While scary movies come out every year, the Halloween holiday is probably the best time of year to remember and appreciate the classics. In between the trick-or-treating, candy-eating, and pumpkin-carving, queue up one of these freaky films … if you dare.

The Amityville Horror

Though it came out in 1979, The Amityville Horror has stood the test of time as the ultimate, go-to ghost movie, paving the way for many others in the genre. When an incredibly unlucky family moves into an incredibly haunted house, the ghosts of residents past are quick to let them know that they’re not welcome, and stage an attack to force them out.

Nightmare on Elm Street

Iconic horror movie director Wes Craven passed away this year, but his legacy lives on through his incredible catalog of work. Not only was the iconic character of Freddie Krueger introduced in Nightmare on Elm Street, but a young Johnny Depp stars as one of the teens who are terrorized by the famous claw-gloved villain.


He didn’t stop at Elm Street. Craven also created a whole new generation of horror movie fans when he directed this thriller in 1996. It has all of the necessary elements of a scary movie: a killer on the loose, a bunch of careless teenagers, and lots of fake blood. In a nod to its influences, Scream pays homage to several famous films with the character of Randy, who ironically points out scary movie cliches throughout.

Paranormal Activity

Whatever you do, don’t watch this one alone in the dark! While you wouldn’t think that a found-footage flick could inspire such terror, there’s just something about the shaky camera angles and realistic quality that hit a little too close to home. After all, the main characters are average folks just like you and me, which is the spookiest part of all. About a bazillion sequels have been released, as well as a number of copycat movies, but nothing beats the original.

Silence of the Lambs

Not for the faint of heart. You’ve probably seen this classic already, but it never fails to bring the heebie-jeebies. Between Jodie Foster’s stellar performance as the clever, unassuming student Clarice, and Anthony Hopkins’ creepy portrayal of incarcerated killer Hannibal Lecter, we don’t blame you if you have trouble sleeping later.