Halloween Haunts

As Halloween nears, I’ve decided to compile a list of some of my favourite creepy movies to watch during the season.  I’m not the biggest fan of the typical slasher/horror movie.  I tend to lean towards a good ghost story or psychological thriller, often a good murder mystery.  If you’ve never seen the movies on this list you should definitely check them out!

The Awakening (2011)

Set in 1921 England, The Awakening tells the story of Florence Cathcart as she sets forth to discredit supernatural phenomena.  An author of supernatural hoaxes, Cathcart is called upon by Robert Mallory, a teacher at a boys’ boarding school in Cumbria, to dispel rumours of ghosts at the school.  There have been reports of ghost sightings of a child that used to attend the school and may have been the cause of a recent death there.  Eventually agreeing to check things out, Cathcart travels to the school to try to figure out what is going on.  Throughout the movie, there are some really great scenes that will simply give you the chills.  As the movie continues, more truths are revealed until Cathcart finally figures out what has really happened.

The Secret of Crickley Hall (2012)

A three-part made for TV mini-series, The Secret of Crickley Hall follows two main storylines.  The first follows the Caleigh family—Gabe, Eve and their children, Loren, Cameron, and Cally— as they rent Crickley Hall after a tragic event that left the family in disarray.  The second storyline, set in 1943, follows the orphans who were sent to live in Crickley Hall after being evacuated during the war.

In present time, after the disappearance of Cameron Caleigh, Gabe suggests that the family relocate from London to the coast of England, in hopes of repairing their family.  While at Crickley Hall, however, events seem to make Eve unravel even further.  Desperate to believe that their son is still alive, Eve starts investigating the history of Crickley Hall, discovering that it used to be an orphanage back in 1943.  Strange events occur at Crickley Hall in the present that lead back to a death in the past.

Harper’s Island (2009)

Another television mini-series, Harper’s Island was 13 episodes of murder mystery goodness.  The series revolves around Abby Mills as she returns to Harper’s Island for her best friend’s wedding.  Seven years prior, a man named John Wakefield went on a killing spree, murdering countless people, including the local sheriff, Charlie Mills’ wife—Abby’s mother.  With family and friends flocking to the island for the wedding, the killings have started again.  With everyone at the wedding becoming a suspect, Abby and the other guests must work together to unlock the secrets of the island, and the Wakefield murders from the past.  At least one person is killed off in each episode, with each episode title named after the sound of the murder weapon from that episode.  With twists and turns in every episode, the suspense will have you on the edge of your seat trying to figure out who the killer is along the way.

The Woman in Black (2012)

Set in the late 1800s-early 1900s, The Woman in Black is a phenomenal ghost story starring Daniel Radcliffe as Arthur Kipps.  Kipps, a widowed lawyer and father, sets out to orchestrate the sale of Eel Marsh House, an estate far in the marshland, and to retrieve any documents from the owner, Alice Drablow.  The villagers in the town before the marshland seem unwelcoming upon Kipps’ arrival.  Kipps learns that many children in the town have suffered horrible deaths.  The townsfolk blame the woman haunting Eel Marsh—the Woman in Black. Kipps starts to investigate and learns more about the previous owners of Eel Marsh House, including letters sent between Alice and her sister Jennet.  Kipps’ discovers the truth about what happened at Eel Marsh and why the Woman in Black is forcing the children of the town to kill themselves.  Resolving to solve the case and get rid of the Woman in Black, Arthur Kipps believes that he has finally accomplished his task and sets off for his home.  Without spoiling the movie for those of you who haven’t seen it, I suggest you check out The Woman in Black to uncover the truth for yourself.

The Others (2001)

Set after World War II, The Others focuses on war widow Grace Stewart and her two young children living in a remote house in the country.  Suffering from photosensitivity (sensitivity to light), the children have many rules to keep them inside the house, away from light.  Strange things start to occur in the house.  Fearing the unknown ‘others’ in the house, Grace starts to lose her grip on reality.  This movie concludes with one of my favourite twists!

Red Rover/The Haunting Within (2003)

Red Rover, sometimes called The Haunting Within, tells the story of two siblings who inherit a piece of ancestral land on a small island, Sutton Island, off the coast of New Brunswick.  While on the isolated island, the siblings start to uncover ancient family secrets dealing with witchcraft and the occult.  Strange occurrences start happening on the island, ending in a deadly twist.

What Lies Beneath (2000)

What Lies Beneath tells the story of husband and wife, Norman and Claire Spencer.  Often left alone in the house while Norman is at work, Claire starts to hear and see suspicious things.  As strange things start happening, Claire starts to uncover a secret so deadly, it could cost her her life.  Things really aren’t as they seem.  Filled with jumpy moments and good old mystery, What Lies Beneath is a perfect thriller for the season.

The Sixth Sense (1999)

Child psychologist Dr. Malcolm Crowe starts seeing a new patient, Cole Sear, who sees ghosts.  Not believing Cole at first, Dr. Crowe debates dropping the case.  However, upon spending more time with Cole, Dr. Crowe starts to realize that this child has an extraordinary ability.  Throughout the film there are countless moments that will have you jumping out of your seat.  This film is another that has a crazy twist at the end.

Secret Window (2004)

Suffering from depression and writer’s block, author Mort Rainey retreats to his cabin on a lake to try and get some writing done.  While at his cabin, Mort is confronted by a man named John Shooter for plagiarizing one of his stories, “Sowing Season”.  The story is incredibly similar to his own story, “Secret Window”, all except for the ending.  As the film goes on, more twists and turns occur, creating a bigger mystery.  Who is John Shooter?  Why is he doing these awful things to Mort?  And most importantly, what is the right ending?  You’ll just have to watch Secret Window to find out!

Cold Creek Manor (2003)

Cooper and Leah Tilson decide to move their family from the city to an old, decaying mansion in the country.  The mansion is still full of the previous family’s possessions as they disappeared years earlier.  When the previous owner Dale Massie mysteriously shows up in their house one day, he pressures Cooper into letting him help with renovations as he needs help finding a job because he was just released from prison.  When bad things start happening, Cooper believes that Dale is the cause.  All of the awful events lead up to the crazy final few scenes.  Who lives?  Who dies?  Who was the crazy killer all along?  You’ll only find out if you watch Cold Creek Manor.

Let me know what you think of these movies or if you have any suggestions you think I should check out!! Happy Halloween!

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