The Grady Girls are some of the most memorable characters from The Shining and are also the most frequently referenced in pop culture. These siblings were murdered at The Overlook Hotel by their father, and their ghosts still haunt the hotel when they ask young Danny Lloyd to play with them.
But despite appearing as ghosts and asking creepy, synchronized questions, the Grady Girls are far from the scariest kids in horror. From possessed teens to children risen from the dead to some with evil in their blood, some kids in horror films will never be forgotten.
Regan MacNeil — ‘The Exorcist’ (1973)
The Exorcist tells the terrifying tale of a young girl who becomes possessed by a demon and is forced to undergo an exorcism. Regan MacNeil’s (Linda Blair) demonic actions easily make her one of the scariest kids in horror history.
Regan is remembered for her decaying face and deep, sinister voice when she partook in things like the inappropriate use of a crucifix, the murder of a family friend, and simultaneously most memorably and horrifyingly, the way her head spun around while the priest performed the exorcism.
Gage Creed — ‘Pet Sematary’ (1989)
Pet Sematary may sound like it centers around the pets, but the film follows a family and their grief over the death of their young son, Gage (Miko Hughes). After learning of the way the local cemetery brought a deceased cat back to life, Gage’s father (Dale Midkiff) decides her bury his son in the same place in hopes of a miracle.
However, when Gage returns from the dead, he’s no longer the sweet little boy he once was. He growls and grimaces zombie-like, murdering his mother and brandishing a knife at his father before he makes the tough decision to kill the monster the cemetery turned his son into.
Jamie Lloyd — ‘Halloween 4: The Return Of Michael Myers’ (1988)
Jamie Lloyd (Danielle Harris) is said to be the orphaned daughter of Laurie Strode when Michael Myers came back home in Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers. In that film’s canon, Michael was Jamie’s uncle, back to kill his niece and anyone who stood in his way.
While Jamie remains the victim for the majority of the film—running from her boogeyman uncle on Halloween night – she takes a shocking turn at the very end of the film when she dons her clown mask and stabs her mother to death, similarly to the way Michael did at her age.
Georgie Denbrough — ‘It’ (2017)
Georgie’s (Jackson Robert Scott) life came to a tragic end when he was Pennywise’s first victim in It. After a creepy confrontation with the killer clown, Georgie reaches for his paper boat just for Pennywise to chomp off his arm before pulling the child down the drain, never to be seen again.
Except Georgie was seen again—albeit when Pennywise made an illusion of him to torment Bill. The little boy wasn’t the same happy-go-lucky kid he once was. Georgie appeared scared at first, luring Bill in before repeating the phrase, “You’ll float too,” as his voice turned beastly and his face turned into a corpse.
Samara — ‘The Ring’ (2002)
The Ring remains one of the creepiest films for not only the way it included ominous children’s drawings, a murderous VHS full of creepy footage, and a phone call more alarming than Scream but for the way its star slasher was a dirty, decrepit teenage girl.
After giving them seven days to live, Samara (Daveigh Chase) would hide behind her long, black hair when she climbed out of the well and through the television screen of anyone who watched her cursed VHS tape before killing them.
Cole Sear — ‘The Sixth Sense’ (1999)
Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment) may not have been possessed or back from the dead, but this young boy and his paranormal powers certainly had some creepy moments in the supernatural horror The Sixth Sense.
The thought of Cole communicating with spirits was eerie enough, but no scene in the entire film is as scary as when Cole, lying in bed with the blanket pulled up to his face, reveals to his psychiatrist in a whisper, “I see dead people.”
Michael Myers — ‘Halloween’ (1978)
Michael Myers may spend the majority of 1978’s Halloween as a 21-year-old slasher villain (Nick Castle) in a white mask and mechanic’s costume, but at the start of the film, he appears as a 6-year-old (Will Sandin) on Halloween night with some unexpected murderous intentions.
Michael is quite the terrifying six-year-old when he dons a clown costume and mask and commits his first murder when he stabs his sister to death, a dazed look in his eyes when he leaves the house, bloody knife in hand as his parents approach.
Carol Anne — ‘Poltergeist’ (1982)
The thing about Poltergeist is while the paranormal activity in the Freeling house and Robbie’s creepy clown doll are supposed to be the scariest characters of the film, it’s little Carol Anne (JoBeth Williams) who steals the show.
While she may be one of the victims of the film, Carol Anne starred in one of the film’s most memorable and most chilling scenes when the television turns to white noise, and the little girl makes her way up to it, reaching for the ghosts that leave the screen before she turns back to her family and announces, “They’re here.”
Isaac — ‘Children of the Corn’ (1984)
Children of the Corn is a Stephen King classic about a couple who wind up trapped in a small town overtaken by a creepy cult of children who believe adults must be killed, and it’s all run by their leader, Isaac Chroner (John Franklin).
While this movie is chock-full of scary kids, it’s Isaac who gathers these children into his cult among the cornfields and orders his following to kill the new couple in town before eventually becoming possessed by the evil entity they all worship.
Danny Lloyd — ‘The Shining’
Granted, the Grady Girls did want to play with this kid, but Danny Torrance (Danny Lloyd) remains one of the creepiest children in horror history for the role he played in the paranormal story of his family’s time spent at The Overlook Hotel in The Shining.
Danny starts out like any other child who often communicates through an imaginary friend. But it’s later revealed Danny has the power to see visions of both the past and future, and becomes possessed by his imaginary friend to write the ominous word “redrum” on his parents’ bedroom door and stand over his sleeping mother with a knife.
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