CULTURE & ARTS
10/19/2015 05:24 pm ET

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

Happy Halloween, art history nerds.

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">Henry Fuseli, "The Nightmare,"&nbsp;1

Brad the lamprey is a surprisingly skilled painter.

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

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

<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Rubens_saturn.jpg">Peter Paul Rubens,&nbsp;"Saturn, Jupiter's father, devours one

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">Hieronymus Bosc

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

"Saturn, enough, seriously."

<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Francisco_de_Goya,_Saturno_devorando_a_su_hijo_(1819-1823).jpg">Francisco Goya, "

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

<a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Anatomical_Pieces.JPG">Th&eacute;odore G&eacute;ricault, "Anatomical Pieces,

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">Odilon Redon, "The Cyclops,"&nbsp;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">Caravaggio, "David with the he

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

<a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gespenst_by_Hokusai.jpg">Katsushika Hokusai, 1830</a>
Wikimedia Commons
Katsushika Hokusai, 1830

"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">Arte

Edith is #psyched about haunting people this Halloween.

<a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Johannessen_-_Die_Nacht_-_ca_1920.jpeg">Aksel Waldemar Johannessen, "The nig

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">Titian, "The Flaying of Marsyas," 1570-

"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">William Blake, "The Ghost of a Flea,"&nbsp;1819-1820<

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">Th&eacute;odore

"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">Hans Memling, "Triptych of Earthly Vanity

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_corru

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

<a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Henryk_Weyssenhoff_-_Przeczucie_1893.jpg">Henryk Weyssenhoff, "Premonition,"

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

<a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bakemono_Gagoze.jpg">Gagoze</a>, author unknown, from the Edo period
Wikimedia Commons
Gagoze, author unknown, from the Edo period

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 hereherehereherehereherehere and here. 

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