The Best Old Horror Movies Films

The Best Old Horror Movies

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11,138 votes 1,023 voters 91,408 views 61 items tags f p @

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!


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  • 12 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 426
    - 60

    the people's #1
    Boris Karloff, John Boles, Colin Clive

    ;
  2. 2
    + 404
    - 69

    most listed
    Bela Lugosi, Tod Browning, Carla Laemmle

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  3. 3
    + 323
    - 58


    Bela Lugosi, Claude Rains, Lon Chaney

    ;
  4. 4
    + 280
    - 71


    Boris Karloff, Walter Brennan, Billy Barty

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  5. 5
    + 284
    - 67


    Richard Carlson, Richard Denning, Julie Adams

    ;
  6. 6
    + 262
    - 48


    Boris Karloff, Edward Van Sloan, Noble Johnson

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  7. 7
    + 310
    - 65


    Max Schreck, John Gottowt, Alexander Granach

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  8. 8
    + 257
    - 68


    Fay Wray, Merian C. Cooper, Bruce Cabot

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  9. 9
    + 187
    - 87

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Lon Chaney, Norman Kerry, Mary Philbin

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  10. 10
    + 201
    - 58


    Steve McQueen, Aneta Corsaut, Lee Payton

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  11. 11
    + 177
    - 97

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Fredric March, Wallace Beery, Miriam Hopkins

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  12. 12
    + 189
    - 24


    George A. Romero, Duane Jones, Bill Hinzman

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  13. 13
    + 220
    - 61

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

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  14. 14
    + 168
    - 88


    Claude Rains, Gloria Stuart, Una O'Connor

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  15. 15
    + 219
    - 65

    ranked low on reranks
    Vincent Price, Charles Bronson, Carolyn Jones

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  16. 16
    + 174
    - 86


    Wallace Ford, Edward Brophy, Roscoe Ates

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  17. 17
    + 196
    - 81


    Dana Wynter, Sam Peckinpah, Carolyn Jones

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  18. 18
    + 147
    - 52


    Lon Chaney, Ernest Torrence, Raymond Hatton

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  19. 19
    + 155
    - 45


    Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Hazel Court

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  20. 20
    + 143
    - 95


    Conrad Veidt, Lil Dagover, Hans Heinrich von Twardowski

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  21. 21
    + 133
    - 55


    Bela Lugosi, Clarence Muse, Madge Bellamy

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  22. 22
    + 195
    - 87


    Vincent Price, Richard Long, Elisha Cook

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  23. 23
    + 112
    - 15


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  24. 24
    + 136
    - 53


    Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, John Le Mesurier

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  25. 25
    + 146
    - 32


    Patricia Neal, Michael Rennie, Frances Bavier

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  26. 26
    + 98
    - 53

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Bela Lugosi, Charles Laughton, Randolph Scott

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  27. 27
    + 108
    - 41


    Boris Karloff, Charles Laughton, Gloria Stuart

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  28. 28
    + 52
    - 4

    added by jonathan-guerra
    Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Basil Rathbone

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  29. 29
    + 103
    - 52


    Boris Karloff, Frances Dee, Tom Conway

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  30. 30
    + 109
    - 24
    The Body Snatcher

    added by zxray
    Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Bill Williams

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  31. 31
    + 46
    - 4

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

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  32. 32
    + 97
    - 69


    Dana Andrews, Peggy Cummins, Niall MacGinnis

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  33. 33
    + 68
    - 53
    The Golem

    added by zxray
    Paul Wegener, Henrik Galeen, Lyda Salmonova

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  34. 34
    + 89
    - 93


    Alan Napier, Simone Simon, Tom Conway

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  35. 35
    + 99
    - 93


    Angela Lansbury, Donna Reed, George Sanders

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  36. 36
    + 47
    - 5

    ranked low on reranks & added by jonathan-guerra
    Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney, Jr.

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  37. 37
    + 84
    - 89

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

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  38. 38
    + 83
    - 79

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Shelley Fabares, Patty McCormack, Eileen Heckart

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  39. 39
    + 83
    - 37

    ranked low on reranks & added by dee123
    Leonard Nimoy, James Arness, Fess Parker

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  40. 40
    + 67
    - 28

    added by BobEqualityGreen
    Milburn Stone, Hillary Brooke, Leif Erickson

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  41. 41
    + 55
    - 19

    ranked low on reranks & added by but chickens double d
    Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish

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  42. 42
    + 70
    - 89


    Sybille Schmitz, Nicolas de Gunzburg, Maurice Schutz

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  43. 43
    + 70
    - 55


    Albert Dekker, Paul Fix, Charles Halton

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  44. 44
    + 60
    - 91

    often listed
    Simone Simon, Jane Randolph, Sarah Selby

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  45. 45
    + 54
    - 91


    Simone Signoret, Michel Serrault, Paul Meurisse

    ;
  46. 46
    + 25
    - 13

    added by jonathan-guerra
    Fay Wray, Lionel Atwill, Glenda Farrell

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  47. 47
    + 12
    - 4

    added by Tommie Thomas
    Jack Nicholson, Vincent Price, Boris Karloff

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  48. 48
    + 72
    - 80


    William Schallert, Paul Langton, Billy Curtis

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  49. 49
    + 71
    - 71
    The Tingler

    added by zxray
    Vincent Price, Ernest Torrence, Dallas McKennon

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  50. 50
    + 16
    - 14

    added by jonathan-guerra
    Valerie Hobson, Spring Byington, J. M. Kerrigan

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