21 Of The Scariest Horror Movie Endings Of All Time, According To Horror Fans

·6 min read

WARNING: Due to the nature of the question being answered in this post, there are serious SPOILERS AHEAD for the endings of every single one of these movies. We've listed the titles first so you can decide if you'd like to read on or skip. Please proceed with caution!

We recently asked members of our BuzzFeed Community, "What do you think is the scariest, creepiest, most nightmare-inducing final scene in a horror movie ever?" and you better believe horror lovers came through with some excellent answers!

United Artists

So, with that in mind, here are just a few of the horror movie endings that stuck with people long after the credits rolled:

1.Insidious (2010)

A woman wears a creepy gasmask
Filmdistrict / FilmDistrict / courtesy Everett Collection

"That shook me to my core and left a lasting image in my brain. Biggest jump scare/mind jumble I’ve ever seen! Still wigs me out to this day!"


Watch the scene here:

2.Eden Lake (2008)

light shining on a woman's eyes, face covered in mud
Weinstein Company / ©Weinstein Company/Courtesy Everett Collection

"Horrific. You think she's escaped, but she ends up trapped in the family's house."


Watch the scene here:

3.Friday the 13th (1980)

woman in a boat while a creepy person comes up behind her
Paramount Pictures

"It all started with (and nothing beats) a deformed Jason Voorhees popping out of the water at the end of the OG Friday the 13th!"


Watch the scene here:

4.Fallen (1998)

A man looks concerned off into the distance
Warner Bros / ©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

"When Denzel Washington is narrating how he almost died, and you realize that it is the demon narrating and not Denzel's character."


Watch the scene here:

5.Life (2017)

people looking at each other through a window
Columbia Pictures / ©Columbia Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

"That movie with Jake Gyllenhaal. The score at the end when the alien is released in Earth’s ocean by unsuspecting fishermen who have no idea what the hell they’ve unleashed on humanity — it freaked me out."


Watch the scene here:

6.Hereditary (2018)

A young boy looks stunned out of his windshield
© A24 /Courtesy Everett Collection

"Hereditary is like the coconut oil of horror movies at this point. 'What’s the scariest movie you’ve ever seen?' Hereditary. 'What’s the most disturbing scene in a movie you’ve ever seen?' Hereditary. 'What’s the most shocking scene in a movie?' Hereditary. Hereditary will fix your problems. Please watch Hereditary."


Watch the scene here:

7.Threads (1984)

A woman looks distressed
British Broadcasting Corporation

"It's a movie about nuclear bombs being dropped on London from the '80s. The ending is so bleak, it's terrifying. No one gets saved, the world is fucked, and no one gets a happy ending. Scary as hell because the whole movie could totally happen at any minute in real life."


Watch the scene here:

8.The Vanishing (1988)

A woman looks terrified inside of a car
Golden Egg Films / Courtesy Everett Collection

"The original version (Dutch, I think? I don’t remember), when the guy wakes up buried alive. Gaaaah."


Watch the trailer here:

9.Sleepaway Camp (1983)

A character screams
United Film Distribution Company

"That horribly forced demonic face and unearthly sound emanating from it!"


Watch the scene here:

10.Martyrs (2008)

woman covered in blood
Weinstein Company / ©Weinstein Company/Courtesy Everett Coll / Everett Collection

"The original one comes to mind immediately. It’s when you realize everything that the tortured women are put through and why. The fact that human beings could do such a thing is truly terrifying. It’s a film that has stayed with me ever since I watched it, and I haven’t been able to watch it again."


Watch the scene here:

11.Sinister (2012)

blood on a door
Summit Entertainment / Summit Entertainment / courtesy Everett Collection

"It has a fantastic jump scare scene at the end!"


Watch the scene here:

12.Would You Rather (2012)

People sit at a table with electric devices attached to their heads
Ifc Films / ©IFC Films/Courtesy Everett Collection

"It’s just awful and sad. It’s like you can finally take a deep breath, but instead of relief, it’s just heaviness."


Watch the trailer here:

13.Midsommar (2019)

A man lights a chapel on fire

"Florence Pugh’s deranged smile close-up is enough for me to never set foot in Sweden."


Watch the scene here:

14.Truth or Dare (2018)

A girl makes a strange smile in a mirror
Photo Credit: Peter Iovino / ©Universal/courtesy Everett / Everett Collection

"The final scene chilled me to my core the first time I watched it. I wasn't sure what I expected the end to be like, but it was just so sudden, and then that was that — it was over."


Watch the scene here:

15.The Blair Witch Project (1999)

A character holds a camera close to their face, crying
© Artisan Entertainment / courtesy Everett Collection

"Nothing — NOTHING — has ever scared me as much in a movie as that ending. The way the movie built up the suspense and fear was brilliant. If you’ve ever gone camping, or have seen that random abandoned house, you can easily put yourself in their shoes. The scream at the end!"


Watch the scene here:

16.Psycho (1960)

A man smiles creepily to the camera
Paramount Pictures

"'Why she wouldn’t even hurt a fly...' It’s like Norman/Mrs. Bates can actually see you."


Watch the scene here:

17.American Werewolf in London (1981)

A werewolf screeches
Universal / ©Universal/Courtesy Everett Collection

"Not only do we get to see the absolutely terrifying werewolf model in all its glory, but we see that the werewolf is nothing more than a ruthless monster with no hint of David's humanity hidden underneath. And yet, when they shoot it, we're left with David's dead body, a victim to this horrible curse as much as the other people that were killed by the creature."


Watch the scene here:

18.Men (2022)

A woman screams underwater
© A24 / Courtesy Everett Collection

"I gave birth twice and I still had a hard time watching it all the way through the end."


Watch the trailer here:

19.The Descent (2005)

A woman screams while crawling out from under a tree
Lions Gate / ©Lions Gate/Courtesy Everett Collection

"The UK version. You think Sarah has escaped the caves, only for it to reveal she is hallucinating and is still trapped alongside Juno as you hear the cave monsters approaching. Apparently, that ending was 'too depressing,' and the US version ends on a 'happier note' — meaning she actually survives and thus the movie could get a sequel."


Watch the scene here:

20.The Mist (2007)

A man stands in front of an army vehicle
Weinstein Company / ©Weinstein Company/Courtesy Everett Collection

"The guy just killed his son and several of his friends, goes out to get killed by the monsters only to realize he has been saved and everyone he killed could have been saved, too, if they had waited a few more minutes."


Watch the scene here:

21.And finally: The Strangers (2008)

A bloodied woman crawls on the floor
Universal / ©Universal/Courtesy Everett Collection

"When Liv Tyler's character asks the killers while dying, 'Why are you doing this?' and the masked woman replies, '...because you were home.' It really made it feel like it could happen to anyone."


Watch the scene here:

Well, you've read their picks, but now it's your turn! What's the single scariest horror movie ending of all time? Share your pick(s) in the comments below!

Some responses were edited for length and/or clarity.