Buffy the Vampire Slayer: 10 Scariest Villains
As proven from my previous post about the 15 Best Buffy the Vampire Slayer Episodes I am a fully blown Buffy geek, wannabe Scooby and die hard Whedonite. I’ve been re-watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer on Amazon Prime and assessing some of the scariest, creepiest and most disturbing villains that the gang has ever faced. BtVS had some brilliant villains throughout its run including Vampires, Witches and even Iddy Biddy Fear Demons, and a lot of them were truly horrific. Whether they are scary through their appearance, abilities or just the concept of facing them each of these villains gave me the ‘wiggins’ at some point.
Here are my 10 scariest Buffy villains:
- First Appearance: Helpless (S3 E12)
- Vampires are available by the handful in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I mean the clue’s in the name, but there’s a few that stand out for being particularly horrifying. Before being sired Zachary Kralik was a serial killer who tortured and murdered more than a dozen young women. Once a vampire he continued his gruesome streak, killing and eating his own abusive mother, kidnapping Joyce to deal with his ‘mommy issues’ and tormenting a weakened Buffy with pure psychotic glee. Some monsters have always been that way.
- Death: Buffy tricks Zachary into drinking holy water with his anti-psychotic medication, sizzling him from the inside.
- First Appearance: Dirty Girls (S7 E18)
- Caleb is a self-righteous, sadistic and misogynistic preacher turned serial killer. He is also a soul curdling example of the evil of humans. Even before being a loyal server to The First Caleb tortured and murder at least two young women for their ‘sins’ branding them with his mark. Using the super-human powers given to him by The First, Caleb manages to kill multiple potential slayers and members of the watchers council. If all that wasn’t enough he gave us another fear inducing scene when he used his bare hand to gouge out Zander’s eye and leave us all feeling disgusted.
- Death: Using the handy new Slayer weapon, Mʔ, Buffy splits Caleb in two.
- First Appearance: Never Leave Me (S7 E9)
- These are the vampires that vampires fear. Known as the übervamps these primordial creatures are damn near unstoppable. With a more traditional vampiric appearance harkening back to Nosferatu, the Turok-Han are faster, stronger and scarier than your run-of-the-mill vamp. Just one of these horrific creatures is enough to cause intense palpitations, so when the Hellmouth opens to reveal a roaring army of them fans knew they were in for one hell of a fight.
- Death: An all-out battle with the army of Slayers killed some and a blazing mystical amulet wielded by Spike ensured the extinction of these ancient creatures.
- First Appearance: Innocence (S2 E14)
- Angel was a fan favourite hero, so much so as to gain his own brilliant spin-off show. Angelus, however, was one of the most terrifying and unsettling villains Buffy ever faced. The true fear of Angelus came from his creation, his soul being taken after him and Buffy consummated their relationship. It was such an intimate moment for both of them, and a vulnerable one for Buffy that young women could relate to. Angelus was cruel and attacked on a personal level, including murdering Jennifer Calendar and leaving her in a macabre tableau for a heartbroken Giles to find. A pure nightmare boyfriend.
- Death: He doesn’t really die; his soul is restored by Willow, just in time for Buffy to have to sacrifice her reformed love.
- First Apperance: Welcome to the Hellmouth (S1 E1)
- The Master was the first ‘Big Bad’ of BtVS which already sets him apart from other villains of the show. His appearance instantly lets fans know that he is no ordinary vampire; he is older, darker and much scarier. Even if he does have fruit punch mouth. The Master manages the one task the plethora of other villains hopes to achieve; he kills Buffy, even if it is only temporary. His presence lingers long after his death, haunting Buffy and proving the power he had over our hero and the true impact of this terrifying villain.
- Death: Thrown through the Sunnydale High skylight by Buffy and impaled on a broken table below.
- First Appearance: Same Time, Same Place (S7, E3)
- What could be scarier than being paralysed, helpless and trapped in a cave? Being all of these things whilst slowly getting skinned alive by a parasitic demon. The Gnarl has the sadistic yet childlike personality of Golem and the physical features of the creatures from The Descent which is a terrifying combination. His sing song voice, razor sharp talons and monstrous taste for human flesh are what make the Gnarl such a scary villain.
- Death: After paralysing Willow and Dawn the Gnarl is taken down when Buffy gouges his eyes with her thumbs.
- First Appearance: Listening to Fear (S5 E9)
- One of the only demons in the Buffyverse that is classified as extrateresstrial, the Queller Demon landed in Sunnydale via meteor. These demons are summoned to deal with the insane by eliminating them. That’s where the fear factor comes from. These cacooned creatures stick to walls and ceilings to stalk their mentally ill prey before spitting a gross gooey substance onto their faces to choke them. This demons attack on Joyce is a nightmare to watch unfold.
- Death: Stabbed with a butcher’s knife for being the creepiest of creepy demons.
- First Appearance: Killed by Death (S2 E18)
- The fact alone that he predominantly preys on children, particularly sick children, makes him a high contender for this list. Add to that the popping eyes that suck the life from his victims and the fact that his name literally means ‘The Child Death’ he is pure nightmare fuel. His hat and scarred face have visual similarities to Freddy Krueger, the original invisible child predator, making him even scarier by association. Der Kindestod is invisible to the healthy preying on those with a fevered illness, the adults can see him and the children can’t get his image out of their head.
- Death: Buffy purposefully makes herself ill, confronts Der Kindestod and snaps his neck.
- First Appearance: Hush (S4 E10)
- These stars of the silent screen will steal your voice, your breath and then your heart. Floating silently through Sunnydale with plastered on smiles and all the heirs and graces of their namesake, The Gentlemen are truly terrifying demons. With a fairy tale backstory, eerie nursery rhyme and invulnerability to traditional weapons the Gentlemen truly felt like something from a nightmare. Add to that their demonic, straight jacket clad footmen and they were the last things you wanted knocking on your door late at night.
- Death: The Princess (Buffy) regains her voice and screams, causing their heads to explode.
- First Appearance: I Was Made to Love You (S5 E15)
- I know it’s a cliché but seriously, humans are usually the scariest of villains. Warren commits some of the most heinous acts compared to his supernatural competitors. An egomaniacal kidnapper, attempted rapist and murderer he truly is the scariest of all of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer villains. As part of The Trio Warren begins seemingly harmless, just another nerd, but he soon shows his true misogynistic colours. After being once again foiled by Buffy, Warren shows up at her house to kill her, fatally shooting Tara instead. This man was contemptible and utterly unredeemable.
- Death: Willow tortures Warren with the bullet he used to kill Tara and, upon becoming ‘bored’, flays Warren alive.