From knife yielding masked murderers, to little girls who aren’t so innocent, horror films have provided us with iconic villains, who continue to haunt our nightmares. This Halloween period, we decided to take a run-down of who we deem the top ten horror icons:

10. Ghostface (Scream)



The 90’s horror icon is still popular today, with the Scream mask selling out every year in supermarkets across the globe. The satirical ‘killah’ is known for taunting his victims, who are generally young, dumb popular kids. The villain leads all four of the Scream movies, with his ‘Wassup?’ phrase still being imitated today.

9. Chucky (Child’s Play)



What’s scarier than a character with the drive to kill? A doll with the intention to murder. Chucky terrified audiences in the 80’s being possessed by a serial killer, with the goal to get rid of any adult that got in his way.  If the demonic doll wasn’t creepy enough, in later versions of the film series he goes on to get married (Bride of Chucky) and have a child, who turns out to be far from cute. Note to self, never purchase a possessed doll.

8. Billy the Puppet (Saw)



Known as Jigsaw’s sidekick in the Saw series, Billy the Puppet is used to communicate with victims of Jigsaw’s games, delivering tapes, appearing on TV’s and often on his bicycle, telling the participants of the aim of the game, and how to escape. Whilst he may not be the twisted killer, his link to the murderer and his creppy ventriloquist appearance makes him a horror icon, and has us all hoping he won’t appear on his tricycle anytime soon.

7. Samara Morgan (The Ring)



Carrying on the theme of creepy video tapes, Samara is the demonic child from The Ring, who, crawls out of TV’s to her victims, whom she kills seven days after they watch a cursed video tape. To this day I am haunted by their telephone calls telling them they’ll ‘die in seven days,’ and am reluctant to take calls from an unknown number. Even scarier is that Samara is based on the character Sadako Yamamura, from the orginal Japanese version of the film, meaning there’s a demonic double team lurking out in the world

6. Pennywise (It)


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In case you don’t know, clowns are evil. Taken from horror king, Stephen King’s ‘It’ (punny), Pennywise is as creepy as clowns can be. Tim Curry’s portrayal of the sinister entertainer is even more haunting, given his iconic voice used when portraying the horrifying character. It’s fair to say, none of us would like to encounter Pennywise at the local funfair anytime soon, we will pass up on any of his performances.

5. Regan Macneil (The Exorcist)


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In all honesty, I didn’t find The Exorcist scary. Disturbing perhaps, but not so horrifying that I couldn’t sleep (unlike how most of the villains in this list made me feel). However at the time the film was released, audiences were shocked by the horror of The Exorcist, with some members of the audience fainting and throwing up. It is evident to see why Regan is a cult horror icon; children in horror films are just plain evil. Possessed by a demon named Pazuzu, Regan turns demonic, with the infamous head spinning scene.

4. Jason Vorhees (Friday the 13th)

Friday the 13th


I’m not sure what’s scarier, a man yielding a machete in a hockey mask, or a man with deformed features yielding a machete. Either way, Jason Vorhees has been terrifying audiences since the 1980’s, and has been creeping out anyone at a summer camp for just as long. Originally it was his mother who was the villain, but Jason returned from the dead to take over that role. The terrifying character is inescapable, appearing on screens over Halloween, as well as every Friday the 13th there is, all we know is we won’t be chomping on popcorn during Jason’s horrifying acts.

3. Michael Myers (Halloween)



It’s perhaps a weird thing to admit, but Michael Myers is my favourite horror character. He has been beaten by two other characters in this post however, because he isn’t as gruesome or disturbing. However, he is still creepy, lurking in the shadows, escaping from asylums and breaking into houses seeking his little sister. In all of the films, it is apparent that Michael Myers, the cold, silent killer, cannot be stopped, with bullets or even fire, and that is what makes him one of the top terrifying horror movie icons.

2. Freddie Krueger (A Nightmare on Elm Street)



Since he first appeared on screens in 1984, Freddy Krueger – the killer who attacks victims in their dreams, causing their deaths in the real world, has been terrifying audiences. With his burns, and sheared gloves, the child killer who is burned to death by a mob of angry parents left me petrified of boilers from the moment I first dared to watch A Nightmare on Elm Street. What’s even worse is that Freddy Krueger and Jason Vorhees were both put together in the movie Freddy vs Jason, which can only be described as a nightmare brought to life on screen. Freddy is a horror icon, who recently, like several of the villains on the list, has been resurrected into remakes, signifying how he is being used to horrify audiences for many decades to come.

1. Leatherface (Texas Chainsaw Massacre)

Texas Chainsaw Massacre

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By far the most disturbing horror icon is Leatherface, the chainsaw baring killer who first appeared on screen in 1974. Even more horrifying is that the character is inspired by the real life serial killer, Ed Gein, who, like the terrifying character, kept trophies of his victims, in particular their skin, of which Leatherface uses to create his completely revolting mask. Never do we want to have our car break down in Texas, and be invited to stay with the Sawyer family, who cover up Leatherface’s crimes, engage with his victims through cannibalism and often kill as much as him.

Aimée Costa