Top 5 Historical Horror Films


Halloween is upon us! And while you could watch any number of spooky-ooky faves, we know you still want historical costumes at your fright fest (or, as I like to call it Amateur Night). So fire up the telly or your chosen streaming device with these five frock flicks that feature both fabulous costumes and spine-chilling thrills.


Crimson Peak (2015)

Crimson Peak (2015)

OBVIOUSLY the most gorgeous horror film recently created. Check out our podcast for an in-depth review, and for the High Holy Days of Goth, let’s drool over these fantastic pictures!

Crimson Peak (2015) Crimson Peak (2015)


House of Usher (1960)

House of Usher (1960)

I limited myself to just one Vincent Price classic for this top five, and I do loves me some Edgar Allen Poe. All of the Roger Corman directed Poe series (The Raven, Pit and the Pendulum) have a decent historical vibe, despite some cheesy ’60s costumes.

House of Usher (1960) House of Usher (1960)


Shadow of the Vampire (2000)

Shadow of the Vampire (2000)

An odd, smart, macabre retelling of the making of the very first vampire movie, Nosferatu, in 1922. The story suggest that the actor was a real vampire, and chaos ensues.

Shadow of the Vampire (2000) Shadow of the Vampire (2000)


Brotherhood of the Wolf (2001)

Brotherhood of the Wolf (2001)

A beautiful blend of historical story with spooky, creepy action. Love, love, love the 18th-century costumes here!

Brotherhood of the Wolf (2001) Brotherhood of the Wolf (2001)


Young Frankenstein (1974)

Young Frankenstein (1974)

OK, I couldn’t resist including a comedy, because Halloween is as much about being silly as it is scary! Also, this Mel Brooks / Gene Wilder production is a wonderful homage to the Universal horror flicks of the 1930s, which gives this an historical costume style.

1974-youngfrank3 Young Frankenstein (1974)



What are your favorite historical costume horror movies?


About the author

Trystan L. Bass

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A self-described ElderGoth, Trystan has been haunting the internet since the early 1990s. Always passionate about costume, from everyday office wear to outrageous twisted historical creations, she has maintained some of the earliest online costuming-focused resources on the web. Her costuming adventures are chronicled on her website, TrystanCraft. She also ran a popular fashion blog, This Is CorpGoth, dedicated to her “office drag.”

11 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    Interview with the Vampire, while not really scary, is on the top of my list.

  2. toranut97

    Maybe not so historical, but my favorite scary film is The Haunting (1963) with Claire Bloom in all those marvelous Mary Quant outfits. Amazing.

  3. Al

    I recently saw Young Frankenstein in the theater, and although I have seen it at home a million times over the past thirty years I spotted SO MANY gags that I had never seen before! Love that freakin’ movie.

  4. Julia

    These would all be on my list too! Dear god Crimson Peak was beautiful!