Famous Paintings That Will The Scare The S**t Out Of You

Happy Halloween, art history nerds.
<a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Vincent_van_Gogh_-_Head_of_a_skeleton_with_a_burning_cigarette_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg" role="link" class=" js-entry-link cet-external-link" data-vars-item-name="Vincent van Gogh, &#x22;Head of a skeleton with a burning cigarette,&#x22; 1886" data-vars-item-type="text" data-vars-unit-name="56216369e4b0bce34700be92" data-vars-unit-type="buzz_body" data-vars-target-content-id="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Vincent_van_Gogh_-_Head_of_a_skeleton_with_a_burning_cigarette_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg" data-vars-target-content-type="url" data-vars-type="web_external_link" data-vars-subunit-name="article_body" data-vars-subunit-type="component" data-vars-position-in-subunit="0">Vincent van Gogh, "Head of a skeleton with a burning cigarette," 1886</a>

What's more frightening than a ghoul who sits on your chest as you sleep? How about a hairy gentleman with a penchant for eating offspring? A bird-footed demon that enjoys stomping on condemned souls? A pile of limbs left to rot in room temperature? A public flaying?

The short answer is: art history is terrifying. Because all of the above and more take place in the canvases of painters past, from Henry Fuseli to Francisco Goya to Artemisia Gentileschi to Katsushika Hokusai.

Since Halloween is less than a dozen days away, we couldn't help dedicate this week's roundup of overlooked and adored paintings to the scariest themes in art. Forget binge-watching horror flicks on Netflix -- just scroll through this collection of scream-inducing artworks. Happy All Hallows' Eve!

Horse: Phil, is Gretchen awake yet?

Phil: Silence, Horse, I'm stealing her soul.

<a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:John_Henry_Fuseli_-_The_Nightmare.JPG" role="link" class=" js-entry-link cet-external-link" data-vars-item-name="Henry Fuseli, &#x22;The Nightmare,&#x22; 1781" data-vars-item-type="text" data-vars-unit-name="56216369e4b0bce34700be92" data-vars-unit-type="buzz_body" data-vars-target-content-id="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:John_Henry_Fuseli_-_The_Nightmare.JPG" data-vars-target-content-type="url" data-vars-type="web_external_link" data-vars-subunit-name="article_body" data-vars-subunit-type="component" data-vars-position-in-subunit="1">Henry Fuseli, "The Nightmare," 1781</a>

Brad the lamprey is a surprisingly skilled painter.

Francis Bacon, "Three studies for a Self-Portrait," 1944
Francis Bacon, "Three studies for a Self-Portrait," 1944
ADRIAN DENNIS via Getty Images

"Saturn, this is why we don't let you babysit."

<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Rubens_saturn.jpg" role="link" class=" js-entry-link cet-external-link" data-vars-item-name="Peter Paul Rubens, &#x22;Saturn, Jupiter&#x27;s father, devours one of his sons,&#x22; 1636-1638" data-vars-item-type="text" data-vars-unit-name="56216369e4b0bce34700be92" data-vars-unit-type="buzz_body" data-vars-target-content-id="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Rubens_saturn.jpg" data-vars-target-content-type="url" data-vars-type="web_external_link" data-vars-subunit-name="article_body" data-vars-subunit-type="component" data-vars-position-in-subunit="2">Peter Paul Rubens, "Saturn, Jupiter's father, devours one of his sons," 1636-1638</a>

At Jen's party, there's going to be a bird eating a human who's ejecting birds from his butt.

<a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Garden_of_Earthly_Delights_by_Bosch_High_Resolution.jpg" role="link" class=" js-entry-link cet-external-link" data-vars-item-name="Hieronymus Bosch, &#x22;The Garden of Earthly Delights,&#x22; details, 1480-1505" data-vars-item-type="text" data-vars-unit-name="56216369e4b0bce34700be92" data-vars-unit-type="buzz_body" data-vars-target-content-id="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Garden_of_Earthly_Delights_by_Bosch_High_Resolution.jpg" data-vars-target-content-type="url" data-vars-type="web_external_link" data-vars-subunit-name="article_body" data-vars-subunit-type="component" data-vars-position-in-subunit="3">Hieronymus Bosch, "The Garden of Earthly Delights," details, 1480-1505</a>

Pretty sure every horror film has taught me that you shouldn't look into this guy's eyes.

Salvador Dali, "The Face of War," 1940
Salvador Dali, "The Face of War," 1940
FRANCOIS GUILLOT via Getty Images

"Saturn, enough, seriously."

<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Francisco_de_Goya,_Saturno_devorando_a_su_hijo_(1819-1823).jpg" role="link" class=" js-entry-link cet-external-link" data-vars-item-name="Francisco Goya, &#x22;Saturn Devouring His Son,&#x22; 1819-1823" data-vars-item-type="text" data-vars-unit-name="56216369e4b0bce34700be92" data-vars-unit-type="buzz_body" data-vars-target-content-id="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Francisco_de_Goya,_Saturno_devorando_a_su_hijo_(1819-1823).jpg" data-vars-target-content-type="url" data-vars-type="web_external_link" data-vars-subunit-name="article_body" data-vars-subunit-type="component" data-vars-position-in-subunit="4">Francisco Goya, "Saturn Devouring His Son," 1819-1823</a>

NBD, it's just a pile of bloody limbs.

<a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Anatomical_Pieces.JPG" role="link" class=" js-entry-link cet-external-link" data-vars-item-name="Th&#xE9;odore G&#xE9;ricault, &#x22;Anatomical Pieces,&#x22; 1819" data-vars-item-type="text" data-vars-unit-name="56216369e4b0bce34700be92" data-vars-unit-type="buzz_body" data-vars-target-content-id="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Anatomical_Pieces.JPG" data-vars-target-content-type="url" data-vars-type="web_external_link" data-vars-subunit-name="article_body" data-vars-subunit-type="component" data-vars-position-in-subunit="5">Théodore Géricault, "Anatomical Pieces," 1819</a>

Reggie the cyclops is both adorable and petrifying all at the same time.

<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:1914_Redon_Zyklop_anagoria.JPG" role="link" class=" js-entry-link cet-external-link" data-vars-item-name="Odilon Redon, &#x22;The Cyclops,&#x22; 1898-1900" data-vars-item-type="text" data-vars-unit-name="56216369e4b0bce34700be92" data-vars-unit-type="buzz_body" data-vars-target-content-id="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:1914_Redon_Zyklop_anagoria.JPG" data-vars-target-content-type="url" data-vars-type="web_external_link" data-vars-subunit-name="article_body" data-vars-subunit-type="component" data-vars-position-in-subunit="6">Odilon Redon, "The Cyclops," 1898-1900</a>

Goliath: I refuse to bob for apples at this year's Halloween party.

David: ...

<a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Caravaggio_-_David_con_la_testa_di_Golia.jpg" role="link" class=" js-entry-link cet-external-link" data-vars-item-name="Caravaggio, &#x22;David with the head of Goliath,&#x22; 1606-1607" data-vars-item-type="text" data-vars-unit-name="56216369e4b0bce34700be92" data-vars-unit-type="buzz_body" data-vars-target-content-id="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Caravaggio_-_David_con_la_testa_di_Golia.jpg" data-vars-target-content-type="url" data-vars-type="web_external_link" data-vars-subunit-name="article_body" data-vars-subunit-type="component" data-vars-position-in-subunit="7">Caravaggio, "David with the head of Goliath," 1606-1607</a>

Please excuse Samantha, she's drunk on holiday spirit.

<a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gespenst_by_Hokusai.jpg" role="link" class=" js-entry-link cet-external-link" data-vars-item-name="Katsushika Hokusai, 1830" data-vars-item-type="text" data-vars-unit-name="56216369e4b0bce34700be92" data-vars-unit-type="buzz_body" data-vars-target-content-id="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gespenst_by_Hokusai.jpg" data-vars-target-content-type="url" data-vars-type="web_external_link" data-vars-subunit-name="article_body" data-vars-subunit-type="component" data-vars-position-in-subunit="8">Katsushika Hokusai, 1830</a>
Katsushika Hokusai, 1830
Wikimedia Commons

"Holofernes, you knew the drill. Refusal to bob for apples results in decapitation."

<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Artemisia_Gentileschi_-_Giuditta_decapita_Oloferne_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg" role="link" class=" js-entry-link cet-external-link" data-vars-item-name="Artemisia Gentileschi, &#x22;Judith and Holofernes,&#x22; 1620-1621" data-vars-item-type="text" data-vars-unit-name="56216369e4b0bce34700be92" data-vars-unit-type="buzz_body" data-vars-target-content-id="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Artemisia_Gentileschi_-_Giuditta_decapita_Oloferne_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg" data-vars-target-content-type="url" data-vars-type="web_external_link" data-vars-subunit-name="article_body" data-vars-subunit-type="component" data-vars-position-in-subunit="9">Artemisia Gentileschi, "Judith and Holofernes," 1620-1621</a>

Edith is #psyched about haunting people this Halloween.

<a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Johannessen_-_Die_Nacht_-_ca_1920.jpeg" role="link" class=" js-entry-link cet-external-link" data-vars-item-name="Aksel Waldemar Johannessen, &#x22;The night,&#x22; 1920" data-vars-item-type="text" data-vars-unit-name="56216369e4b0bce34700be92" data-vars-unit-type="buzz_body" data-vars-target-content-id="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Johannessen_-_Die_Nacht_-_ca_1920.jpeg" data-vars-target-content-type="url" data-vars-type="web_external_link" data-vars-subunit-name="article_body" data-vars-subunit-type="component" data-vars-position-in-subunit="10">Aksel Waldemar Johannessen, "The night," 1920</a>

Thank goodness a live band was available for the public flaying on such short notice.

<a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:TItian_-_The_Flaying_of_Marsyas.jpg" role="link" class=" js-entry-link cet-external-link" data-vars-item-name="Titian, &#x22;The Flaying of Marsyas,&#x22; 1570-1576" data-vars-item-type="text" data-vars-unit-name="56216369e4b0bce34700be92" data-vars-unit-type="buzz_body" data-vars-target-content-id="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:TItian_-_The_Flaying_of_Marsyas.jpg" data-vars-target-content-type="url" data-vars-type="web_external_link" data-vars-subunit-name="article_body" data-vars-subunit-type="component" data-vars-position-in-subunit="11">Titian, "The Flaying of Marsyas," 1570-1576</a>

"Ghost of a flea, we're not 100 percent sure what you're all about, but we'd appreciate it if you put some clothes on."

<a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:William_Blake_002.jpg" role="link" class=" js-entry-link cet-external-link" data-vars-item-name="William Blake, &#x22;The Ghost of a Flea,&#x22; 1819-1820" data-vars-item-type="text" data-vars-unit-name="56216369e4b0bce34700be92" data-vars-unit-type="buzz_body" data-vars-target-content-id="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:William_Blake_002.jpg" data-vars-target-content-type="url" data-vars-type="web_external_link" data-vars-subunit-name="article_body" data-vars-subunit-type="component" data-vars-position-in-subunit="12">William Blake, "The Ghost of a Flea," 1819-1820</a>

Kathy is handing out toothbrushes this Halloween and there's nothing. You. Can. Do.

<a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_mad_woman-Theodore_Gericault-MBA_Lyon_B825-IMG_0477.jpg" role="link" class=" js-entry-link cet-external-link" data-vars-item-name="Th&#xE9;odore G&#xE9;ricault, &#x22;The Hyena of la Salp&#xEA;tri&#xE8;re,&#x22; 1819/1822" data-vars-item-type="text" data-vars-unit-name="56216369e4b0bce34700be92" data-vars-unit-type="buzz_body" data-vars-target-content-id="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_mad_woman-Theodore_Gericault-MBA_Lyon_B825-IMG_0477.jpg" data-vars-target-content-type="url" data-vars-type="web_external_link" data-vars-subunit-name="article_body" data-vars-subunit-type="component" data-vars-position-in-subunit="13">Théodore Géricault, "The Hyena of la Salpêtrière," 1819/1822</a>

"Hold on, guys, just doing a Halloween dance across the jaws of a hell beast."

<a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Memling_Vanity_and_Salvation.jpg" role="link" class=" js-entry-link cet-external-link" data-vars-item-name="Hans Memling, &#x22;Triptych of Earthly Vanity and Divine Salvation,&#x22; detail, circa 1485" data-vars-item-type="text" data-vars-unit-name="56216369e4b0bce34700be92" data-vars-unit-type="buzz_body" data-vars-target-content-id="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Memling_Vanity_and_Salvation.jpg" data-vars-target-content-type="url" data-vars-type="web_external_link" data-vars-subunit-name="article_body" data-vars-subunit-type="component" data-vars-position-in-subunit="14">Hans Memling, "Triptych of Earthly Vanity and Divine Salvation," detail, circa 1485</a>

King Norman was like, "What? I thought we were fillet-ing. Like, a fish fry. What the shit is this?"

<a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gerard_David_-_The_Judgment_of_Cambyses,_panel_2_-_The_shedding_of_the_corrupt_judge_Sisamnes.jpg" role="link" class=" js-entry-link cet-external-link" data-vars-item-name="Gerard David, &#x22;The Judgment of Cambyses,&#x22; 1498/1499" data-vars-item-type="text" data-vars-unit-name="56216369e4b0bce34700be92" data-vars-unit-type="buzz_body" data-vars-target-content-id="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gerard_David_-_The_Judgment_of_Cambyses,_panel_2_-_The_shedding_of_the_corrupt_judge_Sisamnes.jpg" data-vars-target-content-type="url" data-vars-type="web_external_link" data-vars-subunit-name="article_body" data-vars-subunit-type="component" data-vars-position-in-subunit="15">Gerard David, "The Judgment of Cambyses," 1498/1499</a>

Somewhere, out there, someone is swiping left on Tinder right now.

<a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Henryk_Weyssenhoff_-_Przeczucie_1893.jpg" role="link" class=" js-entry-link cet-external-link" data-vars-item-name="Henryk Weyssenhoff, &#x22;Premonition,&#x22; 1893" data-vars-item-type="text" data-vars-unit-name="56216369e4b0bce34700be92" data-vars-unit-type="buzz_body" data-vars-target-content-id="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Henryk_Weyssenhoff_-_Przeczucie_1893.jpg" data-vars-target-content-type="url" data-vars-type="web_external_link" data-vars-subunit-name="article_body" data-vars-subunit-type="component" data-vars-position-in-subunit="16">Henryk Weyssenhoff, "Premonition," 1893</a>

After a weekend of partying, Maryanne can't even.

<a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bakemono_Gagoze.jpg" role="link" class=" js-entry-link cet-external-link" data-vars-item-name="Gagoze" data-vars-item-type="text" data-vars-unit-name="56216369e4b0bce34700be92" data-vars-unit-type="buzz_body" data-vars-target-content-id="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bakemono_Gagoze.jpg" data-vars-target-content-type="url" data-vars-type="web_external_link" data-vars-subunit-name="article_body" data-vars-subunit-type="component" data-vars-position-in-subunit="17">Gagoze</a>, author unknown, from the Edo period
Gagoze, author unknown, from the Edo period
Wikimedia Commons

Each week, HuffPost Arts & Culture attempts to bring to light a few forgotten gems with our slightly humorous look back at art history. For past examples see here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

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