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‘Paranormal Activity 3’ and the Scariest Ghost Scenes in Movies

Audiences are expected to be massive for ‘Paranormal Activity 3’ this weekend, and if the film does its job, they’ll potentially need to rush home soon afterward to change underwear. That’s because fans of ghost stories have one easy-to-follow request: “give us a good scare!” While viewers wait for ‘Paranormal Activity 3’ to deliver on that promise, you can rattle your nerves right now with a look at some of the most memorable paranormal scenes in movie history. Warning: not for the faint of heart!

‘The Haunting’ (1963)
This British thriller — set inside the dark and ominous Hill House — has freaked audiences out for almost 50 years thanks to its “less is more” approach. Pitch-black shadows that creep over the room and eerie moans that reverberate through the walls reach a spine-tingling crescendo for poor Nell in this memorable scene.

‘The Amityville Horror’ (1979)
The supposedly true story of a family terrorized by evil spirits in their new home, where a series of grisly murders took place years before, features plenty of iconic scares (the flies, the eyes in the window, “Get out!”). But the most iconic — and gruesome — moment of the film belongs to this bloody paint job.

‘The Shining’ (1980)
Over the course of two-and-a-half hours, Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece completely disarms the audience with unsettling imagery — and this interaction between little Danny and the ghostly twins kicks the movie into terrifying overdrive.

‘Poltergeist’ (1982)
If you thought moving into a nice, new suburban neighborhood would keep you safe, think again. This ghost story by way of Steven Spielberg (who produced) features incredible special effects, but all it needs is one little stuffed clown doll to haunt people’s memories for thirty years.

‘The Sixth Sense’ (1999)
The Oscar-nominated sensation took pop culture by storm thanks to Haley Joel Osment’s prodigious lead performance and a genuinely shocking twist ending; what makes this moment stand out is a simple “Boo!” Click Osment’s face to watch the clip

‘The Others’ (2001)
Nicole Kidman stars in this post-World War II thriller as a widowed mother trying to raise two sickly children… oh, and also investigate the mysterious sounds heard in the middle of the night. The film’s success owed a lot to the ad campaign which capitalized on this skin-crawling moment.

‘The Orphanage’ (2007)
The Spanish-language film — about a woman on the search for her missing adopted son — became an international hit because no matter what language you speak, we can all agree that a group of stone-faced, silent children are terrifying.

‘Paranormal Activity’ (2009)
The film that started the phenomenon took the classic haunted house formula and stripped it bare with an innovative home-video approach. The movie’s final moments however pack the biggest punch.[SPOILER ALERT]

[Top Photo: Everett Collection]

Check out these 31 ghost-filled classics for the 31 days of October.

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