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10 Most Terrifying Ghosts of Film

Updated on June 27, 2012


People like to say "less is more" when it comes to ghost movies, like if you don't show the ghost it's scarier. But in some cases the opposite is true...real true. Below are my picks for the 10 scariest ghosts in film in no particular order...well that's not true, they're in alphabetical order by movie title. 


The Jackal


Name: Ryan Kuhn

Movie: THIR13EN GHOSTS - 2001

Who: The ghost of a raper/murderer/terriblerer who was committed to an asylum and bound in a straitjacket and to keep him from biting through his restraints a metal cage was placed over his head. The asylum caught on fire and he was consumed in the flames.

Why so scary: His horrifying face, eyes and teeth; his caged head; his broken straitjacket; his tendency to attack and scratch with, not his fingernails, but the exposed bone of his fingertips; and his winning personality.



Name: Santi

Movie: El Espinazo del Diablo (The Devil's Backbone) - 2001

Who: Santi is the spirit of a boy in a rundown orphanage in Spain during the Spanish Civil War in the 30's. He was accidentally killed by one of the men who work there and dumped into an underground vat of water in the cellar.

Why so scary: Well while he doesn't really seem malevolent, his appearance is enough to send the bravest of kids running. He looks like a boy whose skin is just transparent enough to see his bones through and his skull is smashed like a porcelain doll. He appears to be under water as he wanders about as blood flows out of his head like smoke. And then there are his eyes...those are creepy...

Elevator Ghost

Definitley has that "HOLY SH*T" factor
Definitley has that "HOLY SH*T" factor

Name: Unknown

Movie: Gin Gwai (The Eye) - 2002

Who: Not much is known about this fellow but it's safe to assume he died in the elevator, perhaps from a previous elevator crash or perhaps he was just bludgeoned to death

Why so scary: Did you see the picture?! He looks like an old man whose eye and forehead have been smashed in. He appears behind the protagonist as she's riding the elevator up to her apartment on the 14th floor. He floats a few inches off the ground and slowly drifts toward her...*shivers*


She's found you
She's found you

Name: Kayako Saeki

Movie: The Grudge - 2004

Who: The vengeful ghost of a Japanese woman who was killed along with her son by her husband in a jealousy fueled breach of sanity.

Why so scary: Well where do I start...she's a really creepy ghost of a woman with long black hair, bluish grey sometimes bloody skin an a permanent look of terror on her face. She crawls as if all of her bones have been broken, and she can only make a croaking death rattle sound that gurgles from her throat. Plus she'll come find you no matter where you hide, even in place ghosts aren't allowed, like under the blankets...

Dr. Vannacutt

Pictured here (left) with creepy nurse
Pictured here (left) with creepy nurse

Name: Dr. Richard Vannacutt

Movie: House on Haunted Hill - 1999

Who: The ghost of a mad doctor who ran an institution for the criminally insane where he preformed grotesque experiments and medical procedures on his patients. When the inmates escaped a fire broke out and he locked down the facility. He and everyone else inside were killed in the fire.

Why so scary: While he appears in many different forms, the creepiest is pictured above how one of the characters sees him as he is being driven mad. He has a few other manifestations as well such as appearing as a creepy doctor who shudders, convulses and walks like a stop-motion doll; as well as appearing as what looks like a living painting.

Doorway Demon

Leave her alone, she's just a baybay!
Leave her alone, she's just a baybay!

Name: The Beast

Movie: Poltergeist - 1982

Who: The Beast is a malevolent spirit in the protagonist's house that abducts their young child daughter and uses her to keep other spirits away from "the light" and trapped in the house.

Why so scary: The Beast manifests itself in a variety of different ways, scariest being a skeleton-like, demon-like, horse-like, spider-like, ectcetera-like barrier keeping the mom from getting to her kids [pictured above]. The second scariest manifestation is a giant smoking demonic skull...the weirdest is as a giant esophagus that used to be the closet...the randomest is a boy-eating tree...


All that TV watchin' will rot your face...
All that TV watchin' will rot your face...

Name: Samara Morgan

Movie: The Ring - 2002

Who: Samara is the ghost of a girl who had some sort of supernatural electromagnetic power. She was killed by her adoptive mother and sealed up in a well.

Why so scary: She effing crawled out of the tv!!!

The Woman in Room 217


Name: Lorraine Massey

Movie: Stephen King'sThe Shining - 1997 TV Miniseries

Who: The ghost of a woman who slit her wrists in the bathtub of a hotel, who now is one of the many malevolent spirits that try to prey on the the child protagonist's psychic energy.

Why so scary: Because she looks like what happens to your fingertips if you stay in the bath too long but a much more extreme case. She is way creepier than the woman in the original The Shining, plus when she gets out of the tub and follows the boy the skin begins to peel from her legs! And when you thought it couldn't get creepier, she sings a disturbing rendition of Old Mac Donald Had a Farm [with a little boy here, and a little boy there]

The Grey Children


Name: Unknown

Movie: Silent Hill - 2006

Who: They are the tortured souls of the children who teased the wrong girl in elementary school, now they are forced to burn over and over again.

Why so scary: Well since they don't look like any children I care to see, they are for real real disturbing. They look like bald naked children with rotted skin and twisted, contorted bodies that smolder and burn, their faces twisted around their skulls. They run at and try to grab onto anyone that they see whilst emitting the most painfully shrill screams... I know, right?

Kitchen Ghost

pop tarts?
pop tarts?

Name: Unknown

Movie: The Sixth Sense - 1999

Who: The angry spirit of a woman who slit her wrists to escape her abusive husband [apparently]

Why so scary: I cant really explain in words...If you've seen the movie you know. Probably one of the scariest things I'd seen up until then. The worst part is when the boy runs from her into his room and hides in his fort, right as he pulls the blanket "door" closed you can see her walking down the hall towards his room. It still gives me chills...

You can open your eyes now.

Now pick your favorite!

See results


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    • maddartist profile image

      maddartist 5 years ago from San Diego, CA

      The Overlook Hotel.

    • profile image

      Emily 5 years ago

      Okay wow I wouldn't stay in room 217 ahahahahahaha what hotel was it

    • Veronica Maddox profile image

      Veronica Maddox 5 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      I loved the movie 13 ghosts! The jackal had a small part, but was the most memorable of that movie. They really need to do a sequel about him. There is another site offering ghost photos at not as scary as your pictures, but these are said to be real.

    • profile image

      HadrianLeVox 5 years ago

      Awesome dude..

      The Jackal Was Terrified me!

      Thirteen ghost was so great..

    • Nefarious_Misery profile image

      Nefarious_Misery 6 years ago from on the move

      Loved all of those movie ghosts. Shame that the woman in 217 was such a short scene in the Shining. The room had a much more impacting role in the book.

      And I'm with Kitty, the juggernaut was the best in 13 ghosts hands down.

      Voted up and awesome.

    • Jeannieinabottle profile image

      Jeannie InABottle 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      This is a great hub! We like all the same ghosts. Samara will always be my favorite!

    • kittythedreamer profile image

      Nicole Canfield 6 years ago from the Ether

      i liked the joggernaut in thirteen ghosts, as well. awesome hub, though! entertaining and funny, too. voted up!

    • lorddraven2000 profile image

      Sam Little 6 years ago from Wheelwright KY

      Great list. I went with the Jackel but the others were great as well.

    • profile image

      TilenHrovatic 7 years ago


    • DreadPirate profile image

      DreadPirate 7 years ago from Garland, Tx

      Very cool! Don't forget Mr. Stay Puff from Ghost Busters! I'm sure he would have gone straight to the top of scary ghosts! HEHEHE!

      I love scary moves!

      Have fun!

    • profile image

      Guest1 7 years ago

      I gotta check it out em,good Post...Thanks!!!

    • profile image

      MrDSpade2 7 years ago

      Interesting work, cool display of psychotic and deprived images, good post.

    • Megavitamin profile image

      Megavitamin 7 years ago

      Terrifying! The photos alone were enough to make me say EEK! Great hub :0)

    • mythbuster profile image

      mythbuster 7 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide

      Awesome. Jackal is terrifying to me...however, Poltergeist came out when I was pretty young and the doorway ghost frightened me so bad I spilled my soda and treats and had a mess to clean up lol.

    • michelle-ds-fan profile image

      michelle-ds-fan 7 years ago

      Terrific Hub. I love ghosts too (as long as they're not in my house). You've got some really scary ones here.

    • maddartist profile image

      maddartist 7 years ago from San Diego, CA

      you know that face never really scared me, mostly because it was so quick and it just wasn't as scary compared to Linda Blair's face lol. and technically it was the face of Pazuzu who is not a ghost but a demon/devil.

    • Glimmer515 profile image

      Glimmer515 7 years ago from Never Never Land

      Great hub! Love all the pictures and they totally got me in the mood to watch some of my favorite horror movies. Although i have to say i thnk the demon face that appears throughout the Exorcist movie should be on here as well, that face is so scary!

    • profile image

      Lori 7 years ago

      Brilliant, Larry. This gave me chills in the middle of my sunny kitchen.