crime shows and movies The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers  

Mark Holmes
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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
2,337 418
Hannibal Lecter is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Hannibal Lecter The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal

2
1,213 651
Norman Bates is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Norman Bates Psycho

3
1,957 695
Dexter Morgan is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Dexter Morgan Dexter

4
1,447 579
Patrick Bateman is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Patrick Bateman American Psycho

5
1,150 216
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
1,145 571
Freddy Krueger is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Freddy Krueger Nightmare on Elm Street

7
1,159 495
Michael Myers is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Michael Myers Halloween Universe

8
1,035 501
John Doe is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
John Doe Seven

9
924 515
Jason Voorhees is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Jason Voorhees Fridiay the 13th Universe

10
1,107 480
Buffalo Bill is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Buffalo Bill The Silence of the Lambs

11
973 546
Jigsaw Killer is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Jigsaw Killer Saw Universe

12
985 474
Pennywise the Dancing Clown is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers

13
842 537
Sweeney Todd is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Sweeney Todd Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street

14
810 438
Leatherface is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Leatherface The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

15 Songs That Don't Mean What You Think They Do

15
583 503
Mickey Knox is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Mickey Knox Natural Born Killer

16
638 471
Annie Wilkes is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Benjamin2 added Annie Wilkes Misery

17
667 307
The Joker is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
graser20 added The Joker

18
632 503
Ghostface is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Ghostface Scream Universe

19
624 518
Charles Lee Ray is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Benjamin2 added Charles Lee Ray Child's Play Universe

20
413 510
Mallory Knox is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Mallory Knox Natural Born Killers

21
466 505
Candyman is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Candyman Candyman

Celebrities Killed by the Internet

22
433 446
Samara Morgan is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Samara Morgan The Ring

23
494 525
Arthur Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers

24
430 501
Sylar is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Sylar Heroes, Heroes

25
328 556
Catherine Tramell is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Catherine Trammell Basic Instinct

26
412 399
Francis Dolarhyde is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Francis Dolarhyde Red Dragon

27
305 450
Tom Ripley is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Tom Ripley The Talented Mr. Ripley

28
361 451
Brian Moser is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
William Roberts added Brian Moser Dexter

The Most Prolific American Serial Killers

29
265 203
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
168 252
Red John is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
joash2 added Red John

31
290 173
Tate Langdon is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
JaidenDalBello added Tate Langdon American Horror Story

32
244 328
Slender Man is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Gokuisawsome added Slender Man

33
273 424
Joe Carroll is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Joe Carroll The Following

34
166 150
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
223 386
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

Famous Serial Killers Who Are Still Alive

36
249 343
Mr. Earl Brooks is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
wiabux added Mr. Earl Brooks Mr. Brooks

37
327 352
Bloody Face is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Bloody Face American Horror Story: Asylum

38
174 224
Stu Macher is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Goopus added Stu Macher Scream

39
175 212
Billy Loomis is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Goopus added Billy Loomis Scream

40
170 154
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
111 388
Early Grayce is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
RobMeusel added Early Grayce Kalifornia

42
170 195
Firefly Family is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
CapoAssKickerMikey95 added Firefly Family House of 1000 Corpses, Devil's Rejects

The Fouke Monster Of Boggy Creek Has Been Terrifying People And Eating Pets For Years

43
123 138
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
90 269
Benjamin Linus is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
sheldonbhowe added Benjamin Linus Lost, Lost: Missing Pieces

45
126 199
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
202 180
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
195 183
Peter Griffin is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
CheckinaCoulibaly added Peter Griffin Family Guy, Family Guy Universe

48
26 14
Carrie White is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Herr_Frau added Carrie White Carrie, Carrie, Carrie

49
114 200
Frank Breitkopf is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
Pepe2002 added Frank Breitkopf Criminal Minds

50
138 193
Hannah McKay is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Fictional Serial Killers
GlennSwan added Hannah McKay Dexter