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The Seven Best Spooky Movies Of All Time

*The door to a spooky manor lurches open and a bloodshot eye peers out* Mmmyesssssssssssssssss?

winona ryder lydia beetlejuice

*The door to a spooky manor lurches open and a bloodshot eye peers out*


Ah… I was expecting you… do come in…

*the door creaks open, you step inside. You are greeted by a tall, pale man dressed in a butler’s uniform*

Please make yourself… comfortable. I do so hope that your drive to The Maria Susan Manor was not… unpleasant. Come to the drawing room and warm yourself by the hearth.

*the tall man leads you into a living room with a fireplace. there is no fire burning*

Oh… how unfortunate… it appears the fire has gone out. How… curious… I am the only living resident of this manor, and I certainly would not have extinguished it knowing that… company was coming. Perhaps it was something else that put the fire out… one of the manor’s former residents. No matter… there is another burning in the… home movie theatre… right this way…

*you are lead into a spooky movie theatre*

Yes the former owner of this manor was an aficionado of films. Particular those of a more… horrific persuasion. Yet I can see you are tired, and your nerves are no doubt frail. Sit here on the sofa while I prepare supper. You can entertain yourself with these spooky sort of films. They’ll certainly thrill you… but hopefully not… to death. The former owner even ranked them according to their…. artistic merit herself.

*the butler exits the room. Out of the shadows, an old but familiar face materializes*

Oh helloooooo again dearie! It’s me! The withered crone that you met that night having car trouble! Don’t recognize me now that I’m dead? Tut tut! Well, I’m quite glad you’re here. Just before I died I came into some money after my rich nephew had a mysterious accident and left me a truckload of dosh! I moved into a new home but I haven’t had anyone to watch movies with besides that boring old butler! Bored me to death he did! Hee Hee!

Come, come. Let’s watch some spooky movies like old time’s sake! So I can feel alive again. We’ll start with my 7th favorite!

7. Ghostbusters

Three of the original Ghostbusters all suited up hunting ghosts.
(image: Columbia)

Oh this movie is such a cute classic! I’m sure you know the plot already, but it’s about four men middle aged men who chase after ghosts! What sort of ghosts? Certainly not the ghosts of their misspent youth, but actual ghosts! It’s a funny little film. Apparently Mr. Bill Murray dreaded shooting it, that’s why his character looks so miserable he could die. Isn’t that hilarious! My favorite is when the giant marshmallow man lays waste to New York City! That’ll teach those yuppies not to mess around with the paranormal now won’t it!

6. Hocus Pocus

Disney's Hocus Pocus
(image: Disney)

This little film is mysterious because everyone loves it but no one knows why. It’s a great film, but it isn’t any good. That’s why people like it! It’s about three witches who come back to life after some poor little virgins light a cursed candle! They do all sorts of spooky things, like fly around on broomsticks and resurrect old 1950s songs back from the dead. Oh this film is a little trip down memory lane for me. Would you believe me if I told you that I looked as good as Sarah Jessica Parker in my youth? I had that exact outfit! And I loved tormenting children almost as much as she does!

5. Monster House

(image: Columbia)

Now this movie is frightening! It’s about a group young people (just like you) who go into a strange house (just like this one) and find out that it’s possessed by the evil spirit of a dead woman (just like me)! Then that evil spirt takes control of the house and tries to devour those rotten kids. But don’t worry dearie, I wouldn’t do that to you, not even in my wildest nightmares! Unless of course you were made of candy corn! Or you had a delicious open wound I could suckle… what? Oh, ignore me! Eventually the kids find out that the poor old house has what they call in the movie biz a “tragic backstory” and they try to save the poor old man who still takes care of it! The final battle at the finale of the film is certainly explosive to say the least. But if only that poor old house could have just eaten those kids and lived out the rest of its days unmolested. I wrote a fan fiction about that exact alternate ending! You simply must read it, dearie!

4. Coraline

the other mother in coraline
(image: Laika studios)

Oh! Oh! Another good one! This little film is about a bored little girl named Coraline who moves into a spooky new house (I’m sensing a theme!) along with her no-fun parents. Her parents ignore the poor kid, and leave her to her own devices. It isn’t so bad, my parents did the same to me! And I sure turned out alright!

Didn’t I…?

Yes I do believe I did! But poor little Coraline doesn’t understand that her parents are just trying to help her build character by ignoring her, and she starts wishing she had different ones. Eventually, she discovers a strange little door in the house that leads to a parallel world where everything is fun! Including her parents! Everyone also had buttons sowed over their eyes, but that’s a small price to pay for a good time, wouldn’t you say?

3. Beetlejuice

michael keaton
(image: the geffen company)

This movie is about another spooky little girl who moves into another spooky old house (definitely a theme) and meets another kind of spirit inside! A few spirits, in fact! She meets the ghosts of the former owners, who try to scare the little girl and her family away. Too bad these ghosts aren’t very scary! I’d be happy to teach them a thing or too! In an effort to help the ghosts out, the spooky little girl summons the help of an evil spirit named Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice is quite good at scaring people, but only agrees to help out if the little girl (Lydia I think her name was?) agrees to marry him! Yucky! She could do better. That’s what I tell my grand daughters when I hover over their beds at witching hour while they sleep next to their no good yuppie husbands!

2. The Nightmare Before Christmas

The nightmare before christmas
(image: Disney)

Oh dearie, this movie is a real winner! It’s about the kind of man that wish my grand daughters would marry! A charming skeleton named Jack! Isn’t Jack a sexy name? I think so! Just saying it makes my dead heart throb. You see, this Mr. Jack (Skellington I think his last name is?) is the scariest man in all of Halloween Town! And when you live in a town full of monsters, ghosts, and ghouls that’s really saying something! I love a man with ambition. But poor old Jack is dissatisfied living the spooky high life, and longs for something different. Lucky for him, he finds it! While walking about in the woods he discovers a portal to a jolly place called Christmas Town! There he meets Santa Claus himself, and decides to bring the Christmas Spirit with him back to Halloween town! Oh dearie it has some of the best music to ever be put to the big screen! “This Is Halloween” sure makes me want to shake a tail feather! Or kill a man! What? Oh silly me, I’m getting carried away!

1. Spirited Away

Chihiro and No-Face travelling to Swamp Bottom via the The Sea Railway
(image: Studio Ghibli)

Grab some oven mitts dearie, because this take is piping hot! I think Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away is the best spooky movie in this world AND the next. It stars a little girl with dark hair named Chihiro, who’s just like every spooky little dark-haired protagonist on this list! She’s on a little road trip with her boring family (a theme!) to move into a new house (a theme again!). But those other spooky little girls, Chihiro doesn’t even get to where she’s going. When her silly dad decides to take a short cut (that turns out to be a long cut) the family stumbles open a spooky tunnel in the woods! They go through the tunnel, and find themselves in an abandoned little town! Chihiro immediately gets spooked (wise girl) but her mother and father are two silly yuppies without a braincell between them! They decide to stay and eat some food that mysteriously appears. Night begins to fall, and the town becomes overrun with spirits! Chihiro tries to get her parents to leave, but too late! They’ve been turned into pigs! The poor little girl has to figure out a way to rescue her silly parents from a scary old witch who intends to slaughter them to feed the guests in her bathhouse! Good riddance I say! Lucky for Chihiro’s parents, she’s a good little girl who respects her elders.

*a voice from the other room*

Ssssssssssssssssssssupper is… ready….

Oh there’s our dinner dearie! I do hope you’re hungry! We’ve got something very special on the menu tonight! A delicacy that decided it would be a good idea to drive all the way out of their yuppie little city and spend the night alone in a spooky old mansion with a freakishly tall man who could easily overpower them and restless spirit of a bloodthirsty ghost who has been starving for a little excitement…

Oh heavens! It’s not you dearie! Oh no, no. It’s one of those yuppie “digital nomad” types! The kind who move to other countries, price out the locals, and never bother to learn the language! We’re about to give him a crash course in a new language! One where there’s only one vocabulary word, and it sounds like: AAAAAAHHHHHHRRRRRGGGHHHHH!!!!!

(featured image: Columbia)

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Jack Doyle (they/them) is actually nine choirs of biblically accurate angels in crammed into one pair of $10 overalls. They have been writing articles for nerds on the internet for less than a year now. They really like anime. Like... REALLY like it. Like you know those annoying little kids that will only eat hotdogs and chicken fingers? They're like that... but with anime. It's starting to get sad.