(to elaborate on my previous rushed post)
Call of Cthulu: Dark Corners is very good, but very flawed. It basically gets worse as it goes on, so the first 3d is awesome. (I think this is pretty well known).
The first 3rd isn’t really funny, because the funny thing in lovecraft is usually the monsters… which just aren’t scary when you can see them. The first 3rd is basically investigating a spooky town and getting bad vibes from the weird locals, plus running away.
Amnesia is, imho, awesome. It gets a bad rap as being just jump scares and running away… but that was actually pretty fresh and original at the time - almost every other horror game was about shooting the monsters.
Like a horror movie, it relies on suspension of disbelief and buying into the situation. If you do that, creep around, hide, etc… then it’s really bloody scary. If you run around at high speed, don’t care about dying and restarting, etc… then the curtain is going to get ripped aside very quickly. Same as if you watch a horror movie with your mates while joking around and drinking beer and pointing out all the weaknesses.
Penumbra is a prototype Amnesia, with some really good bits, but also some very flaky bits.
Undying is tricky, because it’s so old now and it’s hard to be scared of creaky old graphics. But it’s pretty spooky and creative, and was kinda unique at the time. It’s much more in the action/fps vein though.
AvP2000 is a little older and less specifically horror, but aliens jumping out at you is always scary.
The Doom Aliens TC is still fricken awesome as well.
Eternal Darkness was great too, but that was on consoles.
I haven’t played many of the new breed of horror games, but I imagine they have learned a lot from previous games and movies, so they’ll have more tricks up their sleeves, combined with better tech.
For all of these games, turning off the lights and playing wearing headphones can make a world of difference.