12 gruesome horror scenes where someone loses a head

Contributed by
Dec 17, 2012, 4:24 PM EST

One of the classic scenes in any horror movie (especially slashers) is the good ol' decapitation scene, where a head goes flying. And for the 24th of our 31 Days of Halloween feature, we've gathered some of the best.

From blood spurts to spraying ax chops, there are tons of different takes on the classic beheading that have been put to film over the years.

It's interesting to watch how different films handle the head chop, from gratuitous to mildly realistic. You can tell a lot about the movie you're watching by how the director chooses to lop off a head.

Check out 12 clips below, and be warned, they can get pretty gory.


This gory horror flick is primed for a reboot, but the original remains a classic. One of the best horror decapitations came in the first film, where a sharpened shovel is the weapon of choice. The handy part? You can just use the shovel afterward to clean up.

The Omen

One of the best of the bunch. When a sheet of glass comes down at an angle, it does some major damage, sending this poor gent's head flying. Plus, it's shot from a few different angles so you get the full effect.

Day of the Dead

For mid-'80s effects, this is a good one. It's not too surprising to see some guts ripped out, but this one showed the hungry undead grab a guy's head and literally rip it from the shoulders. It's a gory bit of cinema greatness.

Friday the 13th part VI:Jason Lives

The Jason movies tend to get wackier and wackier, and the slasher nets a triple threat in this sweet swing.

Halloween H20

It all comes to a head in one of the more recent sequels (pre-reboot) of this classic horror franchise. Jamie Lee Curtis gets a good swing and sends Myers' murderous head flying.

Dead Alive

This classic bit of slapstick horror includes about a million awesome bits, but one of the coolest (and often forgotten) is this head-rocking kick. You can use a lot of things to take someone's head off, but it takes a real man to use nothing but a ninja foot.


Yeah, a list like this is going to be gory. But this one takes the (bloody) cake, showing a guy literally sawing another guy's head off in a bathroom. What a bad way to go.

Freddy vs. Jason

It's Freddy Krueger, getting his head cut off in a blood-spurting bout of awesomeness.

Hellraiser Bloodline

This one kicks in at the 2-minute mark, and finds Pinhead shooting a chain through a victim's neck with a retractable blade. You can guess what comes next.

Friday the 13th

The epic battle with Jason's mom comes to a head, during which Ms. Voorhees loses hers in a great, '80s-style gore shot.

30 Days of Night

A recent, under-the-radar vamp flick starring Josh Hartnett takes a fast, quick-cut approach to the genre. The dispatching of the vamps is also handled in a hyper-realistic way, with Hartnett forced to take three sinewy swings to lop the head off of one.

Evil Dead

Sam Raimi's original low-budget horror film is still good by any standards, and a young Bruce Campbell chopping off the head of this lovely lady still resonates to this day. Got to love that squirting blood.

And here's a complete list of all 31 Days of Halloween features:

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12 movie and TV haunted houses we wouldn't mind moving into

10 unsettlingly scary movies in which everyone dies at the end

8 undead animals prove reanimation ain't always such a good idea

14 timeless literary classics mashed up into creepy horror tales

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12 deadly TV psychos we should hate (but secretly love)

11 weird zombie-killing weapons that'll destroy the undead with style

15 Lovecraftian stories to read once you've read all of Lovecraft

Watch 9 over-the-top horror movie performances by Star Trek stars

11 zombies it hurt to kill because we loved them so much

Mickey, Popeye and more get spooked in 15 classic creepy cartoons

20 horrifying, hilarious Halloween T-shirts better than costumes

11 great, gory vampire kills from horror movies and TV

Dracula's Dog + 8 more WTF movies about the Prince of Darkness

15 awesomely horrific Game of Thrones deaths (+ a bonus LOL one)

Batman, Iron Man + 22 more superhero-carved Halloween pumpkins

8 horror movies inspired by Native American myths and legends

Beetlejuice, Slimer + 9 more goofy ghosts from horror films and TV

12 most annoyingly useless horror movie authority figures

13 horrific Kickstarter projects you can help fund before Halloween

12 gruesome horror scenes where someone loses a head

Chomp down on 23 awesomely revolting zombie comic book covers

9 spooky body mods that'll put your Halloween costume to shame

14 annoying horror movie victims we were actually glad to see die

9 over-the-top horror films so disgusting they got banned

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See Harrison Ford + 18 more sci-fi celebs in Halloween costumes