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.
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. Cropsey is available to stream on Prime Video.
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?
For a fresh spin on a classic urban legend, this intriguing documentary series of 3 episodes is available to stream on Hulu.
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3. Demon House
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 and this 2019 paranormal documentary is available to stream on Prime Video.
4. The Mothman Legacy
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 and is currently available to stream on Prime Video.
5. The Nightmare
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 which is available to stream via Shudder.
6. Beware the Slenderman
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. You can stream Beware the Slenderman on Prime Video.
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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.