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Sure, you could make a case for Frankenstein's monster, Dracula and the Phantom of the Opera, but when they're selling cereal and Broadway musicals, can they really be a threat?

The scariest villains may not have the same staying power, but they pack a punch. This week, a reboot of "Halloween" hits theaters and, yup, it has moments that will make you think twice about using a butcher knife.

The top 10? Here are our choices:

1. Jason Voorhees

Friday the 13th

“Friday the 13th”

(Film released in 1980)

Sean S. Cunningham, director

Some of the most famous actors died at the hands of hockey-masked Jason Voorhees. Over 37 years, Jason has tormented everyone from Kevin Bacon to Corey Feldman. There were 10 sequels, including one with Freddy Krueger.

2. Freddy Krueger

A Nightmare on Elm Street

Robert Englund starts as Freddy Krueger in the 1984 film "A Nightmare on Elm Street."

“Nightmare on Elm Street”

Wes Craven, director

(Film released in 1984)

Robert Englund made a lot of money as burn victim Freddy Krueger. He played the role in numerous sequels, a television series and “The Simpsons” and “The Goldbergs.” Besides the signature knife glove, he sported a striped shirt and a hat – which makes him an easy costume for Halloween.

3. Michael Myers


Halloween night is a perfect time for Michael Myers to slip back into Haddonfield and cause "Halloween" havoc.


John Carpenter, director

(Film released in 1978)

Now considered a Babysitter Murderer, Michael Myers first tormented Lorie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) in the 1970s. He moved on, of course, and is known for wielding a big kitchen knife. Surprisingly, he didn’t turn up in “Halloween III: Season of the Witch,” but he cast a long shadow. In the new reboot, he’s out for blood. Could this be the start of another spree?

4. Pennywise the Clown


Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise in New Line Cinema's horror thriller "IT," a Warner Bros. Pictures release.


Directed by Andy Muschietti

(Film released in 2017)

The newest entry in the Halloween sweepstakes, Pennywise got his strength from a particularly creepy performance by Bill Skarsgard. Living in the sewers of Derry, he had elaborate makeup and a way with dance. He’ll be back for the sequel, “It: Chapter Two,” and could get his own franchise if the balloons line up right.

5. Hannibal Lecter

Anthony Hopkins, Dr. Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lecter

Anthony Hopkins stars as Dr. Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lecter in the 1991 film “Silence of the Lambs.” The couple who has spent most of their lives in a home that movie fans associate with grisly death are putting it up for sale

“Silence of the Lambs”

Directed by Jonathan Demme

(Film released in 1991)

The only Oscar winner among the scary guys, Anthony Hopkins still looks like he’s craving fava beans and a little Chianti, even though he has been in some fairly big films since winning the trophy. He frightened with piercing eyes and an eerie, calming voice. But don’t forget the mask he wore. It freaked people out, too.

6. Norman Bates


Actor Anthony Perkins holds a telephone receiver in a scene of the movie Psycho II, 1983. (AP Photo/HO)


Directed by Alfred Hitchcock

(Film released in 1960)

While “Bates Motel” introduced poor Norman to a new crowd, it was Anthony Perkins’ performance in the original that really earned him props. Supported by a bunch of preserved animals, he made you think twice about spending a night in a roadside motel. Showers? People quit taking them for a while after watching what Norman could do.

7. Leatherface


** ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND MAY 8-9 ** A Texas Chain Saw Massacre movie poster is seen Wednesday, April 29, 2004, in Northewest Harbor, Maine. Gunnar Hansen, a graduate student and an aspiring actor at the University of Texas in Austin, got the role to play "Leatherface," the psychotic killer seen on the poster, in the horror film 30 years ago. Hansen, a writer, has lived in Northeast Harbor, Maine, since 1975. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

“The Texas Chain Saw Massacre”

Directed by Tobe Hooper

(Film released in 1974)

Ah, those masks. A chainsaw-wielding mad man used accessible objects to carry out his crimes. He liked meat hooks and wasn’t afraid to reach for the power tools. Because it didn’t feature a lot of gore, “Massacre” only got a PG rating. If he had been able to swear, that might have gone up a rung or two.

8. Chucky

Child's Play

Chucky doll is possessed by the soul of a serial killer in the 1988 film "Child's Play."

“Child’s Play”

Directed by Tom Holland

(Film released in 1988)

All dolls are not of the American Girl caliber. Chucky came to life when a serial killer jumped into a “good” Chucky doll and started taunting people. He was voiced by Oscar nominee Brad Dourif. But few will forget that red hair, red shoes and Freddy-like striped sweater.

9. Ghostface

Ghostface in "Scream"

Ghostface in the 1996 movie "Scream."


Directed by Wes Craven

(Film released in 1996)

Perhaps the most literate of the horror icons, Ghostface paid homage to Edvard Munch’s painting called “The Scream.” He got his legs as a disguise worn by teenagers during their killing spree in Woodsboro, California. While many people wore the costume, only Roger L. Jackson provided the voice.

10. Jigsaw


Jigsaw in the 2004 movie "Saw."


Directed by James Wan

(Film released in 2004)

A serial killer (of course), John Kramer used elaborate traps to taunt his prey. If they didn’t get through the games, they’d die. Jigsaw got a standalone film in 2017, which was the eighth in the series. Of all the horror films, this was probably the most difficult to watch, largely because of the torture involved.

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