Horror movies have a long and distinguished history in American cinema, ranging from the earliest silent films to the present, and especially notable are the 10 best horror movie deaths.  Of course, one of the best parts of any horror film are the scenes of death, torture, and destruction that necessarily accompany them.  Here are the ten best horror movie deaths, listed in no particular order.

  1. "Bram Stoker’s Dracula"- The death of Dracula in this magnificent opus from director Francis Ford Coppola is truly one of the most remarkable in the history of the horror film.  It takes a truly great film to make you feel compassion for the villain, but that is precisely what we feel when we see Dracula meet his death at the hands of his beloved.

  2. "Interview with the Vampire"- Death abounds in this fantastic and delicious rendition of the classic novel by Anne Rice.  Although the main characters survive, the death of Claudia, the young girl vampire (portrayed with a great deal of nuance by the talented Kirsten Dunst), in a stairwell exposed to the sunlight, is both chilling and traumatic.  No one wants to see a child die, even a vampiric one.

  3. "Jeepers Creepers"- The final scene of this grotesque horror film, which shows the lead character with the back of his head carved out, is one of the most chilling and traumatizing death scenes to be found in a horror film.  For that reason, it definitely deserves its place among the best horror movie deaths.

  4. "Orca"- If you haven’t seen this film, starring the venerable Richard Harris, then you’re in for a treat.  The death of Richard Harris at the hands (perhaps fins would be a better word), is both satisfying and chilling, making it a superb horror movie death.

  5. "Scream"- This delightful film features numerous deaths (not surprising, considering it’s a slasher film) one of the most noteworthy occurs near the end, when Billy, seemingly dead, actually rears up, seemingly alive.  Although a little clichéd, the fact that the film acknowledges this fact makes it one of the more amusing deaths in horror cinema.  

  6. "Hostel 2"- This bloodfest has more deaths than perhaps any other horror film.  However, the most exceptionally grotesque is that of Stuart (played by Roger Bart) who at the end of the film is castrated and left to bleed to death, his parts fled to the dogs.  Without a doubt, this is one of the most traumatic deaths in a horror movie.

  7. "The Blair Witch Project"- Although you do not actually see the deaths in this film, you are left in no doubt that the unfortunate teenagers have met their fate at the hands of the title witch.  It is precisely the mysteriousness of it that makes it such an excellent horror death.

  8. "The Wicker Man" (1973)- This chilling film, originally released in the 1970s, has a terrific death scene in which the obnoxious main character is burned alive in a pagan sacrifice.  Although it is frightening and disturbing to see someone burned alive, the man has proven so obnoxious that we actually look forward to it.

  9. "The Exorcist"- This film, definitely a classic in the world of horror movies, also has a very good death scene, in which the priest throws himself out the window in order to ensure that the demon that has possessed him dies with him as well.  His sacrifice makes this one of the best horror movie deaths yet seen.

  10. "An American Werewolf in London"- This film, a mixture of horror and comedy, features one of the most touching and sad deaths in a horror film.  The protagonist, although he hates what he has become, cannot help but become a werewolf.  When he menaces the woman he loves, he is shot by police, thus bringing to a sad end this tragic film.