Bollywood has come a long way in horror movies. The first real Bollywood horror movie was Kamal Amrohi’s Mahal in 1949. The film starred Ashok Kumar and Madhubala in lead roles and proved a major box office hit. Hemant Kumar’s Bees Saal Baad (1962) was another film that proved to be a box-office success. This horror film ignited the huge increase in the popularity of horror-genre movies in the following years. We are looking back at the journey of horror movies in Bollywood. Here is the list of top Bollywood horror movies which one should not miss.
1. Mahal (1949)
Hari Shankar (Ashok Kumar) comes to claim his inheritance – a palatial building known as Shabnam Mahal. He does not see anything out of the normal until he sees his portrait on the wall. The housekeeper tells him the background of the portrait and the tragic ending of two lovers. Later, Hari Shankar sees a woman singing and swinging in the garden swing but when he approaches, she disappears. Both the housekeeper and his lawyer friend, Shrinath, warn Hari Shankar and ask him to stay away from this house. He does so, only to be drawn back. No one can help Hari Shankar now as he continues to be drawn deeper and deeper into the dark world of the ghostly apparition. “Ayega.. ayega… aanewala, aayega….” is still popular on radio and tapes/cd.
IMDB Rating: 7.1/10
Watch the popular song “Ayega.. aayega” from Movie:
2. Bees Saal Baad (1962)
After a lusty Thakur rapes a young girl, she kills herself. Thereafter, the Thakur is killed by what the local people call the girl’s vengeful spirit. Then the Thakur’s son is also killed similarly. Thereafter the brother of the Thakur is also killed. The grandson of the Thakur, Kumar Vijay Singh (Biswajeet) returns from abroad to claim his ill-fated legacy. He is warned to stay away from the grounds that have killed his ancestors, but he intends to find out who or what is behind the killings and hires a private detective, Gopichand Jasoos (Asit Sen). Kumar meets with Radha (Waheeda Rehman), the daughter of the local doctor, Ramlal Vaid (Manmohan Krishan), and both eventually fall in love. Then a man is found dead wearing the clothes of Kumar Vijay, and Kumar Vijay must now decide to stay away from his new residence or continue to live there, and fear for his life every day until death.
IMDB Rating: 7.1/10
Watch the popular song “Kahin deep jale” from the movie:
3. Woh Kaun Thi? (1964)
One dark, stormy night Anand, a well-respected doctor, picks up a young woman at the side of the road. She asks to be dropped off at a graveyard and she walks into the distance, singing a love song. Much later Anand’s mother reveals that she has arranged a marriage for her son, and his wife-to-be is none other than the young woman whom he met on that dark, stormy night.
IMDB Rating: 7.6/10
Watch the popular song “Lag Jaa Gale” from the movie:
4. Kohraa (1964)
After her dad passes away, Rajeshwari is left as an orphan, dependent on a widow with a mentally challenged son, Ramesh. She believes that her son will recover after Rajeshwari marries him, this drives Rajeshwari to suicide, and this is where she meets Raja Amit Kumar Singh. Both meet, fall in love, and get married. Rajeshwari is then taken to his palace and is simply overawed. It is then she finds out that Amit had been married before to Poonam, who had passed away. She experiences Poonam’s presence in the palace, especially in her bedroom, where she finds the rocking chair moving by itself, the bed is warm as though somebody had slept in it, the windows open up on their own, and she hears a voice singing. This begins to get on her nerves, and the presence of Poonam’s maidservant, Dai Maa, does not help. Then their lives are turned upside down when the police find Poonam skeletal remains in a car at the bottom of a muddied lake, and they arrest Amit for killing her.
IMDB Rating: 6.7/10
Watch the popular song “Jhoom Jhoom” from the movie:
5. Bhoot Bungla (1965)
As a sole heir, Rekha discovers that her father and uncle died under mysterious circumstances. Her house is haunted by ghosts, so she investigates whether the murders are connected to them. Mystery surrounds a house that is reportedly haunted by singing and dancing ghosts and ghouls. This is when a jittery Mohan (Mehmood) decides to investigate. He is also supported by an equally petrified Rekha (Tanuja), and her mysterious uncle Shyamlal (Nasir Hussain).
IMDB Rating: 6.5/10
Watch the popular song “Main Bhookha” from the movie:
6. Gumnaam (1965)
At a nightclub, seven people (five men and two women) are told they have won the raffle prize and are instructed to board a small plane that will take them to their holiday destination. Instead, they end up stranded on a small island with one of the plane’s co-pilot. In search of shelter, the eight go to a mansion where they meet a butler who announces that he knows all of them and has been expecting their arrival. After a few musical numbers, castaways begin dropping dead one by one. Who could the killer be, and will any of them escape his grasp?
IMDB Rating: 7.0/10
Watch the popular song “Gumnaam hai koi” from the movie:
7. Do Gaz Zameen Ke Neeche (1972)
A rich young scientist and widower Rajvansh rescues Anjali from goons and later marries her. Anjali forces Rajvansh to shell his money on her uncle. He soon realizes his marriage isn’t working as his wife and her uncle always demand money from him. One day he rescues another woman Meera, takes her home and nurses her well with his faithful servants. Meera starts respecting Rajvansh which doesn’t go well with Anjali. Rajvansh works in a laboratory set up in his house. One day he accidentally drinks the milk with chemical spilt in it, Rajvansh loses his ability to walk and Meera nurses him. His doctors advise Anjali to admit him to the hospital but she refuses by saying she will find a better doctor. Anjali meets her old friend Anand and asks him to pose as a doctor while she secretly romances him when Rajvansh catches them red-handed. Anjali and Anand kill him for his property and bury him in the graveyard. Rajvansh turns into a zombie to revenge his killers.
IMDB Rating: 6.1/10
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8. Phir Wohi Raat (1980)
Dr Vijay is a psychiatrist and is in love with a beautiful young woman named Asha. He is stunned when another doctor refers Asha to him, as Asha has been having hallucinations and nightmares of a woman who comes to attack her and choke her to death so much so that her hostel warden has asked her to leave. Vijay hypnotizes Asha and is successful in driving away from her fears. Asha, her friend, Shobha, and Vijay travel to Asha’s residence out in the countryside to celebrate her birthday, which they do with a lot of pomp and merriment. Shortly thereafter, Asha sees a grotesque woman, quite different from the one she has been having nightmares about, walking in the hallway of her house, but whose motive is also the same – her death.
IMDB Rating: 6.7/10
Watch the popular song “Bindiya Tarse Kajra Barse” from the movie:
9. Veerana (1988)
After the sudden death of her dad, Sameer, Preeti, and Sahila go to live with their grandmother and cousin in Bombay. Years later, now fully matured, she returns home to Chandanagar to live with her uncle, Mahendra Pratap, and cousin, Jasmin. This is where she will be exposed to a resurrected evil witch, Nikita, who has manifested herself in the body of Jasmin. Aided by a priest named Baba, she is determined to kill every one of the remainders of the Pratap family members. And no known power on Earth can stop Nikita.
IMDB Rating: 6.7/10
Watch the Movie here:
10. Raat (1992)
The Sharma family re-locates to a semi-urban locality in a house that has a “reputation”. The Sharma family consists of Mr Sharma (Akash Khurana), his wife Shalini Sharma (Rohini Hattangadi), only daughter Manisha Sharma (Revathi) or “Mini” as they affectionately call her; and their grandchild Bunty (Master Ateet), as his parents had been killed in an accident. Strange things start happening, with a return of a dead kitten, and the brutal murder of Manisha’s friend, Reshmi (Jaya Mathur); an attempt to kill Mr Sharma and Manisha’s boyfriend, Deepak (Kushant). What is the force behind these brutalities? Is it natural or supernatural?
IMDB Rating: 7.1/10
Watch a scene from the movie:
11. Kaun? (1999)
On a stormy rainy night, a woman is watching the news on the television of a killer being around and suddenly her bell rings. She is hesitant to open the door after hearing the news of the killer. The man claims himself as Sameer A. Purnavale looking for Mr Malhotra and frequently rings the bell. The woman tells him that the house belongs to Mr Gupta. To scare him, she tells him that her husband is sleeping upstairs. But she hears a sudden noise and runs outside to Puranavale who tells her that he is here to protect her. When she finds nobody around she asks him to leave but another man is standing at the door with a gun claiming to be Inspector Qureshi. The woman is left confused among both the men suspecting that they are not who they claim to be as one of them could also be the killer.
IMDB Rating: 7.8/10
Watch Kaun trailer:
12. Raaz (2002)
Vikram Bhatt is the director of Raaz, which stars Bipasha Basu, Dino Morea, and Malini Sharma. To save their marriage, a young couple Sanjana and Aditya decides to take a romantic break in the picturesque Ooty, where they first fell in love. However, things take a sinister turn when Sanjana starts hearing screams. A spirit is haunting Sanjana, while Aditya is hiding a secret that could steer him from life to death.
IMDB Rating: 6.5/10
Watch Raaz trailer:
13. Darna Mana Hai (2003)
Six city students take refuge in deserted ruins when stranded on a highway, and start telling each other scary stories to keep amused. The stories include: a husband trying to scare his wife; a man stuck at a creepy “healthy hotel”; a school teacher spooked by a child’s homework; a housewife scared of apples; a bizarre lift on a freeway; and a college kid with unusual power. Unlike the usual Indian horror film, this does not resort to sound effects and visuals for thrills. Each sketch has its moments, though a couple of them could have been brilliant with small script changes, and resistance to oversimplifying. Most of the actors do decent jobs, especially Raghubir Yadav as the freaked-out schoolteacher.
IMDB Rating: 6.3/10
Watch one of the stories from the movie: