The Scariest Basements in Horror Movies

A Potpourri of Vestiges Feature

A basement is a seemingly perfect place to position a terrifying scene. Think about it: basements are not well-trafficked, often dimly-lit, and rarely lived-in. That makes them a uniquely terrifying place to set a scene. However, of course, there are plenty of terrifying concepts that don’t quite pan out. What if you want to see one that does? Check out this list of horror movies with terrifying basements, then learn more about the top six.

Scariest Basements and Crawl Spaces in Movies & TV

6. The Amityville Horror – 5.8 Basement Evil Score

The crux of this movie hinges on whether or not the movie is a true story. The people who initially told the story have maintained that the story itself is true. However, there are reasons to doubt this fact. Regardless of the truthfulness of the movie, however, it’s definitely scary to hypothesize that it could possibly be true. The basement is a particularly scary portion of the house, including some scary-looking rooms that weren’t on the building plans.

5. A Nightmare On Elm Street – 6.0 Basement Evil Score

In A Nightmare on Elm Street, the barrier between the “real world” and the “dream world” becomes lax. This leads to horrifying scenes where characters die in their dreams, which causes them to die in real life. The dream world is also uniquely terrifying; Freddy Krueger, the main villain of the movie, kills his victims in a variety of manners. He calls his basement the Nightmare Factory because it’s where he tortures and kills people.

4. Psycho – 6.6 Basement Evil Score

Of all the movies on this list, Psycho may have had the most significant impact on film as a whole. Filmmakers and film critics regularly cite Psycho as one of the most significant movies that has ever existed, and for good reason. Psycho isn’t just an artistic masterpiece; it’s also incredibly scary. One terrifying moment that has stayed with audiences for decades is when the main character goes into the fruit cellar, where she finds Norman Bates’ mother’s mummified corpse.

3. The Evil – 9.0 Basement Evil Score

In The Evil, the basement is literally a pit to hell, which definitely qualifies this movie to rank so high on the Basement Evil Score. The movie tells the story of a group of friends that get stuck inside a home when one of them opens the trap door to the basement, accidentally releasing a demon into the house. The fact that the basement is essentially just hell makes it pretty scary overall.

2. Get Out – 9.6 Basement Evil Score

What’s more terrifying than hell? In Get Out, it’s the terror of individual humans. The traditional colonial design of the home that most of the movie takes place in seems to try to lure you into a false sense of security. That sense of security vanishes when the main character, Chris, undergoes hypnosis in the basement. Upon his hypnosis, he travels to the utterly terrifying Sunken Place.

1. The Silence of the Lambs – 10.0 Basement Evil Score

At the top of this list is The Silence of the Lambs. This movie has also had a measurable impact on cinema; even if you haven’t seen the movie, you almost certainly know Hannibal Lector. However, Hannibal isn’t the reason this movie ranks so high. The movie’s other serial killer, Buffalo Bill, kidnaps women, then puts them in a dry well in his basement, where he starves them until he can kill them.


There are many terrifying movies in the world of horror. These movies may be horrifying for different ways. Although not all of these movies take their horror from the basement directly, the basement does play a key role in the horror they develop. Consider sitting down and watching one of these movies next time you want to think more about the horror of your surroundings.

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