Skip To Content
  • Viral badge

22 Nightmare-Inducing TV Scenes People Can't Believe Actually Aired

I literally had nightmares after writing this post.

Recently we asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us the creepiest, most twisted TV villain scenes, and they DELIVERED. Here are the 22 most nightmare-inducing picks!

WARNING: Some of the submissions contain mentions of sexual assault and suicide. Also, many of them are really gory — I blurred those images out in case you would prefer not to see them!

SPOILERS AHEAD!

1. On Buffy the Vampire Slayer, when Angel killed Jenny and then left her in Giles' bed for him to find:

Angel about to snap Jenny's neck at the school, then Giles seeing her in his bed
The WB

"It’s not even the killing that’s so bad; it's what he does afterward. First he leaves Jenny’s corpse in Giles’ bed for him to find (all while making Giles think Jenny has planned a romantic evening for them). Then, later, he watches from outside when Buffy and Willow get the phone call from Giles. As Willow sobs uncontrollably and Buffy just slides to the floor in shock, he smiles in sadistic satisfaction. It goes to show how much he enjoyed torturing his victims, both physically and mentally."

Gaelicmaiden

2. On Twin Peaks, when Bob crawled over the couch toward Maddy:

ABC

"That scene is still to this day the scariest scene I have ever seen in any television show or film."

tracis2

"No other TV villain has ever terrified me like him. Shudder. He’s absolutely brilliant, though."

Anra

3. On Game of Thrones, when Joffrey showed Sansa her father's head:

HBO

"It was repulsive and downright terrifying. I kept waiting for Joffrey to just casually push her off the bridge. Don’t get me wrong, there were a lot of bad people on that show, but he left a lasting impression on me. I have never been so happy to see a TV villain killed."

megana459810788

4. On Sherlock, when Moriarty revealed who he was at the pool:

Sherlock says "People have died" while pointing a gun at Moriarty, and Moriarty responds "that's what people DO!"
BBC

"He is so quiet and calm and all sweetly suited up...then Sherlock says, 'People have died,' and he turns on a penny. The whole scene is chilling."

kingiwingi119

5. On One Tree Hill, when Dan killed his brother, Keith:

The WB

"Only someone with no heart can kill his brother and have no remorse. I still miss Keith to this day."

Lauren Gaston

6. On Haunting of Hill House, when Poppy's ghost convinced Olivia to kill her family:

Poppy tells Olivia there's a way to wake her kids up from their "bad dreams" (AKA, life)
Netflix

"It was one of the most brilliant yet terrifying scenes I have ever seen because it touches on the worst fear of every parent. The fact that it ultimately culminated in Olivia’s suicide just makes it all the more heart-wrenching."

PrincessPlatinum

7. On Hannibal, when Hannibal drugged Mason and told him to cut his face off and feed it to Will's dogs, which he did:

NBC

"There is A LOT of super-creepy and super-gruesome crap in Hannibal, but this was the most creepy and unnerving."

williamthebloody

8. On American Horror Story: Freak Show, when Twisty the Clown hid in the toy store, then murdered the owner:

Twisty on the wall next to clown mannequins
FX

"It was so unnerving because obviously we knew he was there, but the toy shop owner didn't."

monikap6

9. On The Vampire Diaries, when Klaus drowned Carol Lockwood while Christmas music played:

The CW

"He was the original 'Big Bad' of the show, and at that point, they had never done a Christmas episode before. It was eerie seeing the snow fall while he killed her in cold blood, a soft Christmas song playing in the background. It really reminded everyone that nobody was off limits."

Shelby Yarchin

10. On Lost, when Ben convinced Locke not to kill himself and then killed him two minutes later:

ABC

"Ben was such a calm, calculated villain. That made it even more scary when he had outbursts and committed acts of violence."

jshaqui27

11. On Doctor Who, when the Weeping Angels manifested in Amy's mind and made her start counting down to her death:

Amy says "4..." and then the Doctor realizes there are angels in her mind, but she's already counting to 3
BBC

"The Weeping Angels on Doctor Who are spectacularly creepy."

australopithecus

12. On Raising Dion, when Pat was revealed to be the Crooked Man:

Pat says he should've killed Charlotte in New Orleans, then his eyes turn black and he turns into blue energy as he transforms
Netflix

"When he said to Charlotte, 'I should have killed you in New Orleans,' and his eyes began to go black, my blood ran cold. Truly one of the most chilling villain moments I've seen on TV."

e4ada6546c

13. On Boardwalk Empire, when Gyp Rosetti was introduced in a scene that showed him beating a mechanic for teasing him:

HBO

"I was nervous every time he was onscreen. I’ve never had any villain stick with me like that since."

lacys44b16bb8d

14. On The Magicians, when Reynard bit off Marina's finger and then ate her cat in front of her:

Syfy

"It's literally the most horrifying thing I've ever scene on TV, and I hid under the blankets for most of it. Plus, if that isn't enough, Reynard has already raped or brutally murdered a bunch of characters at this point in the show, not to mention in his entire existence as a god."

margolehane44

15. On Veronica Mars, when Veronica realized that Aaron Echolls was the murderer and that he was in the backseat of her car:

UPN

"And then she crashed the car and ran away, but he also escaped and she ran around not knowing where he was. That part was terrifying!"

jamiet4f4a4957b

16. On X-Files, when Tooms followed the businessman home and went down his chimney:

Fox

"You could hear his bones cracking as he climbed down. It was so creepy — he was easily one of the most terrifying villains on TV."

kronus47

17. On Buffy the Vampire Slayer, when the Gentlemen took away everyone's speech:

a man screaming but no sound is coming out while the Gentlemen prepare to cut him open
The WB

"I still have nightmares."

TessaMarie1900

18. On Dexter, when the Trinity Killer killed Rita:

Rita dead in the bathtub
Showtime

"John Lithgow’s performance was absolutely bone-chilling, and his final act was one of the most shocking moments in TV history."

jessclair9

19. On The X-Files, when Mrs. Peacock and her son escaped while "Wonderful, Wonderful" played.

the oldest Peacock son talks to his mother, saying they'll move on and start a new family
Fox

"The whole episode was so creepy, but the end of the episode specifically as the mother and eldest son of the murderous and incestuous family escaped in a car while ‘Wonderful, Wonderful’ played was especially terrifying."

thetruthisoutth3re

20. On Breaking Bad, when Tuco beat a member of his crew to death in front of Jesse and Walt:

AMC

"Tuco Salamanca was such a good villain because he was incredibly unpredictable. The scene where he beats one of his crew to death was terrifying. I hate that his role was so short lived!"

slutsguts

21. On Avatar: The Last Airbender, when Azula lost her mind after being betrayed by Mai and Ty Lee:

Azula yells at an apparition of her mother in the mirror, saying even she fears her
Nickelodeon

"It’s a layered and complex scene that I didn’t truly understand until I was a lot older. It’s not creepy as in menacing, but creepy in the way she completely loses control, and everything she was clinging to. She’s one of the best villains I’ve ever encountered."

ravenclawjedi1304

22. And finally, on Monster, when it was revealed that Johan had been impersonating his sister, Anna:

The wig is on a stool next to him. He looks in the mirror and smiles
Nippon TV

"He takes off the wig and washes his face before looking at himself in the mirror with the creepiest smile. Still sends a shiver up my spine! He’s just so charismatic and manipulative."

Mr. Dinkler

Note: Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

TV and Movies

Get all the best moments in pop culture & entertainment delivered to your inbox.

Newsletter signup form