The Scariest Ghosts in Movies – my top 10 list

The Top 10 Scariest Ghosts in Movies & film
These are my picks for the top 10 scary ghosts I’ve seen in movies and films. I’m talking about physical manifestations of ghosts, not necessarily the best ghost story or haunted house flicks.
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1) The Twins – The Shining (1980 – Stanley Kubrick)
Who knows what makes these twins so scary – they just are. They don’t really do anything, they just stand there with their creepy stares and creepy blue dresses.
  
 
Not so creepy all grow’d up!

2) Samara – The Ring (2002 – Gore Verbenas)
Another creepy little girl, but this one comes right off the screen at you.
  
  
Who is this pleasant young lady…What? No! She’s the actress that played Samara?

3) Blake and his Crew – The Fog (1980 – John Carpenter)
Damn, creeps with hooks that come in the cover of fog. It gives me the chills.
 
  

4) The Jackal – Thirteen Ghosts (2001 – Steve Beck)
If ever there was a character in a film that should get a movie made about him, The Jackal is it. What are the studios waiting for? People even get tattoos of this character!
 
   
5) Jilted Lover – The Grave Dancers (2006 – Mike Mendez)
Imagine rolling over in bed expecting your wife or lover and seeing her instead… I would have a heart failure instantly.
 
  

6) The Headless Horseman – The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1999 – Tim Burton)
Just the idea of a headless spirit is chilling. Add to that, he runs you down on horseback, wields a sword, and in life he was a Hessian assassin. Plus, he takes your head with him when he leaves.
 
  

7) Kane, the Preacher – Poltergeist II (1986 – Brian Gibson)
If this creepy old guy with the thick southern accent came to talk to me and it rained the whole time, just on him, I’d be outta’ there.
  
  

8) The Knights – Tombs of the Blind Dead (1972 – Amando de Ossorio)
These skeletal dead ones from castle ruins in Portugal are rumored to be The Knights of Templar. The film never explicitly states that, it just hints at it. Turned upon by the church, the knights look for new sacrifices to keep them in the here and now.
 
  

9) Dead guy – The Sentinel (1977 – Michael Winner)
After midnight a fashion model’s building turns into spook central as dead spirits wonder through her apartment. The scariest part is when this blind old guy comes stumbling through, bumping into walls and unable to find his way.
 
 

10) Drowned wife – Dream Cruise – Masters of Horror - (2007 – Norio Tsuruta)
Just when you thought you’ve seen enough J-horror woman ghosts comes the lovely Naomi, murdered wife in this MOH episode. What makes her so damn eerie are her strange movements – a rolling of the head and twisting of the body that mirrors seaweed in the waves and tides of the sea. The actress (Miho Ninagawa) must be commended for her portrayal in this film.
 
  

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Before I go on, I would like to mention that Tombs of the Blind Dead and The Fog sometimes show up on people’s Zombie lists. I believe that in both films; the entities are spirits of the dead, are conscious entities, and are only using their former bodies to affect the physical world. They are not zombies.
     

Here are more reasons why neither film is a zombie film:
*In both films the entities make conscious decisions about who to kill and why.
*In both films the entities have no need to eat the victims, nor do the victims ‘catch’ a virus that transforms them into zombies.
*In both films the entities are called upon at certain times in curse and ritual fashion, then become dormant, waiting the next ‘witching hour’.
- And finally, especially for Tombs of the Blind Dead:
*If an entity chooses to ride the horse instead of eat it, it’s not a zombie.
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Honorable mentions go to:

The Boy – the Devil’s Backbone

Burlap-sack head – The Orphanage

The Woman – The Woman in Black

The Beach Lovers – Creepshow

The Parasite – Insidious

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If you have any other ideas of ghosts that should be included here, let me know. I’ll add them to the Honorable Mentions list.

16 comments

  1. This post is all kinds of awesome. You’ve included some of my very scariest ghosts too. Blake, The Shining Twins, Kane and Samara. I’m glad you gave The Orphanage and TD’s Backbone an honorable mention. I have to get around to watching that Masters of Horror episode too. The Sentinal ghost dude always slips by me. He was very creepy. Great Job! :D

    1. The Sentinel, that movie was way-out-there but that one part always gave me a jump scare. Notice the similarities between The Fog and The Blind Dead? Even the promo photos with the main character and the hand coming through the door… makes you wonder.

      1. Yes, I did notice the similarities. Good catch. I’ve always liked that image too. A ghostly hand in promo pics can go a long way.

  2. awesome list, Mike!
    Although I wouldn’t put samara in my list because Sadako is far more scarier than her…then again, I not a fan of remake.

    The woman in black will also be in my list.

    the twin looks beautful now.

  3. Smara and the Jackal are both enough to get my blood pumping. Thirteen Ghosts is one of my favorites.
    Great list! There’s even one or two on here I might have to look up and watch just because the pictures look so cool.
    Happy haunting~ have a great weekend!

  4. Awesome post! I would probably pick the duo of Kyoko and Toshio from the Ring over Samara if I had to, but that’s probably a matter of opinion.

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