It is unlikely that you will be frightened by any of the free horror films on YouTube. You will, however, receive a horror education.
There are a lot of terrifying movies on YouTube right now that you can view for free. Of course, we’re referring to films that can be viewed lawfully on the internet. There are a lot of black-and-white films among the ones we uncovered because they are in the public domain. To be sure, there is a certain thrill in discovering new things about films this old. Aside from the major streaming services, this is the place to look for something that you may not be able to get elsewhere. These are some of the best free YouTube horror movies.
1) Night of the Living Dead
When it comes to the present zombie craze, many identify George Romero’s groundbreaking 1968 horror picture, Night of the Living Dead, rather than Victor Halperin’s White Zombie, as the original zombie film. Filmed on a shoestring of $114,000, the low-budget independent grossed $12 million in the United States alone, making it one of the most profitable movies ever shot. A satire of racial rhetoric and societal taboos, Night of the Living Dead was one of the rare films of the era to have a black actor in the starring role. To this day, it will be hailed as Romero’s best hour, even though he went on to have a lucrative film franchise (most recently seen in 2009’s Survival of the Dead). In the words of Nico Lang:
2) The Lodger
An unknowing family lets a serial murderer remain in their house in this chilling 1944 film. Not just any serial killer, but none other than the famous Jack the Ripper himself, was the titular lodger. Concerns about their guest’s safety increase the family’s fear for their niece’s well-being. The actor who played Mr. Slade, a suspected Jack the Ripper, was widely praised for his performance. In the year following the publishing of The Lodger, Cregar suffered a heart attack and died, ending his meteoric rise to fame. the eloquent Eddie Strait
As far as I’m concerned, Nosferatu is the scariest movie ever made. Despite its director F.W. Murnau’s enormous talents, the film is entirely dependent on Max Schreck’s truly stunning portrayal of the titular bloodsucker. The following is the final proof of Schreck’s abilities: It was speculated that Max Schreck was a vampire in the 2000 film Shadow of the Vampire, starring Willem Dafoe and John Malkovich. Schreck is a fictional character in the film, but I wouldn’t have wanted to find out in a dark alley alone with him. —N.L.
4) White Zombie
White Zombie is a must-see for horror movie fans. This 1932 picture was the precursor to George Romero’s The Walking Dead. White Zombie, an early independent film set in Haiti that received a lot of bad press upon its premiere (one critic dubbed it “an inadvertent and often amusing farce”), has an unsettling allure. With the help of some strange magic, local witch doctor Bela Lugosi turns visiting American woman Madge Bellamy (played by the legendary actor) into one of his zombie victims. Even if you’ve never heard of the term “White Zombie,” the picture succeeds if you can get past the hammy overacting and focus on its own merits. White Zombie became such a cult classic in the United States that it was even favored by the Nazi Party, making it one of the few American films to receive official sanction from the Third Reich.
5) Silent Night, Bloody Night
With a Christmas Eve murder spree in the 1950s, this prequel to the modern-day Christmas slasher genre is set in an alternate reality. Although the film has received mixed reviews from critics, it is an intriguing entry in its category. Five years before John Carpenter’s Halloween hit the market, Silent Night, Bloody Night used many of the techniques that would later become standards in horror films. —N.L.
6) Carnival of Souls
Herk Harvey, a prolific short-film filmmaker, used this low-budget effort as inspiration for his 2011 horror sleeper smash Insidious. George Romero and David Lynch have both been influenced by Carnival of Souls, which was shot on a budget of under $20,000 and has since become a cult classic. After a devastating car accident, a woman is dogged by an inescapable evil that she can’t escape, but that’s exactly what makes the picture so enthralling. For aficionados of more well-known pictures from the era, such Samuel Fuller’s Shock, the film’s bizarre atmospheric pleasures should be a catnip.
7) The Living Ghost
Even though The Living Ghost isn’t your typical horror movie, it’s spooky enough to earn a spot on this list despite its lack of gore. Ex-PI Nick Trayne (James Dunn) returns to the game after a banker, Walter Craig (Gus Glassmire), goes missing. To find out who committed the crime, Nick must wade through a house full with evidence and suspects. The Living Ghost has enough horrors and turns to keep you guessing till the end, even if it’s just 60 minutes long. —E.S.
8) House on Haunted Hill
Vincent Price established himself as a master of macabre horror in films like House of Wax (not the Paris Hilton one), The Fly (not the Geena Davis one), and House the Haunted Hill (not the Chris Kattan one). This picture, about a millionaire who pays a bunch of guests to spend overnight in his creepy old house, is the perfect blend of throwback horror and vintage camp, thanks to Price’s scary yet beguiling screen presence. The Song of Bernadette and Laura, in which Price was able to demonstrate the superb actor he is beneath the steely kitsch, are two of the best examples of Price’s versatility. —N.L.
9) Diary of a Madman
Even the weakest movies involving demonic possession have a scary element that pervades them all. Although the concept of a horla, a spirit that jumps from body to body and causes havoc, has aged well in Diary of a Madman, it is still powerful. As Simon, a guy who has fallen victim to the horla, Vincent Price plays the lead role. The movie jumps back to show the events leading up to Simon’s death while his diary is read aloud in a posthumous fashion. That it stars Vincent Price adds to the creepiness, so it’s well worth a look. —E.S.
10) Cry of the Wolf
In this film, a female werewolf makes her first on-screen debut, making it a notable film. As Celeste, Nina Foch portrays a princess with the ability to transform into a wolf, something she inherited from her mother. When Celeste’s family’s secrecy is under jeopardy, she must utilize her mystical abilities to defend their secrets. Cry of the Wolf’s scares may not evoke many leaps in today’s werewolf-centric horror fans, but the film’s central theme of protecting one’s family at all means is still compelling. —E.S.