10 Weird and Wonderful Ghost Movies You Might Not Have Seen

6. High Spirits (1988)

High Spirits (1988)

High Spirits is a supernatural comedy staring a host of famous names: Peter O’Toole, Daryl Hannah, Steve Guttenburg, and Liam Neeson among others.

Peter Plunkett (O’Toole) is the lord of an ancient castle in the wilds of Ireland. He is about to lose everything to rising debt; leaving his staff unemployed and the the land of his ancestors to American developers who seek to move the castle to Malibu as a tourist attraction.

In an act of desperation Plunkett decides to open the castle to tourists himself, taking advantage of the many supernatural legends around it by faking a menagerie of “ghosts, ghoolies” and “long-leggity beasties.” The problem is, the real ghosts who occupy the castle are fed up all this nonsense, and begin to manifest themselves for real.

High Spirits is one of the most underrated comedies of its time. Fine comedic screen-writing and excellent performances are complimented by some genuinely creepy visuals. Just wait until you see the faceless levitating nuns. *Shivers


7. The Frighteners (1996)

The Frighteners

The Frighteners is a supernatural comedy directed by Peter Jackson, starring Michael J. Fox as clairvoyant ghost hunter Frank Bannister, who, for a tidy fee, will go into your home and rid it of the ghosts that have been tormenting your family.

What you don’t know is that the ghosts in your house are really his two spectral friends, and you just paid him to show up and pretend to cast them out before he pulls the scam on the next household full of suckers. When a dark spirit he is definitely not in cahoots with begins to hunt down and kill local folk, Frank and his two ghost buddies must take action and get to the bottom the new horror in town.

It’s a pity that The Frighteners, which underachieved in the box office due to neglectful marketing, hasn’t earned the cult following it deserves. It’s an entertaining and well made supernatural thrill ride that stands out from a largely unimpressive crowd.


8. Nang Nak (1999)

Nang Nak (1999)

Nang Nak is based on a Thai legend about a beautiful young woman named Nak who lives with her husband Mek on the banks of the Phra Khanong Canal.

After falling pregnant, Mek is conscripted into the Siamese-Vietnamese War of 1831-1834, and has no choice but to leave his wife alone. While Mak lay wounded in Bangkok, Nak and her child die tragically in childbirth. But when Mek returns to his home, he finds his loving wife and baby waiting for him.

The legend has been adapted several times, but this particular adaptation is one of the most striking. Taking many of its cues from popular Asian supernatural thrillers, the mood and tone is formidable. It is not only scary, it is beautiful.


9. Lake Mungo (2008)

Lake Mungo

We all want to believe that the loved ones ripped away from us live on in some form beyonf death. In the Australian found-footage supernatural thriller Lake Mungo we follow the tragic tale of Alice Palmer, a sixteen year old girl who has drowned in a dam and is now seemingly appearing in the family home: in pictures and in video footage.

To describe the twists and turns of its plot in too much detail would be to do a disservice. Through videos and news stories a dark and twisted tale of a young woman with skeletons in her closet unfolds. We wonder and we question everything throughout. Is Alice trying to tell her grieving family something? Is her ghost even real?

The film dives headlong into the dark, murky waters of hope and faith in the face of death and asks the question we have all asked of the universe when faced with tragedy: Is death really the end?


10. Odd Thomas (2006)

Odd Thomas

In closing we return to a film a little lighter in tome, however touched by the sadness of the recent passing of its lead Anton Yelchin. Odd Thomas is a supernatural thriller adapted form the novel of the same name by Dean Koontz, about a young man named Odd who can see ghosts.

Odd, played by Yelchin, uses his psychic gifts to do good: to save lives, and solve crimes. From time to time, however, he also sees another kind of supernatural entity: beings called bodachs, a dark species of the other realm that always seem to be around when something bad is about to happen, waiting to feed on fear and horror.

When Odd begins to see more bodachs gathering around town than he has ever seen before, it becomes apparent that something big and horrible is about to happen.

Odd Thomas is a solid and entertaining film that appeared almost as obscurely as a spectral face in the window of a haunted manor in an old photograph. It has since grown a modest but loving audience, and it deserves to be seen by more.

If more people flocked to the cinemas to see films like Odd Thomas, perhaps there would be less need for audience-dividing remakes to be forever in the works. We could be rallying behind new classics rather than complaining about the rehashing old old ones.

Author Bio: Benjamin Pahl Robinson is a film-maker based in Australia and Argentina. He works in both drama and documentary.