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The Best Ghost Movies of All Time, Ranked 

Ranker Film
Originally by
Updated May 24, 2020 11.8k votes 1.2k voters 37k views 88 items

List Rules Movies featuring ghosts, spirits, hauntings, and poltergeists.

Despite their supernatural subject matter, the best ghost movies aren’t always the scariest movies. Sure, many can be scary or are straight up horror movies, but some are meant for kids and families. So if you combine those varied genres to get a ranking of the best movies with ghosts, which ones comes out on top? To get a definitive answer, everyone needs to weigh in with their favorite ghost movies.

Movies have the ability to make us feel. Whether a good or bad emotion, they make us want to believe, be inspired, or somehow relate to the stories and characters we see on screen. Even when it's a ghost. Whenever you want to feel scared or are curious about the afterlife you can grab one of these best ghost movies to get your fix.

Not sure what qualifies as a ghost movie? Basically any film that features ghosts, spirits, poltergeists, and hauntings belongs on this list. For example, movies such as The Innocents, Beetlejuice, Poltergeist, and The House on Haunted Hill all fall under that category. Sure, they’re completely different genres, but they all have ghosts.

So vote for your favorite movies featuring ghosts and add any you feel are missing from the list. If you’re searching to see where a particular movie is ranked, use the search box at the top of the list. Otherwise, vote away for the best ghost movies of all time.

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1
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Bruce Willis, Mischa Barton, Haley Joel Osment

Released: 1999

Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan

The Sixth Sense is a 1999 American supernatural thriller film written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan. The film tells the story of Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment), a troubled, isolated boy who ...more

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2
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Nicole Kidman, Christopher Eccleston, Michelle Fairley

Released: 2001

Directed by: Alejandro Amenábar

The Others is a 2001 horror-thriller film written, directed and scored by Alejandro Amenábar. It stars Nicole Kidman and Fionnula Flanagan. It won eight Goya Awards, including awards for ...more

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3
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Craig T. Nelson, JoBeth Williams, Heather O'Rourke

Released: 1982

Directed by: Tobe Hooper

Poltergeist is a 1982 American supernatural thriller film, directed by Tobe Hooper and co-written and produced by Steven Spielberg. It is the first and most successful entry in the Poltergeist ...more

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4
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Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers

Released: 1980

Directed by: Stanley Kubrick

The Shining is a 1980 British-American psychological horror film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick, co-written with novelist Diane Johnson, and starring Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, ...more

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5
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Alec Baldwin, Winona Ryder, Geena Davis

Released: 1988

Directed by: Tim Burton

Beetlejuice is a 1988 American fantasy-comedy-horror film directed by Tim Burton. The spirits of a deceased couple (Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis) are harassed by an unbearable family that has ...more

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6
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Claire Bloom, Lois Maxwell, Julie Harris

Released: 1963

Directed by: Robert Wise

The Haunting is a 1963 British psychological horror film directed and produced by Robert Wise and adapted by Nelson Gidding from the novel The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. It stars ...more

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7
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abarton added Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Joey King

Released: 2013

Directed by: James Wan

The Conjuring is a 2013 American supernatural horror film directed by James Wan and the first installment in the Conjuring series. Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) are ...more

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8
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Jennifer Morrison, Kevin Bacon, Illeana Douglas

Released: 1999

Directed by: David Koepp

Stir of Echoes is a supernatural horror-thriller released in the US in 1999, starring Kevin Bacon and directed by David Koepp. The film is loosely based on the novel A Stir of Echoes by Richard ...more

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9
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Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver, Dan Aykroyd

Released: 1984

Directed by: Ivan Reitman

Ghostbusters is a 1984 American sci-fi-fantasy comedy film, directed and produced by Ivan Reitman and written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis. The film stars Bill Murray, Aykroyd, and Ramis as ...more

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10
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Naomi Watts, Pauley Perrette, Brian Cox

Released: 2002

Directed by: Gore Verbinski

The Ring is a 2002 American psychological horror film directed by Gore Verbinski and starring Naomi Watts. It is a remake of the 1998 Japanese horror film Ring, which was based on the novel Ring ...more

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11
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Fred Astaire, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.

Released: 1981

Directed by: John Irvin

Ghost Story is a 1981 American horror film directed by John Irvin and based on the 1979 book of the same name by Peter Straub. It stars Fred Astaire, Melvyn Douglas, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., John ...more

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12
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Julianna Margulies, Emily Browning, Karl Urban

Released: 2002

Directed by: Steve Beck

Ghost Ship is a 2002 American-Australian horror film directed by Steve Beck. The film was shot in Queensland, Australia and Vancouver, Canada. It stars an ensemble cast featuring Gabriel Byrne, ...more

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13
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George C. Scott, Melvyn Douglas, Barry Morse

Released: 1980

Directed by: Peter Medak

The Changeling is a 1980 Canadian/American horror film directed by Peter Medak. Its plot follows an esteemed New York City composer who relocates to Seattle, where he moves into a mansion he ...more

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14
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but chickens double d added Jamie Lee Curtis, Janet Leigh, Tom Welling

Released: 1980

Directed by: John Carpenter

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15
What Lies Beneath is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Ghost Movies of All Time, Ranked
suzanne.morss added Michelle Pfeiffer, Harrison Ford, Amber Valletta

Released: 2000

Directed by: Robert Zemeckis

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16
Ju-on: The Grudge is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Ghost Movies of All Time, Ranked
shaebeer27 added Itou Misaki, Megumi Okina, Takashi Matsuyama

Released: 2002

Directed by: Takashi Shimizu

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17
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Sarah Michelle Gellar, KaDee Strickland, Bill Pullman

Released: 2004

Directed by: Takashi Shimizu

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18
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Michael J. Fox, Peter Jackson, R. Lee Ermey

Released: 1996

Directed by: Peter Jackson

The Frighteners is a 1996 New Zealand-American horror comedy film directed by Peter Jackson and co-written with his wife, Fran Walsh. The film stars Michael J. Fox, Trini Alvarado, Peter Dobson, ...more

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19
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Deborah Kerr, Michael Redgrave, Pamela Franklin

Released: 1961

Directed by: Jack Clayton

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20
The Entity is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Ghost Movies of All Time, Ranked
Barbara Hershey, Ron Silver, George Coe

Released: 1982

Directed by: Sidney J. Furie

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21
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Released: 1988

Directed by: Richard Donner

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22
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James Brolin, Margot Kidder, Rod Steiger

Released: 1979

Directed by: Stuart Rosenberg

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Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver, Dan Aykroyd

Released: 1989

Directed by: Ivan Reitman

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24
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Christina Ricci, Bill Pullman, Cathy Moriarty

Released: 1995

Directed by: Brad Silberling, Phil Nibbelink

Casper is a 1995 American family comedy fantasy film starring Christina Ricci, Bill Pullman, Cathy Moriarty, Eric Idle, and Amy Brenneman, based on the Casper the Friendly Ghost comic books and ...more

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The Woman in Black is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Ghost Movies of All Time, Ranked
Daniel Radcliffe, Ciarán Hinds, Janet McTeer

Released: 2012

Directed by: James Watkins

The Woman in Black is a 2012 British horror film directed by James Watkins and written by Jane Goldman, based on Susan Hill's novel of the same name. It was produced by Hammer Film Productions. ...more

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