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Top 20 Scariest TV Monsters Ever

Top 20 Scariest TV Monsters Ever
VOICE OVER: Callum Janes WRITTEN BY: George Pacheco
Tv monsters can be scary too! For this list, we'll be ranking the most frighteningly iconic creatures from the small screen that left a serious impact. Our countdown includes creatures from "Supernatural", "Channel Zero", "Legion" and much more!

Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 20 Scariest T.V. Monsters. For this list, we’ll be ranking the most frighteningly iconic creatures from the small screen that left a serious impact. Did we leave any out? Let us know in the comments!

#20: Changeling

“Supernatural” (2005-20)
The changelings from “Supernatural” are already unsettling to think about because they can sneak into your life without warning. And then you get into their surprisingly effective look. Their hollowed-out eyes, circular mouth and rows of sharp teeth make them look monstrous. All those features being layered over a human face makes the final effect extremely uncanny too. The slimy child-mimics were just one of the many beasties that made memorable appearances on this much-loved sci-fi/horror hybrid. It’s safe to say they certainly left an impression long after the show left the air.

#19: Ebonites

“The Outer Limits” (1963-65)
One of the most frightening types of creatures from “The Outer Limits” were known as the Ebonites. After these creatures launch a nuclear attack on Earth for supposedly no reason, a group of humans go to confront their enemies. They find the Ebonites to have unnaturally long heads, sharp nails and the technology to incapacitate earthlings with barely any effort. These creatures are able to rob people of their voices and mess with their mind in a variety of twisted ways. Although it’s revealed that the Ebonites were secretly working with people on earth, the creatures are still no less intimidating. Seeing them break the minds of humans so easily made this one planet we’d never want to visit.

#18: Slappy the Dummy

“Goosebumps” (1995-98)
While adults worried about the Chucky doll from“Child’s Play” when they went to movie theaters, the younger generation had to worry about the creepy dummy Slappy at home. This villain was so intimidating that he became one of the prominent faces of the “Goosebumps” universe. This constant source of evil will absolutely mess up a child’s life in a bunch of petty ways. However, Slappy’s goal was really to force anyone foolish enough to wake him from his temporary slumber to obey his commands. The dummy occasionally had extra powers like the ability to summon more plastic friends and the ability to turn humans into dummies. Slappy’s relentless capacity for evil and overall creepiness made him a standout franchise villain.

#17: The Tooth Child

“Channel Zero” (2016-18)
In the late 2010s, a creature composed entirely of teeth was conceptualized and brought to the screen. The Tooth Child from the first season of Syfy’s “Channel Zero” was inspired by a Creepypasta story. Fortunately for the original author, its absurdly terrifying and unsettling story lives up to the narrative. The hollow eyes and mouth send chills down our spine. It also aimed to gain a much more humanoid body from his own brother. If this living mass of teeth came at us, our own teeth would start to chatter. Although the Tooth Child didn't appear often throughout the “Candle Cove” season, it didn’t need to. One look was enough to haunt us for years to come.

#16: The Corpse

“Are You Afraid of the Dark?” (1990-)
When a few kids discover that there’s a secret pool hidden within their school, they think they’ve hit a dreamy watery goldmine. But there’s a nightmare hidden under the surface. The spirit of a body that was left behind when the pool was built has remained to pull innocent people under. Although it’s initially invisible, the heroes eventually bring its ghastly appearance to light. It looks like a cross of a ghoul and swamp thing. And not only is the monster hard to harm, but it can virtually teleport around pipes to get around. If the appearance of this watery monster isn’t enough to frighten you, the fact that it will keep coming at you relentlessly definitely will.

#15: White Walkers

“Game of Thrones” (2011-19)
HBO’s hit adaptation of “Game of Thrones” didn’t disappoint when they brought their much discussed White Walkers to the screen. The incredible makeup work makes these merciless ice creatures look bone-chilling from the first moment you lay eyes on them. Their zombified, almost Mummy-like skin and unnatural body design make them appear otherworldly. The white walkers are also intimidating because the super strong creatures bring cold wherever they go. Although they can be defeated with a bit of dragonglass, trying to slay a white walker with the material is much easier said than done. There’s few things that can warm you when one of these frosty creatures lays their icy gaze on you.

#14: Famine

“Supernatural” (2005-20)
We’re back to “Supernatural” again, this time for one of the show’s most striking and memorable monsters. On the surface, this physical manifestation of Famine doesn’t appear to be anything to write home about, appearing as a wizened old man in a wheelchair. These appearances can be deceiving, however, as this Horseman of the Apocalypse comes alive when he’s hungry for fresh souls. Famine is actually the embodiment of hunger itself. It can use this power to control the behavior of others and compelling them to gorge upon that for which they most hunger. It’s a unique, and uniquely twisted, take on a classic creature.

#13: Demon Spawn

“Ash vs. Evil Dead” (2015-18)
Ash Williams has battled a lot of demons and deadites throughout his career as the main protagonist of the “Evil Dead” franchise. So, it was going to take a lot of imagination to create a new creature able to stand alongside some of the other memorable monsters Ash has defeated. We think that the Demon Spawn from “Ash vs. Evil Dead” makes a fine addition into the mythos. They’re incredibly resistant to damage, can possess persons’ shadows and seem to be susceptible only to weapons infused with Kandarian magic. Their toothy grins and frightening gray faces make them appear ugly as sin. Even a professional deadite slayer like Ash struggles to put these spawn down.

#12: Shadow King

“Legion” (2017-19)
The “Legion” series presented some fairly dark and horrific story beats for a Marvel show, not the least of which was the inclusion of The Shadow King. Also known as Amahl Farouk, this parasitic mutant can inhabit minds and hop from body to body. The villain spent a terrifying amount of time within the brain of series’ protagonist David Heller. But no matter whose mind he’s in, The Shadow King is a tremendous threat. He can use his psychic powers to best nearly anybody on earth. Farouk also comes complete with a monstrous form that almost reminds us of a perverse Humpty-Dumpty. It has a large, misshapen head and an unsettling, thousand-yard stare. Just hope the Shadow King doesn’t try to invade your mind.

#11: Vampire Angel

“Midnight Mass” (2021)
The small community of Crockett’s Island all experience remarkable changes after ingesting the blood taken from a winged creature that’s referred to in the show as an angel. However, it behaves remarkably like a vampire. The creature’s physical design makes it look like a batty monster complete with large wings and a gaunt appearance. Although we’re told it’s something saitly, it feels completely demonic. The show’s refusal to give us a definitive answer makes the creature more elusive and mysterious. But no matter what it is, we were just as shocked as the congregation when we first laid our eyes on it.

#10: Swamp Thing

“Swamp Thing” (2019)
There have been a number of live-action depictions of Swamp Thing over the years, from the ‘80s cult classic from director Wes Craven, to the short-lived television show from the nineties. The DC hero was reborn in 2019 with a visual overhaul. Right off the bat, it feels more massive than ever before. This makes every scene where Swamp Thing lashes out feel like a bonafide slasher film. It helps that this Swamp Thing was played by Derek Mears, who had formerly earned accolades for his portrayal of Jason Voorhees in 2009 “Friday the 13th”. The make-up effects are also nothing short of phenomenal. Between his burly physical presence and haunting vibes, 2019’s Swamp Thing is the most intimidating version of the hero yet.

#9: Chimera

“Fringe” (2008-13)
While the chimera present within one memorable episode of “Fringe” may not have been born this way, the genetically-engineered beast is certainly the stuff of nightmares. A traditional verision of the creature possesses a lion’s head, a goat’s body and the tail of a serpent. But the “Fringe” version also adds in aspects of vipers and some rhinoceros skin into the mix. It can also inject larvae that will rip out of a victim’s body like a chestburster from the “Alien” franchise. Not only does this evil chimera hybrid possess tons of evil intentions, but it also has a dark design to match the showrunners’ morbid imaginations. This horrifying abomination is one of the worst examples of a science experiment gone wrong.

#8: The Infantata

“American Horror Story” (2011-)
“American Horror Story” has executed tons of uniquely dark ideas over the course of its run. But The Infantata may hold the crown for the most twisted creation. For starters, the idea of creating some disgusting abomination from discarded parts of a lost person is truly disturbing. Furthermore, the end results end up looking like the true stuff of nightmares. This basement dwelling cast-off seeks human blood and will stop at nothing to get it. Its pointy teeth and razor sharp claws could easily tear you to shreds. The Infantata’s depressing origins and horrendous design make it one of the most inspired bits of writing from the twisted minds over at “American Horror Story.”

#7: The Gremlin

“The Twilight Zone” (1959-64)
One of the most memorable jump scares in history came courtesy of the Gremlin from “The Twilight Zone.” In the “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” episode, no one believes William Shatner’s Mr. Wilson when he claims to see something on the wing of an airplane. The show cleverly gives us quick glimpses of this gremlin as it gets closer and closer. Eventually, it gets close enough for a horrifying jump scare. But it still gets away before anyone can lay eyes on it. The gremlin’s unknown origins and potential threat to everyone onboard the flight elevate its scare factor. Although people didn’t believe Mr. Wilson was right about this gremlin, we have concrete evidence that this chilling creature exists.

#6: The Flukeman

“The X-Files” (1993-2002, 2016-18)
Plenty of terrifying people and entities appeared on the “X-Files” during the show’s run. However, the Flukeman arguably stands as the single most terrifying creature in the franchise. The Flukeman monster is a product of nuclear fallout and waste. Its design was apparently partially influenced by series creator Chris Carter’s experience with a dog that got worms. Between the creature’s creepy skin and absurdly unsettling mouth, we can definitely see similarities to its real life inspiration. It’s also worth mentioning that the flukeman has the strength to pull people underwater and is so resistant that it can recover from grave injuries. Just when characters think they’ve dispatched of the creature, it opens its dead eyes to continue its reign of terror.

#5: The Gentlemen

“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (1997-2003)
There’s just something fascinatingly creepy about the facial expressions of The Gentlemen. Sure, these four demonic entities are impeccably dressed, but they’re also maniacally obsessed with stealing human voices and cutting out hearts. Additionally, The Gentlemen’s tendency to actually behave, well, like gentlemen, is anything but comforting. Their surgical precision when assaulting their victims is done silently and seemingly without undue malice. Their compulsive and violent actions makes The Gentlemen’s mere existence troubling and chilling to the very bone. If they try to be chivalrous and open the door for you, make sure you run as far away from them as you can.

#4: Striga

“The Witcher” (2019-)
The Striga from Netflix’s “The Witcher” takes its inspiration from Slavic mythology. But it takes enough liberties to make its own, uniquely memorable impact. The striga we see on the show was meant to be a human princess. Unfortunately, a curse made her into an unnatural monster who will attack most anyone it sees without mercy. Despite its thin and lanky appearance, the creature has the ability to toss around grown men wearing armor with ease. It also communicates in hair-rising shrieks as it pursues its unwilling victims. The make-up used to bring the Striga to life is realistic and stunning. Thanks to its intricate backtory and eerie appearance, it remains one part of the “Witcher” mythos we don’t like to revisit at night.

#3: Walkers

“The Walking Dead” (2010-)
There have been so many exemplary examples of walkers on “The Walking Dead” that it’s difficult to pick which one is the most skin-crawling. Thanks to the wonderful special effects crew of Greg Nicotero and his KNB EFX Group, we’ve seen many varieties of zombies. Throughout the show, we’ve seen everything from bloated creatures in wells to undead covered in spikes. And even standard walkers can become instantly more intimidating when they become a part of marauding hordes. Since the undead can survive anything as long as they have their brain intact, fire and bodily injury might not be enough to stop them from biting you. Make sure you aim for the head or you might become the next member of the walking dead.

#2: Weeping Angels

“Doctor Who” (1963-89, 2005-)
We’re not denying that Daleks and Cybermen are in the top tier when it comes to iconic “Doctor Who” villains. However, we’d argue that the Weeping Angels are scarier than both of those foes combined. Ask anyone who’s seen any of their appearances on “Who,” and you’ll instantly get a visceral reaction. Weeping angels are essentially energy vampires that can give petrifying glances. With one look, a victim can be tossed backwards in time. The angels then feed on their target’s present-day life-force. What makes them more unsettling is that a lot of them have angelic designs. The sinister intentions that lie beneath the Weeping Angel’s seemingly innocent hands make them tremendously creepy.

#1: The Demogorgon

“Stranger Things” (2016-)
Vecna’s sickening appearance and Freddy Kreuger-like powers make him a disturbing antagonist who you don’t want to sleep on. But even after he appeared, the Demogorgon still reigned supreme as the most horrifying monster in the “Stranger Things” franchise. Its floral-like head is just waiting to expand and reveal the set of deadly jaws it has underneath. But the tall creature can also rely on its long arms that end with razor-sharp claws. Unless you have fire nearby, your encounter with a Demogorgon is doomed to end in disaster. Even with a flame, the creature’s unimaginable strength, speed and deadly accessories are hard to overcome. The Demogorgon is a monstrous compendium of our worst nightmares that represents the best modern horror tv has to offer.
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