The poll, run to coincide with Halloween, saw thousands of readers vote on their most shocking scary films. William Friedkin's 1973 Oscar-winning classic The Exorcist showed its enduring appeal by taking first place with 15.5% of the vote.
> Digital Spy's Top 25 scariest horror movies: In Pictures
In a 2008 interview with The Guardian, The Exorcist director Friedkin explained that many viewers found themselves terrified by a sequence where Linda Blair's possessed child Regan is medically examined.
"Most people say that the scariest scene in The Exorcist is the angiogram scene because it's the most realistic," he said.
"It's the one people most identify with, being in a hospital - a captive audience - while this weird equipment is circulating around you to determine what's inside of you. It's very science fiction, but true."
Paranormal Activity took second place in the poll with 11.7%, while John Carpenter's 1978 slasher Halloween was in third spot on 6.7%.
The top five in full:
1. The Exorcist
2. Paranormal Activity
3. Halloween (1978)
4. The Shining
5. The Ring (2002)
The 'Other' category saw a strong 7.9% vote, with Digital Spy users showing support for Spanish horror [Rec], The Others, Candyman, The Haunting and Carnival of Souls.
Digital Spy's scariest horror movie countdown in full:
> 25-21 > 20-16 > 15-11 > 10-6 > 5-1
Watch the trailer for The Exorcist below: