A study finds most common first horror films to watch before age 18 include The Exorcist, A Nightmare on Elm Street and Psycho

By Georgia Slater
October 25, 2019 02:10 PM

As Halloween is approaching, a new study is taking a look at the impact horror movies have on the average film-watcher.

According to the New York Post, a study was conducted by OnePoll for the streaming service, Tubi, to gauge a better understanding of what adults remember about their childhood horror movie experiences.

The study surveyed 2,000 people and found that many adults remembered watching their first horror movie at age 10, and 52 percent of people shared that many of the things that scared them then, still frighten them today.

While 62 percent of people admitted that it can be fun to be scared, 47 percent said that these scary movies have later caused them to have nightmares.

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Teenage girls watching horror movie with popcorn
Credit: Getty

Some of these nightmares may have included scary characters from horror movies, of which surveyors listed their top five childhood villains.

The characters which scared children most included the Daleks (Doctor Who), Darth Vader (Star Wars), Voldemort (Harry Potter), Wicked Witch of the West (The Wizard of Oz), and the Child Catcher (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang).

However, these characters were not a part of the most common horror movies people watched before age 18.

The movies the study found most teenagers watching were The Exorcist, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Shining, Evil Dead, 28 Days Later, The Conjuring and Alien.

The Shining - 1980
Jack Nicholson in The Shining
| Credit: Warner Bros/Hawk Films/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock
A Nightmare On Elm Street - 1984
Freddy Krueger
| Credit: New Line/The Elm Street Venture/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

Surveyed adults admitted that several villains in horror movies still creep them out today like Jigsaw (Saw), David Kessler (An American Werewolf in Paris), Norman Bates (Psycho), John Ryder (The Hitcher) and Freddy Krueger (A Nightmare on Elm Street).

“Classics like Psycho and The Nightmare on Elm Street have stood the test of time because of their indelible villains,” a spokesperson for Tubi told the Post.

While many of these films cause people to jump out of their seats, the spokesperson added that “a classic horror movie can make for a spooky but fun night in. People enjoy getting scared, especially at Halloween time.”