If you love horror movies, you probably enjoy a good haunted house movie. There’s something about a creepy old mansion, a dark basement, or a hidden room that makes your spine tingle. But not all haunted house movies are created equal. Some are more terrifying than others, and some will make you want to sleep with the lights on for weeks.
Scariest Haunted House Movies
Here are 10 of the scariest haunted house movies ever made, in no particular order.
The Conjuring (2013)
Based on a true story, The Conjuring follows paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren as they try to help a family who is terrorized by a demonic presence in their farmhouse. The movie is full of jump scares, eerie atmosphere, and disturbing imagery, such as a creepy doll, a hanging witch, and a possessed mother.
The Shining (1980)
One of the most iconic horror movies of all time, The Shining is based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name. It stars Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrance, a writer who takes a job as the caretaker of the isolated Overlook Hotel during the winter. He soon becomes obsessed with the hotel’s dark history and starts to lose his sanity, endangering his wife and son. The movie features some of the most memorable scenes in horror cinema, such as the blood-filled elevator, the twins in the hallway, and the axe through the door.
The Amityville Horror (1979)
Another movie based on a true story, The Amityville Horror tells the tale of the Lutz family, who move into a house where a mass murder took place a year before. They soon experience strange phenomena, such as flies, cold spots, voices, and visions. The movie is a classic haunted house movie that builds up suspense and terror throughout.
Poltergeist is a horror movie that mixes supernatural elements with family drama. It follows the Freeling family, whose suburban home is invaded by malevolent spirits that kidnap their youngest daughter, Carol Anne. The movie is famous for its special effects, such as the TV static, the clown doll, and the tree attack.
The Haunting (1963)
The Haunting is based on Shirley Jackson’s novel The Haunting of Hill House, which is widely considered one of the best horror novels ever written. It centers on a group of people who are invited to stay at Hill House, an old mansion with a sinister reputation. They soon discover that the house is alive and has a mind of its own. The movie relies on psychological horror rather than gore or violence, creating a sense of dread and unease with its camera angles, sound effects, and dialogue.
Paranormal Activity (2007)
Paranormal Activity is a low-budget horror movie that became a huge hit thanks to its clever use of found footage. It follows a young couple who set up cameras in their home to document the strange events that happen at night. They soon realize that they are not alone and that something evil is haunting them. The movie is effective because it makes the audience feel like they are watching real footage and because it uses minimal effects to create maximum scares.
The Others (2001)
The Others is a Gothic horror movie that has a twist ending that will shock you. It stars Nicole Kidman as Grace Stewart, a mother who lives with her two children in an isolated mansion in Jersey after World War II. Her children suffer from a rare condition that makes them allergic to sunlight, so they have to live in darkness. Grace hires three servants to help her run the house, but she soon suspects that they are hiding something from her. She also starts to hear noises and see apparitions in the house. The movie is atmospheric and suspenseful, with subtle hints and clues that lead to the surprising reveal.
Insidious is a horror movie that combines haunted house elements with astral projection and demonic possession. It follows the Lambert family, whose son Dalton falls into a coma after an accident in their new home. They soon learn that Dalton’s soul has left his body and is trapped in a realm called The Further, where evil spirits lurk. They enlist the help of a psychic to bring him back before it’s too late. The movie is scary because it introduces a new concept of haunting, where the victim’s mind is the haunted place, not the house. The movie also has some creepy creatures and scenes, such as the red-faced demon, the lipstick-faced demon, and the tiptoe through the tulips scene.
Sinister is a horror movie that revolves around a cursed film reel. It stars Ethan Hawke as Ellison Oswalt, a true crime writer who moves into a house where a family was murdered. He finds a box of home movies in the attic that show the killings of several families by an unknown figure wearing a mask. He becomes obsessed with finding out who the killer is and why he did it, but he also puts his own family in danger. The movie is scary because it uses the found footage format to show the brutal murders in a realistic way, and because it introduces a new and terrifying villain, Bughuul, the eater of children.
The Grudge (2004)
The Grudge is an American remake of the Japanese horror movie Ju-on: The Grudge (2002). It follows several interrelated stories of people who encounter a vengeful spirit that haunts a house in Tokyo. The spirit is the result of a brutal murder that took place in the house, and it manifests as a pale woman with long black hair and a raspy voice, and a young boy with a cat-like scream. The movie also uses non-linear storytelling and different perspectives to create confusion and mystery.
Horror Movie Genres
If you are interested in other horror movie genres, here are some examples:
These movies feature undead creatures that feed on human flesh and spread their infection. Some examples are Night of the Living Dead (1968), Dawn of the Dead (1978), 28 Days Later (2002), and World War Z (2013).
These movies feature a masked or disfigured killer who stalks and kills a group of people, usually teenagers or young adults. Some examples are Halloween (1978), Friday the 13th (1980), A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), and Scream (1996).
These movies feature blood-sucking creatures that can turn into bats, wolves, or mist. Some examples are Dracula (1931), Interview with the Vampire (1994), Blade (1998), and Twilight (2008).
These movies feature people who transform into wolf-like creatures during a full moon. Some examples are The Wolf Man (1941), An American Werewolf in London (1981), The Howling (1981), and Underworld (2003).
These movies feature extraterrestrial beings that invade Earth or abduct humans. Some examples are The Thing (1982), Alien (1979), The X-Files (1998), and Signs (2002).
Get Ready to Be Terrified
If you’re a fan of horror movies, these haunted house movies are a must-watch! They’ll keep you on the edge of your seat and leave you feeling spooked for days. So gather up your friends or family, grab some popcorn, and get ready for a thrilling ride. Just make sure you have someone to hold on to, because these movies are not for the faint of heart!