The Scariest Masked Killers In Horror Movies

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Vote up your all-time favorite masked villains.

Masked killers have always been a cornerstone of horror movies. From Michael Myers to Ghostface, some of the scariest horror villains are known for hiding behind their equally eerie masks. But while masked villains definitely saw their stock rise in the mid-to-late ‘80s with terrifying franchises like Friday the 13th and Halloween, sometimes the scariest masked killers don't look scary at all - at least not at first glance.

Do you think the baby mask from Happy Death Day is particularly scary? Creepy, sure, but probably not outright terrifying. But that’s the trick - by juxtaposing seemingly ordinary masks with the villain's nefarious deeds, the character becomes infinitely more terrifying. Those bright blue eyes become instantly scarier once you realize the evil that lurks behind them.

Which masked killer do you think is the scariest? Be sure to vote up your favorite masked villain so readers can see who is the most terrifying of all. And if your favorite horror movie masked villain is missing, add them below.

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  • Michael Myers
    759 votes

    Few killers can elicit the same spine-tingling terror as Michael Myers, the seemingly unstoppable force of evil that emerged in John Carpenter's 1978 classic, Halloween. With his ominous white mask and relentless pursuit of his victims, Myers has haunted countless audiences for over four decades, making him an indisputable icon in the realm of horror. What sets him apart from other masked murderers is his almost supernatural ability to withstand injury and return again and again, imbuing his character with an unshakeable sense of dread and perpetual torment.

  • Jason Voorhees

    Sinister and seemingly invincible, Jason Voorhees stands out as one of the most feared masked killers in the horror genre. Known for haunting Camp Crystal Lake in the Friday the 13th series, Voorhees dons a hockey mask and ruthlessly slaughters anyone who dares to trespass on his territory. This unstoppable force instills terror in his victims (and audience members alike) with his relentless stalking, surprising resilience, and brutal kills—all combined to make this monstrous creature an unforgettable horror icon.

  • Leatherface
    558 votes

    As the chainsaw-wielding maniac at the heart of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Leatherface has undoubtedly earned his spot among the most terrifying masked killers ever to grace the silver screen. Donning a mask made of human skin, this demented butcher takes sadistic pleasure in not only slaughtering his victims but also crafting grotesque objects from their remains. Just the gut-churning sound of his roaring chainsaw sends shivers down the spine, a testament to the enduring nightmare Leatherface has become.

  • Ghostface
    547 votes

    While many masked killers embody pure menace, Ghostface represents a unique blend of sinister intent and dark humor that sets him apart from his horror brethren. First debuting in Wes Craven's Scream, Ghostface embodies the quintessential satirical slasher, with his penchant for mocking victims via phone calls before brutally murdering them. The now-iconic mask, inspired by Edvard Munch's painting The Scream, has become synonymous with the phrase "Who's next?" and has cemented Ghostface as a cornerstone in the horror genre.

  • The Strangers

    The Strangers

    562 votes

    In the 2008 film The Strangers, a trio of masked invaders takes terror to a whole new level. Their sinister smiles and eerily blank stares instill fear in both the characters and audiences alike, while their lack of any discernible motive only adds to the sheer terror they generate. The disturbing act of invading a secluded home and torturing the inhabitants simply because "they were home" showcases just how horrifying these nameless killers can be.

  • Hannibal Lecter

    Though not a traditional masked killer, Hannibal Lecter's iconic appearance wearing a restraint mask in The Silence of the Lambs adds a layer of terror to an already unsettling character. The brilliant psychiatrist-turned-cannibal is as charming as he is terrifying, relishing every opportunity to indulge in his insatiable appetite for human flesh. The juxtaposition of Lecter's seemingly cultured demeanor and his gruesome acts of cannibalism make him one of the most spine-chilling villains ever put to film.