Top 10 Scariest Ghost Movies Ever Made

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Do you like scary movies? What if I told you that there were movies so scary that you couldn’t handle them? You up for the challenge? Yeah? All righty then! Let’s do this! Woooo!!!


Here’s Our List of the Top 10 Scariest Ghost Movies Ever Made



10. Insidious (2011)



Tip Toe Through The Tulips and die of fright with this James Wan classic.  There’s some genuinely creepy stuff in “Insidious.”

The Plot:

A dude’s son goes comatose after accidentally astrally projecting himself into THE FURTHER. Then all sorts of crazy shit goes down, and a black and red demon moves in and tries to eat the boy’s soul, and possibly devour his entire family. Maybe. Also includes a not-so-convincing transvestite granny ghost. (Not the scariest old lady ghost ever, but some people say it is. Hm. Maybe it’s just us. Our grannies were nice to us.)


Why It’s Scary:

Little boy ghosts in period clothing messing with the mom.

Creepy psychic uses gas mask to speak with the dead.

There’s a freaking demon ghost thingy that appears at just the right time to scare the bejeezus out of you.

THE FURTHER. ‘Nuff said.



9. The Conjuring (2013)



What’s creepier than a possessed doll? A ghost of a witch that possesses your mom.

The Plot:

Typical 1970s family moves into creepy old house. Ghosts start messing with them. The Warrens are called in. Someone is possessed by as ghost, and then all hell breaks loose as ghosts come out of the woodwork to scare people to death.


Why It’s Scary:

Annabelle Doll of Doom goes after The Warrens’ daughter. Spooky stuff.

Creepy spiral music box summons the ghost of a boy when played. You can see him in the mirror on the music box, standing behind you. Yikes!

Evil ghosts possess a really nice mom.

Hide and Seek in a haunted house? No thanks!

A shadow man hides in the girls’ bedroom and terrorizes them at night.

Evil witch ghost

A tree on the property was used to hang people. Yes, that’s right. A Gallows Tree. What’s the worst that could happen?




8. Below (2002)


There are ghost ships, and then there are ghosts on ships. This film has the latter. Spooky!

The Plot:

WWII submarine receives an emergency radio request to pick up survivors of an attack on a hospital ship in the ocean. Some of the survivors are German soldiers, as well as American and English. They have enemy combatants on board, and a woman. *gasp* Wide hips sink ships and all that fun stuff, right?

Anyways, the atmosphere is thick with tension from the minute it starts, and it begins to throw dread and despair into the mix soon after. Soon, the audience is left wondering, is this real? Are these people already dead and don’t know it yet? Just what happened to the hospital ship, and what are its connections to the submarine that rescued the survivors after it was attacked?

Why It’s Scary:

This little known gem is chock-a-block full of ghosts and things going bump in the night. Even worse, it takes place during World War II, on a submarine. So it’s a tight, claustrophobic film, with all of the terrifying realities of being on a submarine. Fire, flooding, cabin fever, superstitions, and ghosts of dead sailors thumping on the hull of the ship.


7. Candyman (1992)



Sweets to the Sweet.

The Plot:

Helen is a researcher of urban legends and folklore. She stumbles upon the local legend of Candyman, a ghost with a hook for a hand that murders people who summon him. She goes to investigate the tale at its source; the Projects of Cabrini Green in Chicago. What she finds there sends her on a one way ticket to hell, as she gets Candyman’s attention, and soon finds herself the source of a new urban legend as bodies pile up and the ghost frames her for the murders.


Why It’s Scary:

Urban Legend made flesh, Candyman follows the “Bloody Mary” formula. Say his name five times in a mirror, and he comes and kills you with the meat hook shoved into the stump of his arm- where his hand used to be.

He’s got bees in his chest! Aaah!

Tony Todd plays the eponymous Candyman, and did a fantastic job. He did so well in fact, that people became terrified of using mirrors after seeing this movie. Really, he’s that unsettling.


Did we forget to mention that this is based on a short story by horror legend Clive Barker? Because it is.



6. Darkness (2002)


Another little known gem, “Darkness” is a seriously creepy ghost movie starring Anna Paquin (of the Sookie Stackhouse, “True Blood” variety).

The Plot:

A college chick’s family moves into an old house in Spain that her father inherited. Too bad that the house comes with a slew of uninvited guests. I guess he inherited some spooks as well, huh?


Why It’s Scary:

Dad goes psycho nuts and unravels surprisingly fast. Think Jack Torrance from “The Shining”, only a little more subtle.

Little brother meets ghosts, and they don’t want to be friends. There’s a really creepy scene involving a colored pencil rolling under a bed, and then getting rolled right back out by SOMETHING under it.

Cray cray death cultists, a solar eclipse, opening portals to the land of the dead and an ending that belongs in the annals of “Silent Hill” fame. (Somethings you can’t escape, no matter how hard you try.)




5. Session 9 (2001)

session 9


Some memories are better off left buried. Uncover them, and they will haunt you until the end of your days.

The Plot:

Danvers State Mental Hospital is undergoing renovations, and the activity wakes up something nasty that has been hiding in the walls for 15 years, waiting for a new victim to devour from the inside out.


Why It’s Scary:

One of the renovators finds a box full of tapes from therapy sessions with a woman suffering from multiple personality disorder. Some of her personalities, are down right terrifying to listen to.

You will start to question everything once the main character’s sanity starts to fray and crack at the edges.

Danvers Asylum is a real place. And they filmed there.





4. The Changeling (1980)



How did you die, Joseph? Did you die in this house? Why do you remain?


The Plot:

Professor and composer moves into a huge house after the loss of his daughter and wife in a horrible car accident. He’s trying to pick up the pieces of his life, but his isn’t the only life that needs closure. Something rotten is in his house. Something that is watching, waiting to scare the inhabitants to death.

Why It’s Scary:

Seance from hell scene will be sure to stick in your mind forever

This movie invented the spooky abandoned wheelchair trope that is seen in a ton of horror movies now. Thankfully, this one has a reason to use it, and it’s not just there as a silly prop. It has a purpose

Ghosts play with the mind and belongings of the professor.

Banging on the walls

A child’s ball falling down the stairs. (Look, we know that doesn’t SOUND scary, but trust us, when it happens, you will FREAK OUT!)



3. Grave Encounters (2011)

grave encounters


Is there someone here with us?


The Plot:

Ghost hunters are making a show and find the jackpot of paranormal activity. An abandoned insane asylum. What starts out as a parody of ghost hunter shows slowly turns into a movie full of dread and foreboding and the hunters discover that they are not alone, and that the ghosts of the asylum want them to join them there. Forever.



Why It’s Scary:

The characters put the audience at ease, and make sure that they are fully comfortable before starting to pull out the lynch pins and letting the horror trickle through. It is a clever ramping up of fear that few movies manage to accomplish, and “Grave Encounters” has it in spades.

The ending is seriously Lovecraftian in nature. We’d say more, but it’d totally ruin it for those of you that haven’t seen it yet. Needless to say, the graffiti painted on the doors to the asylum were accurate.



2. Ghostwatch (1992)



This, my friends, is the ultimate found footage mockumentary (fake documentary for you kids that never heard the term before in your life).  “Ghostwatch” was aired live on BBC in 1992, with no warning. People thought that it was real, and it scared them horribly. And I mean, so bad that they banned it in the UK for like a decade after it aired.


The Plot:

A news crew is investigating poltergeist activity in a rural town in Britain on Halloween, where a certain Mr. Pipes ghost has been heard banging on the pipes. (Hence his name).

Interviews with psychologists, parapsychologists, and the small family of two girls and their mum.


Why It’s Scary:

It’s super convincing. People that saw it, believed that it was real. If you watch it, you’ll see why. It’s very well done.

The mum becomes possessed by Mr. Pipes- super creepy voice

The kids seem innocent, but then you begin to wonder what they’re really up to.

Teleportation of objects, banging on the walls and pipes, and things slowly spiraling out of control as the ghost makes his presence known to the news crew.





1. Poltergeist (1982)



They’re here!

The Plot:

An average American family with 3.5 kids and a dog move into an idyllic neighborhood, and soon discover to their delight that odd paranormal activity occurs there. Their excitement is soon replaced by terror as their youngest child, Carol Anne, is taken by the ghosts into the land of the dead. Desperate, they contact a group of paranormal investigators to try to help bring their baby back. Chaos ensues.

Why It’s Scary:

A little girl speaks through a TV and she’s nowhere to be seen.

The poltergeist monster ghost is terrifying,

That damn clown doll. Gets us every time.


Things move on their own, parents get no sleep, a tree tries to eat their son. They moved the headstones but not the bodies from the graveyard!

This movie was one of the main driving factors that caused the movie rating board to create a PG-13 rating, as this was rated PG, and it was way too scary for little kids to watch it.

Need we go on?




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About Cassie Carnage

Horror connoisseur. She who types too fast. Lover of cats and monsters. You can find her debut horror novel, WE ARE ALL MONSTERS here: Her upcoming vampire novel series, Addicted to the Abyss Volumes 1 and 2 will be out late 2017.
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  1. You commented about the movie Annabelle saying that it is not good enough. Somehow, you list Insidious as top 10 scariest ghost movies ever made. Your sense of horror is weird. I guess you get scared watching comedy/romance movie huh? Hahahaha.

    I’ll admit, Insidious wasn’t all bad, but the ghost was somehow more like annoying than scary, and… using gas mask to contact the ghost is scary? Not to me. It’s just plain weird and unnecessary in real life. I have seen a lot of people trying to banish evil spirits whatsoever. So far, I’ve only seen them using textbook-level words, water that was blessed with verses from holy books and some other thing… but never a gas mask, so, I found that to be kinda funny.

    This is my personal opinion of course, no need to spark argument about it. I’ve watched all three of Insidious and I think the first one is the best with lots of paranormal events going on.

    I think you should (if you still haven’t) review the movie “Dolls” from 1987. It’s one of my favourite when I was 9.

    • Heh. Thanks for taking the time to comment! IMO Annabelle is just atrocious. It is internally inconsistent. Laughably so. Dolls is a fun one. I should review it sometime.

      • I actually think Insidious should be ranked higher than what it was ranked for I watched it when it came out.I didn’t sleep. However I do agree that a gas mask isn’t scary it’s just odd and the grandma ghost lady….I’m glad she dead.

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