10 Creepy Kids That Stole The Show In Horror Movies

This article contains mentions of graphic violence.

Orphan: First Kill has recently been released on Paramount+, giving a backstory to Esther, one of the creepiest kids in horror films. In the original film, the girl took the audience on a ride of violence, shock, and murder.

While there are many terrifying movies that focus on creepy children in horror movies, they aren't the only chilling children to send chills up a viewer's spine. There are several terrifying movies that feature creepy children. While these children aren't the only focal point in these films, they're certainly chilling enough to steal the show and leave a lasting impression.


Gage Creed - Pet Sematary (1989)

Undead Gage Creed holding a scalpel in Pet Semetary. 

While the 2019 remake of Pet Sematary doesn't stay true to Stephen King's source material, it's considered far scarier than the original film. Though some fans think the undead Gage was more humorous than scary, other fans find the sadistic child seriously disturbing.

While the pet cemetery is the focal point in this film, Gage's role steals the show when he manages to kill off the neighbor and his mother. When the child first appears after his death, he's seen attacking the neighbor Jud and slicing his throat. What is most disturbing about this performance is the young actor's ability to pull off such a sadistic perception while also still appearing to be having fun, like a child playing a game.

Dalton - Insidious (2010)

Demon pointing at Dalton in his bed in Insidious. 

In the first Insidious film, Dalton is the focal point of the plot and yet barely in the movie. Towards the beginning, he falls into a coma, leading his parents to figure out what happened to him and uncovering another paranormal world.

Insidious is one of the films too scary to finish, according to many fans, and part of that has to do with Dalton's character. While the boy is in a coma for most of the movie, the happenings focus around him. After learning his soul wasn't in his body, it makes the eerie quality of the dark entities around the boy even more frightening.

Kyra - The Sixth Sense (1999)

Kyra under a bed in The Sixth Sense. 

The premise behind the movie The Sixth Sense is chilling enough, especially when it's a child having these experiences. However, the startling appearance of Kyra's sickly-looking ghost is another terror altogether.

Viewers feel sad for Kyra when they learn that she was intentionally made sick by her mother, which inevitably led to her death. However, this doesn't make her presence any less disturbing. When Cole first sees Kyra peering back from under a hospital bed, looking sickly and wide-eyed, the sight is one of the creepiest jump scares.

Karen Cooper - Night Of The Living Dead (1968)

Karen Cooper undead in Night of the Living Dead. 

Night Of The Living Dead is an influential zombie movie, with many movies coming after it reflecting its themes and scare tactics. There are several characters that get stuck in the house in this film. While Karen barely has any lines or scenes, she grabs one of the creepiest scenes in the film.

A child dying is always a difficult thing to watch. However, what is more disturbing is an undead child coming back and killing both of her parents. Watching little Karen eat her father and then brutally stab her mother with a gardening tool is one of the darkest moments throughout this film.

Mercy And Jonas - The Witch (2015)

Mercy and Jonas laughing in The Witch. 

The Witch focuses on the young twin's older sister, Thomasin, who is accused of witchcraft by her family after her infant brother goes missing on her watch. While the movie doesn't focus on the two younger siblings, their actions are particularly disturbing.

When things begin to turn dark at their isolated farm, Mercy and Jonas begin acting strangely upbeat, singing songs they claim to be singing along with the family goat, Black Philip. To make this encounter more disturbing, the children refuse to answer when Thomasin asks if they have actually spoken with the goat. The strange nature of the twins, especially during the threat of a mysterious witch, is an ominous addition to the film.

Adrian - Rosemary's Baby (1968)

In this cult classic, a pregnant woman and her struggling actor husband move to New York City. After spending time with her odd neighbors, Rosemary begins acting strange up until her child's birth when the shocking truth is revealed.

The most chilling aspect of Adrian's character is that he's never actually shown. However, the horrified look on Rosemary's face sends chills down the viewer's spine, leaving them on the edge of their seat as they wait for the reveal that never comes. After she begins demanding what is wrong with his eyes and the group declares he's Satan's baby, the ominous quality is even more terrifying.

Carol Anne - Poltergeist (1982)

Carole Anne Freeling staring at the TV screen in Poltergeist

This paranormal classic follows the lives of a family inside their house as they fight against the dark forces of the poltergeists that haunts their home. While the family seems entertained by the spirits at first, it quickly takes a terrifying term when they capture the young daughter, Carol Anne.

Carol Anne isn't creepy in her own right, but the part manages to be the center of some chilling scenes. When the poltergeist first contacts her through the TV, she says one of the most ominous lines: "They're here!" The cheerful way she says this about some paranormal presence is disturbing enough to leave fans waiting for her to reveal more about the newly arrived demons.

Lily - Mama (2013)

Lily coloring on the wall in Mama.

After their parents die, two young girls, Victoria and Lily, vanish into the woods. When their uncle finds them in a rundown cabin and takes them in five years later, he has no idea they were raised by a paranormal presence.

It's disturbing enough that the girls seem to have an odd connection with something that goes bump in the night. When their "Mama" finally tries to reclaim the children, Lily, having been just a baby when they went missing, is fully attached to the entity. This film is a hidden gem, representing a feral young girl that represents the nature of the dark force she was raised by.

Sam - The Babadook (2014)

Noah Wiseman screaming in The Babadook

In this film, widower, Amelia, is struggling to raise her son, Sam. on her own. The boy is an erratic child that begins to grow frantic after he convinces himself there is a paranormal entity after him.

The Babadook is one of the scariest villains in paranormal films, but Sam is a truly creepy aspect of this film. While it's sad to seem him grow so paranoid and his mom grow frustrated with him, his behavior is nothing short of terrifying. Long before the entity reveals itself in the film, the boy begins freaking out at random moments and even begins building defense weapons, portraying a truly disturbed child.

Dennis - Cabin Fever (2002)

Dennis about to bite Paul's hand in the movie Cabin Fever.

Both the original and the remake of this horror film briefly feature this disturbing child. In this film, a group of college students catches a highly contagious, deadly disease while staying at a remote cabin. Along the way to the cabin, they meet silent and stoic Dennis, who bites one of the young men.

The disease is enough of a villain in the film, but Dennis' tendency to randomly bite people leads to a catalyst of events. When one of the boys goes back to the shop to get help when they're ill, Dennis bites him, leading to a manhunt forming in revenge. This creepy kid is only shown a couple of times but manages to alter the course of the whole plot.