My Top 10 Villains

The bad guys and gals that are dear to my heart (and in some cases want to consume it, too!)

My Top 10 Villains
Photo by Dinu J Nair on Unsplash

Way back in the midst of promotion for the launch of Shadow Service I was asked to provide a list of my top 10 villains. The original article is no longer available so I thought I’d share it with you here, especially as I’m currently on holiday and the last thing you need is me wittering on about reading beside a pool! So, enjoy this little dip into the archives!

Who comes to mind when I think of my favourite villains? Whoever asks me to come up with a definite top ten, that’s who! Come tomorrow, I will remember someone who absolutely should have made the list! I can almost hear Hans Gruber shouting ‘what about meeeeeee?’ as he tumbles from a skyscraper or Gozer the Gozarian preparing to trample on every church in my neighbourhood. But right here, right now these are my choices. Only a villain would judge me, right?


Of course, the Napoleon of Crime needs to be included. He’s the blueprint for so many of my favourite bad guys and gals. Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Doctor Who’s Master. Even the Joker. A mind equal, if not greater, to that of his nemesis, who has set himself at the centre of an international web of intrigue with the simplest of motivations: money and power, controlling the world from the shadows.


Is Jareth a villain? That’s a question I’ve been asking since I first became obsessed by Labyrinth as a kid. Or is he more of a trickster God wanting to show Sarah the error of her ways? Either way, he can sure belt out a tune and looks great in tights.

Darth Vader

Oh, I wanted to include Darth Maul on this list, truly I did, but how could I leave the Dark Lord of the Sith out of the mix? One part Frankenstein monster, one part angst-ridden Dracula scarred by a lost love, more machine than man.

Plus, let’s face it, a nightmare boss if Empire Strikes Back has anything to say about it.

Annie Wilkes

So many Stephen King villains to choose from, so little space. I whittled them down to Annie or Pennywise, but as terrifying as Derry’s demonic clown is, Annie is so much scarier, especially these days when certain elements of fandom can be somewhat... demanding.

Can you imagine Annie on social media?


Hill House

Does a villain have to be a person? Oh no, no, no. Shirley Jackson taught us all that a place can have the darkest heart of all. As The Shining does too, for that matter. Hmmm. Should I have included the Overlook? Can it tie for a place with Hill House?

The Babadook

Why is the Babadook here? Because the Babadook is the ultimate villain for so many of us and one that is monstrously hard to overcome, a villain that is all-consuming and oh-so-destructive.

The Babadook is grief.


Oh, the slashers I could have included. Michael nearly made the list, Pinhead too, for that matter, but Candyman is head and shoulders above the rest. His sole purpose is to spread terror so his name is remembered, a legacy written in blood, becoming the monster that others said he was, turning his curse back on those who bedevilled him.

Lord Summerisle

To be honest, I could have easily come up with a list of my favourite villains played by Christopher Lee alone, but out of all of his many, many roles, Lord Summerisle stands tall. He knows the religion his father invented is bunkum, absolutely knows it, but carries on regardless and why...? To secure the harvest? No, oh Jesus Christ no. It’s all to save his aristocratic skin. The bounder.

Norman Bates

I once experienced the joy of watching Psycho with someone who had absolutely no idea about Norman’s secret. The ultimate reveal of Mother shook their world and displayed Hitchcock’s absolute genius. Is Norman a victim? Absolutely. Is he a villain? Same answer.


The ultimate villain. Why? Well, the man feeds babies to his wives. Babies.

Not good enough for you? Okay then, he’s not only the ultimate villain, he’s the ultimate leech. Yeah, yeah, depending on what version you’re reading/watching, he says he wants to rekindle his old love, but at the end of the day, Drac just wants to survive at any cost and it doesn’t matter who dies to keep his unholy heart beating.

Also, the baby thing is still pretty hard to forgive.

What about you? Who are your favourite baddies? Who should I have included in my list?

(I’m already regretting not including the Daleks. Sorry, boys!)

Let us know yours in the comments.