With Halloween just around the corner, it’s time to appreciate the monsters and enemies that have scared us the most. From an unsettling backstory to a gruesome design, these enemies always find a way to haunt our dreams. The only requirement to earn a spot on this list is to be truly scary, disturbing, and memorable. With only one entry per franchise, here are the ten scariest baddies in video games.
The Lady- Little Nightmares
[Source: Little Nightmares Wiki]
Little Nightmares is a small horror game that deserves big attention. You play as Six, a little girl in a raincoat, as you try to escape the Maw. You encounter many creatures along the way, but the Lady is your final obstacle.
Your pivotal encounter begins with her brushing her hair with a mask on, humming a haunting melody, in front of a broken mirror. As you get closer to escaping, she vanishes from the mirror and begins hunting you in a room full of mannequins. The only way to defeat her is to show her something that truly terrifies her: her reflection. Find the single un-shattered mirror and force her to look at it to hinder her.
There are many theories on The Lady’s role in this universe, but, whatever it may be, it’s undoubtedly evil and scary.
O’rin of the Water- Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
Sekiro is a challenging action game, not a horror game, but that didn’t prevent developer FromSoftware from putting in a truly scary mini-boss. In the distant and haunted town of Mibu, you will begin to hear the lazy buzz and tone of a shamisen, a three-stringed Japanese instrument. A woman will be playing it in a somewhat open area, and she will not attack you.
If you speak to her, you will learn she is confused and cannot find her lover, Lord Sakuza. She will ask if you have seen him, and, if you answer that you have not, she attacks. Eerie music will begin to play as this ghost gracefully spins and leaps across the battlefield. This is a difficult fight, and you will die many times, making her that much scarier.
There is also a character whose questline intersects with O’rin of the Water. The quest has a truly disturbing ending, and I won’t spoil it for you here, but you do need to play this incredible action game now.
Alma Wade- F.E.A.R.
Alma Wade may be a little girl, but she is also the main protagonist of the F.E.A.R. franchise. A victim of cruel experiments intended to find the source of her psychic powers, Alma soon became too powerful and angry to be controlled.
As a member of First Encounter Assault Recon (F.E.A.R., get it), you are tasked with responding to an outbreak of psychic activity in Fairport. You are often plagued with vivid, horrifying hallucinations, gifts from Alma. She also hunts you throughout the game, making for an incredibly chilling experience.
However, I don’t know what’s scarier: Alma hunting you or the revelations of the horrors inflicted on this little girl.
Crawlers- Dead Space 2
[Source: mmdangggg2 at Youtube]
Dead Space is an incredibly underrated horror franchise (R.I.P. Visceral Games), and the Necromorphs are some of the scariest creatures in gaming. However, the Crawlers are the most terrible, disgusting, and disturbing in the entire series.
Small and explosive, the Crawlers are infected infants filled with combustible material. You first encounter them in Dead Space 2 in a daycare, which was already super creepy. Once swarms of Crawlers started charging at you, however, you are genuinely terrified and disturbed. After all, each Crawler you blow up is also the infected body of an infant.
Clickers- The Last of Us
[Source: Naughty Dog]
The Last of Us is a narrative masterpiece, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its elements of horror. The Clicker is one of the scariest takes on the zombie in the long history of the monster. Based on the real-life fungus that can hijack the minds of ants (Ophiocordyceps), the Clickers have been infected so long they are no longer human.
Completely blind, they live off of sound, so there are many tense situations in which you must stay quiet to avoid detection. Clickers themselves have disturbing noises, uttering what sounds like a series of clicks (hence the name) and tortured yells, and have incredibly erratic movements. They can kill you in a single bite, so keep quiet or prepare to fight for your life.
Regenerator- Resident Evil 4
The last zombie on this list, the Regenerator is the scariest enemy in the entire long-running Resident Evil series. Although they don’t look like much, they are practically invincible. Blow off their heads; they will keep coming; dismember their legs, they will drag themselves towards you until their legs grow back.
What makes this creature even more disturbing is their raspy, fractured breathing. This will let you know when the monster is nearby, but it is so unnerving you almost wish it didn’t exist regardless.
The only way to kill these enemies is to shoot their weak points, which are only illuminated with a specific scope for the sniper rifle. Considering that you encounter the Regenerators in claustrophobic hallways and rooms, this makes every encounter even more intense.
Xenomorph- Alien: Isolation
[Source: Feral Interactive]
Alien: Isolation is one of the scariest games I have ever played. Incredibly unforgiving, Alien: Isolation puts you in the shoes of Amanda Ripley, daughter of Ellen Ripley, on the spaceship, Sevastopol. As you can imagine, things start going south once the Alien shows up.
The Xenomorph is supposed to be the ultimate predator, and Alien: Isolation makes sure that it is just that. The AI for the Xenomorph is comprised of two AI. One is the Alien itself, and the other knows your location and gives the Alien hints as to where you are hiding. Therefore, the Xenomorph is always nearby, and if you stay in one place too long, it will eventually catch you.
You can try and fight the Xenomorph off with the flamethrower or some other tools, but the best option is just to run, run as fast as you can.
Pyramid Head- Silent Hill 2
Silent Hill 2 is a masterpiece because its horror goes beyond spooky design and creepy locales; it’s scary because it’s deep and complex. The town of Silent Hill is filled with monsters that represent different aspects of James Sunderland’s psyche, and Pyramid Head is the embodiment of James’s desire for repentance.
Therefore, Pyramid Head is always chasing you down throughout the game, armed with a massive sword that can quickly kill you. His design is terrifying, and his introduction to the game is disturbing. What is scariest, though, is the creature’s actions due to what it represents. When you run from Pyramid Head, you are fleeing the desire to hurt yourself, to punish yourself for what you have done.
Laura- The Evil Within
The Evil Within, in my opinion, is one of the most underrated horror games ever. The monstrosities in the game attribute a lot to that level of praise. Although the Keeper is horrifying, Laura takes the cake as the most terrifying creature in both games.
With four hands rich with sharp claws, crawling like an animal, Laura is nearly invincible to your bullets. Her only real weakness is fire, so every encounter with her is a desperate attempt to set her on fire so that you can hurt her. Sometimes, it is best to set her on fire so you can flee, something you will have to do many times over before you can take Laura down.
Her screams are terrifying, her speed can be alarming, and she can kill you in one hit. I will never forget the time I went toe-to-toe with Laura.
[Source: Silent Hills Wiki]
Although just a tech demo for the sadly canceled Silent Hills, P.T. This game has earned its place among the greatest horror games of all time despite its hour-or-so runtime. The demo involves you experiencing a loop, walking the same hallway over and over again, with it changing each time you go through the door.
Lisa is the ghost that haunts this hall. She twitches fast and violently, cries often, and heavily breathes whenever nearby. The sound design is chilling here as her breaths and cries are broken-up, raspy, and sound like they are coming from a radio with a weak signal. It was recently discovered that Lisa is always behind you, waiting to strike.
Lisa quite simply is the most terrifying enemy in the history of video games. Who else on this list can claim they raised a tech-demo to the status as one of the scariest video games of all time?
I hope you enjoyed, or were at least scared, by my top 10 list of the scariest baddies in video games. If you disagree, want to share your list, or have a story to tell about your most frightening experience, let us know in the comments!
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I am an English (Writing Specialization) major at the University of Nevada, Reno, and I also LOVE video games. I’ve been playing everything I could get my hands on since I was a kid playing my Nintendo GameCube. When I’m not playing the latest titles or replaying Dark Souls for the umpteenth time, I am usually trying to write my novel or write and edit for clients as a freelancer.