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Top 10 Creepiest Ghost Movies

5. The Sixth Sense (1999)

Ghost Movies Best - Top 10 List
Imagine if you will, an antediluvian filmic era. Before The Happening. Before The Village. Before Signs. Welcome to the golden age of M. Night Shyamalan, when The Sixth Sense briefly transformed him into the hottest new film-maker in Hollywood and he could deliver a twist ending that had viewers choking on their pop corn in surprise, rather than weakly sobbing at the lameness of it all. Starting a trend for chiller flicks featuring kids delivering their dialogue in loud whispers (which persists to this day) and a trend for movies starring Haley Joel Osmant (which proved to be far, far, far-shorter lived), The Sixth Sense attempted to establish a cogent relationship between the living and the deceased, without diluting the spiritual atmospherics.

4. Don’t Look Now (1973)

Best Ghost Horror Movies
Ah, I have to confess to a bit of con-job on this one. Because, rather than sitting here resplendently in fourth place on my list, Don’t Look Now should face technical disqualification on the grounds that there aren’t actually any ghosts in it. But! The elliptical story related by Man Who Fell to Earth helmer Nicholas Roeg suggests that grieving John Baxter (Donald Sutherland) is being stalked round Venice by a red coat-clad phantom version of his dead daughter – consequently giving Don’t Look Now at least a partial ghost film credit. And there is no shortage of creepiness in the central scenario, which culminates with one of the most heart-stopping finales in cinema, when Baxter discovers that the ‘daughter’ he has repeatedly sighted is a ***spoiler***. Sounds laughable on paper, bloody terrifying and terrifyingly bloody in practice.

3. The Others (2001)

Scariest Ghost Movies
It may have been penned way back in 1897, but Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw still seems to exert a sizeable influence over the motion picture ghost story. The literary original was successfully adapted as The Innocents with Deborah Kerr in 1961, and James’ narrative components of a young woman inhabiting a strange gothic property, a perplexing set of events which appear to be supernatural in nature, and kids conversing with the spirit world were all adopted by director Alejandro Amenábar for his Nicole Kidman-starrer The Others. Privileging a nebulous sense of anxiety over blaring great shocks (although the bit where Kidman finds her daughter has been replaced by a knobbly pensioner is certainly a jolter), Amenábar’s movie even manages to find a sinister purpose for British comedy veteran Eric Sykes, as gardener Mr. Tuttle.

2. Ringu (1998)

Scariest Ghost Movies
A second entry in the list for director Hideo Nakata and the movie that ensured we would spend the opening years of the 21st century being deluged with J-Horror and J-Horror remakes alike. Despite the plethora of imitators, Ringu remains a genre benchmark though, boasting as it does a highly effective marriage of tight, surprising plotting and evocatively uncanny imagery. Around the conceit of being able to sign your own death warrant without even knowing it, Nakata weaves a race-against-time dilemma and downbeat denouement, while Rie Inou’s herky-jerky moving Sadako instantly establishes herself of one of the most identifiable characters in modern horror cinema.

And here it is, the number one all time top ghost movie –

1. The Shining (1980)

Best Ghost Movie (Horror Movie List)
Much of Stanley Kubrick’s take on The Shining has undeniably become the stuff of all-too frequent parody; the Diane Arbus-inspired twin girls, the elevator of blood, the revelation of ‘REDRUM’ in the mirror, and Jack Nicholson’s manic cry of “Heeeeeeeeeere’s Johnny!”. However The Shining delivers so many moments of oddness that it still never fails to unsettle (the briefly-glimpsed guy in the bear costume and Joe Turkel’s sallow-faced bartender always succeed in putting a cold breeze up my flagpole). Kubrick’s Steadicam relentlessly glides the corridors of Overlook Hotel, trailing little telepathic Danny (Danny Lloyd) trundling round on his tricycle, searching out the spiritual malevolence that finally sends Jack Torrance’s booze-fuelled caretaker over the edge, and gives Nicholson opportunity to cut loose. With a really big axe.

Any scary ghost movies I missed? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

Also See: Top 10 Vampire Movies / Top 10 Werewolf Movies

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186 Comments »

  • Alesia said

    I personally think they deserve a spot in the crappiest ghost movies.

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  • madi said

    u can’t forget Lake Mungo!! going to watch tonight with my bff! she is going to scream at the top of her lungs when she watches this!! she will probably try to kill me in my sleep because of the nightmare she is going to have lol! u also can’t forget chucky 1&2, mirrors, the whole grudge series, white noise, paranormal activity, ghost stories, past experience, exorcist, Halloween, hostle, dead girl (freaky movie), the blackout, gnaw, ghost ship, pulse, the mist the fog, thirteen ghosts, psycho, ted bundy, it(this is so dumb i fell asleep watching it), the exorcism of Emily Rose, 1408 (CREEPY MOVIE, when he is in the vent! sends shivers down back even talking about it)

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    • David said

      PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, THE EXORCIST, HALLOWEEN, HOSTEL,GNAW, THE MIST, PSYCHO, TED BUNDY(!!!???),and THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE are NOT(!) ghost stories! For Pete’s sake! Go back and re-read this article-you’ll see that this article is about “ghoststory” horror movies. Shheeeessshhhh!

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      • Jessica Nicole Marsh said

        LOL!!!! I’m with you, David, haha. Where do these people all come from? On what planet would HALLOWEEN be a GHOST STORY. LOL. I could see someone arguing that it is a DEMON story in a way, because of the way Michael can disappear and reappear, and has a very inhuman immortality, lol, but GHOST?!?! No. Just… no.

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  • AJ said

    The Shining was not scary/creepy at all. Definetly not in my top 10 list. Sorry, to fans of The shining.

    Wicked little things was a scary/creepy ghost movie.

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  • Sachin said

    Where are the THE GRUDGE.

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  • Anthony Cashmere said

    OMG!!!
    What about that all time classic ghost horror film, THESCREAMING SKULL!!!!
    THAT GHOST SCARED ME FOR YEARS!!! STILL DOES TO THIS DAY!!

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  • Jennifer said

    Great list. Although I completely agree that “Stir of Echos” needed to be added. Stephen King’s “IT” is another great movie (with a cheesy ending) but a classic thriller not to be forgotten. “Lady in White” in another old favorite released in 1988. A must-see scary ghost film. Especially great for kids at halloween time.

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    • David said

      “IT” is not really a ghost film, per se, but a sci-fi thriller involving an alien being that contols the minds of children.

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  • sai said

    i like fog movie

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    • David said

      The 1980 version or the 2005 version? John Carpenter’s version was the awesome one!

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  • Rocky rocks said

    good list…. i wanna see them all.

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  • Shadow said

    How about Paranormal Activity, or Paranormal Entity? I haven’t seen Paranormal Entity, but the ending of Paranormal Activity creeped me out a little. Lol.

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  • Peter said

    I would say The grudge is the best ghost movie I’ve ever seen.

    Just the first one though, the second one sort of wrecked it, the third one murdered it outright.

    Good list though 🙂

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  • Satish Khannal said

    I wont agree placing ‘The Shining’ on the No 1 Spot!
    Exorcist or The Grudge Deserves that spot

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  • Chris Hall said

    Changeling (George C. Scott)

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    • Fossafun said

      The Changling-YES! I’ve never been placed in such cinematic unease. Creeped me out for weeks.

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  • tikusonwl said

    u missed d paranormal activiies

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  • Jolene said

    Good list but i think Ghost Game should be in it somewhere… (:

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  • Jolene said

    O and why isn’t Grudge in there? I personally think that’s the most amazing ghost movie ever made! (:

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