When it comes choosing a rundown of great haunted house movies, sometimes it's necessary to call in a couple of certified experts. Paranormal investigators Jason Hawes and Steve Gonsalves of Syfy's Ghost Hunters know a thing or two about stuff that goes bump in the night. Founded in 2002 by Grant Wilson and Jason Hawes, The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS) has an ongoing mission to seek out and investigate strange hauntings, poltergeist activity, spectral sightings and Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP) around the globe.
Their TV series on Syfy is celebrating their milestone tenth season and lead investigators Jason and Steve have scoured the earth seeking out evidence of the afterlife in historic inns, suburban homes, abandoned asylums, old lighthouses and vintage theaters. Being hardened ghost busters who have encountered a multitude of unexplained occurences, Blastr picked their brains on what haunted house flicks gave them cause to shiver and scream. In no particular order, here are their top 16 cinematic choices for the most harrowing homes on film.
THE EVIL DEAD/EVIL DEAD 2 1981/1987
Steve Gonsalves: These movies are too similar to list separately…both of these movies are amazing and they are in every horror buff’s collection. Part 2 has a little more humor than Part 1, but they are both so good. The best of the haunted house (cabin) movies out there.
THE CONJURING 2013
Jason Hawes: The movie is based on a local home in Rhode Island. Story was blown way out of proportion, but it was done really well.
13 GHOSTS 2001
Jason Hawes: I enjoyed the remake of this movie. The concept of using special writings to trap spirits has been a long-time discussion in certain religious beliefs.
THE ENTITY 1981
Steve Gonsalves: This movie is, without a doubt, one of the scariest haunted house movies ever made. Very unsettling scenarios and imagery, but that is one of the reasons I love horror movies! This movie played an integral role in my love for the paranormal.
THE HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL 1959
Steve Gonsalves: Vincent Price is amazing as Frederick Loren and I love the old-world, haunted vibe of this film.
Jason Hawes: The original, with Vincent Price.
THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL 2009
Steve Gonsalves: This film is more about being possessed in a house, very dark and fun. A true '80s feel to this horror movie which I love.
THE INNKEEPERS 2011
Steve Gonsalves: This is not necessarily about a haunted house, it’s about a haunted inn. Employees of an inn become ghost hunters at night during their very last shift. The movie has a fun, cool, amateur ghost hunting feel to it.
Steve Gonsalves: This isn't the most hardcore horror movie, but, we have all seen this movie and just about everyone loves it. The clown scene is all I have to say.
Jason Hawes: Still one of my favorite movies of all time.
Jason Hawes: I love the idea of astral projection and out of body experiences.
Steve Gonsalves: A very gritty film about two real-life hauntings – it’s quite gripping. The real tale even inspired Mary Shelley to write her version of Frankenstein.
THE AMITYVILLE HORROR 1979
Jason Hawes: The original was a great movie and helped set a generation of younger people into a future of paranormal investigation.
Steve Gonsalves: House is more a fun movie than a horror movie, although it is thought of as a horror film. It has one great scene with William Katt and George Wendt, and they actually make a pretty good on camera duo. It also has some gore and some pretty good special makeup effects!
Jason Hawes: This was a great movie, but clearly hokey.
THE OTHERS 2001
Steve Gonsalves: One thing I like about The Others is its appeal: It will appeal to horror fans and to those who aren't so privy to the genre. It is most certainly about a haunted house and I love the twist in this movie!!!
PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2009
Jason Hawes: The first one was great. Feel like they should have stopped after it.
THE GHOST AND MR. CHICKEN 1966
Steve Gonsalves: Although it is more a comedy than horror movie, there are some definite scenes that are startling, and Don Knotts plays the best haunted house scaredy cat. A great movie and a classic!
THE EXORCIST 1973
Jason Hawes: Incredible movie. Terrifying, but also made you not want to turn away.
So there's the creepy crypt-ful of haunted house flicks from the Ghost Hunters gang. Thanks to Jason and Steve for their spooky selections and we wish them many happy hauntings in the future. (Ghost Hunters is currently airing Wednesdays at 9/8c on Syfy - Blastr's coporate parent, in the interest of full disclosure). Did they miss any that must be mentioned? Add your favorite fright flicks in the comments below!