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These 10 Horror Movies Scarred Our Readers for Life

Which flick shaped your nightmares?

horror movies that scarred you for life
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  • Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

Whether you sat down by the TV too young or you just have a sensitive stomach, we all have a movie that cut deep and haunts us still today. For me, I get green around the gills just thinking about the 1996 disaster thriller Twister. When we reached out to our audience here at The Lineup to see what raised your goosebumps, a fair amount of you revealed a strange vexation with The Sound of Music...

Related: 32 Scariest Horror Movies of All Time

But fear not—or perhaps you should fear lots. You delivered a good amount of spine-chilling horror titles, too. We've totaled the results: here are the top 10 movies that scarred our readers for life.

Salem's Lot

salem's lot
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  • Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Television

Based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, this 1979 adaptation is technically a two-part miniseries clocking in at just over three hours. Successful novelist Ben Mears (David Soul) returns to his hometown of Salem's Lot, Maine to work on his newest book about the evil Marsten House. However, upon his arrival, he begins to suspect that the town he once knew may be infested with vampires.

The Strangers

the strangers
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  • Photo Credit: Rogue Pictures

This 2008 psychological horror film was inspired by the Manson Family Tate murders and a series of break-ins in writer/director Bryan Bertino's neighborhood as a child. A young couple—James Hoyt (Scott Speedman) and Kristen McKay (Liv Tyler)—staying in a remote vacation home are disturbed in the middle of the night by a knock on the door. Three vicious strangers invade the home, putting the couple through a horrifying ordeal.


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  • Photo Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

A young California family finds their home to be haunted by a slew of ghosts. While the spirits appear at first to be friendly, the amusing oddities soon turn violent. And when the youngest daughter is taken by the malicious force, the family must call in some serious help.

The Birds

the birds
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  • Photo Credit: Alfred J. Hitchcock Productions

Alfred Hitchcock is the master of suspense, and this avian thriller left quite a mark on some people. Wealthy socialite Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren) follows a man she's interested in, Mitch Brenner (Rod Taylor), to Bodega Bay. But as she arrives the birds in the area seem to be behaving erratically. What starts out as small aggressions turns into thousands of birds leaving dead bodies in their wake.

Children of the Corn

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  • Photo Credit: Hal Roach Studios

Yet another Stephen King adaptation that got under our readers' skin, this chilling film is based on a short story in the collection Night Shift. When Vicky Baxter (Linda Hamilton)and her boyfriend Burt Stanton (Peter Horton) pass through Gatlin, Nebraska, they find themselves surrounded by an eerie cult of children led by teenage Isaac Chroner (John Franklin)—a cult that believes that everyone above the age of 18 should be killed.


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  • Photo Credit: PolyGram Filmed Entertainment

Bloody Mary can move aside—it was this 90s horror flick that had people avoiding mirrors after it came out. Grad student Helen Lyle (Virginia Madsen) is skeptically researching the myth of the murderous, hook-handed Candyman (Tony Todd) when she accidentally summons him to reality. As death surrounds her, she must find a way to make things right.

Related: Totally Terrifying: The Best 90s Horror Movies


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  • Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

There are plenty of arguments on both sides of whether or not Jaws actually counts as a horror film, but it certainly horrified our audience enough to make this list. One hot summer in a beach community off Long Island, Sheriff Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) finds the mangled remains of a shark attack victim. While Brody tries to close the beaches, Mayor Vaughn (Murray Hamilton) and the local businessmen dismiss the idea. When more carnage results in a bounty being placed on the shark's head, the sheriff, marine biologist Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss), and a local seafarer Quint (Robert Shaw) set out to hunt the beast.

Pet Sematary

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  • Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures

Some things just keep coming back. While Stephen King keeps popping up on this list with better and creepier films, this chilling 1989 adaptation of the novel of the same name proves that some things come back worse... When an unimaginable tragedy strikes a young family, grieving father Louis Creed (Dale Midkiff) turns to the ancient burial ground near his house to raise the dead—to disastrous results.

Trilogy of Terror

trilogy of terror
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  • Photo Credit: ABC Circle Films

This anthology filmed delivered triple the terror in 1975, weaving together three different tales based on short stories by Richard Matheson. Karen Black stars as four tormented women across these wicked tales. In "Julie," a young college student infatuated with his teacher gets in over his head with a tawdry blackmail scheme. "Millicent and Therese" depicts a not-so-classic tale of a pair of twins in which one is good and the other is evil. The third tale, "Amelia," follows a woman who is attacked by a wooden warrior doll come to life.

The Exorcist

the exorcist
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  • Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

The inclusion of this is a 1973 adaptation of the William Peter Blatty novel of the same should come as no surprise. After all, who wasn't at least a little disturbed by this movie? When 12-year-old Regan MacNeil (Linda Blair) is possessed by a demonic entity, her mother must turn to two priests for help.

Related: 13 Possession Horror Movies That Will Get Under Your Skin