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The Halloween Countdown: 31 days of horror to watch
A full month of spooktacular recommendations to stream, from cult horror classics to Halloween specials and everything in between
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If there’s one thing we love here at Polygon, it’s the Halloween season.
We cover horror year-round , whether it’s the best horror movies you can stream at home or the best horror movies on Netflix , and generally, we have our finger on the undead pulse of the newest and ghastliest releases in horror. We even have a list of the best horror movies of the year ( ranked by scariness, of course ).
Even still, Halloween is an especially spooky time of year, and it warrants special attention and celebration.
For the past three years , Polygon has put together a Halloween countdown calendar, selecting 31 of our staff’s top horror-themed or Halloween-adjacent picks across movies and TV throughout the month of October, all available to watch at home. We’ve loved doing it, so much so that we’re bringing it back again — this time with a whole new batch of films and shows to choose from.
Every day for the month of October, we’ll add a new recommendation to this countdown and tell you where you can watch it. So curl up on the couch, dim the lights, and grab some popcorn for a terrifying and entertaining marathon of horrific delights.
Oct. 1: Messiah of Evil
Where to watch: Prime Video, Shudder, Pluto TV, Plex
A undersung classic of ’70s cosmic horror, Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz’s Messiah of Evil is a surreal and nightmarish experience that more than deserves its status as a cult horror classic.
The film centers on Arletty, a young woman who journeys to the remote coastal town of Point Dume, California, to track down her missing father, a reclusive painter who is plagued by disturbing visions of an impending apocalypse. After crossing paths with an eccentric aristocrat and his groupie companions, the group bears witness to the realization of the painter’s prophecy, as the townspeople are transformed into flesh-eating ghouls and the messiah of evil makes his return to the mortal realm.
At times convoluted and bizarre, Messiah of Evil is a genuinely entertaining horror thriller filled with memorable scares and chilling set-pieces. From a cross-eyed albino man gleefully devouring a field mouse whole to a unsuspecting woman watching a Western as the theater around her slowly fills with ravenous undead zombies, it’s a dreamy and frightening experience that lands somewhere between the ineffable gothic horror of H.P. Lovecraft and the anti-consumerist allegories of George A. Romero. The horrors hold up over 50 years after it was first released, and with just the right combination of inadvertent silliness and legitimate terror, Messiah of Evil is a satisfying watch and an excellent start to a month of horrors. —Toussaint Egan
Oct. 2: Ginger Snaps
Where to watch: Criterion Channel, Shudder, Peacock, Vudu, Tubi, Freevee, Plex
There’s a sizable hole in the monster movie canon: There just aren’t enough good werewolf movies! Ginger Snaps is here to fix that. And if you love Jennifer’s Body , you’re in for a bloody treat.
Directed by future Orphan Black co-creator John Fawcett, Ginger Snaps is a delightfully gruesome story about two sisters. One of them has gotten her period for the first time, and is turned into a werewolf shortly after. Things get messy, fast.
Ginger Snaps doesn’t just do a great job filling in the werewolf canon. It’s a grisly body horror story placed onto an effective puberty allegory, with a compelling central sister relationship. If you’ve ever watched something like Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man and thought, This is great and surprisingly gooey, but give me stories like this about teen girls , then Ginger Snaps is for you.
The movie has amassed a dedicated cult following in the years since its release. You’re next up to join the ranks — see you at the next full moon! —Pete Volk
Oct. 3: Creepshow
Where to watch: Kanopy
The new Creepshow home video release — presented in vibrant 4K UHD Blu-ray — is the best way to revisit this horror anthology classic. You can see individual bubbles in the foam of the ocean as it slowly drowns Ted Danson. This is why it made our list of the best Blu-rays of 2023 .
But reader, while I’m one of those sickos who obsesses over video resolution and bitrate, I’ll be honest: You don’t need the fanciest version of Creepshow to enjoy its comedic chills. In fact, the most aesthetically harmonious format might be a poorly treated VHS tape that recorded the film off TBS in the mid-1990s.
Horror anthologies have most recently been used to condense as much terror into a tiny package, like chugging a shot glass of hot sauce. Creepshow is a throwback to a softer, more leisurely style of horror — a middle ground between the plodding tinglers of Poe and contemporary slashers.
Plus, Stephen King performs a one-person show as a hillbilly. So like, that should be enough. —Chris Plante
Oct. 4: Pulse
Where to watch: Prime Video
What if technology could be used to communicate with the dead? It’s an idea that dates as far back as the spiritualism movement of the late 19th century, and one that takes on a frightening and fascinating dimension in Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s post-Y2K horror-thriller Pulse .
Alternating between two storylines, Kurosawa’s film follows a group of young adults and university students as a rash of inexplicable disappearances and suicides occurs around Tokyo. As the protagonists investigate further, they slowly uncover a shocking revelation: The souls of the dead are spilling over into the mortal world and ensnaring their unsuspecting prey through the very infrastructure of the internet. By the time they realize this, however, it’s too late; the unearthly contagion has taken on a life of its own, and the only way to survive is cling to what few connections they have left.
Produced after Kurosawa’s Cure (which we featured on last year’s Halloween calendar), Pulse is widely celebrated as one of the foundational texts in the canon of J-horror cinema, alongside Hideo Nakata’s Ring and Takashi Shimizu’s Ju-on: The Curse . Eerie and methodical, Kurosawa’s film is a nihilistic meditation on technology and human relationships that presages an advent of loneliness in a world growing more and more “connected” with each passing day. Rife with imagery that will stay with you long after it’s over, Pulse is a tremendous and terrifying movie worth experiencing. —TE
Oct. 5: Apostle
Where to watch: Netflix
Don’t confuse Gareth Edwards (director of The Creator and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story ) with Gareth Evans, director of the Raid movies. If you do, you may sit down to the Netflix-exclusive Apostle expecting expansive, detail-driven science fiction, and be unpleasantly surprised when you get a grimy, extremely gory period piece that goes to startling extremes.
Evans’ mesmerizing Apostle deliberately starts in roughly the same place as the classic 1973 suspense thriller The Wicker Man , with a lone man heading to a remote Welsh island after getting a letter suggesting his sister is being held against her will there by a dangerous cult. Worming his way into the community by pretending to be a convert, Thomas (Dan Stevens, even more feral and intense than he is in The Guest or Beauty and the Beast ) inevitably discovers a lot of nasty work going on on the island.
Evans charts his own course with Apostle , veering far from the Wicker Man mold and into much bloodier territory. But he takes advantage of some of the same ideas: the ominous isolation of the island, the close-knit secrecy of its community, the predatory ideas that have flourished there under charismatic leadership. Stevens is particularly terrific in this movie, lunging from one scene to the next like a humanoid wolf who can barely contain his bloodlust. (Thomas has plenty of closely held secrets of his own.) And Evans’ commitment to violent mayhem gives this one some memorable moments that are likely to haunt you later, in the dark. —Tasha Robinson
Oct. 6: Dracula 2000
Where to watch: Max
With the scars of nu-metal having healed and Olivia Rodrigo’s Paramore-infused pop tracks having gone full “vampire,” now is the time to give Gerard Butler’s half-bare-chest take on Dracula the respect it’s due.
Maybe the most Dimension Films movie to ever bear the Dimension Films studio logo (close second: The Faculty ), Dracula 2000 finds a group of thieves — including of-the-moment faces like Omar Epps, Jennifer Esposito, and Shane West! — transporting a stolen silver coffin from London to New Orleans. They think there’s treasure inside. Are they idiots? Absolutely. And when they find Dracula instead of gold doubloons or whatever, they unleash hell. Overacted, canted-angled, seven-string-guitar-plucking HELL. Luckily, as Dracula hunts down local college student Mary Van Helsing (Justine Waddell), with whom he already shares a psychic connection, Mary’s dad’s new vampire-hunter assistant Simon (young Jonny Lee Miller!) is on his tail.
Butler, never more a heartthrob, plays Dracula in a mesmerizing, baroque manner; think Nicolas Cage doing Dracula if this year’s Renfield was emo turn-of-the-millennium trash. And he’s constantly biting unsuspecting B-list actors to add to his army of hot people, who fight the heroes in multiple obligatory scenes of wire-fu. Writer-director Patrick Lussier cuts it all up like it’s the video for “Freak on a Leash,” and, well, objectively, it’s quite unlike most horror movies you can watch today! Enjoyment of Dracula 2000 may vary depending on a tolerance for Hot Topic goofs, but if you don’t catch up with it, you can’t enjoy Lussier’s sequel, Dracula II: Ascension , starring Jason Scott Lee as a martial-arts-fighting priest who kicks Dracula’s ass! —Matt Patches
Oct. 7: Prince of Darkness
Where to watch: Peacock
There aren’t enough movies about the end of the world. Sure, there are plenty of movies about preventing catastrophe at that scale, but rarely do they have the follow-through to truly get existentially terrifying. Thankfully, John Carpenter is no coward, and he made three movies about different kinds of apocalypses. But while The Thing is the best known, and In the Mouth of Madness is the zaniest, Prince of Darkness might be the scariest of the trilogy.
Prince of Darkness follows a group of college researchers who are sent to study a strange canister found in the basement of a church. The canister is filled with some kind of liquid that defies science, and when it starts to get released, a strange evil seems to come into the world with it.
This is Carpenter at his most ambitious. While most of this movie is set in just one building, all manner of horror makes its way inside. There are people made of bugs, horrific zombies, an extradimensional Satan, and things even worse to behold. The entire movie is an onslaught of creepy, skin-crawling images, all built out of a unique mythology about the relationship between good and evil that underpins the world. And, most importantly, after this parade of horrors seems to come to an end, Carpenter saves Prince of Darkness ’ biggest, weirdest, most dreadful scare for last. —Austen Goslin
Oct. 8: Gravity Falls - Northwest Mansion Mystery
Where to watch: Hulu, Disney Plus — Season 2, Episode 10
The more time that has passed since Gravity Falls concluded, the more miraculous it feels in hindsight. Alex Hirsch’s paranormal comedy show about 12-year-old twins Dipper and Mabel, who solve supernatural mysteries in their great-uncle’s home in rural Oregon, is the perfect entry point for young horror-loving audiences. It’s a pastiche of The X-Files , Twin Peaks , and Adventure Time all rolled into one, with the freewheeling, funloving spirit of a summer vacation. There’s tons of fantastic episodes to choose from, but if you’re looking for an especially spooky one to get in the Halloween spirit, you can’t go wrong with “Northwest Mansion Mystery.”
A ghost has taken up residence in the mansion estate of the wealthiest family in Gravity Falls on the eve of their annual party, and Dipper has been enlisted to exorcize it. Upon arriving at the mansion, Dipper and popular girl Pacifica Northwest uncover a dark family secret that’s been buried for generations, one that threatens to not only tarnish the family’s reputation, but engulf the entire town. For a series ostensibly aimed at young children, it’s kind of wild just how scary “Northwest Mansion Mystery” gets, with taxidermy animals bleeding from their mouths, flaming skeletal lumberjacks, and hapless partygoers being petrified into screaming wooden statues. It’s a blast, and a solid stand-alone episode to introduce new audiences to the all the spooky (and “spoopy”) delights Gravity Falls has to offer. —TE
Oct. 9: The Scooby-Doo Project
Where to watch: YouTube
Scooby-Doo got extremely dark for a few years in the early 2000s, which also happened to be the best years of the series since its heyday in the 1970s. But while movies like The Witch’s Ghost and Zombie Island are absolutely excellent (and still hold up), among the most interesting hidden gems of the series is The Scooby-Doo Project .
Like its name implies, this was a parody of The Blair Witch Project that stars the Mystery Inc. gang. Scooby, Shaggy, Fred, Velma, and Daphne set off in the Mystery Machine to the remote woods of Casper County. The movie is filmed in the same documentary style that The Blair Witch Project made iconic, and mostly inserts the gang into live-action locations like real woods or a real town where they interview locals.
The project was originally created as a bumper to bookend segments of a 1999 Scooby-Doo marathon (just a few months after the movie it was based on was released), but after Cartoon Network saw what the creators put together, it wisely decided to re-air the short segments end-to-end as a movie.
The Scooby-Doo Project not only stands alongside the original Blair Witch as an impressive and loving parody, but also as a similarly unnerving found-footage horror movie. The gang standing around among live-action backgrounds is creepy enough on its own, but hearing the beloved characters be accosted by unseen forces as they sprint through the woods is downright scary — particularly if you were a kid watching this for the first time in 1999, well before you saw The Blair Witch Project .
But the best part of The Scooby-Doo Project comes at the end when, much like the other Scooby-Doo movies of the time, we get a soft implication that the supernatural elements of the story were actually real and the horrors won’t stop when the villain’s mask comes off. It’s a downright haunting ending, and manages to match the excellence of its source material, which is high praise for any horror movie, let alone a Scooby-Doo parody. —AG
Oct. 10: Saloum
Where to watch: Shudder, AMC Plus
One of the best movies of 2022 was this criminally underseen Senegalese thriller. Saloum follows three extremely cool mercenaries whose post-mission flight home gets interrupted. The trio find themselves in a mysterious village where something is off, and the tension slowly ramps up into a chaotic finale.
The trio of lead actors are absolutely magnetic — Yann Gael ( 1899 ), Roger Sallah, and the late Mentor Ba bring the trio of loyal friends who also happen to be extremely deadly professionals fully to life. And with fantastic costume design, a stirring score, and compelling images from award-winning music video director Jean Luc Herbulot, Saloum is 84 minutes of genre-bending excellence.
Saloum first premiered at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival, and the movie went on to win awards at Fantastic Fest and the Vancouver International Film Festival. And yet, way too few people have seen it. This is your chance to correct the record and help make Saloum the cult classic it deserves to be. —PV
Oct. 11: Heck
Skinamarink has proven to be one of the most polarizing horror releases of 2023 . Kyle Edward Ball’s feature debut about two children trapped alone inside their home by a malevolent entity eschews the formal conventions of traditional cinematography and plot, consisting instead of a series of canted-angle shots of dark hallways and yawning darkness that forces the audience to ruminate on the horrors that lay therein. Personally, I vibed with it heavily, and so it should come as no surprise that I quite enjoyed Ball’s 2020 short film Heck as well.
Conceived as a “proof of concept” for Skinamarink , the short is told from the perspective of a young child who wakes in the dead of night to the blaring sound of their mother’s television set. With their mother seemingly nowhere to be found, the child is left to their own devices, with no means of either leaving the house or calling for help. As the interminable night drags on, with hours morphing into days morphing into weeks morphing into months of penumbral isolation, the child grows more fearful and feral, resorting to increasingly more desperate acts of disobedience in hopes of rousing their mother from sleep. This effort, however, is ultimately proven to be in vain.
Heck circles the same rough ideas and themes of Skinamarink to different effect, channeling the vulnerability of a child and the horror of abandonment and neglect to create an experimental horror experience that demands the audience’s full attention. It’s a fascinating companion to Skinamarink that shows just how far Ball has come as a director honing in on this particular strain of horror, and makes it all the more intriguing to speculate on what he might conjure up next. —TE
Oct. 12: Harper’s Island
Where to watch: Available to purchase on Amazon, Apple, and Vudu
In theory, slasher TV should be easier to pull off. Episodic structure lends itself well to a slowly dwindling cast, with a killer on the loose and a different death each episode. This, as Lizzie McGuire (as Isabella the pop star) says , is what dreams are made of. And yet, show after show flubs it, because they can’t find interesting enough characters or dilemmas in what should be an endlessly engaging premise.
But the rules are different on Harper’s Island.
The small Pacific Northwest island was home to a serial killing where Abby (Elaine Cassidy) lost her mom almost a decade ago. She only returns at the start of the series under the most extreme of circumstances: her best friend Henry’s (Christopher Gorham) wedding. And unfortunately, the island’s deadly legacy is about to get a whole lot worse.
The thing is: The show is a perfect low-rent masterpiece. Being from 2009, it feels like a time capsule for both bootcut jeans and miniseries. At a tight 13 episodes, Harper’s Island knows what it’s about (killing people) and gets right to it (brutally). And yet, the beauty of Harper’s Island and its antics is how long it’s able to sustain a levelheaded approach to a purely absurd And Then There Were None scenario, right down to how long nobody knows they’re being picked off. Almost no death is like the last, which seems purely impractical from a serial killing perspective but makes for great TV. The episode titles are the onomatopoeias for how people die, for Christ’s sake! It’s all very fun and twisty, as bodies and mystery continue to mount. Harper’s Island makes slasher TV look fun and easy. More TV should be like Harper’s Island . —Zosha Millman
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Spooky Night: The Spirit of Halloween review – off-the-shelf family horror
Designed to burnish a US retail chain’s brand, this tame entertainment won’t scare children too much, but it should bother the rest of us
W hen is a Spirit Halloween store branding exercise not a Spirit Halloween store branding exercise? When it’s a film released in the UK, where Spirit Halloween stores just aren’t a thing. In the US (where this film was titled Spirit Halloween: The Movie), consumers are blessed with more than 1,500 of them, and this pre-teen Halloween yarn set in a store built over the final resting place of evil property developer Alex Windsor (Christopher Lloyd) presumably registers more immediately as an attempt to shift some All Hallows’ Eve merch.
As far as weird IP inspirations go, it’s not the worst, but it’s also far from the best. Suitable for pre-teens too young for genuine horror movies, it’s a safe watch for a family Halloween movie night, with one or two fairly creepy moments slotted in amidst the more hokey stuff. The notional plot sees a trio of best friends pondering their Halloween options now that one of their number has grown a couple of chest hairs and considers himself too old for traditional trick or treating. They opt for a night sneaking around a deserted costume store with a dark past.
Great plan, but unfortunately Windsor’s ghost is roaming about looking for souls to possess. Any Back to the Future/Addams Family fans excited to see Lloyd’s eccentric charisma back on the big screen may like to note that the vast majority of his performance is vocal: the various items he possesses are played by animatronics or guys in suits. (I’d hazard the production had maybe one session with Lloyd actually on set, which is over and done with in the pre-credits flashback.) The film does find time to build in a few nods to the greatest villain the man ever played – Judge Doom in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? – with little visual references to trip-hazard eyeballs, buzzsaws and mallets for hands.
Still, on this evidence, movies spun off from US retail outlets aren’t a trend to be encouraged: anyone currently in development on M&Ms World: The Movie, Ronald McDonald’s Big Day Out or The Starbucks Mysteries, please go back to the drawing board.
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Halloween TV and Streaming Calendar 2023: Horror Movies, Eerie Episodes, Spooky Specials, and More
Watch for new titles like series "the fall of the house of usher" and movie "five nights at freddy's," halloween episodes, holiday specials, and horror movie marathons..
TAGGED AS: halloween , Horror , movies , streaming , TV
Horror film Appendage is now streaming on Hulu (Photo by Hulu)
Spooky season is upon us and streaming services have released their Halloween-themed programming lineup for the entire month of October. You want new horror movies, petrifying TV shows, spooktacular specials, and ravenous reality shows? They’re all here. We bet you’ll find something to scratch that Halloween itch every night of the month.
Below are links to each streaming service’s respective horror hubs, including the new titles added this month. Freeform’s “31 Nights of Halloween” is celebrating its 25th anniversary by delivering a month-long roster of pumpkin-flavored programming to delight the senses. Titles on the docket this year include Hocus Pocus , the 30th anniversary of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas , and the Freeform premieres of Encanto , Zombies , and Zombies 2 . Hulu is striking back with Huluween, a truly scary slate that features titles like Ash vs Evil Dead , Stephen King’s Rose Red, The Boogeyman , and The Mill . Disney+’s Hallowstream offers more family-friendly fare like Haunted Mansion , Marvel’s Werewolf By Night in color, and the premiere of spooky series Goosebumps .
Netflix never skimps on the Halloween goodness. This year, Mike Flanagan’s ode to Edgar Allan Poe, The Fall of the House of Usher , will be a must-watch for horror fans. The streamer’s “Halloween Favorites” collection features subcategories including “This Place is Evil,” “Zombies, Vampires and Ghouls,” “Horror Hidden Gems,” “Teen Screams,” and “High Brow Horror.” Max has season 2 of Spanish horror hit 30 Coins , the shark-themed craziness of Meg 2: The Trench , the Final Destination movies, selections from the Conjuring -verse, fun classics like Beetlejuice , Little Shop of Horrors , and so much more. Let’s not forget Peacock: season 3 of Chucky , the Halloween franchise, classic Universal Monsters movies, and more frightful goods will be available to stream.
Here are quick links to the hubs and a calendar of Halloween programming for 2023. Check back, as we will update the calendar as new titles are confirmed.
Halloween-Themed Streaming Channels and Network Hubs: • Disney+ • Freeform • Max • Hulu • Paramount+ • Peacock • Prime Video • Netflix • Tubi
On an Apple device? Follow Rotten Tomatoes on Apple News .
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Best Family-Friendly Spooky Movies to Stream for Halloween 2023
Time to curl up with these fright-light family films for Hallo-weans to Hallotweens!
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Halloween is spine-chilling in general, but especially so if you’re a parent.
The amount of calories you consume while stealing your children’s hard-won candy? Gasp. Running out of sweets when there’s a minibus worth of spooky kids at your front door (and panic-shoving whatever you find in the cupboards their way, from loose handfuls of cereal to Oxo cubes)? Whimper. The price of Halloween costumes they’ll grow out of by Christmas? SCREAM.
You’d be better off extinguishing the pumpkin, barricading the door and curling up with one of these family-friendly Halloween movies instead – from animated delights to cult classics – which all fall under the ooky-spooky rather than blood-and-guts end of the scale.
(All streaming info correct as of September 2023)
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FOR PRE-SCHOOL KIDS
Wallace & gromit: the curse of the were-rabbit (2005).
This Oscar-winning stop-motion classic was the fourth film for classic British double-act Wallace and Gromit , a cheese-loving inventor and his silent anthropomorphic dog, and like their previous short films (such as The Wrong Trousers ) it’s full of uniquely British, silly humour. This time the pair have set up a humane pest control business (called Anti-Pesto, because of course it is) to protect the gardens of the village from rabbits in the lead-up to the annual vegetable competition. But things get spooky when a giant were-rabbit starts terrorising the village at night, and only these unlikely Yorkshire heroes can save the day. Alongside Peter Sallis as Wallace, the voice cast is packed full of British treats, from comedian Peter Kay ( Car Share ) to Helena Bonham Carter ( Sweeney Todd ) and Ralph Fiennes ( The Grand Budapest Hotel ).
Where to stream : BBC iPlayer (UK), Netflix (US)
Room on the Broom (2012)
Two magic words bring instant joy to any parents of pre-schoolers: JULIA DONALDSON. The children’s author has had one hit after another since creating The Gruffalo , from Superworm to Zog to The Smeds and the Smoos , so it’s no surprise she’s created an adorable Halloween tale too. Room on the Broom is about a kind witch and her cat – voiced by Gillian Anderson ( Sex Education ) and Rob Brydon ( Gavin & Stacey ) respectively – who invite other animals to join them for flying adventures on their broomstick. The cast includes other big names like Timothy Spall ( The Sixth Commandment ), Sally Hawkins ( Paddington ) and Martin Clunes ( Doc Martin ) so even the grownups will enjoy this, but its 55-minute running time should keep even the shortest attention spans entertained.
Where to stream: Prime Video, BBC iPlayer (UK only)
Mickey’s Tale of Two Witches
You can’t go wrong with Mickey Mouse, and this 45-minute movie is a spooky treat that even scaredy-cats will enjoy, as we follow witches-in-training Minnie the Wonderful and Daisy Doozy as they try to pass their witch exams. There’s cute songs, whizzy magic spells and an amusing mischievous ghost – the kind of harmless Halloween fun that’s aimed at the youngest members of the family, but will keep the grown-ups entertained too.
A less overtly Halloween-y but still spooky Mickey Mouse option is Disney’s 1940 classic Fantasia , (also on Disney+) but that might be more suited to slightly older children.
Where to stream: Disney+ (UK and US), Fubo (US only)
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LEGO Star Wars Terrifying Tales (2021)
The perfect way to introduce the littlest family members to the Star Wars universe, this 45-minute mini TV movie has much of the irresistibly silly humour of the proper LEGO movies, so it’s perfect all-family viewing. It takes place after the events of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker , with Poe and BB8 forced to make an emergency landing on the planet Mustafar, where they encounter the villainous Graballa The Hut, who is renovating Darth Vader’s castle into a luxury Sith-inspired hotel. While at the castle, they hear three creepy stories linked to ancient artefacts and iconic villains from across all eras of Star Wars . While these references will no doubt entertain Star Wars -loving parents, they’ll probably wash over the kids watching, but they’ll be kept amused by the film’s frequent kid-friendly jokes.
Where to stream: Disney+ (US and UK)
FOR OLDER KIDS (5+)
Hotel transylvania (2012).
This animated comedy makes great use of its talented cast. Adam Sandler ( You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah ) voices Dracula, who runs a remote hotel resort for all the spooky non-human types and is a typical overprotective father to Mavis (Selena Gomez, Only Murders In The Building ), his 118-year old vampire daughter. While she tries to convince him to let her see the world, a human backpacker called Jonathan (Andy Samberg, Brooklyn Nine-Nine ) miraculously stumbles upon the hotel and causes havoc when he checks in as a guest, and he and Mavis fall in love. Some of the humour is surprisingly grown-up (a sentient suit of armour gets kicked in the privates and doubles over before asking “Wait, why did that hurt me?”) so it really will entertain the whole family, and it’s got enough spooky vibes for the season while still retaining plenty of heart.
Where to stream: Netflix / NOW (UK), Hulu (US)
When The Muppets ’ Jim Henson, Monty Python ‘s Terry Jones, and Star Wars ’ George Lucas collided, we were blessed with Labyrinth , and the good news is you get to be the ones to introduce this magnificent movie to your kids. A young Jennifer Connelly ( Top Gun: Maverick) plays Sarah, who wishes away her little brother Toby to the Goblin King (the inimitable David Bowie), but when she changes her mind she discovers the only way to get Toby back is to defeat a tricksy, otherworldly maze full of riddles and challenges. The puppet characters she meets are just the right side of freaky without being scary, David Bowie is just as amazing as you’d expect, and almost four decades later Labyrinth still more than deserves its cult film status.
Where to stream: Netflix (UK), Hulu and Pluto (US)
Scooby Doo (2002)
Is this a good movie? No. Should you still watch it? Absolutely, preferably every Halloween without fail. Since it launched in the sixties, Scooby Doo has always been the epitome of kid-friendly spooky, with comedic “monsters” which usually have the comforting element of being unmasked as just bad guys in disguise, and any peril interspersed with plenty of giant sandwiches. This live-action remake falls roughly along these lines, and the gang (with the cast including Buffy ’s Sarah Michelle Gellar as Daphne, and She’s All That star Freddie Prinze Jr as Fred) visiting the unimaginatively named “Spooky Island” to investigate why tourists seem to be falling under a demonic curse. But the plot isn’t really important – all that matters is Matthew Lillard embodies Shaggy so accurately that it defies the laws of science. And it won the Kids’ Choice award for Best Fart in a Movie. So there’s that.
The movie’s sequel and a series of animated Scooby Doo movies (also featuring Lillard’s voice as Shaggy) are also available.
Where to stream: NOW (UK), Max (US)
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
One of Henry Selick’s greatest creations, Tim Burton-produced The Nightmare Before Christmas is often the subject of ‘Halloween or Christmas’ movie debate, but why not watch it on both occasions? All that really matters is that it’s a modern classic: surreal, freaky, dark, and an explosive visual and musical feast. The stop motion film follows leggy Jack Skellington (Chris Sarandon, Fright Night ), the pumpkin king of Halloween Town, who discovers Christmas Town and tries to take over. There’s a host of recognisable voices – Catherine O’Hara ( Schitt’s Creek ) as Jack’s love interest and poison enthusiast Sally, Glenn Shaddix ( Beetlejuice ) as Halloween Town’s mayor, and Patrick Stewart ( Star Trek: Picard ) as the narrator. It might be too weird for some younger kids to enjoy, but is definitely something you can watch with more robust tweens and teens.
Similarly dark, weird and visually stunning is Coraline , a stop motion film based on Neil Gaiman’s novel, and – like The Nightmare Before Christmas – directed by Henry Selick. The titular character Coraline (voiced by Dakota Fanning ) is a young girl who hates her new home and feels ignored by her parents, but then she discovers a magical alternate universe behind a secret door in the house. At first it seems idyllic, with much more adoring versions of her parents lavishing her with attention – it’s just they have buttons sewn where their eyes should be… and Coraline gradually realises that the alternate world is much more sinister than she thought. The impressive female-led cast includes Terri Hatcher ( Desperate Housewives ) as Coraline’s mother, and comedy duo Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders as their eccentric neighbours. Definitely one for the older, less sensitive children, but a Halloween family staple nonetheless.
Where to stream: ITVX (UK), Max (US)
Once you’ve done the important job of introducing your kids to The Nightmare Before Christmas , you can show them Tim Burton’s animated Halloween creation, Frankenweenie , based on his 1984 short film of the same name. It’s about a young boy who revives his beloved dead dog in a child-friendly twist on the classic Frankenstein format. The cast is superb: Ozark ’s Charlie Tahan is convincingly lovable as the young Frankenstein, Catherine O’Hara and Martin Short ( Only Murders in the Building ) are his parents, and Winona Ryder ( Stranger Things ) plays his school friend Elsa. Expect the textbook twistedness of Burton, including lots of dead animals coming back to life, so it’s another one for the less squeamish kids.
Where to stream: Disney+ (UK and US)
Hocus Pocus (1993)
If a family viewing of Hocus Pocus isn’t in your Halloween plans, you’re simply doing it wrong. It’s the ultimate in silly spooky, with Bette Midler ( The First Wives Club ), Sarah Jessica Parker ( Sex and the City ) and Kathy Najimy ( Sister Act ) as the addictively entertaining trio of Salem witches who are accidentally brought back to life by teenagers Max and Allison and Max’s little sister Dani while out trick-or-treating at Halloween. The witches are out for blood – or, more accurately, the souls of children – and it’s up to the kids to save the town from their deadly appetite. Hocus Pocus is the ultimate camp Halloween romp, with the emphasis heavily on comedy over horror, and Midler’s performance of her version of I Put a Spell on You remains a certified banger.
Parker, Midler and Najimy all reunited for Hocus Pocus 2 , released in 2022, which is a not-quite-as-good but still hugely fun and nostalgic sequel, also available on Disney+.
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Where to stream: Disney+ (UK and US), Hulu (US only)
The Haunted Mansion (2003)
Even ghosts can’t be properly scary when they’re haunting Eddie Murphy ( The Nutty Professor ), who stars in this classic and silly film based on Disney’s Haunted Mansion theme park attraction. Murphy plays a workaholic estate agent Jim who visits the mansion with his family, hoping he can sell it, but they soon find themselves trapped there, accosted by spirits, and embroiled in solving a century-old mystery about the death of the mansion’s former owner. Other cast members include Marsha Thomason ( Lost ) as Jim’s wife Sara and Wallace Shawn ( The Good Wife ) and Jennifer Tilly ( Family Guy ) as two of the mansion’s ghostly inhabitants, but it’s Murphy who really shines.
The Addams Family (1991)
There have been so many iterations of this famous spooky family over the past century – including the recent Netflix series Wednesday – that it’s hard to know where to start, but you can’t go wrong with the original 1991 feature film. Anjelica Huston ( The Witches ) and Raoul Julia give us one of the best ever on-screen partnerships in Morticia and Gomez Addams, Christina Ricci is divine as their morbid, no-nonsense daughter Wednesday, and Back To The Future star Christopher Lloyd’s delightful gurning is unforgettable as the imposter Uncle Fester. It’s a strange film, but the ensemble cast’s performance makes it a must-see.
The sequel, The Addams Family Values , (sadly one of the last acting appearances for Raoul Julia before his death) is also on Paramount+.
Where to stream: Paramount+ (US and UK)
Hollywood royalty like Bill Murray and Sigourney Weaver? Check. Mild comedic peril involving three enthusiastic but inept supernatural specialists setting up their own ghost removal service in New York City? Check. The catchiest theme song of all time (probably)? Double check. There’s a lot of good reasons why this eighties blockbuster has stood the test of time and it remains an absolute belter of a family film, especially during spooky season.
If you’re after a more modern version, the 2016 Ghostbusters reboot (starring the likes of Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones and Chris Hemsworth) is also on Netflix.
Where to stream : NOW (UK), Peacock Premium and Fubo (US)
Muppets Haunted Mansion (2021)
Yes, we’ve been blessed with a Muppets Halloween special , and it’s every bit as good as you might expect. Gonzo and Pepe the King Prawn attend a fright challenge at the local haunted mansion, where they meet the Ghost Host (Will Arnett, Arrested Development ), who tells them they must face their biggest fears and survive one night at the mansion or else be stuck there forever. All kinds of spooky shenanigans ensue, with just about every familiar Muppet face turning up (Miss Piggy is Madame Pigota, Rowlf is the organist, Kermit is the Mansion Show Host… the list goes on) with other human stars including Glee ’s Darren Criss as the caretaker and Alfonso Ribeira ( The Fresh Prince ) as one of the mansion’s resident ghouls. Packed with excellent jokes, it’s a textbook Muppets delight.
Gnome Alone (2017)
An animated Netflix original, this fun family-friendly fantasy centres on Chloe, a girl whose mother moves them to a creepy new home that she discovers is overrun with sentient garden gnomes, who are battling an evil other-wordly race called the Troggs. It’s an action-packed, if unserious, treat, which the kids might well enjoy more than the grownups, but it’s entertaining enough to keep the attention of all ages.
Where to stream : Netflix (US and UK)
Spirited Away (2001)
Admittedly not all (or even… any) of the other films on this list are particularly highbrow, but if you’re after a truly beautiful movie for your family’s Halloween watchlist, choose Spirited Away . Produced by Japan’s prestigious Studio Ghibli, it tells the story of a young girl called Chihiro who is moving house, when her family stumbles into an abandoned theme park which turns out to be a magical world ruled by spirits, gods and witches. It’s up to Chihiro to work out a way to save her family and return to the human world. This stunning, enchanting family film rightly won dozens of awards, including an Oscar for Best Animated Feature.
Where to stream: Netflix (UK), Max (US)
Many millennial parents spent their childhood thoroughly enjoying being scared daft by R L Stine’s Goosebumps novels, so expect a big dose of nostalgia when watching this comedy horror film adaptation . It stars Dylan Minnette ( 13 Reasons Why ) as Zach, a teenager who befriends his new neighbour Hannah (Odeya Rush, Dumplin’ ), before discovering her father is secretly R L Stine himself, played superbly by Jack Black. When the kids accidentally open some of the books he keeps locked away, they unleash a range of his fictional monsters which magically come to life, sending them on a rescue mission to save the town from a whole host of terrors. Unlike the nineties TV series, there’s plenty of jokes in the Goosebumps film to keep things light, so expect harmless pseudo-horror fun.
Where to watch: Netflix (UK and US)
King Kong (1933)
It’s a rite of passage to watch this legendary 1933 picture, arguably one of the greatest films of all time, and there’s no better time than Halloween to introduce the next generation to the piece of movie history. The image of the giant ape Kong scooping a terrified Ann (Fay Wray) from her bed through a skyscraper window, and climbing the Empire State Building with her screaming in his grasp, has to be one of the most enduring in all cinema. While Kong is certainly a menacing monster, the film’s age means there’s no particularly alarming gore, so it’s easily suitable for older children to enjoy.
Where to stream: BBC iPlayer (UK only)
Monster Family (2017)
Yes, Monster Family was a box office flop, but this animated adventure has enough familiar voices to make it worth your time. Emily Watson ( Chernobyl ) and Nick Frost ( Hot Fuzz ) star as parents Emma and Frank who, along with their two children, attend a Halloween costume party before a witch (voiced by Doctor Who’ s Catherine Tate ) transforms them into real monsters. Other voice cast include solid names like Jason Isaacs ( Harry Potter ) and Celia Imrie ( Calendar Girls ), and while it might not be a masterpiece, it’s certainly fun, and about as Halloweeny as it gets.
Where to stream: NOW (UK), Hulu, Peacock and Pluto (US)
Laura is a freelance writer and social media pro specialising in entertainment, food and drink and charities. She also writes novels, sometimes badly. She's a huge…
Like your Halloween scary? Check out these haunted Central Texas experiences
If you prefer your Halloween to be spooky, we have a little list for you. Here are some haunted and ghostly options for October:
Texas Halloween History Museum
Texas Halloween History Museum is in Smithville at 149 Split Rail Lane and includes creepy artifacts and Halloween history. The museum is open through Nov. 4 on Fridays through Sundays and on Halloween night. Tickets are $7. Information: texashalloweenmuseum.com.
House of Torment haunted houses
This one is for all you freaks who like to be scared! Just kidding, you're not freaks. You just love Halloween, or something. House of Torment, 2632 Ridgepoint Drive, has a slew of haunted house experiences to choose from, including escape rooms and physical challenges. Tickets start at $27.99 and the experience runs through Nov. 11. Information: houseoftorment.com.
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Fatal Fear Haunted House
Get scared this year at Fatal Fear Haunted House, 3509 Cowden Drive. This year's haunted house takes place in 1989 at the fictional Mortis Manor. A teenager and her friends visit the house, which needs to be fed, according to Fatal Fear's website. The haunted house is free to attend, but you must make a reservation at fatalfearhauntedhouse.com.
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Bat City Scaregrounds
Bat City Scaregrounds, 14101 South Turnersville Road in Buda, is an immersive, multi-acre complex with haunted houses, live music, performances, food and more. The scaregrounds are open all weekends leading up to Halloween and tickets start at $25. Information: batcityscaregrounds.com.
Scare for a Cure
Scare for a Cure's haunted house is an "extreme, full-contact, interactive haunted experience," according to the house's website. If you attend this haunted house, prepare to crawl, interact with actors and go through obstacles that include blood, slime and balls of fire. The haunted house raises money for Breast Cancer Resource Center and other charities, according to the Scare for a Cure website. The house is in Manor at 14219 Littig Road. Tickets are still available for weekends in October and can be purchased at scareforacure.org.
Haunted ATX offers up van and hearse tours of Austin locations that are thought to have paranormal activity, including Clay Pit and Littlefield House. Public and private tours are available and tickets start at $99. Information: hauntedatx.com.
9 Spooky Literary Short Story Collections
Haunting books best enjoyed on a stormy evening, when the shadows are just starting to stretch and the leaves are crackling outside.
For a long time, I’ve described my writing as “spooky literary”—the term that seems closest to the pulse of this genre-muddling category I love so much. “Spooky literary” books have ghosts or monsters or werewolves, and they also have complex characters and gorgeous prose. They have moonlit swamps or dark New England woods or shadowy basements, and they ask troubling questions about what it means to be human. They might elicit fear or conjure an unsettling atmosphere, and they might make us reconsider our conception of what is monstrous or what it means to be haunted.
I’m a huge fan of both horror and literary fiction, but my favorite books live in the murky space between the two genres. My debut story collection, Here in the Night , has been classified by reviewers and list-makers as horror, literary fiction, speculative fiction, thriller/suspense, and ghost stories. Even I am not entirely sure how to fit the book into traditional labels—all those categories feel right.
My other great reading love is the short story, so here are nine of my favorite spooky literary story collections, books that are best enjoyed on a stormy summer night or a late-October evening, when the shadows are just starting to stretch and the leaves are crackling outside.
Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado
This dark, feminist, brilliant book explores, with a fierceness and sharpness that is thrilling, the shame, desires, hungers, and complications associated with the female body. In the unforgettable stand-out story, “The Husband Stitch,” Machado retells the urban legend of the girl with the green ribbon tied around her neck from the perspective of the ill-fated wife. The collection also introduces readers to a writer slowly going mad at an artists’ colony, a metafictional account of dozens of fake Law and Order: SVU episodes, and an inventory of a queer woman’s lovers in a post-apocalyptic world.
Get in Trouble by Kelly Link
I have been an avid Kelly Link fan for over a decade, and could have included any of her genre-bending books on this list. She is a wholly original writer, dedicated entirely to the short story form. The eight stories in Get in Trouble include a pretty terrifying ghost story that takes place on a spaceship, a tale about an Appalachian schoolgirl exploring a summer home full of magical and unpredictable creatures, and a tense domestic story about a gay couple on vacation, as they try to forget the medical horrors of their daughter’s premature birth. Link makes her enthralling short stories feel as large and spacious as novels.
Revenge: Eleven Dark Tales by Yoko Ogawa; translated by Stephen Snyder
This collection certainly isn’t horror, but it explores the darkness of humanity in stark, unassuming prose, placing unforgettable characters in suspenseful and unusual situations. My favorite story in the collection, “Old Mrs. J,” about a creepy widowed landlady who starts to grow carrots shaped like human hands, employs the uncanny with beautiful and understated precision. Another story introduces the reader to a museum that displays implements of torture; another is told by a lonely bag-maker tasked with making a pouch to fit the exposed heart of a nightclub singer; another describes the grief felt by a mother whose child suffocated in a junked refrigerator years earlier. The stories are linked in strange and tangential ways, with protagonists from one story making fleeting guest appearances in other stories. Each story is unpredictable, tightly structured, and powerful.
Stay Awake by Dan Chaon
Like most of Chaon’s short fiction, the stories in Stay Awake focus on extraordinary moments in ordinary people’s lives. A recurring theme is how the past can haunt the present. In one story, a widower begins to find strange messages on scraps of paper everywhere she goes; in another, a father is distraught over his son’s night terrors and the memories of his own unforgivable behavior during a previous marriage; in another a man slowly begins to remember a shocking childhood trauma. The book includes my favorite contemporary ghost story, “The Farm. The Gold. The Lily-White Hands,” which is told from the perspective of a trio of Ouija board-obsessed sisters who were almost killed by their father when they were girls. As with all Chaon’s work, the prose in this collection is stunning, and each story comes to a startling and emotionally charged conclusion.
Things We Lost in the Fire by Mariana Enriquez; translated by Megan McDowell
Enriquez’s tremendous new novel, Our Share of the Night , is getting all the attention it deserves, but I first discovered her through this stunning collection of eerie tales. There are abandoned houses from which children never return, a poor out-of-the-way neighborhood in Buenos Aires that hides Lovecraftian horrors, a deeply disturbing tale about a social worker overstepping her bounds, and women who set themselves on fire to protest domestic violence. These stories are full of supernatural terrors, but they also interrogate the fraught history and culture of Argentina, and thoughtfully explore the constraints of womanhood and girlhood.
The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All by Laird Barron
Every story in this collection of cosmic horror delivers something original and interesting. There are understated ghost stories, traditional weird tales with monstrous gods, a raucous noir-style narrative with a heavy dose of the supernatural, and a story set at a horror convention that looks smartly inward at the genre. Many of these stories take the reader into the deep, dark woods, from a logging camp to a devil’s favorite haunt to a cabin nestled in the forests of upper Washington state. Barron’s prose never draws too much attention to itself, but it is rich and beautiful, and he knows how to write some of the best opening and ending lines in contemporary fiction.
The Ones That Got Away by Stephen Graham Jones
Stephen Graham Jones is acclaimed for his novels, but his superb short stories often fly under the radar. They are unsettling, grotesque, daring, inventive, and full of empathy. This collection is unambiguously horror, but its stories are just as likely to fill you with sorrow or longing as they are with fear. The characters are fully realized, complex, and rendered with great tenderness. I will caution: this is not a book for those who dislike discomfort; it has a story about blood-sucking ticks that still makes me squirm whenever I think about it.
Never Have I Ever by Isabel Yap
This fantastical collection draws inspiration from urban legends, Filipino folktales, and myth. There are so many wonderful and startlingly good stories in this book, but most memorable is the chilling and artfully told “Have You Heard the One About Anamaria Marquez?” which interlaces a narrative about students at a Catholic school putting on a haunted house with several versions of an urban legend that explains how a former student—known to haunt various parts of the school—died. The final story in the collection, “A Canticle for Lost Girls,” about three lifelong friends who once drew upon dark powers on an overnight class trip, is suspenseful and genuinely frightening, but it’s also an extraordinarily moving exploration of friendship and womanhood and trust, and it left me in tears.
A Study in Ugliness & Outras Histórias by H. Pueyo
This collection of ten alluring speculative tales, presented in both Portuguese and English, has magical families, werewolves, merfolk who have been forcefully separated from their kin, a cat turned inside out, and a talking corpse. It also grapples with questions related to the brutality of colonial history in Latin America, what it’s like to navigate the aftermath of abuse, and the effects of intergenerational trauma. This is a whip-smart, mesmerizing, and challenging book that readers won’t quickly or easily forget.
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"Fear not" is one of the most common phrases in Scripture. Why? Because people were always getting scared silly! In this season of creepiness, let’s look at some Bible stories that are genuinely fright-worthy, but also kind of weird.
- Medium Rare (1 Samuel 28) Saul’s kingdom was falling apart and God seemed far away. The king longed to get some advice from the prophet Samuel, who happened to be dead. Desperate, Saul went in disguise to visit a medium, in order to summon Samuel’s spirit. (He himself had outlawed such practices some time earlier.) When the prophet actually appeared, the medium seemed as shocked as anyone. (“I see a ghostly figure coming out of the earth!”) The spirit of Samuel was in a grumpy mood (“Why have you disturbed me?”) and basically scolded Saul, which is what he generally did when he was alive. Most Bible scholars don’t see this as an endorsement of mediums, but as a rare special case God used to get through to Saul one more time.
- Earth, Wind, and Fire (1 Kings 19) After successfully calling fire from heaven to embarrass the false prophets of Baal, the prophet Elijah was running for his life. Queen Jezebel had vowed to kill him. The emotional high of his (literal) mountaintop experience crashed into a dismal low, as he moped and begged God to take his life. Instead, the Lord had a powerful object lesson in store for the moody prophet. He sent Elijah out of his cave to what must have been the edge of a canyon. There, Elijah experienced a mighty wind that shattered rocks around him, an earthquake, and then a fire. Imagine the terror of these moments. If Elijah had a death wish, he was right at the edge of fulfilling it. But then he met his Maker in a different way, as God spoke to him in a “gentle whisper,” assuring him that there was still work to be done.
- Camp Corpse (2 Kings 19) The superpower Assyria ran wild through the Middle East, conquering nations and taking people captive. Their awesome army was camped outside Jerusalem, where the righteous King Hezekiah prepared for the worst, but prayed for a miracle. Would God deliver them from the Assyrian threat? The prophet Isaiah brought the Lord’s answer: “I will defend this city and save it.” The Bible text reads like the script of a horror film. “That night the angel of the Lord went out and put to death 185,000 in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up the next morning—there were all the dead bodies!” (2 Kings 19:34-35).
- Bones (Ezekiel 37:1-14) The prophet Ezekiel saw and did a lot of strange things, but this might be the eeriest. In a vision, he was transported to a valley full of dead, dry bones. That might seem weird enough, but then “there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone.” Then there were tendons, flesh and skin—and finally breath. Those skeletons came to life. “These bones are the people of Israel,” the Lord explained. They might feel they are dried up and hopeless, but “I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them.”
- Getting Fired (Daniel 3) Daniel and three Jewish friends were captured by an invading army and trained for service in Babylon. They were doing well until the king demanded that everyone bow down to a huge statue of himself. Loyal to the God of Israel, the three friends refused this idolatry (Daniel was probably out of town at the time), and they were willing to face the punishment—being burned alive. But when they were thrown into the fire, it had no effect on them. “The fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed.” But wait—it gets weirder. The king looks into the fire and says, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire? . . . Look, I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.” Whether or not this was an early appearance of Jesus, it’s clear that God showed up to help his people.
- Ghost Story (Matthew 14:22-32) Several of Jesus’ disciples were fishermen, accustomed to navigating the Sea of Galilee, but on this occasion they were having trouble. Jesus had sent them ahead while he dealt with the crowd on shore. But now they had struggled all night against the high waves and contrary wind. In the wee hours, they saw someone walking toward them, across the water. “It’s a g-g-ghost!” they cried. Imagine the terror of that moment. You’ve been rowing for your lives on a rough sea, and now you wonder if you’ve crossed over to some ghostly, ghastly world. And then you hear the familiar voice of Jesus coming from that direction. “Relax! It’s just me! Don’t be afraid.”
Sometimes our whole lives can seem like a horror show. We can be terrified by sickness, violence, broken relationships, aging, or financial collapse. We need to hear that friendly voice calling through the storm: “I’m here.”
Can I Go to Heaven Before Jesus Returns?
“I can’t bear the thought of my husband rotting in the grave, just waiting for Jesus to return.” A friend of mine, a widow, was looking for some comfort. She had read that “the dead in Christ shall rise first” at the Second Coming of Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:16 ...
Do Animals Go to Heaven?
After fifteen years of loyal companionship, a beloved pet gets sick. The vet can’t do anything but assure the animal of a painless death. For the pet owner, the loss is devastating. A “best friend” is gone. The pain is often compounded by people who just ...
Do You Have the Right Attitude Toward Giving?
I remember when I first started to give away part of my money. I was 4 years old, and it definitely wasn’t my decision. My parents told me that it was part of the deal if I was going to get my allowance of $1 per week: I would ...
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Writer of more than sixty books and hundreds of church curriculum lessons, Randy Petersen has served churches as a Bible teacher, small-groups coordinator, drama director, preaching consultant and softball pitcher.
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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.
- Movies or TV
- IMDb Rating
- In Theaters
- Release Year
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: 1,073,348 | 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
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: 383,154 | 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
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: 41,378 | 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: 258,961 | 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: 69,603 | 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
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: 80,243 | 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: Woo-seong Kam , Byung-ho Son , Lee Sun-kyun , Park Won-sang
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: 189,868 | 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: 290,709 | 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: 29,815 | 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: 1,026,634 | 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: 61,693 | 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: 47,044 | 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: 97,365 | 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
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: 173,993 | 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: 29,387 | 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
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: 239,251 | 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
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: 32,233 | 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: 161,087 | 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: 538,489 | 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: 276,500 | 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
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: 85,360 | 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: 59,152 | 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
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: 136,020 | 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: 375,153 | 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: 60,168 | 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: 120,481 | 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: 212,988 | 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: 7,804 | 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
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
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: 87,751 | 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
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: Ho-jin Chun , Hyun-jae Cho , Young-hoon Lee , Kim Byeong-cheol
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
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: 250,935 | 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: 330,473 | 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: 286,658 | 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
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
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: 42,945 | 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: 91,698 | 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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