(Photo: 2K games)

We all have our own fears. Some people are scared of dolls; others quiver at the thought of clowns; some turn to jelly at the sight of a rat. However in the entertainment world we pay good money to watch, listen and play games that tap into another realm of fear and it makes you wonder why we do it.

While slasher and zombie flicks and TV shows cover most bases and first person shooters inherently give you anxiety, I picked my top four examples of pure 'bad guy' genius that make the most serious of adults cry.

the gentlemen buffy
(Photo: Reuters)

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Gentlemen

Buffy the Vampire Slayer is now a classic Joss Whedon masterpiece. Mixing fantasy, comedy and sitcom element to it, Buffy was genius at meta-humour and traditional 'good guys vs bad guys' in every episode.

In every episode Buffy and the rest of the Scooby gang (an in-programme joke) were attacked by vampires and demons (with lots of facial prosthetics), all with a touch of humour. The storylines were gripping and of course the characters were well-crafted specimens, but the series was by no means scary.

However, in the tenth episode of season four, titled Hush, Whedon wheeled out The Gentlemen to create the first-ever silent episode and possibly the scariest of them all.

The suited and booted gentlemen that resembled a group of tall, withered, bald monsters who had gone past their sell-by-dates glided through the episode in silence, stealing hearts from their victims. What made it worse was that they stole you voice too so no one could hear you scream.

(Photo: Reuters)

28 Days Later: The Infected

The horror market is awash with zombie films, which have exponentially grown in popularity over the last 20 years.

But gone are the days that zombies were brain dead corpses that hobbled their way towards you so slowly they were almost going backwards.

While zombies usually converged on their prey at the rate of virtually 0 miles per hour, their power came from attacking in mass numbers. But as cinematic history became more sophisticated, so did the storytelling and allegories for political fear, portrayed through the medium of 'zombies'.

Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later and its sequel 28 Weeks Later, while technically not classified as zombie films, did however take the franchise to a whole new level and harnessed real societal fear of biological warfare with the element of 'no escape'.

Gone were the slowpoke cannibals and in their place came outrageously violent, infected citizens who could run faster than Usain Bolt.

Considering most people don't put too much time into core cardio exercise, the fact that Boyle makes it obvious that there is 99% possibility that you'll be outrun and ripped to shreds is enough to make most people weep.

Whatever you do, don't blink. (Photo: Reuters)
Whatever you do, don't blink. (Photo: Reuters)

Doctor Who: Weeping Angels

Ever feel like someone is watching you? Well that's probably the premise of a majority of horror and suspense films and TV shows out in the entertainment world.

While the BBC's long running sci-fi series Doctor Who has had a number of questionable villains over the last 40 or so years, usualy resembling badly cobbled together drama school leftovers, nothing was more trouser-soiling than the Weeping Angels.

For those not in in the know, count yourself lucky as it will give you nightmares. That is a fact.

The Weeping Angels were first introduced into a one-off episode in Doctor Who, which didn't necessarily connect to any overarching storylines and could be viewed without knowing any prior storylines or characters. It proved so popular, however, that they featured in subsequent shows.

So what are they, you may ask? Well, you know those stone angel statues you see virtually everywhere in the UK? Well that's them - lying in wait for an attack - the Lonely Assassins.

They move quickly and silently but turn into statues when observed by a sentient being. In this state they are frozen and indestructible, but blink and you could be next.

silent hill nurses
(Courtesy of Konami)

Silent Hill: Nurses

Anyone who has played the "fun filled" series of Silent Hill and who hasn't suffered from a heart attack, know that's a cornucopia for horrific monsters.

Based on the fact that you are exploring a town that is effectively haunted by the twisted souls of Silent Hill that was burned from the inside out means you have a veritable choice of stroke inducing nasties.

While we have goliath sized Pyramid Head wielding a knife so heavy it has to be dragged on the floor and so large it fillets a thick steel door like a fish - is a favourite choice of scary monster.

But the nurses - everyone loves nurses right? Wrong!

In Silent Hill the bloodied sirens lurk in the darkness in the most claustrophobic parts of the game, wielding scalpels and surgical instruments in a jerking, erratic fashion. Problem is there is no where to run at these points in the game and you have to face them. Cue the fear.

Bioshock Big Daddy
Bioshock Big Daddy (Photo: 2K Games)

Bioshock: Big Daddies

There are hundred or horror survival first person shooter games and of course most of them are downright, nailbitingly scary.

However, Bioshock, which is set in an underwater city called Rapture is filled with Big Daddies.

Big Daddies - "how hilarious!" - I hear you say.

Well, not really - having dozens of genetically enhanced human beings who have had their skin and organs grafted into an enormous diving suit isn't exactly funny and certainly not if you are playing it in the dark.

Lianna Brinded is senior business writer on IBTimes UK