Best Horror Movies of 1961


The Innocents

7.8/10 IMDB

A young governess for two children becomes convinced that the house and grounds are haunted by ghosts and that the children are being possessed.

Starring: Deborah Kerr, Peter Wyngarde, Megs Jenkins, Michael Redgrave, Martin Stephens, Pamela Franklin, Clytie Jessop, Isla Cameron, Eric Woodburn ..
Directed by: Jack Clayton
Release date: 1961-12-15

The Pit and the Pendulum

7.0/10 IMDB

Francis Barnard goes to Spain, when he hears his sister Elizabeth has died. Her husband Nicholas Medina, the son of the most brutal torturer of the Spanish Inquisition, tells him she has died of a blood disease, but Francis finds this hard to believe. After some investigating he finds out that it was extreme fear that was fatal to his sister and that she may have been buried alive!

Starring: Vincent Price, John Kerr, Luana Anders, Antony Carbone, Patrick Westwood, Lynette Bernay, Mary Menzies, Barbara Steele, Charles Victor, Larry Turner ..
Directed by: Roger Corman
Release date: 1961-08-12

The Curse of the Werewolf

6.5/10 IMDB

A child conceived after a demented beggar rapes a mute servant girl is raised by a wealthy but kindly bachelor gentleman and his woman servant who learn, years later, that he is a werewolf. His only chance for normalcy is to find a woman who will love him for himself, which will release him from the curse.

Starring: Oliver Reed, Clifford Evans, Catherine Feller, Yvonne Romain, Anthony Dawson, Josephine Llewellyn, Richard Wordsworth, Hira Talfrey, Justin Walters, John Gabriel ..
Directed by: Terence Fisher
Release date: 1961-05-01
Best Horror Movies of 1961 : The Shadow Play

The Shadow Play

8.2/10 IMDB

Adam Grant is trapped in a recurring nightmare, in which he is sentenced to death by execution. He tries to convince the people around him that they are imaginary and that they will cease to exist if the execution is carried out.

Starring: Dennis Weaver, Harry Townes, Wright King, William Edmonson, Anne Barton, Bernie Hamilton, Thomas Nello, Mack Williams, Gene Roth ..
Directed by: John Brahm
Release date: 1961-05-05

Taste of Fear

7.4/10 IMDB

A wheelchair-bound young girl returns to her father's estate after ten years, and although she's told he's away, she keeps seeing his dead body on the estate.

Starring: Susan Strasberg, Ronald Lewis, Ann Todd, Christopher Lee, John Serret, Leonard Sachs, Anne Blake, Fred Johnson, Bernard Browne, Madame Lobegue ..
Directed by: Seth Holt
Release date: 1961-06-05


6.8/10 IMDB

A woman named Emily checks into a hotel and offers the bellboy $2000 to temporarily marry her. We soon find out Emily is the caretaker of a wheelchair-bound mute named Helga, who was the childhood guardian of a pair of siblings: Miriam Webster and her half-brother, Warren, who is about to inherit the estate of their late father. Who is the mysterious Emily and what are her intentions?

Starring: Glenn Corbett, Patricia Breslin, Eugenie Leontovich, Alan Bunce, Richard Rust, James Westerfield, Gilbert Green, Joan Marshall, Hope Summers, William Castle ..
Directed by: William Castle
Release date: 1961-07-26
Best Horror Movies of 1961 : The Shadow of the Cat

The Shadow of the Cat

6.3/10 IMDB

Tabitha, once the placid, gentle and devoted pet, adopts all the characteristics of a ferocious, wild animal following the murder of her mistress. The three guilty people are all trapped by the cat's power and each will come to untimely deaths of horrific proportions without anyone being able to solve the mystery that surrounds their brutal death.

Starring: Barbara Shelley, Conrad Phillips, André Morell, Richard Warner, William Lucas, Freda Jackson, Andrew Crawford, Vanda Godsell, Catherine Lacey, Alan Wheatley ..
Directed by: John Gilling
Release date: 1961-05-01

Mr. Sardonicus

6.6/10 IMDB

A search for a winning lottery ticket in his dead father's grave causes Sardonicus' face to freeze in a horrible grimace, until he forces a doctor to treat his affliction--with even more grotesque results! The audience gets an opportunity to vote--via the "Punishment Poll"--for the penalty Sardonicus must pay for his deeds...

Starring: Oskar Homolka, Ronald Lewis, Audrey Dalton, Guy Rolfe, Vladimir Sokoloff, Erika Peters, Lorna Hanson, Edith Atwater, Annalena Lund, Tina Woodward ..
Directed by: William Castle
Release date: 1961-10-08
Best Horror Movies of 1961 : House of Mystery

House of Mystery

6.5/10 IMDB

A young couple go to check out a house they're thinking of buying. A somewhat mysterious woman tells the couple several stories of the fates that befell the house's previous owners.

Starring: Peter Dyneley, Jane Hylton, Nanette Newman, Maurice Kaufmann, Ken McGregor ..
Directed by: Vernon Sewell
Release date: 1961-01-01


5.5/10 IMDB

Greedy sailors capture a giant lizard off the coast of Ireland and sell it to a London circus. Then its mother shows up.

Starring: Bill Travers, William Sylvester, Vincent Winter, Christopher Rhodes, Joseph O'Conor, Bruce Seton, Martin Benson, Maurice Kaufmann, Basil Dignam, Barry Keegan ..
Directed by: Eugène Lourié
Release date: 1961-02-02
Best Horror Movies of 1961 : What a Carve Up!

What a Carve Up!

6.3/10 IMDB

Ernie's Uncle Gabriel has just died but to claim his inheritance he must spend the night in the ancestral family home with the rest of his rather eccentric relatives. Ernie's imagination has been affected by his constant immersion in cheap horror novels, but his wildest fears turn out to be justified when the guests begin to drop dead.

Starring: Sid James, Kenneth Connor, Donald Pleasence, Shirley Eaton, Dennis Price, Michael Gough, Valerie Taylor, Esma Cannon, George Woodbridge, Michael Gwynn ..
Directed by: Pat Jackson
Release date: 1961-09-15
Best Horror Movies of 1961 : Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?

Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?

8.7/10 IMDB

Following a frantic phone call about a crashed spaceship, two policeman try and determine who among the passengers of a bus at a snowed-in roadside diner is from another world.

Starring: Rod Serling, John Hoyt, Jean Willes, Jack Elam, Barney Phillips, John Archer, William Kendis, Morgan Jones, Gertrude Flynn, Bill Erwin ..
Directed by: Montgomery Pittman
Release date: 1961-05-26
Best Horror Movies of 1961 : The Shelter

The Shelter

8.6/10 IMDB

Starring: Larry Gates, Jack Albertson, Sandy Kenyon, Peggy Stewart, Michael Burns, Joseph Bernard ..
Directed by: Lamont Johnson
Release date: 1961-09-29
Best Horror Movies of 1961 : The Silence

The Silence

8.4/10 IMDB

Starring: Franchot Tone, Liam Sullivan, Cyril Delevanti, Everett Glass, Felix Locher ..
Directed by: Boris Sagal
Release date: 1961-04-28
Best Horror Movies of 1961 : Nightmare at Elm Manor

Nightmare at Elm Manor

5.9/10 IMDB

A crazed butler harasses a semi-clad woman in a hotel.

Starring: June Palmer, Stuart Samuels ..
Directed by: George Harrison Marks
Release date: 1961-01-01

The Mask

5.9/10 IMDB

A young archaeologist believes he is cursed by a mask that causes him to have weird nightmares and possibly to murder. Before committing suicide, he mails the mask to his psychiatrist, Dr. Barnes, who is soon plunged into the nightmare world of the mask.

Starring: Paul Stevens, Claudette Nevins, Anne Collings, Bill Walker, Martin Lavut, Leo Leyden, Norman Ettlinger, W.B. Brydon, Jim Moran, Eleanor Beecroft ..
Directed by: Julian Roffman
Release date: 1961-10-27
Best Horror Movies of 1961 : Shadow Play

Shadow Play

8.2/10 IMDB

Starring: Dennis Weaver, Harry Townes, Wright King, Bernie Hamilton, William Edmonson, Anne Barton ..
Directed by: John Brahm
Release date: 1961-05-05
Best Horror Movies of 1961 : Switchin' Kitten

Switchin' Kitten

5.1/10 IMDB

Tom becomes fearless when he feels like going into the eerie castle.

Directed by: Gene Deitch
Release date: 1961-09-07
Best Horror Movies of 1961 : Long Distance Call

Long Distance Call

7.5/10 IMDB

A toy telephone becomes the link between a young boy and his dead grandmother.

Starring: Philip Abbott, Lili Darvas, Patricia Smith, Bill Mumy, Jenny Maxwell, Reid Hammond, Henry Hunter, Lew Brown, Arch Johnson, Robert McCord ..
Directed by: James Sheldon
Release date: 1961-03-31

The Devil's Hand

4.6/10 IMDB

A man is haunted by visions of a beautiful woman. When he finally meets her, he winds up involved in a satanic cult.

Starring: Linda Christian, Neil Hamilton, Jeanne Carmen, Robert Alda, Ariadna Welter, Gene Craft, Julie Scott, Diana Spears, Gertrude Astor, Bruno VeSota ..
Directed by: William J. Hole Jr.
Release date: 1961-09-13
Best Horror Movies of 1961 : Long Distance Call

Long Distance Call

7.5/10 IMDB

Starring: Philip Abbott, Lili Darvas, Patricia Smith, Bill Mumy, Jenny Maxwell ..
Directed by: James Sheldon
Release date: 1961-03-31


4.5/10 IMDB

Dr.Decker comes back from Africa after a year, presumed dead. During that year, he came across a way of growing plants and animals to an enormous size. He brings back a baby chimpanzee to test out his theory. As he has many enemies at home, he decides to use his chimp, 'Konga' to 'get rid of them'. Then Konga grows to gigantic proportions and wreaks havoc all over the city of London!!

Starring: Michael Gough, Margo Johns, Jess Conrad, Claire Gordon, Rupert Osborne, Austin Trevor, Jack Watson, George Pastell, Vanda Godsell, Stanley Morgan ..
Directed by: John Lemont
Release date: 1961-01-01

Doctor Blood's Coffin

4.9/10 IMDB

After being thrown out of medical school for ethical violations, Dr. Peter Blood returns home to a small Cornish village, where he sets up a research laboratory in a secluded cave. There, he attempts to revive the dead, using kidnapped humans -- who he views as unworthy of life -- for their body parts, specifically, their hearts.

Starring: Kieron Moore, Hazel Court, Ian Hunter, Kenneth J. Warren, Gerald Lawson, Fred Johnson, Paul Hardtmuth, Paul Stockman, Andy Alston, Ruth Lee ..
Directed by: Sidney J. Furie
Release date: 1961-01-01

Devil's Partner

5.1/10 IMDB

An old man sells his soul to the devil, and turns into a young man. He then uses witchcraft and black magic to win a woman from his rival.

Starring: Edgar Buchanan, Jean Allison, Richard Crane, Spencer Carlisle, Byron Foulger, Claire Carleton, Harry Fleer, Joe Hooker, Ed Nelson, Brian O'Hara ..
Directed by: Charles R. Rondeau
Release date: 1961-09-19


3.6/10 IMDB

Two couples are on a boating trip when they come across an uncharted island. The four investigate and find themselves in the clutches of Dr. Albert Balleau, whose hobby is hunting both animals and humans… The group tries to escape only to be thwarted by Dr. Balleau and his henchmen.

Starring: Wilton Graff, June Kenney, Walter Brooke, Robert Reed, Eugene Persson, Joan Lora, Troy Patterson, Lilyan Chauvin, Bobby Hall, Bill Coontz ..
Directed by: Ralph Brooke
Release date: 1961-09-13
Best Horror Movies of 1961 : The Devil's Messenger

The Devil's Messenger

4.6/10 IMDB

In this feature version of the Swedish TV series "13 Demon Street," a 50,000-year-old woman is found frozen in an ice field, and a man's death is foretold in dreams.

Starring: Lon Chaney Jr., Karen Kadler, Michael Hinn, Ralph Brown, John Crawford, Frank Taylor, Gunnel Broström, Bert Johnson, Chalmers Goodlin, Sara Harts ..
Directed by: Herbert L. Strock, Curt Siodmak
Release date: 1961-01-01

The Snake Woman

4.9/10 IMDB

A doctor in 1890 England, in order to cure his wife's "sick mind," injects her with snake venom. She later gives birth to a daughter whom the villagers call "The Devil's Baby" and in a fit of fear they end up burning the family's house down. Years later a Scotland Yard detective is sent to the village to investigate a rash of deaths that are caused by snakebite.

Starring: John McCarthy, Susan Travers, Geoffrey Denton, Elsie Wagstaff, Arnold Marlé, John Cazabon, Frances Bennett, Jack Cunningham, Hugh Moxey, Michael Logan ..
Directed by: Sidney J. Furie
Release date: 1961-04-26

Creature from the Haunted Sea

3.4/10 IMDB

A crook decides to bump off members of his inept crew and blame their deaths on a legendary sea creature. What he doesn't know is that the creature is real.

Starring: Antony Carbone, Betsy Jones-Moreland, Robert Towne, Beach Dickerson, Robert Bean, Esther Sandoval, Sonia Noemí González, Edmundo Rivera Álvarez, Blanquita Romero ..
Directed by: Roger Corman
Release date: 1961-06-01

Anatomy of a Psycho

4.1/10 IMDB

The crazed brother of a condemned killer sent to the gas chamber swears vengeance on those he holds responsible for his brother's execution.

Starring: Ronnie Burns, Pamela Lincoln, Darrell Howe, Judy Howard, Michael Granger, Frank Killmond, Russ Bender, Don Devlin, William Salzwedel, Robert Stabler ..
Directed by: Boris Petroff
Release date: 1961-06-14
Best Horror Movies of 1961 : Witchcraft


6.4/10 IMDB

Madame Tirelou is a witch who will not allow her daughter Marie to marry her true love Louis. The witch puts a curse on Louis should he ever set eyes on Marie again. Louis enlists the help of his old friend Fred to break the witch's spell so the young lovers may finally marry. However, Madame Tirelou proves more powerful than non-believer Fred bargained for.

Starring: Blanche Yurka, John Baragrey, Darren McGavin, Robert Middleton, Bruno Wick, Franchot Tone, Annemarie Roussel ..
Directed by: Harold Young
Release date: 1961-01-01

The Beast of Yucca Flats

1.9/10 IMDB

A refugee Soviet scientist arrives at a desert airport carrying secret documents, but is attacked by a pair of KGB assassins and escapes into the desert, where he comes in range of an American nuclear test and is transformed into a mindless killing beast.

Starring: Tor Johnson, Douglas Mellor, Barbara Francis, Bing Stafford, Larry Aten, Linda Bielema, Ronald Francis, Alan Francis, Anthony Cardoza, Bob Labansat ..
Directed by: Coleman Francis
Release date: 1961-06-02

The Picture of Dorian Gray

5.3/10 IMDB

Despite an increasingly sinful life, Dorian Gray keeps on looking young and handsome and innocent - but the portrait of him hidden in his attic keeps on changing.

Starring: John Fraser, George C. Scott, Louis Hayward, Susan Oliver ..
Release date: 1961-12-06

The Dead One

3.3/10 IMDB

A voodoo priestess sends out zombies to bring back live victims for her sacrificial rituals.

Starring: John McKay, Linda Ormond, Monica Davis, Clyde Kelly, Darlene Myrick, Lacey Kelly, Paula Morris, Robert Henderson, Wilson Scott, George Trussell ..
Directed by: Barry Mahon
Release date: 1961-01-01
Best Horror Movies of 1961 : Honeymoon of Terror

Honeymoon of Terror

5.2/10 IMDB

A couple honeymoons on a deserted isle called Thunder Island. When the husband leaves the island to go for supplies, the wife finds that the island isn't as deserted as they thought it was.

Starring: Doug Leith, Dwan Marlow, Peter Perry Jr., Anton von Stralen ..
Directed by: Peter Perry Jr.
Release date: 1961-01-13
Best Horror Movies of 1961 : The Invaders

The Invaders

0.0/10 IMDB

Starring: Agnes Moorehead, Douglas Heyes ..
Directed by: Douglas Heyes
Release date: 1961-01-27
Best Horror Movies of 1961 : Twenty Two

Twenty Two

0.0/10 IMDB

Starring: Barbara Nichols, Jonathan Harris, Fredd Wayne, Arlene Martel, Mary Adams ..
Directed by: Jack Smight
Release date: 1961-02-10
Best Horror Movies of 1961 : It's a Good Life

It's a Good Life

0.0/10 IMDB

On an isolated family farm, a young boy with vast mental powers, but lacking emotional development, holds his terrified family in thrall to his every juvenile wish.

Starring: John Larch, Cloris Leachman, Don Keefer, Bill Mumy, Alice Frost, Max Showalter, Jeanne Bates, Lenore Kingston, Tom Hatcher, Rod Serling ..
Directed by: James Sheldon
Release date: 1961-11-03

Also check Best horror movies of 1962.

Check out our top containing the Best Horror Movies of 1961 - This top was obtained with our unique algorithm ordered by our unique ranking system.