What scares you the most? Is it the Nun in the ‘Conjuring’ series, or Ed Kemper from ‘Mindhunter’? Or does a lizard or a spider do the trick for you? No judgement! Some things are inherently creepy! Despite scaring us out of our wits and turning us into a coward who is afraid to go to the bathroom after watching a film, horror genre continues to be a favourite amongst the audience. If you are one of those people who are into such things, then forget movies, these documentaries and docuseries will rattle your soul and scare you so that the next horror film will be a joy ride in comparison. Here’s the list of really good scary documentary movies on Netflix that are available to stream right now:
16. Haunted (2018)
Sitting around a campfire, telling horror stories to each other is something that all of us have attempted to do, at least once. While some allowed their imagination to run wild, there were a select few who claimed that theirs was a true story, that it had happened to someone who never lived to tell the tale! Yes, it can be a bit difficult to believe the authenticity of “true” horror stories. And, honestly, ‘Haunted’ doesn’t try to authenticate any, either. However, if you want some scary stories told to you in the dark, then this is a perfect watch for you.
15. Monster: The Josef Fritzl Story (2010)
If you have seen ‘Room’, the film that won Brie Larson the Academy Award for Best Actress’, then you have an idea what captivity like that can do to a person. ‘Monster: The Josef Fritzl Story’ is somewhat like that, but exponentially worse and highly unimaginable. Josef Fritzl held his 18-year-old daughter Elisabeth as a captive in his house’s basement where he had prepared a special chamber for her. Then, for 24 years, he tortured and raped her, and bore seven children with her. Unbelievable, right? How can a father do this to his own daughter? Watch this documentary and be thankful for the normal family that you have. No matter how much you fight with each other, you are not as unfortunate as Elisabeth.
14. The Devil and Father Amorth (2017)
William Friedkin will always be remembered for giving the world one of its horror classics, ‘The Exorcist’. As any fan of the genre, the director has been interested in capturing the real thing rather than just concocting stories out of thin air. In this documentary, he unites with Father Amorth, an accomplished exorcist for the Diocese and Rome, to capture the process of an exorcism. The subject is an Italian woman named Cristina (not the real name) and Friedkin is the only outsider allowed in the room while filming the intense ritual. If you love possession movies, then this documentary will make your day by giving you sleepless nights.
13. Belief: The Possession of Janet Moses (2015)
One of the common themes of horror films is a possession, by an evil spirit or, in worse cases, a demonic entity. While watching such films, rarely do we think about someone relying so much on supernatural healing that they don’t bother consulting with a doctor. Horrifyingly, these films take inspiration from real stories, and Janet Moses’ case was one such story. ‘Belief: The Possession of Janet Moses’ follows the story of the 22-year-old’s exorcism, carried out by her own family members. The case is from New Zealand, so you might get to know about some rituals that haven’t previously been portrayed in any film. This documentary explores her life before the ritual, shedding light on the things that could have been misinterpreted by her family members, followed by the horrific act that eventually claimed her life.
12. Nurses Who Kill (2016)
Trust is an important thing when it comes to living one’s life. Every day, we put our trust in all sorts of strangers to get out work done. From your cab driver to the delivery guy, these are the people that pass by unnoticed and are still at the position where they can easily mess things up for her. But, because we can take measures for our safety, we don’t perceive them as strong threats. Share the number-plate of the cab or your location, and if in trouble, you’ll have help. Hospitals, on the other hand, are a totally different thing. You blindly put your trust in strangers here and because people here have more experience with dead bodies, your chances of survival decrease considerably. ‘Nurses Who Kill’ follows the story of some of the most active killers, all over the world. The next time you have to go to the hospital, a little voice in your head might ask you not to!
11. Hostage to the Devil (2016)
There are all sorts of evil in the world and most of them are propagated by humans themselves. But horror films show us that there are other things that often control us and make us do horrible things. These demonic forces are the real enemies and in order to vanquish them, we need to hold strong to our faith. If you don’t believe this, then perhaps the true accounts of an Irish Catholic priest might compel you to think twice. Malachi Martin is best known for his book ‘Hostage to the Devil: The Possession and Exorcism of Five Contemporary Americans’. In this non-fiction book, he shared his experiences of exorcisms performed to drive out evil entities and help these people. This documentary is based on his life and the death that was equally mysterious.
10. Curious and Unusual Deaths (2009)
Everyone knows that death is inevitable. No matter how long you live, one day, it will come for you, preferably in a peaceful and natural way. It’s not hard to accept your mortality. Perhaps what makes us scared of it is that we know how creative death can get with claiming a life. People die in all sorts of ways — some get an easy pass, some meet a horrendous end, while for some rare cases, a simple of act of stupidity cost them everything. ‘Curious and Unusual Deaths’ takes you to the deaths that happened in the most unimaginable ways. If killing is an art, then Death outdid itself every time in these cases. The side-effects of this docuseries include unsettling fear and increased paranoia about your own end.
9. Voyeur (2017)
If you travel a lot, then you know what it’s like to stay in hotels. They might not be as comfortable as home, but when on the road, you have to make do with what you’ve got. Hotels have every facility now — free breakfast, Wi-Fi, what more do you need? Oh wait, I forgot safety! Staying in a strange place in a strange town, if you feel a bit paranoid about your hotel room, then it’s most probably because there IS something wrong. If your gut tells you to leave, leave. Gerald Foos was the owner of a Colorado motel, and I’m sure, at one point or another, one of his guests might have felt the Bates Motel vibe there! ‘Voyeur’ is his story.
8. H. H. Holmes: America’s First Serial Killer (2004)
The threat of malevolent spirits and dangerous demons is nothing compared to the horrific things humans do to each other. There are criminals and mobsters and terrorists, who kill people for a living or to further their business or religion. These people are recognizable and we can identify them. The worst threat comes from the people who walk amongst us, often invisible and driven by something that spoils the meaning of “hobby” for us. H. H. Holmes was one of those people. His story has served as an inspiration for multiple films and TV series, and, in fact, serves as the material for Hulu’s upcoming series, ‘The Devil in the White City’. But all those are dramatic representations. If you want to get an actual gist of what he did and where he did it, you should watch this documentary.
7. Audrie and Daisy (2016)
Studies suggest that most cases of sexual assault are perpetrated by someone the victim knows. While this statistic is a horrifying revelation in itself, it also makes us wonder, is there no one we can trust? What’s worse for the victims is that instead of getting support to stand up for themselves, they are often ridiculed and rebuked, which generally happens through social media platforms. Cyberbullying can drive people to madness and suicide, and the fact that people don’t under the sensitivity of this subject is what makes my faith falter in humanity. ‘Audrie and Daisy’ presents the cases of the girls who were sexually assaulted by boys they had known since childhood, and the worst part is that they had to suffer the shame and bullying from the rest of the world. For a teenager, this life can be a nightmare, and after watching this documentary, you might feel afraid about the horrible world they’re growing up in.
6. I Am A Killer (2018)
Every crime has a punishment. The justice system is set up exactly for the purpose of making sure a person gets what they deserve. However, like everything created by man, this system is flawed as well. Sometimes, it helps a criminal to escape its clutches, while other times, it convicts a wrong man. What side is ‘I Am A Killer’ on? Nowhere. It is not an analysis that questions the judgement, or an investigative series that tries to solve a case. Through interviews with death row inmates, it recounts the stories of their crimes and then leaves it on you to feel hatred or sympathy for these people. The results might make you question your beliefs about the justice system.
5. Inside the Mind of a Serial Killer (2015 – Present)
If you loved ‘Mindhunter’ and it is becoming unbearable for you to wait for the next season, then here is the docuseries with the potential to keep you on your toes, while creeping you out immensely. What goes on in the mind of a serial killer is something that is very difficult to answer for us normal people. Only one of them can shed a light on this subject matter and ‘Inside the Mind of a Serial Killer’ does just that. The results can chill you to the bone.
Read More: Best Paranormal Documentaries on Netflix
4. The Real Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)
For horror fans, ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ series is a perfect film in slasher genre for a Halloween night. Even though the film was tagged as “based on true events”, we didn’t really believe that! Yes, the antagonist was inspired by a real-life man, but most of his traits, especially the chainsaw part, was pure imagination. ‘The Real Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ tells the story of another man, who did not inspire the events in the film, but did a lot of gruesome things similar to Leatherface. As good as the slasher film, this movie paints your nightmares red!
Read More: Best Murder Documentaries on Netflix
3. Killer Kids (2011)
What’s scarier than a ghost? A child ghost! They are the worst ones. Children can be a devilish nuisance, both as a growing human who will get to experience the same torture from his/her kids someday, and a murderous ghost who will keep wreaking havoc until it is exorcised or something. Now, if these scare you separately, imagine what would happen if they were combined? ‘Killer Kids’ gives a glimpse of that world. What can possibly push a child to kill someone? How can they be the harbinger of death when they are a representation of the best time of human life?
2. Killer Legends (2014)
Movies often take inspiration from real-life and horror genre isn’t any different. In fact, some of the most famous stories have spawned out of an urban legend or is based on some incident that happened in a remote part of the world. ‘Killer Legends’ follows two investigators on the journey to separate fiction from reality and as a result, leads them to the horrifying true cases that eventually became a part of the modern horror pop-culture.
Read More: Best Serial Killer Documentaries on Netflix
1. Encounters with Evil (2016)
“What’s the worst way to kill someone?” Only two kinds of people think about this question — murderous psychopaths or a writer working on their next murder mystery. ‘Encounters with Evil’ provides you with an answer from the perspective of the first category. There are some truly devilish characters here and they have done something that will give you that unsettling feeling at the back of your head or pit of your stomach. From people who butchered their families to the ones who did it just for the thrill of it, this documentary shows you ten faces of evil through its episodes.
Read More: Best Crime Documentaries on Netflix