The only thing scarier than a horror movie? A true horror movie. From a real Catholic priest well acquainted with the devil to the notorious Amityville Haunting through the eyes of the man who lived it, these eerie paranormal documentaries you can watch tonight are the real deal.
The Devil and Father Amorth
If demonic possession is your thing, this documentary might just be your new favorite movie. From William Friedkin, director of 1973’s The Exorcist, comes the true story of Vatican exorcist Father Gabriele Amorth. As Friedkin admits, when he directed The Exorcist he was non-believer. Then he was invited by Amorth to have a front seat to an actual exorcism.
Related: The Exorcist: Father Theophilus Riesinger and the Possession of Anna Ecklund
Ghost Adventures host Zak Bagans thought he had seen it all–until he came face to face with what he believes was the ultimate evil. The Ammons family had struggled for years in their home in Gary, Indiana, claiming to have been the victims of violent and unexplained paranormal activity. Bagans bought the house in hopes of creating a documentary about it, eventually producing Demon House. But whatever Bagans and his crew encountered upon entering the eerie home, documented in this film, proved too much. Two years after purchasing the house, he had the place demolished.
Related: Demon House Is the Sinister New Documentary You Need to Watch Tonight
My Amityville Horror
Most people are familiar with the Amityville house as the focus of the controversial book and horror movie The Amityville Horror. Now for the first time in 35 years, Daniel Lutz, just a boy when his family moved into the infamous house in Amityville, speaks about his experience. Daniel’s harrowing ordeal and the aftermath of The Amityville Horror are equally disturbing as the unexplained paranormal phenomena.
The Blackwell Ghost
The filmmakers of this documentary had skeptics in mind. Inspired by “found footage” of a “real” paranormal activity that went viral on YouTube, The Blackwell Ghost hopes to convince you of a true haunting of a home in Pennsylvania where a woman named Ruth Blackwell supposedly murdered seven children. Reviewers of the film haven’t been able to verify the story, or even the identity of the filmmaker. We’ll leave it up to you to decide ...
Related: Ghostwatch: The BBC Paranormal Hoax That Terrified England
Hostage to the Devil
Another excellent demonic possession documentary, this movie centers on the experiences of one Father Malachi Martin, an Irish Jesuit priest, who has spent much of his life battling demons. The question, of course, is just who is the hostage to the devil: the possessed, or Father Martin himself?
A Haunting in Connecticut and A Haunting in Georgia
These two documentaries trace the real story behind the events that inspired narrative films of the same name. Little Georgia girl Heidi, at four years old, is like many kids her age with a pair of imaginary friends. But when strange, unexplained things start happening in Heidi’s house and her family finds itself under attack, it turns out Heidi’s friends might not be so imaginary after all. In Connecticut, the Parker family discovers their new home used to be a funeral parlor. Strange and violent things start to occur, and the family must bring in renowned paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren as their last hope.
The Enfield Poltergeist
The subject of several narrative films and television shows, this documentary from the BBC tells the true story behind the Enfield Haunting, or the Enfield Poltergeist, which terrorized a family living in Enfield, England between 1977 and 1979. With real footage and interviews from those who witnessed the haunting which went on to inspire films like The Conjuring 2, this well researched documentary will satisfy those eager for in-depth evidence of the haunting.
This eerie documentary from 2009 focuses on the urban legend of a so-called boogeyman who terrorized children on New York’s Staten Island in the 1970s and 1980s. Though the filmmakers began in paranormal territory, with stories of satan worshippers and revengeful ghosts, the reality of what happened to a group of missing children from the island is much, much worse than any apocryphal boogeyman.
Joshua Zeman, the documentarian behind Cropsey, joins forces with filmmaker and researcher Rachel Mills, exposing the origins of all those killer legends that lurk inside your well-worn copy of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Among the eerie tales discussed: “The Hookman”, “The Candyman”, “The Babysitter and the Man Upstairs”. But the terrifying thing about urban legends is that the stories are often based on real, horrifying crimes.
Featured still from "Demon House" via Freestyle Releasing