Who is the Greatest Horror Character Ever?

(from left to right) Hannibal Lecter, Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees and Alien
Photo: 20th Century Fox, Dimension Films, Paramount Pictures

In the comment section on a recent post regarding Rob Zombie's Halloween 2, RopeofSilicon reader Chris C. said Michael Myers was, for him, "the greatest horror character ever created." That got me to thinking, "Who is the Greatest Horror Character Ever?"

There certainly aren't a lack of them depending on where you look and many of the all-time favs are coming back as we just saw the rebirth of Jason Voorhees in Friday the 13th, Michael returned in Zombie's Halloween, Leatherface has already come back in two new Texas Chainsaw Massacre films and now Freddy Krueger is coming back with Jackie Earle Haley stepping into the sweater for an all-new A Nightmare on Elm Street.

Norman Bates saw his own Psycho remake, there were four Alien specific films and two Alien vs. Predator features, Jaws had three sequels, Chucky saw his share of multiple Child's Play movies, Hannibal Lecter cooked Ray Liotta's brain in Hannibal, Pinhead saw his share of Hellraisers, Jack Torrance had one hell of a debut in The Shining, Damien Thorn returned in a remake of The Omen and Jigsaw just won't go away in the Saw series. And these were just the group I picked off the top of my head. I considered throwing Tangina (Poltergeist) on the list as well, but you have to stop somewhere to allow for you, the reader, to also add some names to the conversation since I am sure this list of 13 (ooh scary!) doesn't include everyone's favorite.

So, vote below and if I left your favorite out, or perhaps even a name you think should be part of the conversation, add it to the comments below.

Who is the greatest horror character ever?

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  • Tyler C


  • Chris C

    Well you know where my vote was cast...

  • Owen

    What about Dracula or Frankenstein's Monster?

  • Esoth

    Anton Chigurh

  • Eric

    "Who is the greatest horror character ever?"

    Anything that stars Eddie Murphy in a fat suit or drag or a fat suit and drag. Nightmares I tell ya...

  • Jon

    To me the answer is obvious. It has to be Jack Torrence. It one of few that have not been diluted by misguided sequels. I would have loved to pick Alien or Jaws but thanks to underqualified directors, they have lost some impact. Now, I am not a Kubrick fan, but who can argue with the chills one gets from watching the destruction of this character slowly and methodically. I think because this one has not be replicated, except a poor made-for-TV movie, it still holds water where even Hannibal Lector was diluted by Young Hannibal and Red Dragon.

    Would love to hear Brad's opinion though.

  • Paolo

    No victims/cops on the list?

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/blog/brad_brevet/ Brad Brevet

    @Paolo: Is that a suggestion or what? Because obviously there are not. Is there a cop/victim you think was the best ever?

  • Andhika

    is this hollywood only ??
    if not, the ny choice goes to SADAKO, obviously !!

  • William

    The Demon in the Exorcist?? I didn't vote for it/her, but perhaps it should be included??? Just tossing out a suggestion I guess. But yeah, perhaps the classics of Dracula, Frankenstein's Monster, Invisible Man, etc.

  • wolfcub76

    umm where's Dracula, Frankenstein and the Bride of Frankenstein?

  • Kenna

    I voted for Norman Bates. I've always been both a little bit in love with him and terrified of him.

  • Sheriff Dewey

    Brad Wesley.

  • Tim

    Patrick Bateman should get funniest horror villain of all time.

  • arif yahyayev

    Dr. Manhattan!

  • Phil

    Evil ash, evil dead 3

  • rattler76

    Solve the puzzle box and you'll know who I voted for.

  • ash

    That 'thing' that appears at the end of REC should be in this list.

  • MM

    "...Hannibal Lecter cooked Ray Liotta’s brain in Hannibal (a remake)..."

    Wtf, Hannibal isn't a remake. Red Dragon was a remake of Manhunter.

  • Ross

    I voted for Freddy because he is the most endearing to me from my youth (I like Jackie Earl Haley a lot but come on? There is one Freddy just like there is ONE trilogy (Robert Englund and Star Wars respectively)). But I did want to throw something out there for Poltergeist 2.
    In Poltergeist 2 there are two characters that haunt my nightmares right this very second.
    1) There is a 7 foot tall Native American who looks as though he should have been in the NBA DONMINATING... He is freakish big.
    2) There is an "old man" and I put that in quotes because with out fact checking I am pretty sure that the "old man" is really a robot with fresh corpse skin stretch tightly over it metal endoskeleton. He looks like he is about 762 years old and sings the creepiest "hymns"

    It’s totally ridiculous how at my age I’m still tortured by these two characters, who even as the pseudo leads of the movie, were by and large not important, but I am.

    The one thing that this genre has over every other is its villains. Only in horror do the protagonists become the faceless masses while the butchers, monsters, sick and twisted become the focus through a string of movies. In cinematic terms Freddy, Jason and Michael Myers are essentially James Bond only instead of being sly super B.A. spies they KILL A LOT OF PEOPLE with no moral redeeming factor (except that Freddy is king of the one liner and lame yet still funny pun).

  • Ross

    In all due respect to the few clamoring for classic or "the universal monsters" I’m going to have to say they don’t belong.

    They are classic Literary characters of the highest caliber, but take Frankenstein's monster of example; the point of the book was that DR. Frankenstein was the real evil because he created a being that could never live in this world, never really have a life among “normal” people.

    And while they have been translated to film numerous times they simply are not the constructs of cinema in same vein as the others. They are tragic characters that a reader can care about because of there social abnormalities and the trials of life they endure, not serial killers that an audience can ROOT FOR, and can also ROOT FOR THEIR DEATH.

    I think they are distinctly different in the way they should be regarded.
    But that’s just my opinion...take with a bag of salt.

    And was Silence of the Lambs really a horror movie? I always thought of it as a psychological thriller with subtle sexual undertones between Dr. Lecter and Agent Starling, and none too subtle sexual overtones with Buffalo Bill. and in the end Lecter actually turns out to be a twisted hero of the entire film.
    again just a thought…

  • rob


  • Damien

    Freddy Krueger all the way, he should have alot more votes than this.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/blog/brad_brevet/ Brad Brevet

    @MM: Good catch, got my Lecter films mixed up.

  • vasa

    hallooooo!!!!Regan from the exorcist??????????????

  • Adriano

    I voted for Alien, cause that thing's not even human. It'll kill anything in sight - even Hannibal Lecter chooses his victims.

    (I know that Chucky and Jaws also fall in the category "not human", but Chucky at least has a sense of humour and Jaws doesn't have acid blood)

    Anyway, my favorite horror character ever has to be Dr. Phibes from "The Abominable Dr. Phibes" and "Dr. Phibes rises again". Played brilliantly by Vincent Price, there's no other horror character as charming, inventive, funny and with better taste. Look at those deaths! There's no Saw without Dr. Phibes. And he also has the best sidekick ever - hooray for the gorgeous Vulnavia, the Audrey Hepburn of horror movies!

  • Michael

    My vote went to Michael Myers. My choice is a little bias though. My dad tells me that's where he got my name from, the movie "Halloween." Neat, huh?

  • Cuchillo

    Brad Wesley? From Road House! Yeah, he was pretty evil! But he got his!
    To the chest if i'm not mistaken! Way to go Dalton!

  • The Jackal

    No love for the xenomorph (Alien) from the "Alien Franchise"? While no horror character disturbed me so bad as the demon from "The Exorcist," it was the Alien (in the first two films) that scared the living shit out of me.

  • Paolo

    @Brad Brevet:

    Sorry about that. I'm not the biggest film buff, seeing as the list has more "victims" who happen to be women than there are cops/any person of uniform/authority. Anyway:

    Clarice Stirling, as "Ross" already said
    Ellen Ripley
    Marion Crane
    Mulder and Scully
    Nancy from Elm Street

    or on the monster
    Core from Trouble Every Day
    Eli from LTROI

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/blog/brad_brevet/ Brad Brevet

    @Paolo: I actually considered Starling and Ripley is another great choice, at least for me personally.

    As for Eli, I wonder if most people actually consider LTROI a horror...? I know vampire films are traditionally horror films, but I didn't really look at LTROI as a horror... I wonder if I am alone in that.

  • Sean

    Gossip Girl.

  • martian army

    I might be normally be inclined to choose Alien, Jack Torrence, or maybe even Hannibal Lector. While I have never been a fan of the Friday the 13th series, I would have to say the answer would be Jason Voorhees. Even though I've heard that most of the sequels weren't very good, Jason does, I believe, have the largest franchise. And while he does have more movies to rack up the kills, I think his movies have disproportionately more kills in them. From a list I saw on Rotten Tomatoes, I believe that Jason is number 1, and has second place, Michael Myers, beaten by 100+.

  • Freeman

    What about Pumpkinhead!!

  • Paolo

    @Brad Brevet:

    I know what you mean. I thought it was a pre-teen love story when I was watching it, but that girl made my sister hesitate before she jumps into a pool.

  • sounds like kong

    dr. giggles

  • james

    how about the tall man from the phantasm series

  • Trent

    The Stalker from Obsessed

  • LJ

    Alien should win hands down, the creepiest character in a film series ever plus it terrified the life out of millions of movie goers in 1979 plus Aliens is one of the greatest sequels ever made.

  • Gary

    Michael Myers is my vote i also like Jason

  • http://idon'thaveone rachel

    Pennywise the clown from stephen kings IT. i saw this movie when i was 6 yrs old.

    • http://COMCAST.NET J.T.

      Hi Rachel was just wondering I have the Chucky 1st one and also Friday The 13Th as well and Nightmare On Elmstreet and also the Halloween movies all original first ones only I don't think there scary one bit Leatherface is the scariest ever :)

  • Zed2204


  • http://facebook.com Randall stubbs

    I think jigsaw is worse than all killers. I should know because I love friday the 13th movies. but when i saw saw 1,2,&3 i thought "damn this dude is worse than jason & michael put together."so i said "Jigsaw".

  • Pania13

    The joker,from dark night