30 Best Terrifying Paranormal Documentaries & Series

These aren't blockbuster fiction films, but real life testimonies of the paranormal.

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For those most adventurous and horror-movie-loving individuals, these scary paranormal documentaries all follow non-fiction tales of the paranormal and ghosts existing within our own world.

Not for the faint of heart, we've rounded up the best paranormal movies filled with ghosts, the undead, and mysterious creature sightings.

Read on if you're looking for a recommendation for what to watch next as we review long-form movies, paranormal documentaries, and show series.


30 Best Paranormal Documentaries & TV Series

1. Ghost Adventures (2008-present)

Created over a decade ago, "Ghost Adventures" is one of the most famous paranormal shows on television. Following the lead investigator, Zak Bagans, he and his team (Nick Groff and Aaron Goodwin) search haunted houses all over the globe, with each episode covering a new location.


RELATED: Why Some People Are More Likely To See Ghosts And Other Paranormal Presences

2. Haunted Collector (2011-2013)

While some people collect magnets or shot glasses, some individuals (like John Zaffis) collect haunted possessions.

The show "Haunted Collector" is a tale of many show-style documentaries of how the Zaffis family comes to own and display their prized collection of spooky goods. Each episode breaks down how John and his family collect each object — and at what expense.


3. Killer Legends (2014)

Beyond the teachings of Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster, many urban legends haunt the world we live in. The documentary "Killer Legends" follows investigators Joshua Zeman and Rachel Mills as they review crimes that have led to the uncovering of certain urban legends.

4. A Haunting (2005-2017)

Ending in 2017 and running for almost 12 years on air, "A Haunting" is a spooky television documentary show that interviews victims on their encounters with paranormal activity. Entertainment value is added to the show, as the re-telling of the victim's stories are paired with narrations and reenactments.


5. Out of the Blue (2003)

Aired in 2003, "Out of the Blue" is a documentary film that speaks to the UFO craze. Premiering on the Sci-Fi Channel, many viewers tuned in to see true accounts from eyewitnesses, scientists, and previous government officials on space aircraft and the idea of extraterrestrial life.

6. Ghost Hunters (2004-present)

Following the founders of TAP (The Atlantic Paranormal Society), Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson, "Ghost Hunters" answers and responds to those who report paranormal activity in their house. An interesting catch, both Grant and Jason are plumbers by day and ghost hunters by night.


7. Most Haunted (2002-2019)

A British television show, "Most Haunted" takes the viewer into the sites of paranormal activity. The host Yvette Fielding and a team of paranormal investigators lock themselves in the haunted location for 24 hours (yikes), explore the place's hauntings, and search for evidence of paranormal activity.

8. Cropsey (2009)

This documentary feature film covers two investigators as they uncover what really happened behind the disappearance of five children. What makes it even scarier? The documentary talks about how a real-life boogeyman could be to blame.


9. Paranormal Witness (2011-2016)

Highly discouraged for those who become scared easily or can be unnerved by the idea of spooky television, "Paranormal Witness" is unique, as it tells accounts of paranormal activity through the use of personal material like home videos, witness photography, along with their testimonials.

The show covers a wide range of the unexplained: haunted houses, UFO appearances, and ghosts.

10. The Nightmare (2015)

If you thought you couldn't sleep before, imagine what will rush through your mind after watching "The Nightmare." This documentary film follows eight different people who all experience sleep paralysis, and it may be at the hand of a paranormal existence.


RELATED: 15 Creepiest Ghost Videos On The Internet That'll Really Freak You Out

11. Demon House (2018)

Created in 2018, "Demon House" is a horror-style documentary film from Zak Bagans (the same individual from the famous "Ghost Adventurers"). The film follows the Ammons haunting case which happened back in 2014.

The Ammons family, living in Indiana, was experiencing mass hysteria and being possessed by demons. As "Demon House" moves to understand the story, the team realizes they may have embarked on a dangerous encounter.


12. Celebrity Ghost Stories (2009-present)

What's better than hearing ghost stories? Hearing celebrities tell ghost stories.

As celebrities share their personal encounters with ghosts, both fans of their work and fans of the paranormal are able to see a new perspective on the lives of these actors, singers, and sports professionals.

13. Quiet Rage: The Stanford Prison Experiment (1992)

Featuring dated and authentic footage, interviews, and testimonials by the cops and the prisoners, "The Stanford Prison Experiment" documentary breaks down what exactly happened during a study performed on those looking for insight on what life inside prison was like psychologically.


While the original documentary is only available on DVD, you can watch the reenactments of the experiment.

14. Hostage to the Devil (2016)

A documentary film following a possessed child is the premise for "Hostage to the Devil." This film uncovers testimonials by creating reenactments and dramatic reconstructions of the tales told of the exorcists.

15. The Enfield Poltergeist (2008)

The Enfield Poltergeist is the given name to the paranormal spirit living at 284 Green Street in Brimsdown, Enfield, England. Serving as a council house between the years 1977 and 1979, the infamous Enfield Poltergeist had its encounter with two young sisters (ages 11 and 13).


16. The Dead Files (2011-present)

A true account of the show "Medium," "The Dead Files" combines a homicide detective and a medium to be the ultimate crime-fighting duo. As they combine their investigation powders, they uncover the truth where deadly crimes were committed.

17. Paranormal Lockdown (2016-2019)

Instead of being in lockdown with the paranormal for 24 hours, imagine three times that! In "Paranormal Lockdown," hosts Nick Groff and Katrina Weidman spend 72 straight hours living among some of America's most haunted locations.


18. My Amityville Horror (2013)

This documentary was inspired by the book which tells the tale of a crime that took place in November of 1974. Ronald DeFeo Jr. shot and murdered six members of his family at their home on Ocean Avenue in Long Island, New York.

Look at what becomes uncovered as Daniel Lutz tells the story of the family over 35 years ago.

19. Alien Boy: The Life and Death of James Chasse (2013)

"Alien Boy" is a documentary film that tells the story of James Chasse. Uncovering the truths behind police accountability, the film covers the murder of James, a schizophrenic man who was murdered by police officers in Portland, Oregon in 2016.


While not necessarily a paranormal film as the name would lead us to believe, it instead speaks to mental health as an unknown frontier.

20. Monster Quest (2007-2010)

This television show covers (scientifically) the appearance and emergence of creatures all over the world. Some episodes include the most notable creatures like the Loch Ness Monster, werewolves, BigFoot, and (believe it or not) the breed of super soldiers said to be raised by Stalin himself.

Mixing science, paranormal activity, and history, viewers are able to get a little of everything each time they watch.


RELATED: Multiple UFO Sightings & Paranormal Experiences Have Been Tied To One Small Triangle In The U.S.

21. The Blackwell Ghost (2017)

"The Blackwell Ghost" follows a ghost-hunting filmmaker as he explores a haunted house. Having only one cast member, the ghost herself is the true star of this hour-long documentary.


22. Destination Truth (2007-2014)

What happens when you mix global adventurers with paranormal investigators? A very interesting television series. Presented by Josh Gates, "Destination Truth" takes us around the world as the group of explorers set out to uncover supernatural wonders and phenomena across land and sea.

23. The Institute (2013)

As the digital age starts to pick up, what's freakier or more paranormal than being sucked into an alternate reality universe from playing a game? "The Institute" covers just this, as this documentary tells the tale of players in San Francisco who spin out of control after playing an alternate reality game.


24. Paranormal State (2007-2011)

Covering the director of Penn State University's Paranormal Research Society, Ryan Buell, this television show uncovers paranormal mysteries. Some include demonic hauntings, sixth sense experiments, and ghost encounters.

25. The Sallie House (2006)

In 1906, a house in Atchison, Kansas became a paranormal staple and was named as one of (if not the most) haunted houses in America. The reason behind the house's reputation has to do with the owner.


Back in the early 1900s, home to the town's doctor, it's said that a girl passed away while being examined in the house and underwent tremendous pain.

26. Lore (2017-2018)

"Lore" is a collection of nightmarish mythologies that are based on real-life horror stories. The series was developed from an original podcast of the same name and stars Aaron Mahnke, Paula Malcomson, Maimie McCoy, and Steven Berkoff.

27. A Glitch In The Matrix (2021)

This American documentary film was directed by Rodney Ascher and is part science fiction, part mind scrambler, part horror story. It's an exploration of the simulation hypothesis, which is the concept that proposes our existence is a simulated reality.


28. The Blackout Experiments (2016)

"The Blackout Experiments" follows a group of people who discover the ultra-scary, psycho-sexual horror experience they term "Blackout." The group ends up becoming obsessed with the sensation, which eventually ends up hijacking their lives and blurs the line between reality and paranoid fantasy.

29. Beware the Slenderman (2016)

This documentary takes a deep dive into the terrifying creature Slenderman, and how this internet-created creature ended up causing two 12-year-old girls to brutally stab their friend almost to death.


The film discusses the case and how fantasy imagery can affect impressionable minds.

30. Hellier (2019)

This docuseries follows a small crew of paranormal researchers in the dying coal town of Hellier, Kentucky after receiving an email from a man who is being bothered by goblins. However, a series of strange coincidences ends up leading the crew to a decades-old mystery.

RELATED: Couple Captures Video Of ‘Ghosts’ Pillow Fighting In Their Empty Living Room On Security Camera


Elizabeth Blasi is a New York-based lifestyle and travel writer who is often seen with a suitcase in hand, jet-setting to her next location. Her work has been featured on Elite Daily, Yahoo Lifestyle, Good Housekeeping, and more.