Best Paranormal Movies That Will Haunt You After Watching

Paranormal Movies

Welcome to the spine-chilling realm of paranormal movies, where the supernatural takes center stage, leaving us breathless and sleepless. These films, featuring ghosts, spirits, and demons, have haunted audiences for decades, creating an enduring legacy within the horror genre. In this exploration, we delve into a curated list of the best paranormal movies that have left an indelible mark on the world of cinema, from timeless classics to modern masterpieces. Brace yourself for a journey through the eerie and the extraordinary.

15. The Others (2001)

Directed by Alejandro Amenábar

In 1945, Nicole Kidman delivered a captivating performance in The Others, a psychological horror that defied conventions. Set on the English coast, the film follows a devoted Catholic, Grace (Kidman), whose two photosensitive children lead her to suspect paranormal occurrences in their home. With an elegant narrative and a magnetic atmosphere, The Others stands as an underrated gem, showcasing horror’s ability to be both shocking and intellectually engaging.

14. Suspiria (1977)

Directed by Dario Argento

Dario Argento’s Suspiria emerged as a stylistic triumph in 1977, intertwining horror with breathtaking visuals. Jessica Harper stars as Suzy Bannion, an American ballerina ensnared in a mysterious and malevolent entity haunting a prestigious dance academy in Germany. Argento’s use of color creates a surreal atmosphere, elevating Suspiria beyond a mere horror film to an aesthetically entrancing masterpiece.

Release Date: February 1, 1977

13. Poltergeist (1982)

Directed by Tobe Hooper

Poltergeist transformed television into a source of fear, presenting a timeless horror classic in 1982. As the Freeling family’s youngest, Carol Anne (Heather O’Rourke), communicates with malevolent ghosts through a static TV, their house descends into a nightmarish realm. Tobe Hooper’s creation remains a terrifying paranormal horror film, instilling fear not only on screen but also in the static of viewers’ television sets.

Release Date: June 4, 1982

12. Smile (2022)

Directed by Parker Finn

Smile, Parker Finn’s directorial debut, evolves from a 2020 short film into a compelling demon possession flick. Rose (Sosie Bacon), a psychiatrist, finds herself haunted after witnessing a patient’s harrowing suicide. With jump scares and eerie performances, Smile became a box office sensation, grossing over $200 million worldwide. A sequel is eagerly awaited, promising more paranormal thrills.

11. Last Night in Soho (2021)

Directed by Edgar Wright

Edgar Wright’s Last Night in Soho is a ghost story with a thematic depth that transcends traditional horror. Eloise (Thomasin McKenzie), attending a fashion course in London, experiences the 1960s through the eyes of an aspiring singer. The film explores misogyny and abuse, complemented by a spectacular ’60s soundtrack, Wright’s signature style, and a testament to classic horror that captivates and terrifies.

Release Date: October 21, 2021

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10. Talk to Me (2023)

Directed by Danny and Michael Phillipou

Talk to Me emerges as an instant classic in the modern horror landscape. As friends summon spirits for thrills, the film takes an unexpected turn into paranormal terror. Directed by Michael and Danny Philippou, the film combines classic horror elements with fresh ideas, offering a deeply unsettling experience. Talk to Me promises to be a defining entry in the pantheon of paranormal horror movies.

Release Date: July 28, 2023

9. Paranormal Activity (2007)

Directed by Oren Peli

Paranormal Activity revolutionized horror with its simple yet suspenseful narrative and home-camera gimmick. The film, released in 2007, captures a couple’s eerie experiences in a new house through strategically placed cameras. The slow build of tension, coupled with moments of eerie stillness, solidified Paranormal Activity as an intense and terrifying paranormal horror film.

Release Date: October 16, 2009

8. The Ring (2002)

Directed by Gore Verbinski

An American adaptation of a Japanese horror film, The Ring became a 2000s horror sensation. Naomi Watts stars as Rachel, a journalist investigating a cursed videotape linked to mysterious deaths. Directed by Gore Verbinski, the film taps into urban legends and superstitions, offering an atmospheric suspense that made it a paranormal hit.

Release Date: October 18, 2002

7. Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

Directed by Roman Polanski

Rosemary’s Baby transcends traditional horror by blending demonic terror with family drama. Mia Farrow’s Rosemary, pregnant and plagued by strange occurrences, unravels a sinister plot. Roman Polanski’s film, released in 1968, not only stands as one of the scariest paranormal movies but also serves as a testament to female-led cinema.

Release Date: June 12, 1968

6. The Conjuring (2013)

Directed by James Wan

As the horror genre surged in the 2010s, The Conjuring emerged as a major success in 2013. The film follows a family moving into a haunted house, seeking help from demonologists Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga). Based on true events, The Conjuring excels in haunted house horror, spawning a successful franchise.

5. The Babadook (2014)

Directed by Jennifer Kent

The Babadook, an Australian cult hit, marked Jennifer Kent’s directorial debut in 2014. Exploring grief and loss, the film unfolds as a widowed mother and her son encounter a sinister entity from a disturbing pop-up book. Kent’s mastery lies not only in horror but also in crafting a heart-wrenching family story, making The Babadook a terrifying and emotionally resonant experience.

Release Date: January 17, 2014

4. The Blair Witch Project (1999)

Directed by Eduardo Sánchez and Daniel Myrick

A pioneer in found-footage horror, The Blair Witch Project remains a visceral and terrifying experience over two decades after its 1999 release. Three film students venture into haunted woods to document the legend of the Blair Witch, only to find themselves lost and stalked by malevolent forces. The film’s low-budget documentary style and narrow viewpoint create an intense and unnerving journey.

Release Date: July 30, 1999

3. Hereditary (2018)

Directed by Ari Aster

Ari Aster’s groundbreaking debut, Hereditary, redefined horror in 2018. The film follows a grieving family tormented by disturbing ancestral secrets and demonic entities. Combining unbearable dread with profound commentary on loss and guilt, Hereditary stands as an instant classic, leaving audiences haunted by its nightmarish tale.

Release Date: June 8, 2018

2. The Shining (1980)

Directed by Stanley Kubrick

Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining stands as a genre-defining masterpiece, delivering an immense and weighted sense of dread. Released in 1980, the film follows a family’s descent into madness during their winter caretaking at the remote Overlook Hotel. With a slow-paced, agonizing build, The Shining lingers as an exhausting nightmare, showcasing Kubrick’s mastery in atmospheric horror.

Release Date: May 23, 1980

1. The Exorcist (1973)

Directed by William Friedkin

The Exorcist remains the pinnacle of paranormal horror, breaking barriers and becoming a lasting phenomenon since its 1973 release. Linda Blair’s possession as young Regan unfolds a demonic battle, enthralling audiences with a masterful execution of terror. Despite controversies, the film’s impact endures, solidifying The Exorcist as the scariest film of all time for countless viewers.

Release Date: December 26, 1973


As we journey through the best paranormal movies that have left an indelible mark on horror cinema, it’s evident that these films transcend mere scares. They delve into the human psyche, exploring our deepest fears and superstitions. From the psychological twists of The Others to the groundbreaking found-footage terror of Paranormal Activity, each film adds a unique layer to the rich tapestry of paranormal horror. As the genre evolves, these timeless classics and modern masterpieces continue to haunt our dreams, ensuring their place among the best in cinematic history. Prepare for sleepless nights, as the best paranormal movies beckon you into the supernatural abyss.

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Stevie Flavio
Film Writer


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