Scary films for Halloween: 20 greatest horror movie villains

Who are the 20 greatest horror movie villains of all time? Take a Halloween tour through our haunted photo gallery to find out what blood-curdling baddies made the cut… if you dare.

The most recent entry in our rankings is from the striking success of M. Night Shyamalan‘s 2017 film “Split.” Its anti-hero Kevin Wendell Crumb (James MacAvoy in a tour-de-force performance embodying a number of horror personae) has already become a bit of a horror icon.

We searched far and wide through every goblin, ghoul, and goth to come up with a comprehensive list, and while there were plenty of demented killers or demon-possessed tykes to consider, we couldn’t include everyone. So don’t take our heads off if your favorite didn’t make it (or perhaps you should, given the spirit of things). For our gallery, we’ve generally stayed away from horror legends (Frankenstein, Dracula, The Mummy and The Creature From the Black Lagoon) who have gone soft via comedy parodies but instead focus intensely on those horror characters that still evoke a chill from us.

Some were obvious choices. What list of spooky bad guys would be complete without the mother-obsessed Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) in Alfred Hitchcock‘s classic thriller “Psycho” (1960) or everyone’s favorite dinner guest, Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lector (Anthony Hopkins), in Jonathan Demme‘s Best Picture winning “The Silence of the Lambs” (1991)? And let’s not forget that adorable little devil Regan (Linda Blair) in William Friedkin‘s gross-out hit “The Exorcist” (1973) and the not-so-dull Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) in Stanley Kubrick‘s supernatural chiller “The Shining” (1980).

Click through our photo gallery of the 20 greatest horror movie villains of all time to see who slashed up the competition, then let us know if we left out your favorites.