Just in Time For Halloween: Soaps’ Top 10 Most Frightening Villains!

No. 10: Mitch Laurence and Allison PerkinsOne Life to Live

It does’t get much more frightening than Mitch Laurence, the twisted ex-boyfriend of Tina Lord (Andrea Evans) whose first reign of terror in Llanview started way back in 1985. Following a stint in prison for murder, Mitch transformed himself into a religious cult leader finding a devoted worshipper/willing accomplice in bat shit crazy Allison Perkins (Barbara Garrick). Rape, murder, kidnapping, you name it, Mitch Laurence and Allison Perkins have done it all, mostly to Viki Lord (Erika Slezak) and her twin daughters Jessica (Bree Williamson) and Natalie (Melissa Archer). Eterna only knows what Mitch and Allison have in store for the Lords and Buchanans this time around!

Horrifying Mention: Victor Lord.

No. 9: Barnabas CollinsDark Shadows

We couldn’t have a list detailing soap’s most terrifying villains without mentioning Barnabas Collins, the 175-year-old vampire protagonist from ABC’s short-lived, cult soap Dark Shadows. Though Barnabas was generally a nice blood sucker, Jonathan Frid’s creepy portrayal of the fanged one couldn’t help but scare soap watchers. Dark Shadows not only inspired a brief NBC primetime update in the 90’s, but is now being adapted for an upcoming big screen version starring none other than Johnny Depp. Talk about a soap villain with bite!

Horrifying Mention: Caleb Morley (Port Charles).

33 Responses

  1. Profile photo of season1217

    I’m sorry this is a weak list. How can you have a Most Frightening Soap Villians list and not have Barbara Bloom, Ellen Wheeler, Brian Frons, Chuck Pratt, Megan McTavish…?

  2. Profile photo of sodsince16

    Billy Clyde Tuggle gave me nightmares as a child soap viewer. He was a pimp who beat up woman and had the scariest facial hair in soap history.

    Ten years ago I went backstage at a concert by Christine Baranski, my partner remarked about she was married to the actor who had portrayed Billie Clyde, when he walked across the room I nearly peed my pants.

  3. Profile photo of Mark

    That Marlena/Devil stuff scared the shit out of me when I was a kid! But I loved it! My mom used to watch DAYS (before it was canceled here) and there are only two storylines I remember from seeing an episode with her here and there. Those storylines are the devil storyline and the Marlena/Salem Stalker storyline. I thought that last one was so stupid…

  4. Profile photo of gato1

    Great list Jamey! I am suprised you left off that crafty long lost daughter of CC Capwell on the late great Santa Barbara. Remember Eleanor/Elena’s run of crazy that summer?
    She had Mason kidnapped, threw Eden off a cliff (and faked her death),framed (?) Kelly for murder, and tried to get with Cruz?? I always wondered why she never went after Ted. Why isn’t that actress working more?? She scared me(in a good way!)

  5. Profile photo of Scout

    “Though Barnabas was generally a nice blood sucker, Jonathan Frid’s creepy portrayal of the fanged one couldn’t help but scare soap watchers.”

    Barnabas was actually a son-of-a-bitch during his first days on the show. He made an ex-con simpleton into his slave, kidnapped a girl and faked her death to make her into his bride, and he killed a doctor who knew about him. Not to mention how he terrorized and tried to kill his nine-year old cousin. But somehow they made him redeemable and turned him into a tortured romantic hero. Go figure…

  6. Profile photo of GH LOVER

    Oh the Marlena devil stuff was scary I remember all my class was just talking about that …

    I am not that big history one but I remember on Y&R Nina’s husband david something LoL he was also very good playing with Nina and than plays as a coma patient ,I couldn’t keep my eyes form TV seeing what will happened next..

    GH also had good villains , Manny scared the hell out of me, and Jerry , The MC hostage S/L was amazing I really was scared of him and this year when he torment Jason in Mexico , that was pure evil ..
    and maybe we should add James Franco character LOl by the mad world songs and the graffiti he kind freaks me out LOL

  7. Profile photo of daisyclover1938

    Scout, I totally agree with what you said about Barnabas! I’m watching Dark Shadows on DVD right now and he’s scaring the crap out of me! I hate how he’s torturing poor Maggie Evans, lol! Kudos to whoever put him on this list!!

    gato1: I agree, Elena was an AWESOME villian! The same actress, Sherilyn Wolter, played a really creepy villian on GL too. She’s pretty much disappeared, which is a shame.

    Also on my list:
    1. Brent/Marian, GL (scariest villian of All Time, imo)
    2. Todd Manning, OLTL (Roger Howarth’s version)
    3. Archie Mitchell, EastEnders
    4. Zack, Santa Barbara (played by Leigh McCloskey)
    5. Laura Collins, Dark Shadows
    6. Manny, GH
    7. Michael, AMC

  8. Profile photo of luverica

    To this day I consider AMC’s Ray Gardner the scariest soap opera character ever. He actually scared me and they couldn’t picked a more perfect actor to play the part.

  9. Profile photo of goyankees

    I’m agreeing with so many AMC-er’s take on the Scary Pine Valley Villians…….YEP – Ray Gardner and Billy Clyde completely freaked me out as a 10 year old 20 years ago!!!!

    Now the most frightening thing about AMC is how much scarier it’ll get once The REAL star returns……..huff.

    Gotta switcheroo the GH villians though (and again, I don’t watch it anymore, but this too was a good show back in the day!!)

    Ceasar Faison in, Diego out (c’mon!) Ceasar and that Cigar smoke (shudder!!) that stringy hair….YIKES!!

    Okay, this was not a trick OR a treat, remembering how good these show’s used to be……

    And Season 1217 – Spot on!!

  10. Profile photo of blake3b

    I wouldn’t call Roger the scariest on GL, Brent/Marion had to be the scariest! And Maryanne Carruthers had to be a runner up, those two scared the hell out of me!
    On Y&R I would say it was that David guy who terrorized Nina back in the early 90s, and throw in Adam and that new girl on Y&R right now!

  11. Profile photo of discodan

    I like the list Jamey, but I didn’t watch all of those shows. Personally, I would go with these fellas…

    1. Helena Cassadine
    2. Stefano Dimera
    3. Mitch Lawrence
    4. Shelia Carter
    5. James Stenbeck
    6. Roger Thorpe
    7. Jerry Jacks
    8. Ric Lansing (Panic Room Ric)
    9. Ryan Chamberlain
    10. Tony Dimera (which was apparently Andre Dimera)

  12. Profile photo of Joan76

    >) Wouldn’t it be great for James Stenbeck from ATWT to come back from the dead yet again on Halloween; he make a great vampire. He is the fumiest and scariest villain; he can be Kenny from South Park. I like James.

    Oh my god they killed James YOU BASTARD!! >)

  13. Profile photo of inspiron

    Mitch Lawrence was the most evil-no redeeming qualities at all!

    Todd Manning (only Roger’s version) was one of the most “You love to hate him” villians. RH won a SOD award for best villian one year. Boy, do I miss Todd!

  14. Profile photo of discodan

    Thank you very much Nathang. I’m actually a little surprised that Ryan Chamberlain isn’t on this list simply because of Jamey being a big Felicia fan (from his wishful casting and such)… Ryan was quite the psycho….

  15. Profile photo of strawberrygurl22

    Speaking of Mitch Lawrence, I really hope he’s the one behind the whole Jess/Nat/Jared/Brody story! That s/l would be more interesting.

    I loved RH(Todd Manning), he truly look like a villian. One of my fantasy was for him to be in a movie with Ice T(Law or Order SVU) playing serial killers. They both had the same evil look and long hair back in the 90’s.

  16. Profile photo of Miss Betty
    Miss Betty

    Wow you left off David Kimble? You know the guy with KILLER carved in his forehead who ended up dying in a shredder (or so we think…muhuhahahah)….Alistar Crane?? Helloo..or Tabitha for that matter from Passions?? Vivian Alamain?? – she was bat shit crazy…and uh Stephano Dimera?? hello? You put 6 months of devil doc above years of evil??? wow.

  17. Profile photo of Dariclone

    Great list, though I must admit I thought you would definitly list Rodger Thrope as Number 1. I loved all the Youtube clips, having not seen all these moments.
    But I must represent the Brish soaps [well, Corrie] and add Richard Hillman, David Platt and Charlie Stubbs to the list.
    With an honourable mention to Tracy and Peter Barlowe, though it’s hard to say if they’re really villians or just characters one loves to hate.

  18. Profile photo of Jamey Giddens
    Jamey Giddens

    I will cop to being the one to veto Stefano. Stefano has never really seemed scary to me, more cartoonish. I mean can you really be afraid of someone who puts a grown woman in a birdcage? Vivian was definitely a scary villain at first, but quickly became comic relief. I hear this time she will revert to type. Also, since we were only doing 10, we had to make them universal, it couldn’t be all DAYS. LOL

  19. Profile photo of Cyberologist

    Carl Hutchins (before they cleaned him up to marry Rachel)
    Helena Cassadine
    Mitch without a doubt
    Now Adam on Y/R
    I don’t know about scary but they were evil I have to think of the others but these come to mind right off the top

  20. Profile photo of DaytimeFan0001

    My God that marlena one had James Reilly written all over it. That right there sums up his work basically. I’m a fan of his, so I’m glad thats number 1. I would have put Annie Dutton. The Sheila clip was great too. There is one of her on the roof taunting Lauren, one of the best scenes in daytime history for me.

  21. Profile photo of dutchess

    Here’s a list of my 10 most frightening villains:

    1. Billy Clyde Tuggle (“All My Children”)
    2. Barnabas Collins (“Dark Shadows”)
    3. Ivan Kipling (“One Life To Live”)
    4. Mikkos Cassidine (“General Hospital”)
    5. Sheila Carter (“Y&R” / “B&B”)
    6. Carl Hutchins (“Another World”)
    7. Cesar Faison (“General Hospital”)
    8. Todd Manning (“One Life To Live”)
    9. Roger Thorpe (“Guiding Light”)
    10. Mitch Laurence (“One Life To Live”)

  22. Profile photo of Miss Betty
    Miss Betty

    I forgot to mention the blackmailer on passions as well – that was just downright creepy. I still say Alistar Crane as well. He was pure evil when unseen and worse when married. I mean the guy repeatedly raped Theresa, plotted to kill his daughter..was just inky black evil.

  23. Profile photo of Nathang1983

    I like your list better Discodan. The best villains are psycho and/or gothic. I’m shocked Stefano was not included on the list. I kept expecting him to be number 1 and it ended being Marlena!

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