Casper has made haunted houses safe for little kids. But grown-ups don’t want friendly ghosts. So peruse this partial listing of the spooky real estate available for rent on video — perfect to clip and save for Halloween.
The Ghost Breakers (1940, MCA/Universal)
The House: A cobwebby Cuban castle, where a couple (Bob Hope and Paulette Goddard) spend the night in this lukewarm comedy.
The Haunters: A bunch of mostly bogus spooks, trying to scare her out of her inheritance.
The Room From Hell: The main hall, where the pair meet a zombie who’s so ugly he must be real.
The Uninvited (1944, MCA/Universal)
The House: A grand old place on the Cornish coast, picked up for a song by a composer (Ray Milland) and his sister (Ruth Hussey).
The Haunters: The former owner’s late wife and his late mistress.
The Room From Hell: An upstairs studio, where this spooky drama’s spectral special effects prefigure Hollywood ghosts for years to come.
The Haunting (1963, MGM/UA)
The House: A gabled, gothic horror in New England, visited by a team of classy ghostbusters (including Julie Harris and Claire Bloom).
The Haunters: The cursed souls of the original occupants.
The Room From Hell: Any room the jittery psychic medium (Harris) is in.
The Shining (1980, Warner)
The House: A closed mountain resort, where snowbound Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) comes down with a killer case of cabin fever in this Stanley Kubrick chiller.
The Haunters: Indian spirits, plus assorted guests-turned-ghosts.
The Room From Hell: Room 237, where Jack’s tête-à-tête with a rotting hag hastens his descent into madness.
Poltergeist (1982, MGM/UA)
The House: A nice three-bedroom in Spielberg suburbia, home to an average family (JoBeth Williams, Craig T. Nelson, and kids).
The Haunters: Unsettled souls who appear (thanks to director Tobe Hooper) as a kid-snatching tree, an evil clown doll, an ectoplasmic demon, and more.
The Room From Hell: The kids’ room, featuring all of the above — plus a doorway to the afterlife!