Study reveals nation’s scariest screen moments

Clockwise from top left: Moments from The Exorcist (1973); Dr Who (1963 and 2007); and Twin Peaks (1990) all make the list.
Clockwise from top left: Moments from The Exorcist (1973); Dr Who (1963 and 2007); and Twin Peaks (1990) all make the list.
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A NEW study conducted ahead of Halloween has revealed the nation’s top ten scariest screen moments.

With Stephen King’s IT recently smashing records and being named the most successful horror film in the past 44 years, it may come as a shock to find that, despite the popularity of the new film, horror lovers are still terrified by the classic movies.

READ MORE: Six of the scariest Scottish films ever made

The survey, which gathered more than 2000 responses, was commissioned by sofa specialists ScS who wanted to know which horror moments most made people hide behind their products.

Their study revealed that the nation finds older TV and film horror moments the scariest, with only two of the most frightening moments on the list dating from the past decade.

Psycho, Nightmare on Elm Street and all made the top ten when it comes to spooking the nation. British TV favourite Dr Who made the list twice.

The top ten scariest film and TV moments rated by Brits are:

1. The Exorcist (1973) - When possessed child Regan’s head spins 360-degrees – 20%

2. Psycho (1962) - the dramatic murder of Marion Crane as she takes a shower – 16%

3. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) - The scene when Freddy murders Tina in her dream – 12%

4. The Silence of the Lambs (1991) - Hannibal Lector`s first encounter with Clarice Starling – 11%

5. Dr Who (2007) – ‘Blink’ an episode about killer statues that move when you’re not looking at them – 7%

6. IT (2017) - The scene in which Georgie Denbrough meets the terrifying Pennywise the first and last time – 6%

7. Dr Who (1963) - The Daleks first appearance – 6%

8. Twin Peaks (1990) – Maddy’s vision of the demon BOB stalking her – 5%

9. The X Files (1996) – ‘Home’ an episode in which a deformed baby’s body is found buried in a baseball field – 5%

10. The Sixth Sense (1999) - The line “I see dead people” – 5%

And it doesn’t stop there. Other terrifying moments that have the nation hiding behind their sofas are the 2008 horror movie, The Strangers, when the masked intruders scare homeowners by stalking them outside their home; the chest popping scene in Alien (1979); and Jaws (1975) when the shark attacks Richard Dreyfus and his team.

Vicki Burns, Communications Executive at ScS, said: “Horror seems to be going through a renaissance period, with the new IT film, a new series of Stranger Things and American Horror Story hitting our screens, it seems we can’t get enough of being scared.

“Overall, our study shows that we all still love to be spooked by those classic horror moments and that all generations are enjoying an evening in on the sofa with a timeless classic. With autumn officially in full swing, and winter on the horizon, it’s the perfect time to curl up in front of the box for a fright night with a favourite horror. You can always hide behind the sofa if it gets too much.”