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 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
    + 214
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    the people's #1 & most listed Bela Lugosi, Tod Browning, Carla Laemmle

    ) open
  2. 2
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    Boris Karloff, John Boles, Colin Clive

    ) open
  3. 3
    + 166
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    Bela Lugosi, Claude Rains, Ralph Bellamy

    ) open
  4. 4
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    Boris Karloff, Walter Brennan, John Carradine

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  5. 5
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    Max Schreck, John Gottowt, Alexander Granach

    ) open
  6. 6
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    - 46

    Fay Wray, Bruce Cabot, Merian C. Cooper

    ) open
  7. 7
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    Nestor Paiva, Julie Adams, Richard Carlson

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  8. 8
    + 136
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    Boris Karloff, Noble Johnson, David Manners

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  9. 9
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    Lon Chaney, Norman Kerry, Mary Philbin

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  10. 10
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    Fredric March, Wallace Beery, Miriam Hopkins

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  11. 11
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    often listed Conrad Veidt, Lil Dagover, Hans Heinrich von Twardowski

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  12. 12
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    Elly Annie Schneider, Wallace Ford, Edward Brophy

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  13. 13
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Claude Rains, Gloria Stuart, Una O'Connor

    ) open
  14. 14
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    ranked low on reranks Sam Peckinpah, Carolyn Jones, Dana Wynter

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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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    Steve McQueen, Lee Payton, Aneta Corsaut

    ) open
  17. 17
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    Charles Bronson, Vincent Price, Carolyn Jones

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  18. 18
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    Vincent Price, Richard Long, Alan Marshal

    ) open
  19. 19
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    Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Hazel Court

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  20. 20
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    Bela Lugosi, Clarence Muse, Madge Bellamy

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  21. 21
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    Lon Chaney, Ernest Torrence, Raymond Hatton

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  22. 22
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    Alan Napier, Tom Conway, Jack Holt

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  23. 23
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    Angela Lansbury, Donna Reed, George Sanders

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  24. 24
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    ranked low on reranks George A. Romero, Duane Jones, Bill Hinzman

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  25. 25
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    Peter Lorre, Theo Lingen, Georg John

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  26. 26
    + 49
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    Bela Lugosi, Charles Laughton, Randolph Scott

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  27. 27
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    Dana Andrews, Niall MacGinnis, Athene Seyler

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  28. 28
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    Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, John Le Mesurier

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  29. 29
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    ranked low on reranks & added by bojanthebest George Sanders, Barbara Shelley, Michael Gwynn

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  30. 30
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    added by zxray Paul Wegener, Henrik Galeen, Lyda Salmonova

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  31. 31
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    Boris Karloff, Charles Laughton, Gloria Stuart

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  32. 32
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    Sybille Schmitz, Nicolas de Gunzburg, Maurice Schutz

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  33. 33
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    Simone Signoret, Paul Meurisse, Michel Serrault

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  34. 34
    + 46
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    Kent Smith, Simone Simon, Sarah Selby

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  35. 35
    + 63
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    Patricia Neal, Michael Rennie, Sam Jaffe

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  36. 36
    + 48
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    often listed Shelley Fabares, Patty McCormack, Paul Fix

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  37. 37
    + 33
    - 7

    Horror of Dracula

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  38. 38
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Boris Karloff, Frances Dee, Tom Conway

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  39. 39
    + 28
    - 10
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  40. 40
    + 9
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    new! & added by alex08212905 Alfred Hitchcock, Tippi Hedren, Jessica Tandy

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  41. 41
    + 46
    - 15

    added by zxray Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Henry Daniell

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  42. 42
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    added by alex08212905 Max von Sydow, Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair

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  43. 43
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    William Schallert, Paul Langton, Billy Curtis

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  44. 44
    + 45
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    added by zxray Vincent Price, Ernest Torrence, Richard Barthelmess

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  45. 45
    + 28
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Fay Wray, Lionel Atwill, Lee Tracy

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  46. 46
    + 29
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    added by dee123 Leonard Nimoy, Fess Parker, James Arness

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  47. 47
    + 33
    - 27

    Vincent Price, Agnes Moorehead, Darla Hood

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  48. 48
    + 20
    - 7

    added by BobEqualityGreen Leif Erickson, Hillary Brooke, Milburn Stone

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  49. 49
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    added by alex08212905 Alfred Hitchcock, Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh

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  50. 50
    + 28
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    Albert Dekker, Paul Fix, Charles Halton

    ) open
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