Ghosts In Unexpected Places On Film

August 4, 2023

Written by Ella Rebecca Horton

Ella Rebecca has been in love with the horror genre since an early age. The Bride of Frankenstein began her love of the classics and she's been writing and collecting since.

Ghosts are classic horror movie characters; we come to expect them in haunted mansions and the like, but what about when they appear in places that we might not expect? There are some directors that introduce ghosts in strange places, totally different from the horror tropes that we are used to. If you like your horror films to be a little out of the ordinary, then you’ll love these movies with ghosts in unexpected places.



Dead Man’s Hand (2007)


Dead Man’s Hand, also sometimes known as The Haunted Casino, tells the tale of a man called Matthew who inherits a run-down casino on the outskirts of Vegas. He brings a group of friends together, and they set off to renovate the place and play a few games along the way. What ensues is nothing like when the group play roulette online, or indeed any game online or in person. Instead, they’re greeted with a seriously creepy casino teeming with ghosts who wish them no good. They need to escape the casino or oust the ghosts, but both are going to be more difficult than they might first have expected.



Ghost Ship (2002)


Shipwrecks of old are a classic location for a movie haunting, but new shipwrecks, not so much. That is not the case in Ghost Ship, where a salvage crew happens upon a huge ocean liner, the Antonia Grazia. As they board the vessel, they begin to find remnants of Antonia Grazia’s past, and it’s not looking good. They come face to face with horrifying apparitions that are burning reminders of the ship’s traumatic past. A particularly evil ghost is out for revenge on anyone that comes aboard her ship, and it’s up to the crew to try to escape with their lives.



A Ghost Story (2017)


This film is somewhere between a horror and a drama film, taking a deeper look into the way that we think about ghosts and hauntings. Director David Lowery clearly wanted to steer this film in a different direction from your average ghost movie, and one of the ways that he did this is by setting the film in a regular suburban house. Throughout the movie, we get to see how the ghost observes time; he sees the passing of centuries whilst inside the walls of the house, showing us periods of time that we as humans wouldn’t usually get to experience. This is a slow burner of a film, but one that you’ll be thinking about weeks later.



The Funhouse (1981)



Ghosts in unexpected places can initially seem a little strange. Whilst the haunted carnival theme might be becoming more popular now, The Funhouse was one of the very first films to explore it. Directed by Tobe Hooper, this horror film sees a group of teenagers sneak into a carnival and try to spend the night in the house of fun. What they don’t realize is that there are evil spirits at play in this carnival, and what started out as a night in the ‘fun’ house is going to be anything but fun. We’re never exactly sure what it is that is chasing them, whether it’s a ghost, or another evil creature, which is part of what adds to the psychological terror of this film. Combine this with the maze of funhouse attractions, like a hall of mirrors and a ghost train, and the whole thing becomes incredibly spooky, with plenty of jump scares.

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