7 of the scariest ghost horror movies of all time

The horror genre takes many forms, including ghost stories that will haunt your dreams.
Talk to Me, Umbrella Entertainment and A24
Talk to Me, Umbrella Entertainment and A24 /

Horror fans often enjoy seeking out new sub-genres, but you can never go wrong with a scary ghost story. Whether ghosts are real is a topic that divides many, but when a really good movie features entities who come back from the dead, fans of the genre are present to watch.

Ghosts are an ever-present part of film, even outside the scope of horror. A Christmas Carol is a classic ghost story featuring ghosts visiting Scrooge to help him learn that there is more to life than his money. Field of Dreams, Ghost, Beetlejuice, Casper, Ghostbusters, and more are fantastic family-friendly films featuring ghosts.

But this list doesn't include any of those films as we are focusing on scary ghost movies, the ones that leave you shaken after viewing. Take a look!

Talk To Me (2022)

Talk to Me is the directorial debut of Danny and Michael Philippou, and boasts a 95% on Rotten Tomatoes, and the film is praised for its visual effects and terrifying visuals.

This supernatural horror features a group of teens who use a severed, embalmed hand to conjure spirits. The party game is thrilling until one player takes things a step too far, unleashing terrifying supernatural forces. Talk to Me is worth the watch for horror fans, and a sequel is in development.

The Woman in Black (2012)

Based on the 1983 novel by Susan Hill, The Woman in Black is a gothic supernatural film directed by James Watkins.

Set in 20th-century England, the movie follows Arthur Kipps (Daniel Radcliffe), a lawyer who travels to the remote town of Crythin Gifford, where he has been employed to arrange the affairs of a recently deceased eccentric.

Upon his arrival, it is obvious something is amiss. He soon learns the house of the deceased client is haunted by the spirit of a scorned woman who seeks to find something she lost, and the spirit is anything but friendly. The movie received favorable reviews, praising Radcliffe's performance, cinematography, and more. The atmosphere of The Woman in Black creates the perfect setting for a gothic horror that is full of chilling scares.

The Curse of La Llorona (2019)

The Curse of La Llorona is based on Latin American folklore about a vengeful ghost drawn to bodies of water, mourning the children she drowned after an unfaithful spouse broke her heart.

Set in 1970s Los Angeles, the movie follows a social worker and her children who become involved with a supernatural presence known as La Llorona, who walks the earth looking for other children to kill. The Curse of La Llorona is a great story full of jump scares to keep viewers on the edge of their seats.

The Nun (2018)

The Nun is a spinoff of The Conjuring 2 that features the return of the Demon Nun (Bonnie Aarons), an incarnation of Valak.

Set in Romania in 1952, the story follows a Roman Catholic Priest and a young nun who is still in training and preparation for her life of service as they try to discover the truth of an unholy secret. Despite some criticisms, The Nun became the highest-grossing film in the series and spawned a sequel, The Nun II.

Thir13en Ghosts (2001)

The 2001 movie Thirteen Ghosts marks the directorial debut of Steve Beck (Ghost Ship), which is a remake of William Castle's 1960s 13 Ghosts. The story follows a man and his family who inherit a unique high-tech mansion from an eccentric uncle, only to find it is full of shifting walls and spirits trapped within.

The film is highly underrated, receiving less than favorable reviews, but over time, it has become a cult classic, mostly due to the presence of Matthew Lillard and the outstandingly grotesque 13 ghosts.

Mama (2013)

The 2013 supernatural horror Mama is the directorial debut of Andy Muschietti with Guillermo del Toro as producer. The story tells of two young girls who, after the deaths of their parents, are discovered to be missing.

Years later, they are miraculously discovered alive by their uncle, who takes them to live with him and his girlfriend. Throughout the years the girls were missing, they lived in a dilapidated cabin under supervision of an entity that follows them to their uncle's house. This unsettling ghost story stays with the viewer long after the credits roll.

Lights Out (2016)

Lights Out is a supernatural horror based on the same-titled short film, both directed by David F. Sandberg. The movie focuses on a woman haunted by her past who tries to protect her stepbrother, who is haunted by a spirit that kills in the dark.

This film highlights childhood fears, like being afraid of the dark, and while it is heavy on scares, it also focuses on the emotional bonds of a family. This movie may have you sleeping with lights on.

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