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Statistics Prove the Scariest Movie Ever Made in History is the Shining

scariest movie ever

What is the scariest movie ever made in history? You might have a personal favorite, but science has not only determined which horror film is king, but also the most spine chilling scene. Disappointingly the most terrifying scene isn’t a part of the most frightful film, but it is a part of one of the most horrifying films made to date. So which movie do you think will take out the top prize? Read on to discover the top scene, film, and how it was determined.

When it comes to horror flicks it’s generally a situation of each to their own. What may scare the crap out of you, might not be so terrifying to others. It’s a personal case by case thing. But then again, external emotions can be hidden from others, especially if one is trying to keep up appearances. Whether or not some movies are scary hasn’t deterred the movie industry from trying to create new ways to keep us from sleeping at night. And I’ll admit, some attempts are just utterly ridiculous. Not only do they fail to be scary, they also fail to be entertaining.

First thing first. How did they determine the scariness? The website Play.com took a survey of 10,000 people asking them what was the scariest movies that they have seen. Once the results of the survey were in they next connected the participants up to heart rate monitors to determine what happened with each movie and in each scene. Obviously when you get a fright, even though it feels like your heart misses a beat, it actually speeds up. The more often it speeds up, and the higher it increases, the scarier a movie. The same can be said about individual scenes. Scary scene, higher pulse rate. Once these figures were collected they determined, by average, what the best horror movie was, along with the most spine chilling scene.

The scene that came in as the most horrific was the “here’s Johnny!” scene from The Shining. In that particular scene, Jack Nicholson’s deranged character peers through a hole in the door that he just cut with an axe. It made pulses jump by an average of 28.2 percent. Coming in second was the scene from A Nightmare on Elm Street, where Nancy Thompson brings the delightfully misunderstood Freddy Krueger from her dream into the real world. This sent hearts racing 26.7 percent faster. Coming in at a close third was the scene from The Exorcist where Christine MacNeil decides to investigate strange noises that were coming from her attic. This scene, apart from sending pulses racing by 24.8 percent, made it almost impossible to calmly ignore the odd bump in the night. Throw in the Freddy Krueger scene, and it was a case of learning to sleep with the lights on. They were the scenes, what about the scariest movie ever made in history thus far? Well it was one of theses, but which one?

The scariest movie ever made in history

The scariest movie ever made in history so far, for an overall scariness factor is The Exorcist. When the average scores for the entire length of the movie were added up, The Exorcist came out on top by making the viewers pulse rate increase by 25.9 percent. A Nightmare on Elm Street came in a very close second, followed by The Shining. But that’s not the end of the experiment, not by a long shot.

We all know that it’s not the extent of a fright that matters, it’s the magnitude that counts. You can make a million little insignificant scares a day, but the one that will be remembered long after the event is the big one. The one that scared the poop out of you. So this is what they looked at.

Now that they determined which movie was overall the scariest, the next step was to determine which movie had the overall scariest moments when all combined. They measured the impact that each frightening moment had, and its intensity on the viewer. This time The Shining came out on top, followed by The Exorcist and A Nightmare on Elm Street in third. So while The Exorcist had an overall scare factor throughout the entire move that was higher than the rest, the scariest movie ever in history ended up being The Shining, because of the overall intensity of the scares, making it the undisputed king of horror movies.

Don’t be thinking that the study was restricted to only three movies. It just turns out that these three were without a doubt the most spine tingling of the lot. In the end, Play.com compiled a list of the top ten horror movies with overall scariness and scariest moment combines. The top 10 are:

The Shining (1980)
The Exorcist (1973)
A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)
Ring (aka Ringu) (1998)
Alien (1979)
The Silence of the Lambs (1990)
Poltergeist (1982)
Insidious (2010)
Halloween (1978)
Saw (2004)

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The Shining

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Harvey Tinzell

What an interesting standard, pulse rates. But of course, Nicholson’s character Torrance is a scary character by himself.

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