Scream Kings!

There are some horror film actors who stand out as our favorites. Whereas the female scream queens were the survivors, the scream kings were often the ones who inspired screams. Let's take a look at some of these fine actors I think have been the very best at eliciting screams from us fans. 

If it seems like a lot of these actors are from much older times, we can thank the studios. They hired actors and put out what the public wanted in the 40s-60s which was a lot of horror. The horror movies from the late 70s onward have utilized less and less of typical bad guy leading men, but one particular one in this list stood out for creating a fear of sleep. 

Vincent Price

The Invisible Man Returns
House of Wax
The Fly 
House on Haunted Hill
The Bat
House of Usher

The Haunted Palace
The Last Man on Earth
The Abominable Dr. Phibes

What can we say about Vincent except he is almost everyone's favorite. He was tall, well spoken, elegant, and sophisticated and yet he could talk you into anything. His timing was flawless, his body postures, and class kept his victims at bay. They would gladly follow him into the dark cold mansion because he bid them to do so.

Boris Karloff

The Mummy
The Old Dark House
The Ghoul
The Raven
The Walking Dead
The Invisible Menace
Son of Frankenstein
The Ape
House of Frankenstein
The Body Snatcher
Voodoo Island

The dark shadowy sunken eyes and gaunt cheeks made Boris an ideal visual tool for conveying horror, but his voice added to it. He had a melancholy almost zombie-like attitude that made it impossible to tell what he was plotting next. 

Lon Chaney Jr.

The Wolf Man
The Ghost of Frankenstein
The Mummy's Tomb
Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man
Son of Dracula
Cobra Woman
Ghost Chasers
The Mummy's Ghost
House of Frankenstein
The Mummy's Curse
House of Dracula 

Lon was not a particularly attractive man, seemed like any guy on the street, except his hang-dog face could convey deep emotional torment. He was able to go from the average Joe next door to tormented and anguished creature in only seconds.

Bela Legusi 

Murders in the Rue Morgue
White Zombie
Night of Terror
Mark of the Vampire
The Raven
The Phantom Creeps
Son of Frankenstein
The Devil Bat
Invisible Ghost
The Wolf Man
Scared to Death
The Phantom Creeps

Bela's accent made him sound like a Count from Eastern Europe. He stared down his opponent until they relented. It was as if in his posture, his voice and his eyes, we experienced some dark Old World curse that we could not shake. With the raise of an eyebrow, we were mesmerized.

Christopher Lee

Horror of Dracula
The Mummy
The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll
Scream of Fear
Horror Castle
Crypt of the Vampire
The Castle of the Living Dead
The Gorgon
The Skull
Ten Little Indians
Dracula: Prince of Darkness
Dracula Has Risen From the Grave
Count Dracula
The Wicker Man
The House That Dripped Blood
The Creeping Flesh

There is something about an actor so very graceful and debonaire having a sinister side, a darkness within. This is what Christopher Lee created for the audience, a man you wanted to trust, but knew kept an evil secret. His dark eyes penetrated. His voice seduced us. 

Robert Englund 

A Nightmare on Elm Street (and all its sequels)

Even though this actor has a ton of movies and tv to his credit, he will always be known for giving us nightmares and fear of sleeping. His character, Freddy Krueger, was the most sadistic and taunting of bad guys.