A Scaredy Cat’s Guide to Non-Gory Horror Movies

The ConjuringWarner Bros.

During the fall, the temperature drops and the ghosts come out to play…at least at the theaters. But for me, the Halloween season has always been a confusing time. You see, I love movies that give me a fright. I’m always looking for a horror movie to give me a thrill and a chill as soon as there’s an autumn nip in the air.

The only problem? I hate gory movies. I cannot deal with seeing someone’s innards become outwards, which vastly limits my choices in scary movies. With all the Saws and Hostels out there, (and let’s not even talk about The Human Centipede), it’s become harder for me to find a scary movie I can actually watch without getting thoroughly sick to my stomach.

I figure I cannot be alone in this plight; there must be others like me! So below is an in-no-ways-comprehensive list of scary movies that manage to skip out on the buckets of blood.

Paranormal Activity 1-4
The first Paranormal Activity film scared me so badly I had to sleep with my TV on for several nights in a row. It was just a chilling, slow-burn horror movie unlike much of anything I’d ever seen before. Then they started making sequels. The sequels are also good for a chill, but after seeing the first one you pretty much know the bag of tricks these movies are bringing to the table.

The Ring
This movie starring Naomi Watts isn’t too gory, but it will definitely make you wary of your VHS tapes. If you’re so inclined, the Japanese original Ringu is also a non-gory creep fest, but much slower moving than the American remake.

When a family moves into a new house, they have an unpleasant surprise waiting. This movie has it all in terms of scares: creepy kids, haunted houses, and a few twists and turns in the story you don’t expect.

The Conjuring
This movie is based off the real-life work of the Warrens, a couple that went around the country looking into paranormal activity. Things escalate pretty quickly, but the real star of the show is probably the creepy doll Annabelle.

Grave Encounters
If you’ve ever watched one of those Ghost Adventures shows and hoped something would get one of the annoying people screaming at ghosts, this is the film for you. A low-budget horror movie, it effectively sends up the ghost hunting reality tropes while also including a House of Leaves-style twist.

The Awakening
It’s post-World War I England and Rebecca Hall’s character is a professional ghost hunter who disproves instances of the paranormal. That is, until she gets to a haunted boarding school and starts to reconsider her skepticism.

The Exorcist
This movie about demon possession is a classic for a reason, mostly because it is terrifying. Good luck sleeping after you watch this film for the first time.

What are your favorite non-gory horror movies? Share your suggestions in the comments!

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