With Halloween just around the corner, many horror fans are stocking up on their favorite scary films. With one of the biggest new Halloween franchises being “Paranormal Activity,” there is an even bigger interest in ghost and haunting movies. With those films growing more popular as time rolls on, here is a look at ten of the best ghost movies of all-time to catch up on this Halloween.
“The Sixth Sense” – While M. Night Shyamalan has become a slight joke in the film community recently, his Hollywood career started out with a bang. In “The Sixth Sense,” Bruce Willis stars as a child psychologist who has a former patient shoot him during a home invasion. While recovering he meets a young boy who claims he can see dead people, and sets out to help him, while seeking his own redemption as well.
“Beetlejuice” – This Tim Burton horror-comedy helped launch the career of the director, as Michael Keaton simply knocked it out of the park as a ghost named “Beetlejuice.” In the movie, an obnoxious family moves into an old house and the former residents, now ghosts, hire Beetlejuice to exorcise the humans from the home.
“Poltergeist” – Steven Spielberg produced one of the best exorcism/ghost movies of all time in “Poltergeist.” Directed by Tobe Hooper, a family moves into a new home and ends up haunted by a poltergeist that has used their daughter as a vessel into the real world. Since its release, it has appeared on many lists of the best horror movies of all-time.
“Ugetsu” – The 1953 Japanese ghost movie “Ugetsu” tells the story of a man who heads out to battle and breaks the one rule he was always taught to live by: never seek profit during times of upheaval. While out in the world, and away from his wife, he meets a noblewoman who turns out to be a ghost, and seeks out adventures that blur the line between fantasy and reality.
“The Haunting” – One of the key truths to horror is that what an audience is not shown is scarier than what they are shown. What you imagine is behind the door is more terrifying than what a filmmaker can show you. That was the rule that the 1969 version of “The Haunting” lived by, as a couple finds themselves terrorized by an unseen spirit. The movie received a remake 30 years later that failed because it tried to show too much.
“Session 9” – “Session 9” tells the story of a group of men hired to clear the asbestos out of an abandoned prison hospital. The movie creates a very creepy slow-burn horror movie with a great looking location. The men eventually discover a recording of the horrors that once took place there and soon they all start to fall as a vindictive spirit seeks vengeance.
“The Devil’s Backbone” – “The Devil’s Backbone” tells the story of a young boy whose father drops him off at an old orphanage, while he heads out to fight in the Spanish Civil War. It is hinted early on that he won’t return and this young boy must find a way to deal with this new life, living in the old facility, with an undetonated bomb in the front court and an angry ghost who wants retribution for a crime that was never vindicated.
“Stir of Echoes” – “Stir of Echoes” stars Kevin Bacon as a father who is hypnotized and then finds that a spirit from the other world can now connect with him and his young child. While the ghost seems gentle with the boy, it grows increasingly violent with Bacon as the movie moves on, demanding that he step up his game and figure out the puzzle that the being needs solved before it can move on to the other side.
“Ghostbusters” – One of the most successful ghost movies of all-time is “Ghostbusters,” a comedy starring three veterans from “Saturday Night Live.” The movie features the three as ghost exorcists, who use high tech equipment to entrap the spirits, soon becoming a national sensation. When a vengeful demon attacks New York, they are the city’s only hope.
“The Shining” – Stanley Kubrick adapted the Stephen King novel “The Shining,” a story about a family moving into a hotel to take care of it over the winter while it is closed. While there, the father becomes increasingly paranoid and begins to see ghosts from the hotel past, eventually driving him into a homicidal rage. It might be one of the best horror movies ever made, regardless of the sub-genre.