The Scariest Scenes In Horror Movie History

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There are tons of scary movies; some of which take the cake for fear factor. Here’s our low-down of the 35 most terrifying horror movie moments in cinematic history. Best not to read this before bed…

The Blair Witch Project- Facing The Wall

Okay, so we have no idea how this movie ends. All we know is that one minute Mike faces the wall and the next minute Heather’s camera is on the floor. And because it’s ambiguous, it makes it hella scary.

Mike facing the wall at the very end of the Blair Witch Project, before Heather drops the camera.

Alien- Chestburster

The Chestburster scene from the original Alien movie is one of the most iconic movie moments of all time. It has since been parodied in films, fancy dress and more (because who doesn’t love to see a gross inhuman fetus protruding from someone’s belly button?) Nevertheless, the original still stands as one of the scariest horror scenes of all time. From the man writhing around in pain to the incredible blood spurts – it’s pretty horrific.

The Chestburster scene in Alien is quite possibly one of the creepiest of all time

The Ring- Samara Crawls Out Of The TV

Let’s be honest; The Ring is incredibly scary for anyone – including those seasoned in horror movies. Most horror movies scare us to death, but this one is different. Because Samara quite literally scares people to death. Like, really. The end of this film is the scariest because as Samara comes out of the television, we get to see from the victim’s perspective how she kills her victims. And it’s not cool. Turning the TV off now.

Samara coming out of the television in The Ring still gives most people nightmares to this day

It- Sewer

Whether you’ve read Stephen King’s It, watched the original movie or waiting for the new one to be released, we can all agree on one thing – the sewer scene is incredibly scary. For starters, clowns are pretty darn scary by themselves. But when you’re just minding your own business playing with a ball and a clown pops up under the sewer…well, you might have to change your pants, that’s for sure. It still traumatizes us to this day.

There’s no denying that Pennywise, the clown, hanging out in the sewer in It is one of the scariest movie scenes ever.

Nightmare on Elm Street- Glen’s Death

Nightmare on Elm Street is already pretty horrifying because of Freddie Kreuger, and then you get to Glen’s death, and it goes to a whole other level of scary. It really does make the phrase ‘monsters under your bed’ a reality. As if it wasn’t bad enough Glen was getting brutally murdered and shredded like blended food; his mother chooses that moment to walk in and witness the carnage. And the screams have haunted us since.

Glen dying in Nightmare on Elm Street is a brutal and harrowing horror movie scene

The Exorcist 3- Hospital

There’s something already incredibly creepy about an old-fashioned, empty, dark hospital corridor (because hospitals are super scary, right?!) – yet this scene wins in regards to scary hospital scenes. The minute-long moment builds up the tension right until the very last second when the terrifying figure follows the innocent nurse. And, well, we don’t need to tell you the rest. You can see for yourselves. Or not. It’s up to you. We’d advise against it.

The Exorcist 3 may not be one of the most popular horror movies, but the hospital scene definitely deserves some credit.

The Shining- Furry

So The Shining is probably one of the scariest movies in existence because there is the fear of the unknown. And this scene is exactly that. As Shelley Duvall rushes to escape her imminent death by her crazy husband, she passes a room where a man in a dog costume is doing errrr….naughty things to a suit-laden man. With no context behind it, all we get is the scary face of the dog. And it’s super unsettling.
There are plenty of scary scenes in The Shining, particularly that ‘Furry’ moment.

The Poltergeist- Clown Toy

As we’ve already said, clowns aren’t exactly the entertaining birthday party guests that you’d expect them to be – especially not in horror movies. And you definitely wouldn’t want to invite the toy clown from Poltergeist to your birthday, that’s for sure. We don’t know why the guy decided to put a really creepy looking clown at the bottom of his bed… And in true horror movie fashion, it scared the hell out of us when it came to life.

The toy clown coming alive in Poltergeist gives everyone the chills.

Salem’s Lot- Window Ghost

Okay, so this one is pretty spooky – but it’s not at the same time. Considering it’s now nearly 40 years old, the special effects aren’t what they are now, making it pretty basic and fake looking. Nevertheless, this scene has all the elements needed for the ultimate scary movie scene. There are open curtains in the middle of the night (do these people never learn to close their curtains?!), eerie fog and mist, nightmares, and a floating zombie child.

Salem’s Lot is an old horror movie, but the Window Scene is still one of the most horrifying.

A Field In English- Tent

If you haven’t seen A Field in England yet, you need to. But be prepared to be totally freaked out. This creepy black-and-white number provides us with one of the most bizarre, mesmerizing and utterly terrifying movie scenes in all of cinematic history. Where else are you going to see a deranged man tied up in ropes, emerging from a torture tent with the creepiest music in the background? In your nightmares, probably.

 A Field in England isn’t very well known as a horror movie but it’s worth watching simply for this Tent Scene.

Scream- Drew Barrymore Death

Everything about Scream is scary – from the weird Halloween mask to the music and the incredible tension. But Drew Barrymore’s death scene wins hands down for the most terrifying moment in this movie. Barrymore does a great job at keeping us all on tenterhooks, waiting for the masked man to finally reveal himself. And just as she thinks she can get away from it…BAM! She’s a goner. After a carefully cultivated and slow murder, of course.

Drew Barrymore’s death scene in Scream is one that people have parodied and recreated for years.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre- Leatherface’s Face

Although this is another movie that’s around 40-years-old, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is even more believable – kinda. The whole concept is pretty terrifying, and coming across Leatherface during your travels can’t be fun. But this scene is even scarier because it literally happens in broad daylight (something very uncommon for scary movies) and it is our very first glimpse of Leatherface in the film. We don’t like what we see!

The first glimpse of Leatherface in The Texas Chainsaw massacre is a seriously haunting horror movie scene.

Un Chien Andalou- Eyeball Cutting

This 1929 movie isn’t everyone’s cup of tea – and we must admit, we can’t watch it without squirming every two minutes. But what’s impressive about this movie is that there is nothing else like it in the world. However, we could live our lives without seeing the eye scene ever again. In this movie, we watch an oddly calm woman sit still, while a man begins to slice her eye open with a razor blade. Yep.

Un Chien Andalou is a cult classic horror movie, and the eye scene is what made it so famous.

Rosemary’s Baby- Conception

People often forget that Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby is a horror movie, as well as a comedy (we’re not sure how he got that combination to work, but it did). As well as a few laughs, the movie is chock-full of tension and gruesome scenes – including the conception scene. The scariest part is that we don’t know if she’s dreaming, if she’s hallucinating or if it’s actually happening. Because getting impregnated by a demon can’t be fun.

Watching the conception scene from Rosemary’s Baby is enough to give anyone nightmares.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre- Final Chase

Considering we’ve already got Texas Chainsaw Massacre on our list, you could say it was pretty darn scary. And majorly intense. During this final chase scene, Sally not only gets stabbed by some random guy in the truck, but she also gets chased by the infamous Leatherface at the same time (I mean, talk about unlucky!) She continues to get attacked, scream her head off and scare us all in the process. Wonderful!

The final chase during Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a classic horror movie moment that will give you the chills.

Event Horizon- Hell

Talking about or even witnessing Hell (which, hopefully, we’ll never have to do) is never a fun concept – even more so when Event Horizon makes the whole thing utterly terrifying. This movie follows the story of a lost ship who manages to get itself in the world of the unknown, where the whole thing just drives people absolutely insane. There’s torture, there’s fire, and there’s just about everything to freak you out. Watch it if you dare.

Event Horizon manages to make Hell seem even more unappealing than you’d first think.

Freaks- Cleopatra Initiation

If you’ve ever worried about being initiated into an evil cult – well, don’t watch this movie. Okay, so it’s not exactly politically correct and is pretty darn brutal at times, but it is also a work of terrifying genius. The initiation of Cleopatra into the freaks gang is one that is incredibly creepy, unnerving and you’ll be able to hear their unnaturally chanting for years to come. You won’t forget it in a hurry…

Freaks is an epic horror movie about evil cults, and the chanting in the ‘One of Us’ scene is one of the best scenes of the whole film.

Eyes Without A Face- Surgery

Everything about this movie is gruesome. The name, the concept, the storyline. Yet, it’s one of those movies where you just become mesmerized with the whole thing – even the surgery scene. According to reports, many people have fainted while watching this scene, and we don’t blame them. This near-on 6-minute scene shows one incredibly calm surgeon completely remove a woman’s face. But it’s done slowly, for viewers’ pleasure. Or displeasure. We’re gonna go with displeasure…

According to reports, the surgery scene from Eyes Without A Face led to some people fainting in the cinema.

Zodiac- Basement

There’s something about basements that are just incredibly appealing to victims in horror movies. You’d think people would learn considering nothing good ever comes from going down in a basement – but no. And no matter how hard we screamed at the guy in David Fincher’s horror movie to avoid going down the basement (as well as scream ‘Get out!’ pretty violently as he continued to walk down the steps) he just didn’t listen. But he should have.

Zodiac isn’t exactly a horror movie (as such) but the basement scene ticks all of the right scary film boxes.

Les Diaboliques- Bathtub

This lesser known horror movie is definitely one to watch – but you’ll have to prepare yourself for the bathtub scene because you’ll never want to go to the bathroom again. Ever. The movie is already pretty creepy and considering there’s a weeping woman who can’t seem to contain herself; you don’t really expect anything else to go wrong. However, this movie adds in a corpse wearing a suit, submerged in water..who then rises from the dead.
Not many people have seen Les Diaboliques, but the bathtub scene is perfect for horror movie lovers.

Silence Of The Lambs- Hannibal’s Escape

Silence of the Lambs is easily one of the most chill horror movies in history – and not because it’s not scary, but because Hannibal Lecter is just so darn composed about the whole cannibalism, locked up in a cell with a mask on him thing. Nevertheless, Lecter’s escape is one of intensity and a heck load of night vision (which in itself is incredibly creepy). We see the whole thing through the murderer’s eyes, too.

The cool and calm composure of Hannibal Lecter makes his escape scene in Silence of the Lambs one of the classics.

The Omen- Nanny

Most people know the 2006 Omen movie – but the original is even scarier than the modern one and elicits the shock factor on every single level. One of the most intense scenes is the nanny scene which is both unexpected and downright odd. As she tries to get the attention of Damian, she’s ecstatic – and you don’t even realize that she’s on a roof. But of course, she is, and she jumps. It’s a messy scene.

The Nanny Scene in The Omen is one of the most shocking and spine-tingling of all time.

The Shining- Bathroom

The Shining is full of scary horror scenes, so it’s difficult to pick them out individually – but we just had to add this one to the list. In this scene, Jack Nicholson thinks he’s lucked out as he walks into the bathroom where there’s a beautiful, de-robed lady waiting for him. But as time goes on and they get…err, ‘busy’ she soon turns into a zombified old hag who is covered in lesions and tries to kill him.

The Shining is a classic horror movie, and the bathtub scene is one of the best moments in it.

The Exorcist- Head Spinning

Okay, so there’s nothing in this movie that is in any way fun, and the whole thing is one horrific mess. It’s not for the kind of person that scares easily (some aspects are so bad we wonder how it even made it to theaters). One of the scariest scenes is where the demonic child takes over the house, messes it all up (you never see the clean-up afterward, do you?) and proceeds to turn her head 360 degrees.

Regan’s head spinning around in The Exorcist is easily one of the most terrifying horror movie scenes of all time.

The Fly- Birthing

Horror movies love to offer us some gruesome images of women giving birth – but they never usually give birth to normal babies. Instead, they’re alien mutants and things you can’t really explain (or ever want to give birth to). In this movie, this woman gives birth to a weird, wriggling pupa. Not sure why, not sure how. But it is downright scary, and the way the midwife holds it in her hands is incredibly creepy…

 The birthing scene in The Fly is easily one of the most gruesome horror movie moments in forever.

American Werewolf In London- Transformation

Horror movie werewolves are never like the werewolves we see in movies like Twilight – because for starters they’re not played by teddy bear lookalike, Taylor Lautner. The transformation into Werewolf in this film is both intense, over-the-top (but not in a cheesy way) and dramatic. When we think he’s just about done, he goes into another intense transformation that is even worse than the first. And it looks super painful. Rather him than us.

American Werewolf in London has several chilling moments, but the transformation into Werewolf earns a top spot for scary movie moments.

The Last House On The Left- Murder

There’s one thing we can expect from every single horror movie – a good murder scene (well, as good as they can be considering) and The Last House on the Left has one of the most explosive murder scenes in cinematic history. Complete with spewing guts, psychotic enjoyment, weird relationships, eerie forest backdrops, graphic scenes, and stabbings; this one will give you nightmares for months. And you’ll never want to go into a forest ever again.

The murder scene in Last House on the Left is harrowing, horrifying, and one you may want to look away from.

Under The Skin- Beach

Normally, a beach is incredibly calming, relaxing and enjoyable – but of course, Under The Skin hopes to get rid of any kind of pleasure you ever feel in those kinds of places. And this scene is freakin’ weird. Not only is Scarlett Johansson an alien, but she then proceeds to drag a body along the beach, past a screaming baby who’s wail will be forever engrained in our minds. It’s just so calm and completely abnormal. You know?

Under the Skin completely ruins beaches for most horror movie lovers, with Scarlett Johansson dragging a body along the beach.

Audition- Needle

This late ‘90s Japanese horror/slasher movie often slips under the carpet with horror viewers – even though it is one of the most gruesome. The spine-tingling torture scene in this movie is what sets it apart, and it comes complete with huge needles, psychological manipulation, limb amputation and more. The worst part of all of this is the intense pleasure the villain gets out of this torture, especially when she gets to the eyeball… Creepy as!

Not everyone has seen the Japanese horror movie Audition, but if you love horror movies you simply have to watch the chilling needle scene.

The Poltergeist- Marty In The Mirror

We’ve no idea how Poltergeist managed to bag itself a PG rating – because it is far from PG. Perhaps it got its rating from its seemingly unpredictable storyline, but the Marty in the mirror scene is one of the most horrific. We just watch on as he claws chunks of skin and flesh out of his face as he stares into the bathroom mirror. Although now we know it was Steven Spielberg’s hands it’s a little less scary.

Marty in the Mirror during Poltergeist nearly lost this horror movie its PG rating.

The Thing

Despite its slightly awkward and under-budgeted special effects and non-existent CGI, the storyline behind The Thing is actually pretty terrifying. In fact, John Carpenter became known for his ability to scare – and it’s definitely noticeable in this movie. The whole chest defibrillation scene is both graphic, intense and utterly shocking. Because let’s be honest, you don’t want to see a chest completely caving in any day of the week. At least, we don’t, anyway…

Regardless of the poor special FX, the chest defibrillation scene in The Thing is spine-tingling.

Halloween- Closet

Halloween has always been associated with all things scary, so it makes sense for a horror movie to be called it (although it has since ruined every Halloween holiday for us). However, this film is the epitome of tension and gives us some of the most intense moments in movie history – including the closet scene where Laurie hides behind the flimsiest doors ever to get away from a mass murderer. Next time, get some stronger doors.

One of the most famous scenes in Halloween is when Laurie tries to hide behind the closet doors.

Psycho- The Smile

Psycho is one of the most intense movies ever made, and we’ve only been able to watch it a few times because of this. The most haunting aspect for us is one little thing…the smile. Anthony Perkins’ character is incredibly calm and utterly deranged. And that is the creepiest thing because everything is so normal to him, he’s been caught, and he’s been suspected of murder – yet he doesn’t seem to care, or he knows something we don’t…

Anthony Perkins smiling as Norman Bates in Psycho is one of the best (and scariest) horror movie moments of all time.

The Exorcist- Brain Scan

As we know and have already seen, the Exorcist is full of weird and wonderful goings on – including a little bit of science. Because we all love science, right? Well, you might not like this one. During this scene, Regan is taken to the hospital so they can take a look inside of her to see what could explain these paranormal activities. The sights and sounds of the scanner are weird and intense; it’s a clever movie moment.

Regan going through her brain scan in The Exorcist is a seriously clever piece of spooky cinema.

The Orphanage- Sackcloth Cghild

As much as we love children, it’s kinda weird how they make such incredible horror characters, right?! The Orphanage is full of weird and creepy children (no offense), and one of the most horrifying scenes is our introduction to the sackcloth child. Everyone’s having a jolly ol’ time at a party before the camera pans to one person. The sackcloth child. And then it all goes downhill. We still get shivers thinking about it now…

The Orphanage has plenty of scary moments, but at the top has to be the first time we see the Sackcloth child.

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