I absolutely LOVE a haunted house. Real or fake. I enjoy the haunted houses that pop all over with actors hired (or volunteering) to scare you until you pee your pants. More so, I like real haunted houses (I grew up in one). This love of spirits and ghosts makes me thrilled every time a new haunted house related movie comes out onto the silver screen.
This love is also why I hate the Paranormal Activity franchise. Being someone that grew up with evil in the walls, I find their movies to be pretty lame. But, that’s not what this article is about.
Instead, I want to share with you my top ten choices for movie haunted houses! There are far more than ten that I love, but I don’t have time to write a novel about the subject.
10. The Haunting (1999)
I am a huge fan of the original, but I found this remake to be delightful as well. You really could feel the connection of Lili Taylor’s character to the house and understand her plight with the spirit of Hugh Crain. When this first came out it had me on the edge of my seat. Although I am pretty desensitized to horror films these days, this still manages to stay on my favorites list.
9. House on Haunted Hill (1999)
I love a good remake, and this was a good remake. Back when Taye Diggs still popular (is he even still acting?), this movie gave a little extra twist to the original tale. Would you spend the night in a haunted house if you’d get a check for one million dollars in the morning? I would. I’d even be happy if I had to share my winnings with Ali Larter. I am still a fan of the original, and who wouldn’t be with Vincent Price at the helm.
8. The Amityville Horror (1979 & 2005)
Whether or not the house was really haunted or the Lutz family really had any paranormal experiences in the house located at 112 Ocean Avenue in Amityville, New York, the movies that have comes since (OK, maybe not all of them) have been a great addition to the horror genre. This is definitely my dream home.
7. The Shining (1980)
I know, I know. The movie isn’t that great. It strays from the story line. Blah, blah, blah. I don’t care. I liked everything about this movie. Maybe it’s because I am a writer. Maybe it’s because I like when people go crazy. I thought the movie was creepy, had some great acting and some just alright acting. The Overlook Hotel is definitely the thing of nightmares. All work and no play makes Yvonne a dull girl.
6. Poltergeist (1982)
Closets sucking kids in, children being absorbed into televisions and a house built on a cemetery that only had the headstones moved- that’s horror. While it doesn’t scare me as much as it did back in the 80s, this is still a pretty intense movie. I am waiting anxiously for the remake to come out this year!
5. What Lies Beneath (2000)
Robert Zemeckis did an excellent job directing Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer in this eerie paranormal film. Pfeiffer plays Claire, a wife oblivious to her husbands indiscretions until strange things start happening. She becomes possessed by a dead girl. Soon she finds out why the dead girl is attached to her and what her Professor husband has to do with the girls death. Wonderful acting, great twist.
We all know Harry Potter attracts some weirdos, but in this film he finds a ghost. I was worried, when I decided to watch it, that I wouldn’t be able to buy Daniel Radcliffe as anything but the young wizard with the lightening scar on his forehead. I was pleasantly surprised. He can act. It’s not a super scary movie, but Hammer Films managed to make the setting spooky and the acting great.
3. 1408 (2007)
It is not just my love for John Cusack that gets this movie on the list. Yes, it is another haunted hotel. This is a bit of a strange story though and you may have yourself double guessing what’s going on in room 1408. Sometimes trying to debunk the supernatural gets you a real taste of its true reality.
2. Stir of Echoes (1999)
This was my favorite haunted house movie up until last year. Even after you’ve seen it once and know what happens it still remains a great flick, unlike The Sixth Sense. Kevin Bacon does a wonderful job embracing the insanity that takes over when you have a ghost trying to communicate with you. There are moments that will have you cover your eyes and moments where you will be unable to take your eyes from the screen.
I have been obsessed with Ed and Lorraine Warren since I was 13 and first got interested in the paranormal. From the first mention of this film I knew I would love it, or I hoped so anyway. I did. From Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson’s stellar job at portraying the Warren’s, to the completely believable Lili Taylor as a mother concerned for the safety of her children from an unknown source, there was nothing negative to be said about this film. Well, only one thing- I am still disappointed in the liberties taken with Annabelle, who actually looks like this: