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Scary Movies

They know how to frazzle the nerves. Shadows moving in darkness, taut strings of creepy music, and mysterious creaking doors send shivers up your spine. Who doesn't like the thrill of being frightened and jumping out of your seat? Below are our favorite Scary Movies, determined by their mix of fright factors, chilling atmosphere, terror themes, and yes, sometimes nostalgia. For a complete rundown of other scary options, venture into the Movie Mausoleum for a complete listing by subgenre, or visit the top horror movie sites for up-to-the-minute, reviews, trailers and more.

The Movie Basement


I know... books are scary, but there's a lot of scary movies out and you sometimes needs a guide to give you all the details. Below are some movie books worth checking out, and make sure to visit the Bewitching Books page for even more.

VideoHound's Horror Show
by Mike Mayo
(Visible Ink, 1998)
A thorough encyclopedia of some of the best, weirdest, and nontraditional horror movies.
Fangoria: 101 Best Horror Movies You've Never Seen
by Adam Lukeman
(Three Rivers, 2003)
A guide to lesser known flicks that's both informative and entertaining for hardcore fans.

How to Survive a Horror Movie
by Seth Grahame-Smith
(Quirk, 2007)
A very fun read about what to do if you find yourself in a horror movie Perfect for horror fans!
Horror Movie Freak
by Don Summer
(Krause, 2010)
This book features freak-to-freak commentary and full color pics throughout. Excellent!
The Slasher Movie Book
by J. A. Kerswell
(Chicago Review, 2012)
As subgenres go, the slasher movie is a plentiful and this book reveals some little-seen films.



The Best Scary Movies for Halloween

Trick 'r Treat

Trick 'r Treat (2007)
This movie embodies the essence of Halloween like no other. Full of wicked atmosphere and sets filled with holiday whimsy, this is a love letter for fans of the darkest night of the year.

Nightmare Before Christmas

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Tim Burton's masterpiece combines the macabre wonder of Halloween and mixes in some great music, great characters, and just a touch of heart.


Halloween (1978)
John Carpenter created the slasher film with an unstoppable brutal force. Each scene is tense and scored with music that shreds your nerves until the final frame.

Sleepy Hollow

Sleepy Hollow (1999)
Tim Burton's whimsical take on Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman remains the finest adaptation yet with just enough humor.

Monster House

Monster House (2006)
This computer animated marvel breathtaking brings a house to life with gruesome force and evokes a true Halloween ambience.


Pumpkinhead (1988)
Somewhat schlocky but the striking visuals lift this atmospheric film into cult status – and it features a bad-ass monster.

The Exorcist

The Exorcist (1973)
Demonic possession at its brutal worst and a movie guaranteed to give all people of faith vivid nightmares.

The Shining

The Shining (1980)
Stanley Kubrick refines Stephen King's bloated book into the scariest haunted hotel film of all time.


Poltergeist (1982)
The definitive haunted house movie with some serious frights: the tree, the clown, the closet! It knows what scares you.

Evil Dead 2

Evil Dead II (1987)
This cult classic is scary, funny, and outright bizarre with a unusual camera work and some fine gory effects. The best of the series.

American Werewolf in London

American Werewolf in London (1981)
Isolation and friendship are tested when werewolves attack. It's funny, gross and even a little sad but still one of the best.

Shaun of the Dead

Shaun of the Dead (2004)
A pitch perfect send up of zombie movies that is equally hilarious, gory, and terrifying thanks largely to the cast and writing.

The Birds

The Birds (1963)
Hitchcock ratches up the terror when the unassuming birds descend on a little town. A real nail-biter if there ever was one.

The Bride of Frankenstein

The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
For a classic evening, this is a shining example of character and setting working beautifully together.

The Woman in Black

The Woman in Black (2012)
The classic ghost story is brought to life with the perfect setting and actors so committed you actually cry for them.

The Amityville Horror

The Amityville Horror (1979)
Based on a true story, this devil-possesed house has some highly effective scenes and a pervasive sense of dread that culminates in sheer 70s terror.

Nightmare on Elm Street

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
Wes Craven's masterpiece is just as thrilling and nerve-racking as ever, plus you get some great practical effects that stand the test of time!

The Thing

The Thing (1982)
An icy-cold masterpiece keeps the sustained, anxious terror and never lets up. To this day, the effects are absolutely gruesome and worlds better that the current cheap CGI trend.

Fright Night

Fright Night (1985)
This vampire movie is a campy and totally retro 80s guilty pleasure. The remake is just as good and also a fun time at the movies.

Rocky Horror Picture Show

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
That sweet transvestite gets you sing along every time while throwing junk at the screen. Attend a proper midnight show!

Cabin In the Woods

Cabin in the Woods (2012)
This clever movie is made for longtime horror fans, and has the best twists and the best ending ever. A new classic!