The Haunting (1963)

The Haunting is the quintessential haunted house movie: Martin Scorsese even rated it his number one scariest film. Anthropologist Dr Markway (Richard Johnson) is investigating paranormal activity at a tombstone of a gothic pile in New England. The house was born bad, so the story goes – the wife of its first owner dropped dead moments before setting foot in it. The doctor has brought along two young psychic women, boho free-spirit Theo (who has one of the choicest wardrobes ever, designed by Mary Quant) and repressed Nell, who is the main attraction as far as the ghosts are concerned. Director Robert Wise executes a masterpiece of the power of suggestion. We never see a ghost, but the face of the devil Wise’s camera makes out in the ornate carving of a wooden door is more scary than anything make-up or effect could rustle up. CC
Dir Robert Wise (Julie Harris, Claire Bloom, Richard Johnson)

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