Since the dawn of time, people have been fascinated by apparitions and their relationship with the living. Ghosts have appeared in some of mankind's oldest stories, and when cinema took off at the turn of the 20th century, filmmakers were quick to include them in their stories as well.
Whether they're good or malevolent, ghosts remain a huge part of our culture and over the years, audiences have been treated to some fantastic films about their existence. So today, we're going to list what we believe are the 10 Best Ghost Movies!
Do you have a favorite ghost movie? Watch the video at the top of the article to see if it landed on our list, or scroll down to read about our choices.
Slide 1/10 – 10. Stir of Echoes Kicking off the list is Stir of Echoes. The 1999 movie featured Kevin Bacon on his A game as Tom, a man who allows himself to be hypnotized, inadvertently opening a mental door that allows him to see ghosts. He soon realizes his young son has the same gift, and becomes obsessed with figuring out who the ghastly girl he's been seeing is, and what she wants from him.
Slide 2/10 – 9. The Others
The Others with Nicole Kidman is an old fashioned haunted house movie with a moody atmosphere and a clever ending. It's a little slow for some viewers, but if you prefer your scary movies to slowly ramp up tension, then this is one you need to watch with all of the lights out.
Slide 3/10 – 8. Insidious Director James Wan’s first team-up with Patrick Wilson has one of the best build-ups of a ghost movie in recent years. In fact, it might be too good. By that we mean, the first act does such a great job juggling the eerie tension of a malevolent presence that it's almost impossible to deliver, and by the third act, the movie starts to crumble a bit under its own lofty expectations. Even still, it showcases a director who is a master of his craft.
Slide 4/10 – 7. Ghostbusters While it’s more of a comedy than horror, Ghostbusters still has its scares, and the special effects were insanely impressive for it’s time. Both Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd were never better, and the film launched a franchise that's never quite been able to live up to just how good this first movie was.
Slide 5/10 – 6. The Conjuring No. 6 is The Conjuring. Also directed by James Wan and starring Patrick Wilson, the movie is a throwback to the old ghost movies of the 1970s. Based on the true story of the Warrens, a pair of paranormal investigators who attempt to help the Perron family from a deep rooted evil within their house.
No. 5 is The Ring, an American remake of the Japanese movie Ringu. It ended up becoming so successful, it kickstarted the trend of remaking Asian horror movies like The Grudge and Dark Water. It was directed by Gore Verbinski and starred Naomi Watts and many people consider this to be better (or at least on par) with its Eastern counterpart.
Slide 7/10 – 4. Beetlejuice In the fourth spot is Beetlejuice. This 80s classic was really the first time audiences got a glimpse of the very specific style for which Tim Burton would become known. It starred Michael Keaton as the Ghost with the Most, and fans are still waiting for a sequel close to 30 years later.
Slide 8/10 – 3. The Sixth Sense In the third spot is The Sixth Sense, the M. Night Shyamalan movie that pretty much coined the phrase “Spoiler Alert.” Seriously, if for some reason you've managed to avoid all spoilers for the last 20 years thus far yet still never saw this movie, spoilers ahead: Bruce Willis is dead. The WHOLE time. It was a twist ending that blew audiences away while coining the now infamous phrase: "I see dead people!"
Slide 9/10 – 2. The Shining While Stephen King has gone on record to express his dismay at the changes to his original story, there’s no arguing that Stanley Kubrick’s film is one of the most talked about films of the last century. There have been books and documentaries breaking down all of the interpretations and allusions within the film. Some critics even argue that it's not truly a ghost story, but rather a fascinating look into descending madness. Slide 10/10 – 1. Poltergeist And the top ghost movie of all time has to go to Poltergeist. The original, not the remake (though to be fair, the remake was a better attempt at remaking a classic than most). In the time since its release, this movie has become something of a blueprint for haunted house movies, and still manages to be scarier today than most modern horror movies. The moment Caroline mutters the phrase, "They're here..." marks the moment when the audience isn't sure whether to be scared of ghosts, or creeped out by this adorable little girl.