In the genre of haunted house horror movies, there are only a special few that truly feel like our nightmares have been brought to life. These eerie dwellings give us goosebumps, sending shivers down our spines and making us double-check the locks on our doors at night. If you’re feeling brave enough, tag along for this chilling journey through the top 9 iconic haunted houses in horror movies.
1. Psycho House – Psycho (1960)
The Psycho House, sat ominously on a hill overlooking the Bates Motel, holds a special place of importance in the horror movie genre. It is considered the house of horrors that would go on to set the stage for many of the others on this list. The large mansion was designed after Edward Hopper’s painting titled “House by the Railroad,” giving it a unique look from other haunted houses in cinema at the time. Its creepy silhouette against the dark night sky makes it a classic embodiment of horror.
2. Amityville House – The Amityville Horror (1979)
The Amityville House became a symbol of terror based on the true crimes of a mass murderer. In 1974, Ronald DeFeo Jr. killed six members of his family at 112 Ocean Avenue, Amityville, located on the south shore of Long Island. The film, The Amityville Horror, follows the story of the Lutz family, who move into the same home in 1975. Left feeling absolutely terrified, the Lutz family fled after only 28 days, insisting that the house was haunted by combative paranormal forces. The Amityville house’s sinister-looking windows that resemble eyes and infamous red room have all become iconic pieces of haunted house movie lore.
3. The Overlook Hotel – The Shining (1980)
The Overlook Hotel serves as the backdrop for Stanley Kubrick’s psychological horror masterpiece, The Shining. Due to its gruesome past of suicides, gangland hits, and many suspicious changes of ownership, the haunted house has been given the nickname of “The Sadistic Demon.” Its secluded location, sat high in the Colorado Rockies, amplifies the feeling that the audience is trapped with no way out. The labyrinthine hallways and the Room 237 have left an undeniable mark on the horror movie genre.
4. The Freeling House – Poltergeist (1982)
The Freeling House in Poltergeist is full of vengeful spirits who are not shy about making their presence known. The hauntings get so bad that the Freeling family calls in a paranormal expert to cleanse the house. It is said to have been built on top of an ancient burial ground where only the headstones were moved but the bodies still remain. After filming wrapped, there’s rumored to be “Poltergeist curse” attached to the film series and its crew. Without a doubt, this horror movie has gone on to capture the sinister imagination of viewers for generations.
5. The Myers House – Halloween (1978)
Michael Myers is an iconic horror villain in his own right, but so is his childhood home featured in Halloween. Although a bit unassuming due to its bleak and outdated appearance, this haunted house has witnessed the unspeakable. Within these walls, Michael killed his parents and his sister, all while he was a child. It serves as a reminder that even the more ordinary homes can house sinister secrets. This horror movie masterpiece is a classic favorite among fans.
6. 261 Turner Lane – Scream (1996)
If you somehow haven’t watched Scream yet, you may want to skip this one to save yourself from some major spoilers. This haunted house is home to none other than Stu Macher, a charming yet manipulative teenage troublemaker. Many of the film’s peak moments occur here, such as the wild party where a majority of the horror movie’s characters are killed. The film hits its climax when it is revealed, in this home’s entryway, who the real Ghostface killer (or killers?) are.
7. The Perron Family Farmhouse – The Conjuring (2013)
Based on the real-life paranormal investigations of Ed and Lorraine Warren, The Conjuring takes us to the haunted Perron family farmhouse. The Perron family are said to have experienced increasingly disturbing events in their newly occupied farmhouse in Rhode Island in 1971. Visitors claim to hear spirit voices, footsteps, and see light orbs and apparitions all throughout the house. If you’re up for it, this is a real-life haunted house you can actually visit. The owners host a range of overnight investigation tours that are sure to make your blood curdle.
8. The Beetlejuice House – Beetlejuice (1998)
Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice follows an offbeat ghost story where two families face off with each other. The Maitlands family died in a horrible car accident, leaving their house vacant and allowing the Deetz family to move in. However, what the Deetz didn’t know is that the Maitlands still haunt their old residence in the afterlife. Many horror fanatics claim that this haunted house is the modernized version of the Psycho House, mentioned earlier, because of their many similarities in architecture and location.
9. 1428 Elm Street – A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
This list wouldn’t be complete without the infamous haunting grounds of Freddy Krueger, 1428 Elm Street House. In Wes Craven’s A Nightmare on Elm Street, this seemingly suburban home becomes a battleground between its residents and the spirit of Freddy. This home is extremely important to the franchise as it appears in some form in nearly all the films, as well as literature, comic books, toys, and music videos.
Leaving a Haunted Legacy
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