Many of of the scariest and most memorable ghosts in Hollywood history have been female. Ghosts like the terrifying woman from Room 237 in 'The Shining' or Samara from 'The Ring' have been the stuff of nightmares. With one iconic female spirit returning in 'The Woman in Black 2,' we're looking back at our favorite female ghosts of all time.
Carmel in 'The Uninvited' (1944)
When it comes to horror films about people who buy a house and discover it to be haunted by a spectral presence, this classic set the gold standard. Carmel was a ghost who tormented the brother and sister who moved into her old house, at least until they discovered her tragic secret.
The Woman in Room 237 – 'The Shining' (1980)
All the adults spent the first half of this film warning young Danny Torrance not to venture into Room 237. And when he did, he was greeted by a terrifying old woman in a bathtub who left a mark on the poor kid (and our fragile psyche).
The Librarian – 'Ghostbusters' (1984)
The Ghostbusters franchise may be comedic, but that doesn't mean the ghosts can't deliver a good scare or two. The very first ghost to appear in the original film was a quiet librarian who responded to our heroes' meddling with a stern “Shhh!” and a grotesque transformation.
Large Marge in “Pee-Wee's Big Adventure' (1985)
This movie conformed every fear we've ever had about hitchhiking. Our intrepid hero thought he had found a ride, only to be greeted by Large Marge – a morose, ghostly trucker with a terrifying transformation. The fact that this brief scene of horror occurred in a largely comedic movie made it all the more effective.
Madison in 'What Lies Beneath' (2000)
Ghosts rarely haunt people in horror movies without a reason, as the married couple in What Lies Beneath Learned. It turned out that the unseen ghost of Madison Elizabeth Frank wanted revenge against her murderer, and she wasn't afraid to take the form of Michelle Pfeifer's heroine along the way.
Samara in 'The Ring' (2002)
No one in this movie seemed to take the warning about not watching a deadly video tape very seriously. They all regretted it once the ghostly killer Samara emerged from her watery grave and through the TV screen to claim another victim.
Matilda Dixon in 'Darkness Falls' (2003)
We have to think the residents of Darkness Falls were asking for trouble when they picked their town's name. Like Bane in 'The Dark Knight Rises,' this movie's ghost was born in darkness, molded by it, and uses it as a weapon in her endless quest for revenge against a town that wronged her in life.
Natre in 'Shutter' (2004)
Skip the American remake and seek out the original Thai film about a woman who haunts a couple after they accidentally run her over in their car. Natre first makes her presence known via photographs before taking a more active role in tormenting her killers.
Kayako in 'The Grudge' (2004)
This American remake adapted the creepy vibe of the original but added in a dash of 'The Ring' when it came to portraying the ghostly Kayako. The Grudge proved that the worst ghosts are those who are born from terrible rage and suffering.
Jennet in 'The Woman in Black' (2012)
The only thing worse than sharing a house with a vengeful ghost is when you're trapped In said house thanks to high tidewaters. That was the predicament Daniel Radcliffe's character found himself in as he investigated the tragic history of Eel Marsh House and its previous inhabitants.
Bathsheba in 'The Conjuring' (2013)
This film paid homage to classic haunted house flicks like 'The Amityville Horror' and 'Poltergeist' as it revisited the familiar formula of a happy family moving to a new home and finding only misery and terror. In this case, the ghosts were a group of devil-worshiping, child-sacrificing witches who refused to let death halt their reign of terror.