Graveyard Shift The Best Old Horror Movies  

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List Rules 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
731 138
Frankenstein is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
Frankenstein Boris Karloff, John Boles, Colin Clive Frankenstein is a 1931 horror monster film from Universal Pictures directed by James Whale and adapted from the play by Peggy Webling, which in turn is based on the novel of the same name by ...more

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2
663 138
Dracula is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
Dracula Bela Lugosi, Tod Browning, Carla Laemmle Dracula is a 1931 vampire-horror film directed by Tod Browning and starring Bela Lugosi as Count Dracula. The film was produced by Universal and is based on the 1924 stage play Dracula by ...more

3
534 110
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 The Wolf Man is a 1941 American drama horror film written by Curt Siodmak and produced and directed by George Waggner. The film stars Lon Chaney, Jr. as a werewolf named "The Wolf Man" ...more

4
448 105
The Mummy is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
The Mummy Boris Karloff, Edward Van Sloan, Noble Johnson The Mummy is a 1932 horror film from Universal Studios directed by Karl Freund and stars Boris Karloff as a revived ancient Egyptian priest. The movie also features Zita Johann, David Manners ...more

5
509 122
Bride of Frankenstein is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
Bride of Frankenstein Boris Karloff, Walter Brennan, Billy Barty Bride of Frankenstein is a 1935 American horror film, the first sequel to Frankenstein. Bride of Frankenstein was directed by James Whale and stars Boris Karloff as The Monster, Elsa Lanchester ...more

6
480 136
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 Creature from the Black Lagoon is a 1954 monster horror 3-D film in black-and-white, directed by Jack Arnold and starring Richard Carlson, Julia Adams, Richard Denning, Antonio Moreno and Whit ...more

7
532 115
Nosferatu is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
Nosferatu Max Schreck, John Gottowt, Alexander Granach Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens is a 1922 German Expressionist horror film, directed by F. W. Murnau, starring Max Schreck as the vampire Count Orlok. The film, shot in 1921 and released ...more

8
412 138
King Kong is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
King Kong Fay Wray, Merian C. Cooper, Bruce Cabot King Kong is a 1933 American fantasy monster/adventure film directed and produced by Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack. The screenplay by James Ashmore Creelman and Ruth Rose was from an ...more

9
307 144
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Fredric March, Wallace Beery, Miriam Hopkins Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a 1931 American Pre-Code horror film directed by Rouben Mamoulian and starring Fredric March. The film is an adaptation of The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, ...more

10
329 137
The Phantom of the Opera is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
The Phantom of the Opera Lon Chaney, Norman Kerry, Mary Philbin The Phantom of the Opera is a 1925 American silent horror film adaptation of Gaston Leroux's 1910 novel Le Fantôme de l'Opéra, directed by Rupert Julian and starring Lon Chaney, Sr. ...more

11
320 128
The Invisible Man is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
The Invisible Man Claude Rains, Gloria Stuart, Una O'Connor The Invisible Man is a 1933 science fiction film based on H. G. Wells' science fiction novel The Invisible Man, published in 1897, as adapted by R. C. Sherriff, Philip Wylie and Preston Sturges, ...more

12
400 60
Night of the Living Dead is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
Night of the Living Dead George A. Romero, Duane Jones, Bill Hinzman Night of the Living Dead is a 1968 American independent zombie horror film directed by George A. Romero, starring Duane Jones, Judith O'Dea and Karl Hardman. It premiered on October 1, 1968, and ...more

13
376 109
House of Wax is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
House of Wax Vincent Price, Charles Bronson, Carolyn Jones House of Wax is a 1953 American 3-D horror film about a disfigured sculptor who repopulates his destroyed wax museum by murdering people and using their wax-coated corpses as displays. It stars ...more

14
247 145
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari Conrad Veidt, Lil Dagover, Hans Heinrich von Twardowski The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is a 1920 German silent horror film, directed by Robert Wiene and written by Hans Janowitz and Carl Mayer. Considered the quintessential work of German Expressionist ...more

15
302 119
The Blob is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
The Blob Steve McQueen, Aneta Corsaut, Lee Payton The Blob is an independently made 1958 American horror/science fiction film directed by Irvin Yeaworth. In the style of American International Pictures, Paramount Pictures released the film as a ...more

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330 111
Invasion of the Body Snatchers is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
Invasion of the Body Snatchers Dana Wynter, Sam Peckinpah, Carolyn Jones Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a 1956 American black-and-white science fiction film produced by Walter Wanger, directed by Don Siegel, and starring Kevin McCarthy and Dana Wynter. The film ...more

17
236 87
The Hunchback of Notre Dame is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
The Hunchback of Notre Dame Lon Chaney, Ernest Torrence, Raymond Hatton The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a 1923 American film starring Lon Chaney, directed by Wallace Worsley, and produced by Carl Laemmle and Irving Thalberg. The supporting cast includes Patsy Ruth ...more

18
335 100
The Thing from Another World is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
The Thing from Another World James Arness, Paul Frees, George Fenneman The Thing from Another World is a 1951 American black-and-white science fiction/horror film produced by Howard Hawks' Winchester Pictures Corporation, released by RKO Pictures, and directed by ...more

19
342 124
House on Haunted Hill is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
House on Haunted Hill Vincent Price, Richard Long, Elisha Cook House on Haunted Hill is a 1959 American horror film. It was directed by William Castle, written by Robb White and stars Vincent Price as eccentric millionaire Frederick Loren. He and his fourth ...more

20
281 129
Freaks is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
Freaks Wallace Ford, Edward Brophy, Roscoe Ates Freaks is a 1932 American horror film in which the eponymous characters were played by people who worked as carnival sideshow performers and had real deformities. The original version was ...more

21
233 78
The Curse of Frankenstein is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
The Curse of Frankenstein Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Hazel Court The Curse of Frankenstein is a 1957 British horror film by Hammer Film Productions, loosely based on the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. It was Hammer's first colour horror film, and the ...more

22
220 51
Horror of Dracula is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies

23
205 96
White Zombie is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
White Zombie Bela Lugosi, Clarence Muse, Madge Bellamy White Zombie is a 1932 American independent Pre-Code horror film directed and produced by brothers Victor Halperin and Edward Halperin. The screenplay by Garnett Weston, based on The Magic ...more

24
227 86
The Hound of the Baskervilles is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
The Hound of the Baskervilles Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, John Le Mesurier The Hound of the Baskervilles is a 1959 British gothic horror and mystery film, directed by Terence Fisher and produced by Hammer Film Productions. It is based on the novel of the same name by ...more

25
133 29
Son of Frankenstein is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
jonathan-guerra added Son of Frankenstein Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Basil Rathbone Son of Frankenstein is a horror monster film and is the third film in Universal Studios' Frankenstein series and the last to feature Boris Karloff as the Monster as well as the first to feature ...more

26
243 62
The Day the Earth Stood Still is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
The Day the Earth Stood Still Patricia Neal, Michael Rennie, Frances Bavier The Day the Earth Stood Still is a 1951 American black-and-white science fiction film from 20th Century Fox, produced by Julian Blaustein, directed by Robert Wise, and starring Michael Rennie, ...more

27
176 77
The Old Dark House is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
The Old Dark House Boris Karloff, Charles Laughton, Gloria Stuart The Old Dark House is an American comedy and horror film directed by James Whale and starring Boris Karloff. The film is based on the 1927 novel Benighted by J. B. Priestley. The supporting cast ...more

28
104 31
The Pit and the Pendulum is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
Tommie Thomas added The Pit and the Pendulum Vincent Price, Barbara Steele, Charles Victor The Pit and the Pendulum is a 1961 horror film directed by Roger Corman, starring Vincent Price, Barbara Steele, John Kerr, and Luana Anders. The screenplay by Richard Matheson was based on ...more

29
154 87
Island of Lost Souls is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
Island of Lost Souls Bela Lugosi, Charles Laughton, Randolph Scott Island of Lost Souls is a 1932 American science fiction horror film starring Charles Laughton, Richard Arlen, Leila Hyams, Bela Lugosi and Kathleen Burke as the Panther Woman. The film was ...more

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117 42
The Fly is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
jonathan-guerra added The Fly Vincent Price, David Hedison, Herbert Marshall The Fly is a 1958 American science fiction-horror film produced and directed by Kurt Neumann. The screenplay was written by James Clavell, from the short story of the same name by George ...more

31
163 85
I Walked with a Zombie is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
I Walked with a Zombie Boris Karloff, Frances Dee, Tom Conway I Walked with a Zombie is a 1943 horror film directed by Jacques Tourneur. It was the second horror film from producer Val Lewton for RKO Pictures.

32
157 130
Cat People is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
Cat People Alan Napier, Simone Simon, Tom Conway Cat People is a 1942 horror film produced by Val Lewton and directed by Jacques Tourneur. DeWitt Bodeen wrote the original screenplay which was based on Val Lewton's short story The Bagheeta ...more

33
165 96
Night of the Demon is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
Night of the Demon Dana Andrews, Peggy Cummins, Niall MacGinnis Night of the Demon is a 1957 British horror film directed by Jacques Tourneur, starring Dana Andrews, Peggy Cummins and Niall MacGinnis. An adaptation of the M. R. James story "Casting the ...more

34
160 126
The Picture of Dorian Gray is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
The Picture of Dorian Gray Angela Lansbury, Donna Reed, George Sanders The Picture of Dorian Gray is a 1945 American horror-drama film based on Oscar Wilde's 1890 novel of the same name. Released in March 1945 by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the film is directed by Albert ...more

35
185 49
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zxray added The Body Snatcher Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Bill Williams The Body Snatcher is a 1945 horror film directed by Robert Wise based on the short story The Body Snatcher by Robert Louis Stevenson. The film's producer Val Lewton helped adapt the story for ...more

36
81 35
The Raven is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
Tommie Thomas added The Raven Jack Nicholson, Vincent Price, Boris Karloff The Raven is a 1963 American independent B movie/horror-comedy film produced and directed by Roger Corman. The film stars Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, and Boris Karloff as a trio of rival ...more

37
114 24
House of Frankenstein is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
jonathan-guerra added House of Frankenstein Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney, Jr. House of Frankenstein is an American monster horror film starring Boris Karloff and Lon Chaney, Jr., directed by Erle C. Kenton, written by Curt Siodmak, and produced in 1944 by Universal ...more

38
105 81
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zxray added The Golem Paul Wegener, Henrik Galeen, Lyda Salmonova Der Golem is a 1915 silent horror film written and directed by Paul Wegener and Henrik Galeen. It is inspired by ancient Jewish legend. It is the first of a trilogy by Wegener, followed by The ...more

39
142 118
M is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
M Peter Lorre, Theo Lingen, Georg John M is a 1931 German drama-thriller film directed by Fritz Lang and starring Peter Lorre. It was written by Lang and his wife Thea von Harbou and was the director's first sound film. Now ...more

40
160 60
Them! is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
dee123 added Them! Leonard Nimoy, James Arness, Fess Parker Them! is a 1954 American black-and-white science fiction film from Warner Bros. Pictures produced by David Weisbart, directed by Gordon Douglas, and starring James Whitmore, Edmund Gwenn, Joan ...more

41
117 121
Vampyr is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
Vampyr Sybille Schmitz, Nicolas de Gunzburg, Maurice Schutz Vampyr is a 1932 German–French horror film directed by Danish director Carl Theodor Dreyer. The film was written by Dreyer and Christen Jul based on elements from J. Sheridan Le Fanu's ...more

42
106 33
The Ghost of Frankenstein is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
jonathan-guerra added The Ghost of Frankenstein Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney, Jr. The Ghost of Frankenstein, is an American monster horror film released in 1942. The movie is the fourth in a series of films produced by Universal Studios based upon characters in Mary Shelley's ...more

43
136 110
The Bad Seed is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
The Bad Seed Shelley Fabares, Patty McCormack, Eileen Heckart The Bad Seed is a 1956 American horror-thriller film directed by Mervyn LeRoy and starring Nancy Kelly, Patty McCormack, Henry Jones, and Eileen Heckart The film is based upon a play by Maxwell ...more

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112 46
The Night of the Hunter is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
but chickens double d added The Night of the Hunter Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish The Night of the Hunter is an American thriller film directed by Charles Laughton and starring Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters and Lillian Gish. Based on the 1953 novel of the same name by Davis ...more

45
61 14
Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Ma... is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
Tom Webb added Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney, Jr. Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, released in 1943, is an American monster horror film produced by Universal Studios starring Lon Chaney, Jr. as the Wolf Man and Bela Lugosi as Frankenstein's ...more

46
89 122
Les Diaboliques is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
Les Diaboliques Simone Signoret, Michel Serrault, Paul Meurisse Les Diaboliques, released as Diabolique in the United States and variously translated as The Devils or The Fiends, is a 1955 French black-and-white psychological thriller feature film directed ...more

47
89 121
The Curse of the Cat People is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
The Curse of the Cat People Simone Simon, Jane Randolph, Sarah Selby The Curse of the Cat People is a 1944 film directed by Gunther von Fritsch and Robert Wise, and produced by Val Lewton. This film, which was then-film editor Robert Wise's first directing ...more

48
64 25
Werewolf of London is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
jonathan-guerra added Werewolf of London Valerie Hobson, Spring Byington, J. M. Kerrigan Werewolf of London is a 1935 Horror film starring Henry Hull and produced by Universal Pictures. Jack Pierce's eerie werewolf make-up was simpler than his version six years later for Lon Chaney, ...more

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48 13
House of Dracula is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
Tom Webb added House of Dracula Lon Chaney, Jr., John Carradine House of Dracula is an American horror film released by Universal Pictures Company in 1945. It was a direct sequel to House of Frankenstein and continued the theme of combining Universal's three ...more

50
70 36
Mystery of the Wax Museum is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
jonathan-guerra added Mystery of the Wax Museum Fay Wray, Lionel Atwill, Glenda Farrell Mystery of the Wax Museum is a 1933 American mystery horror-thriller film released by Warner Bros. in two-color Technicolor and directed by Michael Curtiz. The film stars Lionel Atwill, Fay ...more