The Best Supernatural Horror Movies, Ranked

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Vote up your favorite horror movies that feature characters from another realm.

This list contains information on the best supernatural and paranormal horror movies, ranked from best to worst by user votes. The best supernatural horror films come in many forms. Some good supernatural horror movies involve ghostly hauntings while other good supernatural horror movies are about demons and devils. Many of the best supernatural horror movies have produced sequels and spin-offs.

What films will you find on this top supernatural horror movies list? The Exorcist has to be near the top. This William Friedkin film finds two priests helping a mother to rid her daughter of a terrifying possession. To this day, the 1973 movie is frequently referred to as the scariest film of all time. Carrie is another great supernatural horror movie.

Bad dreams and sleepless night plagued movie-goers who went to the theater to see A Nightmare on Elm Street in 1984. Other scary ghost horror films featured on this list include Poltergeist, Paranormal Activity, Thirteen Ghosts, and The Conjuring.

Which supernatural horror movie is your favorite? Let your voice be heard by voting up the scariest films to help determine the scariest paranormal movies ever. Come back as new good paranormal movies are added to the list once they're released.

Then, check out our list of the best ghost movies.

Photo: Paramount Pictures

  • The Conjuring
    Photo: user uploaded image
    2,970 votes

    Arguably the biggest, scariest, and best supernatural horror movie to come out in the last 30 years, The Conjuring changed the horror landscape forever by creating an utterly terrifying tale of ghosts and demons with just as much heart as it does scares. The Warrens have now firmly cemented themselves as a horror duo for a generation. Their demonic ghost hunts throughout The Conjuring franchise never fails to impress, but arguably their most impressive was in their first film. A simple, but incredibly compelling possession story, The Conjuring thrives because, underneath all the jump scares, spooky atmosphere and mind-melting demons, the film is simply about love, family, and standing tall, even in the presence of pure evil. 

    • Actors: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Lili Taylor, Ron Livingston, Shanley Caswell
    • Released: 2013
    • Directed by: James Wan

    Available On:

  • 2
    2,264 votes

    Widely regarded as the scariest supernatural film of all time, the best paranormal film of all time, and simply put, one of the greatest achievements in the history of cinema, The Exorcist manages to surpass every expectation and remains an awe-inspiring feat of spine-chilling terror. The demonic possession film to end them all, The Exorcist is so highly regarded thanks to a plethora of elements. From superb effects and lighting to some of the best directions of all time, to performances that will break your heart, the film manages to be one of the most complete horror films ever made and is a stunning achievement in storytelling. Nothing will prepare audiences to come face to face with Regan, and once they see her, they will never forget her.

    • Actors: Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair, Max von Sydow, Lee J. Cobb, Kitty Winn
    • Released: 1973
    • Directed by: William Friedkin

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  • Insidious
    Photo: Insidious
    2,151 votes

    James Wan helped give the supernatural horror movie scene a shot in the arm at the start of the 2010s with a jaw-dropping and hellaciously freaky time in Insidious. A stereotypical ghost story brought to life fascinatingly through the lens of one of the most influential and acclaimed directors in horror of the last 20 years, the film felt fresh, fun, and frightening at a time when horror seemed to be on its last legs. Long gone were the grotesque and mean films that brought in the century, and here was a quite, heartbreaking, and suspense-ridden ghost story that has withstood the test of time over a decade after its release to continue to be regarded as a feat in spooky storytelling.

    • Actors: Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Barbara Hershey, Lin Shaye, Ty Simpkins
    • Released: 2010
    • Directed by: James Wan

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  • 4
    2,267 votes

    Although the second installment of The Conjuring franchise might not have been the genre-defining feat of storytelling that the original was, it still provided fans with an excellent paranormal story with spooky supernatural elements and a rip-roaring adventure. Introducing a plethora of beloved characters to the horror universe, including the blood-curdling The Nun, the film was less occupied as being a genre-defining masterwork, and instead focused on expanding and solidifying The Conjuring universe. Scary, heartfelt, fun, and frantic, The Conjuring 2 gave fans of the original everything they wanted in a sequel and firmly placed the series atop the food chain for modern horror franchises.

    • Actors: Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Madison Wolfe, Frances O'Connor, Lauren Esposito
    • Released: 2016
    • Directed by: James Wan

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  • 5
    1,187 votes

    The scariest horror film of all time, at least according to science, Sinister helped solidify the supernatural horror movie renaissance that overtook the 2010s by giving audiences one of the most daring, shocking, and vile entries of all time. A haunting tale of a writer looking for inspiration in his new home, only to uncover the house has a devastating past with a terrifying demonic presence. Those easily startled by loud noises should steer clear of this paranormal movie because the amount of jump scares in the film is nothing short of insanity. Happening nearly every 5 minutes, Sinister simply doesn't let up on the frights, and when Buhguul finally shows his frightening face, the scares are just beginning.

    • Actors: Ethan Hawke, Vincent D'Onofrio, James Ransone, Fred Dalton Thompson, Clare Foley
    • Released: 2012
    • Directed by: Scott Derrickson

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  • Poltergeist
    Photo: Poltergeist / Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
    1,540 votes

    Tobe Hooper created one of the most intriguing, magical, and oddly enough family-friendly supernatural horror films of all time with 1982's Poltergeist. A film that has a distinctly Spielberg-ian tone, Poltergeist is a heartfelt, powerful, and harrowing journey of redemption and salvation, as a family is willing to do whatever it takes to save their daughter who has been abducted into the spirit realm. Ghosts, goblins, and demons of all kinds show up throughout this fever dream of a nightmare, and while no one will ever say the film is one of the most scary supernatural horror films of all time, many claim this to be the film that introduced them to the genre, and it's easy to see why. Fun, frightful, and freaky, Poletegeis is a wonderious journey to another world. 

    • Actors: Craig T. Nelson, JoBeth Williams, Beatrice Straight, Dominique Dunne, Oliver Robins
    • Released: 1982
    • Directed by: Tobe Hooper

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