The 20 Best Paranormal Horror Movies Of All Time

“Typical” as a genre in its own right can sometimes be challenging to define, as there isn’t a single neat definition for what a paranormal flick is. The best examples, however, can usually be told in various genres and formats. There are love stories dealing with paranormal elements, comedies with no hint of horror, and other examples of the best paranormal horror movies dealing with ghosts, demons, witches, and other examples without necessarily being horror-themed.

We may be interested in the paranormal from a variety of sources. When it comes to paranormal films, though, whether or not you believe in them is immaterial; watching movies allows you to explore a giant globe or enigmas beyond your understanding. Let’s look at how many different ways to tell a paranormal story through cinematic lenses in the best paranormal horror movies.

The List of the Best Paranormal Horror Movies

best paranormal horror movies

Check out the best paranormal horror movies for a comprehensive list of the paranormal movies that didn’t quite make the top 20 but are still worth a watch. You may find some hidden gems that didn’t make the cut but are still highly regarded by horror fans.

20. Lady in White (1988)

The following text is an excerpt from the ebook, “Frank LaLoggia and Me. The “Frank LaLoggia and Me” short video is based on Frank LaLoggia’s recently published book of the same name. Like the book, the video focuses on LaLoggia’s tales of his adventures in Palestine.

Meanspirited Halloween prank victims, a young boy named Frankie (Lukas Haas) meets the ghost of a young girl his age, killed by a sinister killer. The killer is still at large, and Frankie soon learns that his new companion Melissa (Joelle Jacobi) was not their only victim.

This story has a vital mystery element to it, which is one of the most intriguing children’s tales to emerge from the 1980s, and this is probably where the film draws its greatest strength. If you haven’t encountered Lady in White before, you’ll likely find yourself enraptured and itching to find out where this is going.

Lady in White is a forgotten 80s mini-classic that deserves fresh eyes and renewed interest. This horror film side is skillfully handled, paying meaningful attention to suspense and atmosphere. Combining these characteristics with moving human performances and themes of guilt and loss becomes even more enjoyable. You’ll be glad you gave it a shot. It is also one of the best paranormal horror movies.

19. Personal Shopper (2016)

It’s understandable to desire to connect with those who have departed, let alone re-establish any sense of closeness. The Personal Shopper makes it conceivable and even beneficial.

The film’s central character is a gifted young woman (Stewart), whose abilities as a medium compel her to seek evidence that her recently departed brother (also a medium) has crossed over to the dark side.

It’s difficult to tell the difference between filmmaking and filmmaking since most films attempt to do both. This live-action film, however, never ceases to be fascinating or genuinely frightening.

The power of tragedy is profound, yes, but also multifaceted. Personal Shopper explores this in some distinctive ways, with a stunning conclusion that only underlines its unique approach to this tale. It is also included in the best paranormal horror movies.

18. Juliet of the Spirits (1965)

To appreciate it, you don’t have to study fine art cinema or world cinema. Juliet of the Spirits is one of Federico Fellini’s finest films for its stunning cinematography and apt combination of absurdist and tragic human desire.

The movie tells the story of a middle-aged woman named Giulietta (Giulietta Masina, Fellini’s wife at the time) whose interest in spirituality is bizarre when she discovers her husband is cheating on her. Triggering various responses, Giulietta embarks on an erratic path towards her understanding, even though the film sometimes seems to get lost and confused in ideas and themes that can be hard to grasp.

The movie Juliet of the Spirits is not challenging to get into. It boils down to your imagination, and how you feel about Juliet’s interactions with the best paranormal horror movies. This piece has a charismatic personality, but there are also more profound and murkier possibilities for the enthusiast investigating such things.

17. The Fog (1980)

In John Carpenter’s first film, an ancient grudge against the settlers who killed them and took their gold sets the stage for one of Carpenter’s best paranormal horror movies. Vengeful ghosts were not anything new in 1980, when Carpenter and co-writer/producer Debra Hill created the tale of a green mist that descends upon a small town on the eve of its 100th anniversary. Carpenter’s most excellent works acquire from three critical and wholly distinctive components.

First, The Fog has one distinctive sense of humor that doesn’t stop being scary. That humorousness is present in its best feature: the relationships and interactions between the massive cast of characters, including Tom Atkins, Hal Holbrook, Adrienne Barbeau, and Jamie Lee Curtis. The Fog packs a visual punch with its smoky atmosphere, but it also allows us to encounter people we genuinely like and care about.

Finally, The Fog is another cunning construct of something slightly off, becoming fierce and justifiably enraged. This is primarily regarded as a classic best paranormal horror movies, and with good reason.

16. The Changeling (1980)

George C. Scott seldom worked in horror, yet the two most well-known films feature the Oscar-winning actor. Two popular horror films demonstrate Scott’s ability as a horror maestro. The first is The Exorcist III, while the other is the authoritative word on atmospheric horror and cinematic ghost stories, The Changeling. After his wife’s death, he begins to take refuge on an abandoned property.

The Changelings go from being terrifying in a variety of ways. The film’s notion of the unknown chills in and of itself, creating an intriguing riddle and speculation on what happens when we die. At other times, the film is a straightforward haunted house tale with a surprisingly grounded approach that simultaneously doesn’t abandon the fantastic. The Changeling is a total paranormal horror experience. It is also one of the best paranormal horror movies.

15. The Eye (2002)

A youthful blind violinist named Wong Kar Mun (Angelica Lee, billed as Lee Sin-Je) can see again through an eye transplant. The glee soon turns to worry and the fear of something powerful and utterly incomprehensible that coexists with her every minute of everyday living, as her new transplant now allows her to see and be haunted by ghosts.

The Eye benefits from a harsh atmosphere, great performances by its cast (particularly Lee, who shines with the strength and tenacity that run through her character), and moments in which reality seems to collapse in a fashion that still makes sense for this film. It’s a film in which our footing never feels secure, which is particularly disturbing in a narrative in which the danger is everywhere. The 2008 adaptation, with Jessica Alba in particular, doesn’t do much to set itself apart.

14. Extra Ordinary (2019)

The text was spoken by Enda Loughman and Michael J. Ahern, respectively. An unhappy woman working as a driving instructor in Ireland can communicate with ghosts. Extra Ordinary doesn’t spend much time setting up this, as the film moves swiftly to establish its key characters, particularly Maeve Higgins as Rose Dooley. The remainder of the film builds on its fundamentals by spreading out the absolute hell of Rose, trying to assist a man and his young daughter, whose encounters with the supernatural are becoming increasingly hazardous.

Extra Ordinary is a humorous, multifaceted, and irresistibly likeable horror-comedy hybrid that works on both fronts because it discovers emotional severe depth in its comedy, while also creating considerable suspense and atmosphere. Rose is a cheerful, multifaceted, and disturbingly likeable horror protagonist. Dooley’s segments with Barry Ward as the dad who searches for her out are hilarious, sweet, and promote the movie’s more significant ghost theme. This is the best paranormal horror movies comedy with a bit of comedy mixed in, which is fantastic news.

13. The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941)

William Dieterle is the director of “Jig It Down”. Today’s 1941 adaptation of the short story The Devil and Daniel Webster is celebrating its eightieth anniversary. It’s still an electric, influential performance by Walter Huston as Mr. Scratch. The devil himself, Mr. Scratch, deals with a local farmer named Jabez Stone to restore him to triumph and success.

The catch is precisely what you think it might be. Jabez is soon compelled to defend his very soul, and eventually enlist the aid of his friend Daniel Webster (who was an actual character) to argue his case before a jury of the damned. It is also included in the best paranormal horror movies.

If this sounds like a Simpsons Treehouse of Horror episode with Homer and a donut, then you already have the basics down pat. You don’t need the devil to find this narrative creepy as hell, the “moth” scene will remain a visual souvenir you won’t be able to shake anytime soon. Stay away from the 2003 remake, a dreary attempt by Alec Baldwin to star in a cinematic retelling of the story of Lucifer.

12. The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016)

Good chemistry between a father-and-and-son coroner team (Emile Hirsch, and the outstanding Brian Cox) sets the stage for the sparse, void-black humor in The Autopsy of Jane Doe. With a setup of the pair investigating an increasingly strange death of a young woman, and an excellent supporting cast, including Ophelia Lovibond and Michael McElhatton, the film has everything it needs to be one of the best paranormal horror movies available.

The Autopsy of Jane Doe is a much better film than “Just Okay.” From the beginning, the intense, ominous atmosphere is conveyed, and it just keeps getting better and better from there. The third act is a fast-paced and highly violent conclusion to the puzzle handled brilliantly in the writing, direction, and editing.

As any decent ghost story should, it’s both entertaining and unsettling at the same time. These are spirits that enter the fantastic yet feel strangely almost plausible. It is also on the list of the best paranormal horror movies.

11. The Witches of Eastwick (1987)

It’s fascinating to see someone who exudes such audacity and boldness as George Miller (the director of every Mad Max film) directing one of the oddest big-budget fantasies of its decade.

There’s something more elevated to not just this story and its energy, as well as the performance of the three actresses, Susan Sarandon, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Cher as three women in a trailer park called Sea Haven. Their lives are permanently altered by the arrival of a charismatic and dangerous stranger named Daryl Van Horne (Jack Nicholson).

Daryl, who turns out to be much more than just a big boisterous fella, goes on about casting each lady, who slowly discover their own powers as witches. It’s a little humorous on paper, but this cast, its director, and the humor that still manages to keep some pointed, marginally scarier moments throughout the film, makes The Witches of Eastwick too entertaining to dismiss. Its feminist undertones are remarkable for the late 1980s, and a lot that holds up well today.

10. Sinister (2012)

Whether or not you believe Sinister was the best horror movie ever according to science, it’s still one of the best paranormal horror movies entries of the 2010s.

The movie uses a fantastic cast and mood of sadness and rage to lead us on the pathway of a a real crime author (a fantastic, scary Ethan Hawke) who is desperate to be relevant once more. As a result, he relocates his family into a house allegedly used to create a snuff film. At all costs, this setup could go wrong rapidly in the hands of a novice, but director Scott Derrickson navigates a film that doesn’t lose its creeping horror momentum.

Sinister has one of the most effective introductory scenes in the best paranormal horror movies, promising a lot from those first few moments alone. Hawke builds a sympathetic and occasionally threatening character; his family’s supporting performances give us characters we fear. Still, Sinister is free to be frightening as hell.

9. Heaven Can Wait (1978)

When Heaven Can Wait (1978) was remade in 2011, much of the charm of the 1978 film boiled down to Warren Beatty and Julie Christie.

As a football player whose death leads to an extreme misunderstanding in the afterlife, Joe Pendleton is suddenly left without a body to return to earth as a wealthy, morally objectionable businessperson. He attempts to resume his football career, falls in love with an environmental activist (Christie), and, yes, he learns something about himself along the way.

Heaven Can Wait is the best option (though the 2001 remake with Chris Rock is excellent) for this story because of its attention to perfect timing and witty dialogue that grounds this surreal depiction of what happens when you die. This paranormal comedy cruises at a more relaxed pace, but the film is so likable in that ease, and unpretentious in its setup of the hereafter, that you fall into it regardless.

8. The Ring (2002)

The supernatural sets us up for the worst. Even the non-religious talk about the afterlife isn’t particularly optimistic when it comes to not only death but also what happens when humans encounter those on the other side. It took the premise established by a 1998 Japanese horror picture and discovered its things to say about a type of horror that’s essentially agoraphobia with actual stakes of danger.

The revelation of a simple videotape puts a young mother (Naomi Watts, whose performance is one of the reasons why this is more than simply a re-creation of a well-known song) on a quest for the truth about the tragic death of a young girl. The mystery is well constructed, with the production putting its characters into increasingly dangerous circumstances.

The ring was a nightmarishly suspenseful experience for moviegoers and reviewers in 2002, and none of that has Nachtgedacht in the last two decades.

7. It Follows (2014)

During a seemingly innocuous sexual encounter, a young woman named Jay (Maika Monroe) falls into one of the most puzzling, best paranormal horror movies circumstances anyone has ever seen.

Jay is suddenly pursued by a mystical, unseeable entity, forcing her to deal with many terrifying things while fleeing from something she doesn’t even know. Her gradual understanding progresses at the same rate as ours, with her pals struggling and mainly failing to safeguard her. The film does not spend much time explaining the tale’s logic, and it simply chips away at our anxieties as it peels away at Jay’s sanity.

It feels almost minimal at times. However, as you are aware, you are watching one of the best paranormal horror movies of the 2010s. It’s anything but. This thriller shines on a variety of levels yet is quite accessible. Its giant explosions of extreme violence are also some exceptional exceptions to the sublimely languid narrative of the piece.

6. Poltergeist (1982)

There will never be another marriage in filmmaking comparable to Poltergeist. The film is equal parts director Tobe Hooper’s ability to put pleasant people from the suburbs through well-paced, visually intoxicating hell and screenwriter/producer Steven Spielberg’s ability to create the ideal family for such an occasion. In addition to being one of Spielberg’s finest directors, the elements that Spielberg brought to the proceedings work well in the framework that Hooper creates.

What makes Poltergeist movie more interesting than even that noble accomplishment is how accurate the dangers are for the household. There is a strong sense of the paranormal here that feels overwhelming and far meaner than the film’s early moments might suggest.

From beginning to end, it’s both emotional and hilarious. Plus, it’s not a terrible illustration of either category. The cast of Poltergeist, which includes JoBeth Williams, Craig T. Nelson, and Derek Miotke, is outstanding. Nelson, Zelda Rubenstein as the psychic Tangina, and Heather O’Rourke as the young lady who can’t stop watching TV propel this film to being amongst the best paranormal horror movies ever created.

5. The Beyond (1981)

With something memorable of a scene from a thematic trilogy known as The Gates of Hell, you’re in for a pleasurable time. The Beyond is the second film in the series of Italian horror legend and gore icon Lucio Fulci, but you won’t need to see the previous one to appreciate the present one.

The Beyond is like being trapped in a nightmare house that relentlessly and viciously tries to murder you inside and out. The film establishes this tone entirely on its own, and it is a series of brutal sequences that keep its characters on the verge of madness and death.

Then, one after the other, they throw them right over that ideal edge. In its own griminess and shocking twists and turns, The Beyond has to offer. The visual and psychological power will enthrall fans.

4. The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947)

The director is Joseph L. Not every experience with the best paranormal horror movies is a soul-shattering descent into the gaping maw of blind desire.

Contemporary reviews remain positive, with perhaps some timeless quality in the way it portrays an eccentric, contrary woman (Gene Tierney) who falls in love with the phantom (Rex Harrison) who haunts the home she has inherited. The film frequently feels as though it is a very long stage play, as the plot is mainly made up of conversations between the spirit and the protagonist, Lucy Muir, and the soon-to-be-wed Lucy’s relationship with Captain Daniel Gregg.

While today’s film may feel like an extended sitcom pilot, the abundant charm and flair of Gene Tierney and Rex Harrison’s finest, more outrageous performances make the film a compelling love comedy.

3. Ghostbusters (1984)

It would be absurd to cover any ranking of best paranormal horror movies and not discuss one of the most well-known examples of a film that unquestionably fits the description. After all, the Ghostbusters describe themselves as paranormal investigators and removers.

Most of us already know this. After all, we are talking about one of the most culturally significant movies of the past five decades. Ghostbusters is still, at its core, a comedic triumph steeped heavily in a genuine appreciation of (shared by co-screenwriter and concept artist Aykroyd) the best paranormal horror movies. It’s impossible to view this film now without being acutely aware of how trendy it continues to be.

2. The Frighteners (1996)

During the summer of 1958, Peter Jackson was still very firmly in the best paranormal horror movies and obscure cinematic traditions he’d been using since the beginning of his career. He was on his way to larger projects and more tremendous success.

The Freakeners is a film that tells the story of an alleged psychic and paranormal investigator (Michael J. Fox) discovering that there is something darker and unknown to his normal schtick of using the deceased to pull con jobs on people in his community. The title’s first line immediately establishes ghosts and the afterlife as tangible ideas. Where does it go from there, as Fox’s Frank Bannisters discovers his haunted (punchy) past, while getting deeper into the darker aspects of his town? What does “The Exorcist” have to do with black magic?

The Frighteners is a horror-comedy movie that favors comedy over best paranormal horror movies. It plays an eclectic ensemble against its consistently surprising presence, and heartfelt performances from Jake Busey and a disturbingly unhinged Dee Wallace fit nicely with the unpredictable touches of the rest of the crew.

1. Beetlejuice (1988)

Tim Burton is the director. Even if we do not believe we go anywhere when we die, Beetlejuice can create a representation of what the majority of us would agree would most likely be just how we would feel if we were there. Everything is in a state of decay. Damnation for crimes in the waking world begins with an eternity of working as a civil servant, but things can get worse from there. Fortunately for those watching from the audience, it is one of the best paranormal horror movies.

Tim Burton cemented his position as a one-of-a-kind and visually moving filmmaker with a focus on the macabre. Beetlejuice was also a box office smash for its cast, which included Winona Ryder, Michael Keaton, Catherine O’Hara, and Geena Davis. This is Burton’s finest and most straightforward interpretation of someone else’s material, in which the director puts several personal touches on this story of a young couple who have been compelled to inhabit the home they once called their own.

Their failures take them to a professional named Beetlejuice, and there is no better cinematic representation of what the paranormal should ideally entail. With Beetlejuice, the character and film are a lightning storm of comedy, music, enjoyable characters, and a worldview that leaves us with more questions than solutions – but that’s not bad.

Conclusion: The 20 Best Paranormal Horror Movies of All Time

best paranormal horror movies

Now that you have explored the 20 best paranormal horror movies, you have a comprehensive list of spine-tingling experiences to indulge in. From classic supernatural thrillers to modern, chilling tales, these movies offer a wide range of scares and thrills, guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat.

Whether you’re a seasoned horror fan or just dipping your toes into the genre, these films are essential viewing for anyone looking for a good scare. So grab some popcorn, dim the lights, and prepare to be terrified by the best of the best in paranormal horror cinema.


What are some of the best paranormal horror movies ever?

Some of the best paranormal horror movies of all time include “The Exorcist,” “Poltergeist,” “The Conjuring,” “Paranormal Activity,” and “Insidious.”

What makes the best paranormal horror movies stand out?

A paranormal horror movie stands out when it effectively builds tension and suspense, creates a sense of dread and fear, and delivers a compelling and terrifying storyline involving supernatural elements.

Are paranormal horror movies based on actual events?

Many of the best paranormal horror movies draw inspiration from allegedly actual events or urban legends, but they are often exaggerated or fictionalized for cinematic purposes.

What are some common themes in paranormal horror movies?

Common themes in the best paranormal horror movies include possession, haunted houses, demonic entities, ghostly apparitions, and cursed objects or locations.

Are paranormal horror movies suitable for all audiences?

The best paranormal horror movies often contain intense and frightening scenes and themes that may be disturbing or unsettling for some viewers. As such, they are generally recommended for mature audiences who enjoy the thrill of being scared.

David Andrews

Writer & Blogger

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