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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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186 Comments »

  • Kirie Himuro said

    And of course Casper (1995) is definitely a ghost movie. But does not fit the horror genre 🙂

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  • steve said

    i think the changelling 1980 was brilliant!nothing short of brilliant..the acting,the direction was superb…great storyline…george c scott was fantastic..anyone wanting to watch a ghost story that just delivers on all levels watch this film..

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  • steve said

    also women in black love it..lady in white, is another that is very good,,haunted with aiden quinn is brilliantly made.also.the entity!!!anyone remember the shutterd room oliver reed ..

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  • Belle and Lea said

    Personally, We do believe that “THE FOURTH KIND” deserves a place on this spectacular list. Also, would like to add that swayze’s appearance in that 1980s “cult classic” GHOST still “HAUNTS” us to this day.

    Don’t know about you guys, but we’re sure glad they’re GHOSTS and not DEMONS.

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    • David said

      First of all … You shut up! Secondly, THE FOURTH KIND is about alien contact and alien abduction, not a “creepy ghost story.” Can’t you tell the difference? And GHOST is not a “creepy ghost story,” either. Yes he becomes a ghost but does not fit on this list because it is not a horror movie, You ding-dong!

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  • Rob said

    “What Lies Beneathe” was an excellent Hitchock-like ghost story with great performances by Michelle Pfeifer and Harrison Ford. If you haven’t seen it, go rent it. It’s worth it.

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  • Ian Sloan said

    I loved the ghost stories on BBC TV, read by Robert Powell, switch of the lights, lock the door and listen to these wonderfull short ghost stories.PS, please stop confusing ghost stories with horror films!…for children, the amazing Mr Blunden!

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  • jampatashi said

    i am not least suprised by evil forces. Becoz, it does exist. The existence can be proven by logical establishment.

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  • NICHOEL said

    Thank you for this list (and thread)! I have discovered a great deal of movies thanks to you guys! I watched The Innocents the other night, Entity last night, the original Haunting earlier today, and I’m currently watching The Orphanage. The Innocents was worth keeping for classic creepy movie night and I am loving The Orphanage! The other two…meh.

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  • AGCG said

    I grew up with The Legend Of Hell House (Roddy Mcdowall) and Ghost Story. Haven’t seen either in at least 17 years though.

    Just been given Dark Water but I have a feeling it may be the 2005 remake. Should I put it in the cabinet unwatched and source the original or is it still worth a viewing?

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  • MC D said

    what about Ghost Story from 81′? i thought this one was a pretty good ghost flik

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  • Tough Cookie said

    What’s about 13th ghost?

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  • Ayush jain said

    guys check dis out
    Exorcism of emily rose..,
    paranormal activity,
    bloody marry,
    Forget me not…

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    • David said

      Oh… ummm… First of all: you misspelled “this”. In reaction to you list in your same order: no, no no and no. None of these are ghost stories. Sorry…

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  • Greg said

    Yes! The Changeling is one of the best ghost stories every put to film. You must amend your list to include it, otherwise I can’t take you seriously.

    Another great ghost story from Britain in the early 70s which very few know about is called “The Stone Tapes.” It’s about a residual haunting which is very rarely done. It’s a little slow in parts, but the payoff will make your skin crawl. Based on a play. Try to see it if you can.

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  • Greg said

    …and Burnt Offerings is truly creepy. Legend of Hell House has it’s moments too.

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  • padu said

    why forget evil dead ??????????????????????????

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    • David said

      Sorry… THE EVIL DEAD is NOT a ghost story- It is a movie about demonic posession. Although, both these subjects are of a supernatural nature, ghosts and demons are not the same.

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