Forget the movies, horror fans are sharing the scariest paintings of all time.

via Francisco de Goya y Lucientes at Wikimedia Commons

Horror fans are celebrating painting, a time-honored but underrated means of scaring people.

Redditor agwoodliffe kicked off this unique discussion by asking r/horror users, “Which artists have produced the scariest paintings?” Though that subreddit focuses primarily on movies and TV, members proved that painting isn’t out of its element by suggesting dozens of terrifying artists and paintings.

For artists, HR Giger got the most upvotes, which makes sense because his biomechanical paintings inspired the look of Alien and its namesake monster. Giger’s designs were so influential that he and his Alien The team won the 1979 Academy Award for Best Achievement in Visual Effects.

via Felipe Tofani on Flickr

The same Redditor who mentioned Giger also mentioned Hieronymus Bosch, a Dutch artist whose paintings still scare people more than five centuries after his death.

via Hieronymus Bosch at Wikimedia Commons

Scubagirl768 seconded Bosch, calling his work “nightmare stuff.”

Another highly voted selection is Zdzisław Beksiński, a Polish painter of apocalyptic images.

via Zdzisław Beksiński at Wikimedia Commons

In addition to naming other classic horror painters like Francisco Goya and Francis Bacon, Reddit users had us relive our childhood nightmares by quoting Scary stories to tell in the dark artist Stephen Gamell.

via Harper & Row

As for the individual paintings, NonameKid9 yelled Flaying of Marsyas by Titan.

via Titan at Wikimedia Commons

And then there are those of Goya black paintswhich, as SkeletonLad informed us, were “discovered after his death painted on the walls of his house.”

“Saturn devouring his son” via Francisco Goya on Wikimedia Commons

See, even in the age of computer-generated horror on the big screen, centuries-old paintings can give us goosebumps.


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