The ghost story is one of the most enduring staples of spooky cinema, but it’s also the most versatile. Tales of spirits, specters and phantasms have extened beyond the horror genre and been conjured in comedies, thrillers, fantasies, and historical dramas, oh my!
This October, Oscar Sundays at the Academy Museum is dedicated to proving ghost stories exist in many forms. The five films screening this month — Beetlejuice, Beloved, Blithe Spirit, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, and Kwaidan — couldn’t be more different from one another and include phantoms that represent grief and loss, and one that’s just the ghost with the most, babe.
In addition to Oscar Sundays, the Academy Museum is celebrating spooky season with two additional film series: Mexico Maleficarum: Resurrecting 20th Century Mexican Horror Cinema (which includes a screening of the supernatural classic, La maldición de la Llorona) and Monstrous: The Dark Side of New Korean Cinema (featuring ghost stories likes of Epitaph, R-Point, and more).
No matter how you prefer your spirits be unleashed on cinema, here are some of the must-see ghost stories coming to the Academy Museum, along with six bonus recommendations you can scream — uh, stream — at home.