With Halloween right around the corner, we decided to lean into the creepy season by considering some of our favorite names and characters from horror movies. Which of these names would be appropriate for your daughter? We think we’ve found the right balance between chilling and practical. These baby names should conjure images of fright, but also sound hospitable.
We surveyed monikers from classic horror movies to more contemporary hits to give a mix to consider. You’ll find names from certified canon like Night of the Living Dead and newer offerings like It Follows. Here are 25 baby names for girls inspired by some of the greatest horror movies ever made!
Misery brought to life one of the most tormenting characters ever, Annie Wilkes. If you want your daughter to grow up to be an artist with a sledgehammer, consider this English name. It means “grace,” which is rich.
Audrey from Little Shop of Horrors had a heart of gold. Who could forget Ellen Greene‘s unnervingly campy performance in this horror-comedy-musical hybrid? Audrey is currently a trending name so many parents must really be into this musical about a carnivorous alien plant. The name has English origins and means “noble strength.”
Night of the Living Dead has solidified itself as a horror masterwork. The film was ahead of its time in so many ways. The character Barbra had a unique name, the American version of Barbara which means “stranger.” If you want to bestow a touch of mystery upon your daughter, consider this fun name.
22. Carol Anne
We always root for little Carol Anne after she’s been abducted by darkness in Poltergeist. “They’re here,” remains the scariest line of dialogue in any movie. Carol Anne is one of those classic combo monikers that marries Carol a name that means “free man” and Anne which means “grace.”
If Carol Anne seems too childish for you, consider the more sinister form Carrie popularized by Stephen King‘s frightening novel about the supernatural. Sissy Spacek brought so much humanity to the character, Carrie White, that the horrors that followed that infamous bucket of pig’s blood seemed almost justified. Carrie is a form of Carol and shares the same meaning, “free man.”
Hereditary is one of the scariest movies to come out in recent years. Thanks in no small part to the performances of Milly Shapiro and Toni Collette. Both of their characters’ names make this list as Annie and Charlie are both so fine. Charlie is a shortened form of Charlotte which, again, means “free man.” If you decide to go with this name, be sure to test for a nut allergy ASAP.
Clarice Starling, a character created by Thomas Harris, will forever be associated with Jodie Foster’s performance in the film adaptation of Silence of the Lambs. She’s a tough, bright FBI cadet that’s not afraid of the dark. Clarice has Italian origins and means “bright.”
Midsommar will cure any desire to experiment with psychedelics. The main character of the film, Dani is eventually crowned May Queen but she had to suffer a group of mediocre men to get there. We love the name Dani for a girl! It’s a shortened, feminine form of Daniel, which means “God is my judge.” You’ll also find the name in the beloved family horror film, Hocus Pocus.
Heather is a name that had its moment in the 70s and 80s and we feel like it’s primed for a comeback. Who could forget the documentarian, Heather Donahue, who should have really hung onto that map of the Black Hills Forest? If you saw The Blair Witch Project at too young of an age, chances are, it scarred you for life. Let’s commemorate that with this wonderful botanic name for your baby girl.
“Grandmamma! Grandmamma!” Luke Eveshim called his grandmother in The Witches. The character’s actual name is Helga Eveshim who was played brilliantly by Mai Zetterling. We love the Scandi name Helga and think it would sound very charming for your daughter. Helga means “blessed.” No witches will dare mess with her.
The name Jay has Latin origins and means “jaybird.” While Jay is traditionally a choice for boys, David Robert Mitchell chose it for the female hero of his horror saga, It Follows. If you choose this name for your daughter, be sure to teach her to swim at an early age.
We can’t talk about heroes of horror without discussing Jame Lee Curtis‘s Laurie Strode in Halloween. She is the toughest babysitter out there. Laurie is a very retro name that has English origins and means “bay laurel.” We’re sure your little Laurie could kick some tale.
Eli is a name with Hebrew origins which means “ascended.” Eli from Let the Right One In (2008) was anything but that for the majority of the movie and instead, leaned into her most base tendencies. Viciously loyal, this vampire woman-child was very, very scary but remained a very good friend to Oskar.
Marion Crane played by Janet Leigh, made a huge impression in her short time on the screen in Psycho. She should have never stopped off at that sleepy motel. Marion is an English name with French and Hebrew origins which means “bitterness.”
Mercedes is one of our favorite names and we were thrilled Guillermo Del Toro chose it for the compassionate housekeeper and revolutionary in his fantasy-horror picture, Pan’s Labyrinth. The name Mercedes has Spanish origins and means “gracious gifts.”
Believe it or not, the demonically possessed Regan MacNeill helped foster the popularity of the name. Yes, that terrifying child from The Exorcist made the name trend the year following the release of the movie in 1974. Regan is a name with Irish origins that means “little king” (of darkness).
The name Ripley has an interesting meaning, a “strip of clearing in the woods.” Okay! The name is most familiar to you probably because Sigourney Weaver bore it as the powerful character in Alien. And if you’re wondering, Alien is a horror movie and that’s not up for debate.
Go ahead and name your baby Rosemary! Mia Farrow, as Rosemary Woodhouse, was absolutely terrorized by her new neighbors in Rosemary’s Baby. We love this herb name that can also mean “dew of the sea.”
The slyly arthouse horror film The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is almost too brutal to get through, even today. The original “final girl,” a term coined by feminist film theorist Carol J Clover, is a horror trope that describes the single woman left standing at the end of a movie. Sally’s the original survivor that so many other characters (Laurie Strode, Ripley, Nancy Thompson, and Sidney Prescott) have been loosely modeled after. Sally is a diminutive of Sarah and means “princess.”
Samara is a name with Hebrew origins that means “under God’s rule.” The name should make you think of the doomed child who crawls out of a TV in The Ring. Pro tip: avoid VHS.
Under the Shadow is both a war film and a horror movie. This excellent movie is anchored by the performance of Narges Rashidi as a haunted and protective mother. Her character’s name, Shideh is a beautiful one. It has Persian origins and means “luminous.”
Sidney Prescott had one rough ride after another throughout the Scream franchise. We absolutely love her name! It’s very French and means “Saint Denis.” While this name is a perfectly acceptable gender-neutral option, we tend to favor it for girls.
In the original Giallo, the name was spelled Suzy, but in Luca Guadagnino‘s remake, it’s spelled, Susie. Both the original and the remake of Suspiria are polarizing and very weird. We love the hero of both, Susie (Suzy). The name has English and Hebrew origins and means “lily.”
Thomasin couldn’t catch a break after her family was forced out of town and into the New England wilderness. The Witch is a terrifying look at life for young, unmarried women in Puritan (Calvinist) society. It was not so great in the 17th century! Thomasin becomes the unlikely dark hero by the end of the film which we weren’t expecting. The name is an English diminutive of Thomas, a name that means “twin.”
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The name Wendy is actually a literary invention created by Sir James Barrie for the big sister role in his play, Peter Pan. For horror fans, the name should conjure the image of Shelley Duvall running through a hedge maze from Jack Nicholson in The Shining.
There you go! 25 names for girls inspired by some of the most beloved (and reviled) horror movies. We hope you enjoyed this list and it helped get you into the Halloween spirit!
- 1 25. Annie
- 2 24. Audrey
- 3 23. Barbra
- 4 22. Carol Anne
- 5 21. Carrie
- 6 20. Charlie
- 7 19. Clarice
- 8 18. Dani
- 9 17. Heather
- 10 16. Helga
- 11 15. Jay
- 12 14. Laurie
- 13 13. Eli
- 14 12. Marion
- 15 11. Mercedes
- 16 10. Regan
- 17 9. Ripley
- 18 8. Rosemary
- 19 7. Sally
- 20 6. Samara
- 21 5. Shideh
- 22 4. Sidney
- 23 3. Susie
- 24 2. Thomasin
- 25 1. Wendy
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