10 Best Horror Movies Set In The Past

Spooky movies from across the ages.

The Witch Anya Taylor Joy

The past is a scary place.

Not only was it full of disease, famine, and smellypeasants, but there was also no internet! How could people read the mountains of great content on WhatCulture.com?!

Cheap plug over, but the point still stands.

The past is, as they say, a foreign country, with many traditions of old seemingly utterly backwards to us modern folk.

It's no surprise then that filmmakers love to set horror movies in the olden days. There's just something intangible about the distant past - the fact that no one from those days is still around gives creative minds more scope to imagine what might have gone on.

As for the recent past, well, any excuse to dress up like it's the '60s.

We've tried to collect as big a range of time periods and settings as possible for this list, which is full of films set in years before the ones they were released in.

Some are long way away, some are quite close. Some are going for historical accuracy, some are very much not.

Hop in our TARDIS and wipe the blood off your shoes, we're taking a trip into the world of historical horror.

10. The Conjuring

The Witch Anya Taylor Joy
Warner Bros.

Let's start with the most recently-set film on our list and one of the most successful and popular horror franchise starters of the 2010s.

Directed by James Wan, the man who makes all the money at the box office, The Conjuring focuses on the adventures of Ed and Lorraine Warren, two real-life paranormal hunters who definitely didn't make any of their evidence up.

The Warrens take a trip to Rhode Island in 1971 to investigate a series of hauntings at a farmhouse. Whilst there, they find out that Old MacDonald had more than just cows and pigs on his property, as they encounter the spirit of a deceased witch.

Not only is The Conjuring a great movie in its own right, filled with plenty of spooks and scares, but it does well to incorporate the "Satanic Panic" trend that was running roughshod across American culture in the '60s and '70s.

The film is styled beautifully to fit the time period. The sets, costumes, and other elements of mise-en-scene are perfect. Although, that does mean audiences are subjected to some questionable early '70s fashion choices.

Some of Ed Warren's sweater vests are more frightening than any demon.

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Jacob Simmons has a great many passions, including professional wrestling, music, watching random clips from The Simpsons on YouTube at 3am, and writing about himself in the third person.