Since I am a single gal, the very thought of having my own kids is enough to send me into a terror spiral. But, the little darlings on this list aren't your every day kids; nope, these are the kids that nightmares are made of (Like Richard said, "children are almost essential to a real horror film"). But this list just isn't about children in horror movies; it's about when the children are the source of the horror. Now I'm not saying all kids are evil, but if you take this list as an example of just how bad children can get, you will never look at those trick-or-treaters on your doorstep the same way again.
1. The Bad Seed (1956)
If you are going to talk evil children, then you have to give props to one of the baddest in the bunch: Patty McCormack as little Rhoda Penmark. Directed by Hollywood vet Mervyn LeRoy (who was more famous for his sophisticated comedies than suspense thrillers), the film was based on William March's novel of the same name and focused on a little pig-tailed demon who gets away with murder (despite a tacked-on ending that gives Deus ex Machinas a bad name). Rhoda terrorizes her nice suburban mom and tortures the staff while draped in a pinafore and knee-socks. It might not be the scariest flick in the bunch, but you can't deny that she was a nasty piece of work.
2. The Omen (1976)
Sure Rhoda Penmark might have been one of the first, but when most people think of evil kids in horror flicks they're usually thinking of Damien Thorn. Besides, you can't get much worse than being the Anti-Christ. Richard Donner directed the story of an upwardly mobile couple who bring home their bouncing baby boy, and the last thing they were expecting was to have to avert an apocalypse. Throw in some serious overacting on the part of Gregory Peck and the unforgettable scene at Damien's birthday party (if you haven't seen The Omen, I won't ruin it for you), and you get a preschooler that no one in their right mind would want to mess with.