The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)
This 1920 silent classic directed by Robert Wiene had a major impact on the horror genre. Its expressionistic style would be seen in later silent classics, such as Nosferatu (1922) and Warning Shadows (1923). The haunting story of Caligari and Cesare, the somnambulist, is one every horror fan should see.
The Phantom Carriage (1921)
This silent classic focuses on a young nun who has fallen ill on New Years Eve and upon her deathbed requests to see David Holm-- a drunken, ill-tempered man whom she cared for in a shelter. Legend has it that the first person to die at midnight will be forced to drive death's carriage collecting souls until the next person takes their place. The Phantom Carriage is a grim reaper tale that warns of the consequences of being unkind to your fellow man.
Warning Shadows (1923)
In a 19th century German Manor, a wealthy Baron and Baroness host a dinner party with four bachelors in attendance who are each vying for the attention of the wife. A pupeteer makes them see that their immoral and jealous actions will lead them down a path of death and destruction.
This German expressionist horror based on Dracula tells the story of Count Orlak-- a vampire living in a Transylvanian castle who has become interested in moving to a new residence. When real estate agent Hutter is sent to speak with him he arranges for his wife to stay with a few friends. When he meets Orlak he gets him to settle on a home not too far from his own home. During Hutter's stay he begins to notice strange shadows and odd behavior from Orlak, such as sleeping during the day. He eventually catches him sleeping in a coffin but gets trapped inside the castle as the Count leaves to greet his wife.
The Cat and the Canary (1927)
The Cat and the Canary is a comedy-horror that centers on the death of a wealthy patriarch. His final demand was that no one read the will until the 20th anniversary of his death. On the exact date his greedy family members gather at his spooky mansion for the reading, but all doesn't go as planned.
Phantom of the Opera (1925)
This 1925 classic starring Lon Chaney as the phantom, tells the story of a disfigured opera singer who lives in the cellars of the Opera of Paris. When he becomes obsessed with the young Christine Daae he will stop at nothing to have her for himself.
The Man Who Laughs (1928)
Conrad Veidt stars in this tragic tale about a noble who was executed for refusing to kiss the hand of King James in 1690. As a result of his treachery, his son Gwynplaine had a crude smile permanently carved into his face. As Gwynplaine was adopted by a traveling showman and their he fell in love with Dea, a blind girl. When the King dies his evil jester attempts to further destroy Gwynplaine's life.
This late silent directed by Carl Theodore Dreyer follows a drifter who comes upon a riverside inn where unbeknownst to him, a young girl is slowly becoming a vampire.
Haxan is a documentary-styled silent that takes the audience on a journey through the ages of witchcraft, depicting re-enactments of satanic rites and the hysteria that followed.