[Top 10] Scariest Killers in Dead by Daylight

What a delightful bunch!

As of now, Dead by Daylight boasts 31 killers you can play as or (attempt to) survive against. However, not all the killers are created equal. Some are goofy, some are fairly creepy, and some are utterly terrifying. If you’re curious which killers provide the most scares, check out the top 10 scariest killers in Dead by Daylight. 

10. Huntress

Don't be fooled by her appearance...this woman is more than animal than man.

Why She's Scary

Any Dead by Daylight player knows the sound of the Huntress’s lullaby. Her haunting song echoes throughout the map. What sounds like a soothing melody is truly a warning of impending doom, followed shortly after by flying hatchets.   

See Huntress:

Beware the Huntress's lullaby.

Huntress Backstory:

The Huntress, born Anna, was raised by her single mother to survive life in the harsh Russian wilderness. One day while her mother and her were on a hunt, the elk they were hunting tried to attack Anna, but her mother sacrificed herself so Anna could live. Anna killed the elk with an axe, but it was too late for her mother–her mother sang her a lullaby to calm Anna as her mother slowly died. As she grew older, she relied on the survival skills her mother had taught her in order to survive on her own. Her humanity slowly slipped away. She became bored with hunting animals and started hunting unsuspecting humans traversing the woods, but she would never kill little girls; seeing her former self in them, she would attempt to care for them, but they never survived long. This led her to don an animal mask her mother made before she would raid nearby villages, slaughter families, and kidnap their daughters. Soon the word began to spread of The Huntress who haunted the Red Forest–a monstrous force who killed men and ate little girls. Although the war lowered the population, thereby decreasing the tales of the Huntress, soldiers’ bodies continued to turn up covered in axe wounds… 

9. Doctor 

​He brings a new meaning to shock therapy. 

Why He's Scary

Just looking at the Doctor gives you the creeps. His feeled back flesh, cruel medical devices that seem like medieval torture devices, and electrodes in his eyes?! Definitely sends chills down your spine. On top of that, the Doctor boasts an ability to inflict madness upon the survivors, via an electroshock blast. This madness ability causes the player immense difficulty in distinguishing reality from hallucination–particularly in tegards to chase music, hallucinations of the doctor, and fake pallets. 

See Doctor:

​Now that's a mad scientist! 

Doctor Backstory:

Herman Carter, who later became known as the Doctor, was always fascinated by analyzing and deconstructing the human psyche. He got recruited into an advanced neuroscience programme at Yale, which was actually just a front for the CIA’s experiments into interrogation and intelligence. Carter joined an off-site secretary facility called the Léry’s Memorial Institute in Illinois, where he was mentored by the demented Dr. Otto Stamper. Dr. Stamper encouraged Carter to push the boundaries of experimentation, which resulted in cruel and bizarre torture in order to attempt to control people’s minds. In addition to “experimenting” on his patients, Carter experimented on himself, peeling open his head and sticking sensors and electrodes in his head. In efforts to prevent this information leaking to the press, the government condemned the side and redacted all knowledge of the institute.  

8. Onryō

​Take one look at her and you'll want to run the other way.

Why She's Scary

Onryō's appearance and animations are creepy enough--especially the animation of her crawling out of the TV. The fact that she can crawl out of a TV at nearly any point in time keeps you on edge at all times. Then add in her phase ability, allowing her to traverse the map and suddenly appear–seemingly out of nowhere–and you've got one creepy killer. 

See Onryō :

Whatever you do, do not make eye contact!

Onryō Backstory:

Sadako Yamamura was the daughter of a famous seer from Izu Oshima in Japan, leading her to be born a powerful onryō. Sadako’s powers were incredibly potent and nearly impossible to control, especially when she became upset. When a journalist called her mother a fraud, Sadako’s powers flared, causing the journalist to collapse to the floor, struck dead. Everything spiraled out of control after that–her mother dying soon after. After her mother’s passing, Sadako was lured to a decrepit well and knocked over the head, causing her to fall down the well. Shortly after, someone closed a lid over the well, trapping Sadako alive. She tried to climb out, but it was no use. Her powerful spirit was trapped for decades, until a cabin was built over the well, allowing her an opportunity for revenge. She utilized all her power to curse a videotape in the cabin, causing any viewer to die seven days after watching the tape. Her rage continued to grow, bolstering her power and unleashing her from the well. 

7. Spirit

​Those injuries tell her origin story...and it's a brutal one!

Why She's Scary

Spirit has a gruesome character design, made all the more terrifying when paired with her glitching jarring body movements and the eerie sounds she makes. Add onto that the fact that she can phase shift across the map and you've got eerie jumspcare galore.

See Spirit:

Spirit Backstory:

Rin Yamaoka was the only child in her family, born and raised in Kagawa, Japan. Her education and mother’s illness put strain on the family’s finances. Despite Rin taking up a job to help with the finances, the situation was quite tense. Her father snapped when he was fired from his job and dismembered Rin’s mother with a katana. When Rin came home to discover her mother’s dismembered body, her father attacked her with the katana, striking her arm, thigh, and dismembering and beating her in the process. As she tried to escape, her father threw her against a glass partition, causing her to crash through the glass. As she crawled through the shards of glass, she vowed that she would not rest until she had her revenge…and the darkness promised her blood and vengeance. 

6. Nurse

​All work and no play makes Sally a dull girl!

Why She's Scary

Anyone who's played Dead by Daylight knows the ghoulish screeeches of the nurse. Her eerie screams paired with her phase-shifting ability make her a frightening and formidable foe. Then when you come face to face with her, you're met with an eerie character design that makes her even more scary.  

See Nurse:

Beware Nurses's Call! 

Nurse Backstory:

Sally Smithson and her husband moved to town with high hopes, but those hopes were soon tarnished. After being assaulted by her husband’s foreman, Sally decided to take a job at the only place she could get hired–the Crotus Prenn Asylum. After decades of working the night shift, and being verbally and physically abused by patients and employees, Sally was driven insane, culminating in her efforts to purify the asylum residents and staff, by killing over 50 patients and four staff members. She was transported in an ambulance, but that ambulance never made it to the hospital…the ambulance was found crashed in the nearby woods with all the staff dead and Sally nowhere to be found… 

5. Ghostface 

​What's your favorite scary movie?

Why He's Scary

Don't be fooled by the striking mask–Ghostface is a master of stealth. His ability to sneak up on you from afar, without any indication of triggering your terror radius, makes him a formidable foe. If you are not constantly on guard, he will build his power as he stalks you, before he strikes. 

See Ghostface

Just chilling, killing.  

Ghostface Backstory:

Danny Johnson, also known as Jed Olsen, was a fame-driven serial killer who reveled in news coverage of his murders across the states. He became well-known for stalking his victims and stealthily killing them in a white grotesque mask with a black hooded outfit. He decided he was not getting enough news coverage, so he wrote articles about himself, leaking footage of his murders. As soon as the investigation pointed towards him, he left town, and has since continued his self-publicized murder spree. 

4. Hag

​She looks mad and she's got reason to be. 

Why She's Scary

The Hag is an original character with a haunting character design. Her grotesque sounds and movements add to her overall frightening atmosphere. What makes her even more terrifying is her ability to lay traps that once triggered, allow her to teleport to that location, allowing for ample jumpscares. 

See Hag:

​She looks like she's had a rough life...

Hag Backstory:

Lisa Sherwood grew up in a remote village in the bayou. Lisa loved drawing charms for safety and good fortune–a tradition passed down by the elders. During a horrible storm, Lisa got lost in the woods, where she was soon after kidnapped. Her kidnappers kept her chained in a flooded cellar, with other prisoners whose wounds were swarmed with flies. The kidnappers carved up the prisoners’ bodies and ate them down to the bone. Lisa’s resilience allowed her to survive for weeks, despite being starved, infected, and mutilated. With her dying breath, Lisa etched the symbols her elders taught her into the floor, and in response, she was overtaken by a dark hunger which yearned for blood and vengeance. Eventually, the village search party found the old shack in the swamp, but Lisa’s body was the only body not to be found…

3. Pig

Wanna play a game?

Why She's Scary

The Pig's stealth ability makes her extremely difficult to see when she wants to sneak up on you (aided by the fact that the terror radius is inactive when her sneak mode is on). The character design and sound when she attacks from her stealth position add to the scare factor. 

Her ability to place the Jigsaw reverse bear trap on your head also adds to the scare factor, as you have a timer for which you must find the key in one of Jigsaws games around the map…if you don't find the key in time, you die, adding tension to the game… 

See Pig: 

​I don't think I wanna play her games...

Pig Backstory:

John Kramer, who became known as the serial killer Jigsaw, planned for his son to be born during the Chinese Zodiac’s Year of the Pig–owing to the pig's representation of fertility and rebirth–but that plan was destroyed when a junkie broke into his wife’s clinic and smashed the door into this wife’s stomach, killing their unborn son. After his unborn son died, John captured the junkie responsible for his son’s death and made him his first victim (“subject”). The pig soon became a representation of the disease festering inside of John. To those subjects who emerged victorious, The Pig could still be a symbol of rebirth, into their new lives as apprentices of Jigsaw. This was the case for Amanda Young. However, she became too dependent on John and she failed her second test, letting her rage and jealousy take over, resulting in her death. However, the entity claimed her soul, allowing her to live on as The Pig for the rest of her days.  

2. Shape

​Is that the boogeyman?

Why He's Scary

With his ability active, the Shape's terror radius is non-existent, allowing him to sneak up on you without you knowing until it's too late…This allows for ample jumpscares. Add in the Halloween-themed chase music and you've got a true boogeyman. 

See Shape:

You don't need blood and guts to have a terrifying killer.

Shape Backstory:

Although he is human, Michael Myers is pure evil. Even as a child, Michael felt he needed to kill in order to find inner peace, starting with his sister. He was found dressed as a clown, silent, but deadly. The authorities attempted to rehabilitate Michael by sending him to a mental institution, but the therapy and scream-filled nights caused him to become even more demented. All was fine…until Michael escaped.

1. Dredge

​Now that is something straight outta hell!

Why He's Scary

The dredge is the first original non-human killer and only killer who does not have a humanoid shape. It's appearance is a twisted grotesque mass of flesh and darkness, bringing with it the sounds of tortured souls. What makes the Dredge even scarier is the fact that it's Nightfall ability causes the survivors to be immersed in darkness…If that was not Scary enough, while Nightfall is active, the Dredge has the fastest situational movement speed with a speed of 38m/s. On top of that, the Dredge can teleport via the lockers–yes, even if you are hiding in a locker–with terrifying animations to signify its arrival. 

See Dredge:

No thanks! I'll take any other killer please!

Dredge Backstory:

The Dredge is a non-human entity born from the twisted mind of Otto Stamper (yes the same Otto Stamper who mentored the Doctor). Otto Stamper started a commune called “The Fold,” on a private American island in the 1960s. However, it became clear as time progressed that Otto’s intentions were anything but benevolent. As his followers began to disappear, uncertainty and fear spread amongst the community. He blamed his followers for summoning the Druanee (the Dredge), before he proceeded to showcase his evil by sacrificing a journalist who was planning to expose him. He claimed the sacrifice would banish the Druanee, but in reality, it struck fear and darkness into their hearts, causing the Druanee (Dredge) to begin to form. The screams and curses grew as the community failed to contain their darkness, but the more they tried, the quicker the darkness spread, until their mental dam burst and a manifestation of hellish darkness was unleashed. 

The community began to tear each other apart–metaphorically and literally. As Otto watched the community tear itself apart, suddenly a thick oozy darkness rose from the ground and a formless mass of flesh began to form to feed upon the souls and flesh of the community, absorbing and spreading the darkness, savoring the torment. 

Otto watched as the mass formed into the very thing he had imagined–and forced his community to imagine all these years. Just as easily as it had emerged, it disappeared into the shadows. Who knows where it will turn up next?


You may also be interested in:

Dead By Daylight: Review 

Best Dead by Daylight Killer? (All Dead by Daylight Killers Ranked Worst to Best) 

[Top 11] Dead by Daylight Best Killers And Why They're Great 


More on this topic:

Born in a hearty valley, I have traversed the realms, from the fog-ridden bay to the deadly deserts. As a level 24 Jack-Of-All-Trades, I have the experience and flexibility to perfect any role.
Gamer Since: 2002
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Dead by Daylight, Cyberpunk 2077, Far Cry 6
Top 3 Favorite Games:The Sims 4, Batman: Arkham City, Far Cry 3

More Top Stories