A few weeks ago, we ran an article recommending Six Spooky Documentaries For This Halloween Season, and I asked you guys to suggest some of your own favorites in the comments. After reading through your suggestions and re-watching a few other movies, I realized that there are actually a lot more entertaining horror-related documentaries where those came from.
While we are steadily approaching the 31st, there’s still ample time for October movie-marathons, so I figured I’d pen a sequel to that list. That’s why I’ll be recommending six more documentaries that will feel right at home by your chocolate and candy-corn on your next Halloween movie-night.
Once again, feel free to leave more spooky suggestions in the comments below!
Going Clear: Scientology & the Prison of Belief
While Alex Gibney’s film doesn’t deal with horror in the traditional sense, Going Clear is a terrifying look at cult psychology and the lengths people will go to in order to defend their twisted worldviews.
Featuring an in-depth exploration of L. Ron Hubbard’s religious institution, not to mention several startling interviews with ex-Scientologists, it’s no wonder that this controversial documentary resulted in HBO receiving numerous threats from the Church of Scientology.
The film may suffer from a slightly bloated runtime and some overly-dramatic reenactments, but it’s still a must-watch for conspiracy enthusiasts everywhere.
The Devil and Father Amorth
This may come as a surprise to some of you, but I have a personal vendetta against exorcism films. I find it hard to enjoy most attempts at the sub-genre because I can’t help but compare them to William Friedkin’s 1973 horror classic, The Exorcist, which I believe to be a perfect film.
Of course, leave it to Friedkin to try to top his own masterpiece with The Devil and Father Amorth, a horror documentary that claims to cover a real-life case of demonic possession. While the scare-factor really depends on your devotion to Christianity, what’s really fascinating is the filmmaker’s obsession with the subject matter, and the relationships formed throughout the film.
Father Amorth himself is an incredibly compelling character, and the almost accidental exploration of exorcisms as both a psychological and sociological phenomena makes this a must watch for paranormal-enthusiasts. That is, as long as you can get past the obvious ethical issues surrounding filming the poor girl suffering through this alleged possession.
Joshua Zeman might be best known as half of the directing duo behind Cropsey, another spooky documentary that showed up on our previous list, but he also directed the highly underrated Killer Legends, a sort of spiritual follow-up to his first film.
Originally broadcast on Chiller, the film investigates the origins and social impact of several infamous urban legends, covering everything from killer clowns to the original Candyman. Unlike Cropsey, the anthology format makes for a more dynamic and faster-paced viewing experience, and the subject matter is sure to appeal to fans of both horror movies and contemporary folklore alike.
That being said, coulrophobics, teenage lovers and practicing babysitters might want to proceed with caution.
Since childhood, I’ve had a love-hate relationship with anything concerning extraterrestrials. On one hand, this stuff always scared the hell out of me, but on the other, I find it utterly fascinating. However, John Lundberg’s Mirage Men subverts the creepy alien/UFO formula by turning the usual conspiracies on their heads, providing us with a frightening examination of what happens when a government takes disinformation campaigns too far.
The documentary covers what can only be described as the anti-Men-in-Black, agents who attempt to convince civilians of alien conspiracies in order to cover up secretive government operations. Naturally, things spiral out of control and several innocent people’s lives are ruined in the name of military secrecy.
Although tragic, these stories result in a surprisingly spooky and insightful film that’s sure to terrify (and delight) conspiracy aficionados everywhere.
Haunters: The Art of The Scare
After exhausting the vast pantheon of scary movies in search of genuine frights, some horror fans turn to a more direct source of terror in order to get their blood pumping. While some of us still associate Halloween Haunted Houses with wholesome jump scares and silly costumes, Jon Schnitzer’s Haunters: The Art Of The Scare welcomes viewers to the terrifying world of Extreme Haunts, where almost anything goes to get a scream.
This intriguing documentary dives deep into the minds of both the fans and creators of these haunts, in an attempt to unravel the psychological and even ethical implications behind our morbid fascination with experiencing and inflicting fear.
While big names like Jason Blum and the Soska Sisters provide some fascinating insight into the world of horror, the consequences of this terrifying “lifestyle” on regular folk is just as interesting, making this required viewing for horror fans.
Though it’s only recently become the subject of scientific studies, the phenomena of sleep paralysis may very well be behind some of humanity’s oldest scary stories. With The Nightmare, director Rodney Ascher attempts to get to the bottom of this horrific condition that afflicts thousands of people worldwide, documenting the effects that these frightening episodes have on their day-to-day lives.
Featuring everything from shadow-people to demonic hags, this deeply disturbing documentary brings Nightmare-on-Elm-Street-level scares to the real world, reminding viewers that nothing can truly compare to the horrors of the human mind.