I find recently that I’ve been on a informal quest to find a decent ghost movie that scares me. I like gore just as much as the next guy, bu...

What Does a Girl Have to Do to Find a Decent Ghost Movie Around Here?

I find recently that I’ve been on a informal quest to find a decent ghost movie that scares me. I like gore just as much as the next guy, but there is just something about the subtlety and atmosphere of ghost movies that goes a long way for my sense of terror.

So I’ve been searching the internet, haunting my library and scouring Blockbuster looking for the perfect thrill. What I’ve found has been less than thrilling. Take for example the Haunting in Connecticut. The film had everything it needed for a great ghost tale—creepy house, restless undead and an extra creepy embalming/necromancy room in the basement. But instead of coming across as atmospheric and terrifying, the film’s fractured narrative doesn’t give the scares the support they need.

Paranormal Activity came real close to satisfying my ghostly craving, but even it had its flaws. Predicable plot, inane dialogue and the Blair Witch style camera work were only made tolerable by the jump-out-at-you scares, which were few and far between.

So what do I mean by a decent ghost movie? I’m talking films like The Others, Sixth Sense, Gothika and even a dash of House on Haunted Hill. These flicks are low gore but still manage to get the job done with twists, plot and minimal special effects. Who doesn’t remember their shock at finding out Bruce Willis was a ghost in Sixth Sense? Or could stifle their terror at the possession of the girl-child in The Others?

Ghost stories offer something very different from horror staples like the slasher and it’s time they made a comeback after the success of J-horror films like R Ring and the Grudge. Unfortunately, in a modern market saturated with gore (Saw VI) I’m afraid Casper doesn’t stand a chance.

Any ghost horror you’d like to recommend? Feel free to drop me a comment.


  1. Stir of Echoes An often overlooked film but one where Kevin Bacon is excellent as a man who begins to see and hear psychically and the trouble that ensues.

    What Lies Beneath I still think this is a great ghost story with clever and creepy twists. They aren't shocking, by any means, but still eerily creepy. I was nervous walking into my bathroom for a week.

    1408 I'm a sucker for both a good John Cusack film and for Stephen King stories, so perhaps I'm biased about this film which I found to be one of those good, solid ghost stories where you aren't really sure what is going on. There were moments that remind me of The Shining.

    Session 9 is one of the most psychologically disturbing films I've seen. There are some great twists. And it may not be traditional ghost horror like What Lies Beaneath is, it's definitely worth a look, especially if you haven't seen it before.

  2. My vote would go to The Orphanage, a beautifully creepy ghost-story-meets-fairy-tale. I also enjoyed The Abandoned, an After Dark film that stands out from the rest of the films in the series.

  3. maybe Fulci's House by the Cemetery?

  4. I'd recommend The Innocents (1961) if you haven't yet seen it. It's quite spooky and atmospheric, and like The Others it involves two little kids, and in this case, their nanny, in a big Gothic mansion.

    Other recommendations:
    The Haunting (1963) and The Changeling (1980)

  5. I agree with Eric. The Orphanage is not only one of my favorite horror movies but one of my favorite movies of all time. Its beautiful.