Halloween is almost upon us. In fact it's getting very close....I mean very very close! It feels like the month of October just started but it's already more than halfway over! This is both good and bad, since I love Halloween Night and can't wait for it, but I also love the entire month of October because it has that continuous 'All Hallows' Eve' spirit. The 31st is a great night but also draws the season to a close, only to begin the waiting process all over again. A wait that lasts an entire year!
Long before we called it Halloween and spent our hard earned money giving neighborhood children enough candy to secure any dentists' retirement plan, Halloween was a very different "monster," so to speak. It was called Samhain and it marked the transition into the darker half of the year. People left offerings outside their door, huge bonfire celebrations were held, and people dressed in costume to ward off evil spirits. All of this because it was the night that the dead were allowed to roam the earth.
Yep, Ghosts! One of the oldest and scariest of all the monsters in movies and folklore. We are all obsessed with what happens after we die so ghosts are a naturally compelling and frightening thing to us. On top of that Ghosts are one of the few monsters that a majority of people still believe in and encounter quite regularly. It's no wonder that movies about hauntings continue to entertain and terrify us as one of the most popular sub-genres of horror.
So in the spirit (haha spirit, get it?) of Halloween I decided to make this list of ghosts from horror films. Keep in mind this list is not based on the quality, scare factor, or popularity of any of the films. Only on the horrifying spirit itself. So enjoy!
I purposely chose the original version of this film as it is my favorite, not to say that i don't like the remake because I do, it's actually one of the best remakes out there. The Japanese version is much more chilling though, and the series is much longer running, with multiple films, novels, manga, and TV series'. Sadako is a perfect example of an onryo (vengeful spirit) from Japanese folklore. She is just plain creepy, everything from her movement to her crawling out of our favorite entertainment devices! Not to mention the fact that if you watch a video, even by accident, your screwed. And don't forget that she has the most serious version of the "stink eye" ever.
Puking Ghost (The Sixth Sense)
We all liked to make tents and forts out of blankets in our rooms as kids right? Of course we did, key word here is did! This movie has a lot of creepy parts and I could sympathize with the movie since the lead was a child too, but this scene utterly terrified me as a kid. The ghost girl doesn't even seem like she would harm anyone, more that she wants help, but I wouldn't stick around to see with what.
The Old Lady (Insidious)
The old lady is the real star in Insidious and if it weren't for her, we would only have the Darth Maul demon and 80's punk rock ghosts to go on. She is also the only spirit in the film that is referred to as insidious. She's way creepy and her back story is even creepier. They also delved deeper into that in the sequel, which was great as well.
Mary Shaw (Dead Silence)
Beware the stare of Mary Shaw, She had no children only dolls, and if you see her in your dreams, make sure you never ever scream. A wise warning to keep safe from this murdered ventriloquist who's back from the dead for revenge. There are so many terrifying scenes involving this particular ghost. To make things worse if you do become her victim she rips your tongue out. That pretty much sums up all the horror right? Wrong! Hope possessed dolls don't scare you because she has a whole crew!
Kayako Saeki (Ju-on/The Grudge)
Played by the same actress, Takako Fuji, in all four Japanese films and the first two U.S. movies. Fuji really brings the character to life (umm..death?) as a trained contortionist and theater actress she was able to act out some freaky movements. Add that to the fact that Kayako is pretty much an unstoppable pissed off ghost that can appear pretty much anywhere, like even places you would expect a ghost to pop out of. The noise she makes is still known to freak people out, and did we mention she has a just as creepy ghost kid? Oh, and an army of black cats.
The Angry Ghosts (Gravedancers)
I had to list these as a set, mainly because I couldn't pick just one! The design on these spirits is somewhat cheesy but utterly horrifying! The kind of scary that gets stuck in your head and you never forget. So remember kids, don't dance on graves or you will make some demented ghosts haunt you that would make even the Joker cry.
The axe-murdering distraught lover
This guy here is (was) just a horrible person (ghost)
The pyro child!
The Twins (The Shining)
These two look so innocent which is exactly what could make them so dangerous. Many a small child would probably happily run off with them to play only to be never heard from again. These spirits are not your typical kind of frightening. There is a very subtle and bone chilling aspect to their presence. I recommend finding a different hotel, or maybe I'll just start sleeping in my car during road trips.
Blake and His Crew (The Fog)
These guys have a lot of creepy presence and atmosphere. Fog rolls into your town this thick and you better not answer any strange knocks at your door. You never get a very detailed look and Blake and his crew since they are enveloped in the thick fog and unforgiving darkness. I'm guessing whatever they do look like up close ain't pretty and the mystery that surrounds them just makes them all the more scary.
The Librarian (Ghostbusters)
Okay this one isn't a horror movie but we all love Ghostbusters! (you better be nodding your head in agreement right now) But this movie had some great special effects, which were pretty outstanding for the time. And if you were a kid when you saw this, like me, there's a good chance the librarian may have frightened the Saturday morning cereal out of you. (admit it!) I mean just look at her! pretty freaky.
I really hope that you enjoyed reading this list and that I helped you catch some of that Halloween spirit! Or maybe I just bought stock in a company that makes sleeping pills and want to make sure you never sleep on your own again! This list is far from extensive as there are dozens of other great ghosts in film so let us know your opinion in the comments section below. Oh...and one more thing, don't be afraid to look over your shoulder when you hear that weird noise...I'm sure its just the wind.