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The Best Old Horror Movies

List Criteria: Only classic horror movies released 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!

The Best Old Horror Movies Films
  • 12 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 397
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    the people's #1
    Boris Karloff, John Boles, Colin Clive Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  2. 2
    + 374
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    most listed
    Bela Lugosi, Tod Browning, Carla Laemmle

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  3. 3
    + 298
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    Bela Lugosi, Claude Rains, Lon Chaney

    ; watch now
  4. 4
    + 258
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    Boris Karloff, Walter Brennan, Billy Barty

    ; watch now
  5. 5
    + 261
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    Richard Carlson, Richard Denning, Julie Adams

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  6. 6
    + 238
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    Boris Karloff, Edward Van Sloan, Noble Johnson

    ; buy at  
  7. 7
    + 288
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    Max Schreck, John Gottowt, Alexander Granach Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  8. 8
    + 242
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    Fay Wray, Merian C. Cooper, Bruce Cabot

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  9. 9
    + 173
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    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Lon Chaney, Norman Kerry, Mary Philbin Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  10. 10
    + 187
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    Steve McQueen, Aneta Corsaut, Lee Payton

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  11. 11
    + 169
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    ranked low on reranks
    George A. Romero, Duane Jones, Bill Hinzman Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  12. 12
    + 167
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    Fredric March, Wallace Beery, Miriam Hopkins

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  13. 13
    + 156
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    Claude Rains, Gloria Stuart, Una O'Connor

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  14. 14
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    Wallace Ford, Edward Brophy, Roscoe Ates

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  15. 15
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    ranked low on reranks
    James Arness, Paul Frees, George Fenneman

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  16. 16
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    Dana Wynter, Sam Peckinpah, Carolyn Jones

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  17. 17
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    Vincent Price, Charles Bronson, Carolyn Jones

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  18. 18
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    Conrad Veidt, Lil Dagover, Hans Heinrich von Twardowski Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  19. 19
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    Lon Chaney, Ernest Torrence, Raymond Hatton

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  20. 20
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    Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Hazel Court

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  21. 21
    + 179
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    Vincent Price, Richard Long, Elisha Cook Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  22. 22
    + 120
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    Bela Lugosi, Clarence Muse, Madge Bellamy Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  23. 23
    + 122
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    Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, John Le Mesurier

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  24. 24
    + 97
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    Horror of Dracula

  25. 25
    + 132
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    ranked low on reranks
    Patricia Neal, Michael Rennie, Frances Bavier Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  26. 26
    + 88
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    Bela Lugosi, Charles Laughton, Randolph Scott

    ; buy at  
  27. 27
    + 96
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    Boris Karloff, Charles Laughton, Gloria Stuart

    ; watch now
  28. 28
    + 90
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    Dana Andrews, Peggy Cummins, Niall MacGinnis Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  29. 29
    + 88
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    Alan Napier, Simone Simon, Tom Conway

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  30. 30
    + 97
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    Angela Lansbury, Donna Reed, George Sanders

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  31. 31
    + 97
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    ranked low on reranks & added by zxray
    Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Bill Williams

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  32. 32
    + 62
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    often listed & added by zxray
    Paul Wegener, Henrik Galeen, Lyda Salmonova Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  33. 33
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    Boris Karloff, Frances Dee, Tom Conway

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  34. 34
    + 37
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    ranked low on reranks & added by jonathan-guerra
    Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Basil Rathbone

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  35. 35
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    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Peter Lorre, Theo Lingen, Georg John

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  36. 36
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    added by jonathan-guerra
    Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney, Jr.

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  37. 37
    + 34
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    added by jonathan-guerra
    Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney, Jr.

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  38. 38
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    Shelley Fabares, Patty McCormack, Eileen Heckart

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  39. 39
    + 70
    - 34

    added by dee123
    Leonard Nimoy, James Arness, Fess Parker

    ; buy at  
  40. 40
    + 64
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    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Sybille Schmitz, Nicolas de Gunzburg, Maurice Schutz

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  41. 41
    + 55
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    added by BobEqualityGreen
    Milburn Stone, Hillary Brooke, Leif Erickson

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  42. 42
    + 41
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    added by but chickens double d
    Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish

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  43. 43
    + 58
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    Simone Simon, Jane Randolph, Sarah Selby

    ; buy at  
  44. 44
    + 63
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    Albert Dekker, Paul Fix, Charles Halton

    ; buy at  
  45. 45
    + 51
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    Simone Signoret, Michel Serrault, Paul Meurisse

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  46. 46
    + 66
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    William Schallert, Paul Langton, Billy Curtis

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  47. 47
    + 65
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    added by zxray
    Vincent Price, Ernest Torrence, Dallas McKennon

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  48. 48
    + 13
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    added by jonathan-guerra
    Vincent Price, David Hedison, Herbert Marshall

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  49. 49
    + 11
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    added by jonathan-guerra
    Fay Wray, Lionel Atwill, Glenda Farrell

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  50. 50
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    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Fay Wray, Lionel Atwill, Lee Tracy

    ; buy at  
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