Thursday, August 11, 2011

The 3 Best Haunted House Movies Ever!

There's a shit-load of haunted house movies out there. Some have taken us to extraordinary levels like the godawful remake of "The Haunting," but only three haunted house movies have ever withstood the test of time and the reason is, they were very true to haunted houses and their features.

As someone who grew up in an active haunted home, I've seen every haunted house movie made just to look for features that ring true and movies that covered all the types of phenomena in fairly realistic ways they might go down.

My conclusion? The 60s, 70s, and 80s all had one masterpiece each:

The Haunting (1963)

"The Haunting" makes the list for realistic haunting characteristics from noises, door knobs turning, pounding, footsteps, shadows, cold spots, hand holding and a tragic history, as well as segregating one person in the group to torment.

The Legend of Hell house (1973)

"The Legend of Hell House" makes the list for the idea of a single haunting entity finding manipulative ways to get to folks, for seances and psychic and mental mediums, as well as the concept of a machine that can cancel out the haunting energy.

The Changeling (1980)

"The Changeling" makes the list for having an uber creepy concept of a vengeful murdered child ghost, a hidden room, a ghost trying to get help, the most bad-ass EVP session in the universe, a creepy ghost coming out of floorboards. It's just awesome all around!

I know people will bother me about "Amityville Horror" or "Ghost Story," but the concept of possession and portals to hell, as well as ghosts going across country to bother a family member of someone who did them wrong are all not quite on-spot for me.

Ironically, all three of these movies I listed had ghost hunting involved in the storyline. This gives the seeking of ghosts and interaction even more creepy and the possibilities more shivery than just having a family move into a haunted house (about 80% of haunted house movies, i.e. Poltergeist, Amityville Horror, Insidious, et cetera). Why does the ghost hunting theme work so well? Because a family in a haunted house tries to deny it forever, but the ghost hunting team goes in there to make contact head-on. Much more exciting, I think.


  1. not maybe houses, but definite ghosts... ghost story, the shining and one of my favorites the frighteners. they all have something that is disturbing well at least to me. if it freaks me out i find i never forget. these were set in home styled settings, and may or may not qualify.

    i hope,

  2. I love the not-so-subtle lesbianism in Shirley Jackson's tale. Although the main character's "hysteria" is at times unmotivated in the film, Julie Harris does a bang up job with the dialouge she's given.

  3. Seriously--The Haunting book was amazing. In fact, The Legend of Hell House book was amazing too but it would have been an NC17 rating probably. I still think the scariest moment in a movie ever was the scene in The Changeling when he replays the EVP session. No, maybe when he comes home and the ball he just threw off the bridge bounces down the stairs soaking wet. No, maybe the replayed scene of the dad drowning his own child. No, maybe when the kid comes through the floorboards. No, maybe when the wheelchair chases the woman... Okay, I totally love the scare factor in that movie--without making you startle or see blood.

  4. Those are three great pics. I saw Amityville when it came out and I was about three. It scared the hell out of me...but nothing really has since...with the exception of Poltergeist - and I think the only reason that got me is because my dad's friend had just killed himself (right before HBO started playing it around the clock) and my dad kept taking about how that kind of ghost likes to come to a home with a pre-teen girl in it because they are easy to possess and control. Yeah. I was 10 or 11. Thanks dad.

  5. Melanie;
    Seriously! That's funny. I have a few hilarious stories to tell about my southern mom some time on my video Candlelight Tales series and I know just which ones I want to use after reading about your dad. You poltergeist magnet, you!

  6. Too scary for me, I won't be watching any of these.

  7. Such great films. I would add The Sentinel (1977) and The Beyond (1981)

  8. I have too agree with the three movies you picked,I too grew up in a haunted house,and people don't really know how they can hide themselves until they want you to see them

  9. Pharmdaddyd; Well, glad these movies rang a truth for you. I think anyone who grew up in an active house recognizes the cues.