7 Terrifying Classic Movies

These Classic Movies Will Actually Scare You

Modern cinema offers a plethora of scares; from Ari Astor’s nightmarish Midsommar to Jordan Peele’s psychological terror, Us, you don’t have to look far to get the living daylights scared out of you.

But lest you find yourself craving a more vintage scare, the following are some of the creepiest films to keep you in the spooky mood.

I haven’t included obvious classics such as Abbot & Costello Meet Frankenstein, or Dracula; those classic films deserve their own separate spotlight; and while they might be spooky, they might be seem campy (and even comedic) to a modern-day audience.

Instead, I utilized the science behind what makes a movie truly terrifying; in my book, these classic movies hold up as truly frightening.

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The Uninvited

When Roderick and his sister, Pamela on the Cornish coast, they don’t suspect it is haunted. But before long, they discover the secret of the manor—a ghost intent on communicating with Roderick’s beautiful new romance Stella. Stella is sure that the ghost is that of her mother, who died in the mansion. But what they can’t figure out is, why does the ghost seem intent on harming her own daughter?


Cat People

With scenes that seem almost Hitchock-ian in their suspense, Cat People tells the tale of a young woman’s sexuality complex—namely that she turns into a black leopard whenever she gets in the mood, if you catch my meaning.


House of Wax

This horror film (which originally showed in 3D) stars the inimitable Vincent Price as a deranged sculptor who loses his wax museum in a tragic fire.

His solution? To replace his beloved wax figures by murdering people and covering their corpses in wax.


House on Haunted Hill

Another Vincent Price flick, this classic horror flick is based on the book by Shirley Jones.

Price plays a millionaire who offers $10,000 to five people if they will complete one seemingly simple task; agree to be locked into a haunted house overnight.



Arguably the most visually stunning on this list, Nosferatu is a 1922 German Expressionist horror film.

It is the vampire movie that started them all, and is defined by the the astounding performance of Max Schreck as Count Orlok


The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

This Picasso-esque vision of a horror movie tells the story of a deranged hypnotist (Dr. Caligari) who uses his powers of somnambulism to compel an unwitting accomplice (Cesare) to commit murders.


Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Something is wrong with the neighbors, honey.

Perhaps it has to do with those mysterious seed pods that people are finding in their backyards. And the fact that they are producing “Stepford Wife”-ish duplicates of everyone in the community, one at a time.

The creep factor here is effective for the same reasons as Jordan Peele’s us — there is something incredibly creepy about a mirror version of us existing somewhere.

more sPOOKY stories await YOU…