The Best Old Horror Movies Films
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The Best Old Horror Movies

List Criteria: Classic horror movies made before 1960.

The best old horror movies include classic scary films designed to terrify. Early horror movies tapped into our deepest fears of the unknown, combining compelling, unique stories with outstanding character acting. Whether it's zombies, ghosts, vampires or other supernatural creatures, this list of old horror movies includes some of the greatest frightening films ever made. Be sure to vote for your favorites, and add any older horror movies that are missing.

Modern horror movies are great, but they have nothing on the classics. In fact, many of the modern-era scary films are remakes of the famous movies listed here. Some of the common sources for these classic old horror movies include novels and folktales about frightening monsters (Dracula and Frankenstein are good examples). Some of the horror movies listed here are silent films, but that doesn't mean they aren't as scary - not at all. Both Nosferatu and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari are extremely creepy movies, even without sound.

What makes for a truly outstanding horror movie? Bottom line, it scares the living daylights out of us by tapping into some dark, primal fear we have. The best older horror movies manage to chill, thrill and terrify by exposing us to monsters -- both real and imagined. If you're looking to delve into classic horror movies, this is a great place to start. The films here are innovative, popular and downright horrifying.

For more spooky fun, check out these lists of the best horror books and 13 horror movies and the 'true stories' they're based on and of course, the greatest horror films ever made!

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  1. 1
    + 244
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    the people's #1 & most listed
    Tod Browning, Joan Standing, Bela Lugosi

    ) open buy at  
  2. 2
    + 271
    - 45

    Boris Karloff, John Boles, Colin Clive

    ) open buy at  
  3. 3
    + 192
    - 42

    Ralph Bellamy, Claude Rains, J. M. Kerrigan

    ) open buy at  
  4. 4
    + 173
    - 45

    John Carradine, Walter Brennan, Boris Karloff

    ) open buy at  
  5. 5
    + 203
    - 46

    Gustav Botz, Ruth Landschoff, Karl Etlinger

    ) open buy at  
  6. 6
    + 166
    - 49

    Merian C. Cooper, Bruce Cabot, Roscoe Ates

    ) open buy at  
  7. 7
    + 156
    - 36

    Boris Karloff, Bramwell Fletcher, David Manners

    ) open buy at  
  8. 8
    + 171
    - 49

    Whit Bissell, Bernie Gozier, Ben Chapman

    ) open buy at  
  9. 9
    + 134
    - 42

    Earl Gordon Bostwick, Ward Crane, Gibson Gowland

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  10. 10
    + 122
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    Fredric March, Rose Hobart, Holmes Herbert

    ) open buy at  
  11. 11
    + 105
    - 53

    Lil Dagover, Elsa Wagner, Friedrich Fehér

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  12. 12
    + 114
    - 41

    Wallace Ford, Frances O'Connor, Leila Hyams

    ) open buy at  
  13. 13
    + 108
    - 38

    Claude Rains, Holmes Herbert, Forrester Harvey

    ) open buy at  
  14. 14
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    ranked low on reranks & added by alex08212905
    Tippi Hedren, Rod Taylor, Elizabeth Wilson

    ) open buy at  
  15. 15
    + 138
    - 35

    Carolyn Jones, Kevin McCarthy, Larry Gates

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  16. 16
    + 115
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    Steve McQueen, Aneta Corsaut, Vincent Barbi

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  17. 17
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    Robert Cornthwaite, John Dierkes, James Arness

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  18. 18
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    Vincent Price, Carolyn Jones, Frank Lovejoy

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  19. 19
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    Vincent Price, Alan Marshal, Richard Long

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  20. 20
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    Christopher Lee, Robert Urquhart, Peter Cushing

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  21. 21
    + 71
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    Jane Randolph, Alec Craig, Eddie Dew

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  22. 22
    + 68
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    Clarence Muse, Bela Lugosi, John Harron

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  23. 23
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    Ernest Torrence, Lon Chaney, Kate Lester

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  24. 24
    + 78
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    Angela Lansbury, Donna Reed, George Sanders

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  25. 25
    + 74
    - 12

    ranked low on reranks
    Richard Ricci, Marilyn Eastman, Duane Jones

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  26. 26
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    Charles Laughton, Arthur Hohl, Kathleen Burke

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  27. 27
    + 64
    - 33

    Theodor Loos, Gerhard Bienert, Paul Kemp

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  28. 28
    + 35
    - 1

    ranked low on reranks & added by alex08212905
    Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair, Mercedes McCambridge

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  29. 29
    + 61
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Peggy Cummins, Athene Seyler, Niall MacGinnis

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  30. 30
    + 71
    - 37

    Christopher Lee, Ewen Solon, Miles Malleson

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  31. 31
    + 33
    - 1

    ranked low on reranks & added by alex08212905
    Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Ted Knight

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  32. 32
    + 31
    - 21

    often listed & added by zxray
    Carl Ebert, Henrik Galeen, Paul Wegener

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  33. 33
    + 72
    - 10

    added by bojanthebest
    George Sanders, Barbara Shelley, Michael Gwynn

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  34. 34
    + 57
    - 28

    Melvyn Douglas, Charles Laughton, Boris Karloff

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  35. 35
    + 51
    - 39

    Ann Carter, Jane Randolph, Sir Lancelot

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  36. 36
    + 48
    - 38

    Rena Mandel, N. Babanini, Maurice Schutz

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  37. 37
    + 55
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    often listed
    Henry Jones, Eileen Heckart, Jesse White

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  38. 38
    + 42
    - 36

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Charles Vanel, Jean Lefebvre, Michel Serrault

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  39. 39
    + 73
    - 19

    House Peters, Jr., Sam Jaffe

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  40. 40
    + 45
    - 7

    Horror of Dracula

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  41. 41
    + 31
    - 2

    ranked low on reranks & added by alex08212905
    Sandy Johnson, Jamie Lee Curtis, P. J. Soles

    ) open buy at  
  42. 42
    + 47
    - 40

    Boris Karloff, James Ellison, Tom Conway

    ) open buy at  
  43. 43
    + 32
    - 12
    ) open buy at  
  44. 44
    + 32
    - 42

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Lee Tracy, Lionel Atwill, Fay Wray

    ) open buy at  
  45. 45
    + 52
    - 31

    Raymond Bailey, Frank J. Scannell, Regis Parton

    ) open buy at  
  46. 46
    + 49
    - 16

    added by zxray
    Boris Karloff, Milton Kibbee, Bobby Burns

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  47. 47
    + 36
    - 8

    added by dee123
    James Whitmore, Edmund Gwenn, Sean McClory

    ) open buy at  
  48. 48
    + 8
    - 0

    added by Dinoreno
    John Hurt, Ian Holm, Tom Skerritt

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  49. 49
    + 48
    - 22

    added by zxray
    Vincent Price, William Castle, Clarence Straight

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  50. 50
    + 36
    - 28

    Vincent Price, Agnes Moorehead, Harvey Stephens

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