Top horror movies – The Haunting 1963

Classic Ghost Film

One of the top horror movies of all time, The Haunting 1963 is a classic ghost film and one of the best British films of the genre.

Martin Scorsese gave this horror film the first place on his list of top scary movies.

Similar to other classic black and white movies it plays on colour contrast, shadows, shapes and angles to create a distinguishably spooky look of one of the best horror movies of all time.

French Movie Poster

Top Horror Movies - The Haunting 1963 French Movie Poster

Film Details

The Haunting 1963



Directed by:

Written by:


United Kingdom

Robert Wise

Nelson Gidding, based on the novel by Shirley Jackson

Plot Teaser

In 1960’s a researcher of paranormal activity invites three people to an old New England mansion which has a reputation of being haunted.

Their goal is to establish contact with the supernatural, which they do, with unexpected consequences.

Movie Review

The cult film was created with no special effects or digital hocus-pocus. In fact we never see the face of the supernatural force. But don’t be fooled. It is one of the top scary movies of all time not for nothing.

As Robert Wise, the director of this classic ghost film, puts it: “I've had many people tell me over the years, "Mr. Wise, you made the scariest film I've ever seen, and you don't show anything. How did you do it?" It's all by suggestion…”

Robert Wise was a film editor on Citizen Kane and a number of other best Hollywood movies before he became iconic filmmaker. He made one of the top horror movies of all time in between West Side Story in 1961 and The Sound of Music in 1965 - some of the most iconic American classics. Nonetheless, this classic poltergeist movie was one of his favourite projects.

Stephen King, American author of horror and suspense, called The Haunting 1963 movie “the world’s first radio horror movie” for its rich and innovative soundtrack that keeps you on the edge of your seat.

Fun Facts

One of the top horror movies of all time has a James Bond connection. Richard Johnson, who played Dr. Markway, was once considered for James Bond, but turned the role down. Lois Maxwell, Mrs. Markway in the movie, played miss Money Penny in no less than 14 James Bond films.

The exterior view of the house in one of the top scary movies is that of Ettington Park near Stratford-on-Avon, England, now a luxurious hotel. It is reported to be haunted.

The story of this iconic poltergeist movie is based on a widely-successful novel by Shirley Jackson. Stephen King in his book Dance Macabre included it in his list of the most important horror stories.

The Haunting 1963 movie was greatly admired by Stanley Kubrick, one of the greatest filmmakers of all time.

Movie Recommendation

The Haunting 1963 is a psychological horror movie. Unlike the top scary movies of our generation, you will not be disgusted by gore, but rather petrified by the fear of unknown. The movie is as scary as your imagination allows it to be.

Word of advice – don’t watch this ghost film, one of the top horror movies, alone on a cold a night. Consider yourself warned.

Movie Ratings

FILMiconic movie rating:

Like it - based on the rating scale below.

Rotten Tomatoes movie rating:

86% certified fresh based on critics' movie reviews

78% based on viewers' movie reviews

IMDb movie rating:

7.7/10 based on critics' and viewers' movie reviews

FILMiconic Rating Scale

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