Film and TV

Five Scary Documentaries That Will Give You Nightmares

"Based on a true story" are the scariest words that can appear in a horror movie. While Freddie and Jason may haunt our nightmares, there are real monsters that walk among us. That's why documentaries that tell true, terrifying tales can be more frightening than fiction. Here are our five favorite scary documentaries.

See also: Five Cult Movies That Will Scare You Silly

5) Cropsey (2009) The escaped mental patient is the focus of some of the most popular stories told around campfires. But what if those stories are true? This film sets out to explore the urban legend of "Cropsey," and then moves into the chilling tale of real-life boogieman Andre Rand, who preyed on the children of Staten Island. The horrific acts committed by Rand and the tremendous fear of the community affected by his crimes makes] Cropsey a blood-curdling movie that you can only wish was fake.

4) My Amityville Horror (2013) In the '70s, a newlywed couple with three children moved into a house in Amityville, New York. Over the next 28 days, the family was tormented by paranormal elements, including poltergeists and demons. From that story came The Amityville Horror, a film franchise spanning twelve movies that started in 1979 and continues today. Over forty years after the initial incident, one of the children is speaking out about his experience: Daniel Lutz is the center of My Amityville Horror, in which he talks with unflinching certainty about the terrors of his childhood. This spell-binding documentary might make you question what really took place in that house, but Lutz's testimony is compelling...and scary.

Keep reading for three more scary documentaries. 3) Going to Pieces: The Rise and Fall about the Slasher Film (2006) While not based on a true horror story, Going to Pieces comments on the cultural impact of scary movies. Despite the general lack of respect for these movies, the film showcases their importance, arguing that there is a little blood lust is in all of us.. Going to Pieces chronicles the evolution of these movies -- from 1972's The House on the Left to 2004's Saw -- analyzing budgets, politics, general themes and audiences. In the process, It features plenty of gory excitement and great interviews with horror-movie favorites like Wes Craven, John Carpenter and Rob Zombie.

2) Titicut Follies (1967) Titicut Follies gives you the inside look you never wanted into the state Prison for the Criminally Insane in Bridgewater, Massachusetts. It's much more frightening than any fictitious insane asylum, because these are real people. You see the patients interact with guards, social workers and psychiatrists, and it makes you question where the real evil is. Because of the movie's graphic -- and not too flattering -- portrayal of inmate treatment, it suffered decades of censorship and was only released to the public in 1991. By the end of the movie,you'll be begging for your own freedom. Keep reading for one more scary documentary. 1) Killer Legends (2014) Most fears stem from urban legends, stories that evolve from a mixture of rumor and reality to create the perfect nightmare. Filmmakers Joshua Zeman and Rachel Mills set out to find the truth behind the fiction. Killer Legends explores four famous stories -- The Candyman, The Baby-Sitter and the Man Upstairs, The Hookman and The Killer Clown. These are four horror tropes we've all heard, four gruesome tales of murders, rapists, kidnappers and poisonous candy. Truth is indeed stranger than fiction, though Killer Legends is an entertaining and endlessly creepy movie.

Follow Amanda Moutinho on Twitter at @amandamoutinho.

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Amanda Moutinho
Contact: Amanda Moutinho