Appears in: Dracula (1931), Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)
Scariest moment: Dracula (Bela Lugosi), holding a lit candlestick, stands in front of a staircase covered in thick cobwebs and invites Renfield (Dwight Frye), as well as future generations of horror movie fans, to walk with him up the stairs. Clearly, the destination isn't anywhere positive.
Depending on how you feel about modern-day vampires, Bela Lugosi's turn in director Tod Browning's classic adaptation of novelist Bram Stoker's Dracula is either the most important acting performance in horror history or the catalyst for infuriating crap.
We reside within the former camp, but also sympathize with the latter. Playing Count Dracula as a suave charmer, Lugosi established the blueprint for future undead ladies' men like Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer on HBO's True Blood) and Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson in the Twilight movies). To the influential Hungarian actor's credit, though, he was also able to scare us by simply leering over a woman who's sleeping in bed. The same can't be said for today's emo vamps.