Criminals are a cowardly and superstitious lot. So I must be able to strike terror into their hearts. I must be a creature of the night, black, terrible.
The Batman is a scary man. Dressing like a sinister combination of Dracula and a giant bat, this vigilante’s single greatest power (no, not money, Flash) is his ability to strike fear and dread into the heart of common criminals. That’s pretty heavy stuff, even before we get onto the Jujitsu, the Goth car and the batarangs.
Another thing about Batman: he has perhaps the greatest rogues gallery in all of comics. When your hero is as scary as the Bat himself, it stands to reason that his enemies tend to be more than up to the challenge. After all, who but the most terrifying criminal dare stand up to a lethal ninja dressed almost entirely in black? You’d have to be pretty crazy, right?
Well just wait until you get a load of these guys. Sometimes even a Batman falters when faced with an army of dangerous madmen, sinister monsters and legendary supernatural horrors. A scarecrow, a Mad Hatter and a murderous clown (who, for the purposes of variety, has been restricted to but a couple of outings on this list).
Between the Bat himself and his enemies, Batman stories have a tendency to get scary, running the bat-gauntlet from spooky to downright terrifying
10. Haunted Knight
This collection of three Halloween-themed scary stories makes for excellent portmanteau style reading in the classic horror tradition. Three years’ worth of one-shots from the celebrated Legends of the Dark Knight line, each one puts Batman through the wringer in a very different manner.
Although all of the major rogues make their appearances, the Scarecrow, Mad Hatter and the Penguin are the fiends responsible. The aptly-named Fears (the best, and scariest of the three) pits Batman against the Scarecrow and his fear gas, almost dying of terror in a poisoned maze.
Meanwhile Madness sees Commissioner Gordon’s daughter (Barbara, pre-Batgirl) kidnapped by the Mad Hatter, giving one of the less-seen Batman villains his moment at the tea table. Finally, the most interesting of the stories is a fun play on A Christmas Carol, swapping out Christmas for Halloween, and the spirits for, uh, Poision Ivy and the Joker.
Written by Jeph Loeb and evocatively illustrated by Tim Sale, these dark, creepy stories proved so popular that they led to The Long Halloween: Batman’s epic slasher movie.