Horror Movies

Best Supernatural Horror Movies: A Guide to The Most Terrifying Supernatural Horror Films

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Welcome to the thrilling and chilling world of supernatural horror movies, a genre that has captivated audiences for decades with its spine-tingling stories and eerie atmospheres. What exactly makes a movie fall into the category of “supernatural horror”? It’s more than just making you jump out of your seat. Supernatural horror films often involve elements beyond the realm of the natural world – think ghosts, demons, witches, and other entities that defy explanation.

The appeal of these films lies in their ability to unnerve us, to present a reality where the impossible becomes possible, and to immerse us in a world where the rules of nature no longer apply. From the classic terror of “The Exorcist” to the modern dread of “Hereditary,” supernatural horror movies have evolved over the years, yet their core aim remains the same: to horrify and unsettle viewers through a masterful blend of storytelling, special effects, and an eerie atmosphere.

In this guide, we delve into the best supernatural horror movies of all time, exploring the classics that set the standard, the modern masterpieces redefining the genre, and everything in between. Whether you’re a die-hard fan of the genre or a newcomer ready to explore the supernatural world, this list promises to offer something that will haunt your dreams and keep you coming back for more. Let’s embark on a journey through the dark corridors of the supernatural horror genre, where each film is a doorway into a realm of unspeakable terror.

The Exorcist
Amazon Prime
Rosemary's Baby
Amazon Prime
The Conjuring
Amazon Prime
Amazon Prime
The Evil Dead
Amazon Prime
It Follows
Amazon Prime
Paranormal Activity
Amazon Prime
A Nightmare on Elm Street
Amazon Prime
Amazon Prime

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways:

The Classics of Supernatural Horror

The Exorcist (1973)

When discussing the best supernatural horror movies ever made, “The Exorcist” stands as a monumental pillar in the horror genre. Its impact and legacy are unparalleled, resonating with audiences since its release. This film introduced the world to the harrowing tale of a young girl possessed by a demonic entity, a narrative that not only terrified but also delved deep into the struggle between faith and doubt. Its key supernatural elements, including the infamous head-spinning scene and the eerie voice of Linda Blair, set a new standard for horror cinema, creating a sense of dread that has haunted viewers for generations. “The Exorcist” is not just a movie; it’s an experience that epitomizes the essence of supernatural horror.

Rosemary's Baby (1968)

Rosemary’s Baby,” a seminal work in the supernatural horror genre, presents a chilling story of paranoia and the occult. The plot follows Rosemary, who, surrounded by peculiar neighbors and unsettling occurrences, suspects a sinister plot against her unborn child. The movie’s supernatural aspects are nuanced, with a growing sense of unease rather than overt horror, making it one of the scariest movies ever made in a subtler, more psychological way. Its influence on the horror genre cannot be overstated, setting a precedent for films that conjure terror through atmosphere and implication, rather than explicit horror.

Modern Masterpieces in Supernatural Horror

The Conjuring Series (2013 - 2021)

The Conjuring” series, a more recent addition to the best supernatural horror films, offers a fresh take on the supernatural horror genre. Each film in the series skillfully intertwines supernatural themes with chilling storylines, all the more unnerving because they are based on the real-life investigations of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. These films blend traditional horror elements with a modern sensibility, creating a balance of horror and suspense that has captivated a new generation of horror fans. The series has not only been a box office success but has also spawned a successful universe of sequels and spin-offs, a testament to its impact on modern horror cinema.

Hereditary (2018)

Hereditary” stands as a tour de force in the supernatural horror genre, widely regarded as one of the best horror movies of the 2010s. This film takes a profoundly unsettling look at grief and family trauma, interwoven with supernatural elements that unnerve and horrify in equal measure. The film’s approach to supernatural horror is deeply psychological, eschewing jump scares for a slow-building dread that culminates in a shocking, harrowing finale. Its reception was marked by critical acclaim and audience awe, solidifying it as a modern classic and a pivotal film in the supernatural horror canon. “Hereditary” is a testament to how horror isn’t just about fright – it’s about creating a lingering, deeply felt sense of unease that stays with the viewer long after the movie ends.

Cult Favorites and Underground Gems

The Evil Dead (1981)

When you talk about cult classics in the supernatural horror genre, “The Evil Dead” undoubtedly takes a top spot. This film, with its unique blend of horror and dark comedy, redefined what a horror movie could be. It’s a wild ride that combines chilling scares with a sense of humor that somehow amplifies the dread. The movie follows a group of friends who unwittingly unleash a supernatural entity at a remote cabin, leading to a series of terrifying and sometimes comically grotesque events. Its status as a cult classic is well-deserved, as it stands out for its inventive take on the supernatural horror genre, making it easily one of the best in its category.

It Follows (2014)

It Follows” is a shining example of how a simple concept, executed innovatively, can breathe new life into the horror genre. The movie’s innovative concept – a supernatural entity after a sexual encounter that relentlessly pursues its victim – captured the imagination of horror enthusiasts and critics alike. Its execution, marked by an eerie soundtrack and a constant sense of dread, makes it one of the scariest and most unique films in recent years. “It Follows” has had a significant impact on modern horror trends, proving that originality and a fresh take on the supernatural can leave a lasting impression on both audiences and the horror cinema landscape.

Supernatural Horror in the New Millennium

Paranormal Activity (2007)

Paranormal Activity” took the supernatural horror genre by storm, redefining the found-footage style with its minimalist approach and maximum impact. The film’s depiction of a couple tormented by a supernatural presence, captured through home video footage, created a deeply unsettling atmosphere that resonated with audiences worldwide. Its effectiveness lies in its ability to conjure horror from the simplest of settings, turning the familiar into something utterly terrifying. This movie not only spawned a successful franchise but also influenced a wave of similar films, making it a standout example of how less can be more in creating dread and suspense.

Sinister (2012)

Sinister” stands as a compelling and deeply unsettling addition to the best supernatural horror films. The plot follows a true-crime writer who discovers a series of disturbing home movies that plunge his family into a nightmarish experience. This film skillfully combines supernatural scares with a gripping narrative, creating a sense of dread that lingers long after the film ends. Its use of chilling imagery and a haunting soundtrack contribute to an atmosphere that unnerves and horrifies. The audience and critical reaction to “Sinister” was overwhelmingly positive, solidifying its place as a modern horror classic and a testament to the enduring appeal of the supernatural horror genre.

Ongoing Series and Haunted Houses

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

A Nightmare on Elm Street” remains a towering figure in the world of supernatural horror movies. This series, ever-evolving since its inception, brought a fresh, terrifying twist to the horror genre with the introduction of Freddy Krueger, a sinister figure who haunts the dreams of teenagers. What sets Krueger apart as a supernatural entity is his ability to blur the lines between dreams and reality, turning sleep into a battleground. The series’ enduring appeal lies in its innovative concept, where the usual tropes of horror are twisted into something uniquely unsettling. Freddy’s character evolved over the series, from a nightmarish tormentor to a darkly comic villain, reflecting the series’ ability to adapt and remain relevant in the ever-changing landscape of horror cinema.

Poltergeist (1982)

Poltergeist,” directed by Tobe Hooper and produced by Steven Spielberg and Frank Marshall, revolutionized haunted house stories in the supernatural horror genre. The film’s impact lies in its blend of supernatural horror with family drama, making the terror all the more personal and relatable. It explores themes of loss and the unknown, as a family grapples with malevolent forces that have invaded their home. The special effects and the portrayal of the poltergeist phenomena were groundbreaking at the time, creating some of the most iconic and scariest scenes in horror movie history. “Poltergeist” remains a seminal work, influencing countless films and setting a high standard for how a supernatural story can be both deeply unsettling and emotionally compelling.

Best Supernatural Horror Movies of the 2010s

Movie Year Overview
The Witch 2015 Set in 1630s New England, a family is torn apart by the forces of witchcraft, black magic, and possession.
Suspiria 2018 A darkness swirls at the center of a world-renowned dance company, engulfing the artistic director, an ambitious young dancer, and a grieving psychotherapist.
Insidious 2010 A family looks to prevent evil spirits from trapping their comatose child in a realm called The Further.
The Babadook 2014 A single mother, plagued by the violent death of her husband, battles with her son's fear of a monster lurking in the house, but soon discovers a sinister presence all around her.
The Endless 2017 Two brothers return to the cult they fled from years ago to discover that the group's beliefs may be more sane than they once thought.


The enduring appeal of supernatural horror movies lies in their ability to tap into our deepest fears and fascinations with the unknown. From the demonic possession in “The Exorcist” to the eerie hauntings of “Poltergeist,” these films offer a diverse range of horrors, ensuring there’s something to unnerve every kind of horror fan. As we look back on the classics and modern hits, it’s clear that the supernatural horror genre continues to thrive, evolve, and terrify. Whether you prefer the psychological dread of “Hereditary” or the nightmarish scares of “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” the supernatural horror genre promises to deliver unforgettable experiences that linger long after the film has ended.

FAQ: Common Questions and Answers

For sheer terror, “The Exorcist,” with its chilling portrayal of demonic possession, and “Hereditary,” known for its psychological dread and unsettling atmosphere, top the list. “A Nightmare on Elm Street” is also a classic, blending dreamscapes with horror in a truly nightmarish way.
If you’re looking for supernatural with less fright, “The Others” offers a gothic tale with suspenseful twists, while “Crimson Peak” combines romance with ghostly elements. “The Sixth Sense” is also a great choice for its intriguing storyline and supernatural intrigue without excessive scares.
The Conjuring” series, based on real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, brings true stories to the screen with a chilling effect. “The Amityville Horror,” inspired by alleged hauntings in a New York home, is another film rooted in purported real events.
For underrated picks, “The Witch” offers a deeply atmospheric take on New England folklore, while “The Orphanage” provides a haunting story filled with suspense and emotional depth.
For recent standout films in the supernatural horror genre, “The Witch” is a must-watch for its eerie depiction of 17th-century New England witchcraft. “The Endless” offers a unique and mind-bending take on cults and unexplainable phenomena. “Suspiria“, a remake of the classic, provides a visually stunning and haunting experience with its blend of witchcraft and dance.
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