Horror films have some of the most devoted fans around, and some characters have gone to be instant classics. The only thing more terrifying that a masked lunatic with a machete or a serial killer armed with razors would have to be the children. In some horror films, the children are the ones that will make the victims run in fear. Whether it’s Tamara from “The Ring” or Regan from “The Exorcist”, you can bet that these kids would be enough to make the baddest monsters in horror films shiver in fear. Here’s a list of 18 creepy kids in horror and their whereabouts today.
#18 Linda Blair
Linda Blair’s best-known role is the possessed child Regan from The Exorcist films, which earned her a Golden Globe win and an Oscar nomination in the Best Supporting Actress category. Since the iconic role, Blair has devoted her time to the Linda Blair WorldHeart Foundation, which helps save neglected and abused animals. She doesn’t seem so harmless after all!
#17 Mischa Barton
Before landing the role of Marissa Cooper on the hit Fox show “The O.C.”, Mischa Barton portrayed a frightening ghost named Kyra Collins in the horror film The Sixth Sense. Since “The O.C.” ended in 2006, the British-American has been staying busy by making appearances on “Dancing With The Stars”, “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”, and “Recovery Road”.
#16 Miko Hughes
Miko Hughes’ first role was the main antagonist Gage Creed in the horror film “Pet Sematary”. After the role, the California native would gain a recurring role of Aaron Bailey in “Full House” before returning to the horror film world in “Wes Craven’s New Nightmare” as Heather Langenkamp’s son Dylan Porter. Miko recently appeared in the documentary “Unearthed & Untold: The Path to Pet Sematary”, and he works in independent films.
#15 Lina Leandersson
At the age of 11, Lina Leandersson landed the role of the vampire Eli in the 2008 horror film “Let the Right One In”. The Swedish actress received a plethora of award nominations for her performance and won the 2009 Fangoria Chainsaw Award for Best Actress. After the film, she landed roles in “The Arbiter” and “Broken Hill Blues”.
#14 Lisa and Louise Burns
Lisa and Louise Burns will forever be immortalized in film history as the Grady Twins in the 1980 horror classic “The Shining”. The two, who were 10 years old at the time of filming, haven’t acted since then. Instead, Lisa works as a lawyer, and Louise works as a scientist. The twins still make appearances at conventions.
#13 Danielle Harris
Danielle Harris got her start in film as Jamie Lloyd in “Halloween 4” and “Halloween 5”. She would later become one of the top scream queens in the world with performances in the 2007 “Halloween” remake and its 2009 sequel, “See No Evil 2”, and “Hatchet 2”. Aside from horror flicks, she is also known as the voice of Debbie Thornberry in the Nickelodeon series “The Wild Thornberrys”.
#12 John Franklin
John Franklin’s best-known role is the teen preacher Isaac Chroner in the 1984 film “Children of the Corn” and the 1999 flick “Children of the Corn 666:Issac’s Return”. The Chicago native also portrayed Cousin Itt in “The Addams Family” and its 1993 sequel “Addams Family Values”. Recently, he retired from teaching English at Golden Valley High School in Santa Clarita, California to return to acting and writing.
#11 Isabelle Fuhrman
Isabelle Fuhrman got her big break portraying nine-year-old Esther in the 2009 horror film “Orphan”. Since that role, the Washington D.C. native landed in films such as The Hunger Games and All the Wilderness. In 2015, she landed the recurring role of Tessa Johnson on the hit Showtime drama “Masters of Sex”.
#10 Harvey Stephens
Harvey Stephens got the role of Damien Thorn in the 1976 horror film “The Omen” after director Richard Donner asked the England native, who was four years old at the time, to attack him. 20 years after the movie’s release, Stephens had a cameo role as a reporter in the remake, which was intentionally released on June 6, 2006. Archive footage of his 1976 performance was used in the 2016 A&E TV series “Damien”. Stephens still makes appearances at conventions today.
#9 Daveigh Chase
While Daveigh Chase got her big break as the voice of Lilo Pelekai in the popular Disney franchise “Lilo & Stitch”, she terrified moviegoers as Samara Morgan in the horror film “The Ring”. After the 2002 film, she gained noticeable roles as Rhonda Volmer in the HBO series “Big Fish” and Joyce in the Fox sitcom “Oliver Beene”.
#8 Patty McCormack
Patty McCormack got her big break as the eight-year-old serial killer Rhoda Penmark in the 1956 horror film “The Bad Seed”. Her performance received Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for Best Supporting Actress. The Brooklyn native, who received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, continues to act today with roles on “The Sopranos”, “Scandal”, and “Criminal Minds”.
#7 Lindsey Haun
Los Angeles actress Lindsey Haun had her first acting role as one of the psychic children in the 1995 horror film “Village of the Damned”, which was directed by John Carpenter. After the film, Haun landed roles in the Disney Channel film “The Color of Friendship” and the country film “Broken Bridges”, but most people recognize her as Hadley Hale on the hit HBO series “True Blood”.
#6 Thomas Dekker
Thomas Dekker also appeared in the film “Village of the Damned”, and the actor/singer has gained noticeable roles as Nick Szalinski in the sitcom “Honey, I Shrunk The Kids: The TV Show”, Zach on the NBC action series “Heroes”, and John Connor on the Fox sci-fi series “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”.
#5 Yuya Ozeki
Yuya Ozeki made moviegoers uneasy as the eerie child Toshio Saeki in the 2004 supernatural horror film “The Grudge”. This wasn’t his first time portraying the character; he also played him in “Ju-on: The Grudge” and “Ju-on: The Grudge 2” in Japan. In 2015, he appeared in the mini-series “Hotel Concierge”, which was released in Japan as “Hoteru konseruju”.
#4 Dakota Fanning
At the age of 11, Dakota Fanning was already one of Hollywood’s biggest child stars with a highly praised performance in “I Am Sam”. In the 2005 psychological horror film “Hide and Seek”, she portrays Emily Callaway, a girl that becomes friends with an imaginary person named Charlie. Her performance earned her a 2006 Fangoria Chainsaw Awards nomination for Best Actress. She recently appeared in the films “The Runaways”, “Very Good Girls”, and “The Motel Life”.
#3 Heather O’Rourke
Heather O’Rourke is best known for her role of Carol Anne Freeling in the first three “Poltergeist” films. Her line “They’re here” is one of the most recognizable lines in motion picture history. On February 1, 1988, she was pronounced dead at the age of 12 due to cardiac arrest and septic shock.
#2 Danny Lloyd
Danny Lloyd’s most memorable role is the traumatic child Danny Torrance in the 1980 horror classic “The Shining”. After appearing in the 1982 TV movie “Will: The Autobiography of G. Gordon Liddy”, Lloyd retired from acting and chose to live a normal teen life. Recently, he became a biology professor at a community college in Kentucky.
#1 Haley Joel Osment
With the single line “I see dead people” in the 1999 horror film “The Sixth Sense”, Haley Joel Osment became a superstar. His portrayal of Cole Sear earned him a plethora of nominations and awards from all over. His recent movies include “Tusk”, “Entourage”, and “Yoga Hosers”. For video game fans, he is best known for the voice of Sora in the Kingdom Hearts franchise.
All of these fine actors and actresses have left a print in the horror film genre and its various subgenres, and they’ve proven that you’re never too young to scare the pants off someone. With brand new horror film directors already in the field and some aspiring ones on the rise, it will be a treat to see how many new ways they’ll try to instill fear in movie theaters and homes worldwide. It will also be exciting to see which new young stars will leave their own footprints in one of the most beloved movie genres out there.