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These Ghost Movies Will Haunt You For The Rest Of Your Life

Sending thoughts and prayers for your eyelids.
PHOTO: istockphoto

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: Halloween! And the only thing more fun than celebrating with a "sexy [insert inanimate object here]" costume and downing shots is not doing that and instead downing something horror-themed under a pile of blankets while watching some truly terrifying content.

If you’re stuck for ideas, here are 13 of our favorite (read: scariest) classic ghost movies guaranteed to keep you up all night thinking, "What was that? Did you hear that?! TURN THE LIGHTS ON."

1. The Sixth Sense (1999)

A spine-chilling classic, M. Night Shyamalan’s debut is about a little boy (Haley Joel Osment) who sees dead people, and a psychologist (Bruce Willis) who tries to help him while coping with his own ghosts. If you’ve managed to remain unspoiled for one of the most iconic twists in movie history, congrats! Enjoy. (Also, who are you?) If not, watch anyway. The movie actually takes on a whole new layer of meaning when you watch it knowing the ending.

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2. The Haunting (1963)

If you, like me, speed-binge-watched Netflix’s new Haunting of Hill House series, you’re going to want to go back to this original British adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s classic novel, a cult movie which follows a group of people who are invited to a haunted house by a paranormal investigator.

3. The Shining (1980)

Stanley Kubrick’s iconic adaptation of the Stephen King novel is arguably one of the scariest movies of all time. A frustrated writer, Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) moves his family to the remote Overlook Hotel for the winter, where he’s accepted a job as off-season caretaker. As Jack starts to slide into violent insanity, his son starts having psychic visions of the hotel’s horrific past. Then shit gets really real. REDRUM.

4. The Others (2001)

Simultaneously very scary and incredibly sad, this Nicole Kidman classic follows a woman who moves to a remote country house with her two children just after World War II, and begins to encounter strange and inexplicable events. This all builds to an unbelievably devastating twist.

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5. Paranormal Activity (2007)

This micro-budget horror movie spawned a huge franchise and a seemingly endless series of subpar knockoffs. Made for just $15k on a home video camera, the film follows a young couple who begin to suspect that their house is haunted, and set up recording equipment to try and get to the bottom of the phenomena. Things get very scary, very fast.

6. The Ring (2002)

The Ring is one of the few American remakes of a Japanese horror film that not only justifies its existence, but arguably outshines the original. Naomi Watts stars as a journalist investigating a supposedly cursed videotape: whoever watches the tape, which features an extremely creepy series of nonsensical images, will die seven days later. Good luck!

7. The Orphanage (2007)

This beautiful and heartbreaking ghost story follows a woman, Laura (Belén Rueda) who returns as an adult to the orphanage where she grew up. She has plans to turn the now-abandoned building into a home for disabled children, but things take a dark turn when her adopted son suddenly goes missing, and the orphanage’s tortured past is revealed.

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8. The Innocents (1961)

Depending on your interpretation, this icy British psychological chiller either centers on a governess who witnesses the two children under her care being gradually possessed by ghosts, or a governess who loses her mind while working on a large and creepy country estate. Either way, I'm in.

9. Poltergeist (1982)

They’re heeeeeere. There aren’t many American horror movies more iconic than this story of a normal California family whose daughter suddenly starts conversing with angry ghosts via television static, and is subsequently abducted by the spirits as they terrorize the entire family.

10.  The Conjuring (2013)

A modern horror movie so good, it inspired an entire universe of future films including two more Conjurings, the Annabelle series, and this year’s The Nun. The original is still the best, though. The Conjuring is inspired by a real-life pair of paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren (played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) who come to help a family whose farmhouse may be haunted.

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11. The Fog (1980)

John Carpenter’s follow-up to Halloween remains one of his best. A mysterious, glowing fog descends on a small town in California, and brings with it a series of deeply scary events which turn out to be the work of malevolent maritime ghosts. The worst kind!

12. The Amityville Horror (1979)

Skip the Ryan Reynolds remake. The original Amityville, which stars James Brolin and Margot Kidder as a couple who move into a house with a violent history, is the first movie based on the real-life Amityville horror. That chilling true story? In 1975, the Lutz family moved into a house in Amityville, Long Island, where a man had murdered six members of his family a year earlier. They moved out just a month later, claiming that they’d been plagued by paranormal activity.

13. The Changeling (1980)

No, not the Angelina Jolie one. Another horror movie that’s really about grief, The Changeling follows a composer (George C Scott) who moves across the country to Seattle after the death of his wife and daughter. He moves into a sprawling, creepy mansion which he’s assured has been vacant for years. Spoiler: not so much!

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This article originally appeared on Minor edits have been made by the editors.