Because there are so many ghost stories out there, it would be impossible to create an all-inclusive list of which ones are the best. For this, I wanted to choose a few that maybe don’t get all that much hype or perhaps never got any attention at all.
THE CHANGELING (1980)
Recently widowed John Russel moves into a long-empty historical mansion but finds he’s not alone.
What I like best about this film is the slow burn mystery. No gore, no extreme violence. Just a puzzle we need to solve with John as he uncovers the horrible crimes committed in the past via clues that are manifested through a heartbroken and increasingly angry spirit.
GHOST SHIP (2002)
A salvage crew boards a derelict ocean liner filled with gold and murderous ghosts.
I think what I like best about this is the ending. It’s fun to watch a movie, uncover the truth, and see the hero foil the bad guy’s plans. But…did they really? Good acting, great visuals, awesome and gruesome opening death scene.
THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE (1973)
A group of people investigates the Belasco House and the paranormal happenings surrounding dozens of mysterious deaths.
Ah, the beauty of science vs the spirit world. The arrogance and frailty of human nature plays out on both sides in this unsettling and creepy haunted house tale.
THE SENTINEL (1977)
A young woman moves into an apartment building that houses a gate to Hell.
Anybody who was or would be big news in Hollywood was in the flick. Phenomenal acting, super creepy characters, beautiful twist at the end. An overall fantastic movie that keeps you guessing, and uncomfortable, through the whole thing.
THE AWAKENING (2011)
Determined to debunk “the truth” of paranormal activities, a young woman goes to a boarding school to prove ghosts don’t exist. Too bad she won’t get her way.
This movie has two kinds of ghosts – actual spirits of the dead, and the events of past childhood traumas that haunt us into our adult lives. So well-acted, heartbreaking, full of chills and scares, with plenty of redemption to go around.
I STILL SEE YOU (2018)
An apocalyptic event leaves the world filled with ghosts, that everyone can see, as each of the spirits’ final moments in life are played out on an infinite loop.
This movie surprised the hell out of me, and I’d never heard one thing about it. Completely original idea, atmospheric, mysterious, sad, scary. It has everything.
THE GHOST AND MRS. MUIR (1947)
A young widow meets and befriends the pirate ghost inhabiting her cottage.
Okay, okay. I know this is a horror group, forum, movie listing, etc. But this is one of the first ghost movies I’d ever seen as a youngster. Gene Tierney and Rex Harrison are completely enchanting, and even the parts of the story that don’t revolve around their relationship are so well done. Even the bittersweet ending is perfection.
Peggy Christie is an author of horror and dark fiction. Her work has appeared in dozens of websites, magazines, and anthologies. Her horror fiction/art collaboration with Don England, Plague of Man: SS of the Dead, can be found through Amazon; her short story collections, Dark Doorways and Hell Hath No Fury, from Dragons Roost Press; and her vampire novel, The Vessel, from Source Point Press. Peggy is one of the founding members of the Great Lakes Association of Horror Writers, as well as a contributing writer for the website of Cinema Head Cheese. Check out her webpage at themonkeyisin.com for more information on her other publications and appearances.
Peggy loves Korean dramas, dogs, survival horror video games, and chocolate (not necessarily in that order) and lives in Michigan with her husband.