Children have a sweetness and innocence that can be terrifying when it's masking a well of pure evil. These five kids in horror movies haunted our waking nightmares for years. But off-screen, the actors who played them have grown up to be seemingly normal adults who are not a threat to our well-being ... as far as we can tell. That being said, if I ever run into one in the real world, I'm proceeding with caution.
Lisa and Louise Burns, 46, played the horror genre's most iconic scary children in 1980's The Shining. The Grady twins return from the dead to torment little protagonist Danny Torrence with their spooky refrain of "come play with us, Danny, forever, and ever."
It's hard to go to a motel without imagining these two popping up in a hallway. But luckily, the Burns sisters are very much alive today and not haunting motel rooms, as far as we can tell. They both live in London, and though they have been mostly out of the public eye since The Shining, they share a Twitter feed and Facebook page, where they post pics like this:
Creepiness rating: I'd play with them forever, and ever.
At a Hillary Clinton fundraiser last month, Cher compared Donald Trump to the little girl played by Patty McCormack in 1956's The Bad Seed. "He’s so Patty McCormack," said the singer. "Consummate liar, doesn’t care who she hurts, insane, and you know, sociopathic narcissist."
So that should give you an idea of how scary Patty McCormack's character was: She's like a tiny Trump who uses her tap shoes as murder weapons.
But there's nothing terrifying or Trump-like about 71-year-old McCormack, who has been working as a movie, TV and stage actress for the past five decades.
Except maybe this line from her IMDB page, which reads just a smidge passive-aggressive: "While the lovely and talented blond suffered her share of hard knocks in adjusting to an adult career, she did not fade away into oblivion or self destruct as those child stars before her did."
Creepiness rating: Pending further investigation.
3) Samara Morgan, a.k.a. the scary girl in The Ring.
You may remember her as the long-haired demon child in the 2002 remake of The Ring who emerges from a malfunctioning TV set to destroy you and everything you love. The woman who played little Samara Morgan is now 24 and her name is Daveigh Chase. She's still an actress, so don't be alarmed if she suddenly appears in your television.
Her life seems really rad according to her Instagram page. And here she is staring at her dog, who looks very happy and not-haunted.
The only creepy thing about her is this video:
Creepiness rating: As long as the phone doesn't ring while she's on TV, I'm good.
4. Regan MacNeil in The Exorcist
Linda Blair played Regan MacNeil, the little girl who becomes possessed by a demon in both versions of The Exorcist. There's nothing cute about demon possession.
But now, 57-year-old Blair lives in Hollywood where she acts and, according to Twitter, really loves dogs. She even started her own foundation to protect rescue animals. She also loves taking pictures with her fans.
This is the opposite of what a demon would do.
Creepiness rating: Probably not possessed anymore.
5. Kyra Collins in The Sixth Sense.
Kyra Collins was the creepy dead girl in The Sixth Sense who pays a visit to Haley Joel Osment after she died from a mysterious "sickness" (SPOILER: her mother was poisoning her). You may remember her creepily vomiting in a tent. What's she up to today? She's Mischa Barton!
And she's mostly not haunting people anymore, except for that time she posted a tactless Instagram reflecting on #BlackLivesMatter from the French Riviera. Also her performance in The OC, I'll be honest, a little bit scary.
Creepiness factor: Keeping an eye on you, Mischa.