1. Darth Vader
The jedi-turned-sith lord first forced his way onto theatre screens in 1977 in “Star Wars: A New Hope.” Played by David Prowse (and voiced by James Earl Jones), Darth Vader is number three in xFinity’s “25 Greatest Movie Villains of All Time.” This villain plays a huge factor in making the Star Wars franchise a hit. It’s probably his involvement in building a superweapon that can effortlessly destroy planets or the life-or-death ultimatum/threats he gave his son (join the dark side or die) that made him the symbol of evil in pop culture.
2. Count Dracula
Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula is a symbol for gothic culture and for horror film monsters. The character was inspired by Vlad III, more infamously known as “Vlad the Impaler,” a prince known for his sadistic pleasure in torture (his victim count is at least 40,000). The prince/general would burn villages to the ground and, well, impale people. He’s been the epitome of evil since “Nosferatu” in 1922.
3. Norman Bates
“Psycho” has made one of The Eye’s lists once again. Along with the creepy hyped-up music, the audience is pulled in by the primary antagonist Norman Bates, the handsome, eerie manager of Bates Motel and a real mama’s boy. Why should Bates be considered a Halloween Icon? For one thing, Robert Bloch created Norman Bates loosely after infamous serial killer and body snatcher, Ed Gein. For another, Bates is infamously known for creeping on women in showers and stabbing them. How can that not get you into the Halloween spirit?
Anthony Perkins portrayed Bates in the Hitchcock films. In the latest TV show “Bates Motel,” British actor Freddie Highmore takes on the role (with Vera Farmiga playing the mother Norma Bates).
4. The Wicked Witch of the West
The green-skinned girl with a phlegmy cackle and a pointy hat may not be the scariest, but she sure is iconic. Doesn’t matter where you know her, either Idina Menzel from “Wicked” or Mila Kunis from “Oz the Great and Powerful,” you know she’ll do anything to get those red-ruby slippers. Fun fact: she isn’t the real antagonist of L. Frank Baum’s novels. The Nome King is the real villain – Nomes are rock faerie who live underground and the king enslaves “surface-dwellers” for the sake of having slaves.
5. Dr. Hannibal Lecter
Ah, yes, Hannibal the cannibal. Anthony Hopkins portrayed the creepy psychiatrist in the 1991 thriller “Silence of the Lambs.” Violence isn’t the only ingredient that makes the film so terrifying – the way Dr. Lecter can claw his way into anyone’s mind with the sound of his voice is a little unnerving. Somewhat like Norman Bates, Hannibal is also a rendition of some real-life killers. Thomas Harris said Lecter was somewhat inspired by a doctor in Mexico who murdered and mutilated a man (storing body parts into a box).