It’s Halloween. A time for ghosts and goblins to creep their way out of the woodwork and for children to dress as less scary characters such as princesses, Elmo and Thomas the Train.

But regardless of the trick-or-treat aspect of All Hallows Eve, the holiday is traditionally associated with scary images and, of course, the horror film.

It’s Halloween. A time for ghosts and goblins to creep their way out of the woodwork and for children to dress as less scary characters such as princesses, Elmo and Thomas the Train.
But regardless of the trick-or-treat aspect of All Hallows Eve, the holiday is traditionally associated with scary images and, of course, the horror film.

The Examiner has compiled a list of the top 10 scary films, along with a few that did not quite make the cut.

“For me, it’s the ‘experience’ of watching horror movies,” said Bob Florence, marketing coordinator at MCC-Blue River who has given lectures on the top horror films. “One of my fondest memories was at my grandmother’s house on a Friday evening. Wrapped up in a blanket, I would sit for hours in front of her old black and white television and get lost in all of those scary movies. So whether it was in a dark theater or on the living room floor, I enjoyed the experience of watching horror films.”

10 “Frankenstein” (1931), “Dracula” (1931), “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” (1931) and “The Mummy” (1932).
The original scary movies, these classics are thought to have jump-started the scary movie craze. They have each been remade literally dozens of times, with numerous variations of the original story such as last year’s popular Twilight movie, but these originals horrified moviegoers in the 1930s, creating an entire genre. “These four are the classics,” Florence said. “It was after these that other great movies followed.”

9 Friday the 13th (1980).
Camp counselors at Camp Crystal Lake are stalked and subsequently murdered by an unknown assailant, Jason Voorhees. Spawned 12 more in the franchise and that generaged millions at the box office, though the first one is easily the best.

8 Night of the Living Dead (1968) and Dawn of the Dead (1978).
The plot is simple enough, people hiding from bloodthirsty zombies, but even now, these George Romero classics can scare up a few good screams.

7 Alien (1979).
With the movie tagline, “In space, no one can hear you scream, “Alien” started a movie franchise that lasted for more than 20 years. A crew on a mining ship discovers strange creatures and decides to investigate. You can take it from there.
  
6 The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974).
A desecrated grave, a hitchhiker, a slaughterhouse, a cannibalistic family and the main villain, Leatherface, sets the scene for a gruesome horror film that has spawned several remakes.

5 “The Shining” (1980).
A psychological horror film based on a Stephen King novel, directed by Stanley Kubrick and starring Jack Nicholson. Among the iconic images are little twin girls standing at the end of a hallway and the famous “REDRUM” scene.

4 Halloween (1978).
A scream fest starring a young Jamie Lee Curtis and directed by John Carpenter, “Halloween” featured Michael Myers, a psychotic murderer institutionalized since a child, who escapes and seeks vengeance.
“In terms of film making, there were no special visual effects and only simple sound effects,” Florence said. “But story wise, it was extremely effective. It ushered in the “slasher” subgenre that would dominate the 1970s and 1980s horror movies that followed it.”

3 Jaws (1975).
It might have been a mechanical shark, but Jaws continues to scare audiences and makes people afraid to get in the ocean. Based on Peter Benchley’s novel “Jaws,” Steven Spielberg’s movie follows a police chief who attempts to protect the public from a giant great white shark, straying too close to the beach.

2 The Exorcist (1973).
Some never looked at split-pea soup the same after watching the film that depicts a mother’s attempt to save her daughter through an exorcism conducted by two priests. Based on a supposedly true story, some felt the movie set was haunted, and one person actually died in the making of the film.

1 Psycho (1960).
“Psycho” is known for having one of the most surprising moments in movie history, and the famous shower scene has been imitated hundreds of times. Norman and the Bates Motel are movie icons. “It (’Psycho’) has one of the best “surprise endings” out there,” Florence said. “I liken (horror films) to riding a roller coaster. It’s wild ride with chills and thrills. Your heart beats a little faster, waiting for what’s coming up next.”

Honorable mention:
Carrie, Rosemary’s Baby, The Birds, Silence of the Lambs, The Omen, Nightmare on Elm Street,, The Ring, Saw, The Amityville Horror, Creature of the Black Lagoon, The Thing, Hellraiser, Jacob’s Ladder and Nosferatu.