20 Documentaries That Scared the Hell Out of People

Truth is absolutely scarier than fiction
20 Documentaries That Scared the Hell Out of People

Documentaries have long held a reputation for being boring, typically conjuring the sights and sounds of some old British guy droning on about the majesty of the dung beetle that’s mostly suited for lulling you to sleep after a long night of watching actually exciting content. But those are your grandma’s documentaries. These days, with the true-crime boom and a new wave of investigative journalism, you can delve into an exposé of modern society’s seedy, slightly sticky underbelly or a 20-part series examining every facet of a serial killer’s mind.

That’s the sort of thing Redditor DirectionBasic3386 was looking for when they asked r/Movies, “What is the scariest documentary you’ve ever seen?” “I am a big horror genre fan,” they explained, “but truth is scarier than fiction, so I also really love documentaries,” noting that “a couple of the scariest documentaries I’ve seen are Jesus Camp and The Imposter.” 

Reddit agreed and also supplied serial killers, prison riots, all kinds of abuse, and… tickling? Seriously, hear them out.

The Act of Killing

Into the Deep: The Submarine Murder Case

Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer

Conversations With a Killer: The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes

New Mexico Penitentiary

Gladiator Days: Anatomy of a Prison Murder

The Dust Bowl

Man in Hole

Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father

The Bridge

Gladbeck: The Hostage Crisis

The Sinking of the Concordia: Caught on Camera

Jared From Subway: Catching a Monster

Child of Rage: A Story of Abuse

Inside North Korea

The Nightmare

The Cove


Dark Days


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