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AMC Poll: The Exorcist Scariest Movie

When it comes down to providing scares, The Exorcist turns the most viewers’ heads.

With 27% of the vote from nearly 2,500 respondents, The Exorcist was ranked as the best horror-movie franchise, topping A Nightmare on Elm Street (20%), according to a Harris Interactive poll commissioned by AMC, which it unleashed in conjunction with MonsterFest X, the 10th anniversary of the movie channel’s Halloween programming stunt.

Rounding out the top five horror-movie franchises were: Halloween (18%), Poltergeist (17%) and The Ring (8%).

As for the single scariest moment in a horror film, the shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (24%) narrowly earned the most screams among survey respondents, followed by the girl crawling out of the TV in The Ring (23%). Jack Nicholson’s “Here’s Johnny” in The Shining was third with 18%, ahead of Jason emerging from the lake at the close of Friday the 13th (14%), the hand coming up at the end of Carrie (13%) and Carol Ann staring into the static-filled TV and saying, “They’re here,” in Poltergeist (8%).

On the down side, Leprechaun 2 (28%) and I Know What You Did Last Summer (17%) were ranked as the worst horror movies of all-time.

Still, when it came down to respondents casting their vote for having good sex or getting a good scare, it was no contest: nine out of 10 preferred to get their adrenaline rise courtesy of lifting their libido.

AMC Research commissioned Harris Interactive to conduct an online survey of cable/satellite TV subscribers from Oct. 4-6, an effort that yielded 2,493 respondents. Among the sample, 1,451 cable and/or satellite subscribers mentioned that they like to watch scary/horror movies. These respondents were asked additional questions about the genre.