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The Scariest Ghost Movies

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Many people consider ghost stories the scariest type of horror movie. A good ghost film tends to be part murder mystery, part supernatural horror and all terrifying, the sort of movie to watch at night tucked safely under the covers -- next to your trusty baseball bat. Here is a list of spooky flicks worthy of taking a swing.

40. The Uninvited (1944)

The Uninvited
© Paramount

It may not have aged as well as some on this list, but The Uninvited is a classy classic mystery with ghostly twists and turns, as a brother and sister team up to uncover the truth behind the haunted house they recently purchased.

39. Below (2002)

Below
© Buena Vista

From director David Twohy (Pitch Black) and writer Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan) comes this unique blend of war movie and ghost story, as a World War II submarine crew finds their vessel haunted by a ghost with a grudge.

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38. House (1986)

House DVD
&copy Anchor Bay

Although it's a horror-comedy, House has its share of scares, as my mid-'80s bed sheets will attest. It follows a horror novelist (William Katt) who moves into his recently deceased aunt's home, only to realize that it's haunted by all manner of ghouls and flying garden tools. Believe it or not, they're walking on air!

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37. Saint Ange (2004)

Saint Ange DVD
© Universal

A bit convoluted and heavy-handed, this English-language French production nonetheless provides oodles of beautifully shot haunted house atmosphere. Released on DVD with the uninspiring title House of Voices, Saint Ange tells the tale of a young cleaning woman in 1950s France who gets a job tidying up a abandoned orphanage but finds that the children who died there have not left. Watching this film, you have to think that the makers of The Orphanage had seen it at least once.

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36. The Haunted (1991)

The Haunted
© Fox
This Fox TV movie can be seen as a companion to the theatrical hits The Amityville Horror, The Haunting in Connecticut and The Conjuring. Like those films, The Haunted is supposedly based on a true story about a family who moves into what turns out to be a haunted house. Noted paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, who worked on the cases that inspired the other three films, also worked on this one, and in fact, they are major characters in The Haunted. It’s obviously smaller in scale and budget than the other popular trio of haunted house movies, and while it’s not as memorable, it’s well acted (Sally Kirkland received a Golden Globe nomination for her performance) and effectively creepy, in part because it’s treated with a documentary-like sense of realism.

35. Lady in White (1988)

Lady in White DVD
© 20th Century Fox

Like The Wonder Years with an extra helping of murder and racism, Lady in White wraps nostalgia up in a complex supernatural mystery as a man relates the story of his ghostly childhood encounter while locked all night in his elementary school. The film achieves scares by masterfully placing you in the boy's shoes and recapturing all those childhood fears that you paid psychiatrists to help you forget.

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34. House on Haunted Hill (1999)

House on Haunted Hill DVD
© Warner Bros.

One of the few horror movie remakes that managed to bring something new to the table, House on Haunted Hill transformed the campy original into a dark and twisted work with startling visuals (including clever use of video cameras) and, unlike most ghost movies, explicit gore.

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33. The Woman in Black (2012)

'The Woman in Black' movie poster.
© CBS Films
This British haunted house tale from the legendary Hammer Films production company tries too hard to achieve its scares, but enough of them work -- especially in combination with the eerie natural surroundings -- to make for a sporadically spine-tingling time.

32. Burnt Offerings (1976)

Burnt Offerings DVD
© 20th Century Fox

Seeing it play out like a hybrid of The Shining and The Amityville Horror (with an even darker ending), you realize how ahead-of-its-time Burnt Offerings was, coming three years before either of those films. In the movie, a family rents an old house for the summer, and guess what? It's haunted! Spookiness ensues.

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31. The Sentinel (1977)

The Sentinel DVD
© Good Times

While certainly not the best haunted house movie, this story about a model who moves into an apartment building that doubles as a gateway to Hell provides plenty of surreal, scary imagery, including a memorable scene in which the model finds her father walking around her apartment...dead.

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