Paranormal Activity (2009)
The place: a suburban residence in San Diego
Des Res?:This two-story tract house is the ideal first home for a young couple. It has been spruced up with extensive renovation and is ready to move into now.
The Eek Factor: No ghosts live here, technically, but we can't be held responsible for what you might bring with you.
The previous occupant reported being stalked by a demon, which followed her into the house. Video cameras were set up to record any sightings.
We’ll seen the footage and... look, you’d best just watch it yourself. We're still too busy shitting ourselves.
Next: The Amityville Horror[page-break]
The Amityville Horror (1979)
The place: 112 Ocean Avenue, Amityville
Des Res?:A bargain at $80,000, this six-bedroom house in the Dutch Colonial style is located on a lake, and comes with a swimming pool and boathouse.
The Eek Factor: The reason for the great price? The previous owner, Ronald DeFeo Jr, went beserk and massacred his entire family.
Then again, it might be the house itself that’s crazy. It’s swarming with flies, the walls bleed, and the basement’s full of sludge.
Go check it out from the front and tell us it’s not watching you.
Next: The Orphanage[page-break]
The Orphanage (2007)
The Place: A dilapidated orphanage in Spain
Des Res?:A grand building, perfect for starting a residential business. In fact, there are so many rooms you might not find them all. Enviable proximity to the beach and local caves.
The Eek Factor: This one has a bit of a history, as the original orphanage was closed after the caretaker butchered the child residents.
Some believe they live here still, along with the deformed son of the caretaker whose accidental death prompted the bloodbath. He's easily spotted: he's the one in the freaky sack-mask.
But don’t that let our scaremongering put you off.
Next: The Shining[page-break]
The Shining (1980)
The place: The Overlook Hotel
Des Res?:Nestled away in the Rockies, this secluded hideway offers breathtaking panoramas and a prestigious history. Closed to the public in winter, making it the perfect isolated spot for the writer who doesn’t want any distractions.
The Eek Factor: The place has a tendency to get under the skin of whoever’s acting as caretaker. To wit, one-time encumbent Delbert Grady, who brutally murdered his twin daughters with an axe.
They’re all still roaming the place now, and will no doubt try to convince you to go loco, too.
There’s also the decaying corpse of a guest walking around in room #237. No, we’re not sure why, either.
Next: The Blair Witch Project[page-break]
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
The place: Parr cottage,Burkittsville
Des Res?: Sure, it’s a real fixer-upper. No fixtures or fittings, and it could do with a lick of paint to cover up all the handprints. But it’s a great hideaway, with acres of woodland to enjoy.
The Eek Factor: The previous owner, Rustin Parr, kidnapped seven children in 1940 and murdered them in the house.
Parr swore he was possessed by the Blair Witch, who reputedly still haunts the place. We think you should be fine as long as you don’t misbehave.
However, if anybody asks you to stand in the corner as punishment, it's time to sell up.
Next: The Exorcist[page-break]
The Exorcist (1973)
The place: Townhouse in affluent Georgetown
Des Res?: Room for rent in très chic artists’ residence. Housemates are renowned actress Chris MacNeil and her teenage daughter Regan.
The Eek Factor: Regan happens to be possessed by Satan, so don’t be surprised to be woken by the sound of demonic voices, profane blasphemy and copious vomiting.
That said, she hardly causes a commotion compared to Chris’ noisy houseguests: exorcists fond of proclaiming “The power of Christ compels you,” at the top of their lungs.
Earmuffs are recommended.
Next: The Haunting[page-break]
The Haunting (1963)
The Place: Hill House
Des Res?:A ornate, imposing country manor house, ideally located atop a hill to offer splendid views and a sense of standing. The ideal home for anyone who’s going up in the world.
The Eek Factor: With its 90-year-old history of insanity, suicide and murder, the house does tend to draw undue attention from psychics and paranormal investigators.
Although not, hopefully, any more. For sure, you can expect a smattering of bulging doors, spinning handles and rattling windows.
However, the days when legions of scientists would troupe about the place are long gone, since the last expedition ended... shall we say... badly.
The Place: Aunt Elizabeth’s place
Des Res?:A house so grand it’d be out of most people’s pockets, but it’s now become available via inheritance. The owner – a writer – wants a quick sale.
The Eek Factor: Here's one where it pays to read the small print.
The house is shared with a multitude of fellow tenants. Without wanting to put too fine a point on it, they’re demons.
Turns out the bathroom medicine cabinet is a portal to another dimension. Always the last place you expect, isn’t it?
Next: Dark Water[page-break]
Dark Water (2002)
The place: A run-down tenement block in Japan
Des Res?:OK, we’ll admit the setting is not the most luxurious, and the apartment is a teensy bit on the damp side, but it’s probably the best we have available for the budget-conscious single mother.
The Eek Factor: It's hard to know what's more upsetting: the stories about a girl disappearing or the building's plumping problems.
There’s no stopping that water getting in and by god it’s vile stuff: filthy brown gunk.
You certainly might want to check the water tank on the roof before you drink any of it.
The place: A family home in Californian suburbia
Des Res?:A stunning residence in a new property development – tree-lined garden, a swimming pool (still being built) and cable as standard.
The Eek Factor: How was such a prime piece of real estate up for grabs?
Hmmm... nobody likes to talk about it much, but the site is located on an old cemetery. Which the builders neglected to move.
Yes, all these mod cons are located above the dear departed... and they aren't happy. We're blaming it on jealousy. Poor TV reception six feet under, you see.
The place: A New England country home
Des Res?:Quite the homestead for the go-getting family who wants to get out of town. Ripe with makeover potential, it’s a chance to create something truly fabulous that will wow the cognoscenti.
The Eek Factor: The prior occupants (deceased) aren’t exactly chuffed about the new look being planned. But they’re a) square and b) dead, so easily ignored.
You might want to watch their lodger, however. Goes by the name of Betelgeuse. His personal hygiene is non-existent and he has very perverted tastes.
Probably wisest to take out a paranormal ASBO on the weirdo.
Next: Fear(s) of the Dark[page-break]
Fear(s) of the Dark (2007)
The place: A snowbound cabin
Des Res?:A gloriously old-fashioned slice of luxury, with patterned wallpaper and a working gramophone player. It’s a little cold and dark, though, so bring matches, candles and firewood.
The Eek Factor: The cabin was home to a cruel woman, who may or not have offed her parents and a whole string of suitors.
We think she's moved on, but there are clues to suggest she's still there, waiting for another victim.
That said, it might just be one of those houses. It’s almost impossible to see anything through the inky blackness.
One best avoided, all told.
Like This? Then try...
- The Story Behind Paranormal Activity
- Why Paranormal Activity Should Be Remade in Spanish
- 10 Greatest SFX Scenes In Horror
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