It’s no surprise that a movie based on one of the best haunted-house tales ever written (The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson) would be this good. A scientist and two women with psychic gifts visit an evil-looking mansion named Hill House, a place where everything is just slightly wrong, where the angles at which walls meet are off by half a degree, so doors are always closing on their own. The trio is accompanied by the skeptical young heir to Hill House. As directed by Robert Wise (who had a delightfully diverse career, helming movies from The Sound of Music and West Side Story to the first Star Trek film, as well as being the editor on Citizen Kane), The Haunting perfectly demonstrates the power of suggestion. We never see any ghosts. We hear them banging, giggling, crying behind walls. We feel them. But they always remain just on the other side of the door. Which is where they are scariest. For the second after we first see the thing is the second at which the fear begins to fade.