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Scary Documentary #7 – In Search of Darkness

scary documentaries

In Search of Darkness, 2019

There are many scary documentaries about horror movies. I have a lot of my personal favorites, but of course, it is very subjective. If you love a movie, a documentary deep-diving into it probably sounds great.

For this list of scary documentaries I’ll just suggest one that covers many horror movies, and that is the documentary In Search of Darkness. It is a 4+ hour survey of 1980s horror, with a lot of explorations of different aspects, such as gender in horror, music and score, the fans of horror, and much more. But it mostly goes year to year, looking at some of the most influential horror movies of that decade. I enjoyed the segments about movies I know and love and even the movies I don’t I found interesting and fun to see in context of the genre and the decade.

Find out where to watch documentary In Search of Darkness

Scary Documentary #6 – Talhotblond

scary documentaries

Talhotblond, 2009

This documentary (documentary trailer here) has so many twists and turns it will leave you in a state of shock and disbelief. It is about an online love triangle that ends in cold-blooded murder and destroys the lives of everyone involved. This scary documentary reveals the terrifying and deadly combination of the internet, a bored and lonely person’s fantasies, jealousy, and lust. The story escalates at an alarming rate and the ending will leave you feeling deeply disturbed.

Find out where to watch documentary Talhotblond

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Scary Documentary #5 – My Amityville Horror

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My Amityville Horror, 2012

If you are a connoisseur of the horror genre, you have most likely seen or at least heard of one of the many Amityville Horror movies. If you haven’t, just know that this one story sparked a franchise of horror films (12 since 1979), so yeah, its pretty scary. The horror begins when a couple and their children move into a house in Amityville, New York. Then begins the paranormal torture fest, from demons to poltergeists, until the family flees the house. Daniel Lutz, one of the children, recounts the terrifying events that took place during that time.

Find out where to watch scary documentary My Amityville Horror

Scary Documentary #4 – Room 237

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Room 237, 2012

I really like this documentary. It’s different than just any other documentary about a horror movie, because it’s about the obsession and analysis of movies, not exactly about the horror movie itself. Which in some ways makes it brilliant.

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The documentary Room 237 is about The Shining, and it looks at it through the lens of all the theories that have sprung up, finding meaning in all the complex mazes that exist in that movie.

The Shining is a complex movie made by a genius filmmaker. (Check out our analysis of the complexities of color in The Shining.) That said, certainly people are finding a lot of things that are a bit of a stretch. From Indian burial grounds to faking the moon landing to impossible physical locations found in The Shining, a lot of people find a lot of things in that movie. You can’t believe all of it is really there purposefully. Still. It’s fascinating to hear.

Find out where to watch documentary Room 237

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Scary Documentary #3 – Killer Legends

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Killer Legends, 2014

Killer Legends is a trip down horror history lane courtesy of Joshua Zeman and Rachel Mills, the same duo responsible for the next one on this list of scary documentaries, Cropsey. In Killer Legends Zeman and Mills masterfully attempt to direct some of America’s most widely circulated urban legends exposing surprising origins of famous freights like the Candy Man, Killer Clowns, and the Phantom. And they even cover the case of Janett Christman, which we cover here in The Babysitter and the Man Upstairs and the Case of Janett Christman. Suffice it to say, getting underneath the real stories behind these famous legends is a fascinating trip.

Find out where to watch scary documentary Killer Legends

Scary Documentary #2 – Cropsey

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Cropsey, 2009

In a list of scary documentaries this one perhaps contains some of the scariest elements of all: an old haunted mental institute, a creepy man who preyed on children, and cults. It begins by tracing the origins of the urban legend, Cropsey, one of the most popular among the children of Staten Island. It then goes into the true story of Andre Rand, a real life Cropsey, who preyed on children in Staten Island. It explores his affiliation with a supposedly haunted abandoned mental institute, missing children, and a satanic cult. Good luck sleeping after watching this one. Link to their website with lot of information.

Find out where to watch the documentary Cropsey

Scary Documentary #1 – The American Scream

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The American Scream, 2012

I love this documentary.

It isn’t #1 on this list because it is the scariest documentary out there. I love it because it is about the love of horror. It is heartfelt and fun while wrapped in Halloween goodness and the spirit of all things horror.

It follows three families of “home haunters” and their passion of the Halloween season. It dives into the culture of creating home haunts while keeping it a slice-of-life journey of what it means to feel passionately about scary things and the season that shines a light on those feelings. If you’re not searching for pure scary factor but rather a documentary that gets you in the scary feels, this is a great one to watch.

Find out where to watch documentary The American Scream

Last Updated on May 25, 2021.

Cody Meirick
Cody Meirick is a web producer, writer, and filmmaker. He produced and directed the 2019 documentary Scary Stories.

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