Are houses capable of remembering their past lives? Some of them do, at least. We’ve selected our top picks for the best horror films and shows.
The haunted house is a standard device in horror films, and for good reason. The best haunted houses are typically hundreds of years old, massive, and ominous, with as many turrets as the roof can support.
However, compiling this list wasn’t as simple as it may appear at first glance. To be included on the list, a film had to include scenes set in a real haunted house, which eliminates a large number of films with that title. When it comes to movies like The Shining, the focus is on a haunted hotel rather than a house. Paranormal Activity appears to be about a haunted house at first, but it isn’t. Also, the supernatural being is a demon and not a ghost. Like Insidious, which has a few ghosts, but they’re not tied to a specific house. The second Mrs. De Winter is terrified of Rebecca’s house, but it isn’t actually haunted, despite her best efforts.
Many of the movies that show up on these lists were, therefore, ruled out. List of great haunted house movies and shows with actual haunted houses in them is provided below….
1. Poltergeist (1982)
The Freelings’ house in Poltergeist is one of the most spooky locations in the film. People have violent hallucinations and even hear voices talking to them through the television in their brand-new home in the center of a gleaming new development.
Although it has a terrifying title, this Steven Spielberg-produced film is actually quite tame. If you’re looking for a spooky movie that won’t give you nightmares, look no further. This could be it. A mistaken purchase of the 2015 remake would not be disastrous; it stays true to the source material without being slavish about it, and there are a few amusing moments mixed in for good measure.
2. 13 Ghosts (1960)
Similarly, there aren’t many jump scares in 13 Ghosts by William Castle, but it’s so endearingly written that you won’t even notice. The Zorba family received a haunted house as a gift from their occult-interested uncle, and it was complete with 12 ghosts.
Thirteen Ghosts is presented in “Illusion-O,” Castle’s take on stereoscopic 3D, which meant that audiences could either amp up or block out the appearance of the ghosts if they looked through colored lenses. If nothing else, the dialogue and ghosts are fresh – where else can you see the ghosts of a circus lion and his trainer?
Unfortunately, the remake fails miserably in its attempt to be frightful, destroying the cozy fun of the original in the process.
3. The Legend Of Hell House (1973)
The Legend of Hell House is based on Richard Matheson’s novel Hell House and follows a team of psychic investigators as they move into the home of Emeric “The Roaring Giant” Belasco. Belasco was reputed to be a murderer, and a ghost of him is said to haunt his former estate to this day. The paranormal activity starts right away when the investigators start setting up their strange ghost-detecting machines.
At first glance, the twist ending in this film is ridiculous, but give it some thought and you’ll realize how horrifying it actually is. In addition, the set-up is classic, albeit less well-handled than in another film of a similar nature (more on that later! ).) The following section contains advertisements.
4. The Changeling (1980)
This one builds suspense slowly, but when it does, it’s downright creepy. There is George C. Scott in the lead role of John Russell, a composer seeking solitude while grieving for his wife and daughter who died. Whenever the ghost of a murdered child is not pushing its wheelchair around the house, it pushes John to uncover its story and exact its revenge. The creepy old mansion is home to this ghost. Murdered children are particularly vulnerable to this type of ghostly nagging, but even they may be allowed a little post-mortem whining. You’d follow suit, wouldn’t you? Subscribe to receive all of Den of Geek’s latest stories by email.
5. Hausu (1977)
It’s hard to go wrong with Hausu if you’re tired of the usual suspects in a haunted house (squeaky doors, shattered religious icons, bleeding walls, etc.). Unknown (and inexperienced) actors star in this Japanese psychedelic horror film about visiting an estranged aunt in the countryside. The aunt is not as friendly as you might expect and her house is full of horrors. Flying lamps, evil refrigerators, and pianos that bit you are all on the menu. This is something you’ve never seen before.
6. Ju-On: The Grudge (2002)
As long as I’m talking about Japanese horror, I had to include one of the city’s most eerie neighborhoods. After making six films about the murderous Saeki ghosts and their creepy house, director Takashi Shimizu has returned to the story numerous times, but this is by far the best of them all. It’s a non-stop ghost train, with Kayako (Takako Fuji) and her wide-eyed meowing son Toshio (Yuya Ozeki) popping up every few minutes, instead of the traditional haunted house structure where things start out creepy and escalate to terrifying (if you’re lucky). Brrrrrrrr.
7. Sinister (2012)
It’s a demon, not a ghost, that haunts the Oswalts, but he has an entourage of ghostly children who are just as frightening as he is, so I’m going to count this as a ghost. He hopes moving into a house where a horrifying crime was committed will inspire his next book, so Ellison Oswalt (Ethan Hawke) risks putting his family in danger. But, of course, nothing ever goes as planned, does it?
When it comes to Sinister’s scariest moments, they are the old Super 8 films Ellison discovers in the attic, showing what happened to other families who dared to experiment with this particular demon.
8. Beetlejuice (1988)
Although it may not be as frightening as you expect, Beetlejuice is a haunted house in the traditional Tim Burton sense, complete with bizarre architecture and psychotic ghosts. They’re sad ghosts, too, because after a car accident, the Maitlands return to their house only to discover that it’s no longer theirs and the new occupants can’t see them. They’ll have to frighten the obnoxious new family away if they want their house back. The following section contains advertisements.
While Michael Keaton’s “bio-exorcist” Betelgeuse is not your typical chain-rattler, he is a creation of nightmarish energy in this clever inversion of the usual haunted house story where the living are trying to kick out the dead.
9. The Skeleton Key (2005)
In a decaying mansion tucked away in the Louisiana bayou, strange things are happening. In the beginning, Caroline (Kate Hudson) thinks she’s well prepared for the loneliness and oddities of the household, but after getting into a tiff with Violet (Gena Rowlands), the lady of the house, she begins to suspect her patient has suffered more than a stroke…
Although The Skeleton Key starts out ominously, what makes it so compelling is the way its heroine is gradually led to believe in the paranormal. There are some nasty ghosts in this one (although they had a good reason to be there in the first place), and the ending is absolutely brutal.
10. Darkness (2002)
According to its director Jaume Balagueró, best known for his work on REC and Sleep Tight, this is no glitzy early-2000s Hollywood gimmick. Definitely not an enjoyable film, as it has both a creepy atmosphere and a killer twist. There appear to be two different cuts of the film available, and the one that removes all the swearing and violence is truly awful. You may want to consider getting a nightlight if the noise is too loud. As a precautionary measure.
11. The Others (2001)
This is the kind of movie in which you want to go in knowing absolutely nothing about it. It’s got a terrifying set-up: While waiting for word on her soldier husband, Grace (Nicole Kidman) is a frazzled mother with two young children. Due to their rare disease, which makes them extremely light-sensitive, the children must live in a remote country mansion where the servants are required to keep the curtains closed at all times…
Irrespective of whether or not you believe in ghosts, The Others is a well-made and horrifyingly effective ghost story.
The following section contains advertisements.
12. The Innocents (1961)
When it comes to children with special needs, the ones in The Innocents are a nightmare to babysit. The film is based on Henry James’ novel The Turn of the Screw, and it follows a new governess as she settles in to care for two orphans in a fancy country pile. A mysterious death occurred at the school last year and the children have developed the bad habit of conversing with people who aren’t present…
Every appearance of the ghosts in this film is terrifying, but Martin Stephens, the child actor who plays Miles, is probably the scariest thing about it. This creepy kid from Village Of The Damned has a creepy air about him, and it’s all thanks to him.
13. House On Haunted Hill (1959)
The gimmick for William Castle’s House On Haunted Hill featured a plastic skeleton being flown over moviegoers’ heads. You won’t get the same rush watching this at home, but that doesn’t make it any less entertaining. When a group of strangers is invited to spend the night in his haunted mansion with a $10,000 prize for anyone who survives until morning, Vincent Price is in fine form. Considering the elaborate games the party’s hosts are playing with one another, ghosts should be the furthest thing from anyone’s mind.