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In horror films and TV shows, we’ve seen how basements have been the location of some truly scream-worthy scenes. We’ve watched as owners use their basements for horrible things. Sometimes the basement itself is evil. Other times, the basement has a paranormal problem like a portal to another world.

In the real world, the scariest thing in your basement is probably unresolved foundation problems. However, in movies and on television, we’re usually scared of something else.

Let’s review the scariest basements and crawl spaces in movies and television.

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Ranking the Scariest Basements in Movies and TV

In many horror movies, basement scenes are a terrifying combination of what happens down there and the build-up from the rest of the plot.

To identify the scariest basements, we developed a Basement Evil Score to subjectively rank what happens in each on-screen basement. Using a scale of 0 through 10, lower numbers indicate less scary scenes or a little bit of torture. Higher numbers indicate more devastation or a lot of death.

We also looked at the Movie Scream Factor to understand the basement scene in the context within the context of the rest of the movie. Using the IMDb score, higher-rated horror movies are more terrifying than poorly rated movies.

The ultimate combination is a scary basement during a scary movie. The two horror movies that achieve this are The Silence of the Lambs and Get Out.

What Are the Scariest Basements and Crawl Spaces in Movies and TV?

Below, we’ll break down the rankings of each horror movie and we’ll explain how the basement fits into the movie plot. Some honorable mentions that didn’t make this list include Hell House, Woman in Black, and House on Haunted Hill, a 1959 classic.

Stranger Things

Basement Evil Score: 5
Movie Scream Factor: 8.8

Set in the fictitious town of Hawkins, IN, the Wheeler basement is regularly used by Mike, who would call Eleven from his pillow fort every night. The TV series has scream-worthy moments and has an overall high rating on IMDb.

The Exorcist

Basement Evil Score: 0.4
Movie Scream Factor: 8

In The Exorcist, the basement scene is toward the beginning when we learn that something isn’t quite right. In a typical basement with a ping pong table and storage boxes, 12-year-old Regan found an old
Ouija board. She then used it to communicate with the demon. The movie was set in the Georgetown area of Washington, DC, at 3600 Prospect St.

Misery

Basement Evil Score: 1
Movie Scream Factor: 7.8

In the horror movie Misery, the basement itself isn’t nearly as scary as serial killer Annie Wilkes. The house in Silver Creek, CO, has a damp, rat-infested cellar that she used to prevent Paul from signaling for help.

A Nightmare on Elm Street

Basement Evil Score: 6
Movie Scream Factor: 7.5

The horror movie was set in the fictional town of Springwood, OH, at 1428 Elm St. In the dream world, Freddy’s boiler room was called the Nightmare Factory because it was used for torture and murder.

The Silence of the Lambs

Basement Evil Score: 10
Movie Scream Factor: 8.6

The Silence of the Lambs has one of the most terrifying basements. In the basement of Buffalo Bill’s house, there was a dry well where he kept the kidnapped women. He then starves them so it’s easier to remove their skin. For filming, the producer found the old Victorian in a village outside of Pittsburgh, and it recently sold for $195k in 2016.

The Amityville Horror

Basement Evil Score: 5.8
Movie Scream Factor: 6.2

The Long Island house from The Amityville Horror has a history of murder and paranormal activity. In the basement, there’s a small hidden room. It was only 4’ by 5’ and was painted red. Its hidden location was discovered behind a shelving unit, and the room wasn’t in the building plans.

The Evil Dead

Basement Evil Score: 4.4
Movie Scream Factor: 7.5

The Evil Dead was set in a cabin in the woods in rural Tennessee near Knoxville. Below the floor was a fruit cellar that was accessed via a trap door and wooden steps. That’s where the Deadites lived. Luckily, this Tennessee cabin has burned down since filming.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Basement Evil Score: 3.6
Movie Scream Factor: 7.4

In this musical-comedy approach to a horror movie, Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s laboratory is in the basement of a British castle. It has a Medusa Transducer which can transform people into statues.

Get Out

Basement Evil Score: 9.6
Movie Scream Factor: 7.7

This horror movie has the second most terrifying basement we looked at. Get Out is set in a classic and innocent-looking colonial house in Alabama. However, the basement is terrifying. Chris is strapped to a chair, and there’s a laboratory for transposing consciousness. While under hypnosis, he goes to the “Sunken Place.”

Parasite

Basement Evil Score: 2.2
Movie Scream Factor: 8.6

In the movie Parasite, the Kim family is living in a basement. Their South Korean apartment was a fallout bunker from the 1970s. Following the movie’s release these basement apartments, called banjiha, were in the spotlight. In Seoul, it was initially illegal to rent out these bunkers as apartments, but that changed during the 1980s housing crisis.

Psycho

Basement Evil Score: 6.6
Movie Scream Factor: 8.5

Psycho has a terrifying scene in the basement. Lila goes into the underground fruit cellar where she discovers that Norman has been keeping the mummified corpse of his mother. Norman Bates’ house was not an actual home. The exterior facade was built for the movie, and although you can’t see it on-screen, there are no rear or side walls to the building. The eerie-looking building was reconstructed on the lot of Universal Studios in Los Angeles.

A Quiet Place

Basement Evil Score: 1.2
Movie Scream Factor: 7.5

In A Quiet Place, the Abbott family tries to keep their baby safe from the monsters in a soundproof underground cellar. The problem occurs when a broken pipe causes the underground room to flood and attracts the noise-sensitive creatures. Actor and director John Krasinski found the upstate NY filming location by browsing properties on Zillow.

The Grudge

Basement Evil Score: 2.8
Movie Scream Factor: 4.1

In The Grudge, a terrifying scene occurs when Muldoon is in the basement with a flashlight. The cursed house is located in suburban Pennsylvania, at the fictional address 44 Rayburn Dr.

The Evil

Basement Evil Score: 9
Movie Scream Factor: 5.8

In the 1978 classic horror movie The Evil, a house is built over hot sulfur pits in New Mexico. When some friends decide to spend the night, they discover that the basement is scarier than they think. The trap door to the lower level turns out to be a hole to another world.

Do you want your basement to be less terrifying? Find out how Ohio Basement Authority can help you deal with crack repairs, waterproofing, foundation problems, crawl space encapsulation, and sump pumps. We can help you with structural problems, but for serial killers or paranormal problems, you’ll need a different kind of authority.

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