crime shows and movies The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers  

Mark Holmes
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53.3k votes 5.5k voters 258.4k views 78 items Embed

List Rules Notable serial killers from movies and television.

Who are the best fictional serial killers of all time? These are serial killers featured in television shows and on film. To be clear, there is a difference between a serial killer and a mass murderer. A serial killer is one who kills individually, stalking a victim and murdering them in cold blood. Some of the most memorable movie and TV characters ever have been serial killers, so be sure to vote for the ones you liked the most -- and vote down any you didn't like. Also, feel free to re-rank this list any way you want, and add any notable fictional serial killers who are missing.

The creepiest film and TV serial killers often steal the show with their terrifyingly cool, chilling scenes. They manage to elude the good guys who are dutifully tracking them down, often for most of a movie or television show. Eventually, almost all of the fictional serial killers listed here are caught, but not before they leave behind horrifying reminders of their sick and twisted abilities. They are, quite often, some of the best movie villains of all time or the creepiest characters on television.

When you think of the "best" fictional serial murderers, who comes to mind instantly? Hannibal Lecter? That's certainly one of the most famous and memorable serial killers ever on film, thanks to Anthony Hopkins (who won an Academy Award for the role in 'Silence of the Lambs'). Or how about mommy-obsessed Norman Bates (Anthony Hopkins), the serial killer who scared the wits out of everyone in Alfred Hitchcock's 'Psycho'? There is no doubt that both of these characters are iconic, and among the most utterly terrifying figures in film. Both, interestingly enough, were brought to the small screen in 2013: Lecter in the NBC horror drama 'Hannibal' and Bates in A&E's drama 'Bates Motel.'

Are serial killers the new vampires now? Could be. One thing is certain: The fictional serial killers listed here are among the characters you absolutely, positively do not ever want knocking at your door.
list ordered by

1
2,407 435
Hannibal Lecter is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Hannibal Lecter The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal

2
1,251 675
Norman Bates is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Norman Bates Psycho

3
2,015 717
Dexter Morgan is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Dexter Morgan Dexter

4
1,483 596
Patrick Bateman is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Patrick Bateman American Psycho

5
1,223 233
Joker is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
AmandaEkenlöw added Joker Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Batman: The Animated Series, Fight Batman Fight!

6
1,191 585
Freddy Krueger is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Freddy Krueger Nightmare on Elm Street

7
1,204 506
Michael Myers is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Michael Myers Halloween Universe

8
1,065 520
John Doe is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
John Doe Seven

9
953 525
Jason Voorhees is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Jason Voorhees Fridiay the 13th Universe

10
1,124 497
Buffalo Bill is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Buffalo Bill The Silence of the Lambs

11
999 560
Jigsaw is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Jigsaw Saw Universe

12
1,027 484
Pennywise the Dancing Clown is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers

13
833 444
Leatherface is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Leatherface The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

14
857 554
Sweeney Todd is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Sweeney Todd Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street

15 Terrifying Real-Life Kids That Belong in a Horror Movie

15
597 511
Mickey Knox is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Mickey Knox Natural Born Killer

16
651 486
Annie Wilkes is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Benjamin2 added Annie Wilkes Misery

17
688 317
The Joker is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
graser20 added The Joker

18
654 515
Ghostface is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Ghostface Scream Universe

19
638 530
Chucky is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Benjamin2 added Chucky Child's Play Universe

20
426 516
Mallory Knox is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Mallory Knox Natural Born Killers

21
475 518
Candyman is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Candyman Candyman

28 Creepy Photos Inspired by Children's Nightmares

22
442 456
Samara Morgan is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Samara Morgan The Ring

23
505 533
Arthur Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers

24
439 507
Sylar is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Sylar Heroes, Heroes

25
329 568
Catherine Tramell is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Catherine Trammell Basic Instinct

26
418 406
Francis Dolarhyde is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Francis Dolarhyde Red Dragon

27
306 458
Tom Ripley is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Tom Ripley The Talented Mr. Ripley

28
368 459
Brian Moser is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
William Roberts added Brian Moser Dexter

10 Interviews With Serial Killers That Will Appall You

29
277 207
Captain Spaulding is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Captain Spaulding House of 1000 Corpses, The Devil's Rejects

30
304 177
Tate Langdon is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
JaidenDalBello added Tate Langdon American Horror Story

31
174 258
Red John is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
joash2 added Red John

32
254 335
Slender Man is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Gokuisawsome added Slender Man

33
278 428
Joe Carroll is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Joe Carroll The Following

34
173 157
Light Yagami is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Travis MacPherson added Light Yagami Death Note, Death Note: Re-light: L's Successors, Death Note

35
228 389
Henry Lee Lucas is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Dismalhead added Henry Lee Lucas Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer

Amazing Real-Life Superhero Gadgets & Powers

36
252 348
Mr. Earl Brooks is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
wiabux added Mr. Earl Brooks Mr. Brooks

37
333 356
Bloody Face is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Bloody Face American Horror Story: Asylum

38
179 229
Stu Macher is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Goopus added Stu Macher Scream

39
181 216
Billy Loomis is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Goopus added Billy Loomis Scream

40
179 156
The Creeper is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
TimTima added The Creeper Jeepers Creepers, Jeepers Creepers 2, Jeepers Creepers 4

41
177 198
Firefly Family is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
CapoAssKickerMikey95 added Firefly Family House of 1000 Corpses, Devil's Rejects

42
111 394
Early Grayce is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
RobMeusel added Early Grayce Kalifornia

The Best Serial Killer Movies

43
128 143
Spike is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
dark wish added Spike Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffyverse

44
92 276
Benjamin Linus is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
sheldonbhowe added Benjamin Linus Lost, Lost: Missing Pieces

45
131 207
Tiffany is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Benjamin2 added Tiffany Bride of Chucky, Seed of Chucky, Curse of Chucky - Bride Of Chucky & Seed Of Chucky

46
211 191
Stewie Griffin is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
CheckinaCoulibaly added Stewie Griffin Family Guy, Family Guy Universe

47
32 18
Carrie White is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Herr_Frau added Carrie White Carrie, Carrie, Carrie

48
203 194
Peter Griffin is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
CheckinaCoulibaly added Peter Griffin Family Guy, Family Guy Universe

49
116 206
Frank Breitkopf is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Pepe2002 added Frank Breitkopf Criminal Minds

50
139 201
Hannah McKay is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
GlennSwan added Hannah McKay Dexter