Halloween and the 10 best horror movies to watch on Shudder

Photo: Wes Craven’s New Nightmare.. Image Courtesy Shudder
Photo: Wes Craven’s New Nightmare.. Image Courtesy Shudder /
5 of 11

7.  The Changeling

This 1980 film is possibly the best ghost story you have never seen. It stars George C. Scott as John Russell, a composer who moves to Seattle from New York City after the tragic deaths of his wife and young daughter.

He rents a large historical mansion, and almost immediately begins to have strange experiences. They are the typical haunted-house type events: banging noises, the apparition of a boy drowning in a bathtub, and the discovery of a hidden room in the attic, complete with creepy child-size wheelchair.

By the time this scary, suspenseful movie is over, we’ve been introduced to the ghost of a grievously wronged six-year-old boy, who both evokes pity from us and terrifies us with his relentless seeking of revenge.

The Changeling was #54 on Bravo’s 100 Scariest Moments list, for a scene involving a red rubber ball. I won’t describe it to you, since that would deprive you of the pleasure of watching it for yourself. There’s also a hair-raising séance scene that is absolutely terrifying, asking the questions “How did you die, Joseph? Did you die in this house? Why do you remain?”

If you like haunted house horror movies, The Changeling is a must-see film, but don’t just take my word for it. Martin Scorsese put it on his list of the 11 scariest horror movies of all time, and Stephen King cites it as one of the scariest horror movies out there.