In horror, it’s often what you hear—not what you see—that terrifies you. Who can send chills of terror or thrills of another kind with just a whisper? We talk about the best voices in horror.
5. William Marshall
Effortlessly elegant, William Marshall commands respect even before he speaks. It’s impossible to imagine him playing Bar Patron #2. This is the man who tells you what to do, and you listen. You comply. And you hope he keeps talking.
4. Keith David
A classically trained singer, Keith David uses his voice like a tool of his trade. Voice over work, stage acting, song, drama, horror—his buttery baritone leaves an impression everywhere.
3. Christopher Lee
Like another great British actor with another unforgettable voice, Boris Karloff, Lee gained fame playing characters who barely (if ever) spoke. But soon enough, he was lending his saucy baritone to literally hundreds of projects from film to voice overs, theater to music. His elegant growl brought terror to The Lord of the Rings films, but long before that, it graced Anthony Shaffer’s The Wicker Man screenplay with perhaps the greatest delivery it could have hoped for.
2. Tony Todd
Todd’s physical presence guaranteed that he be noticed in a scene, but that voice made sure no one else would be. Seductive and sinister, tender and terrifying, the voice alone made you believe that Helen (or anybody else, for that matter) could be seduced regardless of the known danger.
1. Mercedes McCambridge
Like Nick Mancuso in Black Christmas and Teresa Wright in The Exorcist III, Mercedes McCambridge offered a show stopping, horror classic performance without even having to show up to the set.
The Oscar winner deepened her already gravelly voice with cigarettes and liquor to conjure a sound so sinister, it gives you chills.