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16 very real ghost stories that'll chill you to the bone

Do you check under the bed for monsters before you go to sleep? Double check the closet to ensure the boogeyman isn't hiding inside? Are you afraid of...ghosts?

Then perhaps you should stop right now, because we're about to delve into the world of the paranormal — and these tales are not for the faint of heart.

Whether you believe ghosts are rea l or just made up for the movies , these ghost stories, as told by real people who experienced things they simply can't explain , are sure to give you pause — if not proof — that there's more than meets the eye when it comes to supernatural happenings.

To help curate our collection of spooky yarns, TODAY.com spoke to Derek Hayes, host of " Monsters Among Us ," a podcast in which callers share details of mysterious encounters.

According to Hayes, he receives hundreds of calls each week and submissions from across the globe. "But every once in a while, somebody will call in one of those personal stories. It's that personal connection for me that really brings it home," Hayes tells TODAY.com.

"And some of those are just terrifying ."

We've collected a sampling of those 'terrifying' stories right here, along with a handful of other scary ghost stories from a ghost hunter, as well as unexplained incidents told by a variety of ordinary people who claim they've experienced something extraordinary.

Whether you believe them or not is, of course, entirely up to you. But if you end up sleeping with the lights on tonight, don't say we didn't warn you.

The ‘grandmas’ in the cemetery

Headstones in a misty graveyard.

Jeff, a resident of Dayton, Ohio, was driving with his 3-year-old son, Miles, in the back seat, when they passed by a cemetery. It was a modest cemetery with only flowers and small plaques.

“It basically looks like a giant garden,” Jeff explains on “Monsters Among Us.”

According to Jeff, as they drove by, his toddler, who’d been happily singing, abruptly stopped, pointed to the cemetery and exclaimed, “Look at all those people!”

Jeff turned to look, but didn’t see a soul. Confused, he asked Miles what he was talking about. “All those people over there,” his son replied. “There sure are a lot of grandmas.”

As Jeff tells it, chills ran down his spine as he asked his son what the people were doing. “They’re all standing there, looking down at the grass,” Miles said.

Completely unsettled by the conversation, Jeff sped up and drove home. Later that same day, he says his young son was watching TV when he turned to Jeff and said, “You know … they weren’t alive.”

Thinking Miles was referring to the cartoon, Jeff asked what he meant. “Those people we saw ... they were all paused,” his son replied.

“I don’t know if my kid has the sixth sense,” Jeff says. “Or if he just has a wild imagination.”

The ghost of The Stanley Hotel

ghost stories the stanley hotel

The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, has been around for more than 100 years and was built as a posh getaway for the wealthy seeking solitude in the mountains.

As the years passed, however, occupancy declined and by the 1970s, the grand hotel had fallen into disrepair. It was around that time that famed author Stephen King spent the night there and was inspired to write the book “The Shining.”

The book and blockbuster film helped return the Stanley to its former glory. Now, guests come in droves to see the hotel that inspired one of the scariest horror movies of all time.

Given its history, it should come as no surprise that many visitors report strange happenings. Aware of the ghostly rumors, Texas resident Henry Yau booked a last-minute getaway in April of 2016 to “check it out.”

After arriving, Yau had dinner, then wandered around the Stanley to take photos. Stopping at the staircase, he waited for people to clear the area, then took a picture, thinking nothing of it.

Later that night, however, Yau fell seriously ill. “I felt really sick, I had the shivers, I was like, something’s really wrong,” he tells TODAY.com. His companion suggested he go to the emergency room, but Yau refused.

On the trip home, Yau began swiping through the photos he’d taken when he discovered what he said was a “really, really strange image” of someone standing on the stairs.

Except no one had been there.

The next day, he posted the photo on Instagram, half-joking that he’d captured a ghost — and the world took notice. Almost overnight, Yau found himself in the limelight with his ghost picture warranting attention from global media outlets and paranormal experts who wanted to examine the photo.

“Some experts say that there’s two ghosts, and other people said that the reason I got sick is because the ghost was trying to materialize, taking energy out of me,” he said. “There’s so many theories about this.”

And what does Yau think? “I have no idea,” he says with a laugh.

The ghost truck stop

Empty Bar

On his way to get married, a military man and his best man set off on an 800-mile road trip from Camp Lejeune in North Carolina to Lafayette, Indiana.

It's 1 a.m. on a cold January night in 2014 and the man tells "Monsters Among Us" that the weather is bad and temperatures are in "the negative double digits."

As the pair close in on Indianapolis, they discover they have no money to pay for gas to refuel the car and are about to run out.

"Growing up in the trucking industry with my dad, I decided to stop at a truck stop," the man explains. But because the main interstates were shut down due to the weather, they had get off the highway and search for a truckstop along the back roads instead.

"(We) found a smaller truck stop. It had one truck and it was just kind of strange. It was just a blacked out truck with a blacked out trailer. There was no real markings on it, nothing distinguishable," he says.

They went in, hoping a clerk or waitress would spot them a few dollars for gas enough to make it to Indianapolis, at which time they'd go to the bank, take out cash and pay back the loan.

Inside they found a tidy diner, occupied by a waitress, cook and a lone truck driver.

"I went inside, talked to this driver and he bought us a cup of coffee. We sat there and talked for about 30 minutes about what was going on and why we were headed, where we were and what we were doing. And he gave us 20 bucks for gas. I went outside, pumped our gas, came back in and I told him, 'Hey, I really appreciate it. I'll be back.'"

Making good on his word, the man got cash from the bank upon arriving in Indianapolis and returned to the diner.

"When we arrive at about 10 o’clock in the morning, it's boarded up," he says. "It looks like it’s been abandoned for years and the truck’s gone. But we had just been in there."

They pull in anyway and find a police officer parked in the lot. They explain what happened just hours before to which the cop chuckles and replies, "Oh, you met the ghost of three."

"So, two military members converse, had a cup of coffee with, interacted with, three people at a diner that had a fuel pump. I got $20 worth of gas," says the man. "When I came back, it been boarded up for, if I remember correctly, the cop said it had been boarded up for the last 25 years."

The hauntings at the Lizzie Borden House

The Borden House in Fall River, Massachusetts.

On August 4, 1892, Andrew and his wife, Abby Borden, were found brutally murdered in their Fall River, Massachusetts, home. Though murder wasn’t uncommon in the late 1800s, the fact that they were bludgeoned to death with an ax and the main suspect was their 32-year-old daughter, Lizzie Borden, certainly was.

The crime and trial that followed made headlines around the world. Lizzie was ultimately acquitted of murder, but she remains forever linked to the heinous killings, as does the home where the crime was committed.

Now a bed-and-breakfast and museum, the Borden home attracts history buffs and thrill-seekers who come to see for themselves if rumors that the house is haunted are, indeed, true.

“When I started working here, it was more of the history. I really didn’t care about the paranormal,” Suzanne St. John, a realtor and tour guide at the Lizzie Borden House, tells TODAY.com.

However, that all changed after St. John says she experienced a few unusual happenings of her own.

“Guests tell us they hear laughing and playing in the middle of the night, things get moved around,” she says. And St. John has experienced a few unusual things herself, saying that once she discovered toys scattered across a room that no one had been in.

St. John also talks of a picture that fell over and slid two feet across the floor without any plausible explanation, as well as a closet door that once opened on its own volition.

On the eve of the anniversary of Andrew and Abby’s murder, St. John says that she and two other tour guides at the house felt a sudden sharp, piercing pain in their left eyes — the same exact location of Andrew Borden’s fatal injuries.

Perhaps the most unsettling, however, is the story St. John tells of a tour guide at the Lizzie Borden house who asked her group to silence their cell phones before beginning the tour. Moments later, a guest’s cell phone rang. She looked up and said, “It’s my mom.”

The tour guide asked if she wanted to leave and take the call, to which the woman replied: “She died two years ago.”

The ghost of Captain Joseph White

A shadowy image is captured in front of the Gardner-Pingree House in Salem, Massachusetts.

Though Salem, Massachusetts is best known for its infamous witch trials, there have been plenty of other chilling stories throughout its 400-year history.

One of them is the tale of Captain Joseph White, a wealthy merchant who was found bludgeoned to death in his bed.

It was a crime motivated by money, according to Giovanni Alabiso, owner and tour guide at Salem Historical Tours, who says the 82-year-old merchant was allegedly targeted by greedy brothers hoping to get their hands on his will.

Brothers Joseph and Francis Knapp enlisted the help of Richard Crowninshield to help get the job done. “Late in the evening, when Captain White is asleep, Dick Crowninshield comes in, he goes upstairs to the second floor and takes a club and bashes the captain over the head and crushes his skull,” Alabiso tells TODAY.com.

The murder resulted in a scandalous trial and is said to be the inspiration for Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart,” as well as the game “Clue.”

Whether it’s the brutal nature of the crime or revenge for the attempt to steal his money, the spirit of Captain Joseph White is said to still wander the halls of his former home. “People believe Captain White is roaming around that house, protecting whatever treasure he reportedly has,” Alabiso said.

Tourists take photos of the house, and despite being empty, many pictures reveal shadowy figures (both male and female) in the windows and on the landing of the Gardner-Pingree House.

Who are they? No one knows.

“It’s definitely, absolutely active,” Alabiso says.

The haunted ventriloquist doll

Ventriloquist doll playing piano

When Marty was a child back in the '90s, she tells "Monsters Among Us" that she was a fan of ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and his dummy sidekick, Charlie McCarthy.

She says that when her father came across a ventriloquist doll as he wandered through a small magic shop located outside of Santa Rosa, California, he decided to buy it for her birthday.

While ringing up the sale, Marty says the cashier gave her father "weird vibes" and said to him: "You know when you put your hand inside the doll, he's going to come alive."

Laughing off the comment, he brought the dummy home to his daughter.

According to Marty, she was over the moon when he dad gave her the doll, saying: "I was so happy when I got that doll, I was obsessed."

But before long, strange things began happening. Though impossible because the doll's head was made of hard plastic, she says its expression would change, including his smile.

Worried something would happen to her precious dummy, Marty's family shut it away in a cupboard most nights. One night, she and her family were awakened by the "pitter patter" of steps in their living room. Thinking it was the dog or another family member, they went to look.

No one was there. Except for the doll, who was sitting on the couch.

"We remember specifically we always put it away because I loved that doll so much that I took care of it," Marty says on the podcast.

Other strange occurrences began happening. While Marty and her dad were away, her uncle was alone in the house. The uncle says he heard Marty's father calling his name from the living room, even though he wasn't home.

When he went to look? He found the doll, once again, sitting on the couch. And no one else.

"All of our family was pretty much scared of the doll," Marty says. "People would start hearing their names being called, and we would hear walking at night. So, we just decided we needed to get rid of it."

Being Mexican and religious, Marty says her parents wanted to burn the doll in case it was demonic. They put it on the grill and, according to Marty, it wouldn't burn. "This doll would not go up in flames, at all, whatsoever."

They tried cutting it up with a knife, but were unsuccessful. Finally, they threw it in the trash can. After the garbage was collected, Marty's dad went to retrieve the bin.

In it? The doll.

To rid themselves of the dummy, they dug a hole in the backyard, then filled it with cement.

Marty and family have long-since moved away, but she says they still think about the doll and the possibility that eventually "it finds one of us."

The imaginary 'friend'

Ghost Stories

Jacqueline from Oklahoma says that while her memories have faded over the years, she recalls having an imaginary friend when she was young.

Her grandparents, "Granny Junie" and "Pa Hank," lived in a small home with a quiet backyard. Jacqueline recalls visiting them as a child.

"I have very good memories of my Pa Hank," Jacqueline says on the podcast "Monsters Among Us."

"He would sit under the tree with me and tell me stories." The stories were often about his life and memories of prohibition, she says. "He was actually a very interesting character."

The only problem? Her grandfather died in 1981 — and Jacqueline was born in 1982.

"I don't think I ever realized that I was getting stories from a ghost," she says, adding that the rest of her family knew of his presence in the house. "My Granny Junie would never stay in the house on the anniversary of his death," she says. "He did die in the house."

Jacqueline also recalls hearing Pa Hank get up in the middle of the night when she was staying at the house. "It never occurred to me that these were memories of an entity," she said.

In hindsight, Jacqueline says that even though her childhood "imaginary friend" was actually her dead grandfather, it casts a different light because it was a relative and not a stranger.

"It never felt like ghosts, it felt like talking to my Pa Hank."

The kidnapping ghost

Ghost Stories

On "Monsters Among Us," a caller named Joe tells of moving to Georgia from California in the late 1990s. Soon after, he says his brother followed him to the Peach State and rented an old house built in the 1800s.

"It looked nice from the outside ... it did not feel good from the inside," Joe says during the podcast.

According to Joe, things seemed off from the moment he helped his brother move into the home. "I walked into the house and went, 'Oh, man.' The hair stood up on the back of my neck, and I just felt ill-at-ease, like this place isn't cool at all," he says.

Moments later, while carrying items into the bedroom, Joe says he heard whispering.

"A heated whispering, almost an argument, between two people that seemed to be hovering in the top of the ceiling area of the room," he adds.

Joe ran out of the room and asked his brother if he'd felt something off about the house, too. His brother had picked up on the vibe, but assured Joe that things would be alright.

"As long as you're good," Joe says he told his brother. "I'm not good, but I'm going to help you. I'm going home and I probably won't come back here."

And, sure enough, Joe's brother began experiencing unusual occurrences in the house.

The most alarming, however, was when Joe says his young niece was found wandering alone on a busy road with her hand up in the air.

Police and other agencies were called to investigate the incident and when asked, his brother's 4-year-old explained that she'd gone for a stroll with the "old lady that lives here."

"She just wanted to go for a walk, so we went for a walk."

Given that the front door was too heavy for a 4-year-old to open by herself, no one could understand how she was able to leave the house.

According to Joe, his niece said, "The old lady opened the door, then we petted the dog for a little bit, then went for a walk."

"She was so genuine and honest at 4 years old, that he couldn't call her liar," Joe says during the podcast.

Soon after, his brother moved and never returned.

The ghosts of Stone’s Public House

Ghost Stories

Considered one of the most haunted restaurants in America, Stone’s Public House in Ashland, Massachusetts, doesn’t have a ghost problem — it has a ghosts problem.

Janet Morazzini, a longtime resident of Ashland, is the bartender and manager of Stone's Public House, which was built by John Stone back in 1832.

According to Morazzini, even before she began working at the inn, she heard stories of the ghost of a young boy roaming the halls of the restaurant, which once served as an ad hoc hospital during the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918.

It makes sense, Morazzini tells TODAY.com. “That’s where they would quarantine all the sick people,” she explains. “Apparently, quite a few souls have passed just due to that.”

The inn is also the site for other untimely deaths, including that of a young girl who was struck and killed by a train while she played near the railroad tracks bordering the property.

According to Morazzini, a father and son visiting the inn stepped outside the restaurant to watch the trains. After coming back inside, Morazzini overheard the father reassuring his young son that there wasn't anyone else outside — despite the son insisting he'd seen a little girl sitting beside them.

“He’s like, ‘She was sitting right next to me. She was crying. You didn’t see the little girl?’ And the dad said, ‘There was nobody there, it was just me and you, buddy,'" Morazzini recalls.

Other ghosts are said to haunt the old inn, including that of proprietor, John Stone, who Morazzini says didn’t actually die there, but is believed to be “watching over” the place.

One night when Morazzini was alone at the inn, she says she heard footsteps walking directly above her on the second floor. “I was just like, there is no explanation for that whatsoever. I’m leaving," she tells TODAY.com.

Still, she doesn’t believe that the spirits have bad intentions. “I’ve never had that scary, hair-on-the-back-of-your-neck-gotta-get-out-of-the-building feeling there."

The unexpected passenger

Ghost Stories

In the 1990s, Julie, a resident of Portland, Oregon, was driving out the city to meet with friends when she found herself in traffic. The 18-year-old soon discovered that the cause of the slowdown was due to a dreadful car crash and to her horror, as she passed the scene, she realized that someone had died.

A moment later, “there was a woman sitting in my passenger seat.” Julie says on “Monsters Among Us.”

Though she admits it sounds crazy, Julie reports seeing a woman dressed in work clothes seated next to her. And despite being in complete shock, the woman in the passenger seat was even more freaked out. “She looked like somebody who just suddenly ended up in somebody else’s car,” Julie says of the incident.

Panicked, the woman demanded to know how she got there and who Julie was. It was then that Julie noticed the woman had an unearthly quality about her and realized that whoever she’d passed on the side of the road was somehow in the car with her.

“'Ma’am, you need to calm down, my name is Julie and I’m here to help,’” she says she told the stranger. Julie later went on to explain to the woman that she’d been in a car accident and somehow ended up in her passenger seat. The woman was stricken.

At that exact minute, they passed a clearing in the trees. With some encouragement from Julie, the woman peacefully walked toward the sun, then disappeared.

In completely disbelief, Julie pulled over and convinced herself she’d imagined the whole thing. Several days later, however, a story came on the news about a trucker injured in a car accident.

“Before they finished, they threw a picture up of the woman that was in my car and explained that she had passed away in the accident,” Julie says during the podcast. “It was unbelievable, it was too much.”

The ghost in the choir loft

The First Church in Salem, Massachusetts.

Alicia Diozzi, teacher, tour guide and owner of Salem Kids Tours , typically sticks to talking about Salem, Massachusetts' long and diverse history.

However, there’s one story she likes to share about a ghost that haunts First Church in Salem. The plot twist? Only children can see it.

“The little ones, maybe age 4 or 5, will ask about a ghostly presence that they see up in the choir loft in the main sanctuary of our church,” she tells TODAY.com.

According to Diozzi, kids often point to the same spot in the church and claim they see a woman there.

“The kids will say she’s in a long dress, long-sleeves, and that she sometimes can be heard singing with the choir," Diozzi says.

Tales of the choir ghost have been circulating since the 1960s, says Diozzi. And she might have dismissed them had her own son not pointed to loft 15 years ago and asked about "the lady who sings with the choir."

Was she chilled?

“Yes, definitely,” Diozzi says. “I feel like the main sanctuary at First Church has that feeling, you do kind of feel the presence of the past.”

It’s not a bad feeling she says, but rather a history or energy that’s comforting in a way.

The ghosts of 'Shawshank' penitentiary

The Ohio State Reformatory.

The Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, Ohio is widely known for being the location of the classic movie, "The Shawshank Redemption."

But the old penitentiary, which was shut down in 1990, also has a reputation for being haunted.

Home to some of the most hardened criminals, the maximum-security prison was once the site of murders, suicides and other violent encounters, according to Theresa Argie, author and paranormal investigator known as “ The Haunted Housewife ."

“(The reformatory) had this incredible vein of violence that ran through it almost from the beginning," Argie tells TODAY.com.

“You can imagine why a place like that would be haunted,” she says. “There’s something negative there, you can just feel it in your bones.”

And there are, in fact, plenty of ghost stories from the old prison.

“We ran into female spirits there, which I thought was incredibly interesting,” Argie said. One of them, she says, is likely the wife of a former warden who was accidentally shot and killed while pulling a box down from a closet shelf.

According to Argie, they've captured recordings of a woman crying and, on occasion, smelled rose perfume in the bedroom.

Another spirit that’s said to haunt the reformatory is a woman who sits in the prison chapel and cries. “When you approach this woman sitting in the pew, she disappears. Other people have seen her walking," Argie says.

Then there's the malevolent presence there, according to Argie. And with the help of a medium, she says she communicated with it.

“He would literally be cussing at me,” she recalled.

While their sessions with the angry ghost were unnerving, it wasn’t until he followed Argie’s partner home that they were truly terrified.

“One day, she saw him, through a reflection of her window, she saw this thing in the back, this shadow figure, and she knew it was him," Argie tells TODAY.com.

After seeking the help of a paranormal expert, Argie says that "we haven't seen him since."

The phantom ambulance lights

Ambulance on forest road

In the mid 1990s, Robert worked as paramedic in a small Texas town and tells the story of a "strange happening" that he and his partner experienced on a call one night.

After receiving a call for a female having chest pains, he and his partner climbed in the ambulance to make their way to the address.

"We took off Code 3, which means using our emergency lights and sirens," Robert recalls.

In the absence of GPS back then, Robert says that they relied on maps and mailbox numbers to guide them to the rural location.

"The address we were going to was a very rural one," says Robert. "So, there was no street lights and it was a very dark night, so it was very difficult to read the mailboxes."

As they searched for the correct driveway, Robert says he turned off the sirens. After determining they'd found it, they pulled in only to discover they were mistaken.

"So, we turned off the emergency lights as we backed up to the road and went up the correct driveway," he explains.

Upon arriving at the scene, the paramedics realized that they'd been at the exact same address the month prior for a male suffering from cardiac arrest.

"In typical medical black-humor fashion, we mentioned to each other that this was probably the wife who was now having a heart attack and was now going to go join her husband."

They jumped from the ambulance, bags in tow, and began treating the woman, who, fortunately, ended up being alright. Robert says he sent his partner to get the stretcher from the ambulance so they could take her to hospital for evaluation.

"When he returned, he had this strange questioning look on his face," according to Robert. The pair wheeled the patient out to the emergency vehicle and that's when Robert saw that the ambulance "had nearly every light it was equipped with turned on."

"Strobe lights, flood lights, some interior lights ... everything on."

After taking the patient to the hospital, Robert asked his partner why he'd turned on all the lights.

In fact, he reminded Robert that they'd shut them all off after going to the wrong address.

"Neither of us recall activating the emergency lights, strobes or flood lights when we arrived at the house. There was no real reason to do so, we'd already gotten there.

"In the end, we wrote it off as her dead husband letting her know that he was still there."

The ghost dog

Fog in the nature park

Sarah, from Lancaster, Ohio, tells "Monsters Among Us" the story of her childhood dog, Cricket, who according to Sarah was a "pretty unhappy dog."

"She was super cranky, she only liked my grandma," Sarah says. "She didn't seem like she felt well."

Still, the family loved their dog and was devastated when the pup ran out into the road and was struck and killed by a passing car as they were preparing to leave on a family vacation.

"It was very sad, very upsetting, especially with me being a child. My grandmother was there, she loved Cricket and Cricket loved her. They had this special relationship that none of us had."

Despite the loss, the family had prepaid for their vacation, and not having a lot of money, decided to still go, leaving Cricket with an aunt who offered to take of the necessary details.

Upon arriving at the hotel where they were staying, Sarah says the family was "melancholy and sad" over the tragedy.

"We go to bed, and in the middle of the night, I'm not sure why I woke up, but I startled, woke up, sat up in bed, and looked down, and on the floor was Cricket, a full-body apparition, of her," says Sarah.

"She looked so happy, she looked like a different dog. She was jumping around. All that crankiness, all that unhappiness she had, was gone. It was like she was coming to tell me that she was OK. It was the clearest apparition. I've never seen an apparition again. It was the first and only time."

Sarah says she told her mother in the morning what she'd seen and her mom dismissed it as her middle-school brain just trying to make sense of the loss.

"I guess that's possible," says Sarah, "but to this day, I can still envision Cricket in that moment. I've never forgotten that image and it helped me feel better about what had happened because she seemed so happy and I do think she was visiting me that night."

  The ghosts of Willoughby Coal

The Willoughby Coal building in Ohio.

Built in the late 1800s, the Willoughby Coal building in Willoughby, Ohio, housed a variety of businesses in it's time, including a train depot, cheese factory and flour mill.

In 1912, it became the very prosperous Willoughby Coal, supplying coal to local residents before it was sold to Henry Windus and William “Don” Norris in the 1930s.

Over time, the relationship between the two owners grew contentious, according to Theresa Argie. “Henry Windus wanted to buy the business from Don Norris, but Don was unwilling to sell," the paranormal investigator tells TODAY.com

One morning, Norris allegedly told his wife he was going out for bread and to check on repairs being done on the Willoughby building.

He never returned.

Several hours later, his body was discovered in front of the door. “He was laying in a bloody heap,” Argie says.

Even though his death was ultimately ruled accidental, Argie says that Norris' family believed he'd been murdered. Though no one knows what really happened that morning, Argie believes his spirit still haunts the building.

“We have come in contact with him on many, many occasions,” she says and claims that others have reported seeing faces in the window and heard unexplained footsteps and other unusual occurrences at the building.

But Norris isn't alone.“We’ve probably got five or six resident spirits in the building."

The ghost nanny

Ghost touching sleeping granddaughter

Kip, a caller from New York state, talks of an old home that he and his wife purchased. Upon moving in, his wife invited her sister and newborn baby to come for a visit.

“The stayed in the downstairs bedroom and my wife was sleeping in an upstairs bedroom,” Kip explains on "Monsters Among Us," and says the first night their guests stayed, his wife overheard her sister talking to someone in the middle of the night.

The next morning, Kip’s wife asked who she’d been talking to and her sister replied, “I woke up in the middle of the night and there was an old lady standing over my baby and I had to tell her to get away.”

According to Kip, there were more unexplained incidents in the house including mysteriously moving lamps and a creepy occurrence with a fire alarm that went off while his wife was outside working in their garden.

“She immediately runs back into the house, figures out that it’s the smoke alarm in that same downstairs bedroom going off,” Kip says on the podcast. “When she opened the door, she said for a split second all she could see in the room was this white fog.”

Within moments, however, the white fog disappeared and the alarm shut off.

Convinced the house was haunted, Kip’s wife reached out to a neighbor to learn more about the property and discovered that the previous owner was a 90-year-old woman who tragically died in a house fire.

“Needless to say, we fixed up the house and got out of there as fast as we could and moved someplace else," says Kip.

Read on for more scares!

  • Are witches real? What to know on fact or fiction
  • Are werewolves real? The truth might surprise you
  • Scary books to read, from classics to modern fiction

scariest ghost

Sarah is a lifestyle and entertainment reporter for TODAY who covers holidays, celebrities and everything in between.

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

Ghoul from Grave Encounters

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

The Shining (1980)

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

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

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

The Changeling (1980)

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

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

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

Poltergeist (1982)

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

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

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

The Sixth Sense (1999)

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

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

Rent or buy The Sixth Sense on Amazon .

Stir Of Echoes (1999)

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

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

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

Session 9 (2001)

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

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

Rent or buy Session 9 on Amazon .

1408 (2007)

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

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

Rent or buy 1408 on Amazon .

The Orphanage (2007)

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

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

Rent or buy The Orphanage on Amazon .

Lake Mungo (2008)

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

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

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

Grave Encounters (2011)

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

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

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

Insidious (2011)

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

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

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

The Pact (2012)

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

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

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

The Woman In Black (2012)

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

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

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

The Conjuring (2013)

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

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

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

Ouija: Origin Of Evil (2016)

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

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

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

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

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Jason Wiese

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

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The Creepiest Ghost And Monster Stories From Around The World

Cecily Meza-Martinez

GD 2020

Credit: Phoebe Boswell for NPR

It's Halloween — a time for Frankenstein monsters and vampires and werewolves. But many of us have our own monsters from different cultures, and when we threw out a call to our readers asking what ghost stories and folktales they grew up with in their own traditions, we got back stories of creatures stalking the shadows of Latin American hallways and vengeful demons from South Asia with backwards feet. (And that's before we get to the were-hyenas and the infernal bathroom stalls.) Below are some of the best we've found or that were told to us from Code Switch readers.

Read on...if you dare.

The Night Demon

An evil creature stalks the Tanzanian island of Pemba in the Indian Ocean. It can change shape — a bat sometimes, a human-like form at others. It prefers to come out at night, but some say they have seen it during the day. The popobawa — "bat-wing" in Swahili — is indiscriminate in its targets. But in a common retelling, the spirit sexually assaults men.

Here & Now | Ghost Stories From Around The World

Ghost stories from around the world.

The popobawa story is rather new — only dating back a few decades from a time of civil unrest following the assassination of the country's president. The popular thinking goes that after a popbawa attack, victims must spread the word to others on Pemba. Otherwise, they will continue to be visited by the popobawa.

Reports of attack send some locals into a panic. A few years ago, a series of night-time sexual assaults were blamed on the popobawa.

"Some men are staying awake or sleeping in groups outside their homes," the BBC reported in 2007. "Others are smearing themselves with pig's oil, believing this repels attacks."

A peasant farmer named Mjaka Hamad claims he was attacked by the popobawa in 1997 .

I couldn't see it. I could only feel it. But some people in my house could see it. Those who've got the spirits in their heads could see it. Everybody was terrified. They were outside screaming Huyo! It means the Popobawa is there. I had this bad pain in my ribs where it crushed me. I don't believe in spirits so maybe that's why it attacked me. Maybe it will attack anybody who doesn't believe.

Beware the third stall.

The Girl In The Bathroom

In Japan, the schools contain an infernal secret. If you go into the girl's bathroom on the third floor of the building, and walk to the third stall, you might find her.

"You have to knock 3 times and call her name," a Code Switch reader named Jessica tweeted at us . "When you open the stall door, a little girl in a red skirt will be there."

The little girl with the bob haircut is Hanako-san. She wants friends to play with, maybe. Or perhaps she wants to drag you to Hell — through the toilet.

"Depending on which part of Japan you live in, she may have a bloody hand and grab you, or be a lizard that devours you," Jessica said. "Although I am getting scared just thinking about her right now."

Hanako-san has become a fixture of Japanese urban folklore over the last 70 years. The most popular origin story for the tale holds that during World War II, a schoolgirl was using the bathroom when a bomb fell on top of the building. The school collapsed on top of Hanako-san, who has been trapped there ever since.

But Hanako isn't the only schoolgirl who haunts Japan's school bathrooms. Kashima Reiko, another young girl, was said to have been cut in half by a train. Now her disfigured spirit inhabits bathrooms, asking children who enter the stalls where her legs are. The legend goes that if Kashima Reiko is not satisfied with their answer, she will rip their legs off.

The Woman Of Your (Worst) Dreams

In Brazil, a tall, skinny woman with long yellow fingernails and red eyes creeps along the rooftops, and watches families inside of their homes. She watches them as they sit at the table for dinner. She watches them while they eat. La pisadeira.

After the meal, when someone goes to sleep on a full stomach, la pisadeira sneaks into their bedroom. Then she sits on their chest so that they cannot move. The pisadeira that has attacked them watches them as they begin to panic — the victim's eyes partly open, but they're neither fully asleep or fully awake — helpless and trapped in a body that won't move.

Sleep paralysis is a well-studied disorder. "The worst thing is when you try to fight or call for help," a Redditor said in a conversation about what the experiences with it were like. "Your voice doesn't work and your body will not respond. You just feel helpless."

And among those who suffer from it across many cultures, there is one, unsettling common experience — a sense that a malevolent force is hovering over them in their immobile state.

"The earliest one I can remember is with my mother in the room and she's sitting on my bed, her face morphs into a demon like thing," a Redditor shared in a thread on sleep paralysis. Or: "A large dark figure, kind of a human silhouette, emerging from the foot of my bed and staring down at me."

(Could her "mom" or the silhouette have be a pisadeira?)

They went on. "Ugh, I need to stop trying to remember these things. I'm getting chills."

The Weeping Woman

Her name was Maria. She lived in Mexico. She had long, dark hair and a covetous heart. The man she loved would not have her, so she took her children in a fit of rage, took them down to the river, and drowned them, one by one. When the man she loved spurned her again, she realized what she'd done. She took herself to the water and threw herself in, to subject herself to the same fate as her children. But heaven would not have Maria, and she was condemned to wander the world in perpetual grief. She is La Llorona — the wailing woman.

The people who have seen her said they can her walking, soaking wet, wearing all white. And she can be heard crying out for the little ones she killed. "Ay, mis hijos!" she weeps. ("Oh, my children!") Some say that she snatches other young children as she walks, mistaking them for her own young children she knew.

"¡Ay, mis hijos!"

Children along the Mexican border grow up with her story, which traces itself to stories about several different female spirits of the Aztec empire.

"My earliest memory [of her] is being in elementary school and being in the girl's bathroom," says Terry Martinez, who grew up in Texas in the Rio Grande Valley. She and the other young children would try to summon La Llorona in a bathroom mirror.

"The lights had to be out," Martinez says. "The door had to be closed."

They'd splash water on the mirror and say her name three times.

La Llorona. La Llorona. La Llorona.

"It was just seeing who could stand being in the darkroom and seeing how long we could stand there waiting for her to come out of the sink," Martinez said. "It usually ended with a bunch of little girls screaming and running out of the bathroom."

Kat Chow contributed to this story.

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Best Supernatural/haunting/Scary/ghost Movies.

  • Movies or TV
  • IMDb Rating
  • In Theaters
  • Release Year

1. 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: 1,037,552 | Gross: $293.51M

2. What Lies Beneath (2000)

PG-13 | 130 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

The wife of a university research scientist believes that her lakeside Vermont home is haunted by a ghost - or that she is losing her mind.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Harrison Ford , Michelle Pfeiffer , Katharine Towne , Miranda Otto

Votes: 134,249 | Gross: $155.46M

3. The Skeleton Key (2005)

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

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

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

Votes: 121,699 | Gross: $47.81M

4. The Others (2001)

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

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

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

Votes: 388,453 | Gross: $96.52M

5. The Pact (II) (2012)

R | 89 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

As a woman struggles to come to grips with her past in the wake of her mother's death and the disappearance of her sister, an unsettling presence emerges in her childhood home.

Director: Nicholas McCarthy | Stars: Caity Lotz , Casper Van Dien , Mark Steger , Agnes Bruckner

Votes: 25,181

6. Apartment 143 (2011)

R | 80 min | Horror, Thriller

A team of parapsychologists try to figure out a strange phenomenon occurring in an apartment building.

Director: Carles Torrens | Stars: Kai Lennox , Gia Mantegna , Michael O'Keefe , Fiona Glascott

Votes: 11,710 | Gross: $0.00M

7. Paranormal Activity (2007)

R | 86 min | Horror, Mystery

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

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

Votes: 253,640 | Gross: $107.92M

8. Paranormal Activity 2 (2010)

R | 91 min | Horror, Mystery

After experiencing what they think are a series of "break-ins", a family sets up security cameras around their home, only to realize that the events unfolding before them are more sinister than they seem.

Director: Tod Williams | Stars: Katie Featherston , Micah Sloat , Molly Ephraim , David Bierend

Votes: 109,061 | Gross: $84.75M

9. Paranormal Activity 3 (2011)

R | 83 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

In 1988, young sisters Katie and Kristi befriend an invisible entity called Toby, who resides in their home.

Directors: Henry Joost , Ariel Schulman | Stars: Chloe Csengery , Jessica Tyler Brown , Christopher Nicholas Smith , Lauren Bittner

Votes: 99,081 | Gross: $104.01M

10. The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005)

PG-13 | 119 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

A lawyer takes on a negligent homicide case involving a priest who performed an exorcism on a young girl.

Director: Scott Derrickson | Stars: Laura Linney , Tom Wilkinson , Shohreh Aghdashloo , Campbell Scott

Votes: 138,729 | Gross: $75.07M

11. 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: 1,089,249 | Gross: $44.02M

12. 1408 (2007)

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

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

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

Votes: 290,525 | Gross: $71.99M

13. 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: 334,844 | Gross: $54.01M

14. The Eye (2008)

PG-13 | 98 min | Horror, Mystery

Violinist Sydney Wells was accidentally blinded by her sister Helen when she was five years old. She submits to a cornea transplantation, and while recovering from the operation, she realizes that she is seeing dead people.

Directors: David Moreau , Xavier Palud | Stars: Jessica Alba , Alessandro Nivola , Parker Posey , Rade Serbedzija

Votes: 55,813 | Gross: $31.42M

15. Gothika (2003)

R | 98 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

A depressed psychiatrist wakes up as a patient in the asylum where she worked, with no memory of why she is there or what she has done.

Director: Mathieu Kassovitz | Stars: Halle Berry , Penélope Cruz , Robert Downey Jr. , Charles S. Dutton

Votes: 118,065 | Gross: $59.69M

16. Case 39 (2009)

R | 109 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

A social worker fights to save a girl from her abusive parents, only to discover that the situation is more dangerous than she ever expected.

Director: Christian Alvart | Stars: Renée Zellweger , Ian McShane , Jodelle Ferland , Bradley Cooper

Votes: 92,412 | Gross: $13.25M

17. Jacob's Ladder (I) (1990)

R | 113 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

Mourning his dead child, a haunted Vietnam War veteran attempts to uncover his past while suffering from a severe case of dissociation. To do so, he must decipher reality and life from his own dreams, delusions, and perceptions of death.

Director: Adrian Lyne | Stars: Tim Robbins , Elizabeth Peña , Danny Aiello , Matt Craven

Votes: 116,527 | Gross: $26.12M

18. Exorcist: The Beginning (2004)

R | 114 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Years before Father Lankester Merrin helped save Regan MacNeil's soul, he first encounters the demon Pazuzu in East Africa. This is the tale of Father Merrin's initial battle with Pazuzu and the rediscovery of his faith.

Director: Renny Harlin | Stars: Stellan Skarsgård , Izabella Scorupco , James D'Arcy , Remy Sweeney

Votes: 39,442 | Gross: $41.82M

19. The Uninvited (2009)

PG-13 | 87 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

Anna returns home after a stint in a mental hospital, but her recovery is jeopardized by her father's new girlfriend and ghastly visions of her dead mother.

Directors: Charles Guard , Thomas Guard | Stars: Emily Browning , Arielle Kebbel , Elizabeth Banks , David Strathairn

Votes: 84,386 | Gross: $28.57M

20. Dark Water (2005)

PG-13 | 105 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

A mother and daughter, still wounded from a bitter custody dispute, hole up in a run-down apartment building, where they are targeted by the ghost of a former resident.

Director: Walter Salles | Stars: Jennifer Connelly , Ariel Gade , John C. Reilly , Tim Roth

Votes: 65,047 | Gross: $25.47M

21. Darkness (2002)

PG-13 | 88 min | Horror

A teenage girl moves into a remote country house with her family, only to discover that their gloomy new home has a horrifying past that threatens to destroy the family.

Director: Jaume Balagueró | Stars: Anna Paquin , Lena Olin , Iain Glen , Giancarlo Giannini

Votes: 20,250 | Gross: $22.16M

22. The Invisible (2007)

PG-13 | 102 min | Crime, Drama, Fantasy

A teenager is left invisible to the living after an attack.

Director: David S. Goyer | Stars: Justin Chatwin , Margarita Levieva , Marcia Gay Harden , Christopher Marquette

Votes: 36,393 | Gross: $20.57M

23. The Messengers (2007)

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

An ominous darkness invades a seemingly serene sunflower farm in North Dakota, and the Solomon family is torn apart by suspicion, mayhem and murder.

Directors: Danny Pang , Oxide Chun Pang | Stars: Dylan McDermott , Penelope Ann Miller , Kristen Stewart , John Corbett

Votes: 40,989 | Gross: $35.37M

24. Cold Creek Manor (2003)

R | 118 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

A family relocates from the city to a dilapidated house in the country that was once a grand estate. As they begin renovations, they discover their new home harbors a secret and may not be completely free of its former inhabitant.

Director: Mike Figgis | Stars: Dennis Quaid , Sharon Stone , Stephen Dorff , Juliette Lewis

Votes: 24,510 | Gross: $21.38M

25. Silent Hill (2006)

R | 125 min | Horror, Mystery

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

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

Votes: 241,538 | Gross: $46.98M

26. Wind Chill (2007)

R | 91 min | Adventure, Drama, Horror

Two college students share a ride home for the holidays, but when they break down on a deserted stretch of road, they are preyed upon by the ghosts of people who have died there.

Director: Gregory Jacobs | Stars: Emily Blunt , Ashton Holmes , Martin Donovan , Ned Bellamy

Votes: 24,669 | Gross: $0.02M

27. The Unborn (2009)

PG-13 | 88 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

A young woman fights the spirit that is slowly taking possession of her.

Director: David S. Goyer | Stars: Odette Annable , Gary Oldman , Cam Gigandet , Meagan Good

Votes: 53,095 | Gross: $42.67M

28. The Lovely Bones (2009)

PG-13 | 135 min | Drama, Fantasy, Thriller

Centers on a young girl who has been murdered and watches over her family - and her killer - from purgatory. She must weigh her desire for vengeance against her desire for her family to heal.

Director: Peter Jackson | Stars: Rachel Weisz , Mark Wahlberg , Saoirse Ronan , Susan Sarandon

Votes: 177,951 | Gross: $43.82M

29. What Dreams May Come (1998)

PG-13 | 113 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

Chris Nielsen dies in an accident, and enters Heaven. But when he discovers that his beloved wife Annie has killed herself out of grief over the loss, he embarks on an afterlife adventure to reunite with her.

Director: Vincent Ward | Stars: Robin Williams , Cuba Gooding Jr. , Annabella Sciorra , Max von Sydow

Votes: 113,366 | Gross: $55.49M

30. The Woman in Black (2012)

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

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

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

Votes: 191,291 | Gross: $54.33M

31. The Entity (1982)

R | 125 min | Drama, Horror

A woman is tormented and sexually molested by an invisible demon.

Director: Sidney J. Furie | Stars: Barbara Hershey , Ron Silver , David Labiosa , George Coe

Votes: 18,007 | Gross: $13.28M

32. Stir of Echoes (1999)

R | 99 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

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

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

Votes: 86,380 | Gross: $21.13M

33. 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: 59,685 | Gross: $40.85M

34. Thir13en Ghosts (2001)

R | 91 min | Fantasy, Horror

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

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

Votes: 92,788 | Gross: $41.87M

35. Drag Me to Hell (2009)

PG-13 | 99 min | Horror

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

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

Votes: 215,570 | Gross: $42.10M

36. The Amityville Horror (2005)

R | 90 min | Horror

Newlyweds are terrorized by demonic forces after moving into a large house that was the site of a grisly mass murder a year before.

Director: Andrew Douglas | Stars: Ryan Reynolds , Melissa George , Jimmy Bennett , Jesse James

Votes: 116,514 | Gross: $65.23M

37. The Haunting in Connecticut (2009)

PG-13 | 92 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

After a family is forced to relocate for their son's health, they begin experiencing supernatural behavior in their new home, and uncover a sinister history.

Director: Peter Cornwell | Stars: Virginia Madsen , Martin Donovan , Elias Koteas , Kyle Gallner

Votes: 64,706 | Gross: $55.39M

38. Shutter (I) (2008)

PG-13 | 85 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

A newly married couple discovers disturbing, ghostly images in photographs they develop after a tragic accident. Fearing the manifestations may be connected, they investigate and learn that some mysteries are better left unsolved.

Director: Masayuki Ochiai | Stars: Joshua Jackson , Rachael Taylor , James Kyson , Megumi Okina

Votes: 37,242 | Gross: $25.93M

39. The Hole (2009)

PG-13 | 92 min | Fantasy, Thriller

A pair of brothers stumble upon a mysterious hole in their basement that leads to the darkest corridors of their fears and nightmares.

Director: Joe Dante | Stars: Chris Massoglia , Haley Bennett , Nathan Gamble , Teri Polo

Votes: 24,131

40. Orphan (2009)

R | 123 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

A husband and wife who recently lost their baby adopt a 9-year-old girl who is not nearly as innocent as she appears.

Director: Jaume Collet-Serra | Stars: Vera Farmiga , Peter Sarsgaard , Isabelle Fuhrman , CCH Pounder

Votes: 248,087 | Gross: $41.60M

41. The Orphanage (2007)

R | 105 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

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

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

Votes: 162,205 | Gross: $7.16M

42. One Missed Call (2008)

PG-13 | 87 min | Horror, Mystery

Several people start receiving voice-mails from their future selves - messages which include the date, time, and some of the details of their deaths.

Director: Eric Valette | Stars: Edward Burns , Shannyn Sossamon , Ana Claudia Talancón , Ray Wise

Votes: 33,844 | Gross: $26.88M

43. The Possession (I) (2012)

PG-13 | 92 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

A young girl buys an antique box at a yard sale, unaware that inside the collectible lives a malicious ancient spirit. The girl's father teams with his ex-wife to find a way to end the curse upon their child.

Director: Ole Bornedal | Stars: Natasha Calis , Jeffrey Dean Morgan , Kyra Sedgwick , Madison Davenport

Votes: 62,841 | Gross: $49.13M

44. Intruders (I) (2011)

R | 100 min | Fantasy, Horror, Thriller

Two children living in different countries are visited nightly by a faceless being who wants to take possession of them.

Director: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo | Stars: Clive Owen , Carice van Houten , Izán Corchero , Ella Purnell

Votes: 21,174 | Gross: $0.07M

45. Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (2010)

R | 99 min | Fantasy, Horror, Thriller

A young girl sent to live with her father and his new girlfriend believes that she has released creatures from a sealed ash pit in the basement of her new home.

Director: Troy Nixey | Stars: Katie Holmes , Guy Pearce , Bailee Madison , Bruce Gleeson

Votes: 50,382 | Gross: $24.04M

46. The Pact (II) (2012)

47. dream house (2011).

PG-13 | 92 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Soon after moving into their seemingly idyllic new home, a family learns of a brutal crime committed against former residents of the dwelling.

Director: Jim Sheridan | Stars: Daniel Craig , Rachel Weisz , Naomi Watts , Elias Koteas

Votes: 68,780 | Gross: $21.28M

48. Dark Skies (2013)

PG-13 | 97 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

As the Barrett family's peaceful suburban life is rocked by an escalating series of disturbing events, they come to learn that a terrifying and deadly force is after them, one which may have arrived from beyond the stars.

Director: Scott Stewart | Stars: Keri Russell , Jake Brennan , Josh Hamilton , Dakota Goyo

Votes: 79,112 | Gross: $17.41M

49. Mama (I) (2013)

PG-13 | 100 min | Fantasy, Horror, Thriller

After a young couple take in their two nieces, they suspect that a supernatural spirit named Mama has latched onto their family.

Director: Andy Muschietti | Stars: Jessica Chastain , Nikolaj Coster-Waldau , Megan Charpentier , Isabelle Nélisse

Votes: 189,833 | Gross: $71.63M

50. The Last Exorcism Part II (2013)

PG-13 | 88 min | Horror, Thriller

As Nell Sweetzer tries to build a new life after the events of the first movie, the evil force that once possessed her returns with an even more horrific plan.

Director: Ed Gass-Donnelly | Stars: Ashley Bell , Julia Garner , Spencer Treat Clark , David Jensen

Votes: 16,891 | Gross: $15.18M

51. The Conjuring (2013)

R | 112 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

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

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

Votes: 546,590 | Gross: $137.40M

52. Carrie (2013)

R | 100 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

A shy girl, outcast by her peers and sheltered by her religious mother, unleashes telekinetic terror on her small town after being pushed too far at her senior prom.

Director: Kimberly Peirce | Stars: Chloë Grace Moretz , Julianne Moore , Gabriella Wilde , Portia Doubleday

Votes: 146,991 | Gross: $35.27M

53. Oculus (2013)

R | 104 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

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

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

Votes: 138,190 | Gross: $27.70M

54. Jamie Marks Is Dead (2014)

Not Rated | 101 min | Drama, Fantasy, Mystery

Based on the novel "One For Sorrow" by Christopher Barzak, Jamie Marks is Dead is the story of a murdered high school boy who returns as a ghost looking for the love and friendship he never had when he was alive.

Director: Carter Smith | Stars: Morgan Saylor , Noah Silver , Cameron Monaghan , Brett DelBuono

Votes: 2,731

55. The Babadook (2014)

Not Rated | 94 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

A single mother and her child fall into a deep well of paranoia when an eerie children's book titled "Mister Babadook" manifests in their home.

Director: Jennifer Kent | Stars: Essie Davis , Noah Wiseman , Daniel Henshall , Hayley McElhinney

Votes: 243,520 | Gross: $0.92M

56. Deliver Us from Evil (I) (2014)

R | 118 min | Crime, Fantasy, Horror

New York police officer Ralph Sarchie investigates a series of crimes. He joins forces with an unconventional priest, schooled in the rites of exorcism, to combat the possessions that are terrorizing their city.

Director: Scott Derrickson | Stars: Eric Bana , Edgar Ramírez , Olivia Munn , Chris Coy

Votes: 84,523 | Gross: $30.58M

57. The Conjuring 2 (2016)

R | 134 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

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

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

Votes: 295,637 | Gross: $102.47M

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Halloween: The 10 Scariest Movie Ghosts, Ranked

Spooky season is upon us, so if you're looking for some of the scariest ghosts ever captured on film, look no further.

A strange creaking sound in the middle of the night. An odd shape in the darkness. A weird whisper in an otherwise empty house. This is where the story almost always begins, but sooner or later that sound, that shape, that whisper becomes a terrifying figure smashing around the home screaming. Ghosts are always serious business when it comes to movies.

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Since the early days of film when Georges Méliès was experimenting with the art form to today's special effects-filled horror movies, ghosts have been a mainstay of movie theaters almost from the day the first theater opened, and with good reason - the whole idea of ghosts is undeniably creepy. The dead still going about the world of the living, sometimes lashing out and attack others while being otherwise intangible, and it always happens in the middle of the night, making it all that much more frightening.

10 Large Marge (Pee-Wee's Big Adventure)

Starring Paul Reubens as the titular character and directed by Tim Burton , Pee-Wee's Big Adventure is filled with strange imagery, including the creepy clowns that appear in Pee-wee's nightmares, but the truly horrifying moment comes from a trucker with a frightening story that begins with "On this very night, ten years ago..." and ends with her head exploding into a horrific yet funny image.

Large Marge opened the door to horror for many kids. Her strange tale and scary face was enough to freak out kids in just the right way, not giving them horrible nightmares for weeks on end, but just enough to make them want to see more spooky spirits in movies.

9 The Librarian (Ghostbusters)

Ghostbusters rides the line between fear and comedy in a way few movies ever have, and the Librarian is the perfect example of that. The first ghost in the movie, the Librarian starts off as a rather kindly looking free-floating apparition that makes Peter, Egon, and Ray very excited until she changes from a pleasant old woman into a horrific hag, proving that the Ghostbusters are afraid of some ghosts.

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More importantly, without the Librarian the three scientists would never have come up with the idea to form Ghostbusters just in time to take on Gozer the Gozerian and save the world from what would certainly have been the apocalypse. Oddly enough, the Ghostbusters never bothered to go back to the library to capture the Librarian.

8 Kyra Collins (The Sixth Sense)

M. Night Shyamalan's The Sixth Sense is filled with lots of creepy ghosts, and poor young Cole Sear, played by Haley Joel Osment, is the only person who can see them. The one ghost that really stands out from the rest is Kyra Collins, a young girl who has recently died.

What makes Kyra so terrifying is the way that she died. As Cole learns, Kyra had been ill for a long time before passing on, and as her ghost helps him discover, her illness wasn't natural. Kyra's mother slowly poisoned her for weeks, leading to the child's death.

7 The Dagmars (We Are Still Here)

To try and move past the death of their son, Anne and Paul Sacchetti move into a new home, only to discover that it is haunted by the rather nasty looking Dagmar family. Ted Geoghegan's modern horror classic We Are Still Here has three of the creepiest looking ghosts to ever show up on film.

The Dagmars, as it turns out, were murdered by the townspeople as a sacrifice to an evil entity that lives under the house. Now, with the entity demanding a new sacrifice and the Sacchetti's moving in, the Dagmars have returned, but are they there to help the entity or Anne and Paul?

6 The Man Who Can't Breathe (Insidious: Chapter 3)

The Insidious movies are filled with some scary spirits, and while the Red-Faced Demon and the Bride in Black are the most recognizable, the Man Who Can't Breathe from Insidious: Chapter 3 is the creepiest. Dressed in a dirty hospital gown that shows off plenty of his burnt skin, and wearing an old oxygen mask on his face, the Man Who Can't Breathe has taken the spirits of an apartment building hostage and is pulling the living into the Further so he can eat their life-force.

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With his heavy breathing and shuffling gait, the Man Who Can't Breathe jumps ahead of the other ghosts in the Insidious series because he isn't targeting any specific person, choosing instead to feed off of every living person while torturing the other spirits who are trapped there.

5 Kayako Saeki (Ju-On)

Kayako Saeki is one of three ghosts that Ju-On and the films that followed it focus on. When she was living, Kayako was, she believed, happily married to Takeo Saeki with whom she had a son named Toshio. When Takeo became convinced that Kayako was cheating on him, he brutally murdered her before killing their son and then himself.

Kayako became an Onryō - a vengeful spirit - who would attack anyone who came into the Saeki House. While all three ghosts in Ju-On are creepy, Kayako, crawling around covered in blood while creepily repeating her death rattle and cracking her neck, is one of the greats.

4 Madeline O'Malley (The Innkeepers)

Written and directed by Ti West, The Innkeepers is a slow burn horror movie that greatly rewards anyone who takes the time to watch it. In the movie, Claire and Luke - played by Sara Paxton and Pat Healy are the last two employees at the once-great Yankee Pedlar Inn, which is due to close its doors forever.

The duo are ghost hunting enthusiasts who believe that the inn is haunted and are trying to capture evidence of the ghost of Madeline O'Malley. As the final weekend of the inn progresses, Claire and Luke get more evidence than they could have hoped for.

3 Johnny Bartlett (The Frighteners)

The only thing scarier than a serial killer is the ghost of a serial killer who is still out there upping their body count. In Peter Jackson's The Frighteners , that's exactly what Johnny Bartlett is doing. Decades after he was executed for murdering twelve people, Johnny's evil ghost has returned to continue his nightmarish work with the help of his deranged girlfriend. The only living person who can see - and stop - Johnny Bartlett is Frank Bannister.

The idea of Johnny Bartlett is creepy enough, but it's the over the top spooky performance by Jake Busey that really makes the character stand out. Busey plays Bartlett as a complete madman who wants to get the highest body count because he thinks it makes America look bad that there's a Russian killer who has outdone everyone else.

2 Woman In Room 237 (The Shining/Doctor Sleep)

The Shining , based on the book by horror master Stephen King , is filled with some really scary stuff, but none of the other ghosts at the Overlook Hotel are as creepy as the Woman in Room 237. First seen by little Danny before his father Jack falls under her spell, the Woman in Room 237 appears differently depending on who sees her.

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To Danny, she is a rotting toothless old woman coming out of the bath, but to Jack she is a beautiful woman that seduces him, bringing the failed writer closer to madness. The Woman in Room 237 returned in Doctor Sleep , still haunting Danny years after he and his mother escaped from the Overlook.

1 The Entity (The Entity)

What makes The Entity so frightening is that it is based on the true story of Doris Bither, a woman who claimed to have been repeatedly assaulted by three ghosts in 1974. Birther was observed by doctoral students at the University of California and while they found nothing conclusive, the students did claim to see some odd things.

The Entity  takes the basics of the Bither case and turns it into a terrifying movie that has some of the most amazing special effects for any ghost movie. Making it all the more frightening, the ghost is never actually shown in The Entity, leaving it to the audience to imagine what it may look like.

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The 65+ Best Ghost Movies Of All Time

Ranker Film

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

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

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

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

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

The Others

  • # 339 of 772 The Most Rewatchable Movies
  • # 44 of 387 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time
  • # 61 of 128 The 100+ Grossest Movies Ever

The Sixth Sense

The Sixth Sense

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

The Conjuring

The Conjuring

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

The Shining

The Shining

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

Poltergeist

Poltergeist

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

Stir of Echoes

Stir of Echoes

  • # 29 of 248 The 200+ Best Psychological Thrillers Of All Time
  • # 289 of 379 The Best Movies Of The 1990s
  • # 92 of 387 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time

The Haunting

The Haunting

  • # 122 of 248 The 200+ Best Psychological Thrillers Of All Time
  • # 165 of 387 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time
  • # 42 of 110 The Best Intelligent Horror Movies

Beetlejuice

Beetlejuice

  • All The Insane And Horrifying Scenes In ‘Beetlejuice’ That Were Impossible To Understand As A Child
  • Strange Things You Probably Didn't Know About The Making Of 'Beetlejuice'
  • # 11 of 695 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

The Ring

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

The Changeling

The Changeling

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

Ghost Story

Ghost Story

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

Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters

  • The Bizarre History Of The Dueling Ghostbusters
  • Behind The Scenes Secrets From 'Ghostbusters' Most People Have Never Heard
  • # 64 of 695 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

The Amityville Horror

The Amityville Horror

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

John Carpenter's The Fog

John Carpenter's The Fog

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

The Uninvited

The Uninvited

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

What Lies Beneath

What Lies Beneath

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

The Orphanage

The Orphanage

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

Ghost Ship

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

The Devil's Backbone

The Devil's Backbone

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

The Entity

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

The Frighteners

The Frighteners

  • ‘The Frighteners’ Is A Twisted Peter Jackson Horror-Comedy That Deserves Your Attention
  • # 207 of 379 The Best Movies Of The 1990s
  • # 189 of 387 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time

The Innocents

The Innocents

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

Crimson Peak

Crimson Peak

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

Ghost

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

Thir13en Ghosts

Thir13en Ghosts

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

13 Ghosts

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

Carnival of Souls

Carnival of Souls

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

Burnt Offerings

Burnt Offerings

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

1408

  • # 45 of 248 The 200+ Best Psychological Thrillers Of All Time
  • # 84 of 387 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time
  • # 62 of 110 The Best Intelligent Horror Movies

Ghostbusters II

Ghostbusters II

  • # 501 of 695 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films
  • # 213 of 772 The Most Rewatchable Movies
  • # 118 of 403 The Best Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked
  • Entertainment
  • Graveyard Shift
  • Watchworthy

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

Creepy Real Pictures of Ghosts

10 Books About Ghosts That Will Scare the Shit Out of You—and Make You Smarter

These ghoulish tales ask us to interrogate our past and question our prejudices. They're also really, really scary.

Headshot of Adrienne Westenfeld

Every product was carefully curated by an Esquire editor. We may earn a commission from these links.

To revel in the spooky side of fall, we’ve rounded up ten of our favorite ghost stories, which exemplify all that the modern version of such stories can do and be. These novels make us think; they ask us to interrogate our past and question our prejudices. They’re also really, really scary, so keep the lights on while you read, lest you start looking for ghosts around the dark corners in your own home. (And if you need more terrifying page-turners after, check out our favorite horror books as well. Many of these have been adapted into works for the screen , no less haunting.)

Random House Trade Paperbacks Lincoln in the Bardo, by George Saunders

One night in February 1862, as the Civil War ravaged the United States, Abraham Lincoln snuck into a tomb at Georgetown Cemetery to cradle the body of his 11-year-old son, recently dead of typhoid fever. This historical fact was the catalyst for Saunders’ miraculous imagination, turned loose on a fictive landscape both supernatural and historical. After his death, Willie Lincoln awakens in the bardo, a spiritual limbo between death and rebirth, where he encounters a veritable Greek chorus of spirits. Trapped in the bardo by his father’s grief, a confused and uncertain Willie is counseled by the spirits, who share their stories of love, death, and remembrance. Saunders links the overwhelming grief of one historically important man to the suffering and salvation of all in this polyphonic story of our shared humanity.

Penguin Classics The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson

If you’ve seen the Netflix series of the same name and haven’t read the source material, described by many as the greatest haunted house story ever written, it’s past time to dive into The Haunting of Hill House . In this seminal classic, written by the queen of creep, four seekers arrive at the dilapidated Hill House, where spooky phenomena abound, to participate in a parapsychological study. Jackson’s genius lies in the linkages she makes between haunted houses and haunted minds, which crescendo into an unforgettable ending. Whether you’re a first-time reader or a dyed-in-the-wool Jackson fan, The Haunting of Hill House remains a master class in horror fiction.

Anchor The Shining, by Stephen King

King’s landmark ghost story , published way back in 1977, legendarily cemented his bona fides in the horror space. The novel opens with a fresh start for Jack Torrance, an aspiring writer and recovering alcoholic who’s packed his family off to the Overlook Hotel, an isolated resort in the Colorado Rockies. As the new off-season caretaker, Jack plans to get his life back on track, but the haunted hotel has other ideas. Danny, Jack’s five-year-old son, is blessed (or cursed) with a “shining”—a psychic gift that allows him to see the hotel’s malevolent ghosts, who want to possess him. When Danny proves too tough a mark, they turn to Jack, teeing up a bloodchilling showdown between a snowed-in family and the spooks who want them dead. Through the haunted house trope, King explores Jack’s personal demons—and delivers an unforgettable thrill ride of paranormal activity.

Vintage Beloved, by Toni Morrison

When Beloved was published in 1987, literary critic John Leonard wrote, “I can’t imagine American literature without it.” Decades later, Morrison’s masterpiece remains as essential to the U.S. canon as ever. Set in post-Civil War Ohio, the story centers on Sethe, a woman who escaped slavery eighteen years ago, but still hasn’t found freedom from its horrors. Sethe is haunted by the disturbing apparition of Beloved, the nameless baby daughter she killed long ago to save her from a life in chains. Years later, Beloved has come from “the place over there” to claim retribution for the life that was taken from her. Tormented by grief and love, Sethe wrestles with the impossible choice she made. Written in dense, poetic prose that verges on the sublime, Beloved is a masterwork about remembered trauma, both personal and national.

Quirk Books Horrorstor, by Grady Hendrix

Who says ghosts have to live in creaky Victorian houses? In Hendrix’s wildly inventive Horrorstor , the scene is set at ORSK, an IKEA-esque furniture superstore. When strange acts of vandalism start occurring, three employees form an overnight patrol to investigate, but what they find defies belief: wannabe ghostbusters, an unhoused man living secretly in the store, and yes, real ghosts. As these scrappy patrollers square off against the sinister ghosts who want to imprison them in the showroom forever, Hendrix delivers both a palm-sweating horror story and a laugh-out-loud satire of retail. If you’ve ever wished an eternal curse on IKEA while constructing their furniture (who among us hasn’t?), then Horrorstor is the novel for you.

Mexican Gothic, by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Set in Mexico circa the 1950s, Mexican Gothic opens with an alarming letter: newlywed Catalina writes in desperation to her cousin Noemí, claiming that her husband is poisoning her, and that “fleshless things will not let me go.” Glamorous and tough Noemí travels to High Place, the countryside home of Catalina’s new husband, Virgil Doyle, to investigate. There she encounters the “essentially macabre” Doyle family: English aristocrats who colonized the mining town where High Place is situated, and their frightening patriarch, a dastardly eugenicist. Plagued by frightening visions of ghosts and violence, Noemí plots to make her escape with Catalina, but High Place won’t let them go so easily. In this dreadful and spellbinding novel, Moreno Garcia delivers Gothic horror at its finest, with a brilliant layer about the scourges of racism and colonialism.

Image Comics Infidel, by Pornsak Pichetshote and Aaron Campbell

In a run-down apartment building, Aisha, a Muslim woman living with her white fiancé and his daughter, begins having strange dreams about the building’s past. Not too long ago, a Muslim neighbor hoarding explosives in his apartment caused a catastrophic accident, leading to a rise in Islamophobia among the building’s multiracial residents. The explosion awakened hateful spirits that feed off xenophobia; now, Aisha must turn to her neighbors to defeat the ghosts tormenting her. In this modern reimagining of the haunted house trope, the authors illuminate chilling truths about the monsters that live within and without humanity.

ChiZine Publications Experimental Film, by Gemma Files

Struggling with her son’s autism diagnosis and axed from her teaching job, Lois Cairns’ life takes a turn for the worse when she becomes obsessed with a snippet of silent film that may hold the key to a century-old mystery. Lois believes the film proves that an eccentric socialite, who vanished under mysterious circumstances early in the 20th century, was in fact a pioneering female filmmaker. Lois’ all-consuming investigation into the mystery revitalizes her career, but puts hers and her family’s lives on the line, because the past doesn’t want to stay dead. Suspenseful and thrilling, Experimental Film meshes old world folklore and modern filmmaking to argue that every movie is a ghost story.

Farrar, Straus and Giroux The Third Hotel, by Laura van den Berg

When Clare arrives in Havana to attend a horror film festival, she finds her husband Richard there, dressed in a white linen suit she’s never before seen. There’s one other problem: Richard was killed in a hit-and-run months ago. Grief-stricken and astonished, Clare follows Richard through the bustling streets of Havana, slipping into a dissociative state that sends her spiraling backward into the past. “Maybe a person became even more themselves when away, liberated from their usual present tense,” Clare wonders. In this slippery novel of liminal spaces and second selves, van den Berg weaves a lyric story about tourism, marriage, and grief.

Ecco Press The Removed, by Brandon Hobson

Each year, the Echota family gathers for a bonfire to mark the Cherokee National Holiday and the memory of their son Ray-Ray, a teenager killed in a police shooting. On the fifteenth anniversary of Ray-Ray’s death, the annual bonfire sees the family members’ private grief transform into something elemental and new. As reality and the spirit world blur, Hobson braids the Echotas’ loss with the traumas of their heritage, ceding parts of the story to an ancestor named Tsala. Tsala recounts his own murder for his refusal to be removed from his homeland, while thousands of other Indigenous people forcibly walked the Trail of Tears. Steeped in magical realism and Cherokee lore, Hobson’s mystical story of injustices old and new is a poignant act of reclamation.

preview for HDM All sections playlist - Esquire

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The 10 Scariest Horror Movies Ever

We asked, you voted. from demonic possessions and cursed tvs to haunted hotels and killer clowns, here are movies that scared rt users the most..

scariest ghost

TAGGED AS: Horror

If you were poking around RT a week and a half or so ago, you might have come across a little poll we were taking on the site to try and determine the Scariest Movie Ever . Based on other lists and suggestions from the RT staff, we pulled together 40 of the scariest movies ever made and asked you to vote for the one that terrified you the most. As it happens, a British broadband service comparison website decided to conduct a science experiment to determine the same thing, and their results were… surprising, to say the least. Did Rotten Tomatoes readers agree with the findings? Read on to find out what our fans determined were the 10 Scariest Horror Movies Ever.

1. The Exorcist (1973)

You may not agree that  The Exorcist is the scariest movie ever, but it probably also isn’t much of a surprise to see it at the top of our list — with a whopping 19% of all the votes cast. William Friedkin’s adaptation of the eponymous novel about a demon-possessed child and the attempts to banish said demon became the highest-grossing R-rated horror film ever and the first to be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars (it earned nine other nominations and took home two trophies). But outside of its critical and commercial bona fides, the film is well-known for the mass hysteria it inspired across the country, from protests over its controversial subject matter to widespread reports of nausea and fainting in the audience. Its dramatic pacing and somewhat dated effects may seem quaint compared to some contemporary horror, but there’s no denying the power the film continues to have over those who see it for the first time.

2.  Hereditary (2018)

Writer-director Ari Aster made a huge splash with his feature directorial debut, a dark family drama about the nature of grief couched within a supernatural horror film. Toni Collette earned a spot in the pantheon of great Oscar snubs with her slowly-ratcheted-up-to-11 performance as bedeviled mother Annie, but the movie’s biggest shock came courtesy of… Well, we won’t spoil that here. Suffice it to say  Hereditary struck such a nerve with moviegoers that it instantly turned Aster into a director to watch and shot up to second place on our list.

3.  The Conjuring (2013)

James Wan has staked out a place among the modern masters of horror, directing films like  Saw ,  Dead Silence ,  Insidious , and this inspired-by-true-events chiller based on the experiences of real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. The Warrens, best known for their work on the strange case that inspired the  Amityville Horror movies (which played a part in The Conjuring 2 ), were portrayed by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, who grounded the effective jump scares and freak-out moments with a believable world-weariness. Together, Wan and his co-leads found fresh terror in familiar genre tropes, and the end result is a sprawling cinematic universe that only continues to grow.

4.  The Shining (1980)

Literally dozens of Stephen King’s novels and stories have been adapted for the big screen, and several of those films are considered classics today, like  Carrie ,  Misery , and  Pet Sematary (and that doesn’t even account for non-horror stuff like  The Shawshank Redemption and  Stand By Me ). But the mother of them all is easily Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of  The Shining . A marvel of set and production design and a genuinely unnerving take on the traditional haunted house story,  The Shining features a host of memorable images and an iconic Jack Nicholson performance. The film’s relatively few jump scares are still absolutely chilling, but its true power lies in the way it crawls under your skin and makes you experience Jack Torrance’s slow descent into madness. It’s rightfully considered one of the greatest horror films ever made, and it ranked fourth in our poll.

5.  The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

While the top four movies on this list collectively garnered 42% of the total votes counted, they were followed by six films that all earned around 3% of the vote each. In other words, these last six films were separated by no more than 60 votes. The first of them is this low-budget slasher directed and co-written by Tobe Hooper, very loosely inspired by the crimes of Ed Gein.  Texas Chainsaw’ s grimy aesthetic helped lend it an air of authenticity, which made it all the more frightening (“This could  actually happen , you guys!”), and the massive, menacing presence of Gunnar Hansen’s Leatherface paved the way for other brutes like Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees. Multiple attempts have been made to breathe new life into the franchise, but none have equaled the original in sheer, over-the-top, power tool-inspired terror.

6.  The Ring (2002)

It’s always a tricky proposition to take something that works well for one culture and try to translate that formula successfully for another, but Gore Verbinski managed that with  The Ring . A remake of Japanese director Hideo Nakata’s acclaimed thriller about a cursed videotape, Verbinski’s take kept the original film’s striking visual imagery — the  ghost of a young girl in a white dress with long black hair covering her face — and found that it scared the hell out of audiences no matter where they were from. While the film wasn’t as well-regarded as its predecessor, it features a committed performance from a then up-and-coming Naomi Watts, and for many, it served as an introduction to East Asian horror cinema.

7.  Halloween (1978)

Coming in at the seventh spot on our list is the film that introduced the world to all-time scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis and put John Carpenter on the map.  Halloween is frequently cited as one of the earliest examples of the slasher genre as we know it today, and while it may not feature the same kind of realistic gore we’ve come to expect of films in that category, it packs a lot of tension and some inventive thrills in a relatively small-scale package. The film’s legacy is also fairly untouchable: Michael Myers’ mask has become the stuff of legend, and the giant, unstoppable killer and the “final girl” have become ingrained in the horror lexicon. There’s a reason the franchise is still going after more than 40 years.

8.  Sinister (2012)

For those who didn’t read the “scientific study” mentioned at the top, we’ve finally come to the film it crowned the scariest. Before he joined the MCU with 2016’s  Doctor Strange , director Scott Derrickson had racked up a few horror films, a couple of which earned cult followings. One of them was this small-scale haunted house/possession story about a true-crime writer (Ethan Hawke) who moves his wife and kids into a house where a family was murdered, only to discover the new place might already have a rather evil tenant. Writer C. Robert Cargill was reportedly inspired to pen the script based on a nightmare he had after watching  The Ring , and the story does share a minor similarity with that film, what with the creepy snuff film angle. But for many who saw it, the dramatic reveals and creepy set pieces far outweighed any recycled genre tropes that might have been present. Plus, there’s at least one report out there that says it’s the scariest movie ever made, so that has to count for something.

9.  Insidious (2010)

James Wan has already appeared higher on this list, but before he and Patrick Wilson made The Conjuring , they worked together on this supernatural thriller about a young boy who falls into a coma and begins to channel a malevolent spirit. The bare bones of the story weren’t the most groundbreaking, but frequent Wan collaborator Leigh Whannell infused it with a compelling enough mythology that it spawned four more installments. Wan also stated that Insidious was meant to be something of a corrective to the outright violence of  Saw , which compelled him to craft something on a more spiritual level, and the end result is an effective chiller featuring what is frequently regarded as one of the best jump scares ever put on screen.

10.  IT (2017)

The fear of clowns is a very real thing, even if it’s become so commonplace to announce it that it feels disingenuous. If you needed any further evidence, we direct you to the box office haul of 2017’s  IT , based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, which went on to beat  The Exorcist’ s 44-year record as the highest-grossing horror film ever. Oh, and of course, its 10th-place finish on this list. Andy Muschietti’s big-budget adaptation drew on nostalgia to tell its story of children scarred by trauma, while Bill Skarsgard’s take on Pennywise the evil, shapeshifting clown was bizarre and unsettling in all the right ways. Add a healthy dose of jump scares, a handful of impressive set pieces, and some top-notch CGI, and you’ve got a recipe for a horror film that’s both fun and full of scares.

Thumbnail image by ©FilmDistrict courtesy Everett Collection

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The Most Terrifying, Nightmare-Inducing Ghost Videos on the Internet

Prepare yourselves...😱

ghost video

Happy Friday the 13th! 👻 If you didn't believe in ghosts before, these videos posted from real people around the world will definitely change your tune. Ahead, the 15 scariest (and totally believable) ghost videos on the internet that will absolutely blow your mind.

1. Scare factor: 😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱

0:50. That is all.

2. Scare factor: 😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱

Okay this may not *technically* be a ghost (or maybe it is...dun dun dun), but we need to know how this girl is LEVITATING in the air. And not to mention, she runs away as soon as she lands...(probably because she's just as freaked out as we are).

3. Scare factor: 😱😱😱😱😱😱😱

Just watch the mirror, and then never use a mirror again.

4. Scare factor: 😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱

Losing our sh*t...again. May have just had a mini heart attack. It's fine. We're fine.

5. Scare factor: 😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱

A great way to stop your late-night snacking habit forever!

6. Scare factor: 😱😱😱😱😱😱😱

Wait for it...please.

7. Scare factor: 😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱

This  went viral  from a school's video footage at 3 a.m. Pretty sure it speaks for itself...

8. Scare factor: 😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱

This could be a person, ghost, or actual Bigfoot. Either way, this is INSANE.

9. Scare factor: 😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱

Though this isn't an *official* ghost sighting, back in 2013 21-year-old Elisa Lam went missing on vacation in Los Angeles. Her body was found in a water tank in a downtown L.A. hotel, and this was the last footage of her seen before she disappeared. (Oh, and still nobody knows how the body got there.) We have to wonder what Lam was *really* seeing in her final moments...

10. Scare factor: 😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱

The scare factor isn't bigger because 1) the videographer obviously has no chill and 2) we can't tell if this is real. Someone let us know.

11. Scare factor: 😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱

Happy Friday the 13th!

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Rachel Epstein is a writer, editor, and content strategist based in New York City. Most recently, she was the Managing Editor at Coveteur, where she oversaw the site’s day-to-day editorial operations. Previously, she was an editor at Marie Claire , where she wrote and edited culture, politics, and lifestyle stories ranging from op-eds to profiles to ambitious packages. She also launched and managed the site’s virtual book club, #ReadWithMC. Offline, she’s likely watching a Heat game or finding a new coffee shop. 

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Screen Rant

10 scariest horror movie ghosts, according to reddit.

There's nothing quite like a truly haunting horror film spirit and Redditors are talking about the most chilling ones.

In the 2022 horror film Umma , Sandra Oh's character Amanda lives with her daughter Chrissy in the country and is tormented by the ghost of her mother. While there are many supernatural horror movies being released each year, not every spirit is sufficiently creepy and noteworthy.

In order for a horror movie ghost to be memorable enough, they have to stand out in terms of how they haunt people or when it comes to their alarming appearance.

Alice Palmer (Lake Mungo, 2008)

Redditor Ashleigh031 9 said " Lake Mungo " is a horror movie with a scary ghost, writing, "That scene near the end..." Alice Palmer dies when she's only 16 years old and her family picks up the pieces after, realizing that she might still be haunting their home. The last image of Alice is definitely well-done and will stick with audiences.

Often said to be one of the best 2000s horror movies , Lake Mungo examines the fear that Alice's family feels when they see her in supernatural form, even though they love and miss her and wanting nothing more than to connect with her again. The film is packed with emotion as well as scares.

Stephanie Stevenson (Sinister, 2012)

Redditor MrAnonymous117 mentioned Sinister as a film that has some scary spirits. The fan wrote that Sinister "is so dark, disturbing, atmospheric and suspenseful. It focuses on a demon rather than a ghost, but some ghosts do still appear in the movie."

Although the demon Buhguul is the focal point of the movie, and his long stringy black hair, crossed out mouth, and the shadows in his eyes are hard to move on from, the ghost of Stephanie Stevenson is just as haunting. She was the child living in the home before the Oswalts and she is here to possess Ellison's daughter Ashley. Stephanie looks sweet and innocent but is anything but.

Miss Jessel And Peter Quint (The Innocents, 1961)

While jump scares can have the intended effect, several horror fans like to seek out stories that go in another direction. Replying in a Reddit thread called "What are the scariest ghost movies that don't rely on jump scares?" one Redditor said " The Innocents is the OG non-jump scare horror movie."

Adapted from the Henry James novella The Turn of the Screw , Miss Giddens begins taking charge of Flora and Miles at Bly Manor and sees the spirits of two people who worked for the place, Miss Jessel and Peter Quint. They are visually affecting and just as awful as any villain.

Grace, Ashley and Nicolas Stewart (The Others, 2001)

Replying in the same Reddit thread, Redditor Timothy_Vegas said " The Others has little to no jump scares. Very good movie." One of the best movies starring Nicole Kidman , this horror film involves a massive twist where Grace Stewart and her kids Ashley and Nicolas are spirits who have overstayed their welcome in their Victorian-era mansion.

Because they don't even know that they're ghosts, that makes the main characters even more horrifying. They don't mean any harm and have good intentions, but it's still terrible for the new family that has moved in.

The Ghosts Haunting The Freeland Family (Poltergeist, 1982)

Redditor tykeryerson said " Poltergeist " is a scary paranormal horror film and the ghosts are perfectly dramatic. The fact that they target the Freeland family's young daughter Carol Anne is even worse, as they manipulate her sweet nature and speak to her through the TV in the living room.

While the movie was made several decades ago, the haunting tone lives on and watching Carol Anne staring into the TV is an image that horror fans will always be able to recall. Because the family moves into a regular house in a regular area, the movie suggests that ghosts can appear anywhere and anytime, which is a scary thought.

Bathsheba Sherman (The Conjuring, 2013)

Replying in a thread about "disturbing paranormal movies," Redditor Movieman651 posted that The Conjuring is a "very well-done and creepy film that was increasingly disturbing throughout." The villain from the 2013 film is Bathsheba Sherman, a terrible-looking ghost with the stringy hair that has become expected of these figures.

Like many other spirits, Bathsheba goes after people who move into the home that she used to live in and that she died in, as she doesn't want to let this place go. She is a particularly awful horror movie ghost thanks to her look but also the fact that she can possess people, and the Warrens are disgusted by her but are able to figure her out as well.

The Ghost Who Torments People Online (Kairo, 2001)

One Redditor wrote that "The incredibly creepy ghost woman in the Japanese movie Kairo " is a scary horror movie ghost. One of the best Japanese horror movies , Kairo was released in 2001 and directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa. Wes Craven directed the 2006 American remake called Pulse . The main characters realize that a spirit is killing people through the Internet, which is an intelligent premise that results in some riveting scenes that no one can forget.

The ghosts in Kairo stand out from those in movies about creepy technology as they are shadowy figures who feel especially tormenting. The remake Pulse focuses on a computer virus that allows humans to be in touch with people who have died.

The Spirits Haunting Micah And Katie (Paranormal Activity, 2009)

For one Redditor , "I actually like the Paranormal Activity way of depicting ghosts: invisible, where we only know it's there based on interactions with the environment." In the 2009 movie that begins the franchise, Micah and Katie realize that their house is definitely haunted.

As the Redditor mentioned, because audiences don't actually see any freaky-looking spirits with long hair or distorted faces, the film feels even more memorable. While there's something to be said for the scary look of certain ghosts, just knowing that they are nearby but not being able to see them can feel especially frightening.

Kayako Saeki And The Other Spirits(The Ju-On Franchise, 2001-2015)

One Redditor posted that one of the most terrifying ghost movies is " Ju-On " as it "has a strong creepiness to it. The ghosts are almost alien and demonic, truly horrific." The 2004 horror movie The Grudge starring Sarah Michelle Geller is based on this franchise.

The Japanese horror franchise Ju-On: The Grudge has ghosts that make quite an impact on audiences. When Takeo Saeki's wife Kayako has feelings for someone, he murders her, and that starts a curse that affects people who stays at this Tokyo house. This curse feels impossible to escape from.

The Ghosts At Collingwood Psychiatric Hospital (Grave Encounters, 2011)

Grave Encounters sees the main characters working on a reality TV show about ghosts who visit Collingwood Psychatric Hospital. While they hope that something paranormal will occur so they can make something entertaining, they're shocked by the truth of what they find.

One Redditor said that the movie is "Soooo much creepier when you realize what's going on" and the spirits in Grave Encounters are unsettling. While found footage films can feel corny at times, this filmmaking style works here.

NEXT: 15 Best Horror Movies On Netflix, According To Rotten Tomatoes

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