When you are haunted by a spirit or entity, that seems pretty scary. But what could be worse? What if someone you know and trust was trying to make you believe you are haunted or perhaps that the haunting is all in your mind? What if it's not ghosts but other human beings who are trying to drive you out of your mind with fear? What about that?
The Body (2012)
This Spanish film, "El Cuerpo," directed by Oriol Paulo, is a truly twisted, scary movie. When his wife's corpse goes missing from the morgue, the husband Álex (Hugo Silva) of the dead woman, Mayka Villaverde (Belén Rueda), becomes convinced she isn't dead after all and is seeking revenge for his attempt to kill her. It turns out that this is a plot orchestrated by the family of the woman he killed in a hit-and-run years earlier and that the person he loved and trusted is one of the ones who orchestrated it.
Marrowbone is a film where the hero is haunting himself. After the tragic deaths of his brothers and sisters at the hands of his serial killer father, he develops alternate personalities to keep his siblings alive in his mind. The siblings within his mind conjure a ghost haunting the home as well. The film is a Spanish film directed by Sergio G. Sánchez and starring George McKay, Anya Taylor-Joy, and Mia Goth.
The Lodge (2019)
This deeply disturbing film, directed by Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala and starring Riley Keough as Grace shows what happens when you gaslight the wrong person. Two children left with their new stepmother, a mentally fragile sole survivor of a cult mass suicide, and decided to trick her into thinking they were all dead. Their cruel plan works much better than they intended, as Grace succumbs to psychosis, and they cannot reverse the damage.
The Others (2001)
Alejandro Amenábar's film was a shock when it was first released. The film starred Nicole Kidman and Christopher Eccleston and was constructed beautifully to gain sympathy for Kidman's character Grace. Like many of the best films that work with this plot device, you must convince the lead character entirely so that the audience will really believe that what is happening is real. It is another case of a person who is their own ghost.
The Invisible Man (2020)
Leigh Whannel's adaptation of H.G. Wells' novel is the eighth adaptation of the book. This film starring Elizabeth Moss as Cecilia, is a compelling and frightening version of every woman's nightmare. The nightmare is a violent and controlling former boyfriend gaslighting you. In this case, when the rich boyfriend she escaped from kills himself, she seems free, but horrible things start happening that start getting blamed on Cecilia. No one believes her insistence that Adrian Griffith, played by Oliver Jackson-Cohen, might not be dead after all.
French auteur director Henri-Georges Clouzot directed this classic horror film, "Diabolique", which starred Simone Signoret as Chistina and Vera Clouzot as Nicole. After the two women conspire to kill their hated mutual man, Michel, played by Paul Meurisse, Christina, who has a heart condition, is seemingly haunted by the specter of Michel. All is revealed after Christina has a fatal heart attack from watching the return of Michel.
In this horror comedy, a young woman convicted of a crime is sentenced to house arrest living with her mother, who is convinced that their house is haunted. Gerard Johnstone directed this horror comedy in New Zealand and is more recently known for directing the hit horror film "M3GAN."
Morgana O'Reilly stars as Kylie Bucknell, Rima Te Wiata as her mother, Miriam, and Ryan Lampp as Eugene, the savant who lives in tunnels under the house.
I See You (2019)
Another haunting that is caused by living beings happens in "I See You". Adam Randall directed the film starring Helen Hunt as Jackie Harper and Jon Tenney as Greg Harper. Owen Teague plays Alec, an unhoused man hiding in the house with Mindy, played by Libe Barer, who tries to drive the Harper family insane. Eventually, it is revealed that Greg is a serial killer, and Alec is one of the children he kidnapped, so Alec returns to the house to seek payback.
This film is one of Florence Pugh's lesser-known films, directed by Olaf de Fleur Johannesson. Pugh plays Angela Sayers, and Ben Lloyd-Hughes plays her brother, Jackson. They are part of a group of con artists who pretend to be spirit mediums even though Angela and her brother have genuine psychic abilities. Their latest target, the Greenes, are not the naïve patsies the group believes them to be. The orchestration of the haunting comes from Angela and her group, but the deadly joke turns out to be on them.
Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964)
This film which stars Bette Davis as Charlotte, Olivia de Havilland as Miriam, Joseph Cotten as Drew, and Agnes Moorhead as Velma, is the story of the unmarried woman Charlotte who is suspected of being a murderess and is then manipulated into thinking she committed another murder by Velma and Drew. She hears the sound of a harpsichord playing and finds body parts. The final attempt to drive her mad is the return of Drew as a revenant because they want to break her mind. Does it work? You'll have to watch to find out.