More Halloween movies about haunted houses |
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More Halloween movies about haunted houses

by Jillian CariolaPublished: October 30, 2014Updated: October 10, 2017

Want to get in the mood for All Hallows' Eve with a movie marathon? See our list of scary movies that really hit close to home.

There really is nothing like watching a great horror movie during Halloween, especially if you’re watching it at home and it just so happens to be about a spooky old house. If our list of haunted house flicks last year didn’t cut it for you, here’s another set of chillers that should have you shaking in your boots before midnight.


House on Haunted Hill (1959)

An eccentric millionaire rents an old property on a hill for a haunted house party. He entices his guests with a cash prize of $10,000 (about $80,000 in present time, for the curious) to spend the night in their creepy venue. The catch is, this rented house is an old asylum where terrors of all kind lurk in every corner, and all exits are shut tight to keep the living from getting out. A remake was released in 2007, but true horror fans swear by the 1959 original. Here’s a fun fact for you: if the party host’s voice sounds familiar, it’s because it belongs to Vincent Price, who lent his talent for creepy story-telling to Michael Jackson’s hit “Thriller”.

House on Haunted Hill. Photo from


The Innocents (1961)

Based on the novel The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, the story follows a governess who's hired to watch over two orphaned and seemingly innocent children. Pretty soon, the kids begin displaying very odd behavior, leading the governess to believe that the home is haunted and the two are being possessed by evil spirits. Just goes to show that even back in the 60's, when you want a horror film to be even more terrifying, all you do is toss a couple of creepy children in it.

The Innocents. Photo from


The Haunting (1963)

An adaptation of Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House, the film is about a doctor looking to prove the existence of ghosts by investigating the mystery surrounding a mansion with a deadly history. He invites a small group of people with past paranormal experiences to spend a few days with him in the eerie home, where multiple supernatural encounters threaten to unhinge one of the unfortunate guests. An updated version was released in 1999, but it might be best to stick with the first. The likes of British newspaper The Guardian and directors Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg have hailed the original film as one of the best horror movies of all time.

The Haunting. Photo from


The Changeling (1980)

A grief-stricken music professor who recently lost his wife and daughter in an accident rents a century-old home to get inspired to write music again. Thinking he's in isolation, he witnesses supernatural events and soon learns that the home is haunted by the ghost of a child whose death is the result of an evil plot. You know what they say: sometimes it's better to fear the living than the dead.

The Changeling. Photo from


The Others (2001)

“No door must be opened without the previous one being closed first,” goes one of the most famous lines from this ghost story about a woman and her photosensitive children living in a manor during the end of World War II. Unfortunately, supernatural forces aren't that good at following orders. When new servants move into their home, locked doors mysteriously opening are the least of their problems as one terrifying event after another lead up to a surprising conclusion.

The Others. Photo from


Dark Water (2002)

Directed by the same guy who terrorized the world with the Ring movies, this Japanese horror film is about a recently divorced woman and her daughter who unwittingly relocate to a haunted apartment. Shortly after moving into the rundown old building, they begin experiencing paranormal events, particularly a massive water leak from above their unit, all stemming from the grim past of the apartment's former tenants. A remake was released in 2005, but it never matched the success of the original.

Dark Water. Photo from


The Orphanage (2007)

This Spanish horror centers on a woman who brings her husband and their adopted son back to the place where she grew up: an orphanage now abandoned and dilapidated. Hoping to reopen the building as a home for handicapped children, the couple starts to suspect something disturbing’s going on in the orphanage when their son strikes a friendship with an invisible entity that may be influencing his increasingly ominous behavior.

The Orphanage. Photo from


Sinister (2012)

A true-crime writer trying to revive his dying career moves his unknowing family into a house where a ghastly crime took place so he can investigate the case more closely. In the attic, he finds a bunch of old home movies which he watches, inadvertently putting his loved ones and himself in danger. Maybe next time he'll think twice before moving into a home with a horrifying past. If there is a next time.

Sinister. Photo from


The Woman in Black (2012)

Set in the Edwardian era, a young lawyer is at risk of unemployment as he grieves the death of his wife. To save his job, he is sent to a small English village to examine the documents of an old mansion. While investigating the property and its past, he discovers it's being haunted by the spirit of its recently deceased owner, who has been terrorizing the withdrawn locals. Doesn't sound like a job worth saving to me.

The Woman in Black. Photo from


The Conjuring (2013)

Perhaps one of the most notorious suspense/horror movies of the decade, The Conjuring is a “based on true events” film about a husband-and-wife team of supernatural investigators (the same ones who worked on the Amityville case) and their experience of helping a family who’s being haunted by the previous owners of the Rhode Island home they had just moved into. A little tip: if you’re in the habit of covering your eyes as suspense music builds before something freaky happens, you're going to fail miserably while watching this one.

The Conjuring. Photo from


We are Still Here (2015)

Set in the 1980s, a couple still mourning from the death of their college-age son relocate to a home in New England, where the man hopes his wife will recover from her depression. But it doesn’t help things when she starts claiming their son is in the house, which was built as a funeral home in the 1800s. On top of the don’t-go-down-the-basement trope are run-ins with strange neighbors and a botched séance, making this film a recipe for a good old-fashioned horror story.

We are Still Here. Photo from


Crimson Peak (2015)

In the late 19th century after the murder of her father, a rich young woman marries a mysterious man who sweeps her off to a rundown Gothic mansion in England where he lives with his sister. It’s bad enough that her once-charming new husband is now distant towards her and her sister-in-law is just as cold, but blood-red spirits appearing all over the dilapidated home seem to have it in for her, too. Let this be a lesson, ladies: a dashing young man plus a castle does not always equal “happily ever after.”

Crimson Peak. Photo from


The Devil’s Backbone (2001)

Amidst the Spanish Civil War, a boy is brought to an orphanage in a remote part of Spain. As the young orphan struggles to get used to his new surroundings, meet new people, and deal with the authoritative figures of the institution, his life gets even more complicated when he is haunted by visions of a mysterious boy. More than just a well-made thriller about the paranormal, The Devil’s Backbone also gives a deeper look into the lives civilians led and the political rifts created during one of the most violent periods of the country.

The Devil's Backbone. Photo from


Hausu (1977)

Up for something a little, um, different? Leave it to Japanese cinema to merge the screams with the ridiculous to create a phantasmagorical ride that’s hard to forget. In Hausu (or House), a young schoolgirl avoids spending time with her father and new stepmother by visiting her aunt’s country home with her friends for the summer. One by one, the girls meet their interestingly grisly end as they are viciously attacked by the house itself. Interesting fact: Hausu was created after film company Toho saw the massive success of the American blockbuster Jaws and wanted to make a similar movie. Having said that, you will find neither shark nor boat in the Japanese film.

Hausu. Photo from


The Evil Dead (1981)

If possessions coupled with gore are more up your alley, it’s unlikely that you’ve never heard of the Evil Dead trilogy. In the movie that got the franchise rolling, a college student, his girlfriend, and three others head to a remote cabin in the woods, where they stumble upon a book that summons spirits when read aloud. Conveniently, the book comes with a tape recorder that, unbeknownst to them when they played it, contains incantations that unleash a havoc-causing demonic entity that can only be stopped by a certain form of sacrifice. Now, reading is definitely a good habit to develop, but if the text you find is bound in human flesh, it may be smarter to steer your thirst for knowledge in another direction.

The Evil Dead. Photo from


The Innkeepers (2015)

The Innkeepers features a young woman working the final weekend of a centuries-old inn that is about to permanently close its doors. She and a coworker also happen to be ghost-hunting fanatics who are fascinated by the hauntings that supposedly occur at the inn. Things start out mundane as they check in a few odd guests, but it doesn’t take long before the two experience things that make them wish they hadn’t taken that last shift. While not technically a house, the property in this film packs plenty a terrifying punch for anyone considering checking into a hotel anytime soon.

The Innkeepers. Photo from


1408 (2007)

Yes, 1408 happens in a hotel room and therefore not a literal haunted house, but if it’s a story penned by the Master of Macabre himself, how can we not include it? Based on Stephen King’s short story of the same name, 1408 is about an author who, despite warnings, checks into the titular room of the Dolphin Hotel to investigate the supposed otherworldly activity that happens behind closed doors. Although skeptical of anything paranormal (which, ironically, is what he writes about), his beliefs change the longer he is trapped in the room, which refuses to let him out. So the next time you stay at a hotel, remember that not having enough towels is not the worst thing that can happen to you.

1408. Photo from


Make sure you have enough snacks nearby and everyone has gone to the bathroom before firing up the TV. After watching these, it's probably going to take a while before you get the courage to leave the room. Happy Halloween!




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