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20 of the Top Scariest Horror Movie Scenes Everyone Remembers

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20 of the Most Scariest Scenes in Horror Movies Everyone Remembers

What do you consider to be some the most scariest horror movie scenes ever? To help answer that very question, I have put together 20 memroable scare moments from some of the greatest horror movies in my top list below.

The following top list, in no particular order, features 20 of the scariest horror movie scenes from some of the best 70s, 80s and 90s fright flicks.


1. The Exorcist (1973)

Scene – Regan’s Head Turn | Watch on YouTube

It doesn’t get much more scary than the head-turning scene in The Exorcist. For its time, this scene was very impressive and petrifying. You have to respect what a young Lind Blair was put through to accomplish some of the horrifying special effects work seen throughout the film.

The Exorcist Head Twist Scene


2. The Evil Dead (1981)

Scene – Cheryl Possessed | Watch on YouTube

For me, the scariest scene in Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead has to be when Ash’s sister Cheryl gets possessed by the demons. In fact, the entire film is loaded with plenty of scare gags and great special makeup effects work throughout.

The Evil Dead Cheryl Possessed Scene


3. Evil Dead II (1987)

Scene – Henrietta is Summoned | Watch on YouTube

Just like in the original The Evil Dead, Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead II is loaded with some nice practical special effects work by the shovel load. My favorite scene from the film would have to be when Henrietta rises from the earth and spits out the following line: “Someone’s in my fruit cellar!” Ted Raimi manages to pull off one eerie monster.

Evil Dead II Henrietta Scene


4. The Blair Witch Project (1999)

Scene – Heather’s Monologue | Watch on YouTube

This scene has been made fun of countless times over the years, but at the time it was a rather chilling moment. Released in October of 1999, The Blair Witch Project was most defiantly one of the scariest horror movies at that time.

The Blair Witch Project Heather Crying


5. Salem’s Lot (1979)

Scene – Danny Glick at the Window | Watch on YouTube

The floating boy at the window in Salem’s Lot has to be one of the most scariest scenes ever in a horror movie. When Danny Glick returns as a vampire and begins scratching on the window, it genuinely scared me as a young kid watching this scene late at night.

Salem's Lot Window Scene


6. Halloween (1978)

Scene – The Closet | Watch on YouTube

This scene, in which Michael Myers attacks his sister Laurie Strode, is one of the most talked about scary moments from John Carpenter’s 1978 seminal slasher film Halloween. Can you imagine being that person trapped inside of a claustrophobic closet with an unstoppable killer trying to break it open to kill you? Chilling.

Halloween 1978 Closet Scene


7. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

Scene – Leatherface Captures Pam | Watch on YouTube

One of Leatherface’s most memorable appearances in Tobe Hooper’s 1974 horror slasher classic The Texas Chainsaw Massacre comes when Pam enters the Sawyer’s house of macabre, and this is where some of the film’s most shocking, frightening visuals take place.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Pam Scene


8. An American Werewolf In London (1981)

Scene – Werewolf Attack | Watch on YouTube

I would have chosen the Nazi attack as the scariest scene in An American Werewolf in London, but after some thought, I decided to go with something within the movie that wasn’t a dream sequence. Of course, I had to go with the brutal and terrifying werewolf attack on the moors.

An American Werewolf In London David and Jack Scene


9. Hellraiser (1987)

Scene – The Cenobites Arrive | Watch on YouTube

The first on screen appearance of Pinhead and his army of cenobites is an unforgettable, visually unsettling moment in horror history. The practical special effects work used in Clive Barker’s Hellraiser was on another level of horror for its time.

Scariest Horror Movie Scenes - Hellraiser 1987 Cenobites Arrive


10. Rawhead Rex (1986)

Scene – Rawhead Rex Awakens | Watch on YouTube

As a young kid experiencing my first viewing of Clive Barker’s 1986 horror film Rawhead Rex, I had no idea what I was in for back then. When the creature known as Rawhead Rex makes its first appearance on screen, it’s definitely one of those memorable moments in horror that still manages to retain some fright on a revisit.

Scariest Horror Movie Scenes - Rawhesd Rex Awakens


11. Demons (1985)

Scene – Rosemary’s Transformation | Watch on YouTube

When Rosemary cuts her face after putting on a cursed mask in a Berlin movie theater, it’s not long before she transitions into the film’s most frightening demon. Lamberto Bava’s 1985 horror classic Demons features of the very best gore and makeup effects in all of Italian horror.

Scariest Horror Movie Scenes - Demons 1985 Rosemary


12. The Thing (1982)

Scene – Dog-Thing | Watch on YouTube

There’s nothing more scary than the Kennel-Thing/Dog-Thing transformation scene in John Carpenter’s beloved 1982 horror film The Thing. Stan Winston’s and his team managed to create one of the most visually pleasing, iconic special effects moments in horror history.

The Thing 1982 Dog Scene


13. Phantasm (1979)

Scene – The Tall Man Chases Mike | Watch on YouTube

The creepiest scene in Don Coscarelli’s 1979 horror film Phantasm has to be when The Tall Man chases young Mike around the morgue’s darkened hallways, and the pursue doesn’t end until Mike manages to open a door and lock it behind him.

Phantasm 1979 Chase Scene


14. Fright Night (1985)

One scene of the eeriest scenes in Tom Holland’s 1985 horror film Fright Night comes when the head vampire himself, Jerry Dandridge, pays a late night visit to Charley Brewster’s home and delivers a frightening message. The brilliant practical makeup effects work in this moment adds more fright to the scene.

Scene – Uninvited Guest | Watch on YouTube

Fright Night Uninvited Guest Scene


15. The Company of Wolves (1984)

Not the scariest Werewolf movie overall, but director Neil Jordan’s fantasy horror film The Company of Wolves does have a very frightening lycanthrope transformation scene. Expect a lot of skin tearing, face stretching, and other gruesome practical effects work.

Scene – Huntsman Transformation | Watch on YouTube

Scariest Horror Movie Scenes - The Company of Wolves Huntsman Transformation


16. The Shining (1980)

Scene – “Here’s Johnny” | Watch on YouTube

One of the scariest scenes in The Shining happens when Jack Torrance loses his sanity and stalks his wife Wendy with an Axe, and then proceeds to smash an hole in the door to deliver the line everyone loves: “here’s Johnny”. Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 horror masterpiece is stacked with plenty more haunting moments like this throughout the film to keep viewers happy.

The Shining Here's Johnny Scene


17. Friday the 13th (1980)

The scene in the lake with Jason leaping out of the water to grab Alice is one of those unexpected jump moments in horror. Sean S. Cunningham’s Friday the 13th is a classic slasher film that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the end credits roll.

Scene – Boy in the Lake | Watch on YouTube

Friday the 13th Jason in the Lake Scene


18. The Witches (1990)

Scene – The Grand High Witch Transformation | Watch on YouTube

Are you afraid of Witches? If not, I’m sure you will be after you watch Anjelica Huston’s bone-chilling transformation scene in Roald Dahl’s The Witches. I don’t think there’s ever been a more scarier looking Witch than The Grand High Witch in Nicolas Roeg’s 1990 film adaptation.

The Withes The Grand High Witch Transformation Scene


19. The Howling (1981)

Scene – Eddie’s Werewolf Transformation | Watch on YouTube

Probably the freakiest werewolf transformation scene than any other werewolf film currently in existence. Thanks to Rob Bottin’s brilliant practical effects work, Eddie’s transition into a werewolf in Joe Dante’s The Howling will keep you engaged right until its completion.

Scariest Horror Movie Scenes - The Howling Eddie's Transformation


20. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

Scene – Freddy Pursues Tina | Watch on YouTube

Before Freddy gets finished with Tina in A Nightmare on Elm Street, he chases and taunts her in some very intense and frightening scenes. To this day, Wes Craven’s 1984 slasher film still remains one of the scariest horror movies of all time.

Scariest Horror Movie Scenes - A Nightmare on Elm Street 1984 Tina

What title would you include in this list of some of the most scariest horror movie scenes? Sound off down in our comments section below this article.

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