Few things in the movies are as iconic as the giant, isolated, haunted house. Rattling doorknobs, screams down the hall and things that go bump in the night can be found in the most unlikely neighborhoods, as vividly depicted in Haunter, which arrives on home video this week. Let's take a look back at some famously possessed pads.
By Stacie Hougland
The Amityville Horror (1979)
Arguably Hollywood's most famous--if controversial for its true-story truthfulness--haunted house, this Dutch Colonial charmer boasted a gambrel roof, dormer windows and demonic paranormal activity to boot, all for the real-life bargain price of $80K.
House on Haunted Hill (1959)
King of all B-movies Vincent Price starred as the psychotic--er, eccentric--millionaire who shuttles in five guests for an overnight party in hearses, warning them "they may need them later." Boo!
Who would imagine that inside this very Brady- looking house in a sleepy So Cal neighborhood, such a horrific scene would be taking place? L.A. natives know going to the Valley really is like entering another dimension, where evil spirits can't hold a candle to bad '70s architecture.
A writer moves into his suicidally successful aunt's house and is immediately distressed by strange noises, horrible apparitions, and bloodthirsty garden tools. Where lies the gateway to the netherworld these spirits are entering through? The medicine cabinet, natch.
The Innocents (1961)
The Bly House in this British classic hides many secrets from the new governess (Deborah Kerr - find her in this pic!), not the least of which is that two servants' ghosts possess the bodies of her new charges.
The Others (2001)
Like The Innocents, The Others borrowed from Henry James' The Turn of the Screw. Here Nicole Kidman stars as the kids' mother, with a twisty, shocking ending that's as disturbing as it is scary.
The Orphanage (2007)
Nannies, mommies...orphans. What's scarier than a houseful of rowdy, parentless tots housed in a creepy seaside village orphanage? A houseful of dead ones, that's what.
Session 9 (2001)
This movie wasn't scary as much because it starred David Caruso as it was for being set in a real-life, old-timey looney bin. The Danvers State Insane Asylum (aka The State Lunatic Hospital at Danvers - !) was abandoned, then turned into condos where apparently nobody wanted to live, before finally being torn down in 2006.
The Uninvited (1944)
This supernatural spookfest starring Ray Milland was one of the first to portray house-haunting as a real, serious event, not for comedy a la Abbott & Costello's romps.
The Legend of Hell House (1973)
A trio of experts attempt to investigate and "de-ghost" the Belasco house from its debauched, deceased inhabitants. Roddy McDowell as a frail little medium is large-sized awesomeness.
The Changeling (1980)
A composer mourning the sudden loss of his wife and child finds solitude to write music in this remote mansion--that has plenty of space for the dearly and not so dearly departed to roam. George C. Scott and Trish Van Devere starred in this understated and chilling little gem.