Paranormal on the Silver Screen

Written by: Amber Atteberry


Paranormal movies are a popular genre of horror and supernatural films that often involve elements of the supernatural, ghosts, demons, hauntings, and unexplained phenomena. While real-life ghost hunters use various tools and techniques in their paranormal investigations, filmmakers have taken note of these tools and techniques for the silver screen. Here are some notable paranormal movies:

1. "The Conjuring" (2013): 

Directed by James Wan, this film is based on the real-life work of Ed and Lorraine Warren, well-known paranormal investigators. It follows their investigations and exorcisms performed by the couple on a particularly terrifying case involving a haunted farmhouse. The movie inspired a universe of films, a total of eight movies.

2. "Poltergeist" (1982): 

Directed by Tobe Hooper and produced by Steven Spielberg, this classic film tells the story of a family whose suburban home is haunted by malevolent spirits.  The film was an incredible success, earning several awards and inspiring sequels. While the film was a success, some say the filming of the movie was plagued by a curse, as four cast members passed away during or shortly after the movie’s final filming. In addition, one of the cast members claimed that the director insisted on using real human skeletons as props- a claim that has never been substantiated.

3. "The Exorcist" (1973): 

Directed by William Friedkin, this iconic film is about the possession of a young girl and the attempts to exorcise the demon from her. It is often considered one of the scariest movies ever made, and it was not uncommon for audiences to faint and feel sick in theaters. Like Poltergeist, The Exorcist was plagued by rumors of a curse after unfortunate events including long term injuries in some actors, a mysterious fire, and even a murder by one of the film’s extras.

4. "The Sixth Sense" (1999): 

Directed by M. Night Shyamalan, this film follows a child psychologist who treats a young boy who claims to see and communicate with the dead. The movie’s iconic line “I see dead people” became arguably one of the best known movie lines in cinematic history. The movie became the director’s ( who is known for his unusual and unexpected plot twists) became his breakthrough film.

5. "Paranormal Activity" (2007): 

Directed by Oren Peli, this found footage-style film chronicles the haunting of a young couple in their home, using security cameras and handheld recordings. While not the first movie to use a “found footage” format, it became one of the best examples of the type. More unusually, much of the film was shot in the director’s own home.

6. "Ghostbusters" (1984): 

A comedy-horror film featuring a team of scientists who become paranormal investigators, using their equipment to capture and contain ghosts and other supernatural entities. Arguably one of the most well known and beloved paranormal themed movies in history, Ghostbusters quickly became a favorite pop culture icon to this day, inspiring clothing, sneakers, toys, and even kitchenware.

Paranormal investigations provide a rich backdrop for suspense, horror, and mystery in cinema, allowing filmmakers to explore the unknown and unexplained while captivating audiences with supernatural elements and eerie encounters. These are just a few examples of paranormal movies, and the genre continues to evolve with new releases offering fresh takes on supernatural themes and horror. Whether you're a fan of ghost stories or demonic possessions, there's likely a paranormal movie that will give you the chills.

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