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HORROR

7 Public Domain Horror Movies That Are Streaming Free on YouTube

Michele Debczak
Max Schreck in ’Nosferatu’ (1922).
Max Schreck in ’Nosferatu’ (1922). / United Archives/GettyImages
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There’s no shortage of scary movies on platforms like Netflix and Hulu, but you don’t need to sign up for a streaming service to satisfy your horror craving. Some of the greatest horror films of all time are available for free on YouTube. Here are the best public domain horror movies to check out this spooky season.

1. Nosferatu (1922)

Dracula wasn’t in the public domain in Germany when F. W. Murnau made Nosferatu, which got him into legal trouble with Bram Stoker’s estate. Today both Dracula and this unauthorized silent movie adaptation are freely available to the public.

2. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923)

The Hunchback of Notre Dame, which stars the legendary Lon Chaney, was the movie that kicked off Universal’s monster era. The gruesome makeup in this silent movie still holds up.

3. House on Haunted Hill (1959)

No good horror movie marathon is complete without a Vincent Price appearance. This movie—about a group of people challenged to spend the night in a haunted house for $10,000—checks off that box.

4. The Little Shop of Horrors (1960)

If you’re a fan of the Howard Ashman musical, check out the cheesy B-movie that inspired it. The original Little Shop of Horrors is perhaps best known for Jack Nicholson’s early performance as a masochistic dental patient, but the rest of the film is worth checking out for connoisseurs of sci-fi schlock.

5. Carnival of Souls (1962)

Made on a shoestring budget, this movie about a woman haunted by spirits following a car accident is a must-see for fans of indie horror. It’s the only film from director Herk Harvey—unless you count his creepy Halloween PSAs.

6. Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Night of the Living Dead spawned a wave of zombie media that’s been going strong for more than 50 years. George A. Romero’s film doesn’t boast the special effects of some modern zombie movies, but it remains a high watermark of the genre.

7. Silent Night, Bloody Night (1972)

One of the newer films on this list, Silent Night, Bloody Night is an early example of holiday horror. Watch it if you loved Black Christmas (1974), which was released just two years later.

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.

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