What Was the Very First Scary Movie?

Have you ever wondered what the very first scary movie was? Horror films have been around for over a century, but which one can claim to be the pioneer in this genre? Let’s dive into the history of horror movies and find out!

The Birth of Horror Films

Horror movies were born in the late 1800s with short silent films that were made to shock and scare audiences. The most famous of these early films was “Le Manoir du Diable” (The Haunted Castle), directed by Georges Méliès in 1896. It featured bats, ghosts, and other spooky creatures that were sure to send shivers down viewers’ spines.

The First Feature-Length Scary Movie

In 1915, a film called “The Golem” was released in Germany. It’s widely considered to be the first feature-length horror movie ever made. Directed by Paul Wegener, it told the story of a rabbi who creates a giant monster out of clay to protect his community from harm.

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

However, if we consider the first modern horror movie, “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” (1920) would be the clear winner. This German Expressionist film directed by Robert Wiene is often cited as one of the greatest horror movies ever made. Its twisted plot and dark visual style set the standard for future horror films.


Another landmark film in this genre is “Nosferatu” (1922), directed by F.W. Murnau. This silent film introduced Count Orlok, a vampire who became an archetype for future vampire movies.


There were many contenders for the title of ‘first scary movie’, but depending on how we define it, there are several films that could claim this honor. “Le Manoir du Diable” laid the groundwork for horror films, while “The Golem” was the first feature-length horror movie. However, “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” and “Nosferatu” set the standard for horror movies as we know them today.

If you’re a fan of horror movies, it’s fascinating to look back at these early films and see how they’ve influenced the genre over the years. We can never forget these pioneers who paved the way for future filmmakers to scare and entertain audiences for generations to come!