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Top 10 Creepiest Ghost Movies

Top 10 Best Ghost Movies (Horror Movie List) It is fast approaching that unique portion of the year when all true matters arcane and diabolical are given the festive treatment, as Halloween prompts folks to deploy their broomsticks for something other than sweeping up after the household pet. Although we have recently seen cinematic quotas of the supernatural gobbled up by vampire and zombie flicks, it would be remiss to overlook the genuine chills instilled by the most successful exponents of the ghost movie genre. So here are ten of the scariest ghost movies to put the frighteners on us poor, trembling cinema-goers.

10. Dark Water (2002)

best ghost movies list
Leaky plumbing becomes an unlikely source of spine-tingling terror in this J-Horror offering from director Hideo Nakata, the man who had previously attached creepy connotations onto video cassettes and cold-calling in the first two Ringu films. Sharing some narrative ground with his earlier horror hits, Dark Water finds Nakata once again casting a supernatural child as his primary wellspring of unsettlement, as the spirit of Mitsuko (Mirei Oguchi) seeks some redress for her premature demise. The red of Mitsuko’s lost bag and the prevalence of water in the movie both establish a link to Nicholas Roeg’s Don’t Look Now, and the blend served up on this occasion by Nakata was beguiling enough to inspire Hollywood to deliver an unexceptional 2005 remake starring Jennifer Connolly.

9. The Fog (1980)

Ghost Movie - The Fog
Gar! Me hearties! Spectral seadogs resurface to wreak vengeance upon the small coastal town of Antonio Bay, as Jamie Lee Curtis collaborates with director John Carpenter on a more expansive chiller than their earlier Halloween. The Fog sees Curtis cast alongside her mother, Janet Leigh, and although the shock ending of Carpenter’s movie is certainly not up to Psycho standard, the enveloping mist of the title provides an effectively eerie shroud under which the succession of revenge killings can be enacted. And, as ever with horror aficionado Carpenter, there some teasing little genre nods too – such as a twosome of characters turning up bearing tributary monikers to Robert Fuests’s Abominable Dr. Phibes and Great God Pan writer Arthur Machen.

8. The Devil’s Backbone (2001)

Best Ghost Films
Better known for the bizarre, tactile mutant bodies that inhabited his Pan’s Labyrinth and Hellboy movies, The Devil’s Backbone saw Guillermo del Toro adopting a rather less-outré approach to the paranormal than that which we have come to expect from the fuzz-faced Mexican auteur. Death looms large over the film’s scenario, with the Spanish Civil War-era action taking place in an orphanage in which roams the restless spirit of deceased young resident Santi (Junio Valverde). A sense of unease stalks The Devil’s Backbone throughout, as the darkest facets of human behaviour overshadow Santi’s baleful haunting – although del Toro himself might have felt like he was the one coming back from the dead, as he fully grasped the opportunity to rebuild following the production difficulties and poor reception of Mimic.

7. Poltergeist (1982)

Top Ghost In Movies
And we reach the first haunted house movie of the list. Tempted as I was to include The Legend of Hell House (which sees the astral presence of Michael Gough’s devilish Emeric Belasco spreading misery as an expression of the resentment he harboured about his titchy little legs), I decided to plump for this successful collaboration between writer-producer Steven Spielberg and director Tobe Hooper. The sense of wonder one has come to typically associate with The Beard’s output is given a darker tint here, with Carol Anne Freeling (Heather O’Rourke) being ripped away from her family and subsumed by the static of the television set. Meanwhile, Texas Chainsaw Massacre helmer Hooper keeps the schlock coming; as evinced by Martin Casella’s psychic researcher clawing his own face to shreds, and some slightly bathetic final revelations about a defiled burial ground.

6. The Haunting (1963)

Ghost House Movies
Blimey, wait for one haunted house movie and then a pair of the blighters show up at once. What are the odds? Well, probably significantly better than finding someone who prefers the Jan de Bont-directed remake of The Haunting to the 1963 original. Coming as it did between his work on West Side Story and The Sound of Music, The Haunting perhaps represents a slightly unlikely interjection in the production schedule of the period for its director Robert Wise. However Wise brings the kind of intelligence to proceedings that you might expect from the man who cut Citizen Kane, delivering a disquieting thriller that is high on aesthetic quality and psychological sophistication.

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  • Eabha said

    The list is good and well now i have plans for the days leading up to halloween. But I did lament the absence of “Secret Window”. As well as “House on Haunted Hill” (The remake)

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    • David said

      SECRET WINDOW is not a ghost story. The main character in this movie is psychologically impaired and the images he sees are the product of his own imagination. No ghosts here.

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  • Beth said

    While “The Exorcist” was scary, and “The Exorcist II” just plain stupid, “The Exorcist III” left me looking over my shoulder, and at people whose mental faculties weren’t ‘all there’, for quite a while. I’ve watched a lot of horror movies, but “The Exorcist III” takes the cake.

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  • Adam Mason said

    Going back to TV scares, 1992’s excellet ‘Ghost Watch’ on the BBC is utterly brilliant and worth a look.

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  • Matthew said

    I stumbled upon something last night that may have very well been the most nerve chilling thing I’ve seen in the 35 years of my life. True story. Polish Documentary.

    Google search: “anneliese michel english subtitles”

    (amateur translations at best)

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  • brittney said

    i think you should put amityville horror up there or the omen they werent all that scary but they had some pretty creepy things in them….

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    • Fossafun said

      Omen is not a ghost story.
      Amity’s “Jody The Pig” is a DEMON. The images of the dead are burped up from the demon in the book. I suppose Amity could be a ghost story because of those deaths being relived in the minds of leading characters. (In a sense they are “haunted” by them) but it IS caused by a demon.

      What say others?

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  • Sam said

    Blair Witch Project should probably be up there too. The way that movie was filmed was beautifully done. Still gives me chills.

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  • mairy said

    THE SHINING IT’S AWESOME AND THE RING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I LOVE THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • gd smith said

    Ghost stories are the only horror films that give me the creeps.
    The original The Haunting gets me every time. Everyone always mentions the banging on the doors, but for me the creepy thing is the way the film isolates its characters even when they are sharing rooms. Its a very unnatural sounding movie, too clear, too static, too empty.
    A very well plotted and magical ghost movie is Lady in White. Its not really very creepy, more like a kids film but it does use Bing Crosby singing “Did you ever see a dream walking” to very good effect.

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  • Bram Vereertbrugghen / Klaagzang said

    The Shining was a good movie, I agree, but not to be placed number one =/ You missed a few indeed, Dead Silence, very great movie which got even me scared lol, The Grudge just CAN’ T be missed in this list, the one at least, all the others suck…The Ring was, by my opinion, way better than Ringu.
    I’ ll come back to you when I remember some great ghostmovies again lol 😉

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  • syeda said

    it is a v good list….i liked it….thanxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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  • Dennis said

    Does anyone remember “Ghost Story” with Alice Krige, Fred Astaire, Patricia Neal and Douglas Fairbanks Jr.? It came out in 1981 and is one of my favorite ghost stories……I love the way they figure out what’s happening. The Haunting is one of my favorites too but was also one of my favorite scary stories….it was first published by Shirley Jackson as “The haunting of Hill House” in 1959. I read it in 1970 when I was 11 and it scared the bejiggers out of me……specially when the main charcter was holding what she thought was the hand of the person she was sharing a room with only to find she is clear across the room……didn’t sleep good for weeks..lol..the 1963 movie has always been my very favorite “ghost movie.”

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  • pradeepta said

    this is very good list
    and i like horror movie very much

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  • exposure said

    i think not all of best scariest movie on this list.but after all this is great list and very help me when i want see a good horror movie.

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  • tckgentleman said

    Where is The Haunting in Connecticut? I believe that it is one of the greatest ghost movies to come out in the year 2009. This list, however, is really true. I agree with every movie in the list. The Innocents also was pretty eerie. (not the crappy 1999 one, but the original with Deborrah Carr). Hopefully, greater ghost movies will come up in this year. And M.R.James is simply amazing! I love that author. “Oh Whistle, and I’ll come to you, my lad”, “Casting the Runes” and so many other classics were thought up from that marvelous and incomparable author.

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  • Mahmoud El-Azzeh said

    I wonder where Paranormal Activity and Drag Me To Hell fits into all of this?

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    • Sheridan Passell said
      Sheridan Passell

      I believe neither were out when the list was written. Do you think they deserve places?

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    • Fossafun said

      They don’t fot at all. Neither is a ghost story. Both are about DEMONS.

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    • David said

      Nowhere! DRAG ME TO HELL(though, an awesome horror flick)is not a ghost story- it’s about demons and the devil. And, although very vague, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY- I feel- is a “posession” movie. Therefore, it is a movie about demons.

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