%% The source of this image is the painting "Hands Resist Him"
[[caption-width-right:350:[-I ''knew'' I should have gone with the dogs playing poker.-]]]

Paintings, before the advent of the humble [[SpookyPhotographs photograph]], were the best thing to hang on your wall to provide a little culture, beauty and ''we swear that one just moved!''

This is where a painting isn't normal. Maybe it's [[PhantomZonePicture trapping something]], maybe it's [[ArtInitiatesLife developed a life of its own]], maybe it's a [[PortalPicture gateway to another dimension]], maybe it's [[CosmicKeystone the source of power]] for an evil wizard, maybe it's just a cursed heirloom that brings misfortune... [[PortraitPaintingPeephole Or maybe it's actually the covering for a window with the "eyes" being the guy looking through it.]]

The GenreBlind, upon hearing of this menace, may try to come up with an excuse that renders it harmless, or otherwise just [[IncrediblyLamePun brush it off]].

CreepyChangingPainting is a SubTrope.




[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* In the horror manga ''Manga/{{Tomie}}'', a painter falls in love with the title character and produces at least one Spooky Painting.
* In ''Manga/OnePiece'', during the Thriller Bark arc, the main crew encounters some spooky paintings which [[OurZombiesAreDifferent turn out to be zombies]].
* Yami Bakura in ''[[Franchise/YuGiOh Yu-Gi-Oh]]'' has a possessed painting in his Supernatural Deck, along with a HeadlessHorseman and DreamStealer Ghost.
* In ''LightNovel/DragonCrisis'', the hero's sister brings back a Lost Precious that's a painting, only for the girls to all get sucked in. Turns out, there's a serial killer wandering around in there...and he may have gotten out when they finally escaped...
* The characters of ''Anime/ShamanicPrincess'' are [[MacGuffin vying over a painting]] which happens to be a powerful magical artifact. It's called the [[NonIndicativeName "Throne of Yord"]] even though it's a landscape painting -- of a pond in a forest. It's quite soothing and pleasant, until it starts [[PortalPicture sucking people up]] and [[MindRape psychologically tormenting them]].

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* A 1940s [[ComicBook/JusticeSocietyOfAmerica Justice Society]] story featured the menace of ''The Paintings That Walked the Earth''.
* There was that time the ''Comicbook/DoomPatrol'''s foes the Brotherhood of Dada used a magic painting to steal the city of Paris. But then that's the Doom Patrol for you.
* In ''ComicStrip/GreenLantern'', Sinestro Corps member Feena Sik had the flowering reputation of an artist revered across space sectors. Then she became so determined to bring her art to life she completed a ritual involving her husband's blood to do just that. At her next show, the paintings immediately came to life and massacred the audience. All of her previous works have been blacklisted and banned from reprinting out of fear that they'll come alive.

[[folder:Fairy Tales]]
* Inversion: There's an Eastern tale about boy who (unknowingly) spends the night in a cursed deserted monastery in which every night a [[RodentsOfUnusualSize Giant]] [[OurDemonsAreDifferent Demon]] [[YouDirtyRat Rat]] appeared and killed whoever slept inside; Since he loved to paint cats, he had spent all day painting them all over the walls of the monastery before going to sleep, that night, he wakes up hearing terrible screeching noises that are suddenly silenced, the next morning he finds the Giant Demon Rat dead in a pool of blood, the shock of the finding prevents him from realizing right away that the paws of the cats he painted the day before were also stained with blood...

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* The Homestuck fan adventure ''Webcomic/AlabasterTheDoomedSession'' contains a lot of them, [[http://mspfanventures.com/?s=236&p=849 but their great moment is the Twin Peaks]].

* ''Film/InTheMouthOfMadness'' has an hotel with one very interesting painting. Very, very interesting.
* ''Film/CandymanDayOfTheDead''. The said Candyman's good side is held within a set of paintings, notably his own, and as everybody knows evil can't exist without good, so the girl had to destroy the paintings to kill(?) him.
* ''Film/DeathbedTheBedThatEats'' (1977) features a painting haunted by its artist.
* The painting above Laura's bed in Creator/DavidLynch's ''Film/TwinPeaksFireWalkWithMe'': the painting is a portal to the netherworld, and when the angel leaves the painting Laura is about to die.
* ''Film/GhostbustersII'' has the BigBad using a painting to generate a portal into the real world. After his defeat, it's transformed into a mock Christian painting (with Bill Murray's girlfriend and new baby son as Madonna and Child, and the Ghostbusters as the four Gospel writers).
* In the Creator/RogerCorman film ''Film/TheHauntedPalace'', Curwen's portrait is the main way he insinuates his spirit into the consciousness of his unwitting descendant. (In the original story, ''Literature/TheCaseOfCharlesDexterWard'', the portrait had no supernatural qualities; it served only to show the [[IdenticalGrandson similarity of appearance]] between Curwen and Ward.)
* In the remake of ''Film/TheHaunting1999'', Hugh Crain's ghost manifests through his portrait.
* The 1945's adaptation of ''Film/ThePictureOfDorianGray'', mentioned below in the Literature section. For full effect, the movie was shot in black and white, while the shots of the portrait (seen at the top of that entry's page) was filmed in color.
* Played with in ''Film/ShanghaiKnights''. Chon thinks that he sees the eyes in a painting move, while Roy, engrossed in a book about the Kama Sutra, dismisses him. It turns out that [[spoiler: Chon's sister had been hiding "inside" the painting, and she bursts out of it to save Roy and Chon.]]
* ''Film/BlackSwan'' has Nina's mother painting dozens of them, one of which moves slightly the first time Nina sees them. Later on during Nina's [[spoiler:breakdown, they all come alive moaning and shrieking at her.]]
* The portrait of the Master and his dog in ''Film/ManosTheHandsOfFate''. [[Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000 "It's a Frank Frazetta of Music/FrankZappa!"]]
* Holden's room in ''Film/TheCabinInTheWoods'' has a painting that is...grisly and visceral, to put it mildly. Made even more creepy that [[spoiler:removing the painting reveals an]] ''[[spoiler:interrogation mirror/window straight into Dana's room.]]''
* The paintings in ''Film/FourteenOhEight'' are spooky. Enslin finds three framed examples of Generic Hotel Artwork that get more menacing as the movie goes on. Specifically, [[spoiler:a painting of "constipated English lords" hunting changes to a scene wherein they are attacked by their hunting dogs, a ship being tossed about in on the high seas suddenly has a full crew fighting in vain against a storm, and a painting of a woman and her child becomes a painting of a woman ''breastfeeding her dead baby.'']]

* ''Literature/FourteenOhEight'': The evil room features several framed pieces of drab hotel art (an ocean fishing scene, a fox hunt, a woman and a baby) that suddenly change to become menacing as the hotel room subjects the main character to more and greater horrors.
* The room in E. F. Benson's "The Room in the Tower" contains a self-portrait by a woman who [[spoiler: committed suicide.]] Unfortunately for the protagonist, the portrait now houses [[spoiler: a vampire.]]
* Creator/SimonRGreen's ''Hawk and Fisher'' story "The Bones of Haven" introduces Messerschmann's Portrait, a painting which, if you look at it too long, will trap you in the hellish landscape it depicts.
* In the Creator/StephenKing story "The Road Virus Heads North", found in the collection ''Everything's Eventual'', a writer buys a painting of a car, but the background keeps changing...
* There's the painting in ''Literature/RoseMadder'' by Stephen King. The content of the picture [[CreepyChangingPainting changing]] is not its most unusual feature...
* The ghost of the HangingJudge in J. S. Le Fanu's "An Account of Some Strange Disturbances in Aungier Street" manifests as a creepy painting, among other things.
* ''Literature/ThePictureOfDorianGray'' is a good example where the painting reveals the true evil of Dorian's actions as his soul becomes more and more corrupted.
* Trumps in ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfAmber'' series by Creator/RogerZelazny: You can reach out to the subject of the painting, step through a Trump to join them, wherever they are, or you can draw them to your side through their trump, even stab them through the painted card.
* In Creator/RoaldDahl's ''Literature/TheWitches'', a witch traps a little girl inside a painting. She ages normally, and eventually disappears altogether.
* Creator/HPLovecraft:
** In ''Literature/TheCaseOfCharlesDexterWard'', the plot is kicked in by the discovery of the protagonist's ancestor's portrait that's almost identical in appearance to him. It often appears to be watching on young Charles as he works, but although it loses its menace for awhile, it later gets worse, surrounded by a miasma of undefinable dread. [[spoiler:As it turns out, the latter is due to the fact that the said ancestor is resurrected, and he kills Charles and stuffs his body behind the painting, presumably after first destroying it with acid, resulting in unpleasant smell that people interpret subconsciously as evil presence.]]
** In "The Picture in the House", the eponymous picture depicts a cannibal banquet. [[spoiler:The really creepy bit is the implication that its owner is himself a cannibal.]]
** In "[[http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Medusa%27s_Coil Medusa's Coil]]," an artist ends up painting a picture of a strange woman, and the picture happens to capture such horrors that another character immediately makes it his mission to kill her. It doesn't help that she flees the scene after seeing it herself, and that [[spoiler:she attacks him in a rage so he is forced to kill her anyways. In a maddened rant afterwards - and after her severed ''hair'' has coiled up and murdered the artist in front of him, her killer tries to explain:]]
--->'''Denis:''' 'God, but Frank is an artist! That thing is the greatest piece any living soul has produced since Rembrandt! It's a crime to burn it - but it would be a greater crime to let it exist - just as it would have been an abhorrent sin to let - that she-daemon - exist any longer. (...) She thought we couldn't see through - that the false front would hold till we had bartered away our immortal souls. And she was half right - she'd have got me in the end. She was only - waiting. But Frank - good old Frank - was too much for me. He knew what it all meant, and painted it. I don't wonder she shrieked and ran off when she saw it. It wasn't quite done, but God knows enough was there.
*** When the protagonist ends up seeing the picture himself, after having being told the story behind it, he describes it as a gruesome imagery of witchcraft and decaying nature. He [[spoiler: draws his gun and shots it asunder, only to have the man that showed it to him freak out. Apparently the painting had talked to him and forced him to keep it safe. A few minutes later, the house is on fire and an undead witch drags the poor guy to his doom. The protagonist high-tails it out of there.]]
** "Pickman's Model" concerns a meeting with the infamous artist in the title, who creates works such as "Ghoul Feeding" that are so disturbing that he can't even donate them to art museums, and then shows the narrator a private gallery of monstrous portraits that make him scream out loud. The ''real'' creepy part comes at the end when the narrator notices a reference photograph stuck next to a work-in-progress - [[spoiler:Pickman doesn't have a twisted imagination, he has ghouls come in and sit for him in his basement studio.]]
* Everything Laurent does after the murder in ''Literature/ThereseRaquin''. He wasn't much of a talented painter before the murder, but he keeps unconsciously painting his victim's face in variation. Once he realizes that, he gets scared and stops painting.
* Creator/BramStoker's ''The Judge's House'' contains a picture of HangingJudge Jeffreys.
* Leonard of Quirm's painting of the ''Mona Ogg'', hanging in the Royal Art Gallery in Ankh-Morpork, does this to people on the ''Literature/{{Discworld}}''. People swear the teeth don't just follow you around the room, they stalk you around the rest of the gallery and then down the street outside....
* The Literature/FightingFantasy gamebook ''Literature/HouseOfHell'' has [[spoiler: three Spooky Paintings you encounter early in the story; each is an optional encounter, and you can only interact with one. The first is a portrait of a man, and all it does is move its eyes. The second is a portrait of a beautiful young woman, who speaks to you in a sad voice, warns you not to drink white wine in the house (''very'' useful advice) and advises you to try to flee (you cannot do that). The third painting is an old woman who encourages you to fight the evil in the house, telling you there is an ally you can find called the Man in Grey. (She's telling the truth, but the Man in Grey is a RedHerring - he can't help you much. In any case, any of these encounters will cause you to gain a Fear Point.]]
* In ''Literature/ThatHideousStrength'' by C. S. Lewis, the villains lock Mark in "the Objective Room," containing, among other things, surreal paintings that quietly eat away at his sanity.
* In ''All Hallows' Eve'' by Creator/CharlesWilliams, a young artist paints a picture of a cult leader preaching to his congregation, and is disconcerted to find that it is the best thing he's ever done "and" reveals the spiritual emptiness of the cult leader and his followers. The leader himself is very pleased with it.
* In ''Literature/ArielBlock'', Ariel finds a painting in her house's attic and moves it into her room. It depicts a woman who may or may not be former resident Grace Molineaux, who may or may not have murdered her children. Whether the portrait is actually haunted or just mundanely spooky is, like all supernatural elements in the novel, [[MaybeMagicMaybeMundane left ambiguous]].
* ''Literature/GravityFallsJournal3'': Category 4 Ghosts are behind those paintings.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' featured at least one of these.
* The pilot episode of Creator/RodSerling's ''Series/NightGallery'' includes "The Cemetery", a story about a greedy nephew who murders his rich old uncle for the inheritance. Soon afterward, he begins to notice odd changes in a painting of the manor and its adjoining cemetery. One day there's a fresh mound in the cemetery. The next day, the mound's unearthed to reveal a casket. And the next, the casket's open to reveal his uncle's dead body. And then one night the painting shows the corpse walking through the cemetery gates towards the mansion. [[spoiler: After the panicked nephew accidentally breaks his neck, the whole thing turns out to have been an elaborate scheme by [[TheButlerDidIt the family butler]] using a set of custom paintings he'd been swapping out each day, both to avenge his old master and to claim the estate for himself. But the next night, the butler notices that the painting on the wall's changed, and now it's the nephew's grave that's opening...]]
* Chiana brings one of these back to Moya in ''Series/{{Farscape}}''. It appears to forecast the future, but in reality, it's the SoulJar of [[HumanoidAbomination Maldis]], one of Zhaan's old enemies- leading to a bizzare sequence in which the crew are killed off one by one and their souls trapped ''inside'' [[EldritchLocation the painting.]]
* One episode of ''Series/TheTwilightZone'' featured a series of people's disappearances in a cave, at the end of the episode a woman is the last person to vanish and the people searching for her enter the cave following her screams, and then they see a crude painting of her on a wall and several ''moving'' prehistoric cave paintings stabbing her with spears.
* In ''Series/TheSarahJaneAdventures'' two-parter ''Mona Lisa's Revenge'', the picture comes to life.
* In the ''Series/DoctorWho'' episode "Fear Her" the girl's drawings both come to life, and draw people into them.
** In "Flatline", graffiti paintings of people turn out to be two-dimensional beings invading the three-dimensional world.
* ''Series/TheHauntingHour'' features an episode called "The Girl in the Painting", in which the girl Becky, played by Bailee Madison, finds a beautiful portrait of a girl in a bedroom and takes it home. She develops an obsession with, especially after noticing the girl changes position and the clock showing different times. [[spoiler: she discovers the painting leads to another world, where the girl is forced by her mother to trick people into coming in, thinking it's a paradise, when in fact they are to be eaten by a monster, which Becky learns the hard way.]]
* In ''Series/{{Friends}}'', Phoebe painted a creepy picture of Gladys, and part of her body was crafted, so it appeared as if she was coming from the picture. When Mike, her boyfriend, was moving in, he insisted she get rid of it. She gave it to Monica who tried to give it to Rachel who made fun of her. They didn't want to hurt Phoebe's feelings, but the painting caused them nightmares, particularly to Joey. Phobe, thinking they both want it, made another even scarier picture.
* A lighthearted example happened in a ''Series/CaptainKangaroo'' skit where the Captain was in a museum and two paintings and a stone bust eat his banana, soda pop, and candy bar when his back is turned.

[[folder:Music Videos]]
* Music/DavidBowie's 1979 video "Look Back in Anger", in an {{Homage}} to ''The Picture of Dorian Gray'', has him as an artist who has just completed a painting of an angel -- which was clearly modeled on himself. Examining his work and finding something...intriguing about it, he runs his hand over its surface. The face of the portrait doesn't change. ''The artist's'' face winds up disfigured.

[[folder:Other Sites]]
* ''Wiki/SCPFoundation'', [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-1226 SCP-1226 ("Postmodernism")]]. SCP-1226 is a painting of a nuclear weapon detonating over a city. When a person looks at the entire painting they [[DevolutionDevice change into an unknown form of caveman]] and act in a brutal manner.

* In ''Podcast/TheMagnusArchives'' the narrator of one episode finds a strange and valuable-looking book in a charity shop. The book has a number of woodcut illustrations, including a strangely compelling one of a starry, otherwise empty sky. Before he knows it, he's spent nearly an hour just staring at it. It turns out the book [[spoiler:is from a particularly nasty MagicalLibrary]].

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* As a playground for classic horror tropes, the TabletopGame/{{Ravenloft}} D&D setting uses this one a ''lot''. The darklord of Ghastria has a lifeforce-sucking portrait, Souragne's darklord has a collection of etchings that imprison the souls of his enemies, there's a spellcasting sentient painting in Castle Ravenloft, et cetera. Even tapestries and stained-glass windows get in on the act.
* A monster book for ''TabletopGame/VampireTheRequiem'' features the idea of "ghoul portraits," paintings created using a vampire's enhanced Vitae that have a measure of sentience and access to vampiric Disciplines.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' has one in Fulgrim's painting. Not only is it made from bodily fluids by a mad artist, it [[spoiler:contains either a daemon or Fulgrim's soul.]]

* In ''Theatre/{{Ruddigore}}'', the ghosts of the former Bad Baronets emerge from their paintings to torment the current inheritor of the family curse.
* In a much more benign example, the ancestor portraits in ''Me and My Girl'' step out of their frames to instruct the new Earl of Hereford in ''Noblesse Oblige''.

[[folder:Theme Parks]]
* Used in [[Ride/DisneyThemeParks Disney's]] [[Ride/TheHauntedMansion Haunted Mansion]] attractions around the world. Several paintings depict seemingly innocent scenes - a woman reclining on a couch, a ship at sea, a knight on a horse, to name a few - that change to horrific versions when lightning flashes outside nearby windows - the woman becomes a snarling tiger, the ship rides through a storm with tattered sails, and the knight and horse become skeletons. There are also a few that were originally installed at Walt Disney World that had eyes that would follow the riders, but the moving-eye effect (as well as most of the portraits) seems to have been removed during a 2007 overhaul of the ride, leaving the paintings static (although still suitably creepy in their design).
* Similarly Ride/AltonTowers' ride ''Duel'' is set in a haunted mansion featured several paintings that change as you watch past them, most notably on the way out.

[[folder:Urban Legends]]
* Subverted in an urban legend where a woman is alone in a cabin that she thinks has paintings of creepy-looking people and can't sleep. When the sun comes up, she finds out that [[spoiler: there were no paintings. [[ParanoiaFuel Only windows.]]]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/SuperMario64'' had Mario jumping through paintings to other worlds, and sometimes not even paintings but portals hidden in walls.
* ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}''
** The entire plot of ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaPortraitOfRuin'' revolved around the villain's creation of evil pocket dimensions within paintings.
** The Stage 5 Haunted Ship of ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaRondoOfBlood'' and its remake ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaTheDraculaXChronicles The Dracula X Chronicles]]'' has a painting that, if allowed to come close to Richter, will suck him into the artwork and then split itself apart, killing him instantly.
** In stage 15 of ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaI Vampire Killer]]'', the corridor leading to [[TheGrimReaper Death]] has many full-body portraits of Count Dracula. The FinalBoss room is dominated by an enormous painting of a demonic face which turns out to be Dracula's second form.
** ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight'' also features them. A notable example is found in the Royal Chapel, specifically the room where you fight the Hippogryph, that depicts a group of scythe-wielding winged skeletons massacring crusaders in front of a temple.
* ''VideoGame/{{Earthbound}}'' has the city of Moonside, which featured extremely bizarre enemies, including Abstract Art, which were literal living paintings.
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'', there are several paintings containing enemies during the Relm sidequest in the World of Ruin. There is also a boss monster in a painting at the end, which is an Esper possessed by evil.
* ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'' had Phantom Ganon charge out of a set of paintings in the middle of a temple, as well as Poes possessing the paintings throughout the dungeon.
* ''VideoGame/SuperMarioSunshine'' there is a beach painting in the hotel that gives the guest in that room "strange vibes." If Mario sprays it with water, the shape of a boo appears and Mario can jump through the painting.
* There's an actual enemy in ''VideoGame/WarioWorld'' that is called the Terrible Portrait. It's literally a living painting that shoots fire, ice and boulders at Wario, and takes the appearance of three photo frames with a face in the middle one.
* ''VideoGame/ZackAndWiki'' had a section in a castle with paintings that were out to get you. One you had to blind to get past and another had a fish that would eat you if you got on its nerves.
* ''VideoGame/EternalDarkness'' had a painting that would change from lush fields to a hellish landscape depending on the character's sanity. Never sure whether it was due to the characters going insane or the ancients casting magick to make them insane.
* In ''VideoGame/PokemonDiamondAndPearl'', the apparently haunted Old Chateau has a room with some kind of painting in it. You can't really tell ''what'' the painting is of, but there are glowing red eyes on it that disappear when you get too close, then come back when you turn your back.
* ''VideoGame/CliveBarkersUndying'' has quite a few of these that masquerade as normal paintings, but reveal the true horror when the Scrye spell is used on them.
* Several examples, including the one shown at the top of this page, hang in the upstairs hallway in ''VideoGame/{{Scratches}}''.
* A ''very'' creepy example appears prominently in ''VideoGame/TheLostCrown'', both directly and in dream sequences.
* ''VideoGame/LuigisMansion''. Obvious example is the painting of Mario (who's still screaming for help and banging on the front of the painting), but also the portraits of the various ghosts (well, they are the actual ghosts turned to paintings), anything in Vincent Van Gore's art studio (See ArtInitiatesLife) and various paintings in the mansion itself which can be pulled off the wall to reveal a creepy Big Boo picture (and various smaller ones which can't really be identified).
* ''Videogame/{{Anchorhead}}'' has a whole gallery of creepy paintings done by one of the delightful members of the Verlac family. They get even creepier if you look at them closely...
* ''VideoGame/TheSeventhGuest'' has several eerie paintings hanging around the Stauf mansion, and some of them get even worse when you examine them more closely.
* In ''VideoGame/AmnesiaTheDarkDescent'', you will often run into paintings of the castle's owner throughout your exploration. However, should your sanity start to slip (due to looking at monsters or staying in the dark too long), the face will change into something grotesque. What makes it especially creepy is how nonchalant it can appear as you're exploring, until you realize something's wrong...
* ''Franchise/SilentHill'' has a long and rich history of freaking gamers out with wall paintings. The [[VideoGame/SilentHill1 original]] has a funny/frightening lounge in the elementary school which holds a giant framed painting of gore and corpses. The hero comments on the poor taste of the picture. When the Otherworld takes hold, the lounge is replaced by the room depicted in the painting.
* ''VideoGame/SilentHill2'''s prison has an InfiniteCanvas showing the cafeteria you're standing in. Which would be weird enough, except that there's a slumped corpse on the table beside you -- ''and'' in the painting itself.
* ''VideoGame/HitmanContracts'' features an asylum with portraits of a toddler wearing a three-piece suit. Note that [[FridgeBrilliance the suit is identical to Agent 47's]], echoing the EvilPlan of the head doctor to breed superhumans.
* ''VideoGame/{{Ib}}'' features a whole gallery of paintings made by a MadArtist. All contribute to an atmosphere of menace and unrest, and once in the DarkWorld some of them come alive and chase after you.
* ''VideoGame/KirbyCanvasCurse'' has an entire plot based around this. The bosses are pictures of old Kirby villains brought to life, and the villain herself was born from a painting, and wants to turn the whole world into one of paint.
* ''VideoGame/TheWitchsHouse'' features a Mona Lisa-esque painting that will, at one point, come alive and try to turn you into a painting.
* You collect more spooky paintings in the ''Ghostbusters'' game; although they're just there for OneHundredPercentCompletion.
* ''VideoGame/DarkSouls'' has one in Anor Londo. It sits inside a massive cathedral, where the only thing present are the painting and its guardians. It shows a haunting-looking hillside ruin blanketed in snow. [[spoiler: Coming here with the Peculiar Doll found when you return to your jail cell in the Undead Asylum pulls you into the painting, letting you explore the world inside. It's the sole location of one of the game's most disturbing enemies, the Legion. [[AvertedTrope Averted]] when you find out the thing that it's meant to seal is not evil, and in fact just wants to be left there with her people.]]
* ''VideoGame/DarkSoulsII'': EverythingTryingToKillYou: TheGame now adds a painting to its arsenal. [[spoiler: Specifically a painting of [[GodSaveUsFromTheQueen Queen]] [[PiecesOfGod Nashandra]]. Seems she's [[HumanoidAbomination so cosmically wrong]] that even ''a simple painting of her'' is dangerous. Eat your hearts out, [[Series/DoctorWho Weeping Angels]]...]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Terranigma}}'' has realistically drawn portraits of four people on a wall in Sylvain Castle. Each person is missing one eye, which you have to replace with a gemstone.
* Paintings are a running theme in the universe of ''VideoGame/{{Dishonored}}'' and its sequel and are often played to creepy effect.
** The paintings of Anton Sokolov the OmnidisciplinaryScientist are minimal and realistic to the point of inducing a ''slight'' UncannyValley effect. They are often named after mathematical concepts and are clearly the work of someone who has an excellent understanding of how the world functions mechanically but has no emotional attachment to it.
** Contrasting the works of Sokolov, the paintings drawn by his student, Delilah Copperspoon are garish with chaotic, swirling patterns containing many contrasting colours and very few lines or borders. Perfectly fitting for someone who practices RealityWarper magic and uses her paintings as conduits for her powers.
** In ''VideoGame/Dishonored2'', the player can encounter a series of paintings about Karnacan folklore. Many of them contain [[HumanoidAbomination Humanoid]] and [[EldritchAbomination Eldritch Abominations]]. No more context or explanation about these paintings are provided. However, given how [[CrapsackWorld crapsack]] the Dishonored universe is, the likelihood of these monsters existing is unsettlingly likely.
* ''VideoGame/RogueLegacy'' has creepy portraits haunting the Castle and Tower areas. They look like normal paintings at first glance, but twitch when the player gets close. After they take damage, they transform into pitch-black portraits with scary-looking faces and fangs, and will circle around the player and shoot them with energy balls.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* Beatrice's portrait in ''VisualNovel/UminekoWhenTheyCry''. Spooky for various reasons - most notably frequent deaths in front of it. Portraits. Most of the witches have a portrait that shows up at some point. How exactly the portraits are connected to the witches themselves hasn't been explained yet.

* ''SilentHillPromise'' has one based on The Last Supper.

[[folder:Web Originals]]
* ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner'':
** According to the WebAnimation/StrongBadEmail "bottom 10", Strong Mad keeps in his closet a painting of a creepy goblin with a torch (officially named the Rocoulm, but usually just known as the Horrible Painting) that can apparently move and talk to a degree, which usually does nothing except creep people out (or, in Homestar-ese, give them the "jibblies"). ''Come on in heeere...''
** In the Halloween cartoon "Jibblies 2", the Horrible Painting escapes from Strong Mad's closet and runs around giving everyone "the jibblies" (except [[CloudCuckoolander Homsar]]). Then Homestar decided to accept the goblin's offer to "come on in here" and walked ''into'' the painting, where it turned out that the goblin just wanted someone to come in so he could entertain them. For eternity.
--->'''Homestar:''' [[AreWeThereYet So, is it eternity yet?]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooMysteryIncorporated'' features an auctioneer trying to sell off what he dubs a "spooooooooky painting". No one seems interested in it but the monster of the week.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'': In "Treehouse Of Horror IV" Homer is literally creeped out by "Dogs Playing Poker" by Cassius Marsellus Coolidge.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* There are some paintings that appear to follow you with their eyes.
** Specifically, this is an optical illusion created when the subject is looking directly at the camera/painter. Because a painting is two dimensional, no matter what angle you look at the painting, the eyes appear to be directed at the observer.
* Even without the obligatory "curse" backstory, "The Hands Resist Him" (above) is pretty damn creepy. [[note]]The developers of ''VideoGame/{{Scratches}}'' thought it would be funny to throw it into the game.[[/note]] The inspiration for the painting makes it less creepy. The boy is the artist, and the girl is meant to protect him from the hands outside.
* For more spooky paintings, see ''[[NightmareFuel/{{Art}} Nightmare Fuel: Art]]''.