Top 10 Creepiest David Lynch Characters!

Last Updated on August 3, 2021

There has never been a dearth of eerie oddballs in the films of David Lynch. In fact, dude has sort of made a career out of creating some of the weirdest, most bizarre and inexplicably strange men and women ever committed to celluloid. Perverts, creepers, druggies, sexpots, hobos, midgets, mutants, pariahs…usually a bleak combo of all involved. And now, with the 18-hour return of TWIN PEAKS, we’re about to be introduced to a whole lot more.

But before we do, let’s peer back and highlight some of the most unsettling people ever seen in the films of the man, the myth himself. Scroll below to scope out our Top 10 Creepiest David Lynch Characters!


It seems only apt we salute the title character of Lynch’s feature debut – ERASERHEAD – as the single most creepy character he’s ever created. Straight-up, it really doesn’t get much more bizarre than this! Jack Nance not only gives a knockout bravura performance in only his third feature, he’d go on to work with Lynch on many a occasion: Paul in BLUE VELVET, 00 Spool in WILD AT HEART, Pete Martel in TWIN PEAKS, and finally, as Phil in LOST HIGHWAY, his final performance prior to passing away in 1996. For all the aforementioned creepy characters, we doff the lid to you, Mr. Nance!


“BABY WANTS TO F*CCCKKK!!!” Ah yeah, the inimitably inimical Frank Booth – the profane, sexually impotent, drug-huffing man-child who subjects the undeserving Dorothy Vallens (Isabella Rossellini) to a slew of psychosexual abuses in BLUE VELVET. What a piece of work! Dennis Hopper owns this performance, brutally violent one minute, sobbingly fetal the next. It’s an unpredictably terrifying turn, over the top, at times hilarious, but never for a second unbelievable. A candy-colored clown they call a sandman indeed!


Full disclosure, Bobby Peru is not only my favorite Lynch character, but is quite possibly the greasiest, sleaziest, most foully repugnant character ever put on film. Ever! I mean, when you spout lines like: “you been puking little girl?” or “I’ll open you up like a Christmas present…Bobby Peru don’t come up for air!” Or how about, in regards to his own urination: “Y’all take a listen…you’ll hear a deep sound coming down from Bobby Peru!” That alone is worthy of inducing vomit, but the swaying leather fringe and grotesque dental braces? I just gagged a little!


As if Robert Blake wasn’t creepy enough in real life (acquitted for the murder of his own wife in 2005), old Davey L. powdered the man’s stark facade with white makeup and yielded no less than a standout turn in the surreal nightmare that is LOST HIGHWAY. Don’t look too close, that f*cker’s face will haunt your every dream! Seriously, when he shows up at that party for the first time, making that grand entrance, this weirdo captures your gaze and never relinquishes it. He’s both magnetic and repellent at once.


By no fault of his own, in fact he’s quite a sympathetic character, but the fact remains, John Merrick aka The Elephant Man is one truly haunting figure. Props to the late great John Hurt who lent so much raw pathos to the performance, so much so I that I have no shame in admitting the final scene of the film – when the poor guy is finally granted eternal sleep – draws a weepy tear or two every time I see it. This is one of Lynch’s best films…compassionate, emotional, important. Of course, if you didn’t know, made all the more powerful by the fact the story was true.


“He is Bob, eager for fun. He wears a smile, everybody run!” Such an admonishment never rang truer for a Lynch character than Killer Bob – the homicidal rapist with a searingly eldritch glare in TWIN PEAKS. Now, many may not know the story here. Frank Silva, longtime Lynch cameraman, was accidentally reflected into a shot while filming. As divine providence, Lynch not only kept the shot, he turned his cameraman into a recurring character that most would agree, is one of the undeniable standouts of the cult-series.


How many of you were aware that the homeless man behind Winkie’s diner – who I’m affectionately calling Dumpster Hobo – was actually played by a woman? Yup, Bonnie Aarons is her name. No matter, I will tell you this. When I first saw the scene where dude describes his nightmare, telling us what we’re about to see, then slowly walks behind the building…my heart was pounding. Then, when this filthy ghoul suddenly slides out as if on skates, in pretty tight closeup mind you, I pretty much reacted the way the man did. Apoplexia!


Uh, okay. I’ll leave it you to try to explain how the ruddy-eyed, crimson-clad, lecherous Lilliputian known as The Man From Another Place in TWIN PEAKS is NOT a creepy character. Good god. One look at this little bastard in conjunction with that deeply disturbing vocal tone is enough to induce instant goosebumps. Props to actor Michael J. Anderson for his role here as well as Mr. Roque in MULHOLLAND DRIVE. Believe it or not, this former NASA computer expert learned how to talk backwards when teaching at a school for special children.


What. The. F*ck. To lay eyes on the odious offspring of ERASERHEAD is to be forever marred. So, you’re welcome! Now, as with any of his films, there’s no shortage of creepy characters in Lynch’s feature debut, but the sheer shock-value of seeing this mutated baby for the first time cannot be undersold. It’s an absolute jolt to the system. But then again, so is Lynch’s entire film canon to the Hollywood studio system. As alluded to, honorable mention out to Radiator Lady and The Man in the Planet is due as well. Freaky Friday up in here!


No need to adjust your screen freinds, this is the real quality of the image of The Phantom as seen in Lynch’s 3-hour nightmare that is INLAND EMPIRE. Now, this is a marginal character at best, but no less jarring than the rest. In an ultra-scary transformation, our lead Laura Dern peers into a bathroom mirror, only to see a gorily face-melting ghoul appear before her eyes. The mutated disfigurement oozes into a bloody morass of horror, and like many of Lynch’s stark images, will forever remain in the corner of your brain!

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