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13 Most Horrifying Screen Chills Ever

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood October 15, 2007 at 6:46AM

The London Times chooses the top 13 scariest horror scenes ever. Be afraid. Very afraid. [Hat Tip: Colin Boyd.]

Screamt2_196222aThe London Times chooses the top 13 scariest horror scenes ever. Be afraid. Very afraid. [Hat Tip: Colin Boyd.]

When I was a kid, I was terrified by three movies: Robert Wise's The Haunting, which featured a menacing house that pounded, turned doorknobs, wrote notes on the wall to "Eleanor" and morphs a young girl in her bed into a old woman banging on the ceiling with a cane. That'll scare anyone.


The Window is a tight little thriller about a little boy (Bobby Driscoll, who won a special Academy Award) who witnesses a murder. No grownup will believe him while he is being chased--and caught--by the bad guys. He's utterly on his own.


In Mirage, Gregory Peck keeps seeing the image of a watermelon splatting on the pavement--he's traumatized by having seen someone fall out of a high rise to their death. He's lost his memory and keeps getting lost in the wrong stairwell.

Nothing has ever scared me as much since.

There is that wonderful moment at the end of Brian De Palma's Carrie (my favorite film of his) when the arm reaches up through the grave. Ridley Scott's Alien has the creature busting out of John Hurt's stomach. George Romero's original Night of the Living Dead is one of the creepiest movies ever made. And this list's number one choice, Stanley Kubrick's The Shining, is packed with truly scary stuff--like the blood rising out of the elevator. Redrum. Redrum.

[Originally appeared on]

This article is related to: Lists, Genres, Horror

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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.