21 Scariest Television Characters of All-Time

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In a word: YIKES!

Like everybody else, we're absolutely fascinated with being terrified. Yet we can agree that we're all scared by something a little bit different, and that's why this list runs the gamut, from ordinary housewives to psycho killers to the supernatural to moving statues.

There's a little bit of everything, because no matter what, they all have one thing in common: they scare, or they have scared, the living daylights out of us.

Scroll through the gallery and see if you agree with our selection of most frightening television characters, but be warned: you may want to do so with the lights on...

1. The Peacocks - The X-Files

A mutated inbred family of nightmares – so gruesome it was Fox's first ever "viewer discretion advised" episode of the X-Files. If you could look under your bed after that episode, you're my hero. I still can't re-watch it 20 years later.

2. The Weeping Angels - Doctor Who

The Weeping Angels on Doctor Who look very innocent, as long as you're looking at them. Look away and they come to life, springing ever closer to you and your demise like a ninja cat.

3. Ramsay Bolton - Game of Thrones

Ramsay Bolton used his powers of persuasion to turn the rotten Theon Greyjoy into Reek -- a mindless, cowering puppet. Using castration and holding the appendage up before Greyjoy's eyes helped a bit. It earned him recognition from his father and he is now Ramsay Bolton. What a sweet tale! He's far more frightening than all of the mythical creatures because he is utterly evil.

4. Gemma Teller - Sons of Anarchy

She is just a bonafide psycho. And murderer. And horrible mother. Even the big bad tough bikers on SOA are afraid of her!

5. Dandy Mott - American Horror Story

The scariest person on American Horror Story Freak Show isn't a freak in the traditional sense. Spoiled rich boy Dandy Mott lives in a sustained childhood where his every wish is granted. He even gets a demented clown (Twisty) as a plaything, assuming his identy, and murderous ways, when Twisty is killed.

6. Eugene Tooms - The X-Files

With talk of a third X-Files movie on the horizon, it's easy to recall the scary players who appeared. Eugene Tooms ate people every 30 years and then went back into hibernation. He could maniuplate his body to slip through the tiniest of spaces so you never knew where to find him. He was played by Doug Hutchison who went on to marry teenaged Courtney Stodden years later. Scary indeed!

7. Psycho Derek - One Tree Hill

The guy had a weird crush on Peyton and yet pretended to be her brother. He had a crazy stalker wall with pictures of Peyton, fell out of a two story window – and escaped! Then he held a creepy basement prom with Peyton. He defined creepy, and psycho for that matter.

8. A - Pretty Little Liars

A terrorized the liars for years without giving away her identity. Let's be honest, even after the big reveal, it's hard to put any one face to the identity since so many people masqueraded as A along the way. Terrorism was A's specialty.

9. Gareth - The Walking Dead

This guy wore a friendly face while welcoming his dinner to Terminus, but he had no redeeming qualities. Unless you call chopping off Bob's foot, roasting and eating it in front of him redeeming. He didn't even offer the hungy victim a bite!

10. Talky Tina - The Twilight Zone

Playing with dolls was never scarier than when The Twilight Zone introduced Talky Tina. With Chatty Cathy being a popular dolls on the real market, they took the idea of a little girl’s chatty doll, and made it deadly, and oh-so creepy. Tina was really sweet…if you were nice. If you were mean to her she unleashed her fury, and "The Living Doll" would not hesitate to murder you. Bonus scary? The voice actress who voiced Talky Tina was also the voice of the original Chatty Cathy doll.

11. The Gentlemen - Buffy the Vampire Slayer

A girl in Buffy's dream said it well enough. "Can't even shout. Can't even cry. The Gentlemen are coming by. Looking in windows, knocking on doors... They need to take seven and they might take yours... Can't call to mom. Can't say a word. You're gonna die screaming but you won't be heard."

12. Cruella de Vil - Once Upon a Time

Most of the villains on this show have a heart. For some it might be buried deep. Others may have had it ripped out but there’s usually one there. Some back story that makes the villain's evil ways make sense, except when it comes to Cruella. She may be the one character who was simply born bad. As a girl she poisoned her own father, then murdered her step-fathers and eventually trained dogs to brutally maul her own mother to death. When magic blocked her powers, the only thing she wished to have back was the ability to kill again. If that’s not scary, I don’t know what is.

13. Arthur Mitchell (The Trinity Killer) - Dexter

The serial killer so frightening he scared Dexter – and killed his wife. John Lithgow portrayed the unassuming, Christian, surban family man who hid his life for 30 years. Dexter became fascinated with him... for a while. Lithgow won an emmy for his portrayal.

14. Gustavo Fring - Breaking Bad

What's more frightening than a well-dressed man with a penchant for cleanliness? A well-dressed neat freak who won't hesitate for a second to slash a man's throat to prove a point to wannabe drug lord, Walter White. With his soothing voice and pleasant demeanor, it's hard to believe this Los Pollos Hermanos owner was actually the kingpin behind the biggest meth distribution in Albuquerque.

15. Hannibal Lecter - Hannibal

This makes cannibal number two on the list. Hey, we can all admit being eaten – especially while you're alive – is a harrowing prospect. Hannibal chopped off Dr. Abel Gideon's legg and roasted up (pictured). Not only was he kind enough to offer a bite, Gideon wasn't sure how to turn him down so he ate his own leg for dinner. That makes attending any dinner party with Lecter where you have all of your limbs a win.

16. Missy - Doctor Who

Missy, formerly known as The Master, is what you call delightfully evil. She's so wonderfully engaging that you almost forget just how terrible she really is. She's witty and funny, but she really has no boundaries. She'll save you, but only insofar as it helps further her own agenda. She has absolutely no problem killing anyone who gets in her way, and really wants Doctor Who all to herself in one way or another. It's almost hard to tell anymore if she wants him as an arch enemy, best friend, companion or lover. She just wants him and wants nobody in her way. Still, watching her is utterly makes every moment wondering about it worthwhile.

17. BOB - Twin Peaks

BOB was an evil spirit. He had different manifestations and appearances. He committed murder and rape. He was identified as Laura Palmer's killer, because he had been possessing Leland, Laura's father, since Leland first met him as a kid. While possessed by BOB, Leland raped and murdered Laura. BOB eventually made Leland commit suicide. BOB has been described as the manifestation of "the evil that men do".

18. Jackie Florrick - The Good Wife

Oh you laugh. Yet just look at that face. She'd right at home next to Hannibal and Gareth. She's an expert manipulator and likes to act sickly to throw people off their game. She'd make us run for the hills in fear.

19. Norman Bates - Bates Motel

It's not just for who he will become. This boy watched his dog get killed in the street and got into taxidermy. He blacks out and does bad things. Or does he? He learned how to fool a lie detector test and how to fool his mother Norma, as well. He finally passed the point of no return when he started wearing is mother's clothes and killing as her, then blaming her afterward. Scary little dude.

20. Henrik Johanssen - Orphan Black

This dude made fans fall in love with the horror they thought was Helena. With someone like Henrik on your back, even scary people look good. He had an entire cult of devoted people around him while he created a larger flock while articifically inseminating his women like cattle. Totally disgusting.

21. Vee - Orange is the New Black

Sure, she liked to make people think she was their friends. It's called manipulation. She was the devil in disguise. There weren't a whole lot of people mourning her loss at Litch, that's for sure.

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