The Best Old Horror Movies

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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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  1. 1
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    Frankenstein is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies

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

  2. 2
    + 440
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    Dracula is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies

    most listed
    Dracula Bela Lugosi, Tod Browning, Carla Laemmle

  3. 3
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    The Wolf Man is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies


    The Wolf Man Bela Lugosi, Claude Rains, Lon Chaney

  4. 4
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    Bride of Frankenstein is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies


    Bride of Frankenstein Boris Karloff, Walter Brennan, Billy Barty

  5. 5
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    Boris Karloff, Edward Van Sloan, Noble Johnson

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  6. 6
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    Creature from the Black Lagoon is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies


    Creature from the Black Lagoon Richard Carlson, Richard Denning, Julie Adams

  7. 7
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    Nosferatu is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies


    Nosferatu Max Schreck, John Gottowt, Alexander Granach

  8. 8
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    King Kong is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies


    King Kong Fay Wray, Merian C. Cooper, Bruce Cabot

  9. 9
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    The Phantom of the Opera is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies


    The Phantom of the Opera Lon Chaney, Norman Kerry, Mary Philbin

  10. 10
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    Fredric March, Wallace Beery, Miriam Hopkins

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  11. 11
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    The Blob is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies


    The Blob Steve McQueen, Aneta Corsaut, Lee Payton

  12. 12
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    House of Wax is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies


    House of Wax Vincent Price, Charles Bronson, Carolyn Jones

  13. 13
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    The Invisible Man is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    The Invisible Man Claude Rains, Gloria Stuart, Una O'Connor

  14. 14
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    Night of the Living Dead is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies

    ranked low on reranks
    Night of the Living Dead George A. Romero, Duane Jones, Bill Hinzman

  15. 15
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    The Thing from Another World is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies


    The Thing from Another World James Arness, Paul Frees, George Fenneman

  16. 16
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    The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari Conrad Veidt, Lil Dagover, Hans Heinrich von Twardowski

  17. 17
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    Freaks is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies


    Freaks Wallace Ford, Edward Brophy, Roscoe Ates

  18. 18
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    Invasion of the Body Snatchers is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies


    Invasion of the Body Snatchers Dana Wynter, Sam Peckinpah, Carolyn Jones

  19. 19
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    Vincent Price, Richard Long, Elisha Cook

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  20. 20
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    The Hunchback of Notre Dame is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies


    The Hunchback of Notre Dame Lon Chaney, Ernest Torrence, Raymond Hatton

  21. 21
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    Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Hazel Court

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  22. 22
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  23. 23
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    White Zombie is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies


    White Zombie Bela Lugosi, Clarence Muse, Madge Bellamy

  24. 24
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    added by jonathan-guerra
    Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Basil Rathbone

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  25. 25
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    The Day the Earth Stood Still is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies


    The Day the Earth Stood Still Patricia Neal, Michael Rennie, Frances Bavier

  26. 26
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    Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, John Le Mesurier

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  27. 27
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    Boris Karloff, Charles Laughton, Gloria Stuart

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  28. 28
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    Island of Lost Souls is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies


    Island of Lost Souls Bela Lugosi, Charles Laughton, Randolph Scott

  29. 29
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    I Walked with a Zombie is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies


    I Walked with a Zombie Boris Karloff, Frances Dee, Tom Conway

  30. 30
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    Angela Lansbury, Donna Reed, George Sanders

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  31. 31
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    The Body Snatcher is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies

    ranked low on reranks & added by zxray
    Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Bill Williams

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  32. 32
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    often listed
    Dana Andrews, Peggy Cummins, Niall MacGinnis

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  33. 33
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    Cat People is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies


    Cat People Alan Napier, Simone Simon, Tom Conway

  34. 34
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    The Golem is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies

    added by zxray
    The Golem Paul Wegener, Henrik Galeen, Lyda Salmonova

  35. 35
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    ranked low on reranks & added by jonathan-guerra
    Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney, Jr.

    ;
  36. 36
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    The Ghost of Frankenstein is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies

    ranked low on reranks & added by jonathan-guerra
    The Ghost of Frankenstein Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney^! Jr., Ralph Bellamy

  37. 37
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    added by Tommie Thomas
    Jack Nicholson, Vincent Price, Boris Karloff

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  38. 38
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    Sybille Schmitz, Nicolas de Gunzburg, Maurice Schutz

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  39. 39
    + 90
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    M is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies


    M Peter Lorre, Theo Lingen, Georg John

  40. 40
    + 94
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    Them! is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies

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

  41. 41
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    The Bad Seed is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies


    The Bad Seed Shelley Fabares, Patty McCormack, Eileen Heckart

  42. 42
    + 25
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    The Fly is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies

    added by jonathan-guerra
    The Fly Vincent Price, David Hedison, Herbert Marshall

  43. 43
    + 10
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    The Pit and the Pendulum is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies

    added by Tommie Thomas
    The Pit and the Pendulum Vincent Price, Barbara Steele, Charles Victor

  44. 44
    + 72
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    Invaders from Mars is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies

    ranked low on reranks & added by BobEqualityGreen
    Invaders from Mars Milburn Stone, Hillary Brooke, Leif Erickson

  45. 45
    + 63
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    The Night of the Hunter is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies

    ranked low on reranks & added by but chickens double d
    The Night of the Hunter Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish

  46. 46
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Simone Simon, Jane Randolph, Sarah Selby

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  47. 47
    + 59
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    Les Diaboliques is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Les Diaboliques Simone Signoret, Michel Serrault, Paul Meurisse

  48. 48
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    Albert Dekker, Paul Fix, Charles Halton

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

    ;
  50. 50
    + 77
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    The Incredible Shrinking Man is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies


    The Incredible Shrinking Man William Schallert, Paul Langton, Billy Curtis

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