9 Super Disturbing Documentaries On Netflix

by Kayleigh Hughes
Gravitas Ventures

There's definitely a type of person out there who loves to dig into the creepiest, grossest, scariest, eeriest stories and expose themselves to all the disturbing details, no matter the consequences. You know, the people who dive down Wikipedia rabbit holes and end up in really weird places, who can't stop reading about the JonBenet Ramsey murder even though it was decades ago, or who always suspect that someone's motives are super sinister because they read about that one time... Fortunately, there are many scary movies out there to offer those people, including these Netflix documentaries, which you should watch with the lights on in order not to be truly terrified.

If you're reading this list, you probably are one of those people who like to be scared, so not to worry, the films below should not disappoint. You will be spooked and shocked by some, creepily engrossed in others, and just flat out terrified of yet others. This list should help you to be prepared and ready to go when morbid curiosity calls, but if you happen to be trying to get some of your more timid or easily frightened friends and family to watch with you, then you might want to make sure it's bright out (maybe early afternoon) and that you've got some super fun comedies cued up to watch afterward.



Breaking Glass Pictures

Just your classic creepy small-town folklore, except it's actually based off of some very real terrifying events that happened in the filmmakers' own hometown.


'Killer Legends'

Gravitas Ventures

The filmmakers behind Cropsey strike again, this time examining the frightening truth behind several more terrifying legends.




Yep. This is exactly what it sounds like. A whole hour-and-a-half documentary all about rats, and it spares no disgusting detail. Just in case you feel like never truly believing your home is clean and safe ever again.


'Team Foxcatcher'


The big-screen biopic of this story, starring Steve Carell and Channing Tatum, got most of the attention, but this documentary about the real-life disturbing sports tale is just as gripping.


'H.H. Holmes: America's First Serial Killer'

Virgil Films and Entertainment

If scores of women being brutalized and murdered in an elaborate torture hotel (acid vats, anyone?) in 19th century Chicago doesn't keep you up at night, I don't know what to tell you.


'Dear Zachary: A Letter To A Son About His Father'


Coping with a friend's murder becomes all the more difficult for this filmmaker when it turns out that the murderer is pregnant with the victim's child.


'Josef Fritzl: Story Of A Monster'

Target Entertainment

Fritzl kept his daughter locked in his basement for decades, abusing and raping her repeatedly and fathering many children with her. This is that story, so, yeah. Tread with caution.


'My Friend Rockefeller'


This documentary looks at the life of Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, convicted murderer and imposter who conned his way into wealth and luxury while assuming a variety of aliases. It will make you question how well you can truly know someone.


'Room 237'

IFC Films

Almost as eerie as the horror movie it's about, Room 237 examines the many fan theories about Stanley Kubrick's The Shining, from coded messages to dark symbols.


'The Nightmare'

Gravitas Ventures

A remarkably horrifying documentary about the experience of having sleep paralysis. The visions in the film will keep you awake for days.

Sometimes real life is even scarier than fiction, as these documentaries prove.