20 horror movies about scary houses and mansions

People have always loved horror stories, and now the people domesticated due to the pandemic are especially lacking in strong impressions. Their true source is fright and fear, such is human nature. What to do if loved ones no longer frighten, and it is still impossible to walk through abandoned and mystical buildings? The best horror films about houses, castles and mansions with secrets from our selection will help you survive the thrill without getting up from the couch.

The spell. House 32 (2020)

It is believed that the best horror films about moving a family to a new home can only be made by American directors. Their Spanish colleague Albert Pinto decided to turn his attention from the horror of Amityville to the nightmare in Madrid. The couple, having sold the farm, together with their children and grandfather move to an apartment at 32 Malasaña Street. From the previous owners, they got not only old furniture, but also something frightening. Only by realizing what the creature needs will it be possible to restore peace.

What do you think, is it worth filming a sequel, and what should be in it?

Original title:
Malasana 32

Genre:
Horror

Actors:
Begoña Vargas, Ivan Marcos, Bea Segura…

Country:
Spain

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 5.5, IMDb – 5.5

Age restrictions:
18+


You Should Have Left (2020)

A mystical thriller about a designer cottage that literally turns the secrets of its inhabitants inside out, based on the book of the same name by Daniel Kelman. Aging banker Theo Conroy and his young wife Suzanne travel to Wales to try and save their marriage for their six-year-old daughter. But in the mansion lives an entity that knows all the dirty secrets of Theo. How will the vacation end?

Original title:
You Should Have Left

Genre:
Thriller, horror

Actors:
Kevin Bacon, Amanda Seyfried, Avery Thieu Essex…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 5.5, IMDb – 5.4

Age restrictions:
16+


I hear voices (2020)

The list of films about old houses with secrets continues with the novelty of European cinema – a horror film that managed to be released in 2020 in Spain. The plot is a horror classic: Daniel, his wife and 8-year-old son move into a huge old mansion. Then a tragedy occurs that changes their entire lives. The horror movie is interesting for the intrigue created by long, even drawn-out scenes. And also the mysterious death of a boy and a whole series of terrible events accompanied by terrible music.

Original title:
Voces

Genre:
Horror

Actors:
Rodolfo Sancho, Ana Fernandez, Ramon Barea…

Country:
Spain

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 5.9, IMDb – 6.1

Age restrictions:
18+


Winchester: The House the Ghost Built (2018)

A rather scary horror film based on real events tells about a house with 160 rooms, where, according to legend, there were ghosts of people killed with a Winchester rifle. The plot sends viewers to the beginning of the 20th century. Sarah Winchester inherited a gun company and a huge building in California. On her orders, the mansion is constantly being rebuilt, which makes the already complex architecture even more intricate. And all this for the sake of salvation from ghosts.

Original title:
Winchester: The House that Ghosts Built

Genre:
Horror, fantasy, detective

Actors:
Helen Mirren, Sarah Snook, Finn Skikluna-O’Prey…

Country:
Australia, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 5.7, IMDb – 5.5

Age restrictions:
16 +


Crimson Peak (2015)

Edith, the daughter of businessman Carter Cushing, meets the mysterious English baronet Sir Thomas Sharpe. Neither the mother’s ghost warning, nor the father’s protest and his unexpected death keep Edith from leaving for England with her chosen one. There, the girl is waiting for the old Allerdays mansion, the walls of which are painted in the color of blood, and a huge number of family secrets.

Original title:
Crimson Peak

Genre:
Horror, fantasy, thriller, drama, melodrama, detective

Actors:
Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston…

Country:
Canada, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.6, IMDb – 6.5

Age restrictions:
18+


Out of the Dark (2014)

From films with mysticism about houses and ghosts, this horror film stands out in that it became the first English-language product of the Colombian company Dynamo. Dr. Contreras leaves his estate in Santa Clara, Colombia under strange circumstances. Twenty years later, his daughter Sarah, son-in-law Paul and granddaughter Hannah return to take over the company. After moving into the mansion, the new settlers begin to have troubles. Will they be able to deal with the ghosts of the past?

Original title:
Out of the Dark

Genre:
Horror, thriller

Actors:
Julia Stiles, Scott Speedman, Stephen Rea …

Country:
USA, UAE, Colombia, Spain

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 5.2, IMDb – 4.8

Age restrictions:
18+


House at the end of time (2013)

This horror film about old houses with secrets is the highest rated horror film in Venezuelan cinema. In 1981, Dulce, accused of killing her husband, goes to prison . After a long 30 years, she is released, but with the condition to serve the rest of her term in the very estate where the tragedy occurred, and the ghosts of the past live. Inspired by the local priest’s belief in her innocence, Dulce begins her fight.

Original title:
La casa del fin de los tiempos

Genre:
Horror, fantasy, thriller, drama, detective

Actors:
Ruddy Rodriguez, Miguel Angel Pacheco, Rosmel Bustamante…

Country:
Venezuela

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.4, IMDb – 6.8

Age restrictions:
18+


Spell (dilogue, 2013 and 2016)

The dilogy is based on real events from the practice of American paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. The first horror movie tells about the events that took place on a secluded farm, where the Warrens fought with a powerful entity. And the second part takes the viewer to the suburbs of London – here they have to help a single mother and her children who are faced with otherworldly forces.

Original title:
The Conjuring

Genre:
Horror, detective

Actors:
Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Ron Livingston…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.4, IMDb – 7.5

Age restrictions:
16+


Oculus (2013)

This haunted house horror film is based on another horror short by the same director. A young man named Tim leaves the walls of the medical institution, where he spent more than one year after the murder of his own father. He is met by the grown-up sister Kaylee, who did not waste time in vain, and was able to find evidence that the entity from the old mirror pushed her brother to the crime. Tim and Kaylie return home, where they are waiting for a lot of terrible discoveries.

Original title:
Oculus

Genre:
Horror, thriller

Actors:
Karen Gillan, Brenton Thwaites, Katee Sackhoff…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.4, IMDb – 6.5

Age restrictions:
16+


Sinister (dilogue, 2012 and 2015)

This horror was recognized by British scientists as the scariest film about houses – when watching a horror movie, the pulse jumps to 86 beats per minute. In the first part, Alisson Oswalt, author of detective stories , moves with his family to a small town, settling where the previous owners died just a year ago. And the ghosts of the past will not leave new tenants so easily.

In the second part, the sheriff, investigating the death of Alison Oswalt’s friend, gets to the farm where Courtney lives, her children Zach and Dylan. Do they know that their neighbor is the demon Bagul?

Original title:
Sinister

Genre:
Horror, thriller, detective

Actors:
Ethan Hawke, Juliet Rylance, Fred Dalton Thompson …

Country:
USA, UK

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.6, IMDb – 6.8

Age restrictions:
18+


House of Dreams (2011)

Jim Sheridan presents a horror film about a family that has moved into a new house. Respectable publisher Will Atenton wants to create a dream home surrounded by loving loved ones. After several frightening mysterious events, Will learns that a crime has been committed within these walls, and the killer is walking free. A psychological thriller about provincial mysteries with a few twists.

Original title:
Dream House

Genre:
Thriller, drama, detective

Actors:
Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz, Naomi Watts…

Country:
USA, Canada

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.9, IMDb – 6.0

Age restrictions:
16+


Astral (2010)

Another horror movie about a family that moved to a new place. Josh and Renee are happy with their children, but soon they notice strange things – objects move inexplicably, and strange sounds are heard in the children’s room. The family is horrified when their eldest son, Dalton, falls into a coma. Parents take care of their son, but doctors do not give explanations. Rene turns to the experts for help paranormal . From them, the family learns that the boy is connected with the other world. Gripping horror with an unpredictable ending.

Original title:
Insidious

Genre:
Horror, thriller

Actors:
Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Ty Simpkins…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.8, IMDb – 6.8

Age restrictions:
16+


Ghosts in Connecticut (2009)

A mother with two teenage sons moves to Connecticut, closer to a hospital where one of her sons, Matt, is being treated for cancer. They accidentally learn that this is a manor with a terrible history – there used to be a mortuary here. When moving, Matt chooses a room in the basement where he has his first visions. The family turns to the priest, but mysterious and frightening events are gaining momentum. Matt not only sees ghosts, but also begins to behave strangely.

Original title:
The Haunting in Connecticut

Genre:
Horror, thriller, drama, detective

Actors:
Kyle Gallner, Virginia Madsen, Amanda Crew …

Country:
USA, Canada

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.7, IMDb – 5.9

Age restrictions:
16+


Paranormal activity (film series, 2007 – 2015)

A young American couple is faced with unexplained phenomena that occur exclusively at night. Suspecting that an evil spirit is near them, they set up a video camera to try and tape the evidence. Revising the records, young people notice a paranormal phenomenon, and from that moment the worst begins.

Original title:
Paranormal Activity

Genre:
Horror, thriller, detective

Actors:
Cathy Featherston, Micah Slot, Mark Fredericks…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.6, IMDb – 6.3

Age Limits :
16+


Key to all doors (2005)

A German-American mystical thriller that completes the list of the best horror films about houses with a creepy story. 25-year-old Caroline takes a job as a nurse for an elderly disabled person, Ben, the owner of a huge mansion. His wife gives the girl a universal key to all doors. One day, Caroline finds a mysterious door to the attic, where she discovers a lot of frightening things. The hostess explains that these are the things of the former owners who were engaged in black magic . But soon the girl becomes a witness to strange events and decides to figure out what is happening.

Original title:
The Skeleton Key

Genre:
Horror, thriller, drama, detective

Actors:
Kate Hudson, Gena Rowlands, John Hurt …

Country:
USA, Germany

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.4, IMDb – 6.5

Age restrictions:
16+


Dark Forces (2005)

A harsh classic horror movie about secluded housing built far from civilization. Adele and her daughter come from New York to her husband in Wales to reunite the family. While walking, the girl falls into the water and disappears. Adele, who is trying to find her daughter, is haunted by sounds and visions. She soon learns that their cliff dwelling has a bloody past.

Original title:
The Dark

Genre:
Horror, fantasy, thriller, drama, detective

Actors:
Maria Bello, Sean Bean, Maurice Roevs…

Country:
UK, USA, Germany

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.1, IMDb – 5.4

Age restrictions:
16+


The Amityville Horror (2005)

American thriller directed by Andrew Douglas is a remake of the 1979 film of the same name based on a true story. This is the story of a young family who moved into a new house bought for a small price. It turns out that a murder was committed here – a young guy shot his family and claimed that he was ordered to do this by voices. But soon they begin to notice strange things, and horror again captures Amityville.

Original title:
The Amityville Horror

Genre:
Horror

Actors:
Ryan Reynolds, Melissa George, Jesse James…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.7, IMDb – 6.0

Age limit:
16+


Others (2001)

Mystery film starring Nicole Kidman, winning numerous awards, including a Golden Globe for Best Actress. The story follows Grace hiding her children in an old mansion during the war . Children have a rare disease – they can not be under direct rays of daylight. She hires servants and explains the rules to them: the rooms must be in twilight, and you cannot open the door until the previous one is locked. But otherworldly forces intervene in the life thought out by the mother. An exciting plot with an unexpected ending, as well as positive feedback from the audience – the best recommendation for viewing.

Original title:
The Others

Genre:
Horror, thriller, detective

Cast:
Nicole Kidman, Finola Flanagan, Christopher Eccleston

Country:
USA, Spain, France, Italy

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.9, IMDb – 7.6

Age restrictions:
16+


Night Haunted House (1999)

An American horror film about a house with a macabre past where a group of strangers find themselves in a celebration for the birth of Annabelle, the wife of millionaire Stephen Price. Many years ago, a maniac psychiatrist performed terrible experiments on patients here. How all these people ended up on the guest list is unknown. Price does not lose heart and invites guests to play a game – each “surviving” until the morning will receive a check for a large amount. But the abandoned clinic has prepared its own game for the guests…

Original title:
House on Haunted Hill

Genre:
Horror, fantasy, thriller, crime, detective

Actors:
Geoffrey Rush, Famke Janssen, Tay Diggs…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.6, IMDb – 5.7

Age restrictions:
16+


The Haunting of Hill House (1999)

A country mansion on a hill has been empty for many years due to terrible legends and is considered a cursed place. Dr. Murrow chooses him to conduct his experiment on insomnia. A group of four young people will have to spend several days in the building under supervision. But no one guesses what nightmares they will all have to face here. The old classic horror is worth a look for fans of the gothic atmosphere and special effects.

Original title:
The Haunting

Genre:
Horror, fantasy, thriller, detective

Actors:
Liam Neeson, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Owen Wilson…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.2, IMDb – 5.0

Age restrictions:
16+


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Jared Lambert/ author of the article

I’ve been writing about movies, TV shows and anime for over 3 years, and you may have seen my reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.

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