1. Jack Torrance — The Shining
This quintessential bad guy has perhaps the two scariest evil villain characteristics of all time: he’s insane and he’s homicidal. Watching Jack Torrance scream “Here’s Johnny!” through an axe-split door is one of the most terrifying movie moments of all time.
2. Annie Wilkes — Misery
Annie Wilkes is a psychotic nurse who captures and tortures her victims with the same enthusiasm as a giddy schoolgirl. Horrifying.
3. Pennywise the Clown — It
Pennywise is a clown. A MURDEROUS clown with razor-sharp teeth who hides in drains to kill you. He also haunts your dreams. Yeah.
4. Kurt Barlow — Salem’s Lot
This blue-faced, yellow-eyed, fang-toothed nightmare is a master vampire who is several centuries old and wants to kill everyone in a small town—it doesn’t get much worse.
5. Cujo — Cujo
Dogs are really cute, except for when they have rabies and a thirst for blood.
6. Gage Creed — Pet Sematary
Adorable little Gage should have never met this fate. Alas, now he’s a scalpel-wielding murder with incredible acting skills.
7. Warden Norton — The Shawshank Redemption
His glasses, his icy disposition, his crazy threats—Warden Norton might be the worst dude in that prison.
8. Richard Vickers — Creepshow
A classic violent, power-hungry creep, Richard Vickers likes to watch closed-circuit recordings of his homicides. His method is burying people up to their necks in the sand and letting them drown in the high tide. It’s almost poetic?
9. James ‘Big Jim’ Rennie — Under the Dome
Big Jim is a rather insidious power-hungry monster. After an impenetrable dome separates a small town called Chester’s Mill from the rest of society, Big Jim uses fear-mongering and manipulation to gain control. Not good.
10. Arnie Cunningham — Christine
The love for one’s car equals death for basically everyone else. It’s so scary because this seems vaguely realistic.
11. Kurt Dussander — Apt Pupil
Who better to be a terrifying Stephen King character than a Nazi? A disgruntled Nazi.
12. Ace Merrill — Stand By Me
What’s worse than a blonde-tipped, knife-wielding bully who’s desperate to find a dead body? Almost nothing.
13. Margaret White — Carrie
Most moms suck because they don’t let you eat dessert before dinner, but Margaret White will lock you in a room and violently try to force Satan out of you. That’s a whole lot worse.