Whether you believe in all things paranormal or not, there is no denying that these films, books, and games based on spooky happenings are wildly entertaining. Most paranormal media opts for an over-the-top, unrealistic direction that can leave those who are genuinely interested a little disappointed.
This is where paranormal documentaries come in, since they are a more grounded look at real-life events that have taken place. This forum offers a speculative look at unexplained phenomena. Watching these documentaries is a great way to spark your imagination, so we will break down a list of the best paranormal documentaries and where to stream them.
12. Cropsey, Youtube and Prime Video (2009)
This first entry sees two friends exploring an urban legend from their childhood, growing up in the Staten Island borough of New York City. Parents would often warn children of a boogeyman-like figure called Cropsey who would take them away if they were behaving badly. There were actually some real cases of children disappearing from the area during this time period and the filmmakers uncover some chilling truths about the real life origins of the Cropsey legend.
With a unique blend of supernatural storytelling and a real-life explanation of the tale’s origins, Cropsey is a must see for fans of true crime, supernatural horror, and mystery.
11. Hellier, Prime Video (2019)
Hellier follows a group of paranormal researchers that head to a dying coal town in Kentucky, after being persuaded by a plea from a man under supernatural assault. He specifically writes that there are creatures lurking on his property. Once in the town, a series of strange coincidences lead them to a decades-old mystery that has far-reaching implications for the paranormal itself.
There are two seasons in this chilling documentary, with plenty of paranormal instances to keep you looking over your shoulder.
10. Sasquatch, Hulu (2021)
The legend of Sasquatch or Bigfoot is one that has fascinated people around the world for decades at this point. This limited documentary series follows the journalist David Holthouse as he revisits Northern California to investigate a rumor he remembered hearing about a savage Sasquatch attack. Taking on a 25 year old mystery, David interviews cannabis farmers, Hells Angels bikers, and locals as he tries to uncover the truth of the murders.
Is there any truth to the tale of the hulking, hairy beast or is there something much more sinister at play?
9. Alien Abduction: Answers, Apple TV (2022)
If you’ve ever wanted to know more about alien abductions, this might be the documentary for you. Alien Abduction: Answers was written and filmed by John Yost, and has several guests appear and tell their alien stories. One notable guest includes Whitley Strieber, author of the NYT bestselling true story Communion.
Spanning an hour and twenty minutes, this documentary is detailed yet brief, so you don’t have to spend all day learning about the paranormal.
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8. Demon House, Fubo and Prime Video (2018)
So we have covered some urban legends, but how about a classic haunted house story? This horror documentary sees a paranormal investigator called Zak Bagans as buys a house in Indiana that he hears is haunted. This is due to an event known as the Ammons hauntings in which a family reported a demonic possession and other paranormal happenings. Alongside a few friends, the paranormal investigators are not prepared for what awaits them in the house, which locals call a ‘portal to hell’.
Horror doesn’t get much more classic than a good haunted house story.
7. Aerial Phenomenon, Apple TV and Prime Video (2022)
Not many paranormal documentaries dive into the obscuring of the paranormal by government agencies, but in Aerial Phenomenon that is exactly what historian Richard Dolan does. Starting at the beginning in the 1940s with the UFO craze and heading through the evolution of public disclosure in subsequent decades, you’re sure to uncover a lot about the US government alongside the paranormal in this docu-series.
Some topics that are included in the series are Green Fireballs, the FBI’s UFO proof, the suspicious death of James Forrestal, UAP recovery, and more.
6. The Mothman Legacy, Tubi and FuboTV (2020)
One of the most famous cryptids in North America, the Mothman is a legendary story that most people acknowledge as nothing more than a myth. This half-man, half-moth creature was reportedly sighted in Point Pleasant, West Virginia in the 1960s. This follow up to the director’s previous documentary The Mothman of Point Pleasant explores sightings of the legendary Mothman outside of the Point Pleasant area from the 1960s to the modern day. This documentary expands on the myth while also delivering some compelling interviews and accounts.
If you’ve heard of this American cryptid, The Mothman Legacy is one of the best paranormal documentaries out there.
5. The Bray Road Beast, Vudu and PlutoTV (2018)
Switching to werewolves, The Bray Road Beast is about a purported humanoid wolf-like creature called the Beast of Bray Road. It was sighted in Elkhorn, Wisconsin in the 1990s and becomes a werewolf hotspot. The documentary itself was directed and co-produced by Seth Breedlove, making this his seventh documentary by the production company Small Town Monsters.
Wouldn’t you want your small town lore to be focused around a werewolf?
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4. The Nightmare, Prime Video and Roku (2015)
Something a little more grounded in reality that may hit some viewers close to home is The Nightmare. This documentary explores the terrifying phenomenon of sleep paralysis, where sufferers experience waking nightmares and they cannot move, react or even in some cases, breathe. These sleep-related hallucinatory periods can result in some terrifying encounters with demons, ghosts, or aliens and this documentary has some spine chilling accounts.
These accounts are told alongside spooky reenactments with visual effects, costumes, and makeup that makes this educational experience immersive and terrifying. For a scary and educational documentary, look no further than The Nightmare.
3. The UnXplained, Netflix and Discovery Plus (2019)
Spanning over five seasons and seventy-three episodes, The UnXplained aims to uncover the world’s most fascinating, strange, and inexplicable mysteries. From the producers of Ancient Aliens and The Curse of Oak Island, William Shatner hosts each one hour episode, each with a new topic.
Some mysteries that are explored include Holy Relics, UFO Hotspots, Mysterious Monsters, Earth’s Unsolved Mysteries, Lost Cities, and many more.
If you are a fan of video games, chances are you are familiar with The Slender Man. A game featuring this horrifying presence went extremely viral, scaring many players and views alike. What many people don’t know is that this character originates from an internet forum and went on to be involved in a real life murder case. This documentary examines the case of the ‘Slender Man stabbing’, in which two 12 year old girls murdered their friend in a forest, stabbing her 19 times in the process.
It turns out that after the girls learned of the Slenderman, the girls went on to kill their friend to appease him. A dark, terrifying and disturbing documentary which highlights the dangers of urban myths on impressionable young minds.
Regardless of whether or not you are aware of the Slenderman, this documentary is grisly and fascinating.
1. Ghosts on the Underground, Prime Video (2010)
Don’t watch this documentary alone at night. Ghosts on the Underground is based in the London Underground, used by more than one billion people annually. Few of those who travel down beneath the earth realize just how haunted the tube really is though. This documentary investigates the oldest underground network in the world, and tries to figure out what supernatural secrets are hidden just around the corner.
Graves, church crypts, and plague pits are just a few of the physical remains that tube tunnels have rearranged, and that’s not even discussing any spiritual presences.
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Why Watch Paranormal Documentaries?
It can be difficult to find truly compelling documentaries about supernatural topics since most of the time there is no merit to the claims of eyewitnesses. The options highlighted above will offer some insight into the origins of these stories and include a variety of supernatural topics such as killers, myths, legends and psychology. No matter which ones you choose to stream, you will surely be entertained by these paranormal documentaries.