It’s undeniable that the spookiest part of the year is Halloween, but that does not mean that it’s the only period you can watch horror/paranormal films — anytime is a good time to delve into the genre. Now, even though not all such productions pull off the concept too well, we’ve noticed that the best ones have something in common; they’re all based on true events. Take ‘The Conjuring‘ for example, no doubt it has incredible characters, a great storyline, and a good number of jump scares, but the aspect that sends chills down our bones is the fact that a family actually faced all those incidents.
Even the movies that are not based on actual events try to portray the incidents in such a manner that the viewer starts to believe all of it is really happening. They either do this by recreating events/characters or by sticking to a first-person viewpoint to give it an “amateur documentary created by real people” look; for example, ‘The Blair Witch Project.’ But if you’re looking for something more than just a mere adaption of a true story and more than a wannabe documentary, then you’ve come to the right place. Of course, there are some thrill-seekers out in the world who purposely visit haunted sights and even use Ouija Boards to interact with paranormal beings, but let’s be honest, not all of us have the hardihood to do that.
Therefore, they (including us) pick the safer option to experience the supernatural in full effect — they watch documentary movies/shows. After all, since documentaries bring us a lot closer to reality than movies, it’s perfect for those who don’t want to encounter real paranormal yet still want to be near the same as authentically as possible. So here’s the list of some enthralling paranormal productions on Netflix that are available to stream right now.
5. John Was Trying To Contact Aliens (2020)
Directed by Matthew Killip, ‘John Was Trying To Contact Aliens’ is a 16-minute short that chronicles one man’s extreme fascination in wanting to make contact with the otherworldly. It thus revolves around electronics specialist John Shepherd, who spent the better part of three decades broadcasting radio signals millions of miles into space, only to end up finding something much more important closer to home. It’s the fact that this documentary captures the heartwarming essence of the tale primarily through vintage and psychedelic footage that makes it stand out from the rest. You can watch it here.
4. Surviving Death (2021)
As the title suggests, ‘Surviving Death’ is a Netflix original documentary series that dives deep into the paranormal phenomena connected to one’s ultimate passing. From the possibility of life after death to reincarnation to psychic mediumship, this six-parter explores it all in the hopes of answering the age-old question of what happens after we die. It is based on paranormal enthusiast Leslie Kean’s 2017 book of the same name. And the matters covered seem to be perfectly balanced thanks to the inclusion of personal accounts, making it entirely comprehensive. You can watch it here.
3. Paranormal Investigation (2018)
‘Paranormal Investigation’ is a French horror documentary that comprises all the creepiest aspects in the genre — lingering spirits, after-death communication, and exorcism. After all, this Franck Phelizon film follows an experienced ghost hunter as they try to investigate and draw out the soul that possessed a young man while he was playing an Ouija game. All the latter had done was ask how they’d died for things to turn calamitous, starting with a sort of seizure that led him to lose control over himself. The backstories and the hunting elements within this production are just parts of why it deserves to be on this list. You can watch it here.
2. Dark Tourists (2018)
We love light-hearted shows on TLC that feature tourists visiting exotic and beautiful destinations inspiring us to pack our bags and travel the world. But Journalist David Farrier is passionate about places that are not exactly “exotic.” In fact, his dark choices might just scare you to such an extent that you’d find yourself wanting to stay inside your home for the rest of the week. He visits dark and dangerous places, including haunted forests, death-worshipping cult areas, and atomic pools filled with radiation. This docu-series is not for the faint-hearted since it incorporates some really graphic and violent images, but that’s part of what makes it one of the best in the genre right now. You can watch it here.
1. Haunted (2018-)
Featuring intimate retellings of true and terrifying tales told by those who actually experienced them in real life, ‘Haunted’ is undoubtedly one of the best paranormal shows on Netflix at the moment. The series in itself doesn’t seek to affirm or negate any of the accounts despite the doubts naturally skeptic viewers might have, meaning that it allows the subjects to illustrate their enigmatic encounters as they please. The only thing it does do is provide dramatic reenactments to amp up the terrifying intensity of the scenarios, leaving us rattled to our very souls. You can watch this bone-chilling series here.
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