of sheer horror the novel produced. However, he did succeed with taking audiences off balance with the ungodly pounding of the walls. Directors have attempted since to duplicate or imitate these integral moments from the novel and not a one has succeeded. Genuine horror here, and a story that ravages the psyche even on screen.

5. Fire In The Sky - aliens torture humans

Fire in the Sky - terror based on real-life events

Fire in the Sky - terror based on real-life events

Other films have broached the subject of alien abduction, but none have instilled the pure terror this one did. Based on a true life event, Fire in the Sky, took audiences into a sterilized torture chamber where humanity means nothing and science and medical curiosity serve the same heartless interest. Scary to witness and hard to put out of mind once the credits have gone by, this is one movie you honestly shouldn't watch alone.

4. The Sixth Sense - numerous upset ghosts showing up at least expected moments

The Sixth Sense - intense drama set against a terrifying backdrop

The Sixth Sense - intense drama set against a terrifying backdrop

I happen to feel that The Sixth Sense wasn't just a great horror flick, but also an all-around great film. The premise was original, the script suspenseful, the visual effects stunning and the cast first-rate. And how about that surprise ending? Certainly didn't see that coming! Fantastic.

I have to give the horror components due credit, too. The first time watching it, those startling appearances by the ghosts had me jumping and gasping for the duration of the film. The angry ones in particular were startling. And I still get goosebumps watching it today. One of the most satisfying horror movies ever made!

3. The Exorcist - Regan descends the stairs upside-down

The Exorcist - Regan's shudderific spider-walk down the stairs

The Exorcist - Regan's shudderific spider-walk down the stairs

The first time I watched The Exorcist (and it wasn't until I was an adult) it was the widely distributed theatrical version. A few years later I got to see the uncut director's edition. Now, while the famous scene of Regan's head turning around was scary enough, this particular scene from the director's edition was so unexpected I literally jumped into my husband's lap. The scene was set up as one of the calmer moments, when we think the poor Mom just might get a few moments peace. Just as she turns around Regan suddenly scrambles down the staircase upside down. It happened so fast; and the poor girl looked like some attacking spider-human mutation. Shudder-iffic!

2. The Mothman Prophecies - the voice on the phone


Despite a few historical inaccuracies, The Mothman Prophecies is one of the better inspired-by-true-events horror/suspense films. It had an escalating sense of anxiety perfect for the subject matter, as well as realistic dialog and stunning performances by the cast. I was especially impressed by Richard Gere, as frankly his acting usually comes off as too self-absorbed. Anyway, it was a mesmerizing film with an unnerving plot.

What truly made this a great horror flick is that while the characters came across as solid, very ordinary people, the story itself was shrouded in mystery. Even by the end of the film the audience is left to wonder what was really going on? Were the disturbing visions and cryptic revelations coming from supernatural sources -dead, demons, angels, aliens?- or perhaps from an individual or individuals from a universe or time we just can't begin to understand?

The most unsettling components of the film were the telephone messages from the mystifying entity, Indrid Cold. The voice was not only disturbing to hear, but the scientific analysis related about its source only intensified the mystery and the viewer's unease. Scary as heck - if you've not seen The Mothman Prophecies, I definitely suggest renting it this Halloween season!

1. The Shining - the freaks in the hotel room

The Shining - shut the door PLEASE!!

The Shining - shut the door PLEASE!!

Nothing manages to rattle a movie audience quite like an unexpected spur-of-the-moment confrontation with menacing forces. In The Shining we were anxiously rooting for poor Wendy in trying to defend herself and her child against an insane husband. And while we knew -or thought we knew- what other dangers were afoot in the haunted Overlook Hotel, we were completely taken off guard when Wendy stumbled into this weird spectacle.

Ghosts? Demons? We can't be sure. What is certain is that their appearance not only made our hearts leap, but what they appeared to be caught in the middle of made the skin crawl! The sudden combination of fear and repulsion made for a shocker to both eyes and psyche.

This is indeed a deeply disturbing scene from one deliciously frightening movie. And my Halloween movie watching season won't be complete without seeing it again!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2011 Beth Perry


DeafGamerGal on June 10, 2017:

The scariest for me was when they showed that white circle at the very end of The Ring. Normally horror films don't get to me, but this one's end sure did, for 8 days afterwards... Cause after that, you're safe...

Beth Perry (author) from Tennesee on September 06, 2016:

Thanks C'Yong74 :)

Ced Yong from Asia on August 28, 2016:

I like the way your described Michael Myers. Yup. He has a very, very bad problem of that.

Beth Perry (author) from Tennesee on December 15, 2015:

movieform666, good movie! Saw that one when I was a kid and got totally creeped out when the kid's newly vamped friend showed up at the window!

moviesforme66 on December 13, 2015:

The scene that still makes me jump, even though I know it's coming, is in Salems Lot when we first see the monster in the jailhouse. That whole film kept me awake for weeks!

Megan Carroll from Boynton Beach, FL on September 22, 2013:

I'll check that out! Thanks bethperry!

Beth Perry (author) from Tennesee on September 22, 2013:

Thanks Tygher41. Yeah, FITS chilled the freak out of me, lol. If you enjoy that kind of scare, you may want to see "The Fourth Kind" - I found it not so flashy as a lot of alien flicks, but the premise is quite frightful.

Beth Perry (author) from Tennesee on September 22, 2013:

AvineshP, I think some movie studios look only at the money prospects -they find one horror film does well and milk it for all it's worth, which makes for uninspired monotony. Slasher flicks aimed at teen audiences are particularly notorious for this.

BTW, House of Wax was indeed pretty interesting! I don't mind the occasional remake like this.

Megan Carroll from Boynton Beach, FL on September 21, 2013:

Great list! "Fire in the Sky" scares the be-jesus out of me! No one ever agrees...I'm so glad you included it. It's not just me!

Avinesh Prahladi from Chandigarh on September 20, 2013:

Beth, I am also a huge fan of horror movies. The genre of horror is quite widespread, I am sure that you will agree with me. I liked 'Descent' very much. I had watched both 1st and 2nd part and 'House of Wax' was also quite interesting. But, sometimes I feel that the plot of these horror movies are somewhat monotonous, don't you think??

Beth Perry (author) from Tennesee on September 20, 2013:

It sure is, AvineshP, though sometimes I wish I had that ability when I hear the kids acting up!

Avinesh Prahladi from Chandigarh on September 20, 2013:

Well, the list includes some of the scariest movies of all time. My personal favorite one is The Exorcist..... If I talk about particularly that head turning scene, it definitely is a head turner ;-).... God, this movie was SCARY.

Beth Perry (author) from Tennesee on July 30, 2013:

Cool Ruth! I hope you enjoy them :)

Ruth Martin on July 30, 2013:

I haven't seen Rosemary's Baby or An American Haunting, although the first one has been on my "need to watch" list forever. This list definitely made me want to watch them. I guess it's time to rent some movies.

Beth Perry (author) from Tennesee on July 26, 2013:

Thanks much, gsurvivor!

I have a confession to make - about six weeks ago I broke down and watched Eraserhead again. My kids were begging to see it, but with me, and well I just found it impossible to say no :(

gsurvivor on July 23, 2013:

Eraserhead sure is scary, but I don't get why you wouldn't see it again, it's an amazing movie! Still a great hub, well worth a vote up! :)

Carlo Giovannetti from Puerto Rico on May 12, 2013:

Cool list. Some great, scary scenes there. I would add the opening of 28 Weeks Later, or the creature reveal in The Descent.

Beth Perry (author) from Tennesee on August 06, 2012:

duppycon2, you are right, that is one chilling scene! I've not seen Trilogy of Terror but will have to find it.

Thanks much for reading and commenting :)

duppycon2 from Yuma AZ on August 05, 2012:

Lifelong horror fan here. While I watch a lot of 'em I'll admit that they don't generally have the same impact on me as they did when I was a youngster.

I vividly recall the scene in Salem's Lot (a TV movie, nonetheless!) where Danny Glick floats up to the one kid's (don't recall the character's name - the End Boy) window out of the night mist, scratching at it, imploring him to let him in. Good Lord, that scared the bejesus out of me. I don't know how many nights I'd lay awake in bed, looking at my window (which had no curtains, of course - second floor) just waiting to see that pallid face appear!

And the voodoo doll in Trilogy of Terror with Karen Black, too. Egads!

Great hub, bethperry.

Beth Perry (author) from Tennesee on June 18, 2012:

self absorbed, thanks for sharing. That girl was definitely scary and did come close to making the list : )

self absorbed from Canada on June 18, 2012:

Great list, totally agree, the only one that I see missing is, the girl in the closet from the Ring. The storyline wasn't that great, but that scene seriously messed me up for a while, but I have a thing about closets already.

Beth Perry (author) from Tennesee on May 04, 2012:

Hi DS and thanks for reading and commenting.

Oh gosh, you're so right, too. I refused to watch that movie until I was an adult. And so glad I waited lol!

Beth Perry (author) from Tennesee on May 04, 2012:

SouthernHoney, thanks for commenting and oh yeah! I about jumped out of my skin seeing that the first time.

DS Duby from United States, Illinois on May 04, 2012:

Some great horror moments listed here, and nicely written I'm more of a zombie person myself but appreciate all horror, but by far, in my opinion the exorcist scenes were the most frightening from my childhood, Regan was one terrifying little girl!

Allison from San Diego, CA on March 06, 2012:

I love that you brought up the scene from The Exorcist where Regan comes down the stairs backwards. That may be one of my favorite movie scenes of all time - SOO creepy!

Beth Perry (author) from Tennesee on March 02, 2012:

Thanks urgurl_bri. Yeah, some of 'em really are!

Brandi Goodman from Holland, MI on March 02, 2012:

This was a very interesting hub and I enjoyed reading. Even the pictures were kind of creepy to look at though! ha-ha.

icountthetimes on January 10, 2012:

You really have picked some classic moments here. I agree that all of these scenes are scary, aside from perhaps the one from The Grudge. I couldn't take that movie seriously as there were a few unintentionally funny moments and people in the cinema when I watched it kept on laughing :).

Maybe the chestburster scene from Alien would be at home here too. That was pretty horrific! Also, thanks for reminding me of Jacob's Ladder. I really have to give that another viewing sometime.

Marlin 55 from USA on October 02, 2011:

Hi Beth, What a great article. I saw all of these movies except eraserhead, and maybe for a good reason. Like you my kids grew up watching the scary stuff and they turned out just fine. Thanks for writing this article.

Beth Perry (author) from Tennesee on September 27, 2011:

Thanks for reading and commenting, Painted Seahorse!

I groan like that any time I see someone shoot the villain on TV or movies any more and then just drop the weapon. Because -you're right- nine times outta ten they're going to get back up again. Another crime I blame on Michael Myers; setting the predictable trend, lol.

Brittany Rowland from Woodstock, GA on September 27, 2011:

Great list! I agree with you with the ones I've seen, and you make me want to watch some of the other movies. I didn't have your number one scene in mind, but when I saw the picture, I thought, Yes! That was such a terrifying, repugnant, and bizarre image!

Oh, and when I watched Halloween for the first time, the whole family would groan every time Laurie threw away her knife. He's not dead!

Beth Perry (author) from Tennesee on September 27, 2011:

Poor Barbara!! lol You've got a cyber hug coming to you!

But Freddy never scared me; I think it's because he was just so annoying with all his cheesy comical remarks.

Barbara Hansen on September 27, 2011:

Several of the movies you've "hubbed" were never shown where I grew up. I didn't see the Exorcist until a few years ago, but I did read the book in the early 70's), and was afraid something was going to come out from under my bed and grab me.... I still can't watch Freddy Kruger movies---saw one, and that was enough for me!!! Oh man, now I'll probably have nightmares tonight....LOL

Beth Perry (author) from Tennesee on September 26, 2011:

Thanks much Dexter! And yes, I felt it apro for the season :)

Dexter Yarbrough from United States on September 26, 2011:

Hi Beth! You brought back a lot of scary memories from my childhood! After all these years, it is difficult for me to watch scenes from Psycho, Halloween and the Exorcist! Whew!

Just in time for Halloween, huh?

Voted up, up and away!

Beth Perry (author) from Tennesee on September 26, 2011:

John Sarkis, I thought The Exorcist III was interesting, but I liked the two different versions of The Exorcist: the Beginning even more. Thanks for stopping by & Bright Blessings.

Beth Perry (author) from Tennesee on September 26, 2011:

Hey Xenolit and thanks much!

Beth Perry (author) from Tennesee on September 26, 2011:

Nell Rose, thanks much hon! And yes, I've seen The Ring, the one about the ghost girl coming out of the TV. In fact, it just barely missed being on my list :)

Beth Perry (author) from Tennesee on September 26, 2011:

kitty, you're probably right, lol. Thanks for stopping by and Bright Blessings :)

Beth Perry (author) from Tennesee on September 26, 2011:

Nickalooch, I guess all films seem dated after time, but this one still makes me cringe!

John Sarkis from Winter Haven, FL on September 26, 2011:

"The Shining" is pretty scary, but "The Exorcist III" is my personal all time scariest - couldn't sleep for 3 days after I saw it when it first came out in 1990

Thanks and God Bless


Kitty Fields from Summerland on September 26, 2011:

Voted up and awesome, Beth. I have to say that I agree with most, minus the Halloween moment...why? Because I felt it was too never turn your back on a dead killer's body no matter how tired you are. She, in reality, would've ran out of the house and called the cops next door or down the road. I love your selections though. Awesome and perfect timing for Halloween. Blessed Be.

Xenonlit on September 26, 2011:

I'll tell you this: that last scene in the "Blair Witch Project" bothers me to this day! Great choices.

Nell Rose from England on September 26, 2011:

Hi, Oh my God! lol some of these brought back so many memories, I don't remember the scene from the Exorcist when she comes down the stairs, I must have missed the extended version, but the head spinning around really freaked me out! I do think that it was one of the best horrors ever, we seem to have lost the scary factor a bit since then, and the music, ughhh! but Hellraiser has to be my all scary moment, it became subliminal for me, I think thats what frightened me, it was so nightmareish, there was one other film that got me though, I think it was the Ring? not sure, when the girl jerkily comes out of the Well and flits across the screen and comes through the TV! Arghhh! lol great list and great films! cheers nell

Nick from MD on September 26, 2011:

i saw Blair Witch when it first came out and thought it was amazing. I watched it a week ago, and realized how dated it was