The Best Haunted House Movies

and Other Ghost Movies

Looking for a scary movie to make your night horrific? This list contains the best haunted house movies out there.  Finding a decent scary movie can be a challenge, so use this as a guide to for ideas on what to watch. If we can find the vid on YouTube or some other safe site, we’re providing a link, so be sure to look down the list.  The link will be next to the title.

Also, watch my free, hand-picked selection of classic horror movies here.  For more modern horror (pay), check out this page.

Okay, here is the list and I’ve broken it down into categories. Hope that helps!

Haunted Attics, Haunted Basements or Haunted Cabins

Stir of Echoes – Watch it here.

Kevin Bacon stars in this haunting thriller about a man who, at a party, says that hypnotism is a load of bunk. He agrees to be a subject, but unfortunately, it really worked. Thereafter he is able to pick up communications from the beyond. When he gets messages from his own basement, he begins to uncover a mystery that was never intended to be discovered.

(1999) Starring: Kevin Bacon, Zachary David Cope, Kathryn Erbe  / Directed by: David Koepp

 

The Changeling – Watch it here.

George C. Scott stars as a music professor who has lost his family in a car accident. In order to recover from the grief, he moves to another place and rents an old house that has a lingering resident from days gone by. Excellent film and a haunted house movies classic. Watch it here…

(1980) Starring: George C. Scott, Trish Van Devere, Melvyn Douglas  /  Directed by: Peter Medak

 

The Yellow Wallpaper

If you like mysterious haunted house movies full of suspense and subtle scares, you might like this. If you like mysterious haunted house movies full of suspense and subtle scares, you might like this. While haunted house movie wallpapers may be available at movie sites, but you can read about The Yellow Wallpaper here.

(2012) Starring: Aric Cushin, Juliet Landau, Dale Dickey / Directed by: Logan Thomas

 

Mama

A must-see horror flick about two girls who grow up alone in the forest. What happens when they return and adjust to society is beyond terrifying. This is a very scary ghost story, which you can read about here.

2013 Starring: Jessica Chastain, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Megan Charpentier / Directed by: Andrés Muschietti

 

Evil Dead – Watch it here.

Bruce Campbell teamed up with Sam Raimi and created this horror classic about a group of teens who head for the woods for a weekend of fun. Beneath the cabin they find an old tape recorder and a flesh-bound book. The voice on the tape warns of unleashing the spirit in the woods, but the kids don’t listen and wind up cutting up all night. . . literally!

(1981) Starring Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Richard DeManincor / Directed by: Sam Raimi

 

The Caller

After a breakup, Mary moves into an apartment of her own. Soon, she is plagued by chilling phone calls from an unknown woman. Eventually, the woman reveals that she is calling from another time.A creepy, dark film with a generous dousing of blood and gore.

(2011) Starring: Rachelle Lefevre, Stephen Moyer, Lorna Raver / Directed by: Matthew Parkhill

 

 

Haunted Houses with Malevolent Spirits

The Babadook – Watch it here.

A tense thriller/horror film about a children’s book depicting a supernatural character who comes to you in the dark. It hides in the dark places in your house and if you look, it will be there. Stalked by a monster, Amelia must try to protect her son who isn’t coping well with being an only child to a widowed mother. But when shadows in the house begin to move, mom starts to have her own troubles coping. Read my take on this film here.

(2014) Starring: Essie Davis, Noah Wiseman, Daniel Henshall / Directed by: Jennifer Kent

 

The Haunting – Watch it here.

A parapsychologist rents a reputedly haunted house in order to conduct psychic experiments. After careful consideration, he gathers a select group to the house for the event. Upon arrival, they find out how haunted the house really is, but don’t make it past one overnight stay there.

A classic tale of horror relies on atmosphere for its scares, rather than violence and gore. The epitome of spooky haunted house movies. Four thumbs up!

(1963) Starring: Julie Harris, Clair Bloom, Richard Johnson / Directed by: Robert Wise

 

The Messengers

Before Kristin Stewart became famous for Twilight, she starred in this movie as a troubled teen. Her family moves to the country in an attempt to get closer and overcome their problems. The farmhouse they live in turns out to be haunted. Dark and ominous, this is a good quality movie that will give you the creeps.

(2007) Starring: Dylan McDermott, Penelope Ann Miller, Kristen Stewart / Directed by: Oxide Pang Chun and Danny Pang

 

Insidious

A movie that literally screams scary. A little boy is held psychically captive by malevloent spirits from the other side. James Wan (Saw, The Contjuring) directs this dark thriller that will make you jump. Hard to watch in the dark, it’ll stay with you a few days.

(2010) Starring: Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Ty Simpkins / Directed by James Wan

 

Thir13een Ghosts

A remake of a 1950s classic, 13 Ghosts is an entertaining supernatural film that doesn’t take itself too seriously. A very unique house is used to capture spirits and hold them prisoner and a 13th ghost is need to complete a spell to unle+ash unworldly power. Filled with horrifying images of scary ghosts, it is visually stunning yet with occasional humorous moments.

(2001) Starring: Tony Shalhoub, Shannon Elizabeth, Embeth Davidtz / Directed by: Steve Beck

 

Possession and Evil Spirits

The Taking of Deborah Logan

The symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease are well-known, but when your mother starts levitating you may be dealing with something no doctor can cure you of.

(2014) Starring: Jill Logan, Anne Ramsey, Michelle Ang / Directed by: Adam Robitel

 

The Exorcist

When a single mother moves with her daughter to an apartment in a new city, they experience many odd occurrences after the daughter comes in contact with a Ouija board. As the daughter’s behavior becomes increasingly erratic, doctors attempt a diagnosis, but nothing conclusive can be found.

Her condition worsens to the point that her issues transcend the physical when eventually a priest is called in.  What begins as a battle of an unknown medical condition turns into all out war with the Devil!

Based on true events, this is the world’s most famous story of demon possession. Aside from being incredibly scary, it includes some of the most unnerving imagery ever filmed. Since the movie is close to 50 years old, that tells you how good it is!

If you have never seen the Exorcist, trust me, you need to. But be warned, this one will be hard to watch all by yourself!

(1973) Starring:  Linda Blair, Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow / Directed by William Friedkin

 

It Follows

This film faintly resembles The Ring and is scary as hell. Read why I think you should watch it.

(2014) Starring: Maika Monroe and Keir Gilchrist / Directed by David Robert Mitchell

 

Amityville Horror

This haunted house movie takes place in Amityville, New York. A couple, each on their second marriages, buys a house with a history. A very bad history (murder and suicide type-bad). They get the house for a song and feel like the smartest, luckiest couple in the world.

When the possessions begin to occur, the family heads for the same fate as the previous inhabitants: murder and suicide! Read more . . .

(1979) Starring: James Brolin, Margot Kidder, Rod Steiger / Directed by: Stuart Rosenberg

 

The Grudge

When a very angry man kills his wife and family, their home becomes cursed. The victims of this brutal slaying haunt the house and attach themselves to the people who live there. Stars Sarah Michelle Geller. Probably one of the scariest haunted house movies in a long time.

(2004) Starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jason Behr, Clea DuVall / Directed by: Takashi Shimizu

 

Devil

It is said that whenever things go bad, you can find the Devil at work.  And so it goes with this group of people trapped on an elevator with no way out

(2010) Starring: Chris Messina, Caroline Dhavernas, Bokeem Woodbine / Directed by John Erick Dowdle

 

Haunted Hotel Movies

The Shining

High atop a mountain in a remote Colorado locale lies the haunted Overlook Hotel. A hotspot for celebrities and the wealthy alike, the hotel closes each year for the winter. The closures are for good reason because each year the Overlook gets hopelessly snowed in.

A struggling writer named Jack Torrance takes a job as caretaker for the Overlook, moving in with his family for a long winters’ stay. He looks forward to writing and some mild daily hotel maintenance until spring. But something goes terribly wrong because unbeknownst to the Torrance’s, the Overlook is extre-e-e-emely haunted.

Unfortunately, Jack becomes possessed and madness sets in. Once the snow starts to fly, the family is trapped inside with Jack descending deep into the depths of madness. His family must escape before they, too, become ghosts at the Overlook.

(1980) Starring: Jack Nicholson, Shelly Duvall / Directed by: Stanley Kubrick

1408

Room 1408 at the Dolphin Hotel is rumored to be haunted, but writer and skeptic Mike Enslin refuses to believe the fabricated hogwash. But once Mike checks in to Room 1208 he has a very hard time checking out as the spirits in the room won’t let me go. Another classic by Stephen King, this is must-see horror for those who love ghost movies and haunted house movies.

(2007) Starring: John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson, Mary McCormack / Directed by: Mikael Hafstrom

 

 

The Innkeepers

An historic inn is open for the last evening of its life. The remaining employees decide to have a ghost hunt, based upon local urban legends. what they uncover changes their life forever. Very scary movie in some parts, a little lame in others. Overall worth a watch, though.

(2011) Starring: Sara Paxton, Pat Healy, Kelly McGillis / Directed by: Ti West

 

 

Victorian Houses / Old Haunted House Movies

If you’re looking for a scary movie about boy who inherits haunted property, one of these could be it –

The Others

A wealthy woman raises her children alone while her husband is off to war. Her children shrink in terror at the sun and all the windows must be covered during daylight hours. She discovers the house is haunted, but the ghosts are not who you think they are! Another of those haunted house movies you have to see.

(2001) Starring: Nicole Kidman, Christopher Eccleston, Fionnula Flanagan / Directed by: Alejanjdro Amenabar

The Skeptic

A man inherits a house from his aunt and upon moving in, discovers her passion for the paranormal. After spending a few days there, the skeptic begins to understand what triggered her interest in ghosts.

(2009) Starring: Tim Daly, Tom Arnold, Zoe Saldana / Directed by: Tennyson Bardwell

 

The Woman in Black

A movie with fantastic visuals, one is the story of a lawyer who travels alone, on assignment to do estate work at a beautiful old house. Its owner has passed and he is there to try to put order into the estate. He discovers the house is haunted and  … read more

(2012) Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Janet McTeer, Claran Hinds / Directed by: James Watkins

The Innocents

A very twisted tale of a young woman who is hired as a governess to tend to children at a country estate. When ghosts are sited near the lake, her memory threatens to reveal long-forgotten memories better left unremembered.

(1961) Starring: Deborah Kerr, Peter Wyngrade, Megs Jenkins / Directed by: Jack Clayton

 

The Awakening

An intelligent, independent and spirited young woman arrives to expose the hoax behind a haunting involving a little boy. Florence realizes that the new friend she’s made doesn’t really exist and her skepticism crumbles to terror. This is a creepy thriller that will leave you feeling quite uneasy.

(2011) Starring: Rebecca Hall, Dominic West, Imelda Staunton / Directed by: Nick Murphy

 

Haunted Object Movies

Oculus

This dark, creepy haunted house movie involves a haunted mirror. Here’s why I’m glad I watched it even though I didn’t think it would be any good.

(2013)  Starring: Karen Gillan, Brenton Thwaites  /  Directed by: Mike Flanagan

 

Dopplegangers

The Abandoned

This film is stunning from a cinematic sense. An American woman inherits her family home back in Russia. When she goes to pay a visit, she discovers that the house is in fact, not empty. It is inhabited by herself. The paranormally savvy know that a doppleganger is the image of oneself. It is seen before death or accidents as a type of warning or aid. This dark and mysterious film will give you that disturbing feeling you only get from a good haunted house movie.

(2006) Starring: Anastasia Hille, Karel Roden, Valentin Goshev / Directed by: Nacho Cerda

Poltergeist Movies

Poltergeist

Back in the 1980’s, California was experiencing a housing boom. Steve’s real estate career was peaking and Diane enjoyed staying home with the kids, creating a beautiful home in the Southern California suburbs

. . . until the ghosts came.

A malevolent spirit carried Carol Anne away, past the TV set and the toy box, and down through the closet. Carol Anne becomes trapped on the other side with an evil spirit who selfishly uses her energy to do its bidding.

Call in a paranormal investigation team and Steve and Diane undertake the fight of their lives, battling the legion spirits who haunt their house. This is one of the classic haunted house movies and remains tops in its genre.

(1982) Starring: Jo Beth Williams, Heather O’Rourke, Craig T. Nelson / Directed by: Tobe Hooper

Other Must-See Ghost Movies

Non-house related movies that are very much worth your time.

Wind Chill

Two college students share a ride home over Christmas break. To save time, they take a detour but end up on the roadside, cold and alone in the dark.  As the hours pass, they realize that the area where they’re stranded is haunted, and a long-ago murder replays in front of their eyes.

(2007) Starring: Emily Blunt, Ashton Holmes, Martin Donovan / Directed by: Gregory Jacobs

Honorable Mentions

The Marsh isn’t one of the best ghost movies, but it’s worth a watch.