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Updated on Oct 26, 2018. Posted on Oct 27, 2017

28 Of The Most Terrifying Jump Scares In Movie History

Buckle TF up.

We recently asked movie lovers in the BuzzFeed Community to tell us what they think is the best executed jump scare of all time. Here are some responses that made us wet ourselves (WARNING: There are spoilers here...obviously).

1. Psycho (1960)

Universal Pictures

This is old school, but it has stuck with me for over 20 years. It is so creepy when "Mother" runs quickly through the hall. I still think about it when I walk across the hall from my bathroom to my bedroom.


2. Friday the 13th (1980)

Paramount Pictures

The very end of the original when Jason comes out of the water and grabs her in the canoe. I literally shit myself the first time I watched it. I was a sophomore in college...still terrifies me to this day.


3. It (2017)

Warner Bros.

The remake of It did a great job of limiting the number of jump scares while using them in a smart way. My favorite example of this was when Bev is in her restroom and turns around, only to be choked by Pennywise in the doorway. The entire theatre screamed.


4. Paranormal Activity 2 (2010)

Blumhouse Pictures

When the kitchen explodes out of no where. It scared me so badly the first time I saw it that I have to fast forward past it now.


5. Poltergeist (1982)


You think the clown is beneath the bed, only for it to be over the son’s shoulders. Gets me every single time.


6. Pee Wee's Big Adventure (1985)

Warner Bros.

Anyone who grew up in the '90s will tell there ain't nothing scarier than Large Marge. Even if you knew it was coming, that claymation face had you jumping out of your seat!


7. Jaws (1975)

Universal Pictures

My favorite movie ever is Jaws, so this comes totally biased, but when Hooper sees Ben Gardner's head in the wrecked hull of his boat -- in the special features of the DVD, they said that the sound people worked on different sound FX until one of them made them all jump even though they knew it was coming. And that's the one you hear in the movie.

—Katie Sirles, Facebook

8. Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince (2009)

Warner Bros.

Not a scary movie at all, but when Harry goes to get Dumbledore water after he drinks all the poison and the skeleton thing grabs his arm!


9. The Ring (2002)

Dreamworks Pictures

Thinking the movie was over, I was prepared for credits to roll and the theatre to clear out. So when Samara crawls out of T.V, it really caught me off guard, and I stood up and screamed. I was assured it wasn’t just me, as a 12-year-old girl in front of me did the same thing.


10. The Conjuring (2013)

Warner Bros.

Oh my goodness, I have SO MANY, but the big one that messed me up for months and months was the "clap clap" hands scene in the basement. My friends used to tease me about it and walk up behind me and clap to scare me!


11. Insidious (2010)


When the Darth Maul-esque demon suddenly appears behind Patrick Wilson. I KNOW it’s going to happen, but it still makes me jump every time.


12. The Visit (2015)

Blumhouse Pictures

When it's dead quiet, then Nana pops up out of nowhere and SCREAMS. No music or loud noise, just a pure scream. I definitely peed a little.


13. The Exorcist III (1990)

20th Century Fox

In the hospital when the white figure is chasing the nurse with the ice pick. The movie is crap but that's still one of the best jump scares I've ever seen and I watch a lot of horror movies. The lack of sound and a seemly normal background make it that much more scary. Plus the fact that we don't see the nurse actually being killed, just the next scene of her in a body bag, makes it a perfect jump scare.


14. Wait Until Dark (1967)

Warner Bros.

You think Audrey Hepburn's character has killed Alan Arkin's character, but then he suddenly makes a flying leap for her from the shadows. Even if you don't fall for the fake out death and are waiting for it, you still jump.


15. Sinister (2012)

Blumhouse Pictures

The lawnmower death scene. The lawnmower was running along in the dark, and then it suddenly rolled over a body. After watching that movie, I couldn't be alone in a dark room for a few days.

—Erin Neale Morrissey, Facebook

16. Deep Blue Sea (1999)

Warner Bros.

Samuel L. Jackson is giving an inspiring speech, then a shark jumps up and pulls him under.


17. The Sixth Sense (1999)

Buena Vista Pictures

Beady-eyed Mischa Barton pops up from under the bed. I watched this in elementary school and it freaked me out so much that I was secretly shook years later when she turned up on The O.C.


18. Seven (1995)

New Line Cinema

The "sloth" victim! No one is expecting this skeleton of a man to still be alive. Completely unexpected and one of the best jump scares I've ever seen in a thriller.


19. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

New Line Cinema

I’d have to say the ending, when Nancy thinks she escaped, but then he grabs her Mother!


20. The Dark Knight (2008)

Warner Bros.

When the dead "Batman" hits the window.

—Christi Glahn, Facebook

21. The House on Haunted Hill (1959)

Allied Artists

In the original, that old lady pops out of the dark and then just rolls away .


22. Signs (2002)

Buena Vista Pictures

Someone is using a handheld camera to record a kid's birthday party, then the alien walks past the window and there's a loud DUN!


23. The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

New Line Cinema

Bilbo turning evil for that half-second when seeing the mithril armor on Frodo. I legit blacked out for like 0.8 of a sec in the theatre and woke up on the floor with my siblings and people in the row behind me looking down on me. I apparently jerked my head back so hard, I hit the seat, and then slid down to the floor in terror. This is also one of my sister's favorite stories to tell new people about me.


24. The Descent (2005)

Celador Films

I'm a huge lover of horror films, so much so that while I'm not immune to jump scares, I react very little...but this scene actually made me SCREAM. When the girls first start to panic and the camcorder moves over to show us the first cave monster behind one of the girls. No joke, I let out the most blood curdling scream ever.


25. Carrie (1976)

United Artists

Carrie's hand breaking through the dirt and grabbing Sue's arm...biggest group scream I'veever heard in a movie theater.


26. Alien (1979)

20th Century Fox

The tracking device shows the alien is coming right at Dallas, so he climbs down a ladder to safety...only it was below him the whole time. My heart was in my throat.


27. Mulholland Drive (2001)

Universal Pictures

What makes it so impressive is that the guy TELLS YOU EXPLICITLY WHAT HE THINKS IS AROUND THE CORNER. He describes the monster in full detail, but you still jump when his biggest fear becomes real.


28. Scream (1996)

Dimension Films

The beginning when Drew Barrymore is outside and keeps peering into the window, then Ghostface pops out.


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