Crime Shows and Movies The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers  

Mark Holmes
Originally by
57.8k votes 6k voters 265k 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
2,606 485
Hannibal Lecter is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal

2
1,375 743
Norman Bates is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Psycho

3
2,177 788
Dexter Morgan is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Dexter

4
1,592 667
Patrick Bateman is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
American Psycho

5
1,553 460
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
1,356 543
Michael Myers is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Halloween Universe

7
1,303 634
Freddy Krueger is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Nightmare on Elm Street

8
1,141 572
John Doe is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Seven

9
1,076 547
Jason Voorhees is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Fridiay the 13th Universe

10
1,213 536
Buffalo Bill is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
The Silence of the Lambs

11
1,102 603
Jigsaw Killer is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Saw Universe

12
1,135 517
Pennywise the Dancing Clown is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers

13
921 475
Leatherface is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

14
914 600
Sweeney Todd is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street

15
638 545
Mickey Knox is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Natural Born Killer

16
694 522
Annie Wilkes is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Benjamin2 added Misery

17
721 548
Ghostface is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Scream Universe

18
693 572
Charles Lee Ray is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Benjamin2 added Child's Play Universe

19
457 550
Mallory Knox is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Natural Born Killers

20
516 553
Candyman is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Candyman

21
473 496
Samara Morgan is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
The Ring

22
542 559
Arthur Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers

23
461 539
Sylar is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Heroes, Heroes

24
346 597
Catherine Tramell is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Basic Instinct

25
454 429
Francis Dolarhyde is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Red Dragon

26
323 232
Captain Spaulding is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
House of 1000 Corpses, The Devil's Rejects

27
323 488
Tom Ripley is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
The Talented Mr. Ripley

28
399 484
Brian Moser is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
William Roberts added Dexter

29
359 191
Tate Langdon is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
JaidenDalBello added American Horror Story

30
189 283
Red John is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
joash2 added

31
286 364
Slender Man is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Gokuisawsome added

32
208 183
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

33
300 449
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

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

36
357 375
Bloody Face is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
American Horror Story: Asylum

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

38
205 233
Billy Loomis is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Goopus added Scream

39
211 176
The Creeper is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
TimTima added Jeepers Creepers, Jeepers Creepers 2, Jeepers Creepers 4

40
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

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

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

43
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

44
248 229
Stewie Griffin is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
CheckinaCoulibaly added Family Guy, Family Guy Universe

45
147 234
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
97 296
Benjamin Linus is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
sheldonbhowe added Lost, Lost: Missing Pieces

47
136 220
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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153 221
Hannah McKay is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
GlennSwan added Dexter

49
219 242
Peter Griffin is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
CheckinaCoulibaly added Family Guy, Family Guy Universe

50
123 175
The Bone Collector is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Benjamin2 added The Bone Collector