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The Best Old Horror Movies Of All Time

Updated October 22, 2020 29.4k votes 3.8k voters 304.5k views97 items

List RulesOnly 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 to help them get to the top of this classic horror films list.

Modern horror movies are great, but they have nothing on the old school classics. In fact, many of the modern-era horror films are remakes of the famous old fashioned scary 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
    Frankenstein is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies Of All Time
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    Frankenstein

    Boris Karloff, John Boles

    Released1931

    Directed byJames Whale

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  • 2
    Nosferatu is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies Of All Time
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    Nosferatu

    Max Schreck, John Gottowt

    Released1922

    Directed byF. W. Murnau

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  • 3
    Dracula is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies Of All Time
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    Dracula

    Bela Lugosi, Tod Browning

    Released1931

    Directed byTod Browning, Karl Freund

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  • 4
    Bride of Frankenstein is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies Of All Time
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    Bride of Frankenstein

    Boris Karloff, Walter Brennan

    Released1935

    Directed byJames Whale

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  • 5
    The Wolf Man is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies Of All Time
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    The Wolf Man

    Bela Lugosi, Claude Rains

    Released1941

    Directed byGeorge Waggner

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  • 6
    The Mummy is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies Of All Time
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    The Mummy

    Boris Karloff, Edward Van Sloan

    Released1932

    Directed byKarl Freund

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  • 7
    Creature from the Black Lagoon is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies Of All Time
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    Creature from the Black Lagoon

    Richard Carlson, Richard Denning

    Released1954

    Directed byJack Arnold

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  • 8
    Horror of Dracula is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies Of All Time
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    Horror of Dracula

    Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing

    Released1958

    Directed byTerence Fisher

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  • 9
    House of Wax is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies Of All Time
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    House of Wax

    Vincent Price, Charles Bronson

    Released1953

    Directed byAndré de Toth

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  • 10
    The Invisible Man is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies Of All Time
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    The Invisible Man

    Claude Rains, Gloria Stuart

    Released1933

    Directed byJames Whale

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  • 11
    Invasion of the Body Snatchers is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies Of All Time
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    Invasion of the Body Snatchers

    Dana Wynter, Sam Peckinpah

    Released1956

    Directed byDon Siegel

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  • 12
    House on Haunted Hill is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies Of All Time
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    House on Haunted Hill

    Vincent Price, Richard Long

    Released1959

    Directed byWilliam Castle

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  • 13
    The Phantom of the Opera is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies Of All Time
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    The Phantom of the Opera

    Lon Chaney, Norman Kerry

    Released1925

    Directed byLon Chaney, Edward Sedgwick, Rupert Julian, Ernst Laemmle

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  • 14
    Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies Of All Time
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    Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

    Fredric March, Wallace Beery

    Released1931

    Directed byRouben Mamoulian

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  • 15
    King Kong is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies Of All Time
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    King Kong

    Fay Wray, Merian C. Cooper

    Released1933

    Directed byMerian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack

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  • 16
    The Fly is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies Of All Time
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    84

    The Fly

    Vincent Price, David Hedison

    Released1958

    Directed byKurt Neumann

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  • 17
    The Thing from Another World is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies Of All Time
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    The Thing from Another World

    James Arness, Paul Frees

    Released1951

    Directed byHoward Hawks, Christian Nyby

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  • 18
    The Curse of Frankenstein is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies Of All Time
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    The Curse of Frankenstein

    Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing

    Released1957

    Directed byTerence Fisher

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  • 19
    Son of Frankenstein is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies Of All Time
    293
    85

    Son of Frankenstein

    Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi

    Released1939

    Directed byRowland V. Lee

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  • 20
    The Blob is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies Of All Time
    505
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    The Blob

    Steve McQueen, Aneta Corsaut

    Released1958

    Directed byIrvin Yeaworth

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  • 21
    Freaks is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies Of All Time
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    Freaks

    Wallace Ford, Edward Brophy

    Released1932

    Directed byTod Browning

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  • 22
    The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies Of All Time
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    The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

    Conrad Veidt, Lil Dagover

    Released1920

    Directed byRobert Wiene

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  • 23
    The Hunchback of Notre Dame is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies Of All Time
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    The Hunchback of Notre Dame

    Lon Chaney, Ernest Torrence

    Released1923

    Directed byWallace Worsley

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  • 24
    The Hound of the Baskervilles is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies Of All Time
    362
    129

    The Hound of the Baskervilles

    Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing

    Released1959

    Directed byTerence Fisher

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  • 25
    White Zombie is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Old Horror Movies Of All Time
    321
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    White Zombie

    Bela Lugosi, Clarence Muse

    Released1932

    Directed byVictor Hugo Halperin

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