Graveyard Shift

20 Of The Most Entertaining Haunted House Movies Ever Made

List Rules
Vote up the most satisfying haunted house films.

Good haunted house movies manage to show the audience something new using a classic story structure. While many people think that all haunted house movies are horror films, they actually aren't. Just like how the best horror films ever made don't necessarily need a haunted house, movies about paranormal activities in a home don't need to be horror. That said, terror goes a long way in providing a thrilling sensation in a movie, which is why horror and haunted houses often go hand-in-hand. 

The best haunted house films are about the past and its effect on the present. As is the case with stories of real haunted houses, the movie characters must come to terms with a truth that they have been running from. After all, a haunted house is the physical manifestation of the dark corners of the mind, hiding ghosts behind doors people are too scared to open. This list represents the best haunted house movies ever made (remakes not included). Vote up the most spine-tingling movies about paranormal homes that not only capitalize on terror, but also use quality cinematography. 

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  • 1
    200 VOTES
    The Haunting
    Video: YouTube

    In the 1963 film, The Haunting, a paranormal investigator invites two psychic women and a skeptical man to help him with his research in a haunted mansion. Hill House has a history of violence, as so often is the case with haunted places. Things begin to escalate as soon as the foursome enters the spooky old mansion.

    The atmospheric film relies on cinematography instead of gore to produce its scares. The house itself is the main character in this horror classic, and it plays the part well.

    • Actors: Julie Harris, Claire Bloom, Richard Johnson, Russ Tamblyn, Lois Maxwell
    • Released: 1963
    • Directed by: Robert Wise
  • 2
    270 VOTES
    The Conjuring
    Video: YouTube

    Loosely based on one of the investigations of Ed and Lorraine Warren, this 2013 film takes place in Rhode Island at an old farmhouse in 1971. The family living there starts getting haunted by some kind of evil entity. They summon the Warrens, who must save the family from their horrific ordeal.

    Like most haunting films, this starts out slow and escalates. There are plenty of scares sprinkled throughout that are coupled with frightening imagery and an eerie atmosphere. While this film does not reinvent the wheel, the high production value, the true story aspect, and the competent execution make it well worth the watch.

    • Actors: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Lili Taylor, Ron Livingston, Shanley Caswell
    • Released: 2013
    • Directed by: James Wan
  • 3
    333 VOTES
    The Shining
    Video: YouTube

    The Shining is one of the most frightening movies ever made. Stanley Kubrick takes a Steven King novel and makes it completely his own in a film of pure genius. Kubrick actually was actively terrorizing actress Shelley Duvall in between shots so that she would appear more unhinged and afraid. Jack Nicholson gives perhaps the best performance of his career.

    The story follows writer Jack Torrence as he takes a job as the caretaker for a hotel, along with his wife and son. The three are alone in the eerie hotel for the duration of a harsh winter. Choosing subtlety and atmosphere over gore, The Shining remains a masterpiece of horror. 

    • Actors: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers, Barry Nelson
    • Released: 1980
    • Directed by: Stanley Kubrick
  • 4
    276 VOTES
    Poltergeist
    Video: YouTube

    Steven Spielberg creates a different kind of horror film with Poltergeist. The 1982 film follows a family as they move into a newly constructed suburban home. Strange things begin to happen and the family discovers they're being haunted not by a ghost, but by a poltergeist. Chairs are moving, cabinets are flying, and there's full-scale psychokinetic disturbances.

    The creepy clown doll and the mirror scene are as scary as hell, but still the film feels more like a blockbuster than a traditional horror. In fact, it's got Spielberg written all over it. The special effects are excellent, even by today's standards, and the acting is fantastic. The story follows the traditional haunting rules and yet remains unique. This film is a classic. 

    • Actors: Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt, Kyle Catlett, Jane Adams, Jared Harris
    • Released: 2015
    • Directed by: Gil Kenan