Trauma-List :: Reader Carol McM’s Creepy Lady Faces!

O.K. – it has taken me way too long to finish this up – but finally here it is! I got the idea of compiling creepy lady faces from way back when that whole TOP TEN WILLY MOMENTS thing was going on and some of these are on the list on my blog (UNK NOTE:: Go to that swell spot HERE!) but not all of them. They probably should have been though cause I can’t think of much more that kept me in a constant state of freaked-out when I was a kid than these ladies faces visiting me in the night.

As an adult I have added a few more ladies to the list…and they tend to sneak up on me in the middle of nights when I am feeling rather weak and feeble – such as Unk’s addition to his top 10 willy inducing moments list of the lady in SATAN’S TRIANGLE, and the originator of the willy list idea, ANDRE of THE HORROR DIGEST‘s addition of the old witch lady from BLACK SABBATH. Also, I was a little disappointed that there weren’t more faces to add. I really thought there would be like 10, at least. These are in no particular order of how much they scared me. Actually they aren’t in any order at all – I just don’t feel like moving them around. And I’m not really going into major details with some of these. You will understand what I’m saying if either you’ve seen them, or you are planning on seeing them, or you know exactly what I’m thinking, or all three.

THE OMEN – Mrs. Baylock

I’ve noticed that most people, when referring to creepy goings on in THE OMEN, usually point to the nanny who hangs herself out the window during the birthday party. While that is kinda creepy, to me that is nothing compared to Mrs. Baylock sneaking up on the mom while she is trying to put on her shirt in the hospital. Her face is so menacing and she keeps coming closer and closer to the camera, and all the while LEE REMICK is struggling is a position that would make anyone feel vulnerable.

BURNT OFFERINGS – Marian Rolf as Mrs. Allardyce

I think this is quite possibly one of the most mentioned ’70s horror scary lady faces. At least it is in my head. I think the photo speaks for itself.

Honorable mention: BETTE DAVIS’
face while she is writhing in pain from a broken back.

ENCOUNTER WITH THE UNKNOWN – Mrs. Davis (or the lady in the cemetery)

This movie is a horror trilogy that scared the pants off me as a young child, and this lady was the main reason. Her face haunted me for years and whenever I couldn’t make out my sister’s face in the dark it would morph into this face. I was on a desperate horror trilogy search for most of my 20s and when I finally found it, on TV late at night, I was thrilled but it had lost 90% of its impact. O.K. more like 99% of its impact. The movie is nice for nostalgic reasons, or if you like ’70s horror just for the feel – but it’s not very scary.

EAST OF EDEN – Kate Ames

This was a made-for-T.V. mini-series that came out in 1981 that was very popular with the folks (mostly ladies and young girls) who liked their epic romances. I watched it with my mom and sister and i liked it’s soft focus, flowery, olden days style, but it really picked up in the second half when the lovely young Cathy turned into incredibly creepy prostitute, then brothel owner Kate Ames. I won’t go into the story too much cause it’s all long and complex and none of it has a point here. Basically every time we see Kate she is in all black with a big hat and veil and when she speaks she is very bitter and scary and at the very end she is suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, and some sort of crazy lady disease – maybe syphilis, since she’s a prostitute. We see her in a small room with one dim lamp and she looks like a freak!

When I was trying to find images online from what I remembered of the end of this series there was absolutely no image anywhere even remotely resembling Kate in this state of madness and all in black. All the photos online are of Cathy with long lush hair and white frilly dresses and soft focus lenses. So I got the movie from Netflix and took some screen shots and watched this last part and was surprised by how creepy it still was to me. At this point she is clearly out of her mind and is saying something like “What they don’t know is… I can make myself so small…that they can’t even see me.” She says something to that effect in a creepy whisper over and over again and the camera simultaneously pulls back up to the ceiling so that she becomes smaller and smaller in the shot. Plus she’s smiling.


There are more reason’s to watch this movie than PARKER STEVENSON. In fact the whole movie is really great and he is just the icing on the cake. I saw this movie many many times in my youth and the character of the rag lady (and she is credited on IMDb) was the part that creeped me out the most. Just her face here with the sad, scared eyes and the general old lady creepiness is creepy, but there is a part that scared me so much I couldn’t watch it for years.

In this scene the rag lady gets swept into a boiling swimming pool and her face in the water was just too much for me to take – as a youngster, that is. As an adult I’m all “What ev’ THIS HOUSE POSSESSED, you don’t scare me anymore.” In fact now this movie makes me feel all cozy inside.

Honorable mention:
When the blonde lady slides down the glass shower door all covered in blood – with her mouth open and screaming and all.

SYBIL – Hattie Dorsett (the mom)

She is just plain scary. I just recently saw an episode of MISSION IMPOSSIBLE that she is in – from the first season in 1966 – and she looks almost exactly the same – with the same hair do.

DARKROOM – The Witch

This is from the DARKROOM TV series from 1981 that I watched every week. Unfortunately, it didn’t last very long, and I really don’t remember anything of the other stories but this one that scared the CRAP out of me. The title of the story is “Catnip” and the whole synopsis is on the site THE HAUNTED CLOSET, so I won’t write it out here – but the ultra scary moment is when this kid looks under his bed, thinking he is going to see a cat that jumped in his window, and he sees this creepy-ass witch’s face hissing at him. I’m telling you it added a whole new level of fear to the what’s going on under the bed thing. I mean now I couldn’t even check under the bed cause seeing this face under there would be worse than just laying in bed sweating and wringing my hands. Then, at the end of the episode the kids mother is calling him and he doesn’t answer and his mother says “What’s the matter…cat got your tongue?” I don’t think you see the kid anymore – and all I could imagine was that scary witch gnawing on his tongue. Creepy.

Oh and thanks so much to THE HAUNTED CLOSET for the screen shot – I never thought I’d see this creepy old lady again!

UNK SEZ:: Thanks for the great list Carol! I’m happy to tell you that I found that THE DARKROOM episode “Catnip” on YouTube!

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Amanda By Night
11 years ago

This is fantastic! And I always love when I see This House Possessed! It’s my favorite. Joan Bennent is so good in that part, and her death… YIKES!

11 years ago

I took out a pen and quickly jotted down some names before I read your list. I am happy to see Sybils Mom made your list too. That woman gives me huge heebie jeebies!

A few more:

How could you forget the dwarfy lady at the end of DONT LOOK NOW? Totally unnerving! Even if she DIDNT stab Donald Sutherland she wouldve made me pee my pants!

Barbara Steele in anything. The eyes! The eyes!

Can we mention Karen Black twice on one list? Cuz the end of TRILOGY OF TERROR is some spooky shit! I think my nightmare is to be trapped in a room with no windows or doors with Barbara Steele on the left and Karen Black on the right!

“Aunt Zelda” from PET SEMETARY..although techniaclly it was a dude in a wig! He gets the Tranny Vote!

Faye Dunaway as Mommie Dearest..especially when she had that crazy Kabuki style facial mask on! We can put the REAL Joan Crawford on this list too. The woman was frightening.

And Anne Ramsey! Who the Hell was afraid of Sloth in THE GOONIES? He was a basket of puppies compared to Anne Ramsey.

I dont know if the little girl at the end of that Valerie Harper made for TV movie counts as “a lady” but she was a scary little lady!

11 years ago

you know, zelda did freak the shit out of me – even though i was, like, 18 when that movie rolled around – i still couldn’t sleep for a long time cause of her.  forgive my omission on that one!  i actually didn’t see Don’t Look Now till later in life and the midget never really did much for me (i know, a travesty).
thanks for all the add-ons mama!  i know there’s more creepy ladies out there!

11 years ago

What about that female truck driver in that PeeWee movie? I think her name was Large Marge. Even pre-claymation she was pretty dang creepy!

11 years ago

There’s a creepy little girl’s face in Frederico Fellini’s “Toby Dammit” segment of Spirits of the Dead…What’s the age cut-off?

Andre Dumas
11 years ago

Eeeek! Sybil’s mom, what a good inclusion! I think I had completely wiped her clean from brain until now. My creep list would expand to include lady’s with unfairly scary faces…the killer from CURTAINS, the EXORCIST face, and Cheryl’s face in THE EVIL DEAD once she turns all demonic and gets locked in the basement OR when she does the guessing the numbers trick. Come to think of it all demon faces in Evil Dead are terrifying. Yikes.

11 years ago

yeah – possessed faces in general are in a class all their own, in my book.  pretty much heart stopping.
speaking of THE EVIL DEAD that part where the chick – i guess it’s cheryl – moves when she does the pencil stabbing bit – freaking creepy!

11 years ago

Hagis from the first Pumpkinhead? I don’t know which was scarier, her face or her three (and only three) strands of hair on her head.

I still make a running start at my bed for fear that Zelda is hiding under it waiting….. 

11 years ago

I’ll have to give a nod to Karen Black and her “unique” denture work at the end of “Trilogy of Terror”.  I’ll also like to add Sheryl Lee’s doppelganger white eyed Laura Palmer at the end of the “Twin Peaks” series.  There was also a scene in “Shock” where Daria Nicolodi’s character is lying on a bed and we get a head shot of her with a sadistic type of grin on her face……and her hair moves around! {Probably done by having her strapped to a revolving platform with a camera attached to it}.

11 years ago

i really wish i could say the same – but her teeth never really bothered me that much.  i don’t know why.  but her mrs. allardyce face is a not-of-this-earth kind of creepy to me.

11 years ago

Even when Karen Black was in a  sexy role she’d get that Crazy Eye thing goin on.  Hand that woman the crown!

And I think you forgot Melody Anderson at the end of BURIED ALIVE. I rented that movie right after you guys raved about it.

10 years ago

This list is awesome! Thanks for it. I think the lady from The woman in black (1989) would deserve a mention here, guys. The look on her face is unforgettably creepy! For me it was almost too much to take. Haunted me for days!