This is the average age that Americans are old enough to watch scary movies

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Research conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Tubi reveal scares people have had as children and as adults.(Photo by Sašo Tušar on Unsplash)

Americans are getting spooked at an early age ‒ the average person first remembers watching a horror movie at 10 years old.

A study of 2,000 people examined what scares people as children, and later as adults.

Results found 52 percent admitted that what frightened them in their youth still has an effect on them today.

It’s no surprise then that certain movie villains have a lasting impact on people. Top childhood villains were the Daleks (“Doctor Who”), Darth Vader (“Star Wars”) and Voldemort (“Harry Potter”).

Other creepy characters that rounded out the top five included the Wicked Witch of the West (“The Wizard of Oz”) and the Child Catcher (“Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”).

The survey, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Tubi, also revealed that 62 percent of people think it can be fun to be scared.

While watching a horror movie can be a good time, 47 percent admit that a scary movie has caused them to have a nightmare.

Chill-inducing flicks can take a long time to shake off, seeing as the average person feels jittery for three days after viewing a spooky movie.

Even then, there are certain films that are a right of passage for people to see while they’re young.

The most common horror movies people watch before the age of 18 include: “The Exorcist,” “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” “Halloween,” “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and “Psycho.”

“The Shining,” “Evil Dead,” “28 Days Later,” “The Conjuring” and “Alien” capped off the top 10.

Some movie villains still give adults the heebie-jeebies like Jigsaw (“Saw”), David Kessler (“An American Werewolf in Paris”), Norman Bates (‘Psycho”), John Ryder (“The Hitcher”) and Freddy Kreuger (“A Nightmare on Elm Street”).

“People enjoy getting scared, especially at Halloween time,” said a spokesperson for Tubi. “A classic horror movie can make for a spooky but fun night in.”

Still, many people think they would fare pretty well if dropped into a horror movie. Forty-six percent think they would survive as a character in a scary flick.

On the other hand, when respondents were asked how they think they’d like perish in scary movie, three in 10 think they’d suffocate.

Twenty-nine percent theorized they’d be stabbed, trip or fall on a fatal device, or crash in car, while a quarter of people think they would be decapitated.

“Classics like ‘Psycho’ and ‘The Nightmare on Elm Street’ have stood the test of time because of their indelible villains,” added the spokesperson for Tubi. Beyond them, cult horror classics like ‘Hellraiser’ and ‘Donnie Darko’ can definitely round out the perfect horror marathon on Tubi.”


  1. Jigsaw (Saw)
  2. David Kessler (An American Werewolf in Paris)
  3. Norman Bate (Psycho)
  4. John Ryder (The Hitcher)
  5. Freddy Kreuger (A Nightmare on Elm Street)
  6. Cujo (Cujo)
  7. Count Dracula (Dracula)
  8. Alien (Alien)
  9. Jason Voorhees (Friday the 13th)
  10. Leatherface (TheTexas Chainsaw Massacre)
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  1. The Daleks (Doctor Who)
  2. Darth Vader (Star Wars)
  3. Voldemort (Harry Potter)
  4. Wicked Witch of the West (The Wizard of Oz)
  5. Child catcher (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang)
  6. Queen/Witch (Snow White and the Seven Dwarves)
  7. Snow Queen (The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe)
  8. Abominable Snowman (Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer)
  9. Jaws (Jaws)
  10. The devil (Fantasia)
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  1. Suffocated 30%
  2. Stabbed 29%
  3. Trip/fall on a fatal contraption 29%
  4. Car crash 29%
  5. Decapitated 25%
  6. Just disappear 24%
  7. Eaten by a monster, animal, etc. 23%
  8. Drowning 23%
  9. Poisoning 22%
  10. Buried alive 22%
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  1. The Exorcist
  2. A Nightmare on Elm Street
  3. Halloween
  4. Texas Chainsaw Massacre
  5. Psycho
  6. The Shining
  7. The Evil Dead
  8. 28 Days Later
  9. The Conjuring
  10. Alien

>> Download the video and infographic for this research story <<

NOTE: All news copy and multimedia on this SWNS account is free to use as you see fit. Where research has been conducted, we ask that you credit the company which commissioned it.

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