The Scariest Serial Killers In History

Serial killers are among the most terrifying people imaginable, partially because of how unfathomable their crimes can be. Many serial killers look for a specific type of victim, while other serial killers will prey on any type of person. 

One thing (of many) that makes serial killers so scary is that anyone can fall victim to them - and that the culprits are typically elusive and unknown. Many of the worst serial killers appeared to be friendly neighbors or easy-going coworkers that one would never suspect of killing numerous human beings. Many would consider the serial killers on this list to be some of the scariest due to their methods, motives, and personalities.

Once you've read the list, vote for those that you consider to be the most chilling.

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  • 1
    4,463 VOTES
    Albert Fish
    Photo: Unknown / Wikimedia Commons / Public domain
    Hamilton Howard "Albert" Fish (May 19, 1870 – January 16, 1936) was an American serial killer, child rapist and cannibal. He was also known as the Gray Man, the Werewolf of Wysteria, the Brooklyn Vampire, the Moon Maniac, and The Boogey Man. Fish once boasted that he "had children in every state", and at one time stated his number of victims was about 100. However, it is not known whether he was referring to rapes or cannibalization, nor is it known if the statement was truthful. Fish was a suspect in at least five murders during his lifetime. Fish confessed to three murders that police were able to trace to a known homicide, and he confessed to stabbing at least two other people. He was ...more
    • Age: Dec. at 65 (1870-1936)
    • Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States of America
  • 2
    6,401 VOTES
    Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer (; May 21, 1960 – November 28, 1994), also known as the Milwaukee Cannibal or the Milwaukee Monster, was an American serial killer and sex offender who committed the rape, murder, and dismemberment of 17 men and boys from 1978 to 1991. Many of his later murders involved necrophilia, cannibalism, and the permanent preservation of body parts—typically all or part of the skeleton.Although he was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, schizotypal personality disorder, and a psychotic disorder, Dahmer was found to be legally sane at his trial. He was convicted of 15 of the 16 murders he had committed in Wisconsin, and was sentenced to 15 terms of life imprisonment ...more
    • Age: Dec. at 34 (1960-1994)
    • Birthplace: West Allis, Wisconsin, United States of America
  • 3
    6,210 VOTES
    John Wayne Gacy (March 17, 1942 – May 10, 1994) was an American serial killer who raped, tortured and murdered at least 33 teenage boys and young men between 1972 and 1978 in Cook County, Illinois (a part of metropolitan Chicago). All of Gacy's known murders were committed inside his Norwood Park ranch house. His victims were typically induced to his address by force or deception, and all except one of his victims were murdered by either asphyxiation or strangulation with a makeshift garrote, as his first victim was stabbed to death. Gacy buried 26 of his victims in the crawl space of his home. Three other victims were buried elsewhere on his property, while the bodies of his last four ...more
    • Age: Dec. at 52 (1942-1994)
    • Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States of Ameria
  • 4
    3,471 VOTES
    Andrei Chikatilo
    Photo: Rostov Police Department / Wikipedia / Fair Use
    Andrei Romanovich Chikatilo (Russian: Андре́й Рома́нович Чикати́ло; Ukrainian: Андрій Романович Чикатило; 16 October 1936 – 14 February 1994) was a Soviet serial killer, nicknamed the Butcher of Rostov, the Red Ripper, and the Rostov Ripper, who sexually assaulted, murdered, and mutilated at least 52 women and children between 1978 and 1990 in the Russian SFSR, the Ukrainian SSR, and the Uzbek SSR. Chikatilo confessed to 56 murders and was tried for 53 of these killings in April 1992. He was convicted and sentenced to death for 52 of these murders in October 1992 and subsequently executed in February 1994. Chikatilo was known by such titles as the "Rostov Ripper" and the "Butcher of Rostov" ...more
    • Age: Dec. at 57 (1936-1994)
    • Birthplace: Sumy Oblast, Ukraine