Criminals The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers  

Mark Holmes
Originally by
57.9k votes 6.1k voters 265.6k views 81 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.

1
2,609 488
Hannibal Lecter is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal

2
1,379 743
Norman Bates is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Psycho

3
2,180 789
Dexter Morgan is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Dexter

4
1,596 668
Patrick Bateman is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
American Psycho

5
1,556 462
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!

6
1,362 544
Michael Myers is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Halloween Universe

7
1,308 634
Freddy Krueger is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Nightmare on Elm Street

8
1,142 574
John Doe is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Seven

9
1,085 547
Jason Voorhees is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Fridiay the 13th Universe

10
1,214 538
Buffalo Bill is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
The Silence of the Lambs

11
1,106 603
Jigsaw Killer is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Saw Universe

12
1,138 518
Pennywise the Dancing Clown is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers

13
925 475
Leatherface is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

14
917 600
Sweeney Todd is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street

15
638 546
Mickey Knox is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Natural Born Killer

16
696 522
Annie Wilkes is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Benjamin2 added Misery

17
722 550
Ghostface is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Scream Universe

18
696 573
Charles Lee Ray is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Benjamin2 added Child's Play Universe

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458 552
Mallory Knox is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Natural Born Killers

20
516 555
Candyman is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Candyman

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474 497
Samara Morgan is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
The Ring

22
542 560
Arthur Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers

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463 539
Sylar is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Heroes, Heroes

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346 598
Catherine Tramell is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Basic Instinct

25
455 430
Francis Dolarhyde is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Red Dragon

26
324 233
Captain Spaulding is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
House of 1000 Corpses, The Devil's Rejects

27
323 489
Tom Ripley is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
The Talented Mr. Ripley

28
399 485
Brian Moser is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
William Roberts added Dexter

29
361 191
Tate Langdon is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
JaidenDalBello added American Horror Story

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189 284
Red John is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
joash2 added

31
288 365
Slender Man is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Gokuisawsome added

32
208 184
Light Yagami is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Travis MacPherson added Death Note, Death Note: Re-light: L's Successors, Death Note

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301 450
Joe Carroll is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
The Following

34
249 406
Henry Lee Lucas is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Dismalhead added Henry Lee Lucas Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer

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267 365
Mr. Earl Brooks is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
wiabux added Mr. Brooks

36
359 375
Bloody Face is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
American Horror Story: Asylum

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199 251
Stu Macher is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Goopus added Scream

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213 176
The Creeper is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
TimTima added Jeepers Creepers, Jeepers Creepers 2, Jeepers Creepers 4

39
205 233
Billy Loomis is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Goopus added Scream

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197 216
Firefly Family is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
CapoAssKickerMikey95 added Firefly Family House of 1000 Corpses, Devil's Rejects

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122 414
Early Grayce is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
RobMeusel added Kalifornia

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62 36
Carrie White is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Herr_Frau added Carrie, Carrie, Carrie

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146 165
Spike is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
dark wish added Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffyverse

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249 230
Stewie Griffin is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
CheckinaCoulibaly added Family Guy, Family Guy Universe

45
149 234
Tiffany is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Benjamin2 added Bride of Chucky, Seed of Chucky, Curse of Chucky - Bride Of Chucky & Seed Of Chucky

46
97 297
Benjamin Linus is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
sheldonbhowe added Lost, Lost: Missing Pieces

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136 221
Frank Breitkopf is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Pepe2002 added Frank Breitkopf Criminal Minds

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153 222
Hannah McKay is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
GlennSwan added Dexter

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219 243
Peter Griffin is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
CheckinaCoulibaly added Family Guy, Family Guy Universe

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123 176
The Bone Collector is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Benjamin2 added The Bone Collector