Here is a list, in no particular order, of movies that I find truly scary, gave me nightmares and possibly some deep-seated phobias and trauma. Wait for a stormy night to watch these, or at least turn off all the lights.
"The Innocents" starring Deborah Kerr, based on Henry James' 19th century novel, "The Turn of the Screw". Stark, eerie, suspenseful; is the governess going mad, or are there really ghosts in the isolated manor house?
"The Birds" and "Psycho". These two Hitchcock movies are probably on everyone's list. When you see a large flock of crows, do you have a slight moment of fear? And how about taking a shower right after you saw "Psycho"?
"The Ring" and "The Grudge". The spooky child in "The Ring" was horrifying. I found "The Grudge" even scarier.
"Poltergeist" This story of a little girl abducted by dark spirits was very frightening to me when I saw it at the theatre.
Three movies that I watched as a child had strong impacts on me. Very scary. These are the original flicks, not the remakes. Remember I was young and very impressionable.
"Invaders from Mars", "War of the Worlds" and "The Thing". All three of these movies were shown on television on a Saturday afternoon, oh so long ago. I cannot describe how frightening these were for me.
So, that is my list. There are quite a few more great scary movies that I have enjoyed and been freaked out by. I would love to know some of your scariest flicks. What do you watch when you are in the mood to scared out of your mind?