New Scientific Study Reveals The 10 Scariest Films Of All-Time


With Halloween just around the corner, fans of the horror genre will have no doubt been checking out as many scary movies as possible to get them in the mood for the spookiest day of the year. Like every other form of cinema, though, taste and opinion are entirely subjective, leading to constant debates about which title can definitively be named as the single most terrifying ever made.

There are a few contenders that almost always find themselves in the thick of the conversation, but now science has stepped in to try and give us an answer. A recent study called the Science of Scare Project tracked the heart rate of over 50 people from virtually every age group and demographic as they watched over 100 hours of horror-related content before crunching the numbers to determine the ten scariest movies of all-time, and you can check out the list below.

  • Sinister
  • Insidious
  • The Conjuring
  • Hereditary
  • Paranormal Activity
  • It Follows
  • The Conjuring 2
  • The Babadook
  • The Descent
  • The Visit


Each subject was fitted with a heart rate monitor to track which movie affected them the most, and an average was determined from there. Of course, the relatively small sample size and list of projects mean that it isn’t going to put an end to the debate, but it’s interesting nonetheless to see what movies frightened viewers the most.

There’s also a distinct lack of older films in the findings, too, with every single one of the Top 10 having been released in the last fifteen years, and a lot of them weren’t exactly the subjects of much critical acclaim. That being said, the results should at least provide more options for those that are sitting on the fence about what scary stories to watch over the next couple of weeks.