I am just a little curious as I do not know. Would they be prohibited for buddhists or would they be allowed to watch?

  • Sure, but if you practice well enough, the horrors of the four apayas stand in stark contrast to any of the horror movies. I could tell you things that would make your teeth itch.
    – user17652
    May 2, 2021 at 20:38

5 Answers 5


These things are stumbling blocks to jhana & ariya stage attainments.

A bhikkhu is not allowed to watch entertainment.

  • 2
    Marked this answer down because the OP has tagged this about lay buddhism specifically. However, if you want to add vinaya rules your second comment about a bhikku, then please provide links or references. Whether your first statement is about lay buddhism or not it would be good to provide references and/or elaborate on why or how these are considered stumbling blocks.
    – user13375
    May 3, 2021 at 15:15
  • A bhikkhu is one intent on heightened samadhi, panna & sila. A bhikkhu can be one gone forth yet not ordained, see example of Pukkusati. If the question is posed 'are movies considered helpful & beneficial in Buddhism?' then obviously the answer is no they are not, The Buddha warned against sensuality. Is it bad only for monks? No, it's bad for everyone. Lay people don't have a list of rules and neither did the early bhikkhu sangha, there were no rules because monks were well-behaved. A set of rules for lay people was never made.
    – user8527
    May 3, 2021 at 21:33
  • The distinction between lay peoole and monastics as to what is allowable is therefore a rather colloquial later development. Furthermore the Buddha said that the sangha can abandon minor rules and which those are is a moot point.
    – user8527
    May 3, 2021 at 21:36
  • There is only one set of good & bad for people and there are two modes of training one where bunch of bad things remain technically allowable and another where many bad things are formally restricted by communal regulations which differ between sects.
    – user8527
    May 3, 2021 at 21:58
  • There are Sutta such as Sigalovada which outline virtuous living for householders but one is obviously allowed not to follow those guidelines. What one considers offense and allowable is a matter of personal or communally imposed regulation but whether something is beneficial or harmful to one's development is a matter of analyzing according to scripture and that truth is universal to all Buddhists because the behavioral regulation should align itself with what is beneficial.
    – user8527
    May 3, 2021 at 22:20

In short, yes, Buddhists are “allowed” to watch horror films.

The more detailed explanation requires an explanation of Buddhist ethics. In Buddhism there are no “rules,” in the same sense as in other religions. In particular, there is no concept of sin, meaning that one does not commit infractions against a code enforced/created by a divinity or institution. Actions carry a moral weight in and of themselves, but only insofar as they result in certain fruits that either hinder or help liberation. There is no punishment for “breaking” the “moral code.” There are only consequences, so one is encouraged to develop wisdom, to be able to tell apart bad decisions and good decisions. Ultimately, one is responsible for one’s own actions, so one does not ask for permission, nor does one offend an institution or supreme being by breaking the precepts, but one does harm other beings and oneself by performing evil deeds.

So, in general, when approaching any situation in life, Buddhists are encouraged, as the Buddha encouraged his own son, Rāhula, to ask themselves, “Will this action result in harm to myself or others?” So in that line, will watching a horror movie result in harm to myself or others? The answer, depending on one’s tastes and whether one considers being afraid as harmful, is that probably not.


No. You can see it as Chod. Chod is a common practice...

I think if you put your mind into benefiting beings in no matter situation even if you don't do it you can also extract life experience and wisdom to help them anyway.

Sometimes if it's to save the world you should do something wrong no?

Just sharing thoughts


If you think it's would benefit all beings "Just Do It".

  • How is this answer related to Buddhism?
    – ruben2020
    May 3, 2021 at 11:50
  • Is Mahasiddha Virupa related to Buddhism? It depends if you are a Ngakpa, a monk, a Dharmapala... May 3, 2021 at 11:57
  • What is Chod? Is that related to Buddhism?
    – ruben2020
    May 3, 2021 at 13:09
  • 1
    @ruben2020 I think of it as a graveyard meditation but I haven't had it explained. Chöd - Wikipedia
    – ChrisW
    May 3, 2021 at 17:49
  • 1
    I'm sorry, Chod is now a old common practice in Tibetan Buddhism. You can know bit more from taramandala. In other types of buddhism it might not be known or used... I'm just very used to Tibetan buddhism May 4, 2021 at 14:04

Buddhism is about cause n effect or karma or consequences of an action

Here is some pro n con https://www.healthline.com/health/how-do-horror-movies-affect-your-mental-health

If u have kinda insomnia or just a lay Buddhist, better watch Tom n Jerry


I'm sorry for the down vote.

We aren't here to attain freedom for our selfs, we are here to bring world peace - except in Hinayana wich isn't wrong.

Please let me reframe this.

If you have doubts about what your school is teaching you must ask your guru. I think it would be for best. Guru is guru.

I don't see anything wrong in a horror movie for a person with bodhicitta that feels that her/she should go. But I see that we can also drink alcohol, eat meat if we are offered meat.... karmamudra...

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