The Doctor Who title sequence is arguably at its best when it's unnerving and looks like an acid trip. It's hard not to feel even a tiny chill when seeing the abstract alien ripples and clouds in the '60s and '70s intros, with Delia Derbyshire's original musique concréte version of the main theme, especially at the cue of the first ooooo-WEEEEEE-OOOOOOOOOOOO...
Speaking of the title sequence, showing the Doctor's face in the opening titles must have sounded like a good idea at the discussion table, but the final effect was often seven shades of creepy. The Fourth Doctor's head, with Tom Baker's trademark pop-eyed stare, is probably more unnerving than any other.
Same with the Sixth Doctor's opening. Colin Baker's smile is less Cheshire Cat and more "I'm going to eat your soul."
Episode 2 of An Unearthly Child displayed a whole human skeleton with its skull tilted to stare out at the audience, and a cave of piled human skulls. The episode (prior to the serials having collective names) was aptly titled "The Cave of Skulls".
In the original Dalek story, we see a lake full of horribly mutated aquatic creatures. One of them takes a very unfortunate Thal, and before that we hear their cries. All through the night, our heroes heard them.
They pulled a Dalek creature out of its casing and Ian climbed in. It must be so gross in there.
Barbara wandering, lost, in the Dalek city in the first episode, with doors closing behind her and locking her in, can be quite scary especially if one is claustrophobic.
The Edge of Destruction. The predecessor to Midnight with just the Doctor, Susan, Ian and Barbara on the TARDIS and they begin to fight each other.
Susan threatening to stab Barbara with scissors, then forcing herself to instead stab her bed over and over while shrieking and sobbing is very freaky.
Marco Polo has Tegana, a treacherous, cold-hearted Jerk Ass who takes more than a few measures to give hell to our heroes on their journey.
The booby-trapped building in The Keys of Marinus. Also the Brains of Morphoton.
One Voord, traveling through the sea of acid, got a tear in their protective suit. Slow and painful death apparently ensued.
The Aztecs takes human sacrifice and rolls with it. Not to mention Barbara's realisation that she can't possibly hope to change that aspect of history.
The Sensorites is worry-inducing enough with the City Administrator's scheming against the heroes, but then come the monsters in the sewer...
In Planet of Giants, Barbara accidentally comes in contact with some nuts laced with incredibly dangerous pesticide, and becomes nearly as sick as that time everyone got radiation poisoning in The Daleks, on the verge of collapsing. Just then, the last we see of the villain involves him getting a spray of said pesticide right in the eyes.
The Dalek Invasion of Earth. The early series' sense of hopelessness and despair in its purest form, as Daleks have taken over Earth entirely. Before the Doctor shows up, there is no one around fit enough to stand up to them, let alone defeat them. Couple that with that they choose the most fit among the survivors and turn them into robotic slaves, you got yourself a solid 3 hours of nightmare fuel. Heck, this story (not counting The Daleks) was by far the show's darkest moment, and its ticket into a lifetime of full-fledged Nightmare Fuel.
The Slyther may not be the best SPFX out there, but imagine a prison camp not only run by Daleks, but guarded by what is almost certainly another Davros special.
Vicki in The Rescue is a small girl virtually alone on a planet, save for her crippled crewmate who turns out to be a psychopath who killed the rest of his crew and committed genocide just so he could save himself from the Earth authorities by blaming it on a monster, who is also himself in disguise.
The Romans functions as a light humour piece for the most part, but towards the end, the Doctor realizes that he just may have caused the Great Fire of Rome... and laughs eerily.
The Web Planet: Six episodes of tension and fear as the psychically superpowered Animus (revealed in the Expanded Universe to be a creature fromthe Lovecraft mythos) constantly sends the usually peaceful Zarbi to massacre the rest of the natives, and becomes obsessed with the Doctor once he arrives.
Especially when the Doctor and Vicki get cocooned in cobwebs and it looks like they are suffocating.
The Space Museum: First you find yourself in a silent shadow of the world a few minutes into the future, where you yourself leave no footprints, walk about unseen and unheard, like a ghost. Then you see your own stuffed and mounted corpses on display.
The Time Meddler: Imagine a full-scale invasion of organized Pirates, hundreds of ships. Yeah. That's what the historical Viking invasion of 1066 was.
The varga plants in Mission to the Unknown. They are The Virus, and when you turn into one, you have this overwhelming urge to kill.
The Dalek's Master Plan. The whole thing:
It begins with a politician, an admired and respected public figure, revealed to be allying himself with the Daleks and basically selling out the whole of humanity for his own benefit.
They go on to explain how the Daleks are "allying" themselves with delegates from all over the universe to overthrow the solar system by building a doomsday weapon.
The Doctor manages to steal a vital component of this weapon, but in his escape he and the crew are forced to stop in the planet Desperus, a prison planet, where they just dump the convicts on the surface and leave them to fend for themselves.
When one of their allies (played by Nicolas Courtney) tries to get help from his sister, a guard from the Second Great and Bountiful Human Empire, she kills him and plots to do the same to the others.
The lot are accidentally teleported to a planet plagued with invisible monsters, which only the Daleks are able to keep at bay.
Later, they land on a volcanic planet, meeting an old enemy who locks them out of the TARDIS as the magma builds up around them.
Nearing its conclusion, the Doctor is forced to give up the device's core through an intricate plot involving Egyptians, and he has barely enough time to chase the Daleks before they activate it...
...and when they do, it goes out of control, taking the planet Kembel (hosting the most hostile of jungles in the universe) and reducing it to a dry, eroded ball of nothing, as the corpses of every living creature on it are strewn across its surface. The last few minutes are just the Doctor and Steven contemplating all the destruction.
Victims of the Daleks' activation of their Time Destructor include themselves (hyper evolved into as the novelisation puts it "starfish creatures") and the Doctor and one of his companions. He survives although is weakened by the millions of years of time that washed over him, she is less fortunate. And the audience gets to watch as she screams and ages to dust.
The Celestial Toymaker, a Psychopathic Man Child (played by Michael Gough) who will turn you into one of his playthings if you lose his games and destroy the world if you win (and you with it unless you can make a fast enough exit).
And what about the games themselves? The Blind Man's Buff game wasn't so bad, compared to the booby-trapped chairs, the dance that entraps, and the electrified floor on the hopscotch field.
The War Machines, where brainwashed workers build said Machines until they collapse. Something of a Fridge Logic moment as an AI would surely realise that human beings need regular food and rest to work efficiently.
There's a surviving clip in part 3 of The Smugglers where Captain Pike has just given one of his goons the You Have Failed Me treatment, and then the camera follows a bloodstained handkerchief to the pirate's corpse. Then, the dead man's eyes are staring right at you.
The original Cybermen make their first appearance in The Tenth Planet and prove to be extremely unnerving. Not to mention they basically looked like futuristic versions of Frankenstein's monster, and also spoke in a creepy singsong voice:
Cyberleader: (after learning of the men trapped in the space probe) It is not important. There's really no point, they could never reach us now. Polly: But don't you care? Cyberleader: Care? Why should I care? Polly: Because they're people and they're going to die! Cyberleader: I do not understand you, there are people dying all over your world yet you do not care about them?
Cyberleader:(after the general contacts the emergency line) That was really most unfortunate, you should not have done that.
Cyberleader: The energy of Mondas is nearly exhausted and now returns to its twin and will gather energy from Earth. Doctor: Energy!? Barclay: For how long? Cyberleader: Until it is all gone. Dyson: But that means the Earth will die! Cyberleader: Yes, everything on Earth will stop. Barclay: But you can't just stand there and tell us we're all going to die! Cyberleader: You are not going to die. Doctor: Then how are you going to stop this drain of energy to Mondas? Cyberleader: We cannot, it is beyond our power. Doctor: How are we going to survive!? Cyberleader: By coming with us.
The Power of the Daleks: A scientist restores an inert Dalek and shows it off to the other members of his space colony. The Doctor also happens to be present, and while he tries to warn them of the misery and destruction that the creature may bring, the Dalek overlaps by yelling "I am your ser-vant! I am your ser-vant!" over the Doctor's increasingly desperate cries. They keep chanting "I am your ser-vant" throughout the serial, to very creepy effect.
Later in the serial, the scientist catches wind of the Daleks' true nature, which leaves him such a shock that he cannot speak without his voice trembling, and by the end he's gone completely insane, believing that the Daleks have come to replace man as the dominant species. And the eyes. God, the eyes.
Ben: You've done all this. Why did you give them power in the first place? Lesterson: Well, I could control it, you see. And then Janley got one of her men - Valmar, I think it was, yes - and he rigged up a secret cable. It's carrying power directly from the colony's supply. Doctor: Where? Where is it, Lesterson? Lesterson: Valmar's the only one who can answer that. Or the Daleks of course. They know everything. Yes, you should ask the Daleks.
Not to mention his final moment of madness:
Lesterson: I want to help... you. Dalek: Why? Lesterson: I... am your ser-vant.
Heck, that guy was creepier than the Daleks.
At the beginning of that same story, after the Doctor's regenerated for the first time, he huddles around in disorientation, eventually pulling out a chest with some old belongings, including his recorder, a 500 year-old diary, and a piece of metal which makes him remember a single word: Extermination.
The Macra in their original story are sentient and cunning. The clips on Lost in Time are terrifying, especially when the "Controller" is pleading in vain for mercy and very obviously not in control. Thank God these things eventually devolve.
That tour company in The Faceless Ones. Tourists board but never disembark (unless the Doctor shows up before they start dying, which he does).
The Chameleons' modus operandi, not fully explained until Jamie reaches their hideout in space: when they board the planes, the victims are slowly subjected to a process of spatial compression, and by the time they've reached the hideout, they're the size of dolls, and are unconsciously kept in drawers until the Chameleons have further use for them. Also, if their disguise-generating armbands are prematurely removed, they dissolve into lifeless blobs.
The And I Must Scream horror of the victims paralysed in their little boxes, staring, only able to scream mentally... absolutely terrifying when this happens to Polly.
On a Fridge Horror note, what must have happened on the Chameleons' home planet that forced them to steal other creatures' faces and identities to survive?
This somewhat becomes Narm if you watch what's left, read the scripts, and learn that the reason is insultingly vague: They lost their identities. In a gigantic explosion. Yeah.
The scene where they all start waking up and climbing out of their hive-like tomb... ugh. The music that plays during that scene is pure nightmare fuel too. note Which is quite a feat, considering it was just stock music at the BBC. Listen here: 
By the time The Tomb of the Cybermen comes around, we've seen enough of the implacable cyborgs to be immediately scared by them, but this story also introduces the cybermats, small, creeping cybermooks designed to look vaguely like silverfish, but with a highly Uncanny Valley pair of bug-eyes (complete with pupils), which seem to pulsate during the extreme close-ups given in the scene where they crawl over some of the sleeping main cast.
The Cybermats are very clearly stated in Expanded Universe materials to be made from minaturized Cyberman tech and organs of creatures too small to be effectively cyberconverted. Including children.
The Enemy of the World progresses with a plot which wouldn't be out of place in an action movie (almost Bond-like) right up until the very end, the only time when the Doctor and Salamander meet, engaging in a duel inside the TARDIS which causes them to accidentally flip the dematerialisation switch. Only problem, the doors weren't closed, and Salamander is flung out by the turbulence into the vortex, screaming, left - possibly - to die an unimaginable death - but note, the next story has the Doctor speculating on how Salamander is now floating in the Vortex for all eternity, raising the possibility that he remains alive. And aware. And then, it just ends. Thankfully, the next story picks up at this very moment.
There's something disturbing about how Fedorin chokes and dies.
The robot Yeti, especially the death of that curator in The Web of Fear
Oh boy, The Web of Fear. Where do we begin? Due to the disbelief of a pompous collector and the fact that the only man who knows how to fight them has grown old and is now mocked, the Yeti make a nightmarish takeover of London, covering the entire city in a web which is also the physical manifestation of the being that controls them, which spreads so far that the first look the Doctor and co. have of the city includes a man who was ensnared alive, and the only way people have found to survive is to retreat into the underground, where the Yeti and said web are steadily closing in on them, leaving them with nowhere else to go. When Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart tries to lead a team of soldiers to a safer area on the surface, they run into a few Yeti, who kill everyone except himself... BUT that's not all. There's clearly a traitor among the small group of survivors who turns out to be dead from the start, his corpse animated by the same abomination which masterminded the whole thing. This lost trailer for Web of Fear is a testament to any remaining doubt anyone may have had about "behind the couch".
Episode "Fury from the Deep" has Oak and Quill's attack on Maggie, van Lutyens being captured by the weed creature, and Robson attacking the guard. And that's just in the surviving footage.
Imagine being stuck in an enclosed complex, miles away from civilisation, with the man in charge being prepotent and irresponsible, as well as being occasionally harassed by a couple of creepy men who seem to do everything in synch. You try to distract yourself, so you go lie down- what's that pounding noise? Is that foam coming closer to the windows? And where'd that piece of seaweed come from? What's going on? Why are the two of you here? W-what's he- HOLY FUCK, WHAT ARE THOSE TENTACLES, WHERE'S ALL THE FOAM COMING FROM, WHAAAAARGH...
"The Wheel in Space" is a rather slow episode, plot-wise, serving more than anything as an introduction for Zoe (The Cybermen, stellar villains, aren't even in it that much, and the Doctor doesn't even meet them until halfway through the final episode). So it can come as quite a surprise to see a cold, calculating Cyberman violently writhing in pain as he's fried to death by a force field.
The Dominators has the (extremely painful) intelligence tests. Some may consider the Quarks' destructive power to be this as well.
In "The Mind Robber", there is a scene where Jamie and Zoe are trapped between the pages of a closing book — and are turned into fiction.
Make that almost everything in episode 1. When Jamie and Zoe are lured into the void by a mysterious intelligence, the imagery starts to get incredibly surreal. Then there's that ending... After an onslaught of deafening noise as the Doctor struggles to keep hold of sanity, the TARDIS explodes. Jamie and Zoe cling to the console as it spins in a black sea of nothingness. Zoe spots the Doctor floating, unconscious, some way off, and screams like there's no tomorrow. The rest of the serial is tame in comparison.
When Zoe whimpers "The Doctor!" and then suddenly starts to scream like that, an image followed by a close-up of the Doctor's face, I felt certain he was about to turn into a monster, or something.
Zoe and the Doctor coming face to face with Medusa. Nuff said.
The Invasion: Cybermen rising from the sewers of London, beginning their invasion from within the capital. And if that wasn't enough they come with horrifying sounds. Even to this day, nobody knows how or why exactly Cybermen are producing such noise, which makes it even more scarier.
Professor Watkins tells Vaughn he'll kill him when he gets the chance, so Vaughn challenges him by giving him a gun. After a moment of doubt, Watkins does in fact shoot him- Vaughn takes the bullet no problem. His body's made of metal!
One of the Cybermen was used as a test subject for an emotion-exaggerating machine, frightening it out of its mind, as it screamed inside its helmet and killed anything in front of it.
In The Krotons, the primitive humanoid Gonds are tested for samples of high intelligence, and the rejects are vaporised. No Gond has been accepted during the tests, which have been going for a good thousand years.
The seed pods in The Seeds of Death multiply as fungus which then swells up and bursts into fumes which suck out all the oxygen in your lungs, killing you instantly. The remnants of the smoke travel invisibly to rapidly breed into more fungus.
An Ice Warrior transports himself to Earth and spends a number of scenes just eerily striding through the countryside, across the foam, killing anyone foolish enough to stand in his way.
The Second Doctor's forced regeneration sequence isn't a pretty sight. First multiple images of himself surround him and start spinning around him, then his face is obscured in darkness as he starts spiraling down into the black abyss repeatedly shouting "No!".
The Autons who first appeared in the Third Doctor's inaugural serial Spearhead from Space and have come back numerous times since: they're animated mannequins who want to kill you. Think about that. Yeah.
The Auton faces alone creep some people out.
The buildup to them: After hinting strongly that the alien consciousness controls plastic, they shove a doll factory montage in your face, predating Moffat's "inescapable horror shots" by decades.
Everything about Channing. Bilis Manger took inexpressive-face lessons from this guy.
When the astronaut in the rescue capsule goes into the stranded rocket, he looks up and screams, but you don't hear him scream. You see him scream. And it's terrifying.
The end of Episode 6 of Inferno. Yeah, it's an evil Mirror Universe, but the world ends and everybody dies. And the last shot of the episode is of the only remotely sympathetic secondary characters watching a river of magma crawl toward them, knowing there's nothing they can do to save themselves.
The horror of the ending didn't set in until you start thinking about what must have been happening further away from the penetration site. All over the world, innocent people were falling into fissures, burning alive, being beaten to death by crazed proto-human zombies, or turning into said zombies, and 99.9% of them would never even know why.
There's an absolutely terrifying shot in that final montage which brings the above horror home: in the midst of seeing lava spewing everywhere, people running all over the place, we see two men, sitting dazed in the middle of the lava mists, as the world goes up around them. Just sitting. While the world dies around them. There's something so moving and yet so horrific about that single moment that it almost overwhelms the final shot of Episode 6 mentioned above. Almost.
The Expanded Universe implies the alternate reality Earth is being ruled with an iron first... by an evil version of the Doctor. Apparently, his second incarnation chose one of the faces he was offered before his own exile began and took over the world, becoming just like Ramon Salamander.
"Terror of the Autons" features: a man getting suffocated by an inflatable couch, another getting his neck bitten by an evil looking doll and Jo Grant almost getting suffocated by a plastic film sprayed over her mouth by a plastic daffodil. That's before we even get into killer British bobbies.
The Mind of Evil features a machine that literally brings your worst fear to life to kill you. And it grows in strength so much, even the Master has trouble resisting it. Of course, this is because those with more evil are more vulnerable to it, but still...
Worse, the machine gets stronger each time it drains evil out of someone. And it causes the victims drained of evil thoughts to regress to childlike mentality. Why? There is an Eldritch Abomination living inside the machine, and after it grows strong enough, it quits projecting fears and starts outright killing everyone through Mind Rape.
Axos. Ship, captain, and crew are a single parasite that eats all living matter off a world, after persuading someone desiring to be seen as a public benefactor to disburse the axonite.
The Daemons was, basically, Doctor Who doing Hammer Horror, with the Master practicing what seemed like devil-worship. The occult elements have made it a firm fan favourite.
THE WHOLE SERIAL.
The opening scene, where on a dark and stormy night, a man stumbles out of a pub to see a dark figure, only to die of fear from seeing it.
Any scenes with Satan.
Even just the disturbing and uneasy atmosphere is creepy.
The Gargoyle. Sure the bad costuming effects can be distracting, but how he was capable of vaporizing people... -shudder-
Take your pick from The Mutants. The psycho Marshal, the mutation gone wrong, the Fridge Horror of the locals, who have the same failings we do, turning into Gary Mitchells...
The Three Doctors has a man's face entrapped in cosmic lightning, a bizarre antimatter alien that is initially believed to destroy anyone it touches, and Omega has had his entire body eroded away by exposure to his antimatter world and exists now as nothing more than his essence full of rage and hatred. Seriously, when he takes of his helmet...
Drashigs in Carnival of Monsters. Relentless predators that cannot be diverted from a scent. Because they have no brains!
A fungus in Planet of the Daleks can sense when an endotherm is passing and fire spore slurry at them. If not treated, the fungus chokes you. Then, there's the whole Fridge Logic of what would have happened to the universe if the Daleks had succeeded in mastering invisibility.
This is one of few stories in which the Daleks themselves show genuine, desperate primal fear. When Wester unleashes the Daleks' bacteriological weapon onto their scientists, sealed in a testing room, they yell "WE CANNOT LEAVE HERE. NO ONE CAN ENTER. WE CAN NEVER LEAVE. NEVER. NEVER." and remain locked in there as their base is destroyed, flooded by an icy volcano which proves lethal on contact to Daleks.
In The Green Death, we have: the Doctor being nearly annihilated by the hostile wildlife of Wales, miners dying from an incredibly painful infection which makes their skin glow green, mutant maggots which are able to jump and seek to spread said infection, the Doctor and Jo being forced to paddle their way through a pool of these creatures...
The BOSS, whose cheerfulness can be very unsettling (he sings when he's minutes away from unleashing his world-domination plan) especially when considering he's an insane computer.
Keep in mind that Wales is not a planet.
The Time Warrior. A Sontaran's biggest weakness is the probic vent in the back of their neck? The last we see of Linx is Hal shooting an arrow straight into the vent.
If the Exxilons' chanting and frightening Monk outfits from Death to the Daleks aren't scary enough, just wait until you see their eyes.
Planet of the Spiders. "Round and round the mulberry bush..."
When Sarah Jane's nightmares do not involve Daleks, she is likely reliving the incident with the Wirrn. Giant insects that turn you into them.
Probably the worst bit of that episode is when the Doctor encounters Noah in the final form of his transformation, with part of his mouth twisted into a hideous grimace, and bits of his face covered in green Wirrn skin...
The eponymous procedure in The Sontaran Experiment, but especially the outstanding part that fits this trope the most.
Remember Davros' experiments in The Daleks? We see more of them, land-based, in Genesis of the Daleks. One of them nearly eats Harry.
Planet of Evil gave us a Monster that only appears in the form of a red outline, is never heard to speak (except for a very surreal scene where it communicates with the Doctor in the black void), devours people and later regurgitates their dessicated bodies and contaminates a member of the expedition, turning him into an homicidal ape-man that can duplicate itself. Bloody terrifying still to this day.
Slight error: The creature that appeared only in outline was actually trying to prevent contamination of the crew members, as well as keep them from causing an apocalypse on their homeworld by taking matter from the planet with them. Killing them was preferable to allowing them to contaminate themselves with the strange material or take it away.
The Android Invasion featuring evil duplicates of both Sarah Jane and the Doctor, the only thing in the universe that can make Tom Baker's smile even creepier. The way Android!Doctor helps Android!Sarah Jane up would be touching, until you remember.
The Brain of Morbius sounds rather tame - a mad scientist tries to resurrect a Time Lord war criminal by building a new body. But it's only when you actually watch the episode that the Nightmare Fuel kicks in:
When Morbius first awakens, his brain is only functioning at a primitive level. The result is frightening - the creature snarls like an animal, screams when his claw catches fire and attacks everything in sight. He then sees his new body for the first time - and goes nuts, smashing his way out of the lab to kill things.
Oh, and just to round off the Morbius nightmare fuel spectrum, he's not too happy with his head (as mentioned, it's basically a transparent glass bowl — would you be?) and wants another one. Ideally, the Doctor's. But he's probably be just as happy with yours...
Don't forget the really graphic close-up of Condo getting shot by Solon, bloody squib and all. No wonder Mary Whitehouse had it in for this show.
The Krynoid in "The Seeds of Doom". The seed pod hooks into an animal life form — including Human — and takes it over. When it matures (in a matter of days), it expels a thousand seeds to repeat the cycle. Oh, and it can turn all the vegetation to its cause, as well as some people.
What about Mr. Chase's mulching machine? Possibly the scariest moment in the story is when he puts Sergeant Henderson in it. He doesn't come out. Not long after that Chase himself follows him... awake and screaming.
In Masque of Mandragora, there's a sequence where two villainous characters are discussing their plans to kill off the heir to the throne, while said heir's best friend is screaming in agony just off-screen. And you never know what they did to him, you just see the results later...
To clarify - said best friend is being tortured, nastily, by a bloke who, according to the novelisation of said story, loves red-hot pokers a tad too much.
The Deadly Assassin: This serial is a real nightmare fuel pile-up. Having your foot stuck in the rails when a steam train comes at you at full tilt? Check. Being drowned (a scene so horrible it was censored for years)? Check. Evil dentists with huge, fuck-off needles? Check. Random samurai kicking you off a cliff? Check. Gas mask soldiers? Check. Goddamn evil clowns? Check. Random snipers? Check. Trapped in a nightmare (one engineered by your worst enemy, no less)? Check.
The emaciated Master is worse. The 20th Anniversary volume Doctor Who: A Celebration features a full-page, black-and-white photo that makes him look more horribly burned than emaciated.
The Robots of Death: A Christie-ish mystery with a small, rapidly diminishing number of people at the mercy of a madman who reprograms their servant robots to do murderous deeds. Said robots have designs straight out of the Uncanny Valley, with extremely detailed but completely immobile faces- one of the crew, especially sensitive to human body language, goes mad from "robophobia", a fear related to the robots' lack of body language that makes him feel he is surrounded by the walking dead.
And then we see the villain reprogramming one of the robots. It's Strapped to an Operating Table, its face removed, there's a probe entering its brain, and its hands are spasming as if it's in horrific agony...
The Talons of Weng-Chiang - a hideously decaying war criminal from the future sucking the life force from local women, giant rats stalking the sewers and feeding on the corpses, the living satanic doll with the cerebral cortex of a pig as its wetware... A Grade Nightmare Fuel.
The Horror of Fang Rock. The creepy, fog drenched atmosphere. The high death toll. The growing paranoia of being besieged in a small building with no contact to the outside world. But then there was a shot of the shape-shifting Rutan just standing there on the stairs, unseen in the shadows, expressionless.
The periodic sounding of the foghorn only adds to the creepy atmosphere.
The cliffhanger to part 3 deserves a mention:
The Doctor: Oh Leela, I've made a terrible mistake. I thought I'd locked the enemy out. Instead, I've locked it in, with us.
For the most part, The Invisible Enemy is delightful nonsense. But the idea of an intelligent virus...
The Fendahl are giant slug-like creatures that paralyse you and eat you alive. An ancient horror that reaches out through time and takes over your mind, transforming people around you into said monsters as vessels for its rebirth. Some of this would make Steven Moffat back away shuddering.
Not to mention that twelve Fendahleen (the slug-like creatures) and the Fendahl Core (the formerly human "mind" of the Fendahl) are powerful enough to drain the life force of every single thing on the planet, from humans to protozoa. And the Doctor—"The Oncoming Storm" himself—was terrified of the Fendahl, even as an adult.
"There are four thousand million people on this planet. If I'm right, within a year, there'll be just one."
The sequence with the skull and Thea has rather poor SFX — the eyes/eye-sockets are mismatched — and yet is absolutely terrifying. The Fendahleen themselves are wibbly-wobbly hissing things, and so completely alien they're scary even when small.
The Doctor pretending to side with the villain of The Invasion of Time shows how mad and dark he can be.
Especially in Part 1 when he was screaming his head off at Borusa.
Forget that. How about that creepy-as-hell laugh, complete with full-on evil grin? Every kid in England likely went to bed that night worried that Tom Baker was hiding in their closet.
The planet that pounces on other planets, killing everything on them in The Pirate Planet. Sweet dreams.
The Mentiads. Pale skinned, Kubrick-staring men with horrifying sunken eyes who can hurt you from a distance, and, worse, can apparently make you one of them? Even for an adult those guys are terrifying. And they're supposed to be the good guys!
The Captain. Most of the time, he's a rather comical LARGE HAM, but when the Doctor kills his robotic parrot, he suddenly becomes quite calm and very creepy. Particularly when he shows the Doctor what fate he has in store for him:
Captain: A plank! The theory is very simple. You walk along it. At the end, you fall off. Drop one thousand feet. Dead!
And the sudden crashing realization that, as ridiculous a method of execution as it is ... it's so simple that there's nothing for the Doctor to latch onto to find an out. If he hadn't prepared his trick well in advance he would have died. And in fact ... when you think of how the Fourth Doctor actually ''did''die ...
The monsters of "The Stones of Blood". Stonehenge-like stone towers that can move around, and one touch from them means instant and very painful death. The worst moment is when an innocent bystander who's camping nearby gets curious and touches the stone, and we get a close up of his hand being skeletonized while his screams echo all around.
The android Romana. Imagine someone you trust turning out to be a Killer Robot.
The Captain, high on Vraxoin, laughs openly and mockingly upon seeing the crew and passengers being slaughtered by mandrels.
Skagra's mind-stealing machine in Shada.
Sure, Salyavin is a nice guy now. But suppose he develops a monomania...
People visibly having their arms ripped off in The Leisure Hive.
State of Decay isn't that frightening for a child, but once you get old enough to recognise the sexual undertones... the head vampire reallly likes Adric and wants to make him a vampire too. Bad touch.
The ending of Warriors' Gate - All the secondary characters are wiped out when they accidentally blow their own ship up. Once the dust settles, you see the aliens they'd been keeping as slaves calmly leaving the blackened remains of the ship... aliens which are out-of-synch with time due to just having been revived from comas, meaning they leave eerie after-images everywhere they go.
In episode four, when one of the revived Tharils electrocutes one of the slavers. He just flops back on the table with a look of complete terror frozen on his face and his skin instantly pales to an unnatural shade of grey, staring wide-eyed at the camera. Made worse by the fact that most of the crew of the slave ship were characterized as ordinary, blue collar guys just working for a paycheck.
In the final scene of The Keeper of Traken, (Feb. 1981) with the crisis resolved and the Doctor departed, Consul Tremas goes to investigate a long case clock that has appeared. He touches the clock face and is unable to move. Unseen by anyone else, the ghoul-like figure of the Master emerges from the clock, gloats "A new body at last", merges with Tremas, and then leaves in the clock, his TARDIS. No blood, no gore, just horror at its understated best.
The Mara. Otherworldly beings that invade your mind and possess your body because you fell asleep. They are the physical embodiment of Nightmare Fuel. The sequences in Tegan's mind — in the dark, alone — were some of the most blood-chilling ever.
It's much, much worse than falling asleep. The Mara can possss you from your dreams...and humans not only go insane and then die if they cannot dream for long enough, the only way the Doctor can temporarily suppress the constant micro-dreams a human has to protect Tegan from the Mara also renders he deaf and somewhat less than coherent, so the read of the group ends up losing track of her.
Earthshock: The first enemies encountered by the Redshirt Armyblow them into puddles of goo. To be honest the Cybermen guns are far less horrific (though suitably hammed up by the actors).
The Cybermen as they were about to destroy the planet. And then the trauma redoubled itself with Adric's death.
The way the Master's Kalid disguise falls when Tegan and Nyssa first interrupt the power in "Time-Flight". Yuck.
Mawdryn Undead, where Tegan and Nyssa find someone they believe to be the Doctor, covered in blood. Then there was the cliffhanger to Part Two, where they and The Brigadier enter the TARDIS and find the same person, healed, but missing half a skull.
Speaking of The Five Doctors, the Raston Warrior Robot...a lightning-fast killer ninja android that massacred a whole squad of Cybermen. To be fair, some might consider it to be super extra-freaking sweet, but seriously, this thing decapitates one Cyberman, impales a few others and cuts the limbs off of at least two more. ON A KIDS' SHOW!
Frontios had people being sucked under the earth without warning 16 years before The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood.
Resurrection of the Daleks features the titular creatures attacking a space station by unleashing a flesh-dissolving gas upon its crewmembers. The lucky ones die almost instantly on exposure with the gas. One less lucky crewmember only gets a minor dose of the gas and is seemingly fine... until near the end of the first episode, when his face and hands starts to dissolve, resulting in another crewmember putting him out of his misery by shooting him.
To make it worse gas like this actually exists and was used in the first world war and other wars. Blister agents such as Lewisite and Mustard gas. Once they come into contact with the skin they slowly cause the flesh to blister and literally rot off.
The Caves of Androzani had Sharaz Jek. He had burns over most of his body, was quite mad, and wore a black body suit and mask that made him look like something you'd see peering in your window at night. Not only that, but he had a very unhealthy obsession with Peri. He's a man who's been stuck in an underground cave for years surrounded by nothing but androids, and as soon as he sees Peri he decides he has to have her because she's so pretty. The implications of her fate had she not escaped with the Doctor are quite unsettling.
"Vengeance on Varos" when an unconscious Sixth Doctor is about to be chucked into an acid bath because the guards think he is dead. Then he moves and the guards try and throw him anyway. The first one is startled and falls in the acid when the supposedly dead Doctor speaks to him. And the first guard pulls the second one in while trying to pull himself out. The Doctor's lack of horror at the grisly fate of the guards is a little disturbing.
The creepiest part of this scene was before they go to throw the Doctor in, they get rid of another corpse in the acid bath, with nightmare fuel music playing as they lower the body.
The other Daleks think this one's a homicidal maniac.
The girl they shoved into a Dalek command shell. The Daleks took her and used her brain as the wetware for their attack systems.
Right off the bat it's shown that there's something up with this girl, given the creepy little song she sings when she first catches sight of the Doctor:
"Five, six, seven, eight. It's The Doctor at the gate..."
She watches people hideously killed by various means and never reacts at all. And at the end of the story, she just walks away like nothing interesting has happened at all...and she's still a Dalek war computer.
The Happiness Patrol, whilst on first viewing is pretty innocuous and has a really unconvincing villain in the shape of the Kandy Man (a giant 'Bertie Bassett' shaped thing, that isn't quite a robot, and definitely isn't nice) is actually really fucked up.
The story revolves around Helen A and her husband/partner Joseph C who rule a colony on the planet Terra Alpha where it is illegal to be unhappy. The scene that's really nightmarish is when a man is executed by Helen A and Joseph C for the crime of unhappiness. A huge pipe is lowered over his head and molten candy is poured over his head. It's not clear if it's boiling hot, or if he drowns with his lungs full of molten sugar, but either way it's very disturbing. This is made even worse when (just before the camera cuts to the next scene) Joseph C leans forward, scrapes some candy off the corpse with his finger and eats it with a grin on his face. Urgh.
The Greatest Show in the Galaxy/Has a circus straight out of Bradbury/With Monster Clowns and evil eyes/And Big Brother kites up in the sky/The audience lands in the ring/And has to perform for some nasty things/Who rank the act with zip or nine/And if they're amused then you are fine/But if the rank they give is nil/With an energy blast, the act is killed.
The Curse of Fenric featured Alien Vampires, a doubting priest whose holy symbols have no effect on said vampires, and the Ancient One, a giant fishy blue thing who rises from the water.
In one scene, several women are in a room into which a few Haemovores approach. The next time we see the room, all of the women have become Haemovores.
When Fenric decides that he doesn't need two of the Haemovores, he has the Ancient One turn them to dust.
The cliffhanger for Episode 3 has a crippled scientist collapse, dead. Momentarily, he stands up, with glowing eyes, and says "We play the contest again, time lord." The beginning of the following episode has the windows shatter after and the man disappear.
When Ace reveals to one of the soldiers the way to solve the Doctor's puzzle, thinking Fenric to be dead, only to learn that Fenric has moved into the soldier's body. Lightning promptly shoots through the window and sets the table on fire.
And also, when the Doctor was yelling at Fenric about how stupid Ace was and how much he hated her, while Ace was on her knees, crying.
Also the fact that though the timeline where humans become Haemovores seems to have been averted, Fenric still has half a million years to try. For all we know, humans becoming Haemovores could be a fixed point, all that could be done was delay it long enough for some humans to leave Earth.
The Cheetah People in Survival. Also, the planet that is falling apart around them.
The TV movie
Possessed Grace in the 1996 telemovie. Her eyes turn completely black and all the while sports an incredibly creepy grin.
Shortly after possessing Bruce, the Master discovers the flesh of the man's undead body is starting to rot. His first morbid discovery is that he can rip an entire fingernail off, bloody mess included.
The newly-regenerated Doctor finding and pulling the heart probe out of his chest, complete with icky sound effects, while screaming in agony.
The Autons/killer dummies in "Rose".
The huge, throbbing amorphous Nestene Consciousness in the sewers controlling the Autons.
The gaseous aliens who possess dead bodies like zombies, and the fact that the Doctor later claims that the servant girl in the mortuary had already been dead when she told everyone to run and then blew up the house and sacrificed herself to kill the evil aliens.
The genetically modified anthropomorphic pig (not to mention the aliens who mutated the pig itself, especially how they wear human skin as disguises).
From the same episode; what initially seemed like a success for Rose and a few humans being chased by the Dalek think they can escape the alien cyborg horror, by merely going up a flight of stairs as the Dalek has no legs to do the same. Then...EL-E-VATE.
Extra points because dozens of people who watched the classic series comment the only reason they got over their fear of Daleks was that they couldn't climb stairs. Oh crap.
When the Doctor is first put in that room with the chained-up Dalek. The horrified look on his face when he (and the audience) figures out what it is...
The Doctor taunting the powerless Dalek.
'You're right, maybe we are... Yeah, right, yeah, okay. You've got a point 'cause I know what to do. I know what should happen. I know what you deserve. Exterminate!'
All the timewarping caused by Rose when she tries to save her father from death in the past.
Not to mention the monsters that appear. Giant demonic flying creatures with scythe-like tails, who kill by embracing around the victim and disintegrating them. They also have a bit of a Blue and Orange Morality since the only way they know to solve a time paradox is by killing the planet's entire population.
The particularly gruesome description of how the Raxacoricofallapatorians punish planetary genocide on their homeworld (although it's quite a deserved punishment).
The game shows/reality shows of the far future with a twist (it's fatal to everyone except the winner, or even him if there are no other contestants). What's even worse is that it's not disintegration, but being turned into Dalek material...
The wireframed girl who's grown to be the motherboard of the satellite's computer that broadcasts these shows (not to mention Earth having all its surface destroyed). Constantly buzzing with thoughts, constantly watched by the Daleks, who can kill her at a moment's notice if she slips up... only a few precious seconds of freedom.
The Alternate Universe Cybermen's origins with the "upgrade or be deleted" scene. So much screaming and death and terror and The Doctor knows that this could spread across the galaxy.
The scene where the Doctor has to kill a Cyberman who he discovers was a bride at her wedding,
The way the Doctor defeats the Cybermen. Allowing them to feel once again, to realize what they have truly become! You know out there one of them is AU Jackie Tyler!
You're walking around, minding your own business, and suddenly your mind shuts down and you mindlessly walk into an incinerator. The one shot of that was... horrific.
The screams and agonised howls as we get a shot of the Cyber Conversion machinery from the victims POV. It's all whirring saw blades and vicious knives cutting away everything human. Now think about that...the machines are stripping the flesh and bone of the victim removing the brain and putting it inside a metal suit; the victim is conscious and feels every second of it. No wonder they go insane when their emotions are restored. The trauma would drive even Chuck Norris mad. Somehow the creepiest part of the scene is still Mr Crane bobbing away to the "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" as he calmly oversees the conversion process.
The faceless zombies and the killer TV saying "Goodnight children everywhere" while absorbing a panicking Rose's soul... in an episode written by Mark Gatiss.
The Government hoarding them away. The Doctor said it was like Soviet Russia.
Killer-TV-Lady sucking her fingers, screaming/begging "Feed me!" is terrifying.
"I'm The Wire. And I will gobble you up, pretty boy."
"Impossible Planet" and "Satan Pit"
The Ood of the far future (and the scene where a black hole eats a system with a "billion years old civilization" in it), along with Satan himself (whatever it was) together with the man he possessed.
After that female crewmember is blown out into space and they find her floating overhead the space station and towards the black hole, it looks like her corpse is waving to the others to come join her, or waving goodbye.
The possessed Toby is what's really scary, which is very understandable. The body was trapped at the center of a planet which is circling a black hole. Its body can't even touch someone standing right in front of it. Its mind is not trapped. Its mind can take over the Ood and the station's speakers and people. Its mind scarier than its body.
The 'don't turn around' scene. Imagine thinking that something horrible is right behind you, it's getting closer, it's almost touching you and yet you can't turn around or else you'll die.
The moment when he looks down and realizes that the demonic hieroglyphics are all over his body.....
"Love and Monsters"
The group of the Doctor's fans who form a fanclub and end up absorbed by an alien to die gruesomely (although one survives, as a face in a street tile...It's hammered in that they're people, with friends and family, especially when you see them having fun together in LINDA.
The episode of the girl who ionically traps other children into drawings, especially the scene where a drawn kid screams at the screen... with no voice. Or the drawing of Dad in the closet.
That drawing of the (implied) abusive dad was terrifying, especially later when all of Chloe's drawings come to life and you see her and her mother cowering in fear from the booming, menacing voice...
Chloe's Dad: CHLOE! I'M COMING TO GET YOU, CHLOE!
Finally, in the finale, we see Daleks and Cybermen waging all-out war on humanity and each other, Cybermen disguising themselves as dead loved ones to gain humanity's "trust," Daleks using their plungers to reduce a man's head to a dried-out husk (and of course, seeing nothing wrong with it), Cybermen managing to implant mind-control devices attached to your brain (and yes, we do see one ripped out), Daleks shooting anything that moves above Canary Wharf, Rose almost being sucked into Hell along with every Dalek and Cyberman on the planet and, finally, Cybermen converting humans in the basement and, by the end, only doing half the job.
Even worse is in the episode Army of Ghosts, where the "ghosts" are revealed to be friendly ... and seeing how ghosts are everywhere - these ghosts turned out to be Cybermen. What makes it worse is during the "ghost shift" that reveals the Cybermen, you can hear their walking sound. Imagine walking and seeing some "ghost" and it turns out to be a death robot ... worldwide.
Millions of giant ancient spiders crawling out of the Earth's core. To eat you. Merry Christmas!
The Doctor himself is what made "The Runaway Bride" scary. For the first time we get a glimpse of what happens when Ten is pushed too close to the edge (which becomes something of a feature of series 3 and 4). The look on his face as he watches the baby Racnoss die is just kind of chilling.
An apparently sweet-looking girl, actually a hideous witch who uses voodoo to kill her victims! (and the Doctor shuts her and her mothers up in a pocket dimension for eternity! When we seen them briefly in a Season 4 episode, they're still screaming.)
A drug which induces bliss but kills a few minutes later! Space crabs that eat people who venture below the motorway! The fact that it takes years and years to cross the motorway, and there's nobody on the top of the planet anymore!
Years and years? Try FOREVER. It leads around in a giant loop, with all of the exits sealed off, but nobody in the main lanes has a long enough lifespan to realize it!
More Daleks! (This time, one becomes a tentacled human hybrid by sucking a human into its armour!)
The evolved form of the Dalek is Nightmare Fuel in itself. Especially, for some reason, the mouth. It's way too small and low for the face, and it's always smiling.
A machine that turns people into mutant throwbacks! And its user (Mark Gatiss again, this time acting rather than scripting) ends up chasing the main characters through a cathedral!
A living star which possesses people and causes them to burn their loved ones until there's nothing left but a shadow on the wall!
Oh, man, 42... Everyone trapped on a hellishly hot and red-lit spaceship that's about to crash into a sun, claustrophobic dark tunnels, getting trapped in disengaged airlocks, people getting burned into dust and possessed by a sentient sun, all of this culminating in a screaming and absolutely terrified Doctor trying to stave off aforementioned possession while being pushed into a minus 200 deep freeze? The line: "You should've scanned for life!" in particular.
This is one of the very, very few times we see the Doctor completely, out-of-control terrified. Just plain disturbing.
The Family of Blood example is just one instance of what's truly the scariest thing in the series: what our Technical Pacifist hero, the Doctor, is capable of when he's had enough. Don't cross him. Just don't.
And now every time you look in the mirror...
Listen carefully as he describes the fate of Daughter of Mine: He doesn't say that the Doctor trapped her in a mirror, he says the Doctor trapped her in every mirror. If even your subconscious takes this the least bit seriously, you are now trapped in an eternal, incredibly creepy game of I Spy that you can never win.
Though earlier in the episode, Mother of Mine heartlessly brags about how she "gobbled her [host] up" when asked about what happened to them. Though this detail is horrifying in it's own right, it almost seems to be written in specifically to avert any consideration of the above Fridge Horror.
Son of Mine makes killers out of the scarecrows in farm fields. No voice, relentless, they just want to kill you.
The last three episodes include humanoid wildmen, the end of the universe looming, a kindly old man who, when he gets his memory back, turns out to be a genocidal monster who immediately murders his gentle assistant, the utterly eerie pleasure the human Lucy (whose mind the Master destroyed) takes in decimating the global population (she dances to pop music while he does it) and, last but certainly not least, the revelation that the robotic killing machines with childlike voices are actually powered by human brains - those of the last humans in the universe, no less, who cannibalized themselves and went back in time to avoid the end of the universe. And they share minds with one another, though that means out there is the little boy who back on the spaceship gleefully told Martha that his mother had told him in Utopia "the sky was made of diamonds".
Listen carefully when Professor Yana opens the fob watch: among the miscellaneous "flashback" sound effects, you can clearly hear the Master's voice saying "Step aside human, and releasemy majesty." When John Smith opened his fob watch, the Doctor's essence allowed him to choose whether he wanted to resume his life as a Time Lord; Yana, by contrast, was allowed no such luxury: a sweet, innocent old man had the vile mind of a thousand-year maniac literallyforced upon him.
The most horrifying thing about Professor Yana is that, according to the Doctor in "Family of Blood"/"Human Nature", a Time Lord's chameleon arched self is actually made from a part of their personality. If not for Rassilon, the Master could've been a kindly old Doctor figure rather than the viciously evil person he became instead.
There's also Chantho's fate to think about. The kind, generous, quirky genius with whom she's worked (and developed other feelings) for the last seventeen years suddenly undergoes a total shift in personality and begins opening up their base to invasion by the Futurekind. When she tries to stop him, he electrocutes her without a second thought. Viewers know what The Master's deal is, but Chantho dies having no idea what's going on or why she's being murdered by her best friend.
While many fans count the Master's gleeful reaction to killing Jack ("And the best part is...I get to kill him again!") as a Moment Of Awesome, it is equal parts horrific. For perspective, consider the many, many ways a human being can be tortured, maimed, and killed (if you need help, consult Wikipedia); now imagine that information in the hands of a man who is utterly batshit insane, with unlimited resources and a test subject who can't die. Oh, Jack....
The Master getting ready to turn the Doctor's TARDIS into the Paradox Machine. It's just a brief shot of the Master standing at the console... with a blowtorch and one of the most psychotic grins ever seen on a face. The sheer malicious pleasure he shows, knowing that he's going to take what is essentially the Doctor's best and oldest friend, and he's going to break her, and twist her, and hurt her... Fridge Horror at its finest.
Try re-watching that scene after viewing "The Doctor's Wife" (wherein you find out just how alive the TARDIS really is). It becomes horrific on a whole new level.
The description (delivered alternately by the Master and the captured Toclafane) of what humans found at Project Utopia, at the end of the universe. "Furnaces, burning... the last of humanity screaming at the dark. There was no solution. No diamonds. Just the dark, and the cold. All that human invention that had sustained them across the eons... it all turned inward. They cannibalized themselves—regressing into children. We made ourselves so pretty! But it didn't work. The universe was collapsing around them. But then the Master came, with his wonderful time machine, to bring us back home!"
Even worst, when the human from the future is asked why they kill their ancestor despite being of the same species. Its answer? "Because it's ''fun'' !" followed by a very, very, very creepy child-like laugh
And the Master was the Doctor's childhood friend. Which makes everything so much worse, because in a way they're still friends.
The grotesque emaciated Doctor after being aged by 100 years. When aged again, he looks much worse.
The hosting robots for a space ship turn evil and try to kill any survivors from the previous meteor collision.
A diet pill that creates aliens from body fat itself and occasionally from all those other bits of the body, although the creatures themselves were just too cute for words. (Which just makes it worse.)
The first time the viewer sees the Adipose birth. Imagine your just primping in the mirror, and then these things start sprouting from your body... and then you dissolve as your entire body becomes them.
Pompeiians being turned into statues(which look eerily like the casts pulled from the ash molds found at the Real Life Pompeii) by subterranean lava creatures.
And what makes it worse, some of the natives of Pompeii believe that becoming statues is the will of the gods and therefore an honor that should not only be accepted but embraced.
The Ood return, revealed to be a race of aliens turned into willing slaves by lobotomy. Some of them develop glowing red eyes and become vicious. They get their revenge by turning their human captor into an Ood in a nightmarish transformation sequence. It's even worse when the human captors include Everton from Chef! and Percy from Blackadder,
When Halpen turns into an Ood, he peels back his face and vomits up his own brain.
In an earlier scene, which is also a Tear Jerker, the Doctor and Donna come across a cage full of "uncultivated" Ood. They are singing a song that the Doctor can hear, but Donna can't. When he gives her the ability to hear it, she is so disturbed and overwhelmed that she asks him to turn it off again, and the viewer almost agrees with her. The feverish intensity and utter despair of those wails...
The Sontarans returning and Martha Jones emerging from a goo filled coffin.
A war fought by very quickly grown clones took place over countless generations with the implication that thousands and thousands of people had died with only an inkling of what they were originally fighting for. How long was the war? Seven days.
Killer wasps. GIANT killer wasps. As in cow-sized giant killer wasps.
An unknown and unseen intelligence that repeats absolutely everything said, possessing a woman, causing claustrophobia on a space shuttle and leaving the Doctor completely helpless and broken for once. It's not the monster that's scary, it's the fact that it Mind Rapes the Doctor and then convinces six ordinary people to murder him, and does so very easily.
That isn't even the worst part. The worst part is that the Doctor is forced to repeat everything the monster says...including her commands to kill him. He is literally made to beg for his own death. Imagine being completely paralyzed, as several people physically drag you to your death, and hearing your own voice say, "Faster!"
The Doctor: (with Sky repeating) "Listen to me. Whatever you want, if it's life or form or consciousness or voice, you don't have to steal it. You find it without hurting anyone. And I'll help you, that's a promise. So, what do you think? (Sky speaks first) Do we have a deal?"
Even worse, Midnight is the only episode in the history of the show in which we never find out what the monster actually was. Good luck sleeping now.
Davies did hint that we saw a distant cousin of this being ...in the special The Waters of Mars. Somehow, it doesn't help.
If you have the DVD set and are planning a marathon any time soon, it's not recommended to go straight from watching Midnight to Turn Left. There will be trauma.
By far the most terrifying part of Midnight is just how quickly a group of ordinary people decide that killing an innocent person is the best response. Just. . . the whole mob mentality/homicidal rage thing. . . Because that's something that can and does actually happen. Not the (also terrifying) alien, you don't have to worry about that. . . but you can worry that, some day, you just might be stuck in a confined place with six panicking people. And you might try and be the voice of reason. And they might just straight up fucking murder you in the face for it.
Also, how the creature causes them to all consider throwing the Doctor out too. He does his usual "I'm-competent-and-clever" act that usually causes people to follow him without question. Instead, the other passengers start to question who he is and if he's really good, which ultimately leads to them very nearly killing him at the end. It's the one time we see the Doctor's words utterly torn apart and used against him, and it's downright terrifying.
An addendum: Doctor Who Nightmare Fuel is normally at least somewhat reduced by the end of the episode, because the monsters get defeated. In this one? We have no guarantee the thing is dead. Nor do we know if there are more of them.
The implication of what brutality and cruelty the governments stoop to during the ensuing dystopia to be particularly unsettling. Using ethnic segments of the population as political scapegoats and then shipping them off for 'gainful employment' (and, presumably, oven-related death) is chilling.
Three little words out of Donna's grandfather Wilfred: "It's happening again."
It might actually be worse than that: as someone pointed out on the recap page for that episode, the Cybermen theme is playing during that scene.
"There is something on your back."
All of this put together, and we are all but told outright that The Doctor is the only thing between this world, and countless others, and total annihilation. You'd better hope he'll always be there.
Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf
Guess who comes back for the finale? (Hint: They were in two out of the three previous finales. And their freakish creator returns as they begin their grandest invasion of Earth ever.).
To further establish the utter brutality of the episode, in one scene both Sarah Jane and Captain Jack are horrified by one word spoken by our returning "friends". While in and of itself it's not that scary, think about the implications. Jack is hundreds of years old, has seen and done everything, is virtually unkillable, and one word terrifies him. Sarah Jane's grown up and had a life fulfilling beyond the Doctor, seen more then most other companions, and in a way grown from a child to an adult. And one well placed word reduces her to tears because she's so scared. You know that when Sarah and Jack have nightmares, they are hearing the word "Exterminate". Just something about that sequence that really drives it home — this isn't an invasion, it's a sterilization.
It gets even worse when you realize that Ianto is a survivor of the Battle of Canary Wharf, so he's probably just as familiar and just as hopeless at the realization that they're coming again...
Even worse with the above; HIS GIRLFRIEND WAS HALFWAY CONVERTED DURING CANARY WHARF!
The fact that for a brief instant you saw his skeleton through the after-effects of the attack, and the fact that we had forty years of canon at our backs in which the Daleks were always eventually beaten. And now in one split second scene where most people weren't expecting it, you honestly can't help thinking: they've won.
Yeah...when the immortal Jack Harkness, who has died thousands upon thousands of deaths and returned each time unscathed can only say, "there's nothing we can do...we're dead"—you know it's bad.
When they finally established communication with the Doctor, Jack's terrified rant at wondering where the hell the Doctor has been tells you that Jack's afraid of them, even with being immortal. Don't forget: they killed him. And they can keep killing him over and over and over.
Think about it! Sarah Jane was present when Davros created the Daleks and Jack -— you never forget the first time... the first time you die that is.
Seriously, kudos to Liz Sladen and John Barrowman for selling the Nightmare Fuel in that scene.
While "The Stolen Earth" gives the Daleks one or two funny bits ("Yes, we know who you are."), there is enough effing Nightmare Fuel of every kind in the episode. For example (all of these come with the warning that you may negate a perfectly good Wham Episode):
Aforementioned reaction of Sarah, Jack and Martha to "Exterminate".
Daleks stealing entire planets as part of their master plan.
Daleks marching everyone on Earth out of their homes and incinerating anyone who doesn't come along.
Dalek Caan screwing with the Time Vortex in a way that beats out even the Doctor.
The Daleks effing shooting the Doctor during a horrific subversion of The Meadow Run, leading to an equally shocking cliffhanger.
And, last but not least, Davros being within 10 seconds of achieving his extremely long life's ambition of ending everything. EVERYTHING. Ever. Period. No backsies. Just a small corner of existence filled with Daleks. "YES! I WOULD DO IT!" indeed.
His metaphorical holding a mirror up to the Doctor to show him who he really is - "the man who never carries a gun..."
"Yes, we know who you are"? Funny interlude for some, Nightmare Fuel for others.
The dialogue leading up to his "THE DESTRUCTION! OF REALITY! ITSELF!" Davros is going into great detail to explain to Rose and the Doctor how, once the Reality Bomb goes off, it can't be stopped. It is going to spread out and destroy everything. Every planet, every star, every living being in existence is going to be reduced to nothingness - and not just in "our" universe, but every dimension in The Multiverse. Absolutely nothing will survive... except Davros and the Daleks. Think about that - there'd be nothing left except an evil race and their Mad Scientist creator. That's what the final legacy of the universe would have been had the good guys lost, which they came within a hairsbreadth of doing. All of creation reduced to inert particles, and the only exception are Space Nazis.
Davros' cry about "THE DESTRUCTION! OF REALITY! ITSELF!" is especially chilling in retrospect from "The End of Time". The exclamation, and the idea in general, is uncannily similar to Rassilon's battle cry before the assembled lords of Gallifrey, and chillingly lends credence to the Doctor's comments on just how far the Time Lords had sunk by the end of the Time War — namely, to the level of the Daleks themselves.
Have you ever considered that theory about multiple realities? The one that states that there's a different reality for every possible outcome of any event? Such as there being an alternate universe where the Reality Bomb successfully went off?
What's worse than that? The Multiverse may very well exist. That would mean there is an infinite number of universes, and thus a reality where everything that happens in Doctor Who is real. Including the Reality Bomb. And, if the Reality Bomb can truly live up to its name, there's a universe where it went off. For all we know, this has happened multiple times, and we live in a multiverse born out of the ashes of the old.
Replace "went off" with "will go off". Now consider that this could be that very universe. Have fun.
Alternatively as possibly Nightmare Retardant: The Reality Bomb's non-detonation is a Fixed Point in Time. No matter how bad it gets, the Reality Bomb would never go off. Supported by the episode The Name of the Doctor where The Great Intelligence goes into the Doctor's time stream and turns every victory into a defeat... Except if it did do that, surely the Reality Bomb would have went off and ended the series right then right there. (Same with the End of Time special which would have done the same thing.) Which didn't happen. Therefore, it was either avoided by the Intelligence for whatever reason or because it was Fixed.
It could have gone off. The stars were going out.
The specials-only year started with a bang, with Christmas 2008 bringing the return of the Cybermen, who create animal-like ninjas with dog brains. Oh, and more brain-electrocution and ambushes, of course.
Easter 2009 gave us a man being burned to a skeleton as he steps through a wormhole, and a vast swarm of killer stingrays that turn planets to sand within a year.
Russell T Davies said that "The Waters of Mars" would be very scary, going on to describe it as "nightmarish". Consider how many people were left hiding under the bed after episodes that were not intended to be that scary. How did he do?
Well, if you don't find the prospect of monsters that infect you with the very thing that makes up 60 percent of your body, or over 70 percent of this planet's surface to be at all scary of course. One drop. And if you're literally anywhere else other than the small, tightly enclosed, easily destructible environment the episode takes place in, infection is only a matter of time. Water can get in anywhere.
"Water is patient, water just waits. Water always wins."
That and the Doctor when he realises that he is the only Time Lord left, and that consequently, he makes the rules. Nothing scarier than a man who rules reality, and is now willing to abuse that fact.
And what it takes to halt him. Specifically, the companion-of-the-week killing herself to preserve the order of time.
The Time Lord Victorious speech can be compared directly to the Master's conversation with the shrunken Doctor in LOTTL. The similarities in the mindset of the respective Timelords at those points are REMARKABLY similar, and provoked physical shaking and symptoms one might possibly associate with Mind Rape
"I'm a Time Lord. I HAVE THAT RIGHT." Tell me that didn't make the hair on the back of your neck stand up.
It puts right out in the open a fact that often gets sort of lost in the Doctor's Cloud Cuckoolander and Bunny-Ears Lawyer qualities: The Doctor is mentally ill, and fairly unstable. In The Waters of Mars it wasn't made cute or funny, it was dark, and serious... and deadly, and not ignorable. That was scarier than any villain or monster they've had on the show.
They even say 'tough' in the same way. Oh, and in The End of Time, he quotes him directly- "Funny? No? Little bit?".
Far worse is the way that the Doctor's A God Am ISanity Slippage parallels that of the Time Lords in The End of Time. During the War, they went mad with their own power, to the point of being willing to destroy the universe to "ascend to a higher form of consciousness." This was why the Doctor had to kill them in the first place. Now bear in the mind that the Doctor was able to do that — to destroy not one, but two all-powerful civilizations, all by himself. Then realize that if he were to go down the same road, there might be no one at all capable of stopping him.
The Doctor sonic-ing the Gadget robot and Roman screaming in pain because his brain is connected to the robot. And the worst part is? The Doctor is completely unaware of the damage he's causing, running around with a big grin on his face.
And of course, what makes that final scene even more unsettling is that the Doctor's cocky, I'm-really-so-very-awesome-me smugness in that scene isn't a million miles off from how he's behaved in other episodes after beating the baddie of the week... except this time, it's presented in a much more unsettling light. And rather than everyone around him boosting him up by fawning over how great he is in dazzled awe, they're utterly freaked out and terrified by him. And of course, the fact that it's one of the most matter-of-fact A God Am I moments ever makes it far more unsettling than a million ranting megalomaniacs.
While the Time Lord Victorious might have been unsettling, the manner in which the Flood transformed people into hive-minded water zombies was utterly terrifying. Bonus points for the tremendous Tear Jerker of Steffi desperately turning on a recording of her children during her last few seconds of consciousness, before emerging from the room she'd been sealed into (after a behind-the-back view of the transformation) to terrorize her former crewmates. Oh God. Oh, and adorable Roman's living example of the 'One Drop' being fatal.
"The Waters of Mars", apart from the subject of the Time Lord Victorious, has one of the most terrifying end of the season: The Doctor in the TARDIS, staring, being aware of the consequences of his actions and his impending end. And the Cloister Bell begins to ring...
Well, "The End of Time" took that moment of A God Am IUp to Eleven with the Doctor looking at Wilfred, who will most certainly die if he doesn't sacrifice himself in his place, and declaring him 'unimportant' and at the same time rambling about how important he himself is. It's a terrifying moment wherein you briefly think the Doctor is utterly and completely willing to sacrifice an innocent man because he thinks "The Doctor" counts for more. This is made more horrid by the fact that Wilfred had seen such a move coming, as earlier he had called the Doctor out on his willingness to put a Time Lord's life before that of the entire human race, and is still telling the Doctor to 'let him die'. *shudder*
What happened at the climax of The End of Time Part One with the Master turning EVERY human in the world, apart from Donna and Wilf, into a copy of himself.
For that extra chillingedge: Gwen, Martha and Sarah Jane Smith never saw that coming, did they...
Or Jo Grant. Or Ace. Or the Brigadier. Or any of the Doctor's other companions on Earth, living or dead. Wait a second...wasn't Mels/River Song on Earth then, too?
Since she was part Time Lady, it probably wouldn't have worked on her, which is arguably even worse: imagine having everyone around you changed into cackling, psychotic madmen, and you have no idea why or why you were spared. (It probably didn't do much to improve her murderous hatred of the Doctor, either.)
Take a look at the Doctor Who wiki (if you don't watch The Sarah Jane Adventures), and you'll find that Luke Smith, Sarah Jane's adopted son, is an artificial human, who likely wouldn't have been affected either. How did he react when Sarah Jane was transformed? Being changed was horrific, but at least those people barely seemed to remember what happened.
For extra squicky fear fun: Think of the children and babies as well!
And even worse: people who were having sex at that moment.
Well, it was the Master... That probably would be one of the better scenarios.
Hey. Think about it. What happens to unborn but viable (that is, for the sake of argument, alive) babies still in the womb?
Torchwood's Children of Earth was set in September, by which point Gwen Cooper was pregnant. The End of Time takes place on December 25th. Oh, dear....
Part two hints at something worse: the dead and buried have been changed into the Master, too. And we're never told whether those people went back to being dead once the change was undone....
Speaking of the Master in EoT: it's heavily implied he eats people. And just leaves skeletons.
Imagine seeing this ◊ face falling from the sky on top of you while a psychotic voice yells "DINNER TIME!!" right before you die.
The Doctor's mention of the horrible things that the Time Lords would bring back from the War if they were released. We may never get to see them, but somehow that just makes itworse. Just the expression on the Doctor's face alone makes you realise that, to him, the Time Lords returning is HISNightmare Fuel. And this is the guy who pretty much tells anyone he meets that the Time Lords were great and awesome — WERE being the operative word. And then he takes up the gun...
"You weren't there, in the final days of the war. You never saw what was born. But if the time lock's broken then everything's coming through and not just the Daleks but the Skaro Degradations. The horde of travesties! The Nightmare Child, The Could-Have-Been King with his army of Meanwhiles and Never-Weres... the war turned into HELL! And that's what you've opened: right above the Earth! HELL is descending!"
The Time War. So the two most powerful civilizations in the universe ever are going at it with the gloves off; bad enough. Some of the weapons are creepifying just by their names — the Dalek fleet that "flew into the jaws of the Nightmare Child" is one hell of a Noodle Incident to ponder. The use of time travel to constantly resurrect the warriors, only for them to die again and again, hundreds of times? But worst of all is the simple fact implicit in its name: because it's a time war, you can never really meaningfully say that it's over from an internal perspective. It's just sealed away, with no escape....
Here's some lovely Fridge Horror for you — in the old series, the Time Lords all wore robes◊ colored according to the Chapterhouse they belonged to. In "The End of Time", every single Time Lord is wearing Rassilon's red-and-gold◊. Based on what we saw of Rassilon, what do you think happened to the other Chapterhouses?
The thought of the Time Lords returning made the Doctor pick up a gun. Willingly.
"Victory of the Daleks", where in your brightest moment, you're told that your inventions are actually planetary exterminators, every single thing about you is a lie, and that you're a bomb that's gonna blow up in a few minutes.
Guess why it's called "Victory"? That's right, because the Daleks win.
When the 'Ironside' is introduced: "I-AM-YOUR-SOL-DIER." Not again. (See classic Season 4 for the reference)
Watch in hindsight, knowing their plan. That is distinctly a note of smugness in those mechanical tones - it knows they've set it up so that the Doctor will lose this time and it's already rubbing his face in it.
In "The Vampires of Venice", when the Doctor muses about what would be so bad that it wouldn't mind being thought to be a vampire...
Their true forms are aquatic beings with horrifying teeth. and you can become one if you survive the blood transfusion...
The creepy room where they actually do the "transfusion." Not only is it creepily lit and stone, but they also strap you to a chair.
And then there's the end. Notice how all the people have disappeared, and it's silent? Sweet dreams.
On the subject of the Bird Song, pay close attention. It first appeared in "The Eleventh Hour" when the newly regenerated Doctor wakes from being smacked in the head by Amy with a cricket bat. But if you pay close attention to the bird song, it follows the same pattern of the twittering chirping noise that the TARDIS makes during dematerialization.
There's a new one from "The Hungry Earth" that, depending on the viewer, might just take the cake altogether.
Moe: They did it to me. While I was conscious. Amy: Okay, you're really freaking me out. Did what? Moe: Dissected me.
Amy waking up in a glass coffin.
Amy getting sucked into the Earth, convinced she is going to die.
Somewhat scarier when you realize from watching Confidential that Karen really is claustrophobic and those tears and screams are real.
The people getting Retgoned in "Flesh and Stone" was bad enough, but it gets even worse when it happens to an actual main character that we'd gotten to know over several episodes. And who was already dead, so the crack just stole the one kind of existence he had left.
If that's not bad enough, in "Cold Blood" the Doctor actually reaches into the crack and pulls something out, which we're not shown for several minutes. IT'S A PIECE OF THE TARDIS.
First it's statues, then it's darkness, then water, now the ground beneath our feet. Isanythingsafe?!
You can't even see the Monster of the Week in "Vincent and the Doctor." More Paranoia Fuel.
You would think that "The Lodger" would be the one episode of Series 5 without any Nightmare Fuel. Wrong: It begins around 2:30 of this clip: . Nothing bad really happens, but Eleven seems to perceive a threat.
The silhouettes of the "people" at the top of the stairs... Luring victims up the stairs, where we hear them screaming as they are consumed by a creepy, hungry, half-sentient machine. And their burnt remains seeping down into the room below... yeesh.
The worst thing in that episode is the fridge horror. They repeatedly state the human population is 6,400,000,026. This number is at least 299,999,974 people less than what the population was at the time in real life. Those three hundred million are the deaths from all those alien invasions whoniverse-Earth suffers.
Maybe even worse than that. Sure, there've been invasions, but then there are those cracks in the universe continuing to erase everything from history. So it's possible that the "miscount" actually accounts for the people that have been retgoned from existence. Yeesh!
The Curse of the Black Spot: Don't get hurt. Something might crawl out of the water and take you away. And then we discover it extends to reflective surfaces, too.
They let Neil Gaiman write an episode, The Doctor's Wife. Its antagonist was a creature with the same level of evil as A.M. itself, and it eats TARDISes. Oh, and that voice. And the fact that Auntie and Uncle are stitched together from slain Time Lords and who-knows-what-else.
Oh god, the short scene where Amy and Rory are running around in the TARDIS' corridors. The scenes where they get stuck on opposite sides of a door. Where Amy keeps going (three times!) and finds Rory increasingly older and more insane until she finds a dead corpse and hell-curse-you writing all over the walls. Then the real Rory comes up behind her. The scene is only ten minutes long or so, but it's still horrible.
Insane!Rory was stuck in the TARDIS for a long time waiting for Amy and he hates her for it. Before he dies again, he writes on the wall, HATE AMY, KILL AMY, KILL ME AMY HATE AMY, KILL AMY over and over again. But he's not the real Rory. It's House's Mind Rape. It terrified Amy, though. Seeing Rory, who is normally the level headed one, shout and scream like that is extremely unnerving.
TARDISes can mess with time and space. If it could do that internally then it's entirely possible some version of Rory really did live that life and House has been mind raping him for decades before wiping it all out and starting over. Even if it actually wasn't him there's a good chance that scene was created based on Amy's own fears; we learned early on in the reboot that the TARDIS gets inside her head), thus making that scene the product of her guilt at his having to wait for her for so long and her absolute terror of losing him. Imagine watching your loved ones die several times, knowing it could happen again, permanently, any second...
"They hurt me, Amy. They come, every night, and they hurt me. Again and again."
It's worse than that. Imagine seeing the moldering remains of someone you love. Now imagine seeing that and knowing full well that they died hating you more than anything else in the world.
After House takes controls of the TARDIS and leaves, the way Auntie and Uncle talk about their impending deaths as if they were just going out somewhere and then dying in mid sentence, their nonchalant tones never changing through the end, is chillingly unnatural. Imagine that you're just talking to somebody and then after a while they cheerfully announce that they're going to die in a few seconds and then suddenly just dropping dead just like that.
We are starting to be quite familiar with now a very pissed off Doctor. Suffice to say we have seen on numerous occasions that the Doctor has displayed signs that he could be heading to a darker path, events in "The Family of Blood", "The Waters of Mars", etc have shown what the Doctor is capable of when his patience is pushed to the limits. Knowing this, the pain and anger he showed when talking to Auntie and Uncle after his discovery makes for a very tense moment.
"You gave me hope and then took it away. That's enough to make anyone dangerous, God knows what it'll do to me!" Indeed.
One line that seems to be a typical Doctor Badass Boast can be taken in a completely different and terrifying light.
House: Fear me, I've killed hundreds of Timelords. The Doctor: Fear me. I've killed all of them.
The glib way he says this once again showcases how easily he can become the Timelord Victorious.
Think about it. House did that using only the TARDIS herself. She could do that to anyone, at any time, if she chose. note And she has done — see "Zagreus" in the Expanded Universe section below. We know she's alive, and sentient, and loves the Doctor. That leads us to the conclusion that she can probably get angry. She consciously controls herself if she needs to. Imagine being trapped in the TARDIS being Mind Raped again and again and again, indefinitely, and not being able to escape, because no one knows you're there. No one ever will know. Don't upset the TARDIS.
We already know that the TARDIS takes care of her Doctor and his companions. It's repeatedly indicated that the TARDIS is also protective of established timelines, said in "The Doctor's Wife" to be why she always lands where and when the Doctor is needed. Does anyone care to wonder what she's been doing all this time with the Carrionites the Doctor kept as a souvenir in "The Shakespeare Code"?
Nephew's fate, while not on the same level of terror as the previous examples, is slightly disturbing. The Doctor and Idris materialise a TARDIS on top of him.
The Doctor: He's been... 'redistributed.' Amy: Meaning...? The Doctor: You're breathing him.
The Gangers in "The Rebel Flesh" once they undergo Glamour Failure. Especially the first time the audience is shown it during the second solar tsunami, where they flash between their human and Ganger faces - with their Ganger face locked in a screaming expression.
The scene in the toilets where Ganger!Jennifer attacks Rory by punching him in the face, her arm stretching like rubber through the door to do so, then she stretches her head through the hole and speaks to him with the Voice of the Legion.
The ending where the Doctor is confronted by his own Ganger.
And preceding that, the disembodied mouth floating in a pool of living goop, whispering "Trust me."
Showing once again just how terrifyingly paranoid un-cloned humanity loves to be. Especially if it will obviously lead to everything you'll regret. Especially. (See Midnight episode for close reference)
Heck, the scene before the credits where one of the Gangers gets dissolved in a pool of acid, which is treated with completed nonchalance by the other crewmembers.
The cliffhanger to "The Almost People": "Well, dear. You're ready to pop, aren't you? Little one's on its way. Here it comes. Puuuuuusssssh." *The most blood-curdling scream in the series' history follows*
The pile of rotting Gangers who are both alive and fully conscious.
The freakish elongated monster that Jennifer turns into, which apparently got lost on its way to a casting call for the next Resident Evil game. Or the hallway with eyes in the walls. Really, the last half of the episode is one non-stop cavalcade of Nightmare Fuel of the Body Horror variety.
The fact that Ganger!Jenny deliberately kills another, sentient Ganger of herself to convince Rory she's real. Because, as the Doctor repeatedly tells us, the sentient Gangers are just like real humans.
The landlord's involuntary transformation into a doll in "Night Terrors".
Which is scary because at first you think they're going to fake you out. But they don't. It's made to look like it's going to be offscreen... but it isn't.
Amy spends 37 years completely alone, constantly on the run from robots who will inadvertently kill her. Is it any wonder that she hates the Doctor more than anyone else by the time she gets to talk to him again?
From "The God Complex": A Hell Hotel that contains everyone's worst fears, with a room for everyone. A great big Minotaur wanders the halls, forced to eat the inhabitants. And Room 11 holds The Worst Thing In The Universe.
Also from that episode, the Doctor is describing the Minotaur and how it wanted to die. The Minotaur apparently thinks he's talking about himself. The Doctor swears he's not saying he wants to die, but he seems to have trouble convincing himself.
Are you praying yet? 'cause that's about the worst thing you could pos...Praise him.
The scene where the Doctor finds his room (11) to be most unnerving. He opens the door, and in the dark room, the Cloister Bell of the TARDIS is tolling in low, dark tones. His eyes widen, and then, with a profound sigh, he says, in response to his greatest fear and in resignation, "Of course. Who else?" and we never get to see what it is. The implication is that it is himself. Possibly confirmed in "The Name of the Doctor," with the revelation of the banished Doctor persona.
There's the fridge horror. The hotel keeps showing Rory an exit, and we find out later that this is because Rory lacks both fear and faith. But we also find out that the Hotel is a spaceship. Where do exits go on spaceships?
The core plot element, how each of the taken's faith is broken by being exposed to their worst fears that are generally otherwise mundane and non-threatening to anyone else. Doesn't help that some overlap with real fears (such as clowns).
At the end of Closing Time, River Song is trapped underwater in a spacesuit (by Madame Kovarian and the Silence to be exact), drugged and forced to kill the Doctor. Enhanced by Kovarian's taunting, and the Silence simply standing there and making no sound.
River, freshly Doctor Song, is reading up on the Doctor, when guess who comes out of the shadows. Also, this:
Kovarian: You never escaped us. We were always coming for you.
Plus that terrifying nursery rhyme from Night Terrors is back with a vengeance.
Tick tock goes the clock, he cradled and he rocked her Tick tock goes the clock, 'till River kills the Doctor.
If you think about it, River's situation at the end of Closing Time comes pretty close to And I Must Scream. River knows that she is about to be forced to kill the man she loves. She will apparently be completely conscious for this, but unable to do anything to stop it. You gotta wonder just how messed up she was after this...
From the main story, Craig's Cyber-conversion. Made oh-so-much worse by Alfie's (aka Stormageddon, Dark Lord of All) plaintive wailing, as if he knows what's happening to his father.
Of course, as happens so often in this show, this turns from horrifying to awesome when said wailing breaks the Cyber-conversion, causing a backlash that fries the Cybermen and ultimately blows their whole ship up. Lesson of the day, do not mess with a Papa Wolf!
Dinosaurs on a Spaceship: imagine signing up for a mission to take dinosaurs through space to a new, habitable planet in an attempt to avoid their (and your) extinction...then being woken up from your centuries-long stasis sleep by a couple of demented, chattering robots...only to be immediately flushed out through an airlock into space. Alive. Because the dinosaurs have value, but Silurians don't.
Solomon himself was such a monster, the Doctor killed him in cold blood. Nightmare Fuel for the bow tie wearing alien yet again.
The Power of Three's mostly a quiet, emotionally-based episode. Then we suddenly get people with flesh cubes where their mouths should be. You could also probably add 1/3 of the human population getting killed for a few minutes (including the ones we see die on CCTV.)
Cold War - The Doctor, Clara, and a group of Russian Marines are in a sinking submarine, all while an Ice Warrior is on the loose and is trying to fire a nuke from the submarine. Every creak and crash you hear could very well be the Ice Warrior ready to attack.
Hide. Let's start off with the ghost that appears. No matter the picture, where it's taken, the angle or the lighting, it's always caught in a photo the same way: Flailing its arms, screaming and towards the photographer. It's actually a time traveller, stuck in a pocket dimension which crumbles in a mere three minutes.
Then we have the weird, skeletal creatures which appear throughout the episode. You rarely ever see them, and when you do, they move erratically and suddenly, like glitches in a game. They're twisted somehow, like they spent too much time in the wrong place. Not to mention they feed on fear and reside in a haunted castle and a constantly misty forest full of trees. To top it all off, the Doctor turns around to face one and states out loud that he is afraid of these things. What are they?
Don't forget when we get a close look at them near the end... *shudders*
American soldiers left tins of spam as an offering to the "ghost" with a note that read, "Please stop screaming.", and then they focus on one of the photos of the apparition with a wide, gaping black maw.◊ The "ghost" may turn out to be an unfortunate time traveler at the end, but try looking at that image and not shuddering a little.
In Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS, the revelation of what the charred black zombies that chase the cast throughout the episode actually are. They're the future versions of the Doctor, Clara, and the salvagers that couldn't escape the Eye of Harmony and were burnt alive.
For bonus horror, one of the zombies that hounded the Doctor throughout the episode has its hand fused to its face. When the Doctor explains what the zombies are as he prepares to die, he rests his hand on his face in despair. Thankfully, he takes it away as he realizes a way out.
One of the two surviving scavenger brothers discovers his "tiny scrap of decency inside himself", and as his brother falls into the Eye of Harmony, he catches him and tries to pull him back up. He is promptly fused to his brother by the intense heat and becomes the Bad Future version of himself, chasing the Doctor and Clara while screaming madly.
The Crimson Horror has the Body Horror of the titular fate— as we see when the Doctor is infected, the victims not only turn bright red but experience a total and excruciating-looking stiffening of their entire bodies, mouth frozen open, before dying.
Nightmare In Silver brings us the Doctor as the Cyber-Planner. Not only does Matt Smith embrace the madness playing the Cyber-Planner, but he does it so calmly, and sometimes gleefully.
Cyber-Planner: Doctor, Doctor, Doctor Doctor Doctor Doctor Doctor Doctor!
And the Doctor electrocutes himself to get rid of the Cyber-Planner. The Cyber-Planner's scream of "That's cheeeatiiing!" is chilling.
The Cybermen have undergone some major enhancements which have made them even more dangerous and terrifying. They can teleport in an instant, operate without a head and scariest of all: CONVERT HUMANS WITH ONE TOUCH.
What makes the Cybermen even more dangerous is their ability to instantly upgrade themselves to counter threats. Shoot them with a massive cannon, electrocute the water, they will find a way to become immune to that strategy.
Every episode of the new Doctor Who has some moments that could give somebody nightmares, but "Blink" gave everybody nightmares. If you are prone to nightmares, don't watch any Steven Moffat stories... in fact, stay away from the Eleventh Doctor's first season ENTIRELY. Moffat is the drunken captain of the oil tanker full of nightmare fuel that's headed full speed ahead straight for the rocky coast of your dreams, and in addition to "Blink", he has given us:
Series 1 - The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances
The gas mask people from "The Empty Child" / "The Doctor Dances"
Then there's the Fridge Horror part once your mind finishes digesting the story. Imagine having your face infused into a gas mask (possibly painfully), having part of your memory damaged to the point where you can't recall how your mother looks like but you're so frightened that it's all you want thanks to basic human instinct which you still have, and worst of all, your mother not wanting to admit you being her child anymore because you're this ugly monstrosity that's only human neck-down now. Body Horror and Parental Abandonment horror at it's worst.
Series 2 - The Girl in the Fireplace
The eighteenth century French girl who grows up and dies with the prospect of meeting the Doctor only a few times while only a handful of minutes pass for the Doctor himself (or the "clockwork robots" stalking her, especially when disguised, and the way they repair their space ship structural/electronic/critical damage with human organs).
The real chilling bit was how entirely believable the scenario was. Not from the sci-fi perspective, but consider it this way: they were repair drones, and the ship was in need of repair. It's their one purpose, their only reason to exist. And, as one said, "We did not have the parts." And he just repeats that, over and over, until the Doctor gets it, "...no one told them the crew was off limits." With an AI that single-minded, it seems horrifyingly probable for the prime directive to supercede things like "human life."
This could even be a Zeroth Law Rebellion: The ship is badly damaged, and too far from any sort of rescue for external help to reach it in time. In such a scenario, the AI wouldn't even be clearly wrong to use the crew as replacement parts, since they will die if the ship isn't repaired.
The Doctor: [looks at a broken clock] Okay, that's scary. Reinette: You're scared of a broken clock? The Doctor: Just a bit scared, yeah. Just a tiny bit. 'Cause you see, if this clock's broken, and it's the only one in the room, then what's that ticking?
The scene where the Doctor looks under Reinette's bed is already a pretty touchy subject for anyone who's had night terrors, but when the camera slowly pans up to show that all-out shit-inducing nightmare mask, hidden in the shadows just so, you find yourself cowering under the covers.
The very practical approach to organ harvesting "I will not set foot there again." "We do not require your feet."
One line sums it up: We did not have the parts.
The sheer horrifying creepiness of the clockwork 'bots themselves. Eyeless 18th century pseudo-Mardi Gras mask? Check. Monotonous voice? Check. Slow and jerky but inexorable movements accompanied by sounds to alert their arrival and your sure demise? Check. Retractable saws and other scary implements? Check. Total single-mindedness focusing on harvesting your organs? Check.
Series 3 - Blink, Series 5 - The Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone, Series 7 - The Angels Take Manhattan (The Weeping Angels)
When it first aired, "Blink" had a special warning telling parents that the episode was scarier than normal and should be watched in the day instead of at night. Only Doctor Who could make an episode about statues the most terrifying thing in the world.
One of the most impressive things about the Weeping Angels (pre-The Time of Angels and Flesh and Stone) is that they were the most terrifying creation of possibly the entire run of the show, and they didn't actually kill you. Not really; you were just zapped into the past. Both Kathy Nightengale and Billy Shipton lived out happy, full lives before dying of natural causes. They don't kill you, and they still cause even the most hardened horror fans to wet themselves. Tip of the hat to the Moff.
If anything, that makes them even more terrifying. They don't need you to die; they draw their energy from the time you would have spent living in the present, while dooming you to reflect on what's happened to you and just what you've lost forever. The fact that they feed on your lost, wasted life is scarier than if they just outright swallowed you whole.
"You're not looking at the statue." "Neither are you." Cue Jump Scare.
And to make things worse - "That which contains the image of an Angel becomes itself an Angel."
On the subject of anything which contains the image of an Angel becoming an Angel, here's some nice Call Back / Fridge Horror for ya. At the end "Blink" Sally Sparrow has some pictures of the Angels.
It goes From Bad to Worse though - look in an angel's eyes long enough, and it can come out of the image you have of it in your brain. Now think back to how many times there have been close-ups of the angels' faces, and suddenly those statues are even more terrifying.
Do the math here: By not looking at an Angel, it will kill you before you can even realize you're not looking. By looking, it will turn you into one of its own. Either way, your existence is over.
Well, to avoid being turned into one of them you should not look into their eyes.
And the real-life book Doctor Who: The Ultimate Monster Guide has photos of angels, some with their faces uncovered. You'll be repeating the MST3K Mantra for a completely different reason than usual.
After all those ways of killing you, you'd think it couldn't get worse. Sometimes they get absolutely sadistic and like to fuck with you before they kill you. Making you count down to your own demise, making you believe you're turning to stone, and even fucking with your friends. By this point you're better off letting them kill you normally.
"Bob, keep running but tell me, how did you escape?" "I didn't escape, sir. The angels killed me, too. They broke my neck." Scariest. Conversation. Ever.
"And when you say you're coming, you mean..." "That's right sir, the angels are coming.". Scariest part of the episode, hands down.
What makes it really creepy was how emotionless he said it. He was being so scared in the beginning that that monotone makes you just KNOW that something's horribly wrong. There was also this quote: "If [they] have two heads, then why don't their statues?"
The montage of statues, narrated by David Tennant's "don't blink speech".
The horrible, demonic shrieking noises that the Angels make... when they laugh.
Those Angels are standing in a secure parking garage, under many light bulbs. Light bulbs burn out.
And if the Angels grow impatient waiting for the light bulbs to burn out naturally, they can always actively burn them out...
What about when the Doctor asks Angel Bob why the Angel in Amy's mind is forcing her to count down. "To make her afraid, Sir." "Yes, but why?" "For fun, Sir."
The Time of Angels takes the concept of the Weeping Angels, turns it up to eleven and rips the knob off it. A dead man describing to the Doctor over the radio how the Angels snapped his neck, and the Doctor recalling the builders of the temple having two heads. And then realising that all of the seemingly innocuous statues littering the temple only have one. They then turn out to be rotting, decaying angels.
The scene in "Blink" when Sally takes the TARDIS key. While most other scenes use flickering light or camera cuts to show that the Angels have moved, this time the Angels change poses as Sally passes between them and the camera, watching her as she steps in front of them and covering their eyes as she moves away.
"Flesh and Stone":
First, the Doctor has to shoot the globe that's keeping the entire MAZE of Angels at bay.
Then, the Doctor, Amy, River, Father Octavian and the Clerics running through the ship, having to periodically shut the lights off in order to open the doors.
the Doctor and River leaving Amy, who must keep her eyes shut at all times or the Angel inside her head will get free, and the Clerics alone with the Angels in the forest. The crack seems to be calling to the Clerics - who walk over and are rewritten out of time, like they never existed. Amy is left completely alone, essentially blind, and must walk through the forest full of Angels as if she can see, because only the illusion that she might be able to see them is keeping the Angels from attacking.
The Doctor explaining what the time energy will do to Amy: "If the time energy catches up with you, you will never have been born. It will erase every moment of your existence. You will never have lived at all.
On top of the terror of the Angels in this episode is bad enough, but when we learn that the crack in time is widening, things get worse. Now instead of letting things cross from universe to universe, it wipes them out... And not just by killing them, but by retroactively erasing them from existence so that no-one will even remember you, or why you went missing.
The soldiers shooting at the Angels in the tunnel... not because they actually expect the bullets to work, but to use the muzzle flash to light them up.
Here's some Fridge Horror HONF for you: All the angels were thrust into the crack in time at the end of the episode making everything have a nice, (relatively) happy ending. Now remember what happened when the cracks closed? How everything that got erased from time came back? Yeah... Have fun sleeping tonight...
Oh, it gets worse. "The God Complex." One of the rooms contains Weeping Angels, and Amy's terrified when she sees them. Turns out it was Gibbis' worst fear. The Doctor proved that they weren't real ( he could put his hand through them like a hologram), but remember "that which contains the image of an Angel, itself becomes an Angel." Oh Crap.
The fact that, because Amy remembered the Angels from her own experiences with them, one could surely argue the Angels now exist again from her re-remembering everything back into existence in "The Big Bang" - and Gibbis has just confirmed it by clearly remembering them himself! Not to mention, nobody ever said that the four Angels in "Blink", or even the many in the Series 5 Angels two-parter were the only ones in existence... apparently, they had initially been trying to take the latter episode's planet over before running out of "food". So... where are the rest of them?
The Angels Take Manhattan: Weeping. Angel. Cherubim. The tapping feet in the dark, their extremely eerie giggling, and their vast numbers are arguably more scary than an adult angel.
The trailer shows a smiling Weeping Angel. And it's terrifying.
Their farm plan can be seen as this and a Tear Jerker. You are basically lured into a building and get sent back in time after witnessing the death of your older self (ensuring a fixed point). Once that happens, you are their slave. Forced to live solitary in a room for decades waiting for the event to occur again. Now it brings harshness on the fact the Doctor considered them the only people to kill you nicely since you just live on your life elsewhere. In this case, you are cattle.
A more horrifying implication as to why the elderly residents still reside in the farm, is that the Angels don't send their victims back several decades straight away, but instead amuse themselves by keeping their victims trapped in the building, sending them short hops into the past whenever they try to escape. This forces them back further in time and further away from the world they knew and eventually, their victims are so defeated they simply resign themselves to taking The Slow Path.
Series 4 - Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead
Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead — A two-part story penned by Steven Moffat, involving living carnivorous shadows in a giant space library, plus a cyberspace segment involving vanishing children and a woman with a warped face◊.
Apparently the little specks in bright light are Vashta Nerada, too.
"Hey...who turned out the lights....?" Go ahead; shudder.◊
What makes "count your shadows" so horrifying is that it's not impossible to have two shadows. If you're standing between two light sources of similar brightness (Two lamps, or even two windows on different walls) you will have two shadows.
More the point that you almost never even notice your own shadow, even when you think about it.
It could be referring to the umbra of your shadow– the darkest part. You can have multiple penumbras– the lighter parts– but the Vashta Nerada are pitch black. And you can't have two umbras.
The Doctor saying that every creature in the universe has a irrational fear of the dark... only to explain that the fear isn't irrational.
Oh god... The Vashta Narada exist on every world in the universe. Sometimes a person just goes missing....
It's also especially implied that they exist on earth...
The Doctor: [Vashta Nerada] are the dust in sunbeams. ... They mostly live on roadkill, but sometimes a person goes into the dark...and doesn't come back...
Let's not forget the line by the Doctor after they've fled from Proper Dave.
The Doctor: [to River] You said there were five people alive in this room, right? River: Yes. The Doctor: So why are there six...? [beat; everyone turns around slowly] Proper Dave/Vashta Nerada: Hey! Who turned out the lights?
"Donna Noble has left the Library. Donna Noble has been saved. Donna Noble has left the Library. Donna Noble has been saved. Donna Noble has left the Library. Donna Noble has been saved..."
Series 5 - The Eleventh Hour, The Beast Below, The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang
The Eleventh Hour. Kids, see that crack in your wall? It's got a murderous shapeshifting alien behind it which looks like the hybrid of a moray eel and xenomorph. And if you look into the crack there is a giant eye that will look back at you.
One night that murderous alien made his way through the crack and into your home. Where it went into hiding. Without you knowing. For over ten years.
Moffat got the idea after seeing a crack in his son's bedroom wall. Yeah. That's right. He tailor-designed nightmare fuel for his own child!
According to the commentary for the episode, his son doesn't find the crack itself terribly frightening. Nonetheless, he bravely 'rolled up [his] sleeves and called a man to fill in the crack.'
Everything about Prisoner Zero.
Not to mention the Paranoia Fuel linked to it, and pretty much the world in general. Anyone you know go into a coma recently? Prisoner Zero might be masquerading as them. In fact, it could be watching you...right now...as you look at this page...and you won't even notice. And thanks to Perception Filters, there could be many horrible things you aren't noticing...
"Oh, I'm getting it wrong again, aren't I? So...many...mouths."
The teeth of the transformed people are hugely creepy.
The mixed up voices were creepier for some, especially when the little girl uses the woman's voice, diving headfirst into the Uncanny Valley.
The man barking instead of the dog.
The woman using the girl's voice to taunt the Doctor about the cracks in the Universe, then switching back to the correct voice, as if it did that on purpose. "The Doctor in the TARDIS doesn't know. Doesn't know~ Doesn't know~" And it's quite possible Prisoner Zero does know.
There might also be hidden rooms in your house which you can't notice and which contain evil shapeshifting monsters.
If you just look in the corner of your eye...
The sequence where Amy is going into Prisoner Zero's room, and the Doctor — The Doctor! — is absolutely terrified, screaming for her to turn back, and she just keeps going...
"Walking down a hallway towards a door that shouldn't be there while someone screams not to open it? Hey, who needs sleep?"
Prisoner Zero was in that room for 12 years and had forged a mental link with Amy strong enough to knock her out by the time she was an adult. What would having an alien creature who had done something so awful that it's guards are willing to destroy a planet to stop it do to the mind of a little girl as she grew up? Some fans have even pointed out Amy shows signs of mental illness. From that perspective, she really needed those psychologists.
The Doctor does make a fairly simple case that there must have been a less "extreme" method, since one would assume there must be a method for dealing with major convicts on planets that you can't just torch. And in the process reminds us why he's so greatly feared as to get his own Pandorica.
Don't forget the picture taken by the Hubble Space telescope a few years ago. 
"The Beast Below" has Smilers and their demonic frowns.
Girl: A horse and a man, above, below./ One has a plan but both must go./ Mile after mile; above, beneath./ One has a smile, and one has teeth. / Though the man above might say hello, / Expect no love from the beast below! [cue the elevator plummeting, then the floor opening]
"This, then, is what has been done to preserve the safety of the British people. May God have mercy on our souls."
Oh, god, most of The Beast Below was freaky—well, until we get near the end when it's discovered what's so horribly wrong about the ship having no engines. It's not just that it oughtn't be moving, it's that they're torturing a star whale who ''volunteered'' to help, to achieve propulsion.. The Smilers are creepy in the pre-title sequence alone.
The Doctor's immediate assumption that his only choice is to to burn out the star whale's brain in order to save the humans and to spare the whale any further pain. This is a horrible choice—but two things rev it Up to Eleven: the Doctor knows the creature is sentient, and the Doctor is telepathic. Yet he never once thinks of using his own abilities to communicate with the creature. He just jumps into "I must destroy" mode and never comes out of it. Now think about all the times that the Doctor has decided that there's only one thing he can do...and realize how many innocent sentient creatures may have been destroyed by the Doctor.
It must have been a lot, considering it was revealed in the next season that an entire military group is devoted to defeating and killing him. Let's not forget that there was an entire order - The Silence - dedicated to preventing the Doctor from answering a pretty simple question.
At the end of the episode Amy points out that the Star Whale was a comparison to the Doctor's own willing nature to help humanity. So why was the Doctor so WILLING to end the creature's pain without consideration for its sentience? How often has the Doctor looked for a "painless way out" for all of his OWN suffering?
The Smilers' faces are made of porcelain... And each face takes up 50% of the head... And there's -THREE- faces.
That's not the creepy part. The creepy part is that the Smilers were never explained.
The fact that the Queen had lived through her 10 year reign many times, each time discovering the secret and being presented with this option:
The whole idea of the Alliance: Daleks, Cybus Cybermen, Sycorax, Silurians, Hoix, the Weevils out of Torchwood, Autons...
Even worse. All of the Doctor's enemies (and some other aliens) gang up on him and lock him in the Pandorica, which was built to prevent him apparently blowing up the universe. It didn't work.
"There was a goblin, or a trickster... Or a warrior... A nameless, terrible thing, soaked in the blood of a billion galaxies. The most feared being in all the cosmos. And nothing could stop it or hold it, or reason with it. One day it would just drop out of the sky and tear down your world." This is the description of the monster in the Pandorica, and it's the Doctor. Think about that.
Fridge horror when you consider the ending of The Wedding of River Song. Someone had just tried to stop him, and someone else attempted to reason with him. He still hasn't done what got him imprisoned in the Pandorica.
Also from The Pandorica Opens, the Cyberman's helmet springing open to reveal the rotting human skull inside.
And attempting to acquire a new body by sealing Amy's head inside it!
"You will be assimilated".
Also from The Pandorica Opens: After listening to the Doctor begging and pleading to his enemies to be let out of the Pandorica to save the universe, then panning out to see every single star exploding and darkness and silence covering everything, THE FUCKING BACKGROUND MUSIC SHUTS OFF and the scene fades to black in silence.
The outcome of a a Total Event Collapse. The Earth and the Moon are the only things left. Not just that it's the only planet left, but it's the only planet to have ''ever existed.'' Every single alien race, good or bad, never came to be. Earth is utterly alone, with the only intelligence left being the Silurians. Thing get worse when what's left starts suffering the same fate.
The Doctor hinting what he thinks happened to Amy's family That they were erased by the crack, and judging by the number of rooms, that could easily include siblings she has no clue (n)ever existed.
One more: Van Gogh's painting of the TARDIS exploding, with imagery eerily reminiscent of his magnum opus Starry Night.
"I'm sorry, my love."
The "outside force" landing the TARDIS... with it's door facing a rock wall. On a place in space that is likely about as far from the Earth as the Sun. Thus probably Mars. Also, apparently at least the rock wall's edge was included in the TARDIS' time loop, since it remains even after the erasure of it's the universe's existance. Special design, or Hand Wave?
Eleven screaming: "PLEASE LISTEN TO ME!!!" when the Pandorica closes. The Doctor had never sounded so desperately scared in his life.
"Lucky" Amy; she was "dead" the whole time. Lucky it didn't heal her upon entry... if you imagined what the Doctor would have gone through, what about Amy? look what an apparition of an ancient and tortured Rory was like; and he wasn't immobile. Of course, he was just a projection, but that doesn't change the possibility.
Imagine you died. Killed. Gone forever. Then, suddenly, you're alive again, in an entirely different place, in an entirely different time, with everything that you've known being as distant as a dream. As if your entire life never happened... And then, you run into someone you thought didn't exist. Someone you loved. And they don't remember who you are. You desperately try to get them to remember, but before you can, your body, moving on its own, kills them. Not only do you have to live with killing the one person you can recover from your old life, but you are a false machine copy of who you think you are. And you're working for the bad guys.
"The Big Bang" gives us a half dead/half alive fossilized Dalek screaming "RESTORE! RESTORE! RESTORE!" as it tries to reboot itself.
It also shoots the Doctor but fails to quite kill him instantly, leaving him wincing in pain for a good chunk of the episode.
River Song is pretty scary now. She made a Dalek beg for mercy. A freakin' Dalek. She didn't just get it to beg - she got it to metaphorically roll over and scream for mama. You can actually hear in each iteration of the word 'mercy' its progression from 'Oh Crap' to 'please don't kill me' to 'OHMYGODI'MABOUTTODIE!' And all in the same emotionless tone. Just be glad she's on our side. We believe...
River Song. It's a combination of the fact that she not only killed a man, she killed "a good man. The best man I ever knew" and the fact that the last time she sees the Doctor in The Big Bang she tells him that soon he'll find out who she is and then "I'm sorry, but everything will change." Neither of those sound good.
Series 6 - The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon, A Good Man Goes to War/Let's Kill Hitler, The Wedding of River Song
Series 6 gets kick-started with the Silence—a race of aliens where you turn to run, and instantly forget there's anything there to run from.
"Run, get out of this room, right now!" A reminder from Amy to herself... only a moment earlier.
Even scarier is when you realize that the woman had said that the lights had never worked right. Either the lights in that bathroom really did go on the fritz, or she had been around The Silence using their powers before.
They also look like a cross between Slender Man, the Gentlemen from Buffy, and Edvard Munch's "The Scream." Not quite seeing the "Scream" inspiration? Wait 'til it opens its mouth...
And then it absorbs all the local electricity to blast you into... mostly unrecognizable bits.
To add to the Slender Man resemblence, River Song's reaction to a pair of them? "I see you."
That's not all. The Silence apparently influenced humans subconsciously, including the artist of the Scream. That would mean they influenced us into MAKING SLENDER MAN.
The Slender Man connection gets even better if you think about it. Part of Slendy's lore is that to think/talk/spread information about Slender Man results in you becoming a target of the Slender Man. In other words, if you draw too much attention to the Expy of the Silence, the REAL Silence step in and, well, silence you.
It keeps getting worse - they HANG. FROM THE CEILING. IN PACKS.
Also consider what we find out in Day of the Moon: the Silence have been subtly influencing humanity and determining the course of every action we take for the entirety of human history. Humanity are slaves and we don't even know it.
How many Silence have you killed? Your home could be filled with their corpses.
You know how while walking you will occasionally trip over something that you can't see, and you just chalk it up to tripping over your feet? Wrong...
Ever walk into a room, and immediately forget why you went in there in the first place...?
Ever wake up in the morning much more tired than when you went to bed? Maybe with some inexplicable aches and pains? Consider that your late-night trip to the fridge or the bathroom was far more "eventful" than you'll ever remember.
More fun thoughts. There's absolutely nothing saying that the Silence can't fight back. They may not be armed to begin with, but still all they have to do is get out of your line of sight and then try to nail you from behind some way. And who's to say they don't later choose to arm themselves? If you catch one of the Silence stealing something of yours and they get out of your sight, do you assume you misplaced it or forget that you owned it in the first place?
How many missing person cases will forever remain unsolved, or how many murder cases will forever be blamed on the wrong person, because the culprit isn't human and isn't possible to catch?
Fridge Horror: Consider that the threat of the Silence is removed - we think - because the Doctor transmits a psychic message to humanity to kill the Silence on sight. Now consider the fact that perception filters exist in the Doctor Who universe. What's to stop them from putting on perception filters and doing exactly what they did before? For all we know, we'd still forget them even if they didn't take their current form. And how do you even fight an enemy that you don't know how to recognise?
"You should kill us all on sight!", repeated over and over. Having that simply imprinted in your mind, even if it's the best option... And you don't even know it.
Whenever someone looked at his/her arm and saw marks. Then looked back and saw more. Or when Amy looked in the window and saw her face covered with marks. To realize that you've just seen the Silence and yet to have your memory telling you you didn't, well that's just creepy on a whole new level.
Made creepier when you notice that Rory is covered in twice as many tally marks as the other characters, implying that he's either been very unlucky or the Silence have taken particular interest in him.
Also, when the recording/transmitting device in someone's hand starts flashing, it means they had an encounter. And then we're only shown events from their subjective standpoint, and the device starts flashing again, and more and more marks appear....
How can you be sure there isn't one behind you right now? You can look, but you'll instantly forget as soon as you look away...
Dr Renfrew, the insane children's home director. And the fact that the Silence have memory wiped him so many times there's just nothing left... His mannerisms, voice patterns and vague stare just make it worse. The fact he has literally covered the walls with variations of "LEAVE ME ALONE!" speak of the terror he's going through.
Amy Pond:"It's the kids, yeah? They did that?" Dr Renfrew:"Yes, the children! It must be. Yes."
It was nice of him to try to warn people away, despite his near-total-mental-collapse state. And also to try to clean it up. So that people wouldn't be warned...
River grew up in this hellhole! With only him and Kovarian for human contact and dozens of Silence "programming" her, messing with her Memory to the point that she hardly remembers her early life to the point that she didn't recognize Kovarian, or know why she was trying to kill the future love of her life, encased in an astronaut suit filled to the brim with weaponry that barred her from any touch or basic human things like eating. Her first encounter with her mother, whom she only knew from pictures, consisted of said mother pointing a gun at her, willing to shoot her dead for a murder she hadn't committed yet. After she escaped from her horrible situation, she had to fend for herself on the street and contracted a terminal illness. She survived it by regenerating, but at the cost of being stuck on the street... as a toddler. And in spite of how warped all of this left River, she still remained somewhat human with the... capacity for suffering this entails. She tracked down her parents, like any lost child. She was twice their age when she met them, but she could never tell them she's their daughter lest she cause a paradox that prevents her conception. We have this poor woman who knows that she will probably kill the love of her life and have to live with the fact that she killed him every time she meets him, who knows that one day, she's going to meet the person her life revolves around, and he won't have a clue who she is. And then Kovarian and the Silence come for her.
"This isn't an invasion, this is their empire"They've been here for centuries and no one has noticed.
The scenes where the camera barely flickers and suddenly someone's palm is blinking. Or worse, their face and arms are covered in marks, and they can't remember why.
Amy finds a whole bunch of Silence sleeping batlike on the ceiling... and one of them starts moving.
As Steven Moffat said in a 'Confidential' episode, his inspiration for that aspect of the Silence came from him pondering just how much he had forgotten in the past year. Think about that, can you account for every single second of your life in the past year?
What if we assume the average human could theoretically speaking remember every single second ... and we don't because of the Silence.
Consider the various times we feel sick or nauseous, without explanation. We assume it's something we ate, but what if you'd just seen a monster so terrifying it caused you to be physically sick and then just...forgot?
These guys are triply scary - not only the forgetting thing, but they can also mind-control you and influence your behaviour - and you'd forget that happened too! - and, to top it all off, blow you up with lightning too. Ouch.
Somebody killed the Doctor in "The Impossible Astronaut". And by killed, it doesn't mean a regeneration. It means actual death.
And now in "A Good Man Goes To War" we have the Doctor. No, seriously. Through the entirety of Nu Who we've seen the Doctor's What the Hell, Hero? tendancies. With Ten's A God Am I moments, this was taken a step further. Eleven is full-on warned that he is on the edge of good & evil. After telling the Doctor that it is he who has influenced Earth's usage of the word 'Doctor' as someone who saves and heals and fixes, River hits him with a fact of the language of a recently-dead ally who was only near the battle in the first place to meet him, and asks him how far his name will be twisted.
River Song: For them, 'Doctor' is the word for 'great warrior'.
He's a scary man. Think back to "The Impossible Astronaut": "Don't play games with me. Don't ever, ever think you're capable of that". There's just something about the slightly contemptuous way he delivers that line that makes you wonder what he really thinks of humans...
Also the fact that Rory and Amy's baby has been taken to be made into a weapon and she happens to be River Song who just happens to have admitted in the past that she has killed the best man she ever knew and also was the girl in the astronaut suit that was then worn by whoever (quite possibly her) killed the Doctor for reals in "The Impossible Astronaut". And the Doctor completely ignores this!
When it turns out that Melody is a flesh avatar and dissolves. Doubles as a massive Tear Jerker.
Imagine that you thought your child was lost, taken away from you, that you would have to fight and search and tear the world apart to find her. But you're wrong, she's right there, in your arms, safe; nothing could separate you again. And then she explodes in your arms, leaving only a sloppy sticky splatter of liquid Flesh thing behind.
Then there's the episode itself. A creepy-ass catacomb full of living, carnivorous skulls that eat someone.
While a Crowning Moment Of Awesome too, Amy killing Madam Kovarian with "She didn't get it all from you, sweetie." was also genuinely creepy.
Hell, when the agents of the Silence broke out of their containers and electrocuted most of Area 52. Then they taunt Rory about how he can't stop dying, just for the lols.
The Doctor's confrontation with the crippled Supreme Dalek is another one that walks the line between awesome and terrifying. Sure it's bad-ass as hell, but the Doctor's a little too enthusiastic about pointing out that we're watching a creature who's "dying [...] a long way from home in terrible pain" getting mind-raped by its culture's equivalent of the devilbecause of a conflict it had nothing to do with.
The line might be equally applicable to the Doctor. He's a long way from home, he's always pained, and he's about to die. And then he sees the devil itself - for him, a Dalek.
Series 7 - Asylum of the Daleks, The Bells of Saint John, The Name of the Doctor
To open off the series, and to add yet another terrifying monster to his long, long, long list of fucking terrifying monsters, Steven Moffat introduces the one thing no one saw coming. Dalek. Zombies. Humans - living and dead - infected by Dalek nanogenes that make them grow Dalek eyepieces out their foreheads, and gunarms out of their hands, and slowly transform them into looking more and more like Daleks, Empty Child style.
Imagine you're talking to someone. Then, the person mentions they have died. And they didn't remember dying.
That ghastly crack as the eyepiece rips its way through your goddamn skull.
And the Daleks can rewrite their zombies' minds, make them forget what they are, until they're needed. Is your skin a bit too cold...?
The asylum itself is also terrifying, being a dark labyrinth full of the seemingly lifeless shells of countless insane Daleks from different points in time, all silent and apparently all dead. Until someone makes a noise. It is also protected by a planet wide field of the aforementioned nanogenes, which transform any intruders into more Dalek zombies.
And of course the "intensive care unit", housing the even more insane Daleks who survived the Doctor during the Classic Series, who despite being gunless and only capable of slowly shambling towards their target, manage to corner the Doctor and almost rip him apart with their bare plungers. Goddamn it Moffat, you put Dalek Zombies and Zombie Daleks in the same damn episode.
Then consider what the intensive care unit's existence means: fighting the Doctor can make a Dalek too psychotic for other Daleks. Going up against the Doctor means a very good chance of death or madness. The Daleks have very good reason to see the Doctor as an Eldritch Abomination.
And then there's the idea that if they want to badly enough, the Daleks can not just turn you into a zombie, they can make you into one of them. And it's so traumatic, insanity is an escape.
On that note, Oswin'sMadness Mantra in the flashbacks — "I am not a Dalek, I am not a Dalek..." — morphing into the classic Dalek voice until it becomes "I AM A DALEK! I AM A DALEK!..." Also doubles as a Tear Jerker.
And then, turning that round, "EX-TER-MI-NATE!" switches from the classic Dalek voice to seeing and hearing human!Oswin saying it, which makes it so much worse.
He was right when he said he made the Daleks terrifying again. And the fact that you've never heard the Doctor this terrified of the Daleks in a long time (and particularly this Doctor, who's never been this visibly afraid during his entire run) is the icing on the cake with a cherry on top. The sight of the Doctor pressed against the door, begging Oswin to open it, before simply screaming and almost sobbing with sheer terror is enough to send anyone behind the sofa.
A non-Dalek related bit of fuel that requires a bit of imagination, though the implication is powerful enough and so horrifying you don't want to imagine: Amy is rendered infertile because of something Madam Kovarian and the Silence did to her when she was held captive in Demon's Run. What the hell Moffat!
After watching The Bells of Saint John, you're never going to want to use WiFi again. Otherwise the Great Intelligence just might make you a living puppet, completely unaware of what you're doing. Or, he might even decide that you'd make a tasty snack and suck your soul right out of your body.
Miss Kizlet: Nobody loves cattle like Burger King.
It was used - Kizlet used it on Mahler when he wouldn't obey her, causing him to freak out while she gave a chilling little smile.
Miss Kizlet's final fate is horrifying twice over. One, it means the Great Intelligence kidnapped a child to raise - and reprogram - to do his bidding. Two, she's been left a little girl thrown god knows how many decades into the future, into an unfamiliar body and an unfamiliar world, wondering where her parents are.
Oh, and the Great Intelligence is still out there, still looking for minds to devour en masse... a fact the Doctor is utterly unaware of. Remember also that in the expanded universe, the Great Intelligence is a full on member of the Cthulhu Mythos.
They've somehow, impossibly, managed to top all of the above examples with The Name Of The Doctor. To start with, we have the inverse of the Silence, the Whispermen, men with only mouths. The Great Intelligence can possess them at will. Then, Jenny is killed by one of them with only a moment's notice. Then the Doctor takes Clara to Trenzalore, which he states is the one place he must never EVER go: his grave. The monument to his grave is the TARDIS, which has grown to insane heights. The sky above it is red, and the windows are cracked in places.
Another section of this episode is seeing the inside of the destroyed TARDIS. It's empty, dark, and covered with old vines. The control panel is gone, and there's just a single beam of light in the middle of the room. It's an intensely creepy place, where every moment of the Doctor's life is held.
The Great Intelligence's plan. He enters the Doctor's timestream and pretty much chooses to rewrite the ENTIRE SHOW. Every victory is reversed, every moment made pain, the entirety of the Doctor's life is made to vanish. Just the fact somebody could even do that at all is horrifying...
The most terrifying thing about the episode has to be the sheer Fridge Horror that strikes viewers at the end. Just what the HELL did The Forgotten Doctor do to have been utterly disowned and despised by every other incarnation of the Doctor?
Bearing in mind that 10 and 11 both faced and accepted their genocidal role in ending the Time War, 4 allowed the Daleks to live when he could have smothered them in the proverbial crib, 3 let an entire alternate Earth die in the hope he could save the "prime" Earth, and 7's cruel manipulation of friends and enemies to catastrophic ends from the destruction of Skaro to the seeming annihilation of the Cybermen, to his "game" with Fenric, whatever the hell the Forgotten Doctor did, it must have been much, much worse than anything we have seen the Doctor do or been told he had done.
50th Anniversary - The Night of the Doctor, The Day of the Doctor
The fact that the Time War ending as it did is not because The Doctor went mad, oh no, it's because the Eighth gave up on himself and the universe, and willingly and intentionally regenerated into The Warrior, who went on to commit the atrocities Nine, Ten and Eleven have been suffering through the guilt of since. Doubles in full as a Tearjerker. This is, however, mitigated at least a bit by the events of the episode proper, which reveal that the War Doctor did not do what Nine, Ten, and Eleven thought he did.
When Cass hears that the Doctor is a Time Lord, she absolutely refuses to go with him, says bitterly that there's no longer any difference between his people and the Daleks, seals herself off from him and quite literally dies rather than be rescued by him. Forget for a moment what The Warrior did; what did the Time Lords do?
Use every weapon stored in the Omega Vaults, is what! Every weapon except the Moment, which was too dangerous to use because of its conscience.
In "Day of the Doctor" we finally see the last day of the Time War and the Fall of Arcadia and it is simultaneously awesome, tearjerking, and terrifying. Remember all those scenes from "Parting of the Ways", "Doomsday" and "The Stolen Earth" with thousands of daleks swarming from the sky to slaughter everyone on Earth? Yeah.... multiply the number of daleks by a billion, take the scenes of murder and destruction up to 11, and finally add all those moments from the Classic series that made the Daleks terrifying, and you have the last day of the Time War. Long story short the Daleks have finally launched their full scale invasion of Gallifrey and have reduced Gallifrey's second city Arcadia to ashes from orbital fire while Dalek death squads swarm the burning ruins butchering civilians and fleeing soldiers en masse.
Christmas Specials - A Christmas Carol, The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe, The Snowmen, The Time of the Doctor
According to Moffat, the flying shark in "A Christmas Carol" is inspired by his own childhood nightmare that sharks would be able to leave the sea and eat him, possibly as a result of evolution.
Also in that episode, we have the Face Spider, a creature that the Doctor claims lives on the back of wardrobes. Or in the mattress. (Very funny, Moffat.) So, is it called that because it has a face, or because it likes to hang about on faces? Or both?
Sweet mother of God, the Ice Governess. Formed from the imprint of Captain Latimer's previous governess, who had drowned in a pond that had promptly frozen over (in itself, a horrifying fate), the Ice Governess initially behaves in the same strict manner as the governess had in life... only with the intention to EAT THE CHILDREN ALIVE. After initially being destroyed by the Doctor, it reforms, unmeltable and now shouting the catchphrases of Mr. Punch. It chases the Doctor and Clara up the staircase to the TARDIS and drags Clara to her death over the edge of the cloud.
Matt Smith's face appearing in the opening credits.
If you thought the Silence were terrifying, or if you thought the Dalek roboform was horrifying, then allow us to present you with the nightmarish combined version of the two in "The Time of the Doctor".
We've mentioned many of the Daleks' acts, but what about the Daleks themselves? They are covered in near invincible armor (indeed, are often mistaken for being robots), and possess a weapon capable of killing ANYTHING in one hit and destroying most barriers. They fly, are strictly organized, have massive numbers, AND SEEK ONLY THE DESTRUCTION OF EVERY OTHER LIVING THING IN EXISTENCE. Many people forget that Daleks almost never fail when the Doctor is not present. The Daleks are known throughout time and space as the most horrible thing in existence. They are invincible, absurdly powerful, and omnicidal. Could you sleep well knowing that something that was capable of destroying everything was around?
It really says a lot about the sheer horror the Daleks command, in that they look like giant pepper shakers with toilet plunger arms, which should make them Narm of the highest caliber. And yet... they still manage to be completely terrifying.
By extension, Davros himself is a cripple who can do little more than talk and move his right hand. Yet he has a genius appreciated even by the Doctor (who is not one inclined to compliment anyone's intelligence without mentioning his own), and when asked whether he would release a virus capable of consuming all life in the universe, gleefully proclaimed that he would do it. The idea of a single life-form being the sole and single thing in existence was fascinating and the power to set that virus free was the power of gods. As Davros goes on, he loses more and more of his humanoid form, going from a man in a wheelchair to just his head. Later he appears to reacquire a body, but rips it apart to provide raw material for a new army of Daleks. Every bit as unreasoningly evil as his creations, Davros also possesses the intellect to bring his plans to fruition. Davros wants nothing more than to create the ultimate life-form, and then prove it by destroying all others.
Here's some lovely Fridge Horror for you. Dalek society... well, there isn't much of it. They don't waste time on art or cultural pursuits, they don't trade with other races, they don't eat, they don't sleep, they don't have friends, they don't have families, they don't do any of the thousand little things that humans occupy their time with. So, what do they do with all that time? They plot to FUCKING KILL YOU. Every second of every day, the entire Dalek Empire is focused on killing everything in the universe that isn't Dalek. Think about that level of relentless, psychotic hatred for a minute, and you realize that the fact that the omnicidal little bastards haven't yet swarmed over the entire Whoniverse and crushed everything out of existence through sheer relentlessness is an absolute miracle.
There is absolutely nothing rational about what they want. And they want it anyway.
The true horror of the Daleks comes in this little gem from Doomsday:
"Technology using the one thing a Dalek can't do—touch. Sealed inside your casing. Not feeling anything... ever. From birth to death, locked in a cold metal cage. Completely alone. And that explains your voice! No wonder you scream."
Daleks turn out to have a sense of esthetics...as twisted and evil as their minds. The only thing they find beautiful is pure hatred.
How the hell do overgrown tin cans scare the crap out of everyone on a daily basis? One word: EXTERMINATE.
The Valeyard is pretty terrifying. He’s the utter dark side of a character we have followed and loved for years. He has all the intelligence, the drive and knowledge of the Doctor. But none of the morals. NONE. He is manipulative, nasty as hell and will kill you with a second thought. If you’ve ever listened to ‘He Jests at Scars…’ we actually see what would have happened if the Valeyard had won in ‘The Trial of a Time Lord’. Without spoiling too much… Let’s just say that there is a damn good reason why the Master did NOT want him around. He’s THAT bad. What makes it worse is that, it is pretty much hinted at that the Time Lord Victorious and the Dream Lord from Amy’s Choice is a sort of Proto-Valeyard. Think about that.
Let us reiterate: the Master was afraid of the Valeyard. What does is say about the Doctor when a madman is afraid of his dark side?
The Cybermen (particularly in their original form) are people who have had organs ripped out and replaced with machines, metal welded onto their flesh and then covered in bandages. How can people overlook this concept as being mind numbingly terrifying?
This◊ Concept art for the Series 2 Cybermen is truly nightmare fuel.
This fan art◊ of a cyberman being repaired? Constructed? Recycled? by some kind of mechanical/surgical device is simple but horrifying.
The entire concept of the Silurian and Sea Devil races, especially in their eponymous serials. Species of humanoid reptilians coming up from beneath the ground/under the oceans to reclaim the world feeling that we have usurped it from them. Extra points go to the Silurian Plague in their story and the shots of random members of the public dying in the streets. Chilling!
The Atraxi from "The Eleventh Hour". They were pretty creepy themselves.
"PRISONER ZERO WILL VACATE THE HUMAN RESIDENCE, OR THE HUMAN RESIDENCE WILL BE INCINERATED." Repeated on a loop. In every language. On every TV channel, radio station, speaker, even outside. Everywhere in the world.
An unknown, undefeated monster that repeats everything you say until it catches up with you and possesses you. And then it pleads with your voice to kill you. Add to that, it also makes people around you on edge. That's what could go wrong on the planet Midnight, Doctor.
The Silence.◊ Bizarre, black-suited beings with sunken eyes and no visible mouth. Until they open them and kill you. Their entire MO as a villain seems to consist almost entirely of infiltrating humanity at every conceivable level (bathroom in the white house included), where they guide and manipulate us for their own ineffable ends. They orchestrated the entirety of the space race, apparently so that they could use a space suit. How have they done this? By some quirk of biology, should you ever actually see one, you will instantly forget the moment you look away. Even images of them decay in very short time. Not to mention their... memetic guidance means that anything they tell you will stick in the back of your mind, guiding you to their whim. Imagine that. If you ever see one you will instantly forget, if it notices you it will force its will upon you, and if it decides you are dangerous, can't be used or to make a point, it will kill you by firing an arc of plasma at you.
They're the ones who tried to bring about the annihilation of reality twice. So basically, one minute reality is there, then the next it's not — and even when things are back to normal, you'll never know who was behind it all.
Also, consider this. They were originally created to be the perfect priests, because you could confess to them and never feel any guilt again. It's specifically mentioned that they are 'genetically modified'. Yep. They were created on purpose, and were made by messing with the DNA of another creature. That should be enough to make anyone a little scared.
The Toclafane, in sort of the same way as Cybermen but SO MUCH WORSE. Both were originally human but were changed. Depending on which version of the Cybermen you take; they are either from Earth’s twin planet or from parallel Earth, but you don’t get a choice about becoming one. It’s forced on you. In fact if you take away the ‘Emotional Inhibiter’ they go mad from the knowledge of what they are. On the other hand the Toclafane chose to become what they did. They were the last of humanity. When you see a Toclafane you are seeing the future of the human race, at the end of the universe. ‘Furnaces, burning... the last of humanity screaming at the dark. There was no solution. No diamonds. Just the dark, and the cold.’ So what do they do? They decide to make themselves ‘pretty’ by becoming little balls of flying death with a hive mind. The worst thing? They enjoy it. They have a childlike joy of killing and making others suffer.
The BBC ran a Design-A-Monster competition for Love and Monsters. A child created the Abzorbaloff, an horrific thought when you think that it was probably from watching Doctor Who he could think up the creature. A creature so vile that if it was kind it would still be haunting a child's waking nightmares, and yet a young boy manages to drag it from the depths of his disturbed conscience because he watches TV.
The Cult of Skaro did (or would if they had the ability to) in Doomsday when Rose identified the man on the video screen as the Doctor. They weren't scared of 5 million Cybermen but this ONE "doctor" has ruined a lot of their plans and destroyed so many of them, they know to be scared. EVERY time the Daleks try something, he manages to interfere, even managing to mock them and in some cases just being casual about how he is able to defeat them.
At least two other species do the same. "I'm the Doctor." Aliens run away. They're the smart ones. By the way those were The Vashta Nerada and the Atraxi.
In "The Pandorica Opens" we learn that the Pandorica houses "A nameless, terrible thing, soaked in the blood of a billion galaxies. The most feared being in all the cosmos." That nameless, terrible thing? The Doctor. They just hadn't locked him in quite yet. The Pandorica was opening to receive him.
"And nothing could stop it or hold it, or reason with it. One day it would just drop out of the sky and tear down your world."
Both the Doctor and the Master are charming, suave fellows with timetravelling capabilities, entirely alien biologies, the skill to charm the pants off anybody, the power to change their face, masters of technology and engineering, and are both merciless killers who follow their own established order. Y'know who else fits that description? Nyarlathotep.
Let's all give a moment of thanks that The Doctor is on our side.
The very existence of the "Forgotten Doctor". A regeneration that did something so evil, so monstrous, so despicable, that every other incarnation of the doctor, including ones which had fully faced and accepted their roles in atrocities like the Time War not to mention all the countless deaths that follow the Doctor wherever he goes, had utterly disowned him and attempted to bury the very memory of him.
Turns out the Doctor didn't quite accept the whole genocide thing. As in, the Doctor is so willing to distance himself from his own crimes he buries the "Forgotten Doctor". Let's restate that. The Doctor is willing to abandon his past self to make himself more comfortable.
The War Doctor (the most likely identity of the "Forgotten Doctor"). Think about everything scary about the Doctor and have him abandon his ideals that make him the Doctor. This ONE "doctor" is so devastating as a warrior that he ends the Time War all by himself. You should be glad that he became the Ninth Doctor afterwards.
Even with his Large Ham tendencies (or possibly because of them), The Master is terrifying. Imagine a being that is the same species as The Doctor, but is insane/evil and wants to either rule the universe or destroy innocent lives just to spite his arch-nemesis (who happens to be his former best friend). Not only that, but he is shown to be just as smart (and is implied at times to be more intelligent) than The Doctor and has used that intelligence to invent devices that kill people in horrific and gruesome ways.
The guy's main tactic in the classic series was to hypnotize people into doing his bidding. Keep in mind that it was stated The Master could easily control the mind of nearly any human being. Let that sink in. The Master can control pretty much anybody he wanted through hypnosis.
At least twice in the series (possibly more in the Expanded Universe), he's gained a new body by possessing someone. The first time he takes control of Tremas, and the second time he's a "Goo Snake" that forces himself into the body of a man named "Bruce" and takes control of it. The idea of a deranged megalomaniac trying to take control of your body is not a comforting thought.
The version played by John Simm becomes a super-powered undead being during The End Of Time. That in-and-of itself is scary. But, it gets worse. Due to him constantly losing his "life force", he has an insaitable appetite and will eat pretty much anything. Did we mention this includes humans?
The Master's drums. Don't you get scared every time you hear a steady drumbeat, counting four hits each time, somewhere in the background.
If you want an example of where you can hear that rhythm... try the show's theme tune.
4 Beats in a constant rhythm...It's the heartbeats of a Time Lord.
Want to make the drums even more terrifying? The Master had the drums implanted into him when he was only eight, and he's at least 900 years old in the main series. Imagine living with the same monotonous repetitive sound for centuries. It's no wonder The Master became the psychotic megalomaniac he is today.
When the Doctor mind-melds with the Master in "The End of Time Part 1", he can barely tolerate it for more than a few seconds; the Master has had to live with it for centuries.
One of The Master's very first evil deeds in the series was killing a guy using a plastic chair via Auton technology. The thought of sitting down and having furniture basically engulf and suffocate you is downright creepy.
Even worse? He planned on wiping out humanity by suffocating them with plastic daffodils. Seems silly at first, until you realize just how easily his plan would've worked had The Doctor not thwarted him in the end. After all, who would suspect something like a plastic flower to be a murder weapon?