Opinions differ on what the scariest movie of all time might be, but there are a few possibilities. One of the films on the list below is the scariest movie of all time, bar none. Psychological scares are far worse than bloody gore or shocks that make audiences jump, so the scariest movie of all time must haunt long after the final credits roll. Here are some possibilities for the scariest movie of all time.

  1. "The Exorcist." William Friedkin's film, from the novel by William Peter Blatty, is the story of a young girl, played by Linda Blair in the performance that would define her career for better or worse, possessed by the devil. Two priests, one struggling heavily with his faith, are enlisted to exorcise the demonic presence, and face not only the young girl's greatest fears but their own as they try to do so. Based on the true story of an exorcism that occurred in St. Louis, Missouri, "The Exorcist" is definitely in the running for the scariest movie of all time. It is nearly impossible to sleep after watching it.

  2. "The Silence of the Lambs." A less supernatural film, "Silence" is no less terrifying, with Jodie Foster starring as a young FBI agent on the hunt for serial killer Buffalo Bill, played by the horrifying Ted Levine. In order to get into the killer's mind, she enlists the help of imprisoned killer and cannibal Hannibal Lecter, played by Anthony Hopkins in an Oscar-winning performance. It is the imprisoned Lecter who is truly the heart of this film, and the fact that he escapes, free as the film ends, helps to make this a contender for the scariest movie of all time.

  3. "The Birds." Sometimes the inexplicable is what is most terrifying. That is the case in Alfred Hitchcock's classic, "The Birds," another contender for the scariest movie of all time. In it, a San Francisco socialite travels to a small Northern California town, where, out of nowhere, birds begin flocking there to attack people. The reason for their attacks in unknown, as is the reason for, in the haunting ending, the birds simply congregating and allowing some of the people to escape. A strange and scary film, it is a horror classic and will make anyone afraid of our fine feathered friends right after watching.

  4. "Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer." The final film on our list of contenders for the scariest movie of all time is the low-budget, violent tale of true-life serial killer Henry Lee Lucas. What makes this film terrifying is that the exploits of Henry, expertly portrayed by Michael Rooker, actually happened, showing that the most horrifying truths can be scarier than the scariest fiction.

-Travis Petersen