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
    + 232
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    the people's #1 & most listed
    Tod Browning, Joan Standing, Bela Lugosi

    ) open buy now
  2. 2
    + 254
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    Boris Karloff, John Boles, Colin Clive

    ) open buy now
  3. 3
    + 180
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    Ralph Bellamy, Claude Rains, J. M. Kerrigan

    ) open buy now
  4. 4
    + 165
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    John Carradine, Walter Brennan, Boris Karloff

    ) open buy now
  5. 5
    + 193
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    Gustav Botz, Ruth Landschoff, Karl Etlinger

    ) open buy now
  6. 6
    + 160
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    Merian C. Cooper, Bruce Cabot, Roscoe Ates

    ) open buy now
  7. 7
    + 148
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    Boris Karloff, Bramwell Fletcher, David Manners

    ) open buy now
  8. 8
    + 163
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    Whit Bissell, Bernie Gozier, Ben Chapman

    ) open buy now
  9. 9
    + 129
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    Earl Gordon Bostwick, Ward Crane, Gibson Gowland

    ) open buy now
  10. 10
    + 118
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    Fredric March, Rose Hobart, Holmes Herbert

    ) open buy now
  11. 11
    + 103
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    Lil Dagover, Elsa Wagner, Friedrich Fehér

    ) open buy now
  12. 12
    + 112
    - 41

    Wallace Ford, Frances O'Connor, Leila Hyams

    ) open buy now
  13. 13
    + 100
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Claude Rains, Holmes Herbert, Forrester Harvey

    ) open buy now
  14. 14
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    Carolyn Jones, Kevin McCarthy, Larry Gates

    ) open buy now
  15. 15
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    Steve McQueen, Aneta Corsaut, Vincent Barbi

    ) open buy now
  16. 16
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    ranked low on reranks
    Robert Cornthwaite, John Dierkes, James Arness

    ) open buy now
  17. 17
    + 127
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    Vincent Price, Carolyn Jones, Frank Lovejoy

    ) open buy now
  18. 18
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    ranked low on reranks & added by alex08212905
    Tippi Hedren, Rod Taylor, Elizabeth Wilson

    ) open buy now
  19. 19
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    Vincent Price, Alan Marshal, Richard Long

    ) open buy now
  20. 20
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    Christopher Lee, Robert Urquhart, Peter Cushing

    ) open buy now
  21. 21
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    Jane Randolph, Alec Craig, Eddie Dew

    ) open buy now
  22. 22
    + 66
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    Clarence Muse, Bela Lugosi, John Harron

    ) open buy now
  23. 23
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    Ernest Torrence, Lon Chaney, Kate Lester

    ) open buy now
  24. 24
    + 76
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    Angela Lansbury, Donna Reed, George Sanders

    ) open buy now
  25. 25
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    ranked low on reranks
    Richard Ricci, Marilyn Eastman, Duane Jones

    ) open buy now
  26. 26
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    Charles Laughton, Arthur Hohl, Kathleen Burke

    ) open buy now
  27. 27
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    Theodor Loos, Gerhard Bienert, Paul Kemp

    ) open buy now
  28. 28
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    Peggy Cummins, Athene Seyler, Niall MacGinnis

    ) open buy now
  29. 29
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    Christopher Lee, Ewen Solon, Miles Malleson

    ) open buy now
  30. 30
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    added by zxray
    Carl Ebert, Henrik Galeen, Paul Wegener

    ) open buy now
  31. 31
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    ranked low on reranks & added by bojanthebest
    George Sanders, Barbara Shelley, Michael Gwynn

    ) open buy now
  32. 32
    + 56
    - 28

    Melvyn Douglas, Charles Laughton, Boris Karloff

    ) open buy now
  33. 33
    + 51
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    Ann Carter, Jane Randolph, Sir Lancelot

    ) open buy now
  34. 34
    + 48
    - 38

    Rena Mandel, N. Babanini, Maurice Schutz

    ) open buy now
  35. 35
    + 26
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    ranked low on reranks & added by alex08212905
    Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair, Mercedes McCambridge

    ) open buy now
  36. 36
    + 53
    - 31

    often listed
    Henry Jones, Eileen Heckart, Jesse White

    ) open buy now
  37. 37
    + 42
    - 36

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

    ) open buy now
  38. 38
    + 71
    - 19

    House Peters, Jr., Sam Jaffe

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  39. 39
    + 23
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    ranked low on reranks & added by alex08212905
    Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Ted Knight

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  40. 40
    + 43
    - 7

    Horror of Dracula

    buy now
  41. 41
    + 47
    - 40

    Boris Karloff, James Ellison, Tom Conway

    ) open buy now
  42. 42
    + 24
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    added by alex08212905
    Sandy Johnson, Jamie Lee Curtis, P. J. Soles

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

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

    ) open buy now
  45. 45
    + 51
    - 31

    Raymond Bailey, Frank J. Scannell, Regis Parton

    ) open buy now
  46. 46
    + 49
    - 16

    added by zxray
    Boris Karloff, Milton Kibbee, Bobby Burns

    ) open buy now
  47. 47
    + 35
    - 8

    added by dee123
    James Whitmore, Edmund Gwenn, Sean McClory

    ) open buy now
  48. 48
    + 48
    - 22

    added by zxray
    Vincent Price, William Castle, Clarence Straight

    ) open buy now
  49. 49
    + 36
    - 28

    Vincent Price, Agnes Moorehead, Harvey Stephens

    ) open buy now
  50. 50
    + 23
    - 9

    added by BobEqualityGreen
    Leif Erickson, Helena Carter, Charles Cane

    ) open buy now
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