Graveyard Shift The Best Old Horror Movies  

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Originally by Ranker Community
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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!
list ordered by

1
952 209
Frankenstein is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
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

2
853 203
Dracula is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
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
703 160
The Wolf Man is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
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
602 158
The Mummy is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
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
658 176
Creature from the Black Lagoon is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
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

6
680 156
Bride of Frankenstein is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
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

7
705 150
Nosferatu is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
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
534 185
King Kong is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
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
423 154
The Invisible Man is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
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

10
388 175
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
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

11
418 163
The Phantom of the Opera is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
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

12
543 88
Night of the Living Dead is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
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
314 170
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
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

14
468 136
House of Wax is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
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

15
427 129
Invasion of the Body Snatchers is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
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

16
449 148
House on Haunted Hill is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
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

17
376 143
The Blob is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
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

18
419 119
The Thing from Another World is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
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
362 151
Freaks is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
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

20
277 107
The Hunchback of Notre Dame is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
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

21
291 94
The Curse of Frankenstein is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
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
281 65
Horror of Dracula is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies

23
185 51
The Fly is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
jonathan-guerra added 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

24
248 115
White Zombie is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
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

25
175 42
Son of Frankenstein is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
jonathan-guerra added 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
273 100
The Hound of the Baskervilles is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
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

27
299 76
The Day the Earth Stood Still is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
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

28
162 40
The Pit and the Pendulum is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
Tommie Thomas added 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
211 90
The Old Dark House is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
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

30
188 96
Island of Lost Souls is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
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

31
207 106
Night of the Demon is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
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

32
121 44
The Raven is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
Tommie Thomas added 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

33
191 143
Cat People is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
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

34
184 96
I Walked with a Zombie is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
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.

35
188 139
The Picture of Dorian Gray is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
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

36
175 126
M is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
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

37
148 31
House of Frankenstein is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
jonathan-guerra added 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
205 70
Them! is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
dee123 added 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

39
78 8
Jaws is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
MatthewKennett-Ny added Steven Spielberg, Richard Dreyfuss, Roy Scheider Jaws is a 1975 American thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Peter Benchley's novel of the same name. The prototypical summer blockbuster, its release is regarded as a ...more

40
137 133
Vampyr is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
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

41
165 123
The Bad Seed is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
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

42
102 23
Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Ma... is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
Tom Webb added 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

43
129 42
The Ghost of Frankenstein is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
jonathan-guerra added 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

44
151 58
The Night of the Hunter is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
but chickens double d added 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
10 4
Godzilla, King of the Monsters... is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
JeffWorm added Raymond Burr, Takashi Shimura, Akihiko Hirata Godzilla, King of the Monsters! is a 1956 Japanese American science fiction kaiju film co-directed by Terry O. Morse and Ishirō Honda. The film is a heavily re-edited American adaptation, ...more

46
88 29
Werewolf of London is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
jonathan-guerra added 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

47
74 21
House of Dracula is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
Tom Webb added 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

48
109 132
The Curse of the Cat People is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
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

49
102 134
Les Diaboliques is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
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

50
29 8
Black Sunday is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies
Barbara Steele, John Richardson, Arturo Dominici Black Sunday is a 1960 Italian gothic horror film directed by Mario Bava, from a screenplay by Ennio de Concini, Mario Serandrei and Marcello Coscia. The film stars Barbara Steele, John ...more