Halloween 2015: Definitive ranking of the scariest horror films of all time topped by The Omen and The Exorcist

Clara Guibourg
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Still from The Omen
The Omen: Scariest (Source: Youtube)

What better time to scare yourself silly with a horror film than Halloween, right - but which one will do the job most effectively?

Satanic terror like The Omen and The Exorcist is your best bet, if YouGov’s latest ranking is to be believed.

Proving it can do more than just po-faced predictions about general elections, the pollster has asked people about horror films of the last 50 years, to get an idea of how many find them scary.

The result could be the definitive ranking of the scariest horror films according to UK adults.

Some 40 years after being released, The Omen and The Exorcist are still the scariest, followed by Nightmare on Elm Street - a film so scary that 30 years after its release it’s still causing headaches for would-be housesellers on Elm Streets around the world.

Read more: Map reveals London's most haunted Tube stations

Also among the scariest are Paranormal Activity, Poltergeist and The Shining.

The scariest film to have been seen by more than half of Britons is Silence of the Lambs, which three in five people have seen.

More and more horror films are getting made, as the number of films released has doubled since the 1960s.

But it seems horror is getting less scary: Despite the proliferation of horror films, and although the films made are more and more violent and graphic, only two of the 10 scariest films in the ranking were made after the year 2000, so perhaps it’s that subdued horror like the shower scene in Psycho that scares us most.

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