Disturbing Images From The Dark Side Of The Entertainment Industry

By Sophia Maddox | February 7, 2024

Real-life horror comes to the small screen in "Helter Skelter" (1976)

We've got something for every ghoul and boy in this assortment of 60 of the most bone-chilling images from pop culture, sure to whip you into a spooky frenzy -- click on, if you dare. Proceed with caution -- you don't want to be the first dude who goes out to investigate the ruckus in the barn, but you don't want to be the Final Girl either, if you know what we mean. Ready, set -- boo.

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Lorimar Television

The frightening saga of the Manson Family cult, which resulted in the murders of nine people in an attempt to incite a race war, came into American living rooms in 1976 as Helter Skelter. The two-part, three-hour TV movie was based on Vincent Bugliosi's book of the same name and starred Steve Railsback as Manson. The film is considered one of the best true-crime dramas ever made, in large part due to Railsback's disturbing portrayal, culminating in a tour-de-force four-minute courtroom monologue. During preparation for the film, Railsback has the chance to meet Manson, but declined, over concern that Manson might get into his head. Instead, Railsback watched and re-watched documentary footage of him: "I would watch those eyes, how he moved, how he walked. I could tell he wanted people to think he was a bad dude — and he was."

Christopher Lee and comely co-stars of "Dracula A.D. 1972" (1972)

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Today we know the late Christopher Lee as Saruman from the Lord of the Rings saga and Count Dooku from Star Wars -- but in the '60s and '70s he was one of the iconic actors of the horror genre, portraying Dracula in feature films 10 times. Seven of those Dracula movies were made for Hammer Film Productions, the British production company that specialized in stylish, gothic films about classic horror characters played by creepy actors (Peter Cushing and Oliver Reed were also Hammer stars). Hammer films were also famous for their alluring female cast members, who were sort of horror's equivalent of Bond Girls. Here, Christopher Lee is enduring another day at the salt mine with (clockwise from top left) Stephanie Beacham, Marsha Hunt, Janet Key, and Caroline Munro. Munro actually was a Bond Girl in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Hunt appeared in Never Say Never Again (1983), but is more famous for being the subject of the Rolling Stones' "Brown Sugar."