Top 10 Creepiest Ghost Characters of All Time

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Top 10 Creepiest Ghost Characters of All Time

VOICE OVER: Peter DeGiglio WRITTEN BY: Sarah Osman
These ghosts and ghouls are downright terrifying! For this list, we'll be looking at the creepiest spirits from film, TV, video games, and more! Our countdown includes “Insidious” franchise, “The Haunting of Hill House”, “The Ring” franchise, and more!
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Top 10 Scariest/Creepiest Ghost Characters of All Time


Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Scariest Ghost Characters of All Time!

For this list, we’ll be looking at the creepiest spirits from film, TV, video games, and more! We’re excluding demonic entities and dark gods that aren’t really “ghosts”. Since we’ll be discussing some key plot points, this is your spoiler alert!

Did we forget to include one of your favorite sinister spirits? Let us know in the comments!

#10: The Bride in Black

“Insidious” franchise (2010-)
Parker Crane is a serial killer and evil spirit rolled into one. In life, Crane endured psychological abuse from his mother, leading to a complex identity. As an adult he became a serial killer called the Bride in Black. He eventually ended his own life, but continues his reign of terror in the “Insidious” films as an evil spirit hellbent on possessing Josh Lambert. Perhaps the creepiest thing about him is his chilling grin. This is a ghost who seems to relish the fear he invokes in his victims.


#9: Alma Wade

“F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin” (2009)
Whether she appears as an eight year old girl, or an emaciated young woman, Alma Wade is bad news. In all fairness, Alma’s thirst for revenge is understandable: born with psychic abilities, she was subjected to a series of terrifying experiments. Her wrath and psychic powers make her a fierce foe, but it’s her soft laugh and ability to shapeshift that will send shivers down your spine. If you start experiencing hallucinations, keep your wits about you because Alma may be nearby. It’s no wonder that she’s been voted as one of the greatest video game villains.


#8: Bathsheba

“The Conjuring” (2013)
Even though the housing market is a mess, make sure that a prospective new home isn’t haunted by a malevolent witch. After moving into a farmhouse on Rhode Island, the Perrons learn that the house’s previous resident has declined to relocate. When she was alive, Bathsehba offered up her infant to the devil and then took her own life. Since her death, the home has been plagued by unfortunate incidents. Bathsheba possesses poor Carolyn Perron, and teams up with the demon-possessed doll Annabelle to wreak further havoc. They really should have looked the house up on Zillow before moving in..


#7: Sachiko Shinozaki

“Corpse Party: Tortured Souls” (2013)
Considered one of the most gruesome animes ever made, “Corpse Party: Tortured Souls” also features one of the most terrifying ghouls. Known as the girl in the red dress, Sachiko Shionzaki doesn’t just kill her victims. She loves playing with them first. Sachiko didn’t have a happy life. One of her teachers tried to assault her, and while trying to escape him, she fell off the roof. In order to enact her revenge, she created an alternate version of her school and began to kidnap children to “play with”. This is one game we’d rather sit on the sidelines for.


#6: The Bent-Neck Lady

“The Haunting of Hill House” (2018)
There are quite a few ghosts running around Hill House, but one of the most disturbing is the Bent-Neck Lady. Whenever she appears in front of little Nell, the poor girl is paralyzed by the ghost’s deteriorating face. Adult Nell returns to Hill House to face her fears, only to discover that SHE is the Bent-Neck lady. While the idea of being haunted by yourself is horrifying, Nell isn’t an evil ghost. She actually brings her siblings together to confront their trauma, proving that one shouldn’t judge a ghost by its cover - even if that cover is incredibly creepy.

#5: The Woman in Black

“The Woman in Black” (2012)
If horror movies have taught us one thing, it’s that if there is a Gothic house the townspeople are afraid of, do not go into that house! Arthur Kipps learns this lesson when he goes to investigate Eel Marsh House, which, come on, based on that name alone, is obviously haunted. He discovers the ghost of Jennet Humfrye, who has taken vengeance on the town’s children due to the death of her own son. Jennet is malicious, goading several little girls into committing terrible acts against themselves. We’ll pass on a trip to that village.


#4: Kayako Saeki

“Ju-On” franchise (2000-)
It’s not entirely Kayako’s fault that she’s so darn scary. After being viciously murdered by her jealous husband, she became an onryo, a vengeful spirit who returns from beyond the grave to exact revenge. In a rare case for adaptations, Kayako is terrifying in both “Ju-On” and its American remake “The Grudge.” Due to her violent death, Kayako doesn’t move the way ordinary humans or even ghosts do. Her unnatural way of moving about, especially when crawling up and down stairs, is pure nightmare fuel.


#3: The Headless Horseman

Various
While Washington Irving’s short story, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” made the headless horseman famous, the character actually dates back to Dutch, Irish, and Norse mythology. Regardless of his initial origin, the headless horseman is one vicious ghost. He chases down Ichabod Crane and eventually knocks him off his horse. The headless horseman has appeared in multiple films and shows, but one of his most frightening depictions was in Disney’s take on the classic legend. The studio behind Mickey Mouse showed the rider shrieking with glee as he pursues Ichabod and throws his flaming head at him. That’s a little dark, Disney.


#2: Sadako Yamamura / Samara Morgan

“The Ring” franchise (1998-)
Another onryō, Sadako - or Samara in the American version - is a harrowing spirit who’ll make your blood curdle. As a child, she ends up trapped at the bottom of a well, and as a ghost seeks revenge through a cursed videotape. Her powers are uncanny, allowing her to crawl out of the TV towards her victims. Her long dark hair and plain white dress have become iconic. But again, it’s perhaps her preternatural movements, which recall elements from the Japanese dance form Butoh, that are the most chilling. It’s no wonder her victims die of fright.


Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

Santi, “The Devil’s Backbone” (2001)
A Creepy Ghost Child From Director Guillermo del Toro


The Library Ghost, “Ghostbusters” (1984)
Forget the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man - This Is the Ghost We Needed Busters For

The Grady Twins, “The Shining” (1980)
The Phrase “Come and Play with Us” Has Never Sounded More Ominous

Lisa, “P.T.” (2014)
Her Twisted Laughter & Sobbing Will Haunt Your Dreams

#1: The Ghost of Christmas Future

Various
All three ghosts in “A Christmas Carol” are a little unnerving, but the ghost of Christmas Future definitely takes the cake. A looming, silent figure, he represents death and shows Scrooge his own grave. His face is hidden within the hood of his cloak, pointing to the unknowableness of what lies beyond death’s door, and the anonymity of oblivion. If that isn’t chilling, we don’t know what is. In this particular case, he served a higher purpose, scaring the miserly Scrooge into making the most of life and sharing his wealth. But we would much rather never come face to face with this terrifying specter.
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