Villains The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers  

Mark Holmes
Originally by
61.7k votes 6.5k voters 274.2k views 76 items

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.
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2,774 531
Hannibal Lecter is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal
2
1,471 800
Norman Bates is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Psycho
3
2,318 841
Dexter Morgan is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Dexter
4
1,680 712
Patrick Bateman is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
American Psycho
5
1,647 517
Joker is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
graser20 added Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Batman: The Animated Series, Fight Batman Fight!
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1,508 573
Michael Myers is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Halloween Universe
7
1,401 668
Freddy Krueger is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Nightmare on Elm Street
8
1,198 608
John Doe is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Seven
9
1,191 579
Jason Voorhees is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Fridiay the 13th Universe
10
1,190 628
Jigsaw is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Saw Universe
11
1,275 572
Buffalo Bill is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
The Silence of the Lambs
12
1,231 542
Pennywise the Dancing Clown is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
13
996 501
Leatherface is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
14
968 631
Sweeney Todd is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street
15
665 575
Mickey Knox is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Natural Born Killer
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736 555
Annie Wilkes is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Benjamin2 added Misery
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785 581
Ghostface is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Scream Universe
18
743 610
Chucky viano is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Benjamin2 added Child's Play Universe
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472 584
Mallory Knox is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Natural Born Killers
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543 584
Candyman is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Candyman
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511 524
Samara Morgan is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
The Ring
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568 583
Arthur Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
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478 568
Sylar is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Heroes, Heroes
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357 621
Catherine Tramell is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Basic Instinct
25
478 447
Francis Dolarhyde is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Red Dragon