Home Films Eternal Frights: The Scariest Movie Scenes Of All Time

Eternal Frights: The Scariest Movie Scenes Of All Time

Monica October 19, 2023

Spooky season is here, so it’s time to take out those carving knives and get to work on this year’s jack o’ lanterns. That terrifying costume collecting dust in your attic will finally see the light of day. You even finally have an excuse to eat too much of that Halloween candy that’s been on store shelves since August. But the best part about the spooky season is watching the scariest horror movies that keep you up at night.

Some of the scariest scenes stick with us because they’re just creepy overall. Some are considered to be the scariest because of the gore. And others still are simply the scariest because they’re just iconic. So it’s time to turn off the lights, put on your favorite horror movie, and sit on the edge of your seat as we remember the scariest movie scenes of all time here.


The Shining: Corpse In The Bathtub

One of the scariest horror movies of all time is The Shining, where the main character Jack watches a mansion during wintertime with his family. While the entire movie is a slow burn, the woman in the bathtub is arguably the most terrifying scene of them all. In room 237, you see a scene with a beautiful naked woman bathing in a bathtub. Jack’s original look of infatuation quickly turns to one of horror and despair once he realizes it’s not a beautiful woman, but a decaying corpse. Staff member Matt Melis from Consequence said it’s the “Bathtub lady for me. No, I don’t want to rewatch it.” Very few people want to watch that bathtub scene again (via Consequence).


The Evil Dead: Linda Is Possessed

Back in 1981 when The Evil Dead premiered, it was the first low-budget horror of its kind. People instantly flocked to this gruesome movie where viewers had to stomach a lot of violence and horror. You’re likely torn between laughing and screaming. But the scariest scene of them all has to be when Ash finds Linda, his girlfriend, turning into a possessed demon. Compared to the special effects we have nowadays, this scene is almost comical. She looks more like a doll than a demon, but we’ll give them credit for trying (via YouTube).


IT: Georgie Meets Pennywise

If you’re familiar with the original novel by Stephen King, then you already know the ending of this 2017 movie. But that doesn’t mean you’re immune from the terrifying opening scene in the remake when Georgie came across Pennywise. That pair of yellow eyes, floating in the abyss, meant only one thing – a horrible fate. The clown appeared with a sinister smile as Georgie tried to reach for his boat and sealed his fate (via YouTube).

The Mirror

Trainspotting: The Ceiling Baby

Trainspotting is one of the most famous movies about drug addiction. It’s clever and carefully done, so much so that it brings a different, unique sort of terror upon its viewers. In the most climactic scene, the main character Renton suffers from intense hallucinations which lead to a vision of his friend’s dead baby. Even users on Reddit agree with the horror, saying, “This baby scene from Trainspotting is the most uncanny and creepiest thing I’ve ever seen in my entire life.” The terrifying hallucinations continue to a pulsating techno beat that’s hard to watch (via Reddit).


Friday the 13th (1980): He’s Still There

From the moment you hear Friday the 13th, it’s game over. All those superstitions come to light, and you might even remember the horror and terror that came from one of the scariest movies of all time. In one scene, Jason Voorhees shows up from Crystal Lake and pulls Alice down into the murky waters of the lake’s depths. Even though she survives and wakes up screaming, she knows Jason is still out there, lurking and waiting to attack again (via YouTube).


Jaws: Quint’s Shark Monologue

There’s a lot of tension in the iconic shark movie Jaws, but the scariest scene has to be Captain Quint’s iconic monologue. Quint tells the story of his scars and where they came from. The way he tells his story adds to the overall tension, equipped with eerie music and hungry sharks. He was the only one to survive the horrid encounter with a great white shark. Users on Reddit agreed, saying, “The mood completely changes from jovial to completely unnerving. There’s something so visceral about watching his whole demeanor shift. The weird rhythms he speaks with and the slow drawly way he tells the story are just so captivating. Chilling stuff.” It’s chilling, to say the least, and is one of the scariest movie scenes for a different reason (via Reddit).


Poltergeist: The Clown

One climactic scene in Poltergeist taps into the deep fear of clowns. Viewers can’t help but feel the horror as the clown drags Robbie under the bed. But the most terrifying part of this scene is that it’s real. Something malfunctioned with the clown during the shooting, restricting Robbie’s breathing. According to Reddit, “During the filming of Poltergeist, the clown doll nearly killed Robbie Freeling due to an animatronic error when the clown’s arm constricted too tightly around his neck. When the actor started protesting he couldn’t breathe, Spielberg thought he was improving his acting.” It’s already terrifying even when it’s fake, but this piece of knowledge adds to the horror (via Reddit).

What Culture

Silence of the Lambs: Night Vision

Silence of the Lambs is a nail-biter on its own but during the finale, it’s horrific. It features the FBI chasing a serial killer when we see Buffalo Bill trying to clean up his murders. While we wait to see what happens with Clarice and the skin-peeling murderer, we’re left sitting on the edge of our seats until we find out what happens. Users on Reddit say, “where Clarice is in Buffalo Bill’s dungeon looking for him and he’s following her with night vision goggles, is inarguably one of the most tension-building scenes in all of film.” If you’re looking for a scare, throw this movie on your television, sit back, and get ready to scream (via Reddit).


The Exorcist III: The Nurse Station

Movies that open with nurses always build tension that usually leads to horror. That’s exactly what happened in The Exorcist III when a nurse locks up for the day. It doesn’t seem like anything bad could happen, but they’re deceiving us on purpose. Suddenly, a killer arm appears and the scene cuts to a beheaded Jesus sculpture. It sets the tone for the rest of the film. It’s probably one of the best jump scares in movie history, so hold onto your seat if you put this movie on (via Reddit).

Crooked Marquee

Requiem for a Dream: Shock Therapy

This is another movie that tackles drug abuse from every angle possible. Even though the entire movie is difficult to watch, the worst scene has to be the shock therapy scene. This is when Sara Goldfarb goes through shock treatment, and even though every character in the movie seems to suffer in their own way, this one has to be the worst of them all. After watching the movie, users on Reddit agree they can’t watch it again, saying, “I’m not ready to watch that movie again. I will NEVER be ready to watch that movie again. That is emotional masochism.” One time seems to be enough to see this film (via Reddit).


The Ring: The Girl In The TV

The Ring did a great job of instilling fear, terror, and dread in every single person who was unlucky enough to sit through the entire film. At least you know you walk away unharmed once the film is over, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t make your stomach flip. The scariest scene is the TV scene when Samara slowly crawls out of the TV to take Noah’s life after he attempts to escape the evil girl. Reddit users admit, “I swear this movie followed me for years. I’d say the scariest movie I watched until The Strangers. I just remember after watching I’d see ladders, wells, static TVs practically everywhere.” If you couldn’t look at your TV after watching this movie, you’re not alone (via Reddit).

USA Today

Psycho: The Deadly Shower

While the movie Psycho was terrifying in itself, the shower scene was the legendary scene that sends shivers down your spine. The piercing music, combined with the tension build-up, makes it one of the most horrific movie scenes out there. It makes you feel like you’re standing there with Marion as she gets stabbed again and again. Showers are seen as a safe space where you can relax, but this movie took it to another level, especially considering how unique it was for its time (via Reddit).


Pulse: The Non-Human Ghost Walk

The movie Pulse takes a spin on the internet and how spirits invade people using it. During the ghost walk scene, Ryosuke finds himself in front of a ghostly woman who’s not a human. The way she walks and carries herself is enough to send shivers down your spine and make you turn the television off. Users of Reddit admit, “I couldn’t even watch this clip for years because that movie spooked me back in the day.” If you couldn’t watch the rest of this film, you’re far from alone (via Reddit).


Carrie: The Evil Grave Hand

No one anticipated the comeback of Carrie, which is what made this movie so spectacular. When a grieving classmate visits Carrie’s grave, a bloody hand bursts out of the ground, shocking its viewers. You get a false sense of safety which immediately turns into dread. Reddit users can’t help but agree it’s a horrifying scene. They say, “At the very end it zoomed in on a grave, and a hand shot out with loud music, before cutting to black. It looked super old and low budget and it scared the living sh** out of me.” For its era, it did a great job of haunting us for days on end (via Reddit).


The Conjuring 2: Hallway Scene

When Lorraine is lured by a demon into a dark room in The Conjuring 2, the entire mood of the film changes. As one Reddit user puts it, “where Lorraine Warren finds her daughter staring frozen at the nun on the other side of the hallway is genuinely one of the most terrifying scenes of any horror film to come out in the 2010s.” The floorboards creak and moan, something scratches at the window, and suddenly, an attack happens. There’s a lot of anticipation during this scene because you can’t tell which way the movie’s going until suddenly, you’re thrown off the edge of your seat (via Reddit).


The Babadook: Amelia Buried

When a widow tries to stop a supernatural demon from taking over her home, we’re thrown against our seats in fear. Amelia hides under the covers when we hear a twisted voice from somewhere beyond the covers. He makes an appearance, with his white face and hollow eyes, before suddenly going into Amelia’s throat. You might not think this movie is terrifying until you watch it. This Reddit user nailed it on the head by saying, “What makes the movie such a pleasant surprise is going in thinking it’s just another silly boogieman horror movie with a few jump scares and then realizing it has great acting performances, terrifying tension, and deep themes.” All of that combined makes for some horrifying scenes (via Reddit).


Rosemary’s Baby: The Devil Impregnates Rosemary

Even though scenes in this movie are some of the worst out there, this one in particular has to be the worst of them all. It’s all a dream as she drifts into a strange, unusual dream until she’s trapped in a bed and flanked by her neighbors. The Devil appears as a reptilian demon and the scene continues into one of horror. It was hard to watch this scene all the way through, especially as modern viewers living in the world we live in today (via Reddit).

The Guardian

Don’t Look Now: The Color Red

The color red is apparent in this movie. John spots a figure wearing red, giving him a flashback to his dead daughter. You’d think the character would find closure with this memory, but it acted more as a warning than anything else. He was brought to his death all thanks to this color. This probably made you dislike the color red for some time. According to The Guardian, “The color red is elegantly controlled by Roeg as the central motif in a mosaic of images, subliminal flashes of fear or premonitions of death that speckle John’s traumatized thoughts.” It’s seen in multiple scenes and doesn’t symbolize a good fate (via The Guardian).


Alien: The Chest-Burster

The movie Alien is so spectacular that it’s considered one of the most terrifying sci-fi movies out there, especially for its time. Although the movie is scary throughout, the most horrific scene has to be the climactic chest-bursting scene, when Kane convulses and a creature bursts out of his chest. According to Reddit, “only had a handful of takes because the animal organs used in the scene started cooking under the set lighting, creating a revolting stench on set.” A shocking amount of blood comes out of his chest, and because the other actors didn’t know it would be that much blood, their looks of surprise and horror are accurate (via Reddit).


Enemy: The Spider

If you love Jake Gyllenhaal, then you’ll know him from his stellar role in Enemy. He’s a professor who finds out he has a doppelganger, even though he has no known twin. When a huge spider suddenly appears, terror strikes at one of the most horrific scenes in movie history. If you have arachnophobia, stay far away from this movie and never let your guard down. As one Reddit user admits, “I was watching Enemy on my phone and the last scene made me throw my phone across my room in pure fear.” At least they warned you (via Reddit).


It Follows: The Scary Tall Man

When It Follows came out in 2014, it was a major hit for more than one reason. There’s a stalker that’s creeping on the story’s protagonist, which symbolizes more than one thing. He takes many forms throughout the movie. He randomly shows up, making us jump in our seats when we least expect it. When the tall man showed up from the shadows, he freaked everyone out with his gouged-out eyes. As some Reddit users admit, they found it “Genuinely horrific. Like a slightly lesser sudden jump scar. It relies on you knowing it was going to happen soon.” People in theaters were known to suddenly scream in terror (via Reddit).


The Blair Witch Project: The Corner

Besides The Blair Witch Project being one of the most terrifying movies of all time, they managed to make people believe it was real footage found in the forest. As Mike and Heather search for their missing friends, they’re led on a wild goose chase by following his shouts and screams. You can see small writings, blood stains, and stacked stones. As this Reddit user puts it, “And it’s not just that he’s standing in the corner (Though that’s already unsettling). It’s that Heather just came into the room shrieking and he doesn’t react. He doesn’t even flinch. That’s what gave me the creeps for days afterward.” Finding Josh in the corner, staring at a wall, is one of the scariest scenes in movie history (via Reddit).


The Sixth Sense: The Kitchen

This quickly became one of the scariest movies out there. When Cole had to use the bathroom in the middle of the night, he ended up staring at the black abyss leading to the kitchen. When a figure passes by the doorway as he turns to look, his breath becomes mist and he follows the supernatural form as it opens and closes drawers. The lead-up to this scene is one of the freakiest ones that probably made you hide behind your hands. Other terrifying scenes in this movie are the hanging ghosts and the shotgun boy (via Reddit).


Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Final Chase

This movie is more fiction than fact, though it wants us to believe the opposite. The killer that inspired this movie operated a little differently than he did in real life. But that doesn’t mean the movie isn’t terrifying, and the scary realism makes us sit on the edge of our seats every time – a man on the loose chops up his victims with a chainsaw. Sally then has to run for her life and barely escapes death by hopping on a vehicle (via Reddit).


Se7en: The Box

This thriller directed by David Fincher dives deep into the mind of a serial killer as he frames his crimes around the seven deadly sins. But the last sin is the most gruesome of them all when he lets Mills know his dead wife is in a box. The calm demeanor he gives while delivering this news is horrific, and proves how much of a psychopath he is (via Reddit).


Scream: The Phone Call

This 1996 classic paved the way for horror movies that we know and love today. But this original scene in Scream will send shivers down your spine. This is when the character Casey realizes she’s not alone in the house, and a certain phone call goes from a happy one to one filled with dread. It’s terrifying because it’s so relatable, and touches upon a fear that most of us probably have but never want to speak about (via Reddit).

The Independent

The Exorcist: Head Spin

The Exorcist set the stage for horror films. While there was some remarkable creativity, special effects, and voice-over-acting for that time, the most notable scene has to be when Regan’s head spins around 360 degrees. That, plus her cackling sound, makes it a horrific scene that probably scared you away from horror films for a while. Another Reddit user believes the psychological part of the movie is horrific, saying, “To me, the scariest part of the whole thing is that she was just messing with them the whole time. She could have just got up at any moment and killed them and didn’t. At the end when he comes back to the room she’s just giggling after killing the older priest. It’s just a scary thought.” That movie dumped plenty of scary thoughts into our heads (via Reddit).


Lord of the Rings: The Demon Face

Even though The Lord of the Rings isn’t necessarily a typical horror movie, it doesn’t mean it’s lacking scary scenes. The “Demon Face” scene is easy to miss, but if you see it, we guarantee you’ll jump off the couch. In one scene, Bilbo’s face went from welcoming to demonic in a matter of seconds. Other Reddit users say scenes like, “When Frodo fell in the Swamp Pond and he saw all those ‘beings’ down there” were the scariest for them. Either way, this proves how possessed hobbits can become, and proves that evil lies in all of us humans, in some form or another (via Reddit).