Top 10 Scariest Old School Movie Monsters

They’re the modern monsters invading our nightmares, courtesy of the Hollywood dream machine.

What about their predecessors?

This Halloween, let’s salute the old school movie monsters who made classic films such a blast. To do so, we’ll count down the top 10 monsters in descending order.

10. Werewolves — It certainly sucks to be eaten by a werewolf. It’s like being mauled by a big, angry dog. Best werewolf movies: “Brotherhood of the Wolf” and “American Werewolf In London.”

9. Mummies — An interest in mummies is really a fascination with ancient Egypt. You can’t have a good mummy movie without taking a trek to Egypt. Best mummy movies: “The Mummy” and “The Mummy” 1999, 1932 respectively.

The Mummy Official Trailer #1 - Brendan Fraser Movie (1999) HD

8. Goblins — Goblins hail from Old Europe and tend to be depicted as tiny and human like, but with grotesque features. Best goblin movies: “Labyrinth” and “Spiderwick Chronicles.”

7. Frankenstein’s Monster — What makes Frankenstein’s Monster so scary, isn’t the monster himself, but rather it’s the golem-like tale of making our own creature. Best Frankenstein’s monster movies: Jeff Goldblum’s “The Fly,” “Young Frankenstein” and “Weird Science.”

6. Witches — Satan’s little helpers. Witches have been part of the “pantheon” of horror since way, way back. Witches can be good or bad, healers or fortune tellers, hovering around a black kettle or living next door. Best witch movies: “The VVItch,” “Rosemary’s Baby,” “The Blair Witch Project” and “The Witches of Eastwick.”

The Witch Official Trailer #1 (2016) - Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson Movie HD

5. Zombies — The original zombie comes from Haiti and isn’t anything like what we know today. They were possessed living people, forced to do the bidding of the “priest” who controlled them. Best zombie movie: “The Serpent and the Rainbow.”

4. Vampires — Okay, we kind of overdid the whole vampire thing. Before we drive a stake into the sub-genre, lets remember a time when vampires were still scary and cool. Best vampire movies: “Nosferatu” is still by far the best ever made and if you’re in the right mood, it can still bring plenty of chills down your spine. I first saw this film in Vienna, Austria in 1992 and it’s haunted me since. “Let the Right One In” is fantastic and “The Lost Boys” has aged, well, like a vampire.

3. Ghouls — Ghouls live in graveyards and inhabit the bodies of the recently deceased and walk about, mostly scaring the pants off of former loved ones. What’s scarier than some spirit using the body of your loved one as a puppet? Best movies about ghouls: “Fallen” with Denzel Washington and John Goodman, “What Lies Beneath” with Harrison Ford and Michele Pfeiffer and “The Conjuring” will scare you silly!

The Conjuring - Official Main Trailer [HD]

2. Ghosts — Ghosts are like witches, some bad, some not so bad, and others just hanging about. But ghosts can be absolutely terrifying. Best ghost movies: “The Shining,” “The Others,” “The Orphanage” and “13 Ghosts”(2001).

1. Devil & Demons — Nothing like demons and the devil in terms of pure scares. What makes them so frightening? They have a combination of malevolence and ability. They can be ghost like, seductive or cruel. They know your personal weaknesses and how to get in under that locked door, which makes them particularly hard to defeat. Best demon/devil movies: “Angel Heart,” “The Devil’s Advocate” and “The Omen.”


  1. Wow, how old is the writer of this article? Seventeen? Fifteen? Most of them see selected based on a misguided nostalgia. Here is how a well-informed horror fan breaks things down:

    Werewolves: The Wolf Man remains the greatest of all werewolf movies, and The Howling is the equal of An American Werewolf in London (I don’t understand why people seem to like one but not the other). The Werewolf of London, Curse of the Werewolf and I Was A Teenage Werewolf are all worthy entries in the subgenre.

    Mummies: The 1932 film is one of the greatest horror films of the Thirties; the 1999 film was at best mediocre, and one of the biggest disappointments in the theater for me. The Kharis movies of the Forties are disposable, but Hammer’s The Mummy is one of that company’s best.

    Frankenstein: Oh geez, did the author ever miss the mark here. The Fly is NOT a Frankenstein film obviously, Weird Science less so, and is one of the worst John Hughes films. The James Whale Frankenstein films are universally regarded as being among the greatest horror films of all time by true fans, Hammer’s Curse of Frankenstein and a few other movies in their series are also excellent.

    Witches: They got Rosemary’s Baby right, but the Danish film Witchcraft Through the Ages, the British films The Wicker Man and Horror Hotel, Mario Bava’s Black Sunday, and the Mexican horror classic Curse of the Crying Woman are better choices than the others.

    Zombies: The Serpent and the Rainbow is the best modern film to the deal with the classical story of the zombie, but White Zombie, Plague of the Zombies and especially I Walked With A Zombie deserve to be ranked with it.

    Vampires: I agree with Nosferatu as long as you mean the Murnau film, although the Herzog film is a worthy version. Hammer made three of the very best films in the subgenre: Horror of Dracula, Brides of Dracula and Kiss of the Vampire.

    Ghosts: The Shining definitely, but the other films? The Uninvited, The Haunting (1963) and The Innocents are all much better choices.

    The Devil/Demons: Really missed the boat here by not listing Jacques Tourneur’s Night of the Demon. But the best movie about the devil is the 1941 Devil And Daniel Webster, not a horror film but one of the great Hollywood fantasies.

    1. I’m 48 yo and I think you missed the point of the article, or perhaps my writing failed (which is entirely possible) in that I wasn’t naming the best movies in each categories, those were simply examples of the subgenera… what I attempted to do was rank the monsters themselves which you could agree or disagree with.

      1. Ah, sorry about that. Still, I think any list of greatest movie monsters needs to include The Giant Claw!

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