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The Best Old Horror Movies Of All Time

Updated October 22, 2020 29.9k votes 3.9k voters 305.3k 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
    1,304
    261

    Frankenstein

    Boris Karloff, John Boles

    Released1931

    Directed byJames Whale

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  • 2
    Nosferatu
    973
    215

    Nosferatu

    Max Schreck, John Gottowt

    Released1922

    Directed byF. W. Murnau

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  • 3
    Dracula
    1,147
    273

    Dracula

    Bela Lugosi, Tod Browning

    Released1931

    Directed byTod Browning, Karl Freund

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  • 4
    Bride of Frankenstein
    932
    193

    Bride of Frankenstein

    Boris Karloff, Walter Brennan

    Released1935

    Directed byJames Whale

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  • 5
    The Wolf Man
    967
    210

    The Wolf Man

    Bela Lugosi, Claude Rains

    Released1941

    Directed byGeorge Waggner

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  • 6
    The Mummy
    853
    220

    The Mummy

    Boris Karloff, Edward Van Sloan

    Released1932

    Directed byKarl Freund

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  • 7
    Creature from the Black Lagoon
    893
    258

    Creature from the Black Lagoon

    Richard Carlson, Richard Denning

    Released1954

    Directed byJack Arnold

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  • 8
    Horror of Dracula
    666
    155

    Horror of Dracula

    Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing

    Released1958

    Directed byTerence Fisher

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  • 9
    House of Wax
    625
    173

    House of Wax

    Vincent Price, Charles Bronson

    Released1953

    Directed byAndré de Toth

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  • 10
    The Invisible Man
    632
    188

    The Invisible Man

    Claude Rains, Gloria Stuart

    Released1933

    Directed byJames Whale

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  • 11
    Invasion of the Body Snatchers
    619
    160

    Invasion of the Body Snatchers

    Dana Wynter, Sam Peckinpah

    Released1956

    Directed byDon Siegel

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  • 12
    House on Haunted Hill
    626
    181

    House on Haunted Hill

    Vincent Price, Richard Long

    Released1959

    Directed byWilliam Castle

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  • 13
    The Phantom of the Opera
    602
    195

    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
    552
    203

    Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

    Fredric March, Wallace Beery

    Released1931

    Directed byRouben Mamoulian

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  • 15
    King Kong
    734
    262

    King Kong

    Fay Wray, Merian C. Cooper

    Released1933

    Directed byMerian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack

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  • 16
    The Fly
    367
    87

    The Fly

    Vincent Price, David Hedison

    Released1958

    Directed byKurt Neumann

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  • 17
    The Thing from Another World
    569
    164

    The Thing from Another World

    James Arness, Paul Frees

    Released1951

    Directed byHoward Hawks, Christian Nyby

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  • 18
    The Curse of Frankenstein
    382
    138

    The Curse of Frankenstein

    Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing

    Released1957

    Directed byTerence Fisher

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  • 19
    Son of Frankenstein
    298
    89

    Son of Frankenstein

    Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi

    Released1939

    Directed byRowland V. Lee

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  • 20
    The Blob
    512
    202

    The Blob

    Steve McQueen, Aneta Corsaut

    Released1958

    Directed byIrvin Yeaworth

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  • 21
    Freaks
    490
    209

    Freaks

    Wallace Ford, Edward Brophy

    Released1932

    Directed byTod Browning

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  • 22
    The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
    464
    221

    The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

    Conrad Veidt, Lil Dagover

    Released1920

    Directed byRobert Wiene

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  • 23
    The Hunchback of Notre Dame
    384
    151

    The Hunchback of Notre Dame

    Lon Chaney, Ernest Torrence

    Released1923

    Directed byWallace Worsley

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  • 24
    The Hound of the Baskervilles
    365
    132

    The Hound of the Baskervilles

    Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing

    Released1959

    Directed byTerence Fisher

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  • 25
    White Zombie
    327
    154

    White Zombie

    Bela Lugosi, Clarence Muse

    Released1932

    Directed byVictor Hugo Halperin

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