Love a Good Jump Scare? These 20 Horror Movies Have the Most of Them

Bruce Campbell stars as Ash Williams in Sam Raimi's Evil Dead series.
Bruce Campbell stars as Ash Williams in Sam Raimi's Evil Dead series. / Lionsgate Home Entertainment

Not everyone has the same idea of what makes a great scary movie. Some prize special effects or psychological horror above all else, while others love a story so plausible it inspires a fear that something similar could happen to them.

And then there are those whose reviews are primarily based on the number of times a movie sends them tossing their bucket of popcorn in the air. If you’re one of them, you might think 2013’s The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia is one of the best horror films ever made. According to a study by, the Chad Michael Murray-starring follow-up to 2009’s The Haunting in Connecticut has an impressive 32 jump scares. That’s five more than any other movie on the list, curated using data from the website Where’s the Jump?

The Haunting in Connecticut came in third place with a still respectable 26 jump scares. It’s one of several series that charted more than once. Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead franchise has three on the list: 1987’s Evil Dead II in second place with 27 jump scares; its 1981 forerunner, The Evil Dead, in sixth place with 22; and the 2013 reboot, Evil Dead, rounding out the top 20 with 20 jump scares. Insidious (2010) outranked its 2013 sequel by just two jump scares, and 2017’s It tied with its second chapter at 23 scares.

But just because a movie makes viewers leap from their skin a couple dozen times doesn’t necessarily endear it to critics. You won’t, for example, find The Haunting in Connecticut 2 on Rotten Tomatoes’ list of best horror movies of all time.

1. The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia (2013) // 32

2. Evil Dead II (1987) // 27

2. The Messengers (2007) // 27

3. The Haunting in Connecticut (2009) // 26

4. Insidious (2010) // 24

5. Drag Me to Hell (2009) // 23

5. It: Chapter One (2017) // 23

5. Host (2020) // 23

5. The Grudge (2004) // 23

5. It: Chapter Two (2019) // 23

5. Annabelle: Creation (2017) // 23

5. Scream 3 (2000) // 23

6. The Conjuring 2 (2016) // 22

6. Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013) // 22

6. Halloween Kills (2021) // 22

6. The Evil Dead (1981) // 22

7. Alone (2007) // 21

7. The Nun (2018) // 21

8. The Curse of La Llorona (2019) // 20

8. Evil Dead (2013) // 20

Looking for a new movie to watch, or at least a movie that's new to you? Mental Floss's new book, The Curious Movie Buff: A Miscellany of Fantastic Films from the Past 50 Years, offers behind-the-scenes details and amazing facts about some of the greatest movies of the past half-century. And it's available now at your favorite place to buy books, or online right here.