Every holiday has its traditions. Christmas has mistletoe, Easter’s got painted eggs, and Halloween is an excuse to scare yourself silly with horror and gore galore. Here are some of the scariest movies of all time, a “lucky” 13 in fact, guaranteed to make you spill your popcorn and leave the lights on at bedtime.
1. “The Exorcist”: What’s scarier than parenthood? How about discovering that your child is possessed by an ancient evil with a potty mouth and a frighteningly flexible spine?
2. “Psycho”: The classic that made everyone think twice before taking a shower. Hitchcock’s most famous film shocked audiences back in the ’60s, but it’s still cleverly unnerving to this day.
3. “The Strangers”: Have you ever felt like you were being watched in your own home? Check out this movie and you’ll feel that way all the time.
4. “The Shining”: The real star of this nightmare maze of a film is the intentionally disorienting architecture of the now-iconic Overlook Hotel. You can check in any time you like … but you can’t ever leave.
5. “Carrie”: You may feel sorry for her, but “sorry” won’t save you. The other kids called her “Scary Carrie” and by the end of the movie she’ll have earned it.
6. “Sinister”: A movie about why you should never snoop around through someone else’s old home videos.
7. “The Sixth Sense”: He sees dead people, and after watching this movie there’s a good chance you’ll be seeing them too.
8. “The Descent”: A group of spelunkers realize they are lost in a network of caves. Bad turns to worse when they realize they are not alone.
9. “Misery”: This Stephen King thriller proves that sometimes a man’s biggest enemy is also his biggest fan.
10. “Suspiria”: A stylish Italian film about a coven of witches operating out of a ballet studio. Intense colors and dreamlike cinematography make this thriller a real looker.
11. “Cabin in the Woods”: As funny as it is scary, this tongue-in-cheek love letter to horror presents the audience with a terrifying theory about why it’s always dumb teenagers that get the axe.
12. “The Fly”: Sure, bugs freak most people out. You know what freaks everyone out? Watching as their body rots away, revealing a sickening insectoid husk underneath.
13. “Silence of the Lambs”: A horror film too classy for popcorn. Watch this one with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.