The 16 Best Haunted House Movies And Where To Watch Them

The house from The Amityville Horror
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Everything that I ever needed to know about house hunting, I learned from some of the best horror movies of all time. Specifically, films such as the Conjuring movies, for instance, taught me to never move into (let alone step foot inside) the site of any previous deaths or satanic rituals, the former location of a cemetery, or anything else that will significantly lower the market value. 

Of course, the characters in most of these kinds of films are not so faithful to those rules. See if you turn out to be more receptive to the valuable lessons from the best haunted house movies by watching them on streaming, digital, or physical media with our following guide. 

george c scott in the changeling

(Image credit: Chessman Park Productions)

The Changeling (1980)

After losing his wife and daughter in an accident, a music professor (played by Academy Award winner George C. Scott) moves into a secluded estate where he begins receiving pleading messages from the spirit inhabiting it.

Why it is one of the best haunted house movies: With its mysterious narrative, intensely creepy moments, and powerful themes of grief, The Changeling is an underrated classic of the subgenre.

Stream The Changeling on Peacock.
Stream The Changeling on Tubi.
Rent or buy The Changeling on Amazon.
Buy The Changeling on Blu-ray on Amazon.

Phone from Skinamarink

(Image credit: Shudder)

Skinamarink (2022)

A young boy (played by Lucas Paul) and his sister (played by Dali Rose Tetreault) wake up in the middle of the night to find that their parents and all means to an exit in their house have mysteriously vanished.

Why it is one of the best haunted house movies: First-time writer and director Kyle Edward Ball’s atmospheric, non-traditional approach to the haunted house genre might not be for everybody, but watching Skinamarink alone in the dark will leave those who appreciate experimental horror feeling uneasy whenever they pass a dark corner in their own home.

Stream Skinamarink on Hulu.
Rent or buy Skinamarink on Amazon.
Buy Skinamarink on Blu-ray on Amazon.

A disembodied from House (1977)

(Image credit: Toho)

Hausu (1977)

A teenage girl and her friends leave to spend the summer at her aunt’s idyllic estate, only to find that the house is hiding an evil presence.

Why it is one of the best haunted house movies: Also titled House in the States, Hausu is not quite the scariest Japanese horror film, but is easily one of the most visually stunning and amusingly eccentric thrillers you will ever see, regardless of its country of origin.

Stream Hausu on Max.
Rent or buy Hausu on Amazon.
Buy Hausu on Blu-ray on Amazon.

Doll from The Houses October Built

(Image credit: RLJ Entertainment)

The Houses October Built (2014)

A group of friends chronicle their search for the scariest haunts in the country, which becomes plagued by a series of unusual encounters.

Why it is one of the best haunted house movies: There are no actual buildings inhabited by lingering spirits to be found in The Houses October Built, but the way this found footage horror favorite explores America’s fascination with haunted attractions is often more disturbing than some ghost stories.

Rent or buy The Houses October Built on Amazon.
Buy The Houses October Built on Blu-ray on Amazon.

Chase W. Dillon and Rosario Dawson in Haunted Mansion

(Image credit: Disney)

Haunted Mansion (2023)

A single mother (played by Rosario Dawson), her son (played by Chase Dillon), a grieving photographer (played by LaKeith Stanfield), and others try to find a way to escape the manipulative influence of a creepy estate.

Why it is one of the best haunted house movies: With great performances from the Haunted Mansion cast and deliciously spooky visuals, director Justin Simien’s cinematic adaptation of the classic Disney World attraction is a good entry point for young newcomers to the genre.

Stream Haunted Mansion on Disney+.
Rent or buy Haunted Mansion on Amazon.
Buy Haunted Mansion on Blu-ray on Amazon.

Vera Farmiga in The Conjuring.

(Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

The Conjuring (2013)

A family of five calls on the help of married paranormal researchers Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Academy Award nominee Vera Farmiga) to help them rid their new Rhode Island home of the incessant and seemingly evil presence tormenting them in the early 1970s.  

Why it is one of the best haunted house movies: While the validity of the Warrens’ paranormal investigations remains up for debate, their case files inspired director James Wan’s The Conjuring, which saw something of a revival for the old school haunted house genre and the birth of one of Hollywood’s most enduring horror movie franchises today.

Stream The Conjuring on Netflix.
Rent or buy The Conjuring on Amazon.
Buy The Conjuring on Blu-ray on Amazon.

Margot Kidder and James Brolin in The Amityville Horror

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

The Amityville Horror (1979)

A land surveyor (played by James Brolin), his new wife (played by Margot Kidder), and their three children move into a large Long Island estate despite its deadly history, believing it to be the home of their dreams, only to find themselves living a nightmare.

Why it is one of the best haunted house movies: One of the Warrens’ most famous cases involved the true events that inspired Jay Anson’s book The Amityville Horror, which director Stuart Rosenberg’s adapted into one the most essential and influential examples of the modern haunted house film and one of the best horror movies based on a true story, allegedly.

Stream The Amityville Horror on Max.
Rent or buy The Amityville Horror on Amazon.
Buy The Amityville Horror on Blu-ray on Amazon.

Heather O'Rourke in Poltergeist

(Image credit: MGM)

Poltergeist (1982)

A real estate developer (played by Craig T. Nelson), his wife (played by JoBeth Williams), and their three children suddenly find themselves living a nightmare as malevolent spirits invade their longtime home and kidnap their youngest daughter (played by the late Heather O’Rourke).

Why it is one of the best haunted house movies: Producer and co-writer Steven Spielberg and director Tobe Hooper looked to their own personal fears as inspiration for 1982’s Poltergeist - a masterpiece in supernatural terror grounded by its authentic performances and also infamous for its unnerving behind-the-scenes legacy.

Stream Poltergeist on Pluto TV.
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Buy Poltergeist on Blu-ray on Amazon.

The cast of The Haunting (1963)

(Image credit: MGM)

The Haunting (1963)

A psychologist invites an insecure loner, a provocative clairvoyant, and a young skeptic to stay with him inside a large, luxurious New England estate in the hope of proving whether or not it truly does house spirits.

Why it is one of the best haunted house movies: None of these films might have existed without the influence of director Robert Wise’s chilling, gothic, psychological thriller The Haunting – the earliest of adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s iconic novel that would later serve as a loose inspiration for Mike Flanagan’s acclaimed Netflix miniseries, The Haunting of Hill House.

Rent or buy The Haunting on Amazon.
Buy The Haunting on Blu-ray on Amazon.

The couple on Paranormal Activity.

(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

Paranormal Activity (2009)

A man (played by Micah Sloat) sets up cameras where he and his girlfriend (played by Katie Featherston) live in the hope of disproving her suspicions that their home does have spirits, only to find evidence of the opposite.

Why it is one of the best haunted house movies: The trend of found footage thrillers might not have become as popular if not for the success of the Paranormal Activity movies – the first of which cleverly taps into common paranoid thoughts before curdling into more extreme horrors, all with the use of atmospheric tension and a shoestring budget.

Stream Paranormal Activity on Max.
Rent or buy Paranormal Activity on Amazon.
Buy Paranormal Activity on Blu-ray on Amazon.

The clown from Hell House LLC

(Image credit: Terror Films)

Hell House LLC (2015)

The young owners of a business specializing in scares are unwittingly in for the scare of their lives when they begin to suspect that the abandoned hotel they chose for their latest haunted house attraction is an actual haunted house.

Why it is one of the best haunted house movies: A sorely underrated found footage movie is writer and director Stephen Cognetti’s Hell House LLC – an inventive blend of amateur-style footage with professional documentary-style cinematography that results in a frightening exercise in slow-building, thoroughly engrossing dread.

Stream Hell House LLC on Amazon Prime.
Stream Hell House LLC on Tubi.
Buy Hell House LLC on DVD on Amazon.

The creepy kid from The Orphanage

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

The Orphanage (2007)

A woman (played by Belén Rueda) returns with her husband (played by Fernando Cayo) to the former home for orphaned children where she used to live to raise their adopted son (played by Roger Príncep), but his claims of making a new friend and other unexplainable occurrences lead her to suspect that they are not alone.

Why it is one of the best haunted house movies: From A Monster Calls director J.A. Bayona and producer Guillermo del Toro, The Orphanage is a gothic, Spanish-language supernatural tale that will stick with you long after the credits roll, especially if the creepy kids trope still manages to get under your skin.

Rent or buy The Orphanage on Amazon.
Buy The Orphanage on Blu-ray on Amazon.

Ethan Hawke in Sinister

(Image credit: Lionsgate)

Sinister (2012)

Desperate to put out another bestseller, a washed-up true crime writer (played by Academy Award nominee Ethan Hawke) moves his family into the site of a horrifying murder where, upon researching the case, he finds it has a strange connection to other grisly crimes that lead him to fear for his family’s own safety.

Why it is one of the best haunted house movies: The creepy kid trope is also used to great effect in Sinister – perhaps co-writer and director Scott Derrickson’s most terrifying film yet that also saw the beginning of Hawke’s reign as a modern horror movie icon.

Stream Sinister on Max.
Rent or buy Sinister on Amazon.
Buy Sinister on Blu-ray on Amazon.

Jack Nicholson in The Shining

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

The Shining (1980)

Hoping to find the solitude he needs to put out another bestseller, a writer and recovering alcoholic (played by Academy Award winner Jack Nicholson) moves his family into a luxurious Colorado hotel where they will act as caretakers for the winter, but the seclusion proves to have a violent effect on the author as his uniquely gifted son falls prey to a series of foreboding visions.

Why it is one of the best haunted house movies: What makes writer and director Stanley Kubrick’s iconic adaptation of Stephen King’s 1977 novel, The Shining, is Nicholson’s unbelievably grim performance and dizzying, surreal, and paralyzing imagery that continues to puzzle fans to this day.

Rent or buy The Shining on Amazon.
Buy The Shining on Blu-ray on Amazon.

Joseph Bishara and Patrick Wilson in Insidious

(Image credit: FilmDistrict)

Insidious (2011)

A school teacher (played by Patrick Wilson) and his wife (played by Rose Byrne) move their family into a new house, where they begin to fall prey to a series of startling and strange intrusions after their oldest son (played by Ty Simpkins) suddenly falls into a mysterious coma.

Why it is one of the best haunted house movies: The aforementioned The Conjuring may be the more popular James Wan flick and Saw may be his most iconic collaboration with writer Leigh Whannell, but Insidious boasts indelible, otherworldly visuals and a clever twist on the subgenre, being that the house itself is not what is haunted.

Rent or buy Insidious on Amazon.
Buy Insidious on Blu-ray on Amazon.

Sam Lerner and Mitchell Musso in Monster House

(Image credit: Sony)

Monster House (2006)

An imaginative boy (voiced by Mitchell Musso), his best friend (voiced by Sam Lerner), and a prep school girl (voiced by Spencer Locke) try to save their neighborhood from the creepy house across the street after it somehow comes to life following the supposed death of its cantankerous owner (voiced by Steve Buscemi).

Why it is one of the best haunted house movies: A rare kind of film that is suitable for younger audiences, but creepy enough to qualify as a bonafide horror movie is the animated, Academy Award-nominated hit Monster House - which was executive produced by Steven Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis and offers another clever twist on the haunted genre, being that it is not the house that is haunted, but that the house itself that is haunting.

Rent or buy Monster House on Amazon.
Buy Monster House on Blu-ray on Amazon.

Monster House actually raises an interesting question of what is scarier: a house inhabited by spirits that are a danger to anyone who enters it or a house possessed by a spirit that is a danger to anyone merely standing nearby? Hopefully, watching these 16 classics will be the only way you will need to find out the answer for yourself.

Jason Wiese
Content Writer

Jason Wiese writes feature stories for CinemaBlend. His occupation results from years dreaming of a filmmaking career, settling on a "professional film fan" career, studying journalism at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO (where he served as Culture Editor for its student-run print and online publications), and a brief stint of reviewing movies for fun. He would later continue that side-hustle of film criticism on TikTok (@wiesewisdom), where he posts videos on a semi-weekly basis. Look for his name in almost any article about Batman.