The Devil’s Backbone.

Scariest ghosts in cinema – ranked!

From unexplained bumps in the night to creepy children and things without faces, here are some of film’s most terrifying spectres

20. Freddy Krueger in A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

The jokey sequels may have turned Freddy into a lovable goof, but in Wes Craven’s original supernatural slasher the razor-gloved ghost in a striped jersey who kills teenagers in their dreams is still a genuinely frightening bogeyman.

19. Daniel Robitaille in Candyman (1992)

With Nia DaCosta’s reworking stuck in Rona-limbo , it’s worth revisiting Bernard Rose’s transposition of Clive Barker’s short story from Liverpool to a Chicago public housing project. Looking into the bathroom mirror and saying “Candyman” five times will summon the hook-handed ghost of a black artist (Tony Todd) murdered by a lynch mob. Go on and say it, I dare you.

18. Emeric Belasco in The Legend of Hell House (1973)

Size does matter. If ever a ghost failed to live up to its reputation it’s the malevolent entity at the centre of John Hough’s screening of Richard Matheson’s haunted house tale (played by an uncredited Michael Gough) who has to delegate his havoc-wreaking to a black cat and unsecured chapel furniture. He still manages to rack up a body count.

17. Mitsuko Kawai in Dark Water (2002)

The damp stain on the ceiling is arguably scarier than the ghost of the little girl in the yellow raincoat, particularly when you learn why she is a ghost in the first place. But a sad backstory is no excuse for leaving the taps running and trying to drown living children in their bathtubs.

16. Delbert Grady in The Shining (1980)

There’s stiff competition from the scary twins and the woman in Room 237 of the uber-haunted Overlook hotel, but the alarming way the ex-caretaker’s ingratiating stain-sponging in the gentlemen’s lavatories slides into racist invective and brutal understatement (“I corrected them, sir”) gives Delbert the edge.

15. Yone and Shige in Kuroneko (1968)

A woman and her daughter-in-law, killed by marauding samurai, are reincarnated as feline spirits who seek revenge by tearing out the throats of random warriors. Hard not to have some sympathy for these two, but the eerie bamboo forests and somersaulting ghosts in Kaneto Shindô’s kaibyo (a subgenre of stories featuring cat demons) are reminders that no one depicts the supernatural quite as beautifully as the Japanese.

14. Tomás in The Orphanage (2007)

Tip: avoid games of hide and seek in big old orphanages, especially when your seven-year-old son claims to have made friends with a little boy with a sack over his head. The Spanish film-maker JA Bayona combines the terrifying and the tragic into a sad, scary fable with a heartbreaking ending, anchored by a brilliant performance from Belén Rueda as the haunted mother.

13. Mary Meredith in The Uninvited (1944)

For sale at a suspiciously low price: big old mansion on a Cornish clifftop. Liabilities include inexplicable draughts, nocturnal sobbing and the hovering phantom at the top of the stairs. This super old-school yarn has a lovely score by Victor Young (the song Stella by Starlight became a jazz standard ), some clever twists and a haunting performance by Gail Russell as the girl whose genealogy holds the key to the mystery.

12. Mrs Mills and Mr Tuttle in The Others (2001)

Spanish genre film-makers do it again with Alejandro Amenábar’s haunted house mystery that turns on nicely ambiguous performances from Fionnula Flanagan and Eric Sykes as the servants who know more than they’re saying about the creepy goings-on menacing Grace Stewart (Nicole Kidman) and her children in their creaky old house in Jersey, circa 1945.

11. Santi in The Devil’s Backbone (2001)

The orphanage kitchen is haunted by a pasty-faced little boy spectre with an upwards-gushing head wound. Just because he has a tragic backstory (and ultimately gets a satisfying revenge on the film’s villain, albeit only after the latter has murdered nearly everybody else) doesn’t mean he won’t scare the bejeesus out of you in Guillermo del Toro’s achingly sad ghost story set during the Spanish civil war.

10. The girl under the sink in A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)

Can the ghost of their late mother protect troubled teenager Su-mi and her little sister from their evil stepmother? You may think you have guessed what’s going on in Kim Jee-woon’s psychochiller, but odds are this Grimm-like spin on an old Korean folktale will still pull the narrative rug out from under your feet. And omigod, what’s that under the kitchen sink?

9. Melissa Graps in Kill, Baby … Kill! (1966)

Forget the Grady twins from The Shining – the scariest little girl ghost is the one with long blond hair (she is actually played by a little boy) who keeps peering through windows and making Carpathian villagers impale themselves in this chiller by Italian horror maestro Mario Bava. She must have made an impression on Federico Fellini, who “borrowed” her for Toby Dammit, his ultra-spooky segment of the 1968 Poe anthology, Spirits of the Dead.

8. Toshio in The Grudge (2004)

Hard to keep track of all the remakes and sequels in the Grudge franchise, but this is a rare case of Takashi Shimizu’s American reworking being even scarier than his own Japanese versions. Not so much a coherent story, more a series of spine-chilling set-pieces as doomed characters troop one by one into a cursed house in Tokyo, where they meet the obligatory scary broad with long black hair and Toshio, the small boy who miaows like a cat – and who somehow manages to commute all the way across town to a modern office block for the film’s most hair-raising episode.

7. The man in the lift in The Eye (2002)

The downside of a violinist’s sight-restoring cornea transplants is that they make her see scary ghosts in the Pang brothers’ Hong Kong/Singaporean ocular horror. And none scarier than the old man in the lift. She doesn’t need to turn around to know he’s behind her, gliding ever closer as the lift moves upwards so very, very slowly. And part of his face is missing! Next time, take the stairs.

6. Sadako in Ring (1998)

You think it’s all over! Well, it is now that Sadako has crawled up from her well and out of the TV screen to frighten everyone to death. But what’s to stop her from breaching the fourth wall and emerging into your living room? If ever a ghost needed a haircut and a manicure, it’s this one.

5. The old lady in Black Sabbath (1963)

Mario Bava certainly knew how to shred your nerves. In A Drop of Water, the final segment of this horror anthology, a nurse makes the rookie mistake of stealing a diamond ring from the finger of a dead medium. And, of course, the corpse comes a-visiting to reclaim it. The spooky old lady makeup may be panto level but, with a few sickly coloured filters and masterly command of ambience, Bava elevates this apparition to the stuff of nightmares.

4. The stumbling woman in Pulse (2001)

Japanese creep-meister Kiyoshi Kurosawa reinterprets the ghost story for the computer age in a story about mysterious disappearances on a university campus. It is probably a metaphor for alienation in the modern world, but don’t let that put you off. And don’t expect to be spoon-fed with reassuring logic; do expect an atmosphere of mounting apocalyptic dread, people fading into shadows, a soundtrack full of ominous rumbling and – scariest of all – the ghost who stumbles.

3. Jennet Goss in The Woman in Black (1989)

For chills that go all the way down to your marrow, forget the Daniel Radcliffe version of Susan Hill’s novel and go for the TV adaptation with a screenplay by Nigel Kneale. If you thought you couldn’t be frightened by such hoary cliches as old dark houses, foggy marshes and black-clad figures looking vaguely malevolent in graveyards – think again. And brace yourself for what devotees invariably refer to, with a shudder, as “ that scene”.

2. Abigail Crain in The Haunting (1963)

Maybe it’s the dead heiress haunting the house in Robert Wise’s film, the first and best adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s classic ghost story or maybe the malignant force is the house itself – but this is a ghost so scary you don’t even need to see it to be frightened out of your wits. Never underestimate the primal fear of unexplained noises, hammering at the door, the sort of overelaborate wallpaper you really do not want to examine too closely – and the realisation that the person whose hand you thought you were holding is on the other side of the room.

Deborah Kerr in The Innocents.

1. Peter Quint and Miss Jessel in The Innocents (1961)

Are the ghosts real, or figments of the febrile imagination of the governess who sees dead servants peering through windows or lurking on the far side of the lake in a fair approximation of an early Black Sabbath album cover? It doesn’t matter, because either way they will chill your blood in the first and still the best adaptation of Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw. Directed by Jack Clayton, every frame of Freddie Francis’s deep-focus black-and-white cinematography seems designed to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

  • Horror films
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street
  • The Shining
  • The Innocents

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15 Seriously Scary Ghost Movies (And How To Watch Them)

Ghoul from Grave Encounters

Whether or not you believe in ghosts, few would deny that the mere idea of being in a haunted house is unsettling. For that reason, there are many great horror movies based on the premise of sharing a home or any isolated area with a deceased individual’s spectral remains, yet some are more frightening than others. If you are looking for a truly terrifying supernatural movie night, these scary ghost movies should do the trick.

The Shining (1980)

While trying to finish a novel, a recovering alcoholic author ( Jack Nicholson ), his wife (Shelley Duvall) and young son (Danny Lloyd) become caretakers of a desolate Colorado hotel where a sinister presence threatens to tear them apart.

Why it is a seriously scary ghost movie: While the author himself was not a fan of Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of his 1977 novel , The Shining is considered to be among the best Stephen King movies — if not the best — for its unrelentingly eerie atmosphere and aimlessly unique depiction of hauntings.

Stream The Shining on Max . Rent or buy The Shining on Amazon .

The Changeling (1980)

A recently widowed music professor (Academy Award winner George C. Scott) becomes wrapped up in a disturbing mystery about his new home — a long-vacant mansion in Seattle — with guidance from the ghost haunting it.

Why it is a seriously scary ghost movie: One of Martin Scorsese’s favorite horror movies is The Changeling , which is acclaimed as one of the best horror movies that address grief in a profound way in addition to its top-notch scares.

Stream The Changeling on Tubi . Stream The Changeling on Peacock . Stream The Changeling on Plex . Rent or buy The Changeling on Amazon .

Poltergeist (1982)

A real estate agent (Craig T. Nelson) and his wife (JoBeth Williams) tries to rescue their youngest daughter (Heather O’Rourke) from the evil spirits that have invaded their home and abducted her into their realm.

Why it is a seriously scary ghost movie: Hailing from producer Steven Spielberg and director Tobe Hooper, Poltergeist is an essential haunted house movie — not just for its indelibly frightening elements, but also for its emotionally grounded depiction of parents longing to find their missing child.

Stream Poltergeist on Max . Rent or buy Poltergeist on Amazon .

The Sixth Sense (1999)

A child psychologist ( Bruce Willis ) with his own dark past tries to help a young boy (Haley Joel Osment) come to terms with his disturbing gift.

Why it is a seriously scary ghost movie: Arguably M. Night Shyamalan’s best movie , the clever and frightening classic The Sixth Sense has a unique set of rules about the afterlife which, once you see the killer twist ending , you’ll never think of the same way again.

Rent or buy The Sixth Sense on Amazon .

Stir Of Echoes (1999)

After agreeing to be hypnotized by his sister-in-law at a party just for a laugh, it quickly proves to be no laughing matter for the man ( Kevin Bacon ) as he begins to see visions of a girl who is dead. 

Why it is a seriously scary ghost movie: Because it was released not long after The Sixth Sense and bore similar themes of ESP and paranormal activity , writer and director David Koepp ’s intense adaptation of Richard Matheson’s novel Stir of Echoes did not get the attention it deserved, and rarely has since then.

Stream Stir Of Echoes on Tubi . Stream Stir Of Echoes on Plex . Stream Stir Of Echoes on Freevee through Amazon .

Session 9 (2001)

Relations between the somewhat normally close-knit crew of an asbestos removal company grow sour as they race to complete a job at an abandoned mental hospital with a dark past that slowly comes to light.

Why it is a seriously scary ghost movie: From director Brad Anderson — who also co-writes with star Stephen Gevedon — and also starring CSI : Miami star David Caruso, Session 9 is yet another unfairly overlooked horror movie with some really good scares and a chilling final act.

Rent or buy Session 9 on Amazon .

1408 (2007)

A grieving father who specializes in disproving supernatural phenomena ( John Cusack ) puts the legend of an hotel room with a supposedly deadly curse to the test, only to find a reason to believe.

Why it is a seriously scary ghost movie: From director Mikael Håfström, 1408 is another haunted hotel story from author Stephen King that mostly plays out like a spooky one-man show, while also starring Cusack’s future Cell co-star, Samuel L. Jackson .

Rent or buy 1408 on Amazon .

The Orphanage (2007)

During a visit to the foster home where she grew up, a woman (Belén Rueda) and her husband (Fernando Cayo) accidentally lose their young son (Roger Príncep) and turn to unusual measures in hopes of finding him.

Why it is a seriously scary ghost movie: From producer Guillermo del Toro and writer and director J.A. Bayona, the Spanish-language thriller The Orphanage is already spine-tingling as a missing child story, but its ghostly elements make for an unforgettable frightening experience.

Rent or buy The Orphanage on Amazon .

Lake Mungo (2008)

A family from Australia recalls in interviews the strange events that would begin to plague their home shortly after their teenage daughter drowned to death.

Why it is a seriously scary ghost movie: From writer and director Joel Anderson, and one of the most unlikely After Dark Horror Fest entries, Lake Mungo is an overlooked supernatural drama that's so mysteriously compelling, delicately constructed, and convincingly acted, no one could fault you for assuming this faux documentary was real.

Stream Lake Mungo on Tubi . Stream Lake Mungo on Plex . Rent or buy Lake Mungo on Amazon .

Grave Encounters (2011)

The typically skeptical crew of a docuseries that explores notorious sightings of alleged hauntings find the irrefutable evidence they never thought they would after locking themselves in an empty insane asylum.

Why it is a seriously scary ghost movie: Part satire of paranormal investigation reality series like Ghost Adventures , and another part relentless nightmare fuel, Grave Encounters is another relatively underrated found footage thriller featuring some of the most unforgivably frightening supernatural entities you could imagine.

Stream Grave Encounters on Freevee through Amazon . Stream Grave Encounters on Tubi . Stream Grave Encounters on Plex .

Insidious (2011)

A teacher (Patrick Wilson), his wife (Rose Byrne) and their children begin to suffer from very strange and disturbing circumstances after their eldest son (Ty Simpkins) mysteriously falls into a coma.

Why it is a seriously scary ghost movie: Writer Leigh Whannell and director James Wan of Saw fame already turned the haunted house genre on its head with the unique concept of Insidious , but rarely had a film of this kind been so visually arresting and indelibly frightening at this time either.

Stream Insidious on Max . Rent or buy Insidious on Amazon .

The Pact (2012)

After her sister goes missing not long after the death of their mother, a woman (Caity Lotz) begins to suspect that the secret behind her disappearance is tied to the unexplainable events she begins to experience in her childhood home.

Why it is a seriously scary ghost movie: If you have never seen or heard of writer and director Nicholas McCarthy’s The Pact , I highly recommend it to people who enjoy engrossing mystery stories that do not hold back on high-stakes frights.

Stream The Pact on Tubi . Rent or buy The Pact on Amazon .

The Woman In Black (2012)

A widowed legal practitioner (Daniel Radcliffe) is shocked to learn that an abandoned manor in a small London village is haunted by a vengeful spirit who struck fear in the locals.

Why it is a seriously scary ghost movie: Based on the novel by Susan Hill, The Woman in Black is one of Daniel Radcliffe’s best movies outside of the Harry Potter franchise in the way it harkens back to a forgotten era of gothic tales of the unexplainable, but with haunting imagery for audiences of any generation to get spooked by

Stream The Woman In Black on Paramount+ . Rent or buy The Woman In Black on Amazon .

The Conjuring (2013)

A family calls upon the help of famed paranormal investigators Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) to help rid their new Rhode Island home of the evil presence inhabiting it.

Why it is a seriously scary ghost movie: While the more memorable antagonists in any of the Conjuring Universe movies are of the demonic sort, director James Wan’s original that started it all has its fair share of great and grandly creepy ghostly moments.

Stream The Conjuring on Max . Rent or buy The Conjuring on Amazon .

Ouija: Origin Of Evil (2016)

A mother of two (Annalise Basso and Lulu Wilson) who makes a living as a fake medium (Elizabeth Reaser) adds a new element to her performance that turns out to be much more real than she could have envisioned.

Why it is a seriously scary ghost movie: Some of the earliest proof of writer and director Mike Flanagan’s expertise in horror storytelling was the surprisingly taut and viscerally unsettling Ouija: Origin of Evil — a prequel to an almost universally reviled generic teen thriller from 2014.

Stream Ouija: Origin Of Evil on Netflix . Rent or buy Ouija: Origin Of Evil on Amazon .

If these ghost movies do not manage to scare you, we hope they at least warm your spirit as a horror fan.


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Jason Wiese

Jason Wiese writes feature stories for CinemaBlend. His occupation results from years dreaming of a filmmaking career, settling on a "professional film fan" career, studying journalism at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO (where he served as Culture Editor for its student-run print and online publications), and a brief stint of reviewing movies for fun. He would later continue that side-hustle of film criticism on TikTok (@wiesewisdom), where he posts videos on a semi-weekly basis. Look for his name in almost any article about Batman.

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50 Of The Best Ghost Movies

My favourite ghost-themed horror movies! Every film on this list I'd rate at least a 7/10. I guess the list is in a vague order, but don't pay too much attention to it. There's quite a few highly regarded asian films I've not seen, so if they're not on this list that's probably why. Quite a few ghost films (especially English-speaking ones) didn't make my cut of the 50 best, so here are some other recommendations of good (but not great) ghost films: Pulse (2001), Wind Chill, The Uninvited (2009), The Bunker, Grave Encounters 2, A Tale Of Two Sisters, They Wait, Ghost Ship, The Haunted (1991), White Noise, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, House On Haunted Hill (1959), Death Ship, Half Light, Mama, Haunted (1995), What Lies Beneath, The Woman In Black (1989), The Innkeepers, Crimson Peak, Below (2001), The Awakening and The Entity.

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1. The Shining (1980)

R | 146 min | Drama, Horror

A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where a sinister presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from both past and future.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Jack Nicholson , Shelley Duvall , Danny Lloyd , Scatman Crothers

Votes: 1,090,266 | Gross: $44.02M

Arguably the best ghost movie - if not the best horror movie - of all time.

2. The Changeling (1980)

R | 107 min | Horror, Mystery

After the death of his wife and daughter in a car crash, a music professor staying at a long-vacant Seattle mansion is dragged into a decades-old mystery by an inexplicable presence in the mansion's attic.

Director: Peter Medak | Stars: George C. Scott , Trish Van Devere , Melvyn Douglas , Jean Marsh

Votes: 39,308

Genuinely unsettling. A must see classic.

3. The Others (2001)

PG-13 | 104 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

In 1945, immediately following the end of Second World War, a woman who lives with her two photosensitive children on her darkened old family estate in the Channel Islands becomes convinced that the home is haunted.

Director: Alejandro Amenábar | Stars: Nicole Kidman , Christopher Eccleston , Fionnula Flanagan , Alakina Mann

Votes: 388,759 | Gross: $96.52M

A modern classic, one that earns its place among the all time great ghost movies. A creepy old mansion, set in 1920's England, an intriguing mystery and a creepy kid - it ticks all the boxes! The twist is a highlight, so loses a little punch on a second viewing, but that's common with most ghost movies.

4. Ringu (1998)

Not Rated | 96 min | Horror, Mystery

A reporter and her ex-husband investigate a cursed video tape that is rumored to kill the viewer seven days after watching it.

Director: Hideo Nakata | Stars: Nanako Matsushima , Miki Nakatani , Yûko Takeuchi , Hitomi Satô

Votes: 76,382

Some say the American remake is actually a little better, and it is good, but it's a tiny bit too glossy for my taste, the original just has that grittier *edge* If you're not keen on subtitles then absolutely go for the American remake!

5. The Haunting (1963)

G | 112 min | Horror

Hill House has stood for about 90 years and appears haunted: its inhabitants have always met strange, tragic ends. Now Dr. John Markway has assembled a team of people who he thinks will prove whether or not the house is haunted.

Director: Robert Wise | Stars: Julie Harris , Claire Bloom , Richard Johnson , Russ Tamblyn

Votes: 42,055 | Gross: $2.62M

Has set the standard for all haunted house movies since it's release. It's creepy now, so this must have been terrifying back in 1963!

6. It Follows (2014)

R | 100 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

A young woman is followed by an unknown supernatural force after a sexual encounter.

Director: David Robert Mitchell | Stars: Maika Monroe , Keir Gilchrist , Olivia Luccardi , Lili Sepe

Votes: 264,538 | Gross: $14.67M

Such a simple concept, but utterly terrifying. You have to see this movie. Not a traditional ghost movie by any means, but I still consider it part of that sub genre. You can run away, but it will never stop following...

7. The Devil's Backbone (2001)

R | 106 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

After Carlos - a 12-year-old whose father has died in the Spanish Civil War - arrives at an ominous boys' orphanage, he discovers the school is haunted and has many dark secrets which he must uncover.

Director: Guillermo del Toro | Stars: Marisa Paredes , Eduardo Noriega , Federico Luppi , Fernando Tielve

Votes: 70,352 | Gross: $0.75M

Made when Guillermo del Toro was at his peak, and a film that earned him his stripes on the international scene, way before Pan's Labyrinth. A great story that doesn't lose anything by his later overuse of CGI. A classic.

8. Lake Mungo (2008)

R | 87 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

Strange things start happening after a girl is found drowned in a lake.

Director: Joel Anderson | Stars: Rosie Traynor , David Pledger , Martin Sharpe , Talia Zucker

Votes: 27,929

Combining a realistic documentary-style format with found footage elements interspersed throughout, this film is a slow burning mystery with a terrifying payoff. Good luck sleeping after seeing this! A masterclass in the found footage genre.

9. The Fog (1980)

R | 89 min | Horror, Thriller

An unearthly fog rolls into a small coastal town exactly 100 years after a ship mysteriously sank in its waters.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Adrienne Barbeau , Jamie Lee Curtis , Janet Leigh , John Houseman

Votes: 81,886 | Gross: $21.38M

It's got that slightly garish and cheesy 80's thing going on in places, but if you can set that aside this is an absolute classic. A definite top 10 ghost movie for me.

10. R-Point (2004)

R | 107 min | Action, Horror, War

During the Vietnam War, a South Korean base receives a radio transmission from a missing squad, presumed dead, and sends a platoon to rescue the lost squad from the R-Point.

Director: Su-chang Kong | Stars: Kam Woo-seong , Son Byung-ho , Lee Sun-kyun , Park Won-sang

Votes: 5,783

The scariest and most engaging Korean horror movie I've seen yet. Horror films centred around war naturally have an unsettling edge, and this film uses it brilliantly.

11. The Woman in Black (2012)

PG-13 | 95 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

A young solicitor travels to a remote village where he discovers that the vengeful ghost of a scorned woman is terrorizing the locals.

Director: James Watkins | Stars: Daniel Radcliffe , Janet McTeer , Ciarán Hinds , Emma Shorey

Votes: 191,364 | Gross: $54.33M

Some prefer the 1989 version, and while I'm usually not a fan of remakes, for me this version is the superior film. A moody creep-fest with an atmosphere so think you can cut it with a knife. If you can get past Harry Potter in a serious role you'll be in for a treat.

12. The Conjuring 2 (2016)

R | 134 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Ed and Lorraine Warren travel to North London to help a single mother raising four children alone in a house plagued by a supernatural spirit.

Director: James Wan | Stars: Vera Farmiga , Patrick Wilson , Madison Wolfe , Frances O'Connor

Votes: 295,887 | Gross: $102.47M

I found The Conjuring 2 slightly scarier than the first, but both are very good - you can't go wrong with either! This sequel is about the famous Enfield Haunting in the UK during the 70's.

13. The Eye (2002)

R | 99 min | Fantasy, Horror, Mystery

A blind girl gets a cornea transplant so that she will be able to see again. She gets more than she bargained for upon realizing she can also see ghosts.

Directors: Danny Pang , Oxide Chun Pang | Stars: Angelica Lee , Chutcha Rujinanon , Lawrence Chou , Jinda Duangtoy

Votes: 29,940 | Gross: $0.51M

From when asian horror was at its peak, this is one of the highlights of that era, only topped by Ringu in my opinion. A woman undergoes an operation to restore her sight, but as her sight slowly returns she see things that no one else can... Very, very creepy. Skip the American remake, it's not very good.

14. The Sixth Sense (1999)

PG-13 | 107 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Malcolm Crowe, a child psychologist, starts treating a young boy, Cole, who encounters dead people and convinces him to help them. In turn, Cole helps Malcolm reconcile with his estranged wife.

Director: M. Night Shyamalan | Stars: Bruce Willis , Haley Joel Osment , Toni Collette , Olivia Williams

Votes: 1,038,365 | Gross: $293.51M

We all know about this one. Minus the plot twist, there are some great creepy moments that make it worth watching, even if you know how it all ends.

15. Session 9 (2001)

R | 97 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

Tensions rise within an asbestos cleaning crew as they work in an abandoned mental hospital with a horrific past that seems to be coming back.

Director: Brad Anderson | Stars: David Caruso , Stephen Gevedon , Paul Guilfoyle , Josh Lucas

Votes: 62,271 | Gross: $0.38M

An overlooked gem that has been gaining more of a cult following in recent years, and deservedly so. That guy from CSI takes on a restoration job at an old mental hospital, naturally things get pretty creepy.

16. Ju-on: The Grudge (2002)

R | 92 min | Horror

A mysterious and vengeful spirit marks and pursues anybody who dares enter the house in which it resides.

Director: Takashi Shimizu | Stars: Megumi Okina , Misaki Itô , Misa Uehara , Yui Ichikawa

Votes: 47,569 | Gross: $0.33M

More commonly known as The Grudge. Again, I'd say this is slightly better than the American remake, only due to the grittiness the lower budget lends to the feel of the film. The remake is more than acceptable if you don't like subtitles.

17. Candyman (1992)

R | 99 min | Horror, Thriller

The Candyman, a murderous soul with a hook for a hand, is accidentally summoned to reality by a skeptic grad student researching the monster's myth.

Director: Bernard Rose | Stars: Virginia Madsen , Xander Berkeley , Tony Todd , Kasi Lemmons

Votes: 99,073 | Gross: $25.79M

Commonly mislabelled as a slasher flick, this shockingly well made film is actually a very clever urban ghost story ...just a very gory one! Some brilliant cinematography and a haunting score by Phillip Glass make this a cut above, not to mention the career defining performance from Tony Todd as the titular Candyman. Shame about the "twist" ending.

18. The Legend of Hell House (1973)

PG | 95 min | Horror

A physicist, his wife and two mediums are hired to investigate the Belasco House, where 27 guests had inexplicably died in 1927, along with most of a team of paranormal investigators that was sent in the early 1950s.

Director: John Hough | Stars: Roddy McDowall , Gayle Hunnicutt , Pamela Franklin , Clive Revill

Votes: 13,900

A really classy production from the 70's. A bunch of paranormal researchers set up camp in an old mansion, of course the sceptics soon question their convictions. It's a pretty generic plot, but it's so well made it really set the standard for this style of ghost movie - films today that use the same set-up usually can't come close to this.

19. Poltergeist (1982)

PG | 114 min | Horror, Thriller

A family's home is haunted by a host of demonic ghosts.

Director: Tobe Hooper | Stars: JoBeth Williams , Heather O'Rourke , Craig T. Nelson , Beatrice Straight

Votes: 177,569 | Gross: $76.61M

All time classic, and surprisingly spooky for a family friendly film! The sequels aren't up to much, nor the remake.

20. Under the Shadow (2016)

PG-13 | 84 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

As a mother and daughter struggle to cope with the terrors of the post-revolution, war-torn Tehran of the 1980s, a mysterious evil begins to haunt their home.

Director: Babak Anvari | Stars: Narges Rashidi , Avin Manshadi , Bobby Naderi , Arash Marandi

Votes: 29,793 | Gross: $0.03M

A great slow-burner from Iran. If you don't mind a fairly slow-paced film then you'll be in for a creepy treat! Definitely one for folks looking for something in the vein of The Babadook. I didn't think that much of the dubbing job, so would recommend the original version with subtitles if you can find it.

21. Grave Encounters (2011)

Not Rated | 92 min | Horror, Mystery

For their ghost hunting reality show, a production crew locks themselves inside an abandoned mental hospital that's supposedly haunted - and it might prove to be all too true.

Directors: Colin Minihan , Stuart Ortiz , The Vicious Brothers | Stars: Benjamin Wilkinson , Sean Rogerson , Ashleigh Gryzko , Merwin Mondesir

Votes: 63,056

What starts out as a typical found-footage horror film soon does a bait and switch and turns in to a terrifying roller coaster with nightmarish, surreal qualities. It successfully parodies, then wipes the floor with the majority of found footage horror films.

22. Silent Hill (2006)

R | 125 min | Horror, Mystery

A woman, Rose, goes in search for her adopted daughter within the confines of a strange, desolate town called Silent Hill.

Director: Christophe Gans | Stars: Radha Mitchell , Laurie Holden , Sean Bean , Deborah Kara Unger

Votes: 241,672 | Gross: $46.98M

This film gets a bit of a hard time due to its video game origins and OTT third act, but I think people are too hard on it. If you want to see some really, really creepy ghosts & creatures this is a must see. Great atmosphere.

23. Deathwatch (2002)

R | 94 min | Drama, Horror, War

In the middle of World War I, nine British soldiers caught behind enemy lines seek refuge in a complex network of German trenches. What they soon discover is that they aren't alone - and it isn't a German soldier that's hunting them down.

Director: M.J. Bassett | Stars: Jamie Bell , Rúaidhrí Conroy , Mike Downey , Laurence Fox

Votes: 13,153

The best horror film set in either World War. Captures the horrific nature of trench warfare during WWI and throws the supernatural in to the mix. Claustrophobic and unsettling, a must see.

24. The Innocents (1961)

Not Rated | 100 min | Horror

A young governess for two children becomes convinced that the house and grounds are haunted.

Director: Jack Clayton | Stars: Deborah Kerr , Peter Wyngarde , Megs Jenkins , Michael Redgrave

Votes: 32,709 | Gross: $2.62M

25. The Orphanage (2007)

R | 105 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

A woman brings her family back to her childhood home, which used to be an orphanage for handicapped children. Before long, her son starts to communicate with an invisible new friend.

Director: J.A. Bayona | Stars: Belén Rueda , Fernando Cayo , Roger Príncep , Mabel Rivera

Votes: 162,317 | Gross: $7.16M

A great spooky ghost mystery. A young boy moves in to a new house that used to be an orphanage and acquires an "imaginary" friend. Very good.

26. The Conjuring (2013)

R | 112 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren work to help a family terrorized by a dark presence in their farmhouse.

Director: James Wan | Stars: Patrick Wilson , Vera Farmiga , Ron Livingston , Lili Taylor

Votes: 546,976 | Gross: $137.40M

Released during a glut of substandard supernatural / exorcism-themed horror movies, this one really stood out as an example of how to do a modern ghost movie. Followed up by a spin-off called Annabelle which really isn't up to the same standard.

27. The Blair Witch Project (1999)

R | 81 min | Horror, Mystery

Three film students vanish after traveling into a Maryland forest to film a documentary on the local Blair Witch legend, leaving only their footage behind.

Directors: Daniel Myrick , Eduardo Sánchez | Stars: Heather Donahue , Michael C. Williams , Joshua Leonard , Bob Griffin

Votes: 281,264 | Gross: $140.54M

Does this count as a ghost film? The film never clarifies exactly what the Blair Witch is, obviously a witch is strongly implied, but a ghost is also hinted at - maybe a ghost witch? It's some kind of supernatural being in either case, just watch the film and judge for yourself, you'll either be bored or terrified!

28. Dark Water (2002)

PG-13 | 101 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

A mother and her 6-year-old daughter move into a creepy apartment whose every surface is permeated by water.

Director: Hideo Nakata | Stars: Hitomi Kuroki , Rio Kanno , Mirei Oguchi , Asami Mizukawa

Votes: 34,555

Another quality asian horror film from the boom that started with Ringu. The creepy setting and unfolding mystery helps Dark Water hold it's own against Ringu, The Eye and The Grudge. The remake is a bit flat, but not terrible. I'd recommend putting up with the subtitles on this one tho.

29. Stir of Echoes (1999)

R | 99 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

After being hypnotized by his sister-in-law, a man begins seeing haunting visions of a girl's ghost and a mystery begins to unfold around him.

Director: David Koepp | Stars: Kevin Bacon , Zachary David Cope , Kathryn Erbe , Illeana Douglas

Votes: 86,439 | Gross: $21.13M

A solid ghost mystery with the legendary Kevin Bacon. After being hypnotised at a party, Mr. Bacon starts to see things... is he going mad, or is he being guided by supernatural forces? Some great creepy moments. Well worth a watch!

30. House on Haunted Hill (1999)

R | 93 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

An amusement park mogul offers a group of diverse people $1,000,000 to spend the night in a haunted house with a horrifying past.

Director: William Malone | Stars: Geoffrey Rush , Famke Janssen , Taye Diggs , Peter Gallagher

Votes: 59,703 | Gross: $40.85M

Despite the cheesy, generic characters, cringy dialogue and very limp ending, when it comes the scares and pure entertainment this really delivers! Plays out like a carnival ghost train in movie form. If you can handle the cheese this is creepy as hell and very entertaining!

31. The Uninvited (1944)

Passed | 99 min | Fantasy, Horror, Mystery

A composer and his sister discover that the reason they are able to purchase a beautiful gothic seacoast mansion very cheaply is the house's unsavory past.

Director: Lewis Allen | Stars: Ray Milland , Ruth Hussey , Donald Crisp , Cornelia Otis Skinner

Votes: 12,315

It may be a bit tame by todays standards, but this classic still gives us a good mystery with a few creepy moments. See it to know your roots, as it were!

32. Oculus (2013)

R | 104 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

A woman tries to exonerate her brother, who was convicted of murder, by proving that the crime was committed by a supernatural phenomenon.

Director: Mike Flanagan | Stars: Karen Gillan , Brenton Thwaites , Katee Sackhoff , Rory Cochrane

Votes: 138,274 | Gross: $27.70M

A good bit of psychological horror mixed in with some nicely underplayed ghost encounters. Definitely has a Amityville Horror feel about it, but with far more subtext to get your teeth into. Kept me thinking / guessing well after the credits rolled.

33. Sleepy Hollow (1999)

R | 105 min | Fantasy, Horror, Mystery

Ichabod Crane is sent to Sleepy Hollow to investigate the decapitations of three people; the culprit is legendary apparition The Headless Horseman.

Director: Tim Burton | Stars: Johnny Depp , Christina Ricci , Miranda Richardson , Michael Gambon

Votes: 380,403 | Gross: $101.07M

A very well-made, big budget telling of the Sleepy Hollow story. A good story, great performances all around and some stunning visuals thanks to Tim Burton's unique style. It's PG-13, so don't go expecting any huge scares though.

34. Don't Look Now (1973)

R | 110 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

A married couple grieving the recent death of their young daughter are in Venice when they encounter two elderly sisters, one of whom is psychic and brings a warning from beyond.

Director: Nicolas Roeg | Stars: Julie Christie , Donald Sutherland , Hilary Mason , Clelia Matania

Votes: 61,371 | Gross: $0.98M

After a couples young daughter tragically drowns in a pond, they go on vacation to Venice to help get over their grief and repair their marriage. Not long after arriving, the girls father keeps seeing what looks to be a child who's wearing the exact same red coat, hat and boots that his daughter wore when she died. Is it the ghost of his daughter? A haunting, unsettling film that explores grief. You will not see the ending coming...

35. The Skeleton Key (2005)

PG-13 | 104 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

A hospice nurse working at a spooky New Orleans plantation home finds herself entangled in a mystery involving the house's dark past.

Director: Iain Softley | Stars: Kate Hudson , Peter Sarsgaard , Joy Bryant , Gena Rowlands

Votes: 121,768 | Gross: $47.81M

Seems to split opinion in some quarters, but I've always thought rather highly of this film. A very solid spooky mystery set in New Orleans, a must see for fans of the genre.

36. Drag Me to Hell (2009)

PG-13 | 99 min | Horror

A loan officer who evicts an old woman from her home finds herself the recipient of a supernatural curse. Desperate, she turns to a seer to try and save her soul, while evil forces work to push her to a breaking point.

Director: Sam Raimi | Stars: Alison Lohman , Justin Long , Ruth Livier , Lorna Raver

Votes: 215,663 | Gross: $42.10M

While this isn't strictly a ghost film, there are so many horror tropes thrown in the mix that it it hits the ghost quota well enough to get a place on this list. A young woman receives a gypsy curse and is subjected to unrelenting barrage of creepy and horrific things - a real roller coaster of a film! May be a little bit full-on / OTT for some.

37. Lady in White (1988)

PG-13 | 113 min | Fantasy, Horror, Mystery

An author tells the story of how, as a young boy growing up in a 1960s small town, he was haunted after witnessing the murder of a little girl.

Director: Frank LaLoggia | Stars: Lukas Haas , Len Cariou , Alex Rocco , Katherine Helmond

Votes: 7,945 | Gross: $1.71M

A slightly fluffy ghost movie, not quite as raw or spooky as I usually like. It's held in high esteem though, and I did enjoy it, so happily recommend it here.

38. The Sentinel (1977)

A young woman moves into an apartment in a building which houses a sinister evil.

Director: Michael Winner | Stars: Cristina Raines , Ava Gardner , Chris Sarandon , Martin Balsam

Votes: 11,762

Solid horror-mystery with an unsettling and slightly odd atmosphere, as well as some really creepy scenes. It's a little rough around the edges and it's very 70's, plus it's more about demonic entities than traditional ghosts, but I think it still deserves to be on this list. Great ending.

39. The Ward (2010)

R | 89 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

An institutionalized young woman becomes terrorized by a ghost.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Amber Heard , Mamie Gummer , Danielle Panabaker , Laura-Leigh

Votes: 44,461

A slightly underrated horror film from John Carpenter. Not his best movie, but far from bad. Recommended.

40. Hide and Seek (2005)

R | 101 min | Horror, Mystery

As a widower tries to piece together his life in the wake of his wife's suicide, his daughter finds solace, at first, in her imaginary friend.

Director: John Polson | Stars: Robert De Niro , Dakota Fanning , Famke Janssen , Elisabeth Shue

Votes: 88,243 | Gross: $51.10M

Enjoyable mystery flick with a slightly undercooked psychological/drama element. Solid performances from Bobby DeNiro and Dakota Fanning, as well as a nice twist ending make this worth a look.

41. Jessabelle (2014)

PG-13 | 90 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

Returning to her childhood home in Louisiana to recuperate from a horrific car accident, Jessabelle comes face to face with a long-tormented spirit that has been seeking her return -- and has no intention of letting her escape.

Director: Kevin Greutert | Stars: Sarah Snook , Mark Webber , Joelle Carter , David Andrews

Votes: 25,607

Good performances, high production values and an engaging mystery with some pretty creepy moments - you can't really go wrong with this!

42. The Guard Post (2008)

121 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

A group of GP506 soldiers have been brutally massacred, leaving only one alive but comatose. A military police investigator has only that night to uncover the facts, but ends up discovering a terrifying truth.

Director: Su-chang Kong | Stars: Chun Ho-jin , Hyun-jae Cho , Young-hoon Lee , Kim Byeong-cheol

Votes: 1,884

Another classic from South Korea. A military guard post on the South / North Korean border has been abandoned for an unknown reason. Cue an ongoing mystery and lots of creepy goings on!

43. Housebound (2014)

Not Rated | 107 min | Comedy, Horror, Mystery

A young woman is forced to return to her childhood home after being placed under house arrest, where she suspects that something evil may be lurking.

Director: Gerard Johnstone | Stars: Morgana O'Reilly , Rima Te Wiata , Glen-Paul Waru , Ross Harper

Votes: 37,261

A film with genuinely scary moments and a good sense of humour, also. A young woman is under house arrest, and when spooky things start happening she literally cannot get away - a great set up for some good thrills! There's a big twist ending, but you'll have to see it to find out what it is, I'm keeping shtum!

44. Paranormal Activity (2007)

R | 86 min | Horror, Mystery

After moving into a suburban home, a couple becomes increasingly disturbed by a nightly demonic presence.

Director: Oren Peli | Stars: Katie Featherston , Micah Sloat , Mark Fredrichs , Amber Armstrong

Votes: 253,773 | Gross: $107.92M

I'd say this is a bit overrated, but it was hugely influential and is a damn sight better than the sequels. If you don't mind a slow found footage ghost film where you don't see any ghosts, you may get something out of this - it does have a couple of pretty creepy moments.

45. Insidious (I) (2010)

PG-13 | 103 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

A family looks to prevent evil spirits from trapping their comatose child in a realm called The Further.

Director: James Wan | Stars: Patrick Wilson , Rose Byrne , Ty Simpkins , Lin Shaye

Votes: 335,071 | Gross: $54.01M

Despite an overabundance of jump scares, some oddly out of place comic characters and a monster that looks like Darth Maul, this film is, surprisingly, still worth watching. Some really good moments and a fast pace help keep you engaged.

46. 1408 (2007)

PG-13 | 104 min | Fantasy, Horror, Mystery

A man who specialises in debunking paranormal occurrences checks into the fabled room 1408 in the Dolphin Hotel. Soon after settling in, he confronts genuine terror.

Director: Mikael Håfström | Stars: John Cusack , Samuel L. Jackson , Mary McCormack , Tony Shalhoub

Votes: 290,767 | Gross: $71.99M

Flawed, but very imaginative and original. If you don't go in expecting a classic you'll probably have a good time with this.

47. The Canal (2014)

Not Rated | 92 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

A film archivist finds his sanity crumbling after he is given an old 16mm film reel with footage from a horrific murder that occurred in the early 1900's.

Director: Ivan Kavanagh | Stars: Rupert Evans , Antonia Campbell-Hughes , Hannah Hoekstra , Kelly Byrne

Votes: 14,774

Pretty slow moving, but well worth a watch if you like a good mystery.

48. Burnt Offerings (1976)

PG | 116 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

A family moves into a large old mansion in the countryside which seems to have a mysterious and sinister power over its new residents.

Director: Dan Curtis | Stars: Karen Black , Oliver Reed , Burgess Meredith , Eileen Heckart

Votes: 13,391

I wasn't as keen on this as most ghost-film aficionados, but I still liked it and would gladly recommend it. Good story and a great cast. Similar to The Shining.

49. The Amityville Horror (1979)

R | 117 min | Horror

Newlyweds and their three children move into a large house where a mass murder was committed. They start to experience strange, inexplicable manifestations which have strong effects on everyone living in or visiting the house.

Director: Stuart Rosenberg | Stars: James Brolin , Margot Kidder , Rod Steiger , Don Stroud

Votes: 43,919 | Gross: $86.43M

A solid classic. While the 2005 remake is pretty decent, it doesn't do much to improve on the original, if anything the heavy 70's look helps this version feel like a far more authentic telling of the Amityville story. Essential viewing for any lover of spooky ghost movies. If you really don't like older horror films then the 2005 remake is decent enough.

50. Thir13en Ghosts (2001)

R | 91 min | Fantasy, Horror

When Cyrus Kriticos, a very rich collector of unique things, dies, he leaves his house, fortune, and his prized collection of ghosts.

Director: Steve Beck | Stars: Tony Shalhoub , Shannon Elizabeth , Embeth Davidtz , Matthew Lillard

Votes: 92,826 | Gross: $41.87M

Cheesy beyond belief, very much a junk food kinda ghost flick. Switch your brain off and appreciate the cool ghost designs. A carnival ghost train kinda film, very much in the vein of 1999's House On Haunted Hill, so if you enjoyed that then give this a go. Delicious, trashy popcorn fodder.

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The 65+ Best Ghost Movies Of All Time

Ranker Film

If you love an exhilarating chill down your spine, these good ghost movies are a must-watch. From unsettling hauntings to heart-stopping scares, ghost movies are a timeless favorite in the realm of the supernatural. The films creatively explore our fascination with the afterlife, whether it's through terrifying encounters, metaphysical mysteries, or even comic relief. Our selection brings together critically acclaimed productions, audience favorites, and iconic classics, all bound by one eerie element - ghosts.

Movies with ghosts bring the fearsome unknown to the fore, making them an irresistible draw for thrill-seekers. This curated collection of ghost movies offers a broad range of spectral experiences. From uncanny returners who spook the living to heart-rending tales of lingering spirits stuck in limbo. There's plenty of intrigue and fright to keep you on the edge of your seat.

One of the highlights is the universally lauded psychological thriller, The Sixth Sense . This film shocked audiences worldwide with its clever storytelling and unexpected twist. Joining this classic in the top ranks are the gothic horror The Others , and the bone-chilling The Conjuring and The Conjuring 2 , films about ghosts that have spawned an entire franchise of its own. These three are just a taste of what awaits in our collection of the best ghost movies of all time.

Finding these scary ghost movies to watch gets even easier, with convenient streaming buttons provided under each film. Explore a spectral world whether on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Paramount+, Disney+, or HBO Max. Shuffle around these platforms on your endless quest for your next spectral fix, all from the comfort of your home.

As these are highly immersive cinematic experiences, your personal preferences might influence your favorites. Therefore, we encourage all spectral film aficionados to interact with this ranking. Let the voting begin. Will The Sixth Sense continue to top the list, or will another ghostly tale usurp its position? Only your votes can decide. Traverse the corridors of our haunted mansion of film and vote up the ghost movies you found particularly chilling. Separate the frightful from the forgettable and let us know which supernatural stories made your heart race and sent chills down your spine. Immerse yourself in these ghostly narratives - if you dare.

The Others

  • # 339 of 772 on The Most Rewatchable Movies
  • # 43 of 387 on The Best Horror Movies Of All Time
  • # 17 of 113 on The Best Movies Of 2001

The Sixth Sense

The Sixth Sense

  • Dig Deeper... Behind The Scenes, ‘The Sixth Sense’ Was A Weird Underdog Story
  • # 9 of 50 on The Biggest Movies Of The '90s, Ranked
  • # 5 of 248 on The 200+ Best Psychological Thrillers Of All Time

The Conjuring

The Conjuring

  • Dig Deeper... The True Story Behind 'The Conjuring' Is Even Creepier Than The Movie
  • And Deeper... Why Do People Stop Watching 'The Conjuring' At The Moment Lorraine Falls Through The Floor?
  • # 36 of 248 on The 200+ Best Psychological Thrillers Of All Time

The Shining

The Shining

  • Dig Deeper... The Dark History Of The Overlook Hotel From 'The Shining'
  • And Deeper... Behind-The-Scenes Stories About Shelley Duvall From 'The Shining'
  • # 7 of 248 on The 200+ Best Psychological Thrillers Of All Time



  • Dig Deeper... Did Steven Spielberg Really Ghost-Direct ‘Poltergeist’?
  • And Deeper... The Herrmann House Haunting Is Said To Have Inspired The Film 'Poltergeist'
  • # 129 of 772 on The Most Rewatchable Movies

Stir of Echoes

Stir of Echoes

  • # 30 of 248 on The 200+ Best Psychological Thrillers Of All Time
  • # 270 of 379 on The Best Movies Of The 1990s
  • # 88 of 387 on The Best Horror Movies Of All Time

The Haunting

The Haunting

  • # 122 of 248 on The 200+ Best Psychological Thrillers Of All Time
  • # 285 of 351 on The Best Movies Based On Books
  • # 163 of 387 on The Best Horror Movies Of All Time



  • Dig Deeper... Strange Things You Probably Didn't Know About The Making Of 'Beetlejuice'
  • And Deeper... All The Insane And Horrifying Scenes In ‘Beetlejuice’ That Were Impossible To Understand As A Child
  • # 12 of 696 on The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

The Ring

  • Dig Deeper... 15 Things You Didn't Know About The Japanese Version Of 'The Ring'
  • And Deeper... 15 Things You Didn't Know About the American Version of The Ring
  • # 439 of 772 on The Most Rewatchable Movies

Ghost Story

Ghost Story

  • # 42 of 75 on The Best Movies Of 1981
  • # 16 of 17 on 17 Horror Adaptations That Are Nothing Like The Books They're Based On
  • # 205 of 220 on '80s Movies We Wish Would Finally Get Sequels



  • Dig Deeper... The Bizarre History Of The Dueling Ghostbusters
  • And Deeper... Behind The Scenes Secrets From 'Ghostbusters' Most People Have Never Heard
  • # 64 of 696 on The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

The Changeling

The Changeling

  • Dig Deeper... The Terrifying True Haunting Of A Denver Home That Inspired 'The Changeling'
  • # 239 of 387 on The Best Horror Movies Of All Time
  • # 67 of 110 on The Best Intelligent Horror Movies

The Amityville Horror

The Amityville Horror

  • # 24 of 387 on The Best Horror Movies Of All Time
  • # 6 of 57 on The Best Horror Movies Based On True Stories, Ranked
  • # 31 of 110 on The Best Intelligent Horror Movies

John Carpenter's The Fog

John Carpenter's The Fog

  • # 199 of 403 on The Best Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked
  • # 70 of 387 on The Best Horror Movies Of All Time
  • # 13 of 64 on The Best Movies Of 1980

The Uninvited

The Uninvited

  • # 140 of 166 on The 160+ Scariest Psychological Thrillers
  • # 1 of 15 on 15 Critically Acclaimed Horror Movies That Never Got The Attention They Deserved
  • # 13 of 20 on Underrated Ghost Story Movies That Make Us Want To Leave The Light On

What Lies Beneath

What Lies Beneath

  • # 39 of 248 on The 200+ Best Psychological Thrillers Of All Time
  • # 104 of 387 on The Best Horror Movies Of All Time
  • # 157 of 324 on The Best Movies Of The 2000s

The Orphanage

The Orphanage

  • # 246 of 387 on The Best Horror Movies Of All Time
  • # 298 of 324 on The Best Movies Of The 2000s
  • # 5 of 16 on The Most Utterly Depressing Horror Movies Of All Time

Ghost Ship

  • # 93 of 387 on The Best Horror Movies Of All Time
  • # 45 of 152 on The Best Movies of 2002
  • # 1 of 14 on Terrible Horror Movies With One Really Good Scene

The Devil's Backbone

The Devil's Backbone

  • # 356 of 387 on The Best Horror Movies Of All Time
  • # 89 of 110 on The Best Intelligent Horror Movies
  • # 169 of 424 on The Greatest Movies in World Cinema History

The Entity

  • Dig Deeper... The True Story Behind 'The Entity' Is Even More Terrifying And Disturbing Than The Movie
  • # 233 of 387 on The Best Horror Movies Of All Time
  • # 22 of 57 on The Best Horror Movies Based On True Stories, Ranked

The Frighteners

The Frighteners

  • Dig Deeper... ‘The Frighteners’ Is A Twisted Peter Jackson Horror-Comedy That Deserves Your Attention
  • # 127 of 169 on The Best '90s Comedy Movies, Ranked
  • # 207 of 379 on The Best Movies Of The 1990s

The Innocents

The Innocents

  • # 353 of 387 on The Best Horror Movies Of All Time
  • # 104 of 166 on The 160+ Scariest Psychological Thrillers
  • # 19 of 20 on 20 Shocking Horror Movie Endings That Took You by Surprise

Crimson Peak

Crimson Peak

  • # 133 of 248 on The 200+ Best Psychological Thrillers Of All Time
  • # 236 of 387 on The Best Horror Movies Of All Time
  • # 20 of 27 on 27 Films Stephen King Has Awarded His Personal Stamp Of Approval


  • # 20 of 50 on The Biggest Movies Of The '90s, Ranked
  • # 188 of 772 on The Most Rewatchable Movies
  • # 50 of 379 on The Best Movies Of The 1990s

Thir13en Ghosts

Thir13en Ghosts

  • Dig Deeper... The Origins Of 'Thirteen Ghosts': The Spirits Of The Black Zodiac
  • # 10 of 64 on The Best Horror Movie Remakes Of All Time
  • # 45 of 113 on The Best Movies Of 2001

13 Ghosts

  • # 72 of 387 on The Best Horror Movies Of All Time
  • # 7 of 18 on Which Horror Movie Scarred You Because You Saw It Way Too Young?
  • # 9 of 14 on The Scariest Horror Movies Featuring Ouija Boards


  • # 45 of 248 on The 200+ Best Psychological Thrillers Of All Time
  • # 81 of 387 on The Best Horror Movies Of All Time
  • # 60 of 110 on The Best Intelligent Horror Movies

Carnival of Souls

Carnival of Souls

  • # 12 of 49 on The Top 45+ Films Released In 1962
  • # 148 of 167 on The Greatest '60s Movies, Ranked
  • # 17 of 41 on The 100+ Best Movies Streaming On The Criterion Channel

Burnt Offerings

Burnt Offerings

  • # 14 of 17 on Horror Movie Scenes That Traumatize Without Gore
  • # 2 of 18 on Obscure Horror Movies from the 1970s You Should Know About
  • # 11 of 20 on 20 Shocking Horror Movie Endings That Took You by Surprise

Ghostbusters II

Ghostbusters II

  • # 491 of 696 on The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films
  • # 215 of 772 on The Most Rewatchable Movies
  • # 102 of 161 on The Best Movie Sequels Ever Made
  • Entertainment
  • Graveyard Shift
  • Watchworthy

Eerie true tales of people and places being haunted by g-g-g-ghoooosts!!!

Creepy Real Pictures of Ghosts

50 Best Ghost Movies Ever Made

From spine-chilling horror flicks to classic comedies, our ultimate list of ghost films has something for everyone.

Headshot of Hannah Jeon

We've been independently researching and testing products for over 120 years. If you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Learn more about our review process.

Whether you're looking for something scary, funny — or yes — even romantic, our ultimate list of the top ghost movies has something for everyone. There are, of course, plenty of classic horror movies and bone-chilling psychological thrillers that will keep you up all night (and even get you in the spirit for Halloween !). But for those who can't handle their horror, there are also some lighter picks that feature poltergeists and phantoms — like comedy movies , supernatural dramas and even kid-friendly scary movies that keep the frights a little more PG. The good news is: Whichever ghost flick you pick, you'll be in for a truly great watch featuring all the best specters and spirits around.

The Shining (1980)

ghost movies jack nicholson in 'the shining'

Often considered one of the greatest horror films of all time, Stanley Kubrick's adaptation of Stephen King's novel — about an aspiring writer named Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) who becomes the caretaker at an isolated hotel — delivers on all the psychological horror and ghostly terror.

RELATED: 20 Fascinating Facts About The Shining We Bet You Didn't Know

A Ghost Story (2017)

ghost movies a ghost story

For those looking for a more offbeat, unconventional ghost tale, this acclaimed A24 film centers around a recently deceased man who returns as a ghost (yes, white sheet and all) to the house he shares with his widowed wife. It's a poignant film about loss, grief and time that you won't forget.


Poltergeist (1982)

ghost movies poltergeist

Strange occurrences start to happen to a young family living in a California suburban home, as 5-year-old Carol Anne begins to communicate with ghosts through a television set. Be prepared for plenty of unnerving suspense from this Steven Spielberg horror-thriller.


The Conjuring (2013)

ghost movies the conjuring

What's more terrifying than a ghost story inspired by true events? Based on a real-life paranormal investigation, The Conjuring will certainly give you chills with a story about a family who moves into a secluded old farmhouse — only to discover it's haunted.


RELATED: How to Watch The Conjuring Series in Order for the Scariest Movie Marathon Ever

Ghost (1990)

ghost movies ghost

Because who doesn't love a ghost romance? If you haven't yet watched this '90s movie about the ghost of a murdered banker who teams up with a psychic to save his lover, you've probably at least seen that iconic scene with Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore cozying up at the pottery wheel.

Ghostbusters (1984)

ghost movies ghostbusters

We couldn't forget a true classic! This iconic supernatural comedy about parapsychologists who start a ghost-hunting business in New York City started a huge franchise for a reason.

RELATED: 50 Movies From the '80s That You Totally Forgot About

Ghostbusters: Answer the Call (2016)

ghost movies ghostbusters answer the call

Of course, after watching the original Ghostbusters, you'll also have to watch the 2016 reboot — a hilarious take on the classic — starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones as New York City's four ghost-hunters.

The Devil's Backbone (2001)

ghost movies the devil's backbone

If you liked The Shape of Water and Pan's Labyrinth , try director Guillermo del Toro's gothic horror masterpiece from 2001. Set during the Spanish Civil War, this mournful Spanish-language film follows a boy who uncovers the secrets of a haunted orphanage.


A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)

ghost movies a tale of two sisters

This acclaimed Korean film blends psychological thriller, drama and horror into one truly gripping, eerie story about two sisters who return from a mental hospital to their country home, where strange incidents begin to occur.

RELATED: The 22 Best Korean Movies to Add to Your Watchlist

The Sixth Sense (1999)

ghost movies the sixth sense

Considered one of M. Night Shyamalan's greatest works (it even earned a Best Picture nomination, a rare occurrence for a horror film!), The Sixth Sense is a chilling thriller about a child psychologist (Bruce Willis) who discovers a young boy's dark secret: He can talk to the dead.

Beetlejuice (1988)

ghost movies beetlejuice

If you're looking for something more light-hearted, you can't go wrong with this '80s cult classic from Tim Burton. Centering around two ghosts who haunt their former home, Beetlejuice will definitely play up both the laughs and the scares.

RELATED: 60 Best Halloween Movies, From Old Classics to New Cult Favorites

Candyman (1992)

ghost movies candyman

A horror film that also examines issues of race and social class, Candyman follows a Chicago graduate student researching the urban legend of a murderous ghost summoned by those daring to repeat his name five times into a mirror. Plus, if you enjoy this one, you can also watch the 2021 sequel by Jordan Peele afterward.

Personal Shopper (2016)

ghost movies personal shopper

If you're looking for a haunting ghost story that perfectly mixes horror with drama, try this critically acclaimed thriller which stars Kristen Stewart as a personal shopper in Paris who tries to communicate with her dead brother and starts to receive mysterious messages from an unknown source.

The Haunting (1963)

ghost movies  the haunting

Craving an old classic? You'll love this 1963 horror film based on Shirley Jackson's novel The Haunting of Hill House , which follows a group of guests participating in a paranormal study in a haunted mansion.

RELATED: 20 Classic Movies on Netflix That'll Make You Feel Extra Nostalgic

Coco (2017)

ghost movies coco

Sure, it may not be what you immediately think of when you hear "ghost movie," but this popular Pixar movie does center around a boy who finds himself transported to the Land of the Dead, where he meets the spirits of his ancestors. Who says ghost stories can't be cute and heartwarming?


The Changeling (1980)

ghost movies  the changeling 1980

In this terrifying psychological horror flick that's often considered one of the best horror films of all time, a composer who recently lost his wife and daughter to a tragic accident retires to a secluded mansion only to experience supernatural occurrences.

Paranormal Activity (2007)

ghost movies  paranormal activity

Known for its found-footage horror scenes, the first of the Paranormal Activity franchise follows a couple who moves into a suburban home and sets up video cameras in the house after becoming disturbed by what appears to be a supernatural presence.

Field of Dreams (1989)

ghost movies  field of dreams

Ghosts and baseball, who knew? This Academy Award-nominated sports fantasy drama film is not your typical ghost story — it's about a farmer (Kevin Costner) who becomes convinced by a mysterious voice to build a baseball field, which attracts the ghosts of baseball legends.

The Others (2001)

ghost movies  the others

Nicole Kidman stars in this gothic supernatural film set in the 1940s about a mother who moves with her two children to the English coast during World War II. She begins to suspect their secluded mansion is being occupied by mysterious “others."

The Frighteners (1996)

ghost movies  the frighteners

Be prepared for both laughs and scares in this supernatural comedy horror flick from director Peter Jackson, best known for the Lord of the Rings trilogy, that follows an architect (Michael J. Fox) with the ability to communicate with ghosts after his wife's death.

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The 10 best ghost/horror movies of all time, according to imdb.

The library of ghost and horror films is extensive, but these ten movies are considered the best scary movies based on IMDb rankings.

Reviews for Annabelle Comes Home have been pretty mixed, but the Conjuring universe shows no signs of slowing anytime soon. Regardless if you enjoy the series or if you’re sick to death of it, here’s some great movies to follow it up with. Now, unless you want Coco and A Christmas Carol on this list, you’ll have to keep in mind that we’ll be omitting a plethora of movies with ghosts in them that aren’t necessarily grounded in horror. For example, something like Ghostbusters leans more towards action, and there’s no end of children’s tales that follow suit. So, here are the top ten frightening ghost movies of all time, as ranked on IMDb.

The Conjuring

This is probably one of the best modern horror films, despite an ending that resorts to a clichéd exorcism scene. Firstly, it’s horror is bolstered by the “True Story” inspiration. It had two leads with great chemistry to represent actual paranormal investigators. Secondly, it’s actually a story of two everyday families. They have financial problems, vulnerable children, and personal squabbles.

RELATED: The 10 Most Haunting Ghost Movies Of The 2010s, Ranked

The film also goes out of its way to depict the paranormal as a true phenomena. It addresses false accounts that can be attributed to shaky pipes. With several daughters, and a frequently absent father, the Perron family is easy to sympathize with. Also, Wan’s careful camera lingers in just the right way to convince you something frightening is there. It builds up to some of the best jump scares of all time.

The Haunting (1963)

No, not the much-maligned remake, which removed one of the essential features of this film—the black and white visuals. That vintage look has been an effective tool of horror since German Expressionism. It allows directors to play with shadows in a way that color simply can’t. This plot is surprisingly similar to Rose Red , wherein an investigator invites a psychic and others to find the paranormal in a house with a dark history. This film relies primarily on sounds and warping doors, which are effectively done, but probably leave most fans of the genre feeling unsatisfied.

This is a successfully atmospheric tale that doesn’t quite have the same appeal after the twist ending. However, your first watch is very rewarding—because mysteries always work when enough clues were actually included in the story for an audience to discover the truth. To be honest, it’s a little unfair that The Sixth Sense had been released so recently. This film was just as effective in its twist, and has an equally skilled cast. The story is driven by Nicole Kidman’s great performance and acclaimed director Alejandro Amenábar. It has engaging tension, and an appropriate slow-burn pace. The setting plays a great part of the suspense too, an isolated home where the coldness just drips off the walls.

Dead Of Night

A British selection, this was actually made at a time when horror films weren’t welcome there. It’s also another anthology film, which is mostly known for its evil ventriloquist dummy. So enjoy that, all you Annabelle fans. However, the movie also features three stories about hauntings, and an ending that has become cliché—“it was all a dream.” The framing device of the story is all about the protagonist’s inability to separate his nightmares from reality. All of this goes as far back as The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari in 1920. Still, the performances are good enough, and the directing is tidy.

Evil Dead II

Some of the most fun you’ll ever have watching any movie, let alone a ghost story in the horror genre. Leaning into absurdity, one-liners, and hilarious gags, Sam Raimi is one of the few people that can mix comedy and horror to perfection. Also, Bruce Campbell was absolutely born for this role. It’s an absolute travesty that the TV series which continued Ash’s story is gone. Filled with mania, gallons of blood, and fantastic camerawork, this is one of the definitive movies to watch around Halloween. While the first entry is all horror (no one walks away from that tree scene unchanged), and the third entry completely abandons that tone, this installment strikes the perfect balance.

The Innocents

An adaptation of The Turn of the Screw , this is clearly the precursor for The Others . Yet another ensemble cast that delivers incredible performances, the children sell the horror as perfectly as the new governess does. Convinced the estate is haunted, the atmosphere is absolutely drenched with the kind of slow-burn tension that has been borrowed in nearly every subsequent film about hauntings.

RELATED: 10 Horror Movie Logic Memes That Are Too Hilarious For Words

Hints, brief sightings, a jump scare, and doubt all blend together for one of the most effective ghost stories ever put to film. It is tasteful, artful, and altogether another breed of British horror films. It truly set itself apart from Hammer productions—although those are fun in their own way.

When most people think of  Asian horror , their minds will probably veer towards Ju-on: The Grudge or Ringu . However, the entire concept of spirits is so intertwined with Japanese culture, that it goes back significantly farther. More open-minded than American audiences to the actual existence of spirits, the stories in this early anthology horror film are typical of countless Japanese myths. The four tales are mostly inspired by written works from around 1900. They feature interactions with spirits that are actually fully involved relationships. It’s unique, but it counts as horror thanks to the first two stories. Respectively, a man realizes he has slept beside his ex-wife’s corpse, and a “snow woman” spirit literally kills someone.

The Exorcist

This film was far ahead of its time. Deeply rooted in religion and family, this unforgettable story of possession and horror is much more than a bowl of pea soup. The Exorcist was made in a decade full of corrupted innocence, such as The Last House On The Left . With Linda Blair’s traumatic transformation, her performance is nothing less than astonishing. Of course, the film features dynamic performances from every single member of the cast. The paranormal is blurred into real life by Ellen Burstyn’s desperate mother, who treats her daughter’s symptoms systematically as any parent truly would. The evil force does not just attack the characters physically, but also psychologically. This is the ultimate battle of faith, and for the purity of family.

The Sixth Sense

This is the film that perfectly encapsulates everything M. Night Shyamalan ever had to say. It's also one of the few movies that chooses to explore the phenomenon of ESP, rather than heavily relying on a series of gimmicky jump scares or clichés. The powerhouse performance from Haley Joel Osment, the quiet atmosphere, and Shyamalan’s careful camerawork make the scares effective. But first and foremost, it’s very psychological. Any ghost story is firing on all cylinders when the paranormal sits passenger to the drama. And our sympathy is easily earned for any child undergoing a constant, mysterious trauma, which strains his life at home and at school. The film also boasts one of James Newton Howard’s most incredible scores, next to The Village .

The Shining

This is easily one of the most quintessential horror stories of all time, the high standard for paranormal frights. That’s because the movie is deeply rooted in Jack’s strained relationship with his family. It establishes his abusive past right at the onset. Ghosts have always served as manifestations of the past, but they particularly do here. They feed on Jack’s violent tendencies and easily manipulate him with it. But aside from the very real threat of a terrorizing father, the paranormal elements themselves are visually iconic. Once the film becomes a full-fledged haunted house at the end, the story’s earned it, and the scares deliver thanks to Kubrick’s keen eye.

NEXT:  The 10 Most Haunting Ghost Movies Of The 2010s, Ranked

The 10 Scariest Ghosts in Horror Movies

With movies like The Grudge, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Thirteen Ghosts, the horror genre is full of terrifying ghosts.

The horror genre is one of the most expansive genres in media, with different formats and subgenres leaving something for everyone to enjoy. Paranormal and supernatural horror are popular subgenres because they feature terrifying possessions, ghosts, and entities. However, some ghosts featured in the genre are much scarier than others.

Films like House on Haunted Hill , 1960's 13 Ghosts , and The Exorcist pioneered the paranormal subgenre. Although these movies are all a part of the same genre, they don't feature the same entities. While films like The Exorcist feature possessions and horrifying ghoul-like figures, they're not ghosts. For most people, a "ghost" refers to an entity that was human at one point before they died, and entities like Captain Howdy are simply inhuman demons. With that said, once-human spirits like the Grady twins and Freddy Krueger are much scarier than demons.

RELATED: The Most Terrifying Demons in Horror Movies, Ranked

10 The Grady Twins (The Shining)

The Shining is one of the most recognizable Stephen King adaptations , with many memorable scenes cemented into pop culture, including the iconic ghost twins scene. The Overlook Hotel’s groundskeeper, Delbert Grady, brutally murdered his twin daughters. They're seen a few times during The Shining , but their most notable scene is their appearance at the end of a long hallway while young Danny Torrance rides his toy trike.

The Grady Twins are terrifying, scaring Danny and a generation of moviegoers. They may be the least violent of the Overlook's ghost population, but they are incredibly creepy. All they want to do is play, and the invitation to play with them "forever" is menacing as they lure the child into the afterlife.

9 Phears (Mostly Ghostly: Who Let the Ghosts Out)

Mostly Ghostly: Who Let the Ghosts Out is less mainstream than other horror movies, mainly because it's a children-targeted horror/comedy hybrid film from 2008. Still, the antagonist of the movie, Phears, is pretty horrific. Aside from his ghoulish appearance and creepily sharp teeth, he threatens the protagonist, Max, and his ghost buddies, Nicky and Tara.

Phears threatens the children with physical violence often and is an overall menace. His goals are to cause harm to most of the human race. In Mostly Ghostly , he hurts several people and is presumably behind the slaughter of Nicky and Tara's family. He genuinely wants to cause death and destruction.

RELATED: 10 Most Terrifying Villains From Kids Movies

8 Candyman (Candyman)

Tony Todd's Candyman is one of the most beloved horror movie villains. With his hook hand, haunting voice, and a swarm of bees living in his body, he has a terrifying appearance. With that said, he's not inherently dangerous. He appears when someone chants his name five times, and that's the only way he kills. Throughout the film, The Candyman terrorizes the main character, Helen Lyle, and slaughters many others with his hook hand. The Candyman and Helen Lyle legacy carried into the 2021 sequel, as well.

The titular ghost in Candyman was once an ordinary guy, Daniel Robitaille, who got tragically lynched over an interracial romance. The assailants removed his painting hand before drenching Daniel in honey and stinging him to death with bees, which gave him his frightening appearance. His tragic end caused a vengeful afterlife and a curse-like legacy.

7 Samara/Sadako (The Ring/Ringu)

Samara Morgan from the American version of The Ring has an unquestionably horrifying appearance, complete with long, wet hair and terrifying eyes. Based on Sadako from the Japanese film Ringu , Samara kills those unlucky enough to watch a specific cursed VHS tape. Though it's unclear exactly how she kills, she leaves her victims completely disfigured.

Although she should be feared, Samara deserves some sympathy. In The Ring , it's clear that Samara's family abused her and left her to rot in a well. As such, it's fair to assume that she's a bitter ghost. She's only dangerous if someone watches the tape, but when they do, she shows no mercy.

6 Kayako (The Grudge)

The Ring wasn't the only early-2000s horror movie adapted from a J-horror film, as The Grudge came from the Ju-On franchise around the same time. The film features two notable ghosts: a woman named Kayako and a little boy named Toshio. Thanks to her horrific appearance, vicious behaviors, and murderous tendencies, Kayako is terrifying.

Kayako was a homemaker whose husband brutally murdered her and her son. Because they died awful deaths, a curse --called Ju-On or The Grudge-- was triggered that made them come back as violent spirits. As such, Kayako wreaks havoc on humanity, trying to spread the curse by murdering whoever she can.

RELATED: 10 Best J-Horror Movies

5 The Hammer (Thirteen Ghosts)

Not all the Thirteen Ghosts are outwardly aggressive, but The Hammer is. While he's contained in a cell in a basement, he constantly tries to attack people through his cell or escape. He towers over others with weapons literally on hand to incite fear and obviously intends to bludgeon everyone.

Unfortunately, The Hammer's Thirteen Ghosts backstory is tragic. George Markley was an honest blacksmith who was the target of racism in his small town. That racism resulted in the slaughter of his family, so he went on a rampage and used his sledgehammer for revenge. He was then lynched, with railroad spikes drilled into his skin and his hand forcibly replaced by his hammer.

4 The Bride in Black (Insidious: Chapter 2)

While the Insidious movies feature many malevolent entities, The Bride in Black is one of the scarier once-human spirits, featured as the main antagonist in Insidious: Chapter 2 . The ghoul was attached to Patrick Wilson's Josh Lambert during childhood. Even though The Bride in Black isn't particularly dangerous through Josh's adolescence, it's clear that the entity has no problem targeting children. However, the backstory in Insidious: Chapter 2 adds another layer of scariness.

The Bride in Black is an alter-ego for a man named Parker Crane. Parker grew up in an abusive household, resulting in trauma surrounding his gender identity and women. During adulthood, Parker was a serial killer who dressed in The Bride in Black getup to murder women. His goals in Insidious ' alternate dimension, "The Further," are to inhabit an innocent's body and cause more harm, like the possession of Josh and the attempted slaughter of the Lambert family.

3 Bathsheba Sherman (The Conjuring)

The antagonist of the first The Conjuring movie is an evil spirit wreaking havoc on the Perron family: Bathsheba. The ghoul latches onto the matriarch, Carolyn Perron, and possesses her. Bathsheba intends to manipulate Carolyn into killing her children. Every ghost seen in The Conjuring died at the hands of Bathsheba's malicious spirit.

This terrifying behavior is hardly surprising given Bathsheba's backstory. In life, Bathsheba Sherman was an evil witch who murdered her child as a sacrifice. Bathsheba eventually died by hanging after cursing the land and every family who settled there. In death, she tries to haunt and destroy any happy and innocent people. As such, Bathsheba is a scary representation of pure evil.

RELATED: 10 Modern Horror Movies That Became Instant Classics

2 Freddy Krueger (A Nightmare on Elm Street)

Freddy Krueger is one of the most-known names in horror, and rightfully so. Known for his bladed fingers, striped sweater, and vulgar personality, he's the terrifying center of A Nightmare on Elm Street . He's notorious for haunting his target's dreams and brutalizing them during their REM cycles.

During his life, Freddy Krueger was a more human monster. His status as a serial killer is undisputed, and it's, at least, strongly implied that he preyed on children in the worst ways imaginable. When he died, Freddy got some demonic-style powers from the Dream Demons . There's no questioning that his relentless, predatory behavior makes him terrifying, breathing or not.

1 The Jackal (Thirteen Ghosts)

The Jackal is not only the scariest character in Thirteen Ghosts but may also be the scariest in movie history. Referred to as the " Charles Manson of ghosts ," The Jackal is the most feared. While this fear immediately stems from his creepy appearance, The Jackal is also exceptionally violent. Accompanied by his threatening cackle, he attacks Kathy Kriticos as soon as he's released from Basileus's Machine, scratching and terrorizing as he goes.

Unfortunately, his actions on screen don't even come close to showing how scary he is. In life, The Jackal, or Ryan Kuhn, was a serial killer and sexual predator who turned himself into an old asylum for help. There, he lost his humanity and life. As a ghost, he's significantly more terrifying than he was in life, which is definitely saying something.


Top 10 Scariest Ghost Movies Ever

I’m a regular horror film fan. I’ve seen all the stupidest supernatural thriller movies ever made, even those so-called scariest movies of all time.  I used to watch them test my courage; Unfortunately, none of those flicks ever frightened me. Nowadays, horror films are complete jokes.  Relying on  jump scares  to distract you from the lack of quality storytelling, shallow acting, and dialogue so bad you’d think it was a high school goer composing a fan-fiction for English class.  If you are planning to watch some new supernatural horror this weekend and are willing to explore beyond Hollywood, Here are the top 10 best ghost movies of all time:

10. Conjuring 2 (2016)

top 10 scariest ghost

Scare intensity-5/10 Quality of movie-6.5/10

Conjuring 2 is an old school horror based on  a real-life  incident. The plot goes like,  A single mother with distressed children, poor, no dad, helpless, and downright depressing lives in Enfield London, witnesses the presence of an evil spirit in their house. So they contact paranormal investigators couple  Ed and Lorraine Warren  to help them. Later it is revealed that the spirit of the old man is manipulated by a demon that is more powerful and wants something more sinister from Lorraine. The same demonic entity in Conjuring-2 has appeared in a prequel movie from the franchise released recently as  The Nun (2018)  but, the level of scariness Conjuring-2 as a haunted house movie offers is far superior. Director James Wan brings here a masterpiece, which surely deserves a spot on our list.

9. A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)-Korean movie

top 10 scariest ghost

Scare intensity-6.5/10 Quality of movie-6.5/10

A tale of two sisters is loosely based on a well-known Korean ghost story.

What did I love about this film?  Unlike Hollywood horror is it’s the use of mind-fucks and delightful symbolism with flawless planning and imagery. There is no doubt this is a good film and an example of what the Korean horror genre can do. The starting passes an impression of a slow and simple movie, which gives you a chance to think about what will happen and when it will occur.  At some point, this inclination sort of vanish as time passes by, and you get interested in the story. After some time, it reaches half of the film and very little of the story-line explanation, leaving you curious because of its strange narrative. The climax arrives, and you stay involved, needing to know increasingly more of Sumi and Suyeon’s (both sisters) history. All these narration results in a very well-balanced plot without overusing horror movie methods such as jump scares or splatter.  This direction builds up the movie in a perfect joint with the bold dialogues of Sumi’s character and personality changes according to whom she’s interacting with, resulting in good chemistry that leaves you questioned until the last minute.

8. Poltergeist trilogy (1982,1986,1988)

top 10 scariest ghost

Scare intensity-5/10 Quality of movie-7.5/10

What can you say about the film series that itself is  cursed  while filming.  Known as the Poltergeist Curse is a scourge that is linked to this horror film series Poltergeist. In many variants of the urban legend, all the cast members passed, while others claim three real-life deaths because of the curse. In reality, just four of the actors died, two passed on startlingly, while the other two died because of natural reasons. There are reports that unusual events occurred during the shooting of the three movies. It is unclear that the curse is true or coincidence. Speaking about the plot, a Poltergeist in folklore is about the spirits of dead people believed responsible for unexplained noises and movement of objects within a home. In all three film series, each recounts an episode in the lives of the Freelings, and horrific events they encounter with the supernatural. No doubt even today in 2020, this old horror classic has to be included on the 8th spot in our paranormal movies list because considering past standards, it was ahead of its time.  

7. Tumbbad (2018)-Indian movie

top 10 scariest ghost

Scare intensity-7/10 Quality of movie-9/10

This movie has the most original story I’ve seen for quite a while, not particularly horror genre but more like a  psychological thriller . Writers set the movie during the latter part of British India, and the period setting adds a visual aspect of validness to the story. The story goes like, A catastrophe affects a young boy named Vinayak, his life-threatening encounter with a cursed cannibal old lady (his house imprisoned grandmother) who knows the way to get buried treasure sets him on the path of greed. He tries to investigate the local legend of a god-turned-demon named Hastar and his gold medallions but stopped by his mother by swearing. Now grown-up Vinayak (after his mother passes) becomes obsessed with uncovering the treasure. Gradually, his obsession turns him into a cold-blooded opportunist. Why I loved this movie? Some moments in the film are grotesque, but you cannot miss the details they have captured meticulously. The scenes on the screen are remarkably very impressive. From the fascinating rain-soaked outdoors to the old ancestral home that hides over one disturbing mystery, screening shots are like an artistic masterpiece.  Kudos to the Director and creative team for making this movie, which I think is the finest and scariest horror movie of all time in Bollywood (Indian film industry). Various scenes in the film’s latter half unfold in a live womb (yes) of earth, and these portions are especially impressive for the sheer creative mind and imagination on display. The ending will leave you in a state of sadness & dejection with a lesson on greed.

6. The Blair Witch Project (1999)

top 10 scariest ghost

Scare intensity-7.5/10 Quality of movie-7/10

October 1994, three film making students disappear in the forested areas close Burkittsville, Maryland, while shooting a documentary. One year later, someone finds their recording. The latter half of 79 minutes of the Blair Witch Project is “removed” from that recording, all of which is shot by them with handheld camcorders and a 16 mm camera. The clips go like, after talking to a few people of local people about the Blair Witch, they go into the nearby woods to get a film of areas related to the story (The story includes a witch who steals and executes the two kids and grown-ups). They get lost, and every night horrendous things occur. Sludge showing up on their camp. At that point, Josh vanishes, and a heap of twigs is “delivered,” which contains what they believe to be parts of his body. Finally, the two surviving filmmakers stumble (at night) upon a lonely, rundown house from which exhales groaning and shouting. They rush to explore the uncertain sounds. Then, the camera falls to the ground and the credit roll. While watching the movie, you will be in a continuous state of anxiety and fear with heavy heart beating moments between the scenes. This movie had set a new standard for camcorder psychological horror movies, which inspired other classics like the Paranormal Activity series (2007-present). But still, it is one of the scariest ghost movies by diminishing the concept of compulsively including a scary-faced demon or spirit.

5. The Exorcist (1973)

top 10 scariest ghost

Scare intensity-6.5/10 Quality of movie-9.5/10

Instead, to reveal the story, I’ll go with the execution of the direction and play of this film. You have to see the Exorcist several times to understand the personas, get all the dialogue between them, and value the art and attention to the direction. The more you see this movie, the frightening it gets, because the more you watch, the more you can comprehend what’s happening. The movie stands up well to this day in 2020 because the director created and maintained an atmosphere of dreamy bitterness even in the quiet scenes, filled by scenes of extraordinary mental frightfulness and an absolute killer sound background that remains unsurpassed to this day. Scenes never truly resolve or end as you expect that they should. No wonder, this academy awards winning classic still manages to scare us and served as a benchmark among the Hollywood horror movies that were released after it.

4. Ring (1998)-Japanese movie

top 10 scariest ghost

Scare intensity-5/10 Quality of movie-7/10

Before you say anything, let me be clear. Here, we are not making a comparison between Western and Japanese ghosts. Comparing with its Hollywood remake movie the Ring, I don’t think the original Japanese horror version is that terrifying. Yet, it builds a genuinely good sense of fear and is very deep in its storytelling. As a cinematic entity, ‘The Ghost’ in the Western cinema has changed for years from its Asian counterparts in the way filmmakers choose to scare you. Ghosts in Western films pop out at you, creating a gotcha moment, which is scary (for 2 seconds). In days before this fashion, ghosts were unaware, shy to show themselves, and it was more like tension built up through the story. Filmmakers ditched this method in favor of scary CGI faced, ass-kicking ghosts. Speaking about the story goes it goes like: Journalist Reiko’s niece is discovered dead alongside three friends after viewing a supposedly cursed videotape, and she decides to investigate. Alongside her ex, Ryuji, Reiko finds the tape, watches it, and gets a telephone call advising her she’ll die in seven days. Determined to understand the curse, Reiko and Ryuji find the video’s history and try to resolve an old murder that could break the spell.

3. The Witch (2015)

top 10 scariest ghost

Scare intensity-8/10 Quality of movie-9.5/10

Earning the third spot in our best ghost movies list, The Witch is one of that movie-going fantasy horror experience which you will love. Rather than relying on jump scares, too chiller graphics, or the shabby adrenaline rush, this film is like being on a roller coaster. Director Eggers, in his remarkable debut, picked up the movie-watchers and transported them to 1630s New England. The Witch takes as much time as is needed to mix the suspense and, expanding the demonic warmth until just in the last minutes, you understand how scary things will turn. There are disturbing, even horrifying scenes early on, but they don’t surprise you so much as they build up a constant tension. The story starts itself into your mind with a first, the unknown fear of something unseen. It sends shivers down your spine with its harsh air of anticipation and sense of a puzzle that puts forward questions you’re not sure you want the answer. I highly suggest you watch this if you are searching for realistic yet one of the scariest ghost movies in modern cinema.

2. Exorcism of Emily Rose (2015)

top 10 scariest ghost

Scare intensity-6/10 Quality of movie-9.5/10

It’s often said, “theaters and digital screens act as a wall to differentiate between the real world and movie world.” But when you see something on the screen that strongly resonates with what we know to be real-world, various thoughts, experiences, and emotions bubble up in your mind. Especially if it’s horror, things don’t go very well for you. This movie is about a cleric who stands for trial for the murder of a 22-year-old young girl he performed an exorcism, because of which she died. She is from a decent Catholic family, yet encounters satanic possession in college and struggles against the evil forces within her. An agnostic lawyer goes to the support of the priest, while the government prosecutor calls an outreaching Methodist to accuse. The interrogation comes down to whether Emily Rose had medicinal issues or if her indications of paranoia, seizures, muscle, and joint hardening, shouting, brutality, and inability to eat have no explanation on the physical, “scientific” level. The story derives from a real-life trial that happened in the 1970s Bavaria with a girl named  Anneliese Michel . The real story is grayer than the film. Why it is a must see? The movie storyline is grasping; It triggers consideration of the partial separation between religion and science. Is demonic possession real? Does science answer? Does God exist? The closest encounter we often have with ghosts (if real or not) is through a possessed person. You might have heard stories of possession, and if you wish you could have seen a real ghost, this movie could be the nearest answer. This is one of the most accurate, true-to-life supernatural yet one of the scariest ghost movies you could see.

Honourable mentions,

Before jumping top our top spot, Ill list some honorable mentions which we couldn’t include in our Top 10 ghost films of all time countdown but are worth watching.

  • Sixth sense

1. Hereditary (2018)

top 10 scariest ghost

Scare intensity-10/10 Quality of movie-9.5/10

Hereditary is a movie that pushes the limits of what frightfulness is. Its story is about a dysfunctional family dealing with the death of a member and lets the audience watch these individuals gradually crumble as grief overtakes them. If you are going into this movie, expecting that it should be a  typical horror movie , you will be woefully baffled. The movie gets your attention right from the opening shot; I loved how the camera focused on the unpleasant miniature house. The jump scares in this film will shake you since they are not your ordinary jump scares. Which is normally a sudden silence followed by a dramatic noise and a ghost popping up out of the blue? The director’s sense of priority cautiously delivers plausibly the best terror traps: the wide-angle shots, a dash of the paranoia, and simple yet effective sound effects. It infiltrates each scene, and the audience isn’t permitted to relax at all. The last 15 to 20 minutes of the film gets serious (very serious). And yes! Also, continued crashing with your psyche may trigger the PTSD you got from this film. This movie never made into box office hits but surely is on the way to becoming one classic like The Exorcist & will shine in Hollywood history as top 10 horror movies of all time. Make sure you are in a good state of mind and health before watching this movie.

If you like our best ghost movies of all time list based on supernatural horror, comment down below which one you want to see. Also,  If you want to challenge your friends, to watch these horror movies together, or alone make sure to share this post.

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Um, Ringu was FAR more frightening than the pathetic American remake. No comparison.

Silence of the Lambs, Halloween and Hereditary are most horrific flicks. period

Psychological horror and gothic fiction are slowly now replaced with pop up jump scares.

Have you seen the Child’s Play series?

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75 of the scariest horror movies of all time

scary horror movies

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

If horro r is your jam, then we're here to lend a hand (arm ... or leg ) in the goosebump department .

From ghosts and witches to demonic possessions and vampires , we've compiled a comprehensive collection of bone-chilling films sure to leave you shaking in your shoes.

That's right, we've gathered the scariest horror movies of all time including films like "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre," "The Exorcist," "The Ring" and other terrifying tales to help plan a movie marathon that'll leave you checking for monsters and serial killers under the bed.

What makes a proper horror film? Well, according to David E. Tolchinsky, professor of radio-TV-film at Northwestern University, a well-done horror movie is one that has deeply-felt fear at its core.

“Sometimes good horror films aren’t scary when you watch them, but they stay with you for a long time and scare you in your dreams, ” Tolchinsky tells in an email.

Tolchinsky also says that a good horror movie is one that makes you feel uncomfortable or has dramatic effect even without the supernatural elements, like the sadness of a suffering child or failed marriage in “The Sixth Sense” or the racism at the core of “Get Out.”

The bottom line? Whether it's gory, frightening, thrilling or creepy, if it scares the pants off you , mission accomplished.

So, settle in with a bowl of popcorn and get ready to pull the covers over your head because fright night is here ... and there's no turning back. In no particular order, here they are, the scariest horror movies of all time.

'Donnie Darko' (2001)

Donnie Darko (Jake Gyllenhaal) has got issues with just about everyone. Even so, the loner strikes up a love relationship with Gretchen (Jena Malone) and a finds a freaky new pal in the form of a guy dressed up as a rabbit. Yep, you read that right. A bunny. From there it all goes downhill. This 2001 classic horror film also stars Maggie Gyllenhaal, Patrick Swayze, Drew Barrymore and Mary McDonnell. This is horror for deep thinkers.

‘Infinity Pool’ (2023)

Alexander Skarsgård and Cleopatra Coleman star as James and Em Foster, a couple enjoying a beach getaway but all is not what it seems at their paradise retreat. There’s a sinister plot involving seduction and death brewing and it’s positively criminal. Who'll make it out alive? The answer might surprise you in this total creeper of a film.

'The Blackening' (2023)

Taking a page from the "Scream" playbook, Dewayne Perkins' "The Blackening" pokes fun at horror movie tropes while scaring the pants off you at the same time. The plot revolves around a group of friends who vacation together over the long Juneteenth weekend only to discover they're being stalked by a serial killer on a deadly mission.

'Knock at the Cabin' (2023)

What would you do if you were asked to save the world, but at the cost of your family's lives? "Knock at the Cabin" poses exactly that question and learning the answer will keep you on the edge of your seat. This M. Night Shyamalan thriller stars Dave Bautista, Jonathan Groff and Ben Aldridge.

'The Menu' (2022)

Starring Ralph Fiennes and Anya Taylor-Joy, fine dining has never been more terrifying than in "The Menu," a horror movie and dark comedy that explores just how far a chef is willing to go to prepare a one-of-a-kind meal.

'M3GAN' (2022)

After Cady (Violet McGraw) loses her parents in a tragic car crash, her aunt Gemma (Allison Williams) creates Megan, an AI toy companion to keep Cady safe from harm. Before long, Megan develops a mind of her own. Anyone who gets in her way better watch out.

'Scream VI' (2023)

Courtney Cox reprises her role of Gale Weathers in "Scream VI," the sixth installment in the "Scream" franchise. She's joined by Jenna Ortega playing Tara Carpenter and the pair, along with other Ghostface survivors, attempt to make a fresh start. But, of course, things don't go as planned after Ghostface resurfaces yet again.

'The Invisible Man' (2020)

Cecilia Kass (Elisabeth Moss), flees an abusive relationship only to discover that despite the death of her controlling ex-lover, she still can't escape his torment. What Cecilia can't see might be more terrifying than what she can.

'It Follows' (2014)

A teen hookup results in abduction and a sinister curse that only ends when passed on to someone else. High-schooler Jay Height (Maika Monroe) must beat the clock and fend off supernatural stalkers if she hopes to survive.

'Jacob's Ladder' (1990)

"Fatal Attraction" director Adrian Lyne presents this 1990 horror film about Jacob Singer, a Vietnam vet (Tim Robbins) who struggles to separate reality from his tortured past. Verging on the edge of madness, Singer attempts to discover the truth about who he is and how to stop the nightmares.

This recent release from A24 takes place in 1979 and follows a group of young filmmakers who travel to a remote cabin in Texas in order to make an adult movie. Things go nightmarishly wrong when their elderly hosts turn out to be anything but welcoming.

'Nope' (2022)

Brother and sister horse wranglers, Otis and Emerald Haywood, investigate some supernatural happenings and try to capture evidence of UFOs in Jordan Peele's sci-fi thriller "Nope."

'Halloween' (1978)

Nearly 45 years after its release, John Carpenter's "Halloween" still remains the gold standard for all horror movies. After escaping from a mental hospital, Michael Myers returns to his hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois on Halloween night and goes from house to house on a bloody killing spree.

‘Rosemary’s Baby’ (1968)

Rosemary Woodhouse (Mia Farrow) and her actor husband Guy (John Cassavetes) move into a new apartment on Central Park to start a family. Things go south, however, shortly after Rosemary becomes pregnant. Something’s brewing in the neighborhood and it just might be satan. Ruth Gordon and Ralph Bellamy also star in this 1968 classic.

'Prometheus' (2012)

Ridley Scott directs this prequel to "Alien," a deep-space expedition to a distant planet goes awry when scientists discover an ancient alien species known as "The Engineers." Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron and Idris Elba star in this sci-fi horror film.

'Orphan' (2009)

After losing a child, Kate and John Coleman (Vera Farmiga and Peter Sarsgaard) adopt 9-year-old Esther. It all seems too good to be true until it's discovered that Esther isn't what she seems. At all. Manipulative and sociopathic, Esther has her own hidden agenda and soon everyone's lives are in danger.

'Orphan: First Kill' (2022)

Born with a rare disorder that makes her appear much younger than she is, Leena (Isabelle Fuhrman) escapes from an Estonian psych ward. She heads to the U.S. where she assumes the false identity of "Esther," the missing daughter of wealthy couple Tricia and Allen Albright (Julia Stiles and Rossif Sutherland).

‘Alien’ (1979)

In space, no one can hear you scream — and everyone’s screaming, like a lot in this sci-fi horror movie that stars Sigourney Weaver as Ripley, an astronaut battling a shape-shifting stowaway.

'The Exorcist' (1973)

Made nearly 50 years ago, "The Exorcist" still holds up and remains one of the scariest movies of all time. It's film that you can't unsee once you've seen it — including Regan's (Linda Blair) 180-degree head turn. Truly terrifying, the plot revolves around a young girl who becomes possessed by an evil demon.

'Night of the Living Dead' (1968)

The flesh-eating zombie movie that launched a thousand imitations, George Romero's "Night of the Living Dead" remains just as gruesome and unsettling as it was back in 1968. The original black-and-white version remains the best, so don't settle for anything else.

'Hereditary' (2018)

If you've ever enjoyed sticking your head out the window while riding in a car, you will absolutely never do it again after watching "Hereditary." Starring Toni Collette and Gabriel Byrne, this horror movie is beyond disturbing. But it also gets at universal themes, like what we inherit from our family and parts our ourselves we can't run away from.

'The Witch' (2015)

In 17th-century New England, a Puritan family settles on an isolated patch of land near a forest inhabited by a witch. An infant goes missing. Then, the family's eldest daughter, Thomasin (Anya Taylor-Joy) starts acting ... strange. This takes the whole Hansel-and-Gretel thing to a new level.

'The Texas Chain Saw Massacre' (1974)

Don't even think about eating before watching this gruesome '70s horror movie about a family that makes a career out of carving strangers up with a chainsaw. "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre" is a staple in the slasher horror genre, so prepare yourself before meeting the villain called "Leatherface."

'Midsommer' (2019)

During the eternal daylight of Sweden's summer season, a small village celebrates its once-every-90-years summer festival. A group of vacationing friends travel to the town to participate only to find out that the festival activities are more grisly than they could have ever imagined.

'The Cabin in the Woods' (2011)

A friends' getaway to a remote cabin in the woods turns into a nightmare after it becomes overrun with killer zombies. To make matters worse, it's all part of a sinister science experiment controlled by an underground laboratory.

'Us' (2019)

A relaxing beach trip turns into the fight of their lives after an unsuspecting family is stalked by murderous versions of themselves. This Jordan Peele film is a masterclass in suspense and mystery. Who are the tethered? What do they want? What do they say about human nature? These are the questions you'll be chewing on. And you'll never listen to the Beach Boys "Good Vibrations" the same way again. Promise.

'Hellraiser' (1987)

With tons of truly horrifying imagery and torture, this '80s horror film is about a puzzle box that unleashes a group of demons looking for blood and flesh sacrifices.

'Saw' (2004)

Two men wake up imprisoned in a strange bathroom, a dead body between them, and no idea how they got there. It's all part of the Jigsaw Serial Killer's sadistic plan that involves – yep, you guessed it – the grisly use of a hacksaw.

'Evil Dead' (1981)

There are no holds barred in this '80s horror classic. Chock full of completely gory, gruesome scenes, the plot revolves around a group of friends who plan a retreat at a remote cabin in the Tennessee woods and, as so often happens in horror movies, they accidentally wake the dead while they're at it.

'An American Werewolf in London' (1981)

A backpacking trip in Britain gets, uh, hairy after two Americans are attacked by an unidentifiable creature while walking at night. During a full moon. One dies, the other is injured, and instead of getting better, he discovers a whole new set of problems. “An American Werewolf in London” is the first film to win an Oscar for “Best Make-up,” a category created the same year the movie was released.

'The Conjuring' (2013)

"The Conjuring" is based on the real-life work of Ed and Lorraine Warren. Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson play the paranormal investigators in this movie — and in all its many sequels, including an entire spin-off about a demonic doll.

‘The Conjuring 2’ (2016)

In this 2016 sequel to "The Conjuring," ghost hunters, Ed and Lorraine Warren travel across the Atlantic to help a London mom with a frightening supernatural problem. An evil spirit has been haunting her home and, worse, possessing her children. Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson star in "The Conjuring 2."

'A Nightmare on Elm Street' (1984)

Along with "Halloween" and "Friday the 13th," "Nightmare on Elm Street" is a seminal addition to the slasher film genre. Freddie Krueger, the series' razor-blade-gloved murderer, is a horror icon. This is a must for anyone looking to check off all the horror movie classics.

'The Ring' (2002)

If you watch it, you're dead within seven days. Journalist Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts) seeks to understand why when her niece and three friends die mysteriously after viewing the "cursed" videotape. Of course, she watches it, then must beat the clock in order to survive. It's worth watching both the American remake and the 1998 Japanese original.

'It' (2017)

This Stephen King movie (adapted from the book by the same name), is a PSA on why to never, ever allow your paper boat to be swept into a storm drain. Every 27 years, It emerges to prey on the people of Derry, Maine. The most recent "It" adaptation divides King's long novel into two parts: One following a group of middle schoolers taking down the monster, and another when they're adults summoned back to do it all over again.

'The Fly' (1986)

Years before Jeff Goldblum played a mathematician in "Jurassic Park," he played a scientist in "The Fly" who inadvertently swaps DNA with a fly and, in extremely gruesome detail, becomes one.

'Insidious' (2010)

After moving into a new house, the Lambert family's oldest son, Dalton, suffers a fall that leaves him in a coma. In the months that follow, supernatural events begin to occur. Despite moving houses again, the family's troubles persist until a ghost hunter figures out that Dalton is captive in an alternate realm called "The Further."

'Child's Play' (1988)

It goes without saying that dolls with knives are unsettling — and "Chucky" sets the mold. Chucky is a red-headed toy possessed by a serial killer on a mission to murder everyone it encounters.

'Sinister' (2012)

Writer Ellison Oswalt (Ethan Hawke) and his young family move into a new house, but only Ellison knows that it's the scene of a ghastly murder. Horrible things happen after he discovers a box of snuff films in the attic and Ellison soon realizes his family is caught in a "sinister" plan.

'The Blair Witch Project' (1999)

Three film students traipse out into the Maryland woods looking for a mythical witch and find way more than they bargained for. Meta and scary, "The Blair Witch Project" is a horror-film must. An indie film, "The Blair Witch Project" cost only $60,000 to produce and went on to earn nearly $250 million at the box office.

'Cloverfield' (2008)

Filmed cinéma vérité style, this "found-footage" movie chronicles a group of friends and their desperate attempt to stay alive after an alien-like monster attacks New York City.

'10 Cloverfield Lane' (2016)

The unofficial sequel to "Cloverfield," this follow-up features John Goodman and Mary Elizabeth Winstead as survivors of the alien apocalypse, trapped together in an underground bunker. A tense psychological thriller, the film will keep you guessing right up until the end.

'The Haunting' (1999)

"The Haunting" follows a group of insomniacs who stay at a spooky old mansion as part of a sleep study. When the lights turn off, that's when they realize they're not alone in the mansion.

'Paranormal Activity' (2007)

Another horror movie filmed in a "found footage" style, "Paranormal Activity" is about Micah and Katie, a husband and wife who find themselves at the mercy of a demon who stalks them as they sleep.

'Friday the 13th' (1980)

Kill, kill, kill ... now, now, now. An evil serial killer wearing a hockey mask is murdering the counselors at Camp Crystal Lake, one by one. Is it the ghost of Jason, a young boy who drowned in the lake years before? Or something much worse? This 1980 film features Kevin Bacon as a young camp counselor prior to his breakout role as "Ren" in the movie "Footloose."

'Friday the 13th Part 2' (1981)

The second movie in the "Friday the 13th" franchise ends up being nearly as fun as the first when sole-surviving camp counselor, Alice, returns to Camp Crystal Lake only to find out that the murdering is far from over.

'War of the Worlds' (2005)

What begins as a freaky lightening storm turns out to be the end of the world in this sci-fi horror film, which features alien octopods rising from the ground and using human blood to fertilize the earth ... and Tom Cruise in a starring role.

'The Babadook' (2014)

After reading a terrifying bedtime story about a boogie monster named "Mister Babadook," a son and his mother discover that he's real – and living in their house.

'Scream' (1996)

Wes Craven, writer and director of "A Nightmare on Elm Street," directs this 1996 horror film that parodies other horror films. Playing off slasher film tropes (think "Halloween" and "Friday the 13th), "Scream" pokes fun at the genre, while still being a worthy contender.

'The Thing' (1982)

If you're planning a trip to Antarctica, "The Thing" is sure to make you reconsider. An old-school classic, this scary horror movie stars Kurt Russell as MacReady, an arctic researcher trapped with a killer alien able to disguise itself as his teammates.

'The Shining' (1980)

All work and no play makes Jack (Jack Nicholson) a dull boy and, unfortunately, it also puts him in an extremely bad mood. Maybe it's the work — or maybe it's the spirits at the Overlook Hotel, where Jack and his family are staying over the course of a long winter. Stanley Kubrick's 1980 take on Stephen King's book "The Shining" is both thought-provoking and scary.

'The Lost Boys' (1987)

There's only one problem with living in the California beach town of Santa Carla – all the damn vampires. Campy, scary and gory, "The Lost Boys" is a classic.

'A Quiet Place' (2018)

What's worse than aliens taking over the world? Aliens with super-sonic hearing that take over the world, then killing anything that makes a sound. This is unfortunate for Evelyn (Emily Blunt) and Lee Abbott (John Krasinski) who must protect their young family – and keep them extremely quiet – if they hope to survive.

'Salem's Lot' (1979)

A two-part miniseries released in the '70s, "Salem's Lot" is based on the Stephen King novel by the same name and is available to stream on Amazon . Despite being a bit dated, it still packs some super-serious scares in this tale of a small New England town overrun by vampires.

‘Get Out’ (2017)

Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) is heading to meet his girlfriend Rose's (Allison Williams) parents for the first time. And if he's being honest, things feel kind of weird. This groundbreaking Jordan Peele movie, which is also a commentary on race in the U.S., is a good reminder of why you should always listen to that little warning voice in your head telling you something's wrong, before it's too late.

'The Amityville Horror' (1979)

Before putting a deposit down on your dream house, make sure there isn't a massive fly infestation or pig with glowing eyes floating outside your bedroom window. More important, however, double check with the realtor that no mass murders have occurred there that'll lead to evil spirits stalking your family, as what happens in "The Amityville Horror," inspired by a real crime.

'The Mothman Prophecies' (2002)

This slow-burn horror movie, starring Richard Gere and Laura Linney, isn't full of gore or jump-scares. Instead, it's a psychological thriller that promises to haunt you for days, maybe weeks, after watching it.

'What Lies Beneath' (2000)

Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer star as a husband and wife who own a very nice lakeside cottage. Too bad it's haunted – or at least Pfeiffer thinks it is. Apparitions appear and supernatural events occur, but only when she's by herself. Are they real or is it all in her head?

'Psycho' (1960)

After absconding with $40,000, an embezzling woman books a room at a motel managed by a guy with significant mommy issues. Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho" defines the horror movie genre along with rendering showers unsafe for the rest of all time.

"The Sixth Sense" (1999)

Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment) sees dead people. A lot of them, actually. That's when child psychologist, Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis) intervenes to help. If the twist hasn't been spoiled for you, watch it before it is.

'Signs' (2002)

Turns out farms can be surprisingly scary places, especially when uninvited visitors hide among the corn stalks and your baby monitor picks up transmissions from outer space. This M. Night Shyamalan film is a terse, sci-fi thriller.

'World War Z' (2013)

From start to finish, it's nonstop action in this epic battle between the dead and undead. Brad Pitt stars as a United Nations investigator who must figure out how to stop the zombie apocalypse before it's too late.

'Fright Night' (1985)

What's the deal with Charley's (William Ragsdale) creepy new neighbors? They keep strange hours and own a coffin for starters. Beyond that, a lot of women are turning up dead in mysterious ways. Are his neighbors — gasp — vampires? Charley enlists the help of a vampire hunter to find out.

'Poltergeist' (1982)

All is well with the Freeling family, until youngest daughter, Carol Anne, starts a conversation with a blank TV screen. In this movie written by Steven Spielberg, the Freelings rely on each other to survive their newly-haunted house.

'The Omen' (1976)

Is it a girl, a boy or the antichrist? Unfortunately, for Robert and Katherine Thorn (Gregory Peck and Lee Remick), the result is not the one they're hoping for Born with the devil's "666" on his head, it seems the couple's adopted son isn't just difficult, but comes to them straight from hell.

'The Descent' (2005)

A group of women head to the Appalachian Mountains to go cave-diving and end up trapped inside a cave after it collapses. As they try and navigate their escape, they discover that they're not alone down there. The movie is chilly, and not only because it's set in a cave.

'Candyman' (1992)

Within the mythology of this movie, saying the name "Candyman" five times while looking in a mirror unleashes a throat-slashing monster. Still, everyone does it anyway to find out if the urban legend is real, including research student, Helen Lyle (Virginia Madsen), who finds out the hard way that it is. "Candyman" was remade in 2021.

'The Purge' (2013)

America is a crime-free utopia thanks to once-a-year "purge" that allows people to commit any and all crimes (including murder) during a 12-hour grace period known as "the purge." Ethan Hawke stars as a wealthy businessman who must protect his family when their security measures fail.

'28 Days Later' (2002)

After a chimp carrying a deadly virus is freed from an experimental lab, the world pretty much dies off in 28 days, except a handful of survivors, including Cillian Murphy ("Peaky Blinders"). Along the lines of the "Walking Dead" or "I am Legend," it's kill or be killed in this zombie flick.

'The Ritual' (2017)

When one of their friends is murdered in a robbery, a group of men take a hiking trip to Sweden in his honor. Things deteriorate after they become lost in the woods and realize they're being hunted by a sadistic cult seeking human sacrifices.

'Fresh' (2022)

This recent release stars Daisy Edgar Jones as Noa, a young woman trying to navigate the dating scene. After finally meeting the perfect guy, she discovers he wants something more from her than just a relationship. He wants her flesh. Heads up, the "ew" factor is off the charts with this one.

'The Strangers' (2008)

After attending a wedding, a couple stays at a remote vacation home which turns nightmarish when they're assaulted by a trio of strangers bent on murder and mayhem. "The Strangers" plays on the palpable fear of a home invasion.

'The Haunting in Connecticut' (2009)

Problems arise after a family moves to a Victorian home that once served as a funeral parlor. From ghostly apparitions to unexplained injuries, things unravel as supernatural forces take over.

'The Black Phone' (2021)

Finney (Mason Thames), a 13-year-old boy, is abducted by “The Grabber,” a crazed child-killer (Ethan Hawke), who locks him in a basement with a mysterious black phone. Even though it’s disconnected, the phone rings and Finney discovers that all its callers are all unearthly.

'Hush' (2016)

A bout with bacterial meningitis leaves Maddie (Kate Siegel) deaf and mute at the age of 13. After penning a successful novel, Maddie leaves New York City for a desolate cabin in the woods where she’s stalked by a masked killer bent on making her his next victim.

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20 Scariest Horror Movies That Are Too Disturbing to Re-Watch

Once is enough.

Content Warning: The following article contains discussions of graphic violence, animal cruelty, sexual assault, and rape. Everybody loves a good scare, as the undying popularity of horror movies continues to prove. From unexpected jump scares and eerie atmosphere, to terrifying creatures and supernatural occurrences, a lot of fun can be had with the genre. However, these films aren’t always meant to be a pleasant experience, and there are some horror movies that are actually scary and truly disturbing and twisted that even the most seasoned enthusiasts would struggle to sit through.

Whether it’s due to graphic violence, excessive gore, controversial subject matter, or unsettling imagery, these movies are hard to unsee. The scariest horror movies will definitely have viewers questioning the filmmaker's intentions and leave them with no desire to revisit them in the near future. These most disturbing horror movies in cinematic history are full of controversial plots and genuinely nightmare-inducing sequences, which often end up becoming hot topics of discussion among fans and critics alike. Feel good family fun, this certainly is not.

20 'Sinister' (2012)

Director: scott derrickson.

Considered by many to be the scariest modern horror film of all time, Sinister is… well, pretty darn sinister. Ethan Hawke plays Ellison Oswald, a true crime non-fiction crime writer who moves his family into a house where gruesome murders took place. Desperate for inspiration for his work, he delves into who may have been responsible for those murders, but his research reveals horrifying discoveries.

The film has a simple plot but is executed in a way that will be lodged into your subconscious for a long time. The Super-8 tapes Hawke’s character stumbles upon featuring various murders are already uneasy to watch , but it’s the demonic face that keeps popping up in each of them that is the stuff of nightmares. Its terrible twist has also become well-known among horror fans, who likely wish they could watch it all again for the first time.

Watch on USA Network

19 'Hereditary' (2018)

Director: ari aster.

Director Ari Aster has cemented himself as a profound and fresh new voice in horror over the last few years, as exhibited with his debut Hereditary . The film follows a grief-stricken family after the death of their matriarch, as they discover sinister ancestral secrets through supernatural disturbances.

The scariest movie ever from A24's collection, Aster’s film is bleak and utterly hopeless, littered with unnatural and explicit imagery among its unnerving ambiance. Toni Collette ’s performance is incredibly chilling, and one particular scene involving a nut allergy takes an abhorrent turn that viewers will not soon forget. That one scene has likely shocked and terrified viewers into never seeing the film again. Dark, dark stuff.

Watch on Max

18 'The Texas Chain Saw Massacre' (1974)

Director: tobe hooper.

Many argue that modern horror films are always scarier, but that’s not the case when it comes to 1974’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre . The film sees Leatherface and his cannibal family hunt down a group of unsuspecting hitchhikers for the first time, with mean and bloody results.

Thanks to its balance of sheer dread and extreme gore, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre was banned in several countries when first released, and is still considered one of the scariest movies of all time to this day . Disgusting and remarkably impressive for its time, it is certainly not for the faint of heart. Although later entries in the Texas Chain Saw Massacre haven't managed to reach the impressive heights of the first, there's still something to be said for the way the 1974 film established an enduring franchise beloved among horror fans.

Texas Chain Saw Massacre

Watch on Peacock

17 'Goodnight Mommy' (2014)

Directors: veronika franz, severin fiala.

Goodnight Mommy is a slow-burn psychological horror film that is drenched in dread from start to finish. It follows twin brothers Elias ( Elias Schwarz ) and Lukas ( Lukas Schwarz ), who begin to suspect the identity of their mother ( Susanne Wuest ) when she comes home covered in bandages after a facial reconstructive surgery.

Always cited among the scary horror movies, Goodnight Mommy gets under your skin with its creepy atmosphere and delicate pace but will have viewers squirming during its icky and excessive torture scenes, where the torture is being carried out by children. It goes to extremely dark and shocking places and knows how to use its twisted mother-child relationship to its full advantage, subverting expectations of what such a connection should look like.

Watch on Tubi

16 'The Innocents' (2021)

Director: eskil vogt.

If you’ve seen any of their films, you’d know the Nordic always nail atmospheric horror and use it to create really scary movies. Pair that with creepy kids carrying out sadistic acts, and you’ve got yourself some pretty uncomfortable viewing. The Innocents takes these elements to create an understated yet relentlessly haunting film.

During a bright Nordic summer, a group of kids experiments with their newfound powers as things take a dark turn. The violence and cruelty on display (including towards animals) in The Innocents are made all the more difficult to stomach because it is being carried out by children. The characters who are supposed to be innocent due to their age commit unspeakable acts without remorse, with each one worse than the last. Viewer discretion is advised.

Watch on Shudder

15 'Mother!' (2017)

Director: darren aronofsky.

One of the most polarizing movies of all time , director Darren Aronofsky 's Mother! stars Jennifer Lawrence as the titular protagonist, who lives with Him ( Javier Bardem ) in a Victorian mansion in the countryside. When unexpected guests arrive one after the other, chaos ensues as Mother is caught in a confusing and terrifying turn of events.

Unsettling from start to finish, the film relies heavily on allegory, extreme sound design, and shaky camera work to convey its metaphorical story. This same metaphorical approach is what has made it so divisive among fans and critics alike, who can't agree about whether it's a brilliant masterpiece or a jumbled mess of a film. It escalates in an unexpected and genuinely frightening way and reaches an explosive conclusion that will leave viewers perturbed and never wanting to revisit Mother! again .

Watch on Paramount+

14 'Speak No Evil' (2022)

Director: christian tafdrup.

Speak No Evil has cemented itself as one of the most shocking and heinous yet highly-rated movies of 2022 , which isn’t an exaggeration by any means. In the film, a Danish family is invited to the home of a Dutch family they befriended on holiday, whose hospitality eventually turns into something increasingly alarming.

Speak No Evil is the perfect example of a slow burn where things don’t seem quite right throughout but then end up going to a truly unbelievable and grotesque place with its brutal climax. The film speaks on the danger of compliance and is impressively harrowing and devoid of any warmth. Every decision feels both inevitable and avoidable along the way as the film masterfully creates a suspenseful atmosphere that eventually turns into pure terror.

13 'Infinity Pool' (2023)

Director: brandon cronenberg.

Director Brandon Cronenberg 's Infinity Pool follows a married couple, James ( Alexander Skarsgård ) and Em Foster ( Cleopatra Coleman ) who go on vacation to Li Tolqa, an island with a luxurious resort. They're soon involved in a tragic accident, which forces them to face the island's bizarre law – be executed, or buy a clone and watch yourself die. Soon, James is pulled deeper into the island community's hedonistic ways, guided by the mysterious Gabi Bauer ( played by modern scream queen Mia Goth ), who teaches him everything he needs to know about being a murder tourist.

With jarring scenes of gore, sex, torture, and, of course, body horror, Infinity Pool has quickly become a hotly debated and discussed movie among fans and critics. Only time will tell if its divisiveness will soon give way to a new cult classic – one thing's for sure, it has already made a lasting impression as a truly scary horror movie that viewers will probably only watch once.

Infinity Pool

Watch on Hulu

12 'Noroi: The Curse' (2005)

Director: kōji shiraishi.

Directed and co-written by Kōji Shiraishi , Noroi: The Curse is an underrated Japanese horror film that revolves around the experiences of a paranormal researcher, Masafumi Kobayashi ( Jin Muraki ). While investigating his most mysterious case yet for a documentary, Masafumi begins to walk into increasingly dangerous encounters with both human and supernatural beings.

Shot in a pseudo-documentary style, Noroi is reminiscent of horror movies like The Blair Witch Project , but is far more disturbing . It doesn't have to show the (incredibly) terrifying supernatural creatures responsible for the bizarre events its protagonist witnesses to be scary, using a dark atmosphere, creepy characters, and occasional shocking moments to become a film viewers wouldn't want to see more than once.

Buy on Amazon

11 'Antichrist' (2009)

Director: lars von trier.

Director Lars von Trier has made a name for himself as a bold and often controversial director. The reasons for his reputation are evident in Antichrist , a psychological horror film that's centered on a couple, credited as He ( Willem Dafoe ) and She ( Charlotte Gainsbourg ). They travel to a remote cabin in the woods after the devastating death of their child, but soon find themselves spiraling into a series of psychological and physical obstacles that make them question everything they know.

A highly divisive horror film, Antichrist has graphic and visceral depictions of violence and sex , all set against the backdrop of grief and trauma. It's considered a daring masterpiece by the director's fans, and misogynistic by critics who believe it crosses the line. Either way, newcomers to von Trier's work should tread carefully, as it's not the best choice for beginners.

Watch on Criterion

10 'Ichi the Killer' (2001)

Director: takashi miike.

Ichi the Killer is an overlooked Japanese action-horror film directed by Takashi Miike . It's centered on members of the yakuza, who attempt to search for their boss, Anjo, who has disappeared with a large sum of money. This stressful effort soon causes them to encounter the brutal enforcer Kakihara ( Tadanobu Asano ), who's also after Anjo. Soon, Ichi ( Nao Omori ), an enigmatic and disturbed young man with incredible martial arts skills, enters the picture.

Now a cult classic among fans of extreme horror, Ichi the Killer is known for its graphic portrayals of violence and torture . It depicts a level of gore not typically seen on the big screen, which is why first-time viewers will likely find that it's also the only time they'll feel like watching it. Ichi the Killer 's influence on Asian cinema and the sub-genre of ultra-violent movies in general was once overlooked, but the film has steadily gained more recognition over time.

9 'Inside' (2007)

Director: julien maury.

Directed by Julien Maury , Inside is a renowned film within the genre and is considered a must-see for fans of extreme horror. It revolves around the horrific events that take place when a psychopath with a pair of scissors ( Béatrice Dalle ) invades a pregnant woman's ( Alysson Paradis ) home and does everything in her power to take the unborn baby. It's as bad as it sounds, and probably much worse than what the average viewer is imagining.

Praised for being a great example of the new wave of French horror, Inside is an unflinching and visceral slasher that takes goriness to a whole new level. Viewers can be forgiven for looking away as the gruesome events during the home invasion just keep escalating to unbelievable extremes in Inside . It's a stressful horror film most seasoned horror fans will want to see just one time.

8 'I Spit on Your Grave' (1978)

Director: meir zarchi.

Originally called Day of the Woman and directed by Meir Zarchi , 1978's I Spit on Your Grave is a controversial revenge/horror/video nasty film that follows the horrific experiences of New York-based writer, Jennifer Hills ( Camille Keaton ). After she's gang raped and left for dead, she pursues the men responsible for her suffering and vows to get retribution.

With a 30-minute depiction of the gang rape and extreme violence, I Spit on Your Grave was quickly censored and banned following its wider release . It was criticized by renowned names like Roger Ebert , who famously called it a "vile bag of garbage" and further described it as a "movie so sick, reprehensible and contemptible" that he found watching "it was one of the most depressing experiences of [his] life." If that isn't enough to deter people from even watching it once, nothing is.

7 'Audition' (1999)

From the same director of notoriously disturbing movies like the aforementioned Ichi the Killer , Takashi Miike, 1999’s Audition is an extreme horror thriller movie that doesn’t start out as a completely wild film. In fact, viewers can be forgiven for thinking they’re watching a lighthearted romantic drama for the first few minutes instead of one of the best horror movies ever, as it follows Aoyama ( Ryo Ishibashi ), a widowed man who decides to venture back into the world of dating. With the help of his film-producer friend, they come up with a plan to use auditions for a fictional film project as a means to meet potential partners. Soon, he meets the enigmatic Asami ( Eihi Shiina ), who isn’t telling him the whole truth about her past.

The haunting shift in Asami’s demeanor gives way to some of the scariest scenes to ever make it to the big screen, with several kinds of torture showcased in increasingly gross ways. The film manages to maintain this momentum until its climactic finale, which is a perfect mind-blowing way to end the entire ordeal.

6 'Martyrs' (2008)

Director: pascal laugier.

Director Pascal Laugier 's 2008 film sparked outrage, controversy, and even walkouts when Martyrs premiered in 2008 at Cannes . Touted as having set a new benchmark for the New French Extremity movement, it follows two young women who want retribution against those who tortured and abused them when they were children, only to find themselves in a grotesque situation that just leads to another, more terrible scenario.

Martyrs portrays torture in an unapologetic and terrifying way, inviting audiences to feel the pain its characters are showing on the big screen. Its plot is also unpredictable, with classic horror twists to complement its spine-chilling scenes. The divisive film has supporters for the way it pushes the boundaries of film without relying purely on exploitation, and detractors who think it went too far.

5 'The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence)' (2011)

Director: tom six.

A movie franchise that has famously been banned, criticized, and called satanic on more than one occasion, The Human Centipede films undoubtedly left their mark (not always for the right reasons). The most disturbing among them, The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence) , was directed by Tom Six as the sequel to the 2009 film The Human Centipede (First Sequence) . The film follows Martin Lomax ( Laurence R. Harvey ), an English man living with a mental disability who grows an unhealthy obsession with the first Human Centipede movie. He soon replicates the events of the first film, this time with twelve victims surgically attached, mouth to rectum, to create one giant organism with a single digestive system.

If that sounds bad enough, then you probably shouldn't even try to watch the film that will make you sick to your stomach – it is as disgusting and disturbing as you might imagine. The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence) is one of the scariest movies ever made and has become iconic among fans because of how unflinching it is when it comes to depicting repulsive scenes, especially in that one scene.

The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence)

4 'cannibal holocaust' (1980), director: ruggero deodato.

One of the most notoriously disturbing horror movies ever made, Cannibal Holocaust by director Ruggero Deodato is a movie most audiences would understandably rather steer clear of. It's centered on a rescue mission in the Amazon rainforest where a terrifying lost movie shot by a missing documentary crew is found. In it are some gruesome secrets related to the area's cannibalistic tribes.

Cannibal Holocaust will forever be the face of Italian exploitation cinema , with its found footage style confusing many viewers, including local authorities. Deodato was arrested by Italian police who believed he was responsible for the actual murders of the actors in the film and for genuine animal cruelty, both of which would later be overturned. Despite its realistic-looking scenes proven to be fake, it's still an incredibly disturbing film to see today. Watch on Peacock

3 'Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom' (1975)

Director: pier paolo pasolini.

Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (or simply Salò ) is a deeply unsettling and often disgusting art horror movie from director Pier Paolo Pasolini , which also served as his final film. Set in Fascist Italy during World War II, the film depicts the heinous acts of four powerful men – The Duke, The Bishop, The Magistrate, and The President – who kidnap a group of boys and girls and abuse them for four months.

Known for its explicit content, Salò aims to provoke a visceral reaction while delivering its heavy-handed message about authoritarianism and fascism . It was a truly shocking film for its time and remains banned in several countries around the world. Only fans of the most extreme horror would likely dare view it just once, and even then, no one would be able to keep their eyes on the depravity all throughout.

Buy on Criterion

2 'A Serbian Film' (2010)

Director: srđan spasojević.

Often called the most disturbing horror movie ever made, A Serbian Film is a notorious gross-out movie that’s critically panned and banned in numerous countries. Directed by Srđan Spasojević , it follows the story of Miloš ( Srđan Todorović ), a retired porn star who accepts a seemingly lucrative opportunity to appear in a straightforward art film. He soon finds himself in a nightmarish world of sadism and violence, but can't find a way to escape.

Criticized for focusing on shock value and not much else, A Serbian Film is an extreme horror movie that is a truly disgusting display of exploitation and depravity. Even those who venture into extreme horror may not have the stomach to complete just one viewing of this dark and often repulsive film.

Watch on Arrow

1 'August Underground' (2001)

Director: fred vogel.

Forget rewatching director Fred Vogel 's August Underground , as most viewers likely wouldn't even make it through the first 10 minutes of the abhorrent exploitation horror film. The 2001 movie stars Vogel as one of two serial killers, with the other one mostly filming the murders throughout their disgusting journey.

Most of the acts in the film are too terrible to even describe, as it's full of moments that push the art form to its very limits (redefining the boundaries of the genre itself) as the duo goes on a killing and torture spree. What makes it so terrifying – and what it's best remembered for among critics and audiences – is August Underground 's use of found footage-style horror to depict realistic and raw acts that seem real , especially if viewers didn't know they were watching a movie. It's so atrocious that when Vogel brought a copy to Canada for a convention, he was held in customs custody for ten hours to be questioned about the movie's contents. Rent on YouTube

NEXT: Movies That Have Been Banned Throughout the World (& Where to Legally Watch Them)

The 25 Best Horror Movies of All Time

Top classic horror films to watch right now..

IGN Staff Avatar

Coming up with a list of the best horror movies of all time is a good way to weed out the scary movie veterans from the scaredy cats. You can spot 'em every time a jump scare happens, or a devil-possessed girl crab walks upstairs, or an alien missiles out of some poor sucker's chest.

Okay, so we were more scared than not when working on this list. Sue us! Using overall movie quality, impact on the genre, legacy potential, fright/creepy factor and that mysterious quality known as Editor's Choice, we assembled a list of movies that guarantee you'll want to sleep with the lights on.

Some of the movies here are more traditional horror fare, while others are just twisted and creepy in a "permanently scarred for life" sorta way (e.g. The Silence of the Lambs). But all of them will scare the living heck out of you. So enjoy, and fire off your own suggestions and faves in the comments!

The 25 Best Horror Movies

Read on for IGN's picks for the top 25 horror movies ever!

25. Scream (1996)

top 10 scariest ghost

Both director Wes Craven and writer Kevin Williamson have plenty of successes in their career, but Scream remains a big highlight for both men. Williamson's script managed to deftly be so many things -- it was a sly meta/self-parody about the horror genre that didn't cross the line into goofiness, while also playing as a successful whodunit and, most importantly, an effective horror film in and of itself.

Finally a group of horror movie characters made it clear that yes, they'd seen all the same movies we had, and were aware of the rules and clichés that come with the genre. But no one was more knowledgeable than the killer (or is that killers?), who toyed with the victims by asking them horror movie trivia that plenty of us in the audience could have fun playing along with.

But when the killer actually showed himself, it was terrifying, with several extremely well-executed suspense scenes by Craven, which proved again just how good he was with this sort of material. A movie that set out to simultaneously make the audience laugh, cheer and yes, scream, Scream deserves a lot of credit for pulling off all these elements so well.

Scene to watch with the lights on: Scream's opening scene is incredibly strong and scary, instantly grabbing the audience by the throat. Watching a high school girl (Drew Barrymore) get a series of increasingly ominous phone calls, we (and she) begin to realize just how vulnerable she is. And that's when the guy with the ghost-faced mask shows up...

24. Nosferatu (1922)

top 10 scariest ghost

Count Orlok is moving to Germany, and he’s bringing pestilence and shadows with him. F.W. Murnau’s shameless rip-off of Bram Stoker’s Dracula does away with the sensuality that many associate with the undead monster, revealing the vampire to be a sad and rat-like creature, tormented by isolation and completely wrong for the modern world.

Murnau seems to have a queasy fixation on Orlok and his eery appetites, and his movie paints them out with thick shadows and grotesque imagery. Max Schreck’s performance as the Count is so bizarre and hypnotic that, years later, he stills ranks as one of the most iconic horror monsters . Indeed, the horror genre is still using the language that Murnau helped invent with Nosferatu, and his film feels as deliriously creepy today as it ever did.

Scene to watch with the lights on: Count Orlok’s last hurrah as he approaches a beautiful, sleeping victim is an oft-imitated and, almost 100 years later, still very creepy moment.

See more of the best vampire movies of all time.

23. The Blair Witch Project (1999)

top 10 scariest ghost

The movie that gave birth to the widespread "horror movie as faux-documentary" trend and that inspired such films as Paranormal Activity, The Blair Witch Project is quite an effective scare fest in retrospect.

Some of its then-inspired choices in the realm of "is it or isn't real" seem dated and obvious now, given the fact that the Internet seemingly sets out to reveal spoilers that surround projects like this. (Also, we know it's all fiction at this point.) But Blair Witch came out in 1999, when the Internet was in its infancy and could be used as a tool to successfully convince audiences that maybe the story of a three-person documentary crew going snipe hunting for what turns out to be pure evil is in fact real.

Blame the gift/curse of the shaky cam on this movie, but give it credit for delivering scares in such a way that changed the way we like to be scared... and that changed the way Hollywood goes about making the things that scare us.

Scene to watch with the lights on: A night in the woods full of tent shaking and lots of screaming leads to a morning where one character discovers a nice gift-wrap of anatomy no longer attached to its person.

22. Dracula (1931)

top 10 scariest ghost

All of today's mega-popular vampire franchises owe a debt of gratitude to Count Dracula. And as much as Bram Stoker's original novel helped popularize the vampire story, it was Universal's 1931 adaptation that cemented the image of Dracula in the minds of most moviegoers.

Dracula condenses and combines many of the main characters from the novel, opening with the poor Mr. Renfield's arrival in Transylvania. After falling victim to Dracula's influence, the pair head to London so Dracula can feast on the city's inhabitants. Only the courageous Dr. Seward, his ally Professor Van Helsing, and their friends can prevent Dracula from slaughtering innocents and making the fair Mina his newest bride.

Dracula isn't the scariest film by modern standards (though the alternate Spanish cut is superior in that regard). What it does have is plenty of atmosphere and a very memorable take on the lead villain. This adaptation diverged from the source by making Dracula a handsome, charismatic figure, and Bela Lugosi captured the imaginations of millions with his performance as Dracula. For better or worse, it was a role that would follow him for the rest of his life. And it remains the definitive portrayal of this classic villain for many.

Scene to watch with the lights on: Renfield's midnight ride is full of dramatic tension as he meets the world's creepiest carriage driver. By the time he finally arrives at the castle and is introduced to its master, he and the viewer are much worse for wear.

21. 28 Days Later (2002)

top 10 scariest ghost

The zombie genre is bigger than ever now, and you have 28 Days Later to thank for it. The genre was practically dead by the time Danny Boyle and screenwriter Alex Garland gave zombies a much needed shot of adrenaline with this film. Seriously, this movie is pumped up on adrenaline. The zombies -- er, sorry, “infected” -- sprint through the movie, spawning endless debates about whether “fast zombies” are scarier than “slow zombies.” As if that’s the important thing.

What mattered most is that 28 Days Later was more than a visceral horror experience. A great cast and a smart script treated the concept with sincerity and severity, and Boyle’s digital cinematography gave the film an immediacy that hadn’t been matched at that time. If zombies -- sigh, “infected” -- did take over the Earth, this is surely what it would look and feel like. And it would be terrifying.

Scene to watch with the lights on: When Cillian Murphy finds his way into a church and starts to realize what’s really been going on since he woke up.

20. The Fly (1986)

top 10 scariest ghost

David Cronenberg's very R-rated, very intense and very excellent remake of The Fly puts Jeff Goldblum in the role of Seth Brundle, a scientist who invents telepods meant to change the world. Instead, they change him into a man-fly monster when a fly accidentally gets trapped in one of the machines as Seth teleports from one pod to the other.

The script, performances and Howard Shore's tremendous score work together to create a horror opera, one full of dark twists and practical creature effects scares. Once all the gore and vomiting-on-food-to-eat-it settles, we realize we've just watched a tragedy about a scientist who accounted for everything save nature finding a way to remind man not to play God. (Kind of fitting that Goldblum learned this lesson here and again in Jurassic Park, no?)

Scene to watch with the lights on: Brundlefly inspecting a medicine cabinet-turned-museum of pieces of the man-fly that his new insect body doesn't need anymore. (Give yourself a gold star if you can spot his mason-jarred junk or if you don't wince at the moment before this scene, where Seth peels off his fingernails.)

19. An American Werewolf in London (1981)

top 10 scariest ghost

It rarely hurts to merge horror with a tinge of comedy, and John Landis' An American Werewolf in London is one of the finer examples of that combination. It's also one of several iconic werewolf movies that hit theaters in 1981. Of the trio, American Werewolf remains the most popular and well-loved.

The film begins with two backpackers traveling the English countryside. When only one survives an attack by a vicious wolf, he becomes convinced he's been infected by the werewolf's curse. And it wouldn't be much of a werewolf movie if he turned out to be wrong.

An American Werewolf in London stood out at the time thanks to its amazing makeup and special effects work; never had the werewolf transformation seemed so convincing. The humor didn't hurt either. And then there’s the brilliantly demented nightmare sequences. But American Werewolf was ultimately a tragic horror film, and one certainly deserving of remembrance today.

Scene to watch with the lights on: American Werewolf's iconic transformation scene is a showcase for just how grotesque and painful the werewolf curse can be. When David wolfs out, what ensues is a graphic transformation of man into werewolf. This all-too convincing display of special effects and makeup work from 1981 still holds up today.

18. Let the Right One In (2008)

top 10 scariest ghost

Can you believe that there's a movie on our list that got its title from a Morrissey song? This most unusual of love stories is a Swedish film which hit it big internationally with its tale of a 12-year-old boy and his centuries-old vampire... who looks like a 12-year-old girl (but most certainly isn't).

Whether or not Oskar and Eli's relationship is an equal partnership, or Oskar is doomed to become the vampire's next Hakan (the old and ill-fated human who takes care of Eli early in the film) isn't clear. But it's an engrossing story from start to finish.

Though chock-full of bloody good horror moments, director Tomas Alfredson's film works so well because it is acutely interested in its two lead characters: Oskar, the boy who is bullied at school and finds a protector in his new, nocturnal neighbor; and Eli, a beautiful little cherub who's actually not even a girl and certainly not a cherub. Weird, right? But so good.

Scene to watch with the lights on: This may be a controversial pick (and a spoilery one), but we'd have to go with the closing moments of the film, as Oskar and Eli head off for a new life together as friends and/or love interests. Or as master and slave? You decide, but it is creepy either way.

17. Suspiria (1977)

top 10 scariest ghost

Of course we're including a giallo film on this list, though the question did come up as to which of the Italian horror masters was most deserving to represent this distinctive genre. In the end, we had to give it to Dario Argento and his Suspiria -- a supernatural shocker that is an experience in style as well as terror.

The film is about an American ballerina who travels to Germany to attend a dance academy, but instead gets a tutu full of trouble when she comes to realize that the place is home to a coven of witches who are brewing up all kinds of deadly mischief.

The picture might seem over the top in some ways, but Argento proves masterful at creating an environment and a world that is uniquely its own thing. The gruesome, convoluted killings, the garish color design, the freaked-out sound (including a haunting score by Goblin)... this is the stuff that nightmares are made of and one of the best witch movies ever made.

Scene to watch with the lights on: Don't even bother turning the lights off, since the film gets right to it with a double murder early on that sees one young lady staring out a window into the dark, only to suddenly realize that a pair of eyes are staring back. This leads to stabbings, a hanging and, finally, impalement by stained glass for her and her friend.

16. Dawn of the Dead (2004)

top 10 scariest ghost

George Romero practically created the zombie movie genre single-handedly in 1968 with Night of the Living Dead. Ten years later he refined the formula with Dawn of the Dead . Far bigger, gorier, and funnier than its predecessor, Dawn of the Dead remains Romero's definitive work.

Whereas Night featured a small cast of survivors holed up in a remote farmhouse, Dawn opens with a glimpse of a major metropolitan area falling to chaos during the zombie outbreak. It isn't long before our four heroes are forced to leave town and barricade themselves inside a shopping mall. But as it turns out, the undead hordes still retain enough of their old selves to feel the need to shop and consume.

The true brilliance of Dawn is how it combined straight-up zombie carnage with a healthy dose of satire and social commentary. At the end of the day, are modern Americans really so different from the shambling undead? They crave warm flesh; we crave iPhones.

Scene to watch with the lights on: When Roger finally succumbs to his bite wounds, it’s a tragic moment that really drives home what our characters have lost in this world.

15. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

top 10 scariest ghost

By 1984, the slasher movies had been done to death (excuse the pun). Just how many masked killers could you see before fatigue set in? But Wes Craven had a brilliant twist on these types of films. First, he created a killer, Freddy Krueger, who instantly stood out from the rest of the pack. His face was burned beyond recognition, but Freddy wore no mask and didn't stay silent.

In fact, he had plenty of cruel taunts for his victims. More importantly, his domain was the dream world, where he could stalk and terrorize without any rules to bind him -- if you ran away from him, he could just as easily be waiting for you as you approached. There was nowhere to hide from Freddy because we all have to sleep sometime, right?

Featuring a more down to Earth and relatable group of young characters than most slasher films, A Nightmare on Elm Street made a huge impact upon its release, thanks to its excellent conceit and amazing villain, and Craven's talent at building tension and delivering the goods in his murder scenes. And with Freddy, Craven gave us one of the most popular, durable and recognizable horror movie villains of all time.

Scene to watch with the lights on: When Freddy gets a hold of Tina in her dream, we suddenly realize just how big the stakes are, as her sleeping body is pulled up into the air, and four fatal cuts rip into her. The fact that she's dragged along the ceiling, screaming, before she dies, as her boyfriend looks on in horror, only adds to the shock of the scene.

See our guide to the Nightmare on Elm Street movies in order .

14. Poltergeist (1982)

top 10 scariest ghost

After Poltergeist , all of a sudden quaint cookie-cutter houses everywhere became haunted death-traps, ravaged by violent Native American ghosts who weren't too pleased about their current state of "unrest."

Director Tobe Hooper and producer Steven Spielberg created a veritable masterwork that took the ghost story out of ancient castles and haunted mansions and shoved it, without apology, into the happy suburban track home.

Almost every single part of this movie is so full of devastating win -- from Carol Ann's warbled white-noise voice to freakin' angry trees that bust through your window to grab you -- that one is almost able to forgive the less-than-warranted sequels. This house may now be "clean," but your pants are going to need changing.

Scene to watch with the lights on: Man. Just pick anything. How about the guy who tears his own face apart or the malicious clown doll that loves to strangle or the vengeful zombies coming out of the swimming pool? This movie will hit you from every direction and leave you cowering in the corner.

13. The Thing (1982)

top 10 scariest ghost

An alien with the ability to take the form of any life that it absorbs infiltrates an Antarctic research base, and soon the 12-man team is up to their eyeballs in slaughter, suspicion and paranoia. John Carpenter's film has itself planted on either side of the horror and sci-fi movie lines.

The Thing plays fair within both genres, but leans more toward horror. The movie takes its time setting up the rules of the creature living amongst our heroes, while more importantly establishing each character -- from Windows to MacReady to MacReady's beard -- as people we actually worry about.

The practical special effects hold up better than you'd think, and Kurt Russell gives one of his best performances as team leader MacReady. But really, the entire ensemble is excellent as each character comes to realize that all is not what it seems in their camp. And that ending! We’re still arguing about what it really means all these years later.

Scene to watch with the lights on: The scariest bit involves the Thing assimilating dogs and revealing a mouth (best described as a flower made out of tongue petals) moments before it slime-claws its way out of sight.

12. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

top 10 scariest ghost

Like your films bleak, bloody and full of brutality? Tobe Hooper's gruesome 1974 indie flick took the nefarious inbred mountain folk that we all cringed at in 1972's Deliverance and turned them into an aggressively insane backwoods clan of cannibals. Take a van full of "young adults" on their way to, let’s say, smoke weed and hang out at a cemetery, and let them run out of gas in the wrong part of Texas. Then throw in the skin-suited Leatherface and some meat-hooks and you've got yourself a film that barely found a distributor because of its extreme levels of graphic violence.

Psycho might have been the first "slasher" film per se, but The Texas Chainsaw Massacre simultaneously elevated and de-elevated the genre with its disturbing levels of sadism.

Scene to watch with the lights on: It might not be the moment you immediately think of, but the two-minute-long scene where poor Sally is forced to "dine" with Leatherface's family where she's tied to a chair made out of human parts and they all just laugh at her screaming is pretty disturbing!

11. Rosemary's Baby (1968)

top 10 scariest ghost

Get over Mia Farrow's bad haircut and watch this movie. You'll be surprised how much this unsettling creepshow from 1968 gets away with for, you know, being in 1968. Roman Polanski's most "conventional" film outside of Chinatown is one of his best, telling the slow-burn story of a young New York couple who move into an apartment building... which happens to be home to several Satan worshipers who want to use Rosemary's spawn as a means for Mr. Devil McBrimstone to enter our mortal realm.

Farrow is perfect in the role of Rosemary, as she slowly unravels the more she discovers what shady cult dealings are happening all around her. The entire world seems to be conspiring against the most innocent of people here, as the devil watches from the wings and Rosemary breaks down.

Polanski's lean approach to delivering chills further supports the storytelling rule that the more kept off screen, the more the audience has to imagine, and hence, the scarier.

Scene to watch with the lights on: When Rosemary finally gets to meet her baby.

10. Night of the Living Dead (1968)

top 10 scariest ghost

In 1968, director George Romero took the frightening idea of "zombification," which up until that point had been relegated to creepy voodoo tales and extra-dimensional Lovecraft-ian lore, and created a terrifying new genre of horror: the zombie apocalypse film. "They're coming to get you Barbara" became the first official "I'll be back" of horror, as poor Judith O'Dea has to flee a cemetery because the dead have inexplicably come back to life and started walking the Earth in search of human flesh.

Hitchcock discovered, with 1963's The Birds, that the sheer terror of "not knowing" the reasons behind the sweeping global outbreak of evil can be the most horrifying part of the entire story. The "Zombocalypse" genre is so enduring that it's still going strong today (hello, Walking Dead fans...). Sure, some films have made their zombies run fast and tried to explain the whole dead-alive deal with a virus, and that's all fine. But nothing will ever beat the basics.

With this one film, Romero was able to tap into so many things we're afraid of: death, desecration of the flesh, cannibalism, brainwashing, disease and hopelessness. There's also a stinging underlying social message about racism, media and paranoia where viewers got to learn that they could be just as dangerous and cruel as the mindless hordes of undead they were hiding from.

Scene to watch with the lights on: The end, when our hero Ben finally makes it out of the farmhouse.

9. Evil Dead II (1987)

top 10 scariest ghost

Though more of a "remix" than a sequel, Evil Dead II improves on its predecessor in almost every way. More gore, more comedy, more, more, more…

Director Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell (and Ash!) returned to the woods after six years for Evil Dead II, which leans into the gruesome excess of the first but ups the ante to a ridiculous degree (this was the one where an eyeball flies into a person’s open mouth). Though Evil Dead II didn't invent splat-stick, it sure did perfect it, and went on to influence countless other comedy gross-outs. (Also see 16 Things You May Not Know About Evil Dead ).

And yet, for all the fun grotesqueries on display, Raimi still manages to chill and scare his audience plenty with stylish and over-the-top antics. Check out Henrietta peeping in on things from the basement, or Ash’s brief turn as a Deadite himself (before he’s saved by a fortuitously timed rising sun). Groovy.

Scene to watch with the lights on: Ash’s farewell to his girlfriend Linda will have you in pieces. Or her, anyway.

8. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

top 10 scariest ghost

Using a serial-killer cannibal with a doctorate to help catch another serial killer is as bare bones as you can get with this Best Picture Oscar winner. But the movie is much more than that. It's the scariest movie ever made built around psychology and deduction, with both used as crime-solving tools and murder weapons. Yes, blame this movie all you want for your friend's bad Hannibal Lecter impersonation that never seems to get better, but it gave us one of the screen's all-time iconic villains and Anthony Hopkins the role of his career.

Jodie Foster is also exceptional as FBI Agent Clarice Starling, on the trail of Buffalo "It Puts the Lotion in the Basket" Bill. Director Jonathan Demme is effortless and relentless with his tension here, succeeding where Ridley Scott failed in his 2001 sequel, Hannibal, by keeping Lecter more of a believable monster and less of a monstrous caricature.

We suggest watching The Silence of the Lambs with some fava beans and a nice chianti. Check out our list of the best 90s horror movies for more like this.

Scene to watch with the lights on: Lecter's first encounter with Clarice -- his crazy and her virtue are separated only by safety glass.

7. Jaws (1975)

top 10 scariest ghost

The first blockbuster ever and the scariest movie (maybe even the best one?) Spielberg's ever made, Jaws is equal parts shark movie and character piece, centered on an island called Amity that's preyed upon by something that leaves teeth the size of shot glasses in the hulls of boats and turns their owners into decapitated flotsam. The late Roy Scheider gives a career-defining performance as Chief Brody, the local sheriff with a fear of water who is put in charge of taking down the murder fish.

Joining him on the Orca for the hunt are Richard Dreyfuss' Hooper and Robert "Find 'im for three, catch 'im and kill 'im for 10" Shaw as Quint, the number one cause of death for just about any marine life.

But you already know that. You should have seen this movie at least 10 times by now, thanks to cable and VHS and DVD and Blu-ray and streaming. You've probably contemplated making John Williams' theme your ring tone. It's made out of the type of movie magic that warrants repeat viewings.

Scene to watch with the lights on: It's a tie! When the shark turns Alex Kintner into a human chew toy… or when Bad Hat Harry stands before Brody, wearing a bathing suit and shaking his saggy gym-sock moobs.

6. Alien (1979)

top 10 scariest ghost

Alien movies are generally thought of as being planted in the science fiction realm. However, with the original at least, Alien was as much a horror film as a sci-fi one. With a small cast being hunted by a lone, terrifying creature, Alien was a long way removed from the Star Wars and Star Treks of Hollywood.

The film is set several centuries in the future when humanity has ventured into the stars. The crew of the mining vessel Nostromo become unwitting hosts to a bloodthirsty alien lifeform, and one by one they fall to an enemy that hides in the shadows and springs from above. Only Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) is savvy enough to survive the alien's onslaught. Too bad for her it was only the first round.

Alien doesn't resemble many sci-fi movies of the time. Artist H.R. Giger designed a world full of twisted tubes, cold hallways, and pervasive darkness. Before Alien, pop culture never warned us how dark, dirty and scary the cold depths of space were. Director Ridley Scott adopted a "less is more" approach that later sequels sadly abandoned; modern directors can cram all the Aliens and Predators (and Michael Fassbender androids) they want into their films, but none can match the sheer claustrophobic terror generated in the original film.

Scene to watch with the lights on: Dinner with Kane and the crew of the Nostromo, fresh after Kane wakes up from his facehugger coma, ends with Kane disagreeing with something that ate its way out of his chest. They don't get much better than this, movie fans.

See our guide on how to watch the Alien movies in order .

5. The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

top 10 scariest ghost

Certainly there were those of us on the IGN staff who argued that this James Whale classic should've been higher on our list -- perhaps even number one. But compromise being what it is, director James Whale, Colin Clive, Boris Karloff and the rest have had to settle for fifth place.

The film is the apex of the Universal cycle of classic monster pictures in terms of quality. Rather than simply regurgitating a cheap variation on the first Frankenstein (which is basically what many of the Universal sequels would go on to do), Whale opted to, ahem, flesh out the story and characters of the original (which he also directed). Karloff, in his second turn as the Monster, granted his most famous creation the gift of speech here, and of friendship, and even love. Also, of humor -- Bride of Frankenstein is a comedy as much as it is a horror film.

Brimming with wonderful side characters (oh, Doctor Pretorius, how we miss you) and often unsettling imagery (Jesus H. Christ, did they just crucify the Monster?), the film is over 80 years old and we're still talking about it -- and loving it. To paraphrase Doctor Pretorius, "It is our only weakness"

Scene to watch with the lights on: The finale, when the Bride is finally created only to spurn the Monster, which is a very bad thing to do for anyone who values not getting blown up in an exploding mountainside laboratory.

4. Halloween (1978)

top 10 scariest ghost

Psycho can be seen as the film that birthed the slasher genre, and Texas Chain Saw Massacre was an integral step in its progress, making things more visceral. But it was Halloween that truly defined this subgenre in horror, inspiring a million sequels, rip-offs, imitations and homages. Take an instantly identifiable holiday, add in a chillingly silent, unstoppable masked killer and a feisty, resourceful heroine and you have Halloween... and of course all the films that came after it.

But John Carpenter brought a sense of tension and suspense few others could match in a slasher film, as we watched Michael Myers stalk Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) from afar, before going on his inevitable killing spree.

Michael himself is an excellent villain, wearing a blank, emotionless mask that perfectly captured the black soul of someone who simply killed and killed, and seemingly couldn't be stopped, no matter what you did to him. It's no wonder Michael became a horror icon and that fans rebelled when he didn't appear in Halloween III. After all, Michael Myers and Halloween -- both the film and the actual holiday -- are now forever intertwined.

Scene to watch with the lights on: Laurie Strode is trying to hide from Michael Myers, and crouches down inside a closet. She manages to tie the door shut, but that's not going to stop Michael, who begins smashing the door in, causing light to shine in and for Michael's spooky mask to come into plain view of the understandably terrified Laurie.

See our guide to the Halloween movies in order .

3. Psycho (1960)

top 10 scariest ghost

Psycho is both one of the greatest thrillers of all time and one of the greatest entries in Alfred Hitchcock's legendary resume. A true master of suspense and tension, Hitchcock crafted a memorable horror experience with a limited cast and even more limited budget. Like so many great horror movies, Psycho's scares far exceed its limited scale.

The film tells the story of crazy old Norman Bates and his even crazier mother. When a young woman on the run from the law arrives at the remote Bates Motel, she falls victim to a knife-wielding killer. Several more victims are claimed before the true secret of the Bates family stands revealed.

The content of Psycho isn't as shocking as it was way back in 1960. After all, girls get stabbed in the shower all the time in modern horror cinema. However, it's a testament to Hitchcock's skill as a director that Psycho remains a tense and nerve-wracking experience. The killing of Janet Leigh's character and the accompanying musical key by Bernard Herrmann is one of the most famous scenes in Hollywood history.

Psycho is such a classic of the genre that it inspired a shot-for-shot remake in 1998. It's also had sequels and a TV show based on the tale.

Scene to watch with the lights on: What scene could we pick but the quintessential shower slaying? Coupled with that amazing music cue, it remains a horror classic almost 60 years later.

2. The Exorcist (1973)

top 10 scariest ghost

"Tubular Bells" is the scariest music arrangement ever made. We hear it and we're the shaking-in-our-boots equivalent of Pavlov's Dog.

The movie's premise -- a little girl possessed by a demon -- is scary enough as words on paper. But what director William Friedkin does with it, aside from prove that he has a seriously strong (or frightfully off) constitution for this sort of stuff, is treat the extraordinary of it all as if it were really happening next door to us.

The scares come from a place based in faith, where Heaven and hell are as real as your beliefs in them care to be. Faith, for all the documentation on the subject, is tethered to the intangible; it's not something science can define or strategize. The demon that comes from The Exorcist's interpretation of that idea is something more powerful than a Freddy or a Jason. Something that can't be shot or stabbed or detonated.

Before it can be attacked, let alone defeated, it has to first be believed in -- as terrible and soul-threatening as this may be to the young priest and old priest charged with delivering the climatic exorcism. Fathers Karras and Merrin spend the third act of the movie fighting back the devil for control of young Regan's soul. And in doing so, Karras, a man of wavering faith throughout most of the movie, finally believes in the only true good he knows by sacrificing himself to save that little girl.

Film-school analyze this movie more if you want. Bottom line: It is the best horror movie about the consequences of belief ever made.

Scene to watch with the lights on: All of it. No no no, trust us. Watch it at mid-day, with the blinds open and the lights on. And then get used to the fact that you may never, ever sleep again.

1. The Shining (1980)

top 10 scariest ghost

The Shining might just be Stephen King's most popular horror novel. Stanley Kubrick's movie adaptation is almost certainly the most popular Stephen King movie . The project was an unusually commercially-focused one for Kubrick, but the same stylistic elements that defined his earlier films were on full display, and the film remains a haunting and unsettling chronicle of a family man's psychological breakdown.

Jack Nicholson is iconic as Jack Torrance, the struggling writer who accepts a job as winter caretaker for the Overlook Hotel in the Colorado Mountains. The knowledge that the previous caretaker had gone insane and murdered his family fails to scare Jack away. But when both Jack and his psychically attuned son begin communing with the many spirits haunting the Overlook, things quickly take a turn for the worse. Deadly hedge mazes, elevators full of blood and the terrifying Room 237 are only some of the horrors that await viewers.

Aside from being a genuinely scary film, The Shining has left its mark on modern pop culture. Who doesn't recognize the image of Nicholson poking his head through a doorway and shouting "Here's Johnny!"? The Shining also served as fodder for one of the best "Treehouse of Horror" segments in the history of The Simpsons.

The film is required viewing for any horror aficionado -- just don't expect to sleep easily that night -- and our pick for the best horror movie ever made.

Scene to watch with the lights on: "The blood usually gets off on the third floor." May we also suggest the Room 237 scene. Beware of women in bathtubs that are really Overlook corpses!

Upcoming Horror Movies in 2023

Horror movies are in a great place right now. There have already been a ton of great horror films to arrive in 2023, with franchises like The Conjuring and Saw getting new movies. But even if that's not enough to quench your taste for the macabre, there are plenty of horror films coming out in the next few months that are sure to get your blood pumping.

  • Night Swim - January 5, 2024
  • Imaginary - March 8, 2024
  • The First Omen - April 5, 2024
  • Terrifier 3 - October 25, 2024
  • Nosferatu - December 25, 2024
  • Salem's Lot - TBD

Note: This list was updated on 09/18/2023 to add more information about upcoming horror movies.

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Top 10 most famous ghosts

Ghosts have been a staple of storytelling for centuries, and these tales stand out among them all.

Top 10 Most Famous Ghosts

King Hamlet

The flying dutchman, the bell witch, bloody mary, the drury lane ghost, the vanishing hitchhiker, the ghost of christmas past, the murdered peddler, additional resources and reading, bibliography.

Ghosts are both everywhere and nowhere, stories would have us believe. Their existence is constantly being investigated, but highly doubted, yet despite that healthy scepticism ghosts feature prominently in our culture. They are in television and film, from " Harry Potter " to "The Sixth Sense." Ghost stories are told around campfires and found on bookstore shelves, in both fiction and nonfiction sections. Around Halloween , pop-culture images of ghosts haunt nearly every store, and hang as decoration in homes.

Ghosts even influence some of our everyday customs, in ways we may not recognize. "People used to believe a sneeze caused someone to expel their soul out of their body, and so 'God bless you' or 'Bless you' was used as a protection against the devil snatching your soul," according to MIT . Here are some of the most famous ghosts of all time.

Though ghosts appear in several of Shakespeare's plays (such as "Macbeth" and "Julius Caesar"), King Hamlet, often referred to simply as 'Ghost', is among the better known of the Bard's ghosts and plays an integral part in "Hamlet." His son, Prince Hamlet may be the central character in the play named after him, but without his father's ghost, there would be no story.

King Hamlet appears three times in the play, each time during the night. The ghost tells Hamlet that he was murdered by his treacherous brother Claudius, and asks Hamlet to avenge his death.

"The Ghost himself says he is on a visit from Purgatory (1.5.9–13), returning to the world of the living in order to right a wrong; that the Catholic position on ghosts," wrote Tzachi Zamir, philosopher and literary critic, in his book " Shakespeare's Hamlet: Philosophical Perspectives " (Oxford University Press, 2017).

The Flying Dutchman, the world's best-known non-human ghost, is a seventeenth-century merchant ship said to haunt the high seas. According to sea lore, the ship, which often appears as a hazy image or a strange light, is said to be a portent of bad luck and doom.

The story has been adapted many times, but one of the more common versions tells of a Dutch captain, named van der Decken, refusing to take safe harbor during a storm while traversing the Cape of Good Hope despite pleas from the crew and passengers. Instead the impudent captain challenged God to take them down. The ship was promptly cursed and in its ghost form is damned to never find port again. The "ghost ship" has been reported on the ocean from time to time, including appearing off the coast of South Africa in 1923. The Flying Dutchman most recently appeared in movie theaters across the country in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" films, captained by Davy Jones.

"The tale of the doomed Dutch ghost ship stems from a British literary tradition (eighteenth to nineteenth centuries)," wrote Theo Meder in " The Flying Dutchman and Other Folktales from the Netherlands " (Libraries Unlimited, 2007) and is likely tied up in the trading company competition between Dutch and British businesses in that era.

The events that allegedly happened at John Bell's Tennessee farm between 1817 and 1821 are said to be one of the classic American ghost tales. Bell shot at a strange animal on his farm, but the creature disappeared before it could be harmed. Several weeks later, the Bell family was tormented by a ghost that made terrifying sounds, shook the house, and physically attacked Bell's daughter Betsy. The spectral assaults continued for several years, and at one point Andrew Jackson is said to have dabbled in ghost hunting and did his own investigation.

Though some authors recount the Bell Witch tale as a true account, there is little evidence that it is anything other than a ghost story. Jackson, for example, never mentioned the Bell Witch case at all; it seems that the future president's role was created from thin air, possibly to lend the appearance of reality to the fictional tale. "From the late 1810s until the 1830s, Jackson's every move is fairly well documented," wrote KyL T. Cobb, Jr. in his book " Ghosts and Demons: The Truth of the Bell Witch " (, 2016). This casts further doubt on his involvement.

While Bloody Mary spends her time in the ghostly realms waiting to be summoned to dark bathrooms so she can scare kids, Casper, who is best known as "The Friendly Ghost", is the white-outlined, smiling ghost who tries not to scare people.

Casper was created by Seymour Reit and Joe Oriolo in the 1930s, later gaining fame in the Harvey comic book series. Casper was often joined by friends such as Wendy the Good Little Witch and Hot Stuff the Little Devil. The characters were made benign and kid-friendly with the addition of "good," "friendly," and "little" to their names. Even so, the topic of death in a property aimed at children has been questioned, even when Casper enjoyed a revival with a self-titled 1995 film, starring Bill Pullman and Christina Ricci.. "Critics questioned how appropriate it was to run moments of comedy and slapstick alongside issues of death and the afterlife," wrote Zachary Graves in " Ghosts: The Complete Guide to the Supernatural " (Canary Press, 2011).

"Bloody Mary...Bloody Mary...Bloody Mary..." With those words, many schoolchildren had their first experience with a ghost. According to folklore, Bloody Mary is a ghost of a woman who murdered her children long ago. If you want to see her, go into a bathroom (usually at school), turn the lights off, stand in front of a mirror, and repeat her name three times.

The 'game' of summoning Bloody Mary is particularly associated with teenagers. "Three functions of the ritual are identified: to actively challenge and conquer fears; to allow opportunities to increase peer group status; and to develop a mechanism for coping with the supernatural," wrote Gail de Vos in " What Happens Next? Contemporary Urban Legends and Popular Culture " (Libraries Unlimited, 2012).. Many either stare at their scared reflection in the dark mirror or lose their nerve after saying the second "Bloody Mary" and run from the bathroom. "Numerous students related their experiences, both positive and negative, with great glee while others hid their heads in terror at the very thought of calling her."

An updated version of the Bloody Mary legend was made into a horror film series "Candyman," recently remade in 2021, who is similarly summoned by repeating his name three times.

There are many theaters in the Covent Gardens district in London's West End. Plays have been produced in that area for over 300 years, and some of the world's greatest actors have appeared there. Yet one theater is better known more for its ghost than its productions.

There is actually more than one ghost said to haunt Drury Lane's halls and wings, including those of several actors. The most famous, however, is a "Man in Grey" seen as a nobleman carrying a sword. It's not uncommon for a theater to claim a resident ghost treading the boards, and the Drury Lane ghosts carry on their part of theater tradition.

"Everyone in the theatre had some kind of experience. They think they saw the Man in Grey, or they heard a door slam when there was no one in the building. Roger [Clarke, professional ghost hunter] took those stories more seriously than the ghosts: he did think the building had something going on, although it was difficult to say what," said actor Nigel Planer to journalist Andrew Dickson, writing for " The Guardian " in 2015.

A classic example of modern folklore, often associated with the United States, but with parallel tales elsewhere in the world, the Vanishing Hitchhiker is often depicted standing by the roadside and disappearing without a trace not long after being picked up. One classic version points to the hitchhiker being the ghost of a local resident, killed not far from their home, but it has likely changed over the decades.

"It acquired the newer automobile motif by the period of the Great Depression, and thereafter spawned a number of subtypes with greatly varied and oddly interlocking details, some of which themselves stemmed from earlier folk legends," wrote Jan Harold Brunvand in " The Vanishing Hitchhiker: American Urban Legends and Their Meanings " (W. W. Norton & Company, 2003).

Sometimes the hitchhiker is imbued with the power of prophecy or is on an endless quest, not unlike the crew of the Flying Dutchman. "Updated and localized treatments of the legend continue to flourish in modern folklore, suggesting that the old ghost tale must have some important appeal to contemporary folk," wrote Brunvand.

In Charles Dickens' famous novel "A Christmas Carol," cold-hearted miser Ebenezer Scrooge has a change of heart after being visited by several ghosts representing different eras of his life's Christmases (Past, Present, and Yet to Come).

Ghosts are often associated with life lessons and morality tales, and these spooks are no exception. The Ghost of Christmas Past sets Scrooge out on the road to rehabilitation by showing him visions of his past Christmases. 

Dickens is credited with helping to establish the concept of a Christmas spirit and may have been drawing on his own past and feelings about children and Christmas for this character. "Dickens had warm memories of his own childhood Christmases and, now the father of a young family […] made the annual event a merry holiday. Feasting, games, and domestic dramas were the order of the ‘twelve days of Christmas’ in the 1840s Dickens household," wrote John Sutherland, professor of Modern English Literature at University College London for The British Library in 2014.

One day, in the early 1840s in Hydesville, New York, a young peddler arrived at the home of a Mr. and Mrs. Bell to sell his housewares. He was invited into the home by the Bells' housekeeper and in fact stayed for some days. The maid was shortly dismissed from service but abruptly rehired a week later. The peddler was gone, but many of his items were now in use in the Bells' kitchen. The maid thought little of it until she began experiencing strange, ghostly phenomenon, only to find out from the peddler's ghost that he had in fact been murdered in her absence.

At least that was the story told by two sisters named Maggie and Katie Fox, who claimed to communicate with the ghost. Years later, the sisters admitted it had all been a hoax; there was no murdered peddler, and the spirit communications had been faked. Still, the sisters had inadvertently founded a religion called Spiritualism, which is still practiced today. The Murdered Peddler is the only fake ghost whose presence started a real religion.

"When Spiritualism began, with its murdered peddler and its poltergeists, it had fed on an older fascination with occult powers. But Spiritualism as shaped by and in response to the Fox sisters had emerged as something sunnier, more democratic," wrote Barbara Weisberg in " Talking to the Dead: Kate and Maggie Fox and the Rise of Spiritualism " (HarperOne, 2005). "One gathered a group of friends or hired a large hall to welcome the immortal beings. While benign spirit guides weren't necessarily unknown in other parts of the world, they descended like uninvited but cheery guests on nineteenth-century Christian America."

Slimer is the grotesque green ghost featured in the "Ghostbuster" films and cartoons. He's characterised by his bright green appearance, obnoxious and slovenly behaviour, and his ability to spew slime. Slimer proved to be so popular with kids that he got a starring role in the spin-off cartoon series "The Real Ghostbusters." A reformed evil ghost that joined the Ghostbusters team, Slimer's voracious appetite and guttural burps make him among the most memorable cartoon ghosts.

Originally referred to as 'Onionhead' in production of the original movie, Slimer was likened to an actor known well by the film's writers and stars Dan Ackroyd and Harold Ramis. "Ivan [Reitman, director] remarked that the character was sort of like Bluto in Animal House – like the ghost of John Belushi, in a way, Danny, who was obviously a good friend of John's, never argued with that. Even so, we never officially said that and we never mentioned it in the script. It was just one way to look at the character because Onionhead's grossness is like Bluto's in Animal House," said Joe Medjuck, producer of Ghostbusters, in " Making Ghostbusters " (New York Zoetrope, 1985), edited by Don Shay.

If you would like to learn about some 'real' ghost ships that have risen from the ocean you should read about these WWII ships that arose after a volcanic eruption .

And you'll find out that telling ghost stories really is something that goes back to the earliest human settlements as shown by this Babylonian exorcism tablet , identified in 2021.

"Why Americans say “Bless you!” when they hear someone sneeze," MIT " Shakespeare's Hamlet: Philosophical Perspectives " by Tzachi Zamir (Oxford University Press, 2017) " The Flying Dutchman and Other Folktales from the Netherlands " by Theo Meder (Libraries Unlimited, 2007) " Ghosts and Demons: The Truth of the Bell Witch " by KyL T. Cobb, Jr. (, 2016) " Ghosts: The Complete Guide to the Supernatural " by Zachary Graves (Canary Press, 2011) " What Happens Next? Contemporary Urban Legends and Popular Culture " by Gail de Vos (Libraries Unlimited, 2012) "Inside the world's most haunted theatre," by Andrew Dickson, " The Guardian " " The Vanishing Hitchhiker: American Urban Legends and Their Meanings " by Jan Harold Brunvand (W. W. Norton & Company, 2003) "The origins of A Christmas Carol," by John Sutherland, The British Library " Talking to the Dead: Kate and Maggie Fox and the Rise of Spiritualism " by Barbara Weisberg (HarperOne, 2005) " Making Ghostbusters " (New York Zoetrope, 1985), edited by Don Shay

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Jonathan Gordon

Jonathan is the Editor of All About History magazine, running the day to day operations of the brand. He has a Bachelor's degree in History from the University of Leeds . He has previously worked as Editor of video game magazines games™ and X-ONE and tech magazines iCreate and Apps. He is currently based in Bournemouth, UK.


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30 Best Ghost Adventures Episodes Ranked

Zak Bagans

Zak Bagans, host and lead investigator on Travel Channel's deathless series "Ghost Adventures," is a great big scaredy cat. Which isn't a knock on Bagans or a criticism of the show, but rather a cornerstone of its appeal. 

For nearly 14 years and 300 episodes, Bagans and his team of paranormal researchers (known simply enough as the Ghost Adventures Crew, or GAC) have traveled to remote, possibly haunted locations around the country, learned a little local history, then locked themselves in overnight to get scared silly by every cold spot and bump in the dark they encounter. It's a tried-and-true formula, as reliably entertaining as trying to conjure Bloody Mary at a sleepover; whether there is anything spooking them — other than their own imaginations — is beside the point.

But that's not to say that every episode can be so easily explained away; the series has had its share of genuinely eerie moments. Even when a spectral encounter is less than convincing, an episode can be buoyed by a compelling history, colorful locals, or the frat house camaraderie between Bagans and his bro-ish co-stars. Whether you're a longtime fan up for a debate or a newbie wondering where to jump in, here are the top 30 episodes of "Ghost Adventures," counted down.

Goodwin Home Invasion (Season 20 Episode 5)

The spirits hit close to home in this Season 20 episode, as the GAC investigates a haunting in the Las Vegas home of crew member Aaron Goodwin's father Don. 

Aaron calls out to the presences — the apparition of a little girl, and a "witch" with no eyes or mouth — and asks probing questions such as, "What's with the no eyes or mouth?" Zak, meanwhile, grows unexpectedly (perhaps supernaturally) lethargic, collapsing first on the stairs and later on a bed, as their motion sensors and EMFs (electromagnetic field meters) go haywire elsewhere in the house. The family connection between GAC and the haunted party makes up for the fact that the location is a somewhat boring suburban house.

Painted Lady Brothel (Season 21 Episode 3)

When a New Mexico man purchases a former saloon and brothel to make into his new home, a former client makes his displeasure known.

Owner Jesse Herron feels a dark presence pressing down on him as he sleeps, and later his dog is left with a bloody wound on his neck. At first, he suspects it might be the ghostly remnants of a woman who was murdered within the brothel by a jealous husband, but a neighbor (who also claims to be a psychic medium) informs him that it is an angry, male energy that haunts the property. When the GAC gets pushed around by this angry frontier spirit (whom the episode would love us to believe is Billy the Kid), they enlist this psychic neighbor to enter the house and protect its owner from further harm.

Lost Souls of the Berkeley (Season 21 Episode 12)

The Berkeley, a restored ferry from the 1800s, was already thought to be haunted. But after months without visitors, thanks to COVID-19 shutdowns, its employees believe the hauntings have intensified in isolation. 

Zak and the GAC investigate the mysterious sound of footsteps on metal and cold spots, and record two notable instances of EVP, or electronic voice phenomenon, where a recording picks up voices and sounds that can't be otherwise heard. In the first, GAC's digital recorder picks up a high pitched scream that no one had heard in the moment. Next, in response to Zak's question of what the spirits might want, a voice is heard saying, "Cake." Same, friend, same.

Twin Bridges Orphanage (Season 13 Episode 8)

This episode benefits from a genuinely upsetting location, an abandoned state-run children's home in Montana. 

Its crumbling walls and exposed hallways would be spooky enough, without knowing that the facility has a disturbing history of abuse. The GAC, along with psychic Deanna Jaxine Stinson, hole up on a particularly cold night, armed with motion detectors and a device called an Ovilus, which allows spirits to communicate via a word database (sort of like an electronic Ouija board). 

When Deanna's Ovilus spits out two women's names — Harriet and Ann — it begs the question whether these were workers at the orphanage, or students.

McPike Mansion (Season 17 Episode 11)

Alton, IL, just across the river from St. Louis, has a reputation as one of the most haunted towns in the world . That reputation is largely built on McPike Mansion, a Victorian-style mansion with a checkered past that Zak Bagans describes as "a house of chaos." 

After a preliminary visit sends every GAC member scrambling to get out of the house, and suffering from bad dreams all night, Bagans and company regroup to enter the house again the next evening. The discovery of a broken-apart crypt on the property blows the investigation wide open; could this disturbed burial plot be the cause of all this spiritual turbulence?

St Ignatius Hospital (Season 18 Episode 8)

St. Ignatius Hospital in Washington state has been abandoned since the year 2000, and the local chamber of commerce hosted guided tours through its famously haunted walls until 2018, when they suddenly stopped. Was it because the hospital ghosts had become too aggressive? 

The GAC certainly thinks so, as they initially stick together while inside, rather than splitting up to explore, for safety reasons. After Bagans records an EVP seemingly calling him by name, the crew is beset upon by a "demonic" presence that wraps itself around Bagans and GAC member Billy Tolley with cold, ghostly tentacles.

Union Hotel (Season 18 Episode 11)

The Union Hotel near San Francisco has been open for 170 years — through earthquakes, epidemics, two world wars, and various eras when its clientele was not the most savory (or legal), so any number of entities could be haunting its halls. 

The GAC is called in by two long-time employees who have felt attacked and even stalked outside of the hotel by a presence in one of the rooms. Can Zak and company uncover what's disturbing these spirits before more employees suffer scratches and nosebleeds?

Cerro Gordo Ghost Town (Season 19 Episode 6)

A visit to a famous California ghost town gives Zak Bagans the opportunity to cowboy up in flannel and a wide-brimmed hat as he scours the ground with a metal detector looking for old weapons; he finds a nail. 

Many miners lost their lives down Cerro Gordo's nearly 1,200 foot-deep mine shaft; as the GAC lowers a camera and tape recorder down the shaft to try to coax any restless spirits into identifying themselves, an unseen force pulls at the camera, thoroughly freaking out Billy and the entire crew.

Pasadena Ritual House (Season 19 Episode 7)

The GAC heads to the Victorian-style Pasadena home of occultist Richard Lael Lillard to participate in a seance at the start of their lockdown. Lillard is upfront about his beliefs as a Satanist, and that the rituals he performs can lead down some dark, dangerous paths. 

As worries mount about the sinister, possibly satanic force they could be unleashing, a presence seems to attach itself to Aaron Goodwin, trying to communicate. A turn at the Ouija board confirms that Aaron is indeed the target of the spirit's intentions. Even for "Ghost Adventures," there are perhaps some forces that should not be tested.

The Comedy Store (Season 21 Episode 4)

Los Angeles' famed comedy club The Comedy Store gets the GAC treatment, as rumors have persisted for years that the building hosted illegal abortions, torture, and murder before it hosted stand-up comics. 

A journey down to the basement, where the bodies of victims may have been once buried, uncovers voices speaking Zak's name, a mysterious white mist that appears in a picture but not on camera, and nothing less than a portal to the other side. The episode is most notable for capturing the series' first ever murder — as Zak is roasted alive by comedian Jeff Ross.

Old Lincoln County Hospital (Season 11 Episode 4)

This abandoned facility in Fayetteville, TN has become a mecca for ghost hunters and fans of the paranormal, with its history as a hospital for the mentally ill giving it an enhanced aura of pain and malevolence. Nearly everyone in Fayetteville has a connection to the hospital, as it was a main employer in town for almost 70 years. 

The GAC encounters what they believe to be the spirit of a young girl in the hallways. Trying to communicate with the spirit, Aaron turns to perhaps the most tried and true way of getting kids to follow directions: Bribe them with candy.

Haunted Harvey House (Season 11 Episode 5)

The Castaneda Hotel in Las Vegas was originally opened in the 1890s by southwestern hotel magnate Fred Harvey. In the decades since its closing in the 1940s, the building has fallen into disrepair, occupied only by the disenchanted spirits of its former residents and workers, the famous "Harvey Girls." 

Zak and the GAC lock themselves in to see if they can make contact with anyone still occupying the space. In the still-operating Plaza Hotel down the street, the GAC stops by to follow the trail of a spectral child looking for her grandmother; Zak attempts to bribe her with a teddy bear.

Upper Fruitland Curse (Season 14 Episode 8)

The apparition of a young boy with no face haunts a Navajo family living on a New Mexico reservation. The members of the Harris family have each had an eerie, invasive encounter, and when the GAC set up surveillance cameras around the house, they pick up what certainly looks like a four-legged shadow appearing from the ground and disappearing into the night. It is one of the most compelling pieces of video evidence the show has ever produced, even if Zak tries a little too hard to make a connection to Navajo cultural beliefs.

The Washoe Club: Final Chapter (Season 16 Episode 7)

Zak Bagans returns to the Old Washoe Club in Virginia City, NV — the site of the 2004 "Ghost Adventures" documentary that inspired the series — for the third and final time. Bagans claims that he has not come back just for fun, but that he has been receiving visions and dreams compelling him to return for some unknown purpose. 

Along with the requisite strange bumps and voices, the episode serves as a fitting tribute to late paranormal investigators Debby and Mark Constantino, who appeared in those first two visits to the haunted hotel.

Lewis Flats School (Season 16 Episode 8)

There are many spirits in this episode, and many sources. Despite its title, the epicenter of the hauntings is the many, many macabre tchotchkes on display at the Adobe Deli Steakhouse, located where the rebuilt Lewis Flats School once stood (the original school burned down in the 1940s). The steakhouse employees have reported many strange experiences revolving around the animal heads mounted on the restaurant walls, its collection of Native American pottery, and the owner's collectibles from nearby notable crimes. On top of all that, the land was the site of many violent skirmishes between white colonizers and Apache war parties during the years before New Mexico was part of the Union. How could a place like this not be haunted?

Crescent Hotel (Season 18 Episode 7)

The waters of Eureka Springs, AR were rumored to have healing properties, and people flocked there throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries to be cured of their ailments. The Crescent Hotel is a monument to this era in Ozark history, and known as one of the most haunted hotels in America. 

There's an unexpected poignancy to the episode, courtesy of Zak Bagans, surprisingly, whose father died of cancer shortly before filming. In between staged moments like asking random passersby in the middle of town where the hotel is, and tracking down "Michael," the hotel's most famous haunting, he wonders aloud that his father wasn't so different from those people who came to Eureka Springs a century before, hoping for a miracle. The search for healing and the search for the dead, it seems, are in many ways the same impulse.

Idaho State Tuberculosis Hospital (Season 18 Episode 12)

A family of 12 has rehabbed the former Idaho State Tuberculosis Hospital into an inn, but now they and their staff are being terrorized by an angry male presence seemingly left over from the site's more gruesome days. 

The GAC interviews a housekeeper who came face to face with this spectral man, and the memory of his violent energy brings her to tears. As with their other former and/or abandoned hospital episode, there is also an element of child spirits in the mix, alongside some surprisingly legible (and unsettling) EVP recordings of the male presence they seek. Plus, an ill-timed sneeze from Billy sends Zak out of his skin.

Curse of the Harrisville Farmhouse (Season 19 Halloween Special)

This two-hour Halloween special takes a look inside the farmhouse that inspired James Wan's "The Conjuring." 

The 300-year-old farmhouse has been the (alleged) site of murders and suicides, and many ghost hunters have investigated the house over the last 50 years, including the famous Ed and Lorraine Warren. As for the GAC, Zak Bagans hypes up the episode as containing the most compelling evidence of ghostly activity that they had ever found, and while that reveal is a perfectly predictable bust, the episode does score a coup by bringing in Keith and Karl Johnson, paranormal investigators who (while not as famous as the Warrens) were actually the first team to investigate the Harrisville Farmhouse.

Ghost Train of Ely (Season 21 Episode 1)

It's a lockdown on wheels as Zak and the GAC investigate reports of terrifying visions involving a 100-year-old steam train traveling the historic Nevada Northern Railway. 

While walking through the railway depot, Zak and Aaron are scared breathless, first by a cat that ran past, and then by literally their own shadows — which seems appropriately childlike, given their excitement to jump on a steam train and ride the rails. But when the current railway foreman informs them that eighteen people have died on the train over the last century, their anxiety begins to make sense, and as their investigation takes them out to literal frontier ghost towns, there is soon more than shadows and cats to frighten them.

Mayhem in Millville (Season 21 Episode 10)

This home in Utah once housed a polygamist sect, but now its tenants report ghostly activity centered around the basement. 

Notably, Zak elects not to go into the house with the rest of GAC, citing an upper respiratory infection. He stays behind in the production van, AKA the "nerve center," communicating via walkie-talkie and watching the action on monitors. But just because he is not in the house doesn't mean that he is free from demonic intimidation. As the GAC prepares to enter, Bagan's Ovilus spits out the words EVIL, CENT, and TABLE (just like the one Bagan is sitting on), and later on, the more alarming ABORT, UNHOLY, and CHILLS.

Bensin Grist Mill (Season 21 Episode 11)

A 19th-century Utah grist mill has been inoperative since the 1940s, but the spirits inside are very busy, and of such variety that there is something for everyone. 

Echoes of the West's genocidal past can be found in a Native American shadow figure seen on the grounds, while a ghostly couple in white tours the main building. Poltergeist activity in the old school building is thought to be brought on by a young girl's death in the nearby pond. While Zak's crew strains to attribute every creak and groan inside a 150-year old wood mill to supernatural sources, a sudden moan captured via EVP literally knocks Jay off his seat.

Hell Hole Prison (Season 12 Episode 8)

Yuma Territorial Prison in California earned the nickname "Hell Hole" due to its extreme temperatures and the even more extreme punishments visited upon its prisoners. Conditions are perfect for a run of the mill investigation for the GAC, and for most of the episode that's what it is, but toward the end of the episode Zak and crew become interested in the history of the Yuma prison band. 

The faint sound of music compels them towards a stage, where their heat sensitive equipment captures several prison band-shaped anomalies, seemingly performing for their guests. It's one of the show's most memorable moments, a perfect coming together of the show's one-ghost-fits-all methodology and a site's specific history.

Industrial District of the Damned (Season 20 Episode 9)

Salt Lake City's industrial district would not seem a likely hotbed of ghostly activity, but when a recent break-in to a century-old building reveals the evidence of a possible dark ritual having been performed in its basement, who you gonna call? 

Zak Bagans, of course — and soon enough the GAC is down in the basement, tempting a female spirit known as the Old Hag. A disembodied voice laughs at Billy as the crew picks up something passing through an old mirror and bouncing around the room. If the evidence presented is perhaps a little dubious, in comparison to the outsized reaction of the investigators? Well, otherwise it wouldn't be an episode of "Ghost Adventures."

Horror at Joe Exotic Zoo (Season 21 Special)

This Halloween special rides the coattails of the 2020 Netflix hit documentary "Tiger King," following the GAC's investigation of the animal park formerly owned by incarcerated big game collector Joe Exotic. 

While they are nominally on hand to investigate a purported haunting by Travis Maldonado (whose off-screen death by accidental gunshot was a key sequence in "Tiger King"), the crew doesn't capture much more than the incredible bad vibes of the filthy, overrun compound. At a certain point Joe Exotic's former zookeeper Erik Cowie, who has been guiding Bagans and crew around the area, can't take it much more and excuses himself from the room; Cowie would be found dead less than a year after this special aired.

Stone Lion Inn (Season 14 Episode 1)

A polite poltergeist in a Satanist's haunted hotel is a rare thing indeed, but that's just what the GAC uncovers at the Stone Lion Inn in Guthrie, Oklahoma.

Current owner Becky Luker operates the inn as a bed and breakfast, performing a regular murder mystery show at a local cemetery, where some believe that the rituals she performs as part of the show are in fact actual wiccan and/or satanic rites. As the GAC investigates the Inn, a door mysteriously opens on its own. 

For most episodes of "Ghost Adventures," that would be enough meat for a month, but then Zak asks if whatever force opened the door could please close it. Amazingly, the force complies and the door slams shut — throwing the entire crew into a justified frenzy.

Disturbed in Wickenburg (Season 21 Episode 8)

The GAC had previously visited Vulture City, Arizona for an episode in 2010. At the time, the town's mining operations had not been operational for years. But now it is 2021, things are back up and running, and the local spirits do not seem pleased. 

When the attendees of a local paranormal convention suffer from mysterious ailments, some requiring hospitalization, Zak Bagans investigates the cause. Dark energy is felt around a tree that had been used for lynchings at one point, and it is presumed that much of the ghostly activity has its roots in the frontier violence between white miners and Native American tribes. These conflicts are often the historical subtexts of "Ghost Adventures" episodes taking place out west, but rarely is it so explicit or central to the investigation as it is here.

Ireland's Celtic Demons (Season 10 Halloween Special)

The GAC travels across the pond in this two-hour Halloween special, headed to Ireland to investigate the country's rich supernatural folklore, tour haunted castles, and squeeze in a quick portal to hell if time allows. 

The true appeal of this special is the gorgeous footage of the Irish landscape, which even the show's notoriously fuzzy nighttime photography can't fully diminish. The Irish locale allows Zak and company to practice their schtick with a different set of paranormal tropes, and there's the feeling here — as when they consult a "pagan witch" to cast a welcoming spell to explore Krohne Cave (the aforementioned portal to hell) — that they are merely tourists getting taken for a ride.

Curse of Ranch Island (Season 21 Episode 7)

Ranch Island is a commune outside of Las Vegas, where the spirit of a man who hanged himself may be trapped. As the GAC investigates, Zak is overcome with dark energy and believes himself to be in contact, if not outright possessed, by this shackled spirit. 

Jay Wasley rigs up an experimental energy circle with a Tesla coil, as the spirit presses down on his shoulders and envelops the crew in cold spots. "We're here to help you!" Aaron exclaims into the darkness. "We don't want anything else!" While that last part isn't necessarily true, the first part is surprisingly sincere. It's a rare thing when the GAC is here to help the living, more so than the dead.

Route 666 (Season 13 Halloween Special)

This two-hour Halloween special from 2016 is "Ghost Adventures" at its finest, showcasing the ultimate expression of the show's rustic Americana aesthetic, Route 66 — renamed Route 666 here for maximum cheese — in another example of the show firing on all cylinders. 

Traveling across Texas to investigate a trio of haunted sites — the De Soto Hotel, Concordia Cemetery, and Goatman's Bridge — the GAC confront spirits and each other, as supernatural bad vibes (or perhaps just the bad vibes that can creep up during a long car trip) threaten to tip over into violence. On Goatman's Bridge, Aaron Goodwin males the ill-advised move of breaking away from the group, only to be thrown to the ground by an invisible force. 

"I'm bleeding everywhere, dude," he says as he examines a wound on his arm, despite no evidence of any blood anywhere — perhaps the most "Ghost Adventures" moment of them all.

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The Best Horror Movies on Netflix

Looking for the best scary movies on Netflix? After a guided map of the most terrifying dingy dungeons, creaky manors, home-invaded houses, and deeply dark woods you can find on the streaming service? Then your search has led you to your glorious streaming doom: The Best Horror Movies on Netflix!

Not only does Netflix have a strong rotating library of scary movies, they sit along their horror original efforts, like Gerald’s Game , Fear Street , and Bird Box .

How did we whittle down our list of horror? We took every last scary movie on Netflix that had at least 20 reviews . What emerges is a portrait of which films unnerved and spooked out critics, have the potential to get audiences’ heart racing, and maybe even broke new ground and bones for the genre. So enough delaying the inevitable: Here are the best Netflix horror movies to stream and scream right now!

' sborder=

Velvet Buzzsaw (2019) 61%

' sborder=

Jaws 2 (1978) 62%

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Unfriended (2014) 62%

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Bird Box (2018) 64%

' sborder=

Before I Wake (2016) 67%

' sborder=

We Summon the Darkness (2019) 68%

' sborder=

The Perfection (2018) 71%

' sborder=

The Babysitter (2017) 71%

' sborder=

Piercing (2018) 73%

' sborder=

The Ritual (2017) 74%

' sborder=

Apostle (2018) 78%

' sborder=

Cult of Chucky (2017) 78%

' sborder=

The Platform (2019) 80%

' sborder=

The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017) 79%

' sborder=

The Conjuring 2 (2016) 80%

' sborder=

What Keeps You Alive (2018) 81%

' sborder=

Await Further Instructions (2018) 81%

' sborder=

Fear Street Part One: 1994 (2021) 84%

' sborder=

Girl on the Third Floor (2019) 82%

' sborder=

The Conjuring (2013) 86%

' sborder=

It Comes at Night (2017) 88%

' sborder=

#Alive (2020) 88%

' sborder=

The Ravenous (2017) 88%

' sborder=

Cargo (2017) 87%

' sborder=

Freaks (2018) 88%

' sborder=

Fear Street Part Two: 1978 (2021) 87%

' sborder=

Emelie (2015) 89%

' sborder=

Creep (2014) 91%

' sborder=

The Invitation (2015) 89%

' sborder=

Zombieland (2009) 89%

' sborder=

Fear Street Part Three: 1666 (2021) 88%

' sborder=

Vampires vs. The Bronx (2019) 90%

' sborder=

1922 (2017) 92%

' sborder=

Gerald's Game (2017) 91%

' sborder=

Hush (2016) 93%

' sborder=

Cam (2018) 93%

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Sweetheart (2019) 93%

' sborder=

Pan's Labyrinth (2006) 95%

' sborder=

The Old Ways (2021) 95%

' sborder=

Jaws (1975) 97%

' sborder=

Under the Shadow (2016) 99%

' sborder=

Creep 2 (2017) 100%

' sborder=

His House (2020) 100%

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Top 10 Scariest Roblox Games

It ain't all just kiddie stuff...

top 10 scariest ghost

Roblox is a free gaming platform that features a ton of different content for gamers to play with, like exclusive items , unique gaming experiences, and free in-game codes ! The Roblox Corporation has also partnered with companies like Sega and Gamefam in the past to further expand the gameplay experience for players, making Roblox’s games that much more entertaining for fans.

Roblox has tons of exciting games for players to experience, the most thrilling of which are the Roblox horror games. You wouldn’t think that horror games on a visually limited platform like Roblox would be particularly terrifying, but you’d be surprised at the number of genuinely scary Roblox games that are out there. Read on to discover our curated list of the scariest Roblox games ever made!

ELMIRA: Roblox Horror Game

After falling asleep on a school bus, you (the player) wake up alone in a mysterious and lonely place, which is seemingly devoid of any and all life. Like a true horror protagonist, you decide to explore the area, and you eventually stumble upon an abandoned path to an old hospital. Once inside the building, you soon discover (to your horror) that some mysteries are best left unsolved.

ELMIRA could definitely scare any player sh*tless, especially since its plot is loosely based on the legend of the “black-eyed children”, a superstitious legend about evil spawns with pure black eyes luring people by appearing helpless (anyone ever seen The Grudge?). All I’m saying is, you don’t want to play this one with the lights off! (or maybe you do, depending on who has to do your laundry)

The Mimic

The Mimic is a Japanese-style horror game loosely based on ancient urban legends that are divided into multiple separate stories. Each of these stories has its own unique twists and turns, and anyone unlucky enough to get caught up in them is in for a wild ride.

The game is constantly being updated, so you’ll never get tired of reliving the same horror experience over and over again. The immersive thrill of The Mimic gets even scarier with modes like Nightmare that further intensify the gameplay experience; don’t play this one alone if you get scared easily!

Roblox Wormy Trailer Screenshot

Okay, we all remember that one Spongebob episode about “wormy”, right? The one where Wormy, the caterpillar, turns into a butterfly that terrorizes Bikini Bottom? Well, this game is sort of like that, except Wormy isn’t just a slightly unsettling butterfly on the bottom of the ocean; it’s a six-foot-tall worm creature with a disturbing propensity for murder.

While stuck inside a department store overnight (every boomer dad’s dream scenario), players must find a way to escape the slimy clutches of Wormy , a towering worm creature with arms and a face that has a habit of beating people to death. If that doesn’t sound like one of the weirdest, most unsettlingly scariest Roblox games of all time, then I don’t know what does!

Break In (Story) on Roblox

If you’re a fan of The Purge and have been frothing at the mouth for a game within the franchise, then you’re in luck! Break In is the perfect game for Purge fans and fans of Roblox alike. After you load up the game, you and 11 other players will be thrown into a house, which you’ll need to both survive in and protect with your life during the in-game Purge.

After a couple of minutes, a “breaking news” bulletin will air on a TV, warning everyone to keep their doors locked and defend themselves against the numerous killers on the loose. Defending your home along with your life won’t be easy, but dying is the only other option. Break In allows players to conduct daring escapes from brutal murderers, discover secrets about the house and its contents, and even participate in a 12-player multiplayer co-op; what else could you ever ask for in a game??

Survive the Killer!

Survive the Killer! Roblox game

Survive the Killer is the Roblox version of Dead by Daylight , an immensely popular multiplayer horror game. Survive the Killer’s gameplay is both exciting and terrifying, as you can randomly be assigned to play as either a survivor or a killer for each round.

There are many exclusive knives available for purchase when getting into the role of a killer, as well as exclusive items that are available to trade amongst other players. If you are assigned as a survivor, you also have the option to gain rewards when reviving a certain number of players and collecting loot. There are innumerable opportunities for gains and losses for players in Survive the Killer; don’t pay it if you’re not up for the challenge!

Roblox DOORS Cover Image

DOORS is easily considered by many to be one of the scariest Roblox games to come out in recent years, if not ever . This Roblox experience will make even the most hardcore gamers wish they’d never heard of it; you definitely don’t want to go messing with this game if you’re not up for the challenge.

DOORS is a unique, maze-like horror game that encourages players to “use each death as a lesson” in figuring out how to escape its twisted terrors. Each door in this game’s lethal labyrinth unlocks a whole new world of terror for players to get lost in; losing your way in DOORS doesn’t just mean the end of your playthrough, it could very well mean the end of your tenuous grasp on your sanity!

The Maze Roblox Game

The Maze is a perfect modern example of a classic horror game. It’s got everything a classic horror game needs: a hauntingly creepy soundtrack, jumpscares around every corner, and a building sense of dread that holds your fight-or-flight response hostage for the entire game. What’s not to love??

As soon as you boot up the game, the start menu begins to play a haunting piano melody that’ll have you creeped out long before the actual game begins. From there, you’ll begin your journey into the haunted maze where a horrendous lurking monster stalks its victims. Get ready to get lost and piss yourself to death in The Maze on Roblox!

Roblox Spider Cover Image

If you’d love nothing more than to be turned into a terrifying arachnid mutant and hunt down all of your friends, then congratulations, you’ve just found the perfect Roblox game for you! Spider is a game on Roblox that allows players to take on the role of either “spider” or “survivor”.

Those who are assigned the role of “spider” must lay traps and hunt down all of the other players before they escape. Alternatively, those who are assigned the role of “survivor” must find ways to escape the spider mutant’s clutches, all while solving a series of complex puzzles in order to escape the house they’re trapped in.

SAW X: Survive the Obby

Roblox SAW X Survive the Obby Cover Image

SAW X: Survive the Obby is, hands down, one of the most scary Roblox games ever made, especially for those who are familiar with the SAW film franchise. In fact, this Roblox game is so scary that it had to be restricted for players 17+ and up only! If you’re under 17 and don’t feel like being scarred for life by a puppet on a trike in a Roblox game, then you definitely don’t want to load up SAW X: Survive the Obby anytime soon.

As you probably already guessed, SAW X: Survive the Obby is a horror game based on the SAW film franchise . In this game, players will have to navigate the messed-up mind games of Jigsaw and Billy the Puppet, the twisted puppet-masters behind their imprisonment. Solve the sadistic obstacle courses, navigate through twisted riddles, and survive until the very end, or else… GAME OVER!

Piggy Roblox Game

Last, but definitely not least, is one of the scariest Roblox games of all time: Piggy . Piggy may not sound like a terrifying horror game, but don’t be fooled by its innocent title; this Roblox experience is not for the faint of heart.

Piggy’s gameplay includes a staggering number of immersive options, including playing the role of “survivor” to escape the lurking horrors, or playing the part of Piggy herself, slaughtering anyone and everyone in your way. As Piggy, players can set traps and hunt players down, preventing them from escaping at all costs. As survivors, players can look for items and keys to open doors and plot how to escape Piggy’s terrible clutches.

And that’s it for our creepily curated list of all the scariest games on Roblox! For more recommendations, guides, codes, and all of the latest content on Roblox, check out the relevant links below and stay tuned for more on Twinfinite.

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Allysen Pierce

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Top 20 scary phone numbers that work and you should never call

Posted: January 10, 2024 | Last updated: January 11, 2024

There are numerous scary phone numbers today, most related to unexplainable events, myths, and legends. Some of these creepy numbers are also widely associated with bad luck, supernatural powers, and religious beliefs. Still, most of the reasons said to make these phone numbers scary have never been fully confirmed, though that does not make them any less scary.

While it may sound cliché, some individuals have had horrific experiences with unknown phone calls. As a rule of thumb, you should never pick odd numbers.

20 scary phone numbers to call when you feel daring

Here are some of the scary phone numbers to never call.

1. + (666) 6666-6666

In some religions, the number 666 is widely associated with the devil. This explains why this phone number sounds scary. With the digits 666 associated with the devil, you must always be on your guard when you see it. In addition, there's an assumed mysterious association with the number of victims whose death is unexplained.

People claim that if one calls + (666) 6666-6666, they are granted a wish, after which they immediately die. It is also rumoured that +666 666 6666 could be the beast's or boogie man's number.

2. 090- 4444-4444

The Japanese community believes this to be one of the scary phone numbers you should never call. Number 4 in Japan sounds like 'shi', which means death. It is assumed that this contact is associated with death within one week of interaction. Additionally, the number is widely associated with Sadako.

Sadako Yamamura is the main antagonist of Koji Suzuki's Ring novel series and the film franchise of the same name. Sadako's fictional history alternates between continuities, but all depict her as the vengeful ghost of a psychic who was murdered and thrown into a well

3. 1 (207) 404-2604

This is among the creepiest numbers to call. It was said to be a promotion tactic for the movie Carrie (1976). To entice the audience, those who came up with the number created a trailer that ended with the words' Call Carrie' followed by the number.

Whenever one tries to call this number, one will receive three calls in a row with creepy messages and sounds. The first call involves horrifying screams, while the second one has creepy music and someone singing a song. The last one has some random information delivered in a scaringly creepy whisper.

4. 0888 888 888

0888 888 888 is widely associated with bad luck in Bulgaria, and the country's nationals consider it one of the most cursed phone numbers in the world. Its first owner reportedly died of radioactive poisoning cancer, while the second and third owners died from gunshot wounds in Bulgaria's streets.

Mobitel, the phone company that owns the number, was forced to suspend it following these bizarre incidences. To date, any attempt to call the number directs you to a voicemail stating there is no network.

5. 701 347 1936

This phone number is reputedly haunted, and calling it is said to be a scary incident. Dialing these digits could result in death within a day. Upon calling, a man's voice can be heard reciting the lyrics "Votre toast, je peux vous le rendre" for about 32 seconds. These words are derived from the well-known French song Carmen by G. Bizet.

6. 1- 000-000-0000

If you are looking for haunted numbers to call, it cannot get any scarier than 1- 000-000-0000. The Asian community widely attributes it to strange deaths. It is reported that a male voice can be heard on the other end of the call, demanding that the recipient tell fifteen or more people about the number, and failure to do so is said to result in immediate death.

7. 1-216-333-180

When you call 1-216-333-180, it is said that you will be met by the voice of a woman desperately asking for help. Callers are reported to hear a desperate voice calling out, "Mommy, oh my, God, I'm going to die. I'm at the club. You need to come and get me."

The call was a technique to promote Nine Inch Nails' Year Zero album. Despite the album's success, there's no denying that the content of this call is quite scary.

8. 913-535-6280

913- 535-6280 connects callers to the fictional Derry Police Department. The number was reportedly created for reporting missing kids in the 90s.

However, the number is mainly used during Halloween, at which point dialling the phone number, the sound of a policeman being butchered can be heard on the other end.

9. 630-296-7536

Another scary phone number that actually works is 630-296-7536. Once the call goes through, a woman's voice is heard on the receiving end, telling callers that their information is being traced.

Soon afterwards, callers would be given an appointment and told that they have been scheduled for a 'remodel.' Based on that plan, you may get goosebumps at the thought of what might happen to you.

10. 20202020

Legend has it that when one calls 20202020, a female with a sharp voice answers the call and repeats, "Help Me! Help Me!! Suzie's dying" or "Help Me!! Help Me!! Suzie's drowning" . To date, there have been no confirmed reports of a real Suzie drowning, but the call can surely make you feel spooky.

11. 801-820-0263

This is said to be the phone number belonging to Annabelle from the horror movie series. When you call the number, you will reportedly be greeted by a voice that will then proceed to tell you a lot of information about yourself. Quite creepy, isn't it?

12. 407 734-0254

This is widely regarded as one of the best-known ghost numbers. If you dial this number, you will reportedly be connected to an infamous clown named Wrinkles, that resides in Naples, Florida.

According to legend, the clown will then appear at your party and prank your friends or even intimidate a misbehaving child. Others also state that the number is answered by a ghost residing in the same city.

13. 646-868-1844

If you call this number, you will reportedly be greeted by strange, bell-like tones concluding with an answerphone tone. Of course, it is weird to get such a reply when calling a new number, and it gives most people jitters.

The story goes that once you hang up, you will receive a text with a chaotic combination of words within seconds.

14. 909-390-0003

Dialing 909-390-0003 links you to a unique experience—a conversation with yourself! Known as the "echo line," this U.S.-based number mirrors your every word. Originally designed for assessing phone audio delay, it can be somewhat unsettling to encounter your own voice echoing back at you during the call.

15. 4086342806

It is rumoured that 4086342806 is a red room number designed to trace the caller's geographical location. Therefore, whoever calls the number reveals their location. If you are a daring and risk-taking person, you can give this number a try.

16. 1-858-651-5050

If you dial (858) 651-5050, you'll hear what sounds like the most unusual poem ever produced. It's a series of phrases, recited by both male and female speakers, that sound a little too perfect.

The number was reportedly designed to test a phone's sound quality, but the phrases are way too perfect-sounding, leading some people to believe that the number became haunted.

17. 618-625-8313

This number is said to belong to one of the characters on Stranger Things . At some point during the third season of the hugely popular series, Murray Bauman's number was flashed on the screen. People say that if you dial the number, you will hear him yell about his mother and then talk to Joyce Byers.

18. 999 9999

Avoid dialing this number in Thailand, as it is rumored to be ominous. According to legend, if you call 999 9999 after midnight with the intention of meeting your demise, a strange incident occurs, leading to an unsettling outcome.

Controversy surrounds this contact, with some claiming it was established as a promotional stunt for a movie. Despite the skepticism, this scary phone number is thought to be haunted even 21 years after the film's initial release.

19. 8287560109

The phone company that owns this number is based in Marion, North Carolina, in McDowell County, about 100 kilometres west of Charlotte. When you call the number, you will reportedly hear disturbing and blaring noises.

Callers also reportedly hear a man frantically conveying what sounds like a message in binary. When this binary message is converted into regular text, it spells the word 'death.'

20. 801 820 0263

When you call this number, you will allegedly hear a man counting from 1-7, followed by the sound of a man calling out your name. The horrifying voice will then reportedly go on to describe what you are doing and where you are. Sound quite creepy.

What is a ghost call number?

A ghost call number typically refers to a phone number that appears on a recipient's caller ID but, when answered, results in either silence, a recorded message, or an automated system without a live caller on the other end. Such a mythological phone number is said to be haunted or cursed.

What numbers should I not call?

Some of the scary phone numbers to never call include + (666) 6666-6666, 090- 4444-4444, 1 (207) 404-2604, 0888 888 888 and 701 347 1936.

What happens when we call 20202020?

Dialing the number 20202020 results in a chilling encounter, as a woman with a piercing voice answers the call, repeatedly uttering the distressing plea, "Help me! Help me! Suzie's dying." The eerie nature of the call is said to evoke a sense of unease or spookiness, contributing to its mysterious reputation.

What is the haunted number 999?

999 9999 is considered a haunted number in Thailand. There is a rumor that making a call to this number at midnight can trigger strange incidents, resulting in an unsettling outcome.

The scary phone numbers outlined in this guide all have various reasons behind their alleged scariness. These are mostly unsubstantiated claims and allegations. Still, the lack of evidence does not make these creepy numbers any less scary. recently published a list of dark humor private story names ideas for your Snapchat. Using dark humor in private story names for your Snapchat can be a way for you and your close friends to share a lighthearted and sometimes edgy sense of humor.

Dark humor thrives on pushing the boundaries of social norms and embracing the unexpected. When it comes to personalizing your Snapchat experience, your private story name is a key element of self-expression.

Top 20 scary phone numbers that work and you should never call

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