Fandom’s 10 (and then Some) Most Searched Horror Characters of 2023

Matt Fowler
Movies Horror
Movies Horror

It was a super-duper year for horror and as things wind down, and we head toward 2024, it’s only natural for Fandom to share its most popular horror characters based on our community’s searches. But, frankly, we have to cheat this time…

Because looking at Fandom’s Horror wiki and what pages were visited the most in 2023, this year’s Top 10 spooky folks were almost ALL Scream franchise characters. It was essentially a Scream list. And, look, Scream’s an amazing franchise. And this past year saw it have its highest-grossing opening ever thanks to Scream VI, which exceeded expectations and cleaned up at the box office. And Fandom’s seprarate Scream-specific Wiki?also helps fans dive into all six movies and check out the lore, the victims, the legacy survivors, and the many (many) Ghostfaces.

But we decided to massage this list a bit to make it a bit more varied, so the Top 10 has really become a Top 22 and we’ve grouped the Scream characters who appeared back-to-back into single entries. You’ll get the picture pretty quickly below.

Naturally, like every year, there are also some perennial head-scratchers that we just can’t fully account for from a fan standpoint but people love want they love, right? Or, at least, search for what they want to search for.

Check it out!

10. NUBBINS SAWYER?

Actual Ranking: 22

Good ol’ Nubbins – who actually came in at number 22 – got a big bump this year, as did most Texas Chainsaw Massacre-related things, thanks to the new multiplayer Chainsaw horror game that released this past summer where players could either be victims or psychotic members of the Sawyer family (which we learn is the family name in the sequels, though the game uses “Slaughter” as their name, taken from the early drafts of the script).

In the game, as was the case when the original film came out in 1974, Nubbins is simply known as the Hitchhiker.

As we head into 2024, and the film’s 50th (!) anniversary, it’s always important to remember the greasiest, most feral members of this Cannibal Clan and Nubbins has always remained one of the most memorable parts of the original movie, freaking out our cross-country trekkers with his self-mutilating antics.

9: JUDY HICKS / MARTHA MEEKS

Actual Ranking: 20 (Judy), 21 (Martha)

And now we begin to dive into the Scream end of the pool as Fandom readers were all about reading up on so many of the folks from this mystery-slasher saga. Randy’s sister – and mother to the Meeks-Martin twins – Martha came in at 21 while Deputy-turned-Sheriff-turned victim Judy Hicks came in at 20. As Scream lore goes, it’s interesting that Martha’s been able to dodge being a corpse for so long given that odds of survival for anyone in proximity to any of the Woodsboro murders aren’t great. Just ask Judy.

Judy and Martha were never Scream leads but they do represent the rare occurrence of a non-lead making it to a second Scream movie.

8: GLEN RAY?

Actual Ranking: 19

Lachlan Watson as Glen and Glenda in Chucky's second season

Glen Ray popping up on the list, at number 19, makes sense given that character’s prominence on Chucky’s second season. It aired in 2022 but a lot of fans may have waited for the season to finish, catching it in 2023 when it debuted on Peacock right before the premiere of Season 3.

Another big reason Glen made a strong showing is because if his/her insane backstory-slash-conception in which?Chucky and Tiffany, as dolls, had a gender-fluid child that then manifested as human twins Glen and Glenda (both played by Lachlan Watson), born of actress Jennifer Tilly?(playing herself)…who’s been possessed by Tiffany. Now that’s definitely a cauldron of craziness that deserves an online search.

Glen actually placed (a legitimate) number 7 last year because of Chucky Season 2.

7. MAUREEN PRESCOTT / RANDY MEEKS / TATUM RILEY / CHAD MEEKS-MARTIN / RICHIE KIRSCH / NANCY LOOMIS / GALE WEATHERS / MINDY MEEKS-MARTIN / AMBER FREEMAN

Actual Ranking: 10 (Maureen), 11 (Randy), 12 (Tatum), 13 (Chad), 14 (Richie), 15 (Nancy), 16 (Gale), 17 (Mindy), 18 (Amber)

Annnnd we’re back to Scream, for entries 18 through 10. That’s right, nine Scream-ers in a row! Psycho Amber at 18, new era hero Mindy at 17, legacy player (and still a survivor) Gale at 16, Ghostface Nancy at 15, Ghostface Richie at 14, hunky hero Chad at 13, first film victim (and Dewey’s sister) Tatum at 12, and mysterious dead mom Maureen at 10. It’s enough to scream “丑补濒濒别濒耻箩补丑!”

Scream VI was like a one big shrine to the entire franchise, in a way, and that’s best represented here by this clumping. Gale and the Meeks-Martin twins were actually in the new movie, while the killer’s lair was like a fan’s Scream dream and included a ton of nods to the past, including outfits worn by Randy and Tatum. Plus, in one scene at a police station, we saw all the previous Ghostfaces on one board, with photos, all directly referenced and named in a way the franchise had never done before to this degree.

Did we mention Scream was big this year?

6. REVEREND HENRY KANE

Actual Ranking: 9

Yup, creepy old bastard Kane, from Poltergeist II and III, is back this year – once again at number nine. Why is this dude still being sought out in a major way? Who can say? It’s just as much of a mystery this year as it was last year. The forgettable reboot for the classic first film came out eight years ago and nothing in it even revolved around this original trilogy character (though, during development, it was almost a prequel about Kane). Were y’all searching for the WWE wrestler Kane? Rapper Big Daddy Kane? Kane the Dutch rock band? Yeah, this one continued to haunt us, much like Reverend Kane himself does to poor families victimized by poltergeists.

5. BRAHMS HEELSHIRE

Actual Ranking: 8

What the heck, people? Brahms is back too, placing at a legit number 8. It’s a drop from last year when he nabbed the number 3 spot but still…readers seem to love them some The Boy and Brahms: The Boy II (which fizzled enough at the box office, partially for pandemic reasons, that it seemingly killed the burgeoning Boy franchise).

Director William Brent Bell discussed his ideas for a third Boy flick but no new developments have surfaced regarding it. For those who haven’t seen the two Boy films, Brahms is a killer who wears a porcelain doll-style mask to cover his burned face. It’s a cool look but is that enough to warrant Top 10 placement? We guess so! Maybe people were just doing it for the bit since Brahms: The Boy II is, admittedly, a ridiculous title for a movie.

4. MICHAEL MYERS

Actual Ranking: 7

Now Michael Myers being in the Top 10 makes sense (he actually came in at 7), even if he hadn’t been part of a big successful new trilogy, which wrapped up only a year ago, with a very polarizing movie. The Shape is horror royalty and given that there’ve been twelve movies with him, representing vastly different timelines, people are always going to want to check up on Haddonfield’s boogeyman.

But yeah, Halloween Ends brought things to a very controversial, Cory Cunnginham close, so much so that some fans have denounced the entire new David Gordon Green Trilogy. One thing’s for sure though, Ends gave us a big, physical showdown between Michael and Jamie Lee Curtis’ Laurie and offed Michael in a very punctuated, definitive way that can’t be smoke and mirror’d like they did with Halloween H20.

3. TARA CARPENTER / DEWEY RILEY / SIDNEY PRESCOTT

Actual Ranking: 4 (Tara), 5 (Dewey), 6 (Sidney)

Oh, we’re not done Screaming. The next three Scream-othys are the ultimate Final Girl Sidney at 6, the made-it-pretty-far (considering all the fake-out deaths) Dewey at 5, and new co-final girl (and Babadook lover) Tara at 4. Neither Sidney or Dewey (for obvious reasons) were in Scream VI, but they were both big parts of Scream 2022 and both got big mentions in 6. And with Scream VI?being the first Scream flick with no Sid, fans waiting to see if Neve Campbell will return for Scream 7.

Jenna Ortega’s career took off in a big way in recent years, especially between Scream 2022 and VI when she starred in Netflix’s Wednesday, so she’s a natural fit for fourth place in 2023, as her character took on a bigger role. Though it’s hard not to feel a twinge of sadness since she?won’t be back for Scream 7,?reportedly due to Wednesday scheduling conflicts.

I guess that’s one way to ensure you survive the?Scream?series. Just live through a movie (or two) and don’t come back.

2. FREDDY KRUEGER?

Actual Ranking: 3

Hey hey hey, the hackin’, slashin’ man of your dreams was officially at number 3 (or our second listing here thanks to all the Scream grouping). Freddy, like Michael Myers, makes sense in the Top 10 because he’s a flippin’ horror icon but why he outpaced Michael overall, having not been seen in a movie since the 2010 reboot, is beyond us.

One reason, aside from the fact that he’s a popular supernatural maniac, is that a documentary, Hollywood Dreams & Nightmares: The Robert Englund Story, made its rounds this year and can now be watched on Prime Video. It’s no new Nightmare on Elm Street but it is a gripping look at Robert Englund’s career as the joke-cracking Springwood Slasher.

1. SAM CARPENTER / BILLY LOOMIS

Actual Ranking: 1 (Sam), 2 (Billy)

How popular are the new Scream films? You know, aside from the fact that everyone and their Ghostface grandma went on a big Scream character Wiki search this year? Well, Exhibit B is pioneering Ghostface Billy Loomis and his daughter, new final girl Sam, landed at the number 2 and 1 spot, respectively.

Yes, Samantha Carpenter was the most-searched horror movie character this year, having given fans, over the course of two movies, a new twist on the ferocious, fighting Scream survivor (she’s got a little psycho streak, you see). And like half-sister Tara’s placement at number four, it’s a bittersweet traffic win since Sam also won’t be coming back now, because Melissa Barrera was unceremoniously dismissed from Scream 7.

Unless things somehow change – as “never say never” is a very dependable as Hollywood’s mantra – Tara and Sam will now just ride off into the sunset, having lived through two Ghostface massacres, and becoming stronger for it.


Matt Fowler
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