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The ultimate guide to horror movies, shows and books

What a horror fan should watch, read and drink - including some celebrity picks.

The ultimate guide to horror movies, shows and books
Marc Chacksfield

There is nothing like a horror movie or book to get the blood flowing. The problem nowadays, though, is that we spend most of our time flicking through endless horror movies on Netflix and Amazon Prime, trying to find the right one to scare us senseless - only to give up and watch Friday The 13th Part IV for the 50th time.

Well, this horror ultimate guide is here to hopefully stop that. We are rounding up all the horror-based Shortlists we have, so that you can quickly find what you want to watch, read and do if you are a horror fan.

And don't just take our word for it: below we have some brilliant celebrities who have created their own Shortlists exclusively for us - including the director of IT, Andrés Muschietti, Neil Marshall, who brought us the horror classic (among others) The Descent and Mike Flanagan whose Doctor Sleep offers up some vintage big-screen Stephen King.

So, turn the lights out, grab yourself a horror-based spirit and make sure you have a spare pair of pants. You have been warned...

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watch these classic horror movies

Halloween 2019: the ultimate guide to horror movies, shows and books

Let's start with the classics. Here we rundown the best classic horror movies - from The Exorcist to Nightmare on Elm Street. While some newer movies will certainly be added to this list in due course, here we decided to stick with the horror movies that filled us with absolute dread when we were growing up - a dread that stayed with us throughout childhood. As of publication, the top classic horror movie is The Exorcist, with Carrie in second place. As with all our Shortlists, you can vote and have your say.

vote for your favourite horror villain

Halloween 2019: the ultimate guide to horror movies, shows and books


This is a fun one: we've put the best horror movie villains in a list and all you have to do is vote for the one that you love to hate the most. Currently, Pennywise is top but Hannibal Lector and Freddy Krueger aren't far behind. Personally, we would love to see Candyman get more love - if ever there was a horror movie villain that was three dimensional, it is him.

Watch the scariest horrors on Netflix

Halloween 2019: the ultimate guide to horror movies, shows and books

It took some time for Netflix to get decent horror movies on its service but there are a handful now that are a must watch. We recommend the fantastic Brit horror The Ritual, as well as the classic modern horror Get Out. When it comes to your votes (that's right, you are the ones that have the ultimate say) it seems you agree about The Ritual as that is top. Creep and The Invitation are close behind, however. Whichever you choose to watch, you are in for a treat.

Reminisce about the scariest kids TV shows

Halloween 2019: the ultimate guide to horror movies, shows and books

There's always that one children's TV show that scared you when you were a kid. Yes, for most, it was Doctor Who. But there are plenty more and we have tried to highlight a whole bunch of them in our scariest kids' TV show list. Whether it was Round The Twist, Terrahawks, Teletubbies - you can have your say.

Horror is not just about movies

Halloween 2019: the ultimate guide to horror movies, shows and books

If you'd rather your horror goes on for much longer, then we recommend the following TV shows to gorge on. One which isn't currently in the list as we haven't quite finished watching it yet is the fantastic Marianne. The first episode gave us the proper fear and we have no doubt the rest of the show will too. There are plenty of other shows, though, as our list, er, shows.

Read these scary books

Halloween 2019: the ultimate guide to horror movies, shows and books

The scariest book of all time is... going to be different for everyone. Some love a bit of body horror, other wallow in dystopia. We have tried our best to broach a wide gamut of fear in this list, though, and the best thing is that you can vote for the one one you fear the most. The current top scary read is the fantastic Pet Sematary by Stephen King, which brings us on to our next Shortlist...

Vote on your favourite Stephen King adaptations

Halloween 2019: the ultimate guide to horror movies, shows and books

Stephen King is the best horror writer around - there is simply nobody better at spinning a spooky yarn that gnaws away at your insides and puts the fear of god into you. The brilliant thing is that he is still going strong - his last three books: Revival, The Outsider and The Institute are full of the fear factor. But here we look at the movie adaptations and it's fair to say that King is going through a movie renaissance at the moment. It's almost good enough to help us all forget about the TV adaptation of the Langoliers...

Gorge on some fantastic celebrity horror Shortlists

Halloween 2019: the ultimate guide to horror movies, shows and books

We at Shortlist are in a very privileged position that we get to chat to a lot of celebs. Some of them have been masters of the horror genre. So, before you bed in with a decent horror movie, please check out the following brilliant celeb horror shortlists.