Since there isn’t a clear-cut definition of what constitutes some of the best paranormal movies, the term “paranormal” as a genre can occasionally be challenging to define.
The best paranormal movies can be told in various formats and genres, despite frequently emphasizing the horror side of things. There are romance novels with supernatural themes.
Comedies without any horror undertones and other kinds of movies that deal with ghosts, witches, demons, and other examples without necessarily being horror. It’s possible that the best paranormal movies of all time aren’t always what you’d expect.
Non-horror fans mistakenly believe that the genre consists solely of gore and guts, but we know better. We know that the scariest horror films can be horrifying without spitting a drop of blood.
Here are some of the best paranormal movies you should watch.
1. Lady In White (1988)
A young boy named Frankie (Lukas Haas) is the victim of a cruel Halloween joke. He encounters the ghost of a girl his age who was killed by an unidentified killer ten years earlier. Frankie quickly learns that Melissa (Joelle Jacobi) is his new ghost friend.
He was not the only victim because the murderer is still very much at large. This ghost story is one of the more original children’s tales to come out of the 1980s. It has an intense murder mystery current, and this is perhaps where the movie finds its greatest appeal.
If you’ve never seen Lady in White, you’ll probably be enthralled and curious to know where this is all going. The forgotten 80s mini-classic Lady in White merits a second look and fresh appreciation. This movie does an excellent job of handling the horror genre, focusing on atmosphere and suspense.
When these attributes are combined with heartfelt human performances and themes of regret and loss, it becomes even more fascinating. Also, you’ll be happy you gambled on this one.
2. Personal Shopper (2016)
Most of us can understand the depths of loss for a lost loved one. Let alone the desire to rekindle our relationship with them somehow. The moving and incredibly unsettling Personal Shopper can impact you even if you don’t believe in an afterlife.
A young woman (Kristen Stewart) whose abilities as a medium compel her to search for proof that her recently deceased brother (also a medium) has crossed over to the other side is the film’s subject, which features a series of unexpected plot twists and character developments.
3. The Grudge (2004)
The 2004 film The Grudge gave rise to countless nightmares. This adaptation is a remake of the Japanese horror movie Ju-On: The Grudge from 2002, which centers on a curse passed down from victim to victim. Many ghosts haunt the living daylights out of the unfortunate people who come into contact with them.
4. Session 9 (2021)
An abandoned mental hospital becomes the focus of an asbestos cleanup team’s new task. Locals in the neighborhood, however, are aware of staying far away from the dilapidated structures and grounds. Things get a little spooky when the crew comes across old recordings of one patient’s sessions. This is one of the best paranormal movies.
5. Juliet Of The Spirits (1965)
Juliet of the Spirits, one of Federico Fellini’s best films, for its stunning cinematography, deft blending of absurdist humor, and occasionally tragic human desire, can be enjoyed by anyone. Even if they aren’t experts or even a fan of arthouse movies or world cinema.
Furthermore, the movie follows Giulietta, a middle-aged woman (Giulietta Masina, Fellini’s then-wife), whose interest in spiritualism dramatically changes when she learns that her husband is having an affair. Although the movie occasionally seems to veer wildly out of control into ideas and themes that can be challenging to understand. Giulietta sets out on a strange, consistently uneven path to better understand herself.
6. The Fog (1980)
One of John Carpenter’s best films begins with an old grudge against the settlers who killed them and stole their gold. When Carpenter and co-writer/producer Debra Hill created the story of a glowing green fog that engulfs a small California town on the eve of its 100th anniversary in 1980, vengeful ghosts were nothing new.
Also, the Fog benefits from three significant and original touches, as is frequently the case with Carpenter’s best works. First, The Fog has a distinct sense of humor without sacrificing terrifying qualities.
The relationships and interactions between the film’s large cast of characters, which includes Tom Atkins, Hal Holbrook, Adrienne Barbeau, and Jamie Lee Curtis, make up much of its second-best feature. This is one of the best paranormal movies.
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7. The Challenging (1980)
The two notable horror movies starring the Oscar-winning actor George C. Scott were among the best horror films ever made, even though he rarely worked in the genre. The other is the Changeling, the gold standard of atmospheric horror and cinematic ghost stories. The first is The Exorcist III.
Moreover, the movie stars George C. Scott as a composer haunted by the recent and horrifying accidental deaths of his wife and daughter. It is a ghost story wrapped in political scandal and the relentless pursuit of the truth. He decides to rent a large, long-abandoned house due to his grief. Strange noises start to appear pretty quickly.
8. The Blair Witch Project (1999)
It’s nearly impossible to tell whether the footage in this movie is actual or scripted because it’s shot in a documentary style, which gives the viewer the impression that they are experiencing it firsthand. Watching this film is essentially a test of your ability to imagine the worst scenario. Midway through the movie, I ended up leaving my friend by herself and had to share my parents’ bed.
9. The Eye (2022)
Through a corneal transplant, a young, blind violinist named Wong Kar Mun (Angelica Lee, listed here as Lee Sin-Je) can see this once more. Her transplant has allowed her to see and be bothered by ghosts, so the excitement soon gives way to dread and the fear of something potent and ultimately unknowable that exists alongside her in every waking moment.
Furthermore, the Eye benefits from a gripping atmosphere, excellent acting from its cast (especially Lee, who shines with the desperation and tenacity running through her character), and moments in which reality appears to crumble in a way that still makes sense for this movie.
10. Extra Ordinary (2019)
A dissatisfied driving instructor in Ireland who can speak with ghosts is also unhappy. As the movie moves quickly to establish its main characters, particularly Maeve Higgins as Rose Dooley, Extra Ordinary doesn’t spend much time setting this up. The rest of the movie builds on these themes by showing how difficult it is for Rose to assist a father and daughter whose near-death experiences are starting to affect them seriously.
11. Dont Listen (2020)
It’s fitting that a great horror film was released in 2020, the Year of Horrors. Netflix released this gem in November. In the movie Don’t Listen, a Spanish couple finds themselves engaged in a supernatural battle inside a haunted house. Why not love this one of the best paranormal movies?
12. The Devil And Daniel Webster (1941)
Even 80 years after its initial release, the 1941 film adaptation of the short story The Devil and Daniel Webster still has a lot of fun to offer thanks to the excellent Walter Huston’s electrifying, significant performance as Mr. Scratch. Mr. Scratch, unmistakably the Devil, strikes a deal with Jabez Stone, an impoverished farmer in the area, to bring him back to fame and fortune.
The catch is precisely what you might have suspected. Jabez soon finds himself in a battle for his very soul and eventually enlists the aid of his friend Daniel Webster to present his case to a panel of the damned. Daniel Webster was a natural person.
13. The Autopsy Of Jane Doe (2016)
The excellent Brian Cox and Emile Hirsch’s chemistry as a father-and-son coroner team prepares us for The Autopsy of Jane Doe’s sparse, void-black humor. The movie has everything it needs to be one of the best paranormal movies available, including a straightforward plot with two characters looking into a young woman’s increasingly strange death. And an impressive supporting cast that includes Ophelia Lovibond and Michael McElhatton.
Compared to “just okay,” The Autopsy of Jane Doe is much better. Within the first few minutes, the tense, ominous atmosphere is established, and it only gets better and scarier. Furthermore, The third act of the movie is a swift and brutal revelation of the mystery, handled masterfully by Patrick Larsgaard’s script, direction, and editing.
It’s entertaining and engrosses you in the way that a fantastic paranormal tale ought to. However, they venture into the fantastical. These ghosts still have an oddly almost plausible quality.
14. The Witches Of Eastwick (1987)
It’s entertaining to see someone with George Miller’s bold and unrelenting energy directing one of the strangest high-budget fantasy comedies of the era. Miller directed every Mad Max film.
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This story’s energy and Susan Sarandon, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Cher’s portrayals of three women in a small town both have a high quality. The arrival of a handsome, evil stranger named Daryl Van Horne (a gleefully over-the-top Jack Nicholson) changes their lives forever.
Daryl, who proves to be more than just another obnoxious rich guy, begins sedating each woman, who gradually comes to understand their witchcraft.
On paper, The Witches of Eastwick is a silly movie. Still, thanks to its cast, director, and sense of humor, it’s too entertaining to dislike despite having some pointed, comparatively scary moments scattered throughout. Also, for the late 1980s, its feminist undertones are impressive, and many still apply today. This is one of the best paranormal movies.
15. Sinister (2012)
Sinister is one of the best horror films of the 2010s. Whether or not you agree with the scientific claim that it was the scariest film ever made. The movie takes advantage of an excellent cast and a brooding atmosphere of violence and death to set us on the path of a desperate actual crime author (a fantastic, frightful Ethan Hawke).
He is so dedicated to achieving this goal that he relocates his family into a house you purportedly used to make a snuff movie. In the wrong hands, this setup could quickly go off the rails. But director Scott Derrickson steers a movie that doesn’t lose its momentum of creeping dread. One of the best openings in paranormal movies history. Sinister makes a lot of promises in just the first few minutes.
Also, Sinister is free to be terrifying because Hawke has created a pitiful and occasionally quite threatening character. And his family’s supporting roles have given us characters we fear for. This is one of the best paranormal movies.
16. Heaven Can Wait (1978)
The 1978 movie Heaven Can Wait, a remake of the 1941 supernatural comedy Here Comes Mr. Jordan, owes much of its popularity to Warren Beatty and Julie Christie. As a football player whose death causes a severe misunderstanding in the afterlife, Beatty is in the prime of his acting career.
Joe Pendleton is mysteriously left without a body to return to and is sent back to earth as a wealthy, morally repugnant industrialist. He tries to pick up his football career again, falls in love with a Christian activist, and discovers a little about himself.
Furthermore, the best adaptation of this story is Heaven Can Wait (though the 2001 remake starring Chris Rock is decent). This results from its flawless pacing and focuses on the witty dialogue that grounds this fantastical portrayal of what happens after we die.
17. The Baby’s Room
The horror movie La Habitación del Nio, translated in Spanish, is translated as The Baby’s Room. A young, optimistic couple brings their infant home and soon learns that the baby’s room has an unwelcome visitor. However, the plot of this haunted house story may seem familiar to you. The combination of excellent acting and menacing music elevates it to a new level.
18. The Ring (2002)
Something about the paranormal makes us prepare to anticipate the worst-case scenario. Even secular accounts of the afterlife aren’t overly upbeat about death and what happens when people cross over to the other side. The Ring used the framework of a 1998 Japanese horror hit and came up with its ideas to discuss a kind of horror that is essentially agoraphobia with real-world risks.
A young mother (Naomi Watts, whose performance is one of the reasons this is more than just a beat-for-beat remake) is forced to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of a young girl after finding a simple videotape.
19. It Follows (2014)
A young woman named Jay (Maika Monroe, who is excellent) finds herself in one of the most puzzling paranormal circumstances ever after what seems to be a harmless sexual encounter.
Jay suddenly finds herself being chased by an unseen, unyielding entity and has to deal with many terrifying things while fleeing from something she doesn’t even understand. Her gradual understanding progresses at the same rate as ours, and despite their efforts to shield her, her friends have largely failed.
The movie doesn’t spend much time explaining how everything fits together. Instead, it gnaws at our anxiety while slowly destroying poor Jay’s sanity. This is one of the best paranormal movies.
20. Poltergeist (1982)
In cinema history, there will never be another union like Poltergeist. Both writer/producer Steven Spielberg’s ability to create the ideal family for such an occasion. And director Tobe Hooper’s skill at putting friendly people from the suburbs through a well-paced, visually intoxicating hell is equally evident in the movie.
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One of the director’s best films is Poltergeist, and the elements Spielberg unquestionably added to the action fit perfectly within the framework Hooper develops.
The believableness of the family’s danger makes the Poltergeist movie more interesting than even that admirable accomplishment. Here, a sense of the supernatural is overwhelmingly strong and much meaner than the movie’s opening sequences might imply.
21. The Beyond (1981)
You can already tell that the third installment of The Gates of Hell trilogy will be enjoyable. You don’t have to have seen the first movie in the series, City of the Living Dead, to enjoy this one, The Beyond, from Italian horror and gore icon Lucio Fulci.
Moreover, the Beyond is similar to being imprisoned in a haunted house that relentlessly and violently wants to obliterate you from the inside out. These brutal scenes drive the characters to the brink of madness and death, and the movie sets this tone entirely on its own.
22. The Woman In Black (2012)
Despite severe warnings from the locals to leave the mansion alone. A young widower trying to save his legal career agrees to investigate it. Supernatural forces and the ghost of a woman in black threaten not only his life but also the already fractured family as he explores the run-down house. Starring is Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter.
23. The Ghost And Mrs. Muir (1947)
Every encounter with the supernatural does not have to be a terrifying descent into the gaping maw of blind rage. One of the more enduringly well-liked romantic comedies from the 1940s. The Ghost and Mrs. Muir were well-received by audiences and critics. Positive reviews have persisted over time.
Perhaps there is something timeless in its portrayal of a quirky. An Independent woman (Gene Tierney) falls in love with the ghost that haunts the house she inherited. Since most of the plot revolves around conversations between Lucy Muir and the ghost of Captain Daniel Gregg. The film frequently feels like a highly extended stage play. This is one of the best paranormal movies.
24. Ghostbusters (1984)
It would be absurd to discuss any ranking of paranormal movies without bringing up one of the most well-known instances of a film that unquestionably fits the bill. The Ghostbusters call themselves investigators and eliminators of the paranormal, after all.
Another humorous film on our list, Ghostbusters, boasts endearing ghosts and fascinating technology. And a sense of humor makes the talents of a cast that includes Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Rick Moranis, and Sigourney Weaver feel appreciated.
25. The Frighteners (1996)
Peter Jackson was still firmly working in the horror and bizarre cinematic spectacle traditions. He’d been using since the beginning of his career as he progressed to more significant projects and even greater success.
In The Frighteners, Michael J. Fox plays a purported psychic and paranormal investigator who learns that there’s more to his routine of defrauding locals of their money by using the dead. Right away, the film establishes the reality of ghosts and the afterlife. What happens next will depend on how Fox’s Frank Bannister manages to piece together his haunted past while delving deeper into his town’s darker secrets.
26. Beetlejuice (1988)
Even if you don’t think we go anywhere after we pass away. Beetlejuice depicts what happens in the afterlife so that almost everyone can agree it is exactly how we would imagine it. Everything is deteriorating.
Working as a civil servant for all eternity is the first step in damnation for crimes committed in the waking world, but things can worsen. Fortunately for those in the audience, it is the funniest supernatural film ever made.
With a focus on the macabre, Tim Burton solidified his reputation as an original and visually stunning director. Also, the cast of Beetlejuice, which included Winona Ryder, Michael Keaton, Catherine O’Hara, and Geena Davis, enjoyed great success.
27. Insidious (2010)
You amplified insidious’ slow-burn scares while you dialed the gore back by the creators of the infamous horror Saw. Rose Byrne and Patrick Wilson portray parents whose child goes into a coma before becoming possessed by a ferociously evil spirit.