Five True Crime That Can Replace Your Favorite Scary Movies


Alana DeRose , Staff Writer

Halloween is just around the corner, and that means binge-watching scary movies are a must! However, we all know what makes the movie ten times scarier is when it’s based on a true story, such as ‘The Conjuring’. So I’ll be giving you five True Crime docuseries that’ll give you absolute goosebumps, and might even have you sleeping with a bat next to your bed.  

  1. Extremely Wicked Shockingly Vile and Evil 
photo by IMDb

Starting off with the most infamous serial killer to exist, we have ‘Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil And Vile’ starring former ‘Highschool Musical’ star Zac Efron who’s portraying Ted Bundy. This documentary on Netflix analyzes what happened from Ted Bundy’s first conviction all the way until he was placed on death row. 

Many of the scenes in the movie were exact reenactments of interviews that Ted Bundy has had with the press during his trial and moments from his actual trial. Nevertheless, there aren’t any scenes of Ted Bundy actually committing any of the murders he’s done. 

I believe what makes this scary is not the movie itself, but how Bundy carried himself as a normal person, and never showed any signs of unusual aggression to his girlfriend (who was his exact type when it came to choosing his victims) or even during his childhood according to his mother. This movie is a great watch. Especially paired with the Ted Bundy tapes which are also on Netflix. This documentary is a must watch if you really want to understand what and why Bundy did everything he did. 


      2. The Night Stalker 

photo by IMDb


This docu series actually scared me to my core. For days I was paranoid when sleeping in my room at night and made sure every single door was closed and locked. I would even run upstairs even though all the lights were on. 

‘The Night Stalker’ is about how the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) caught the Night Stalker aka Richard Ramirez and the crimes he committed which terrorized the entire West Coast. The Night Stalker was a notorious serial killer, who snuck into people’s homes in the middle of the night and proceeded to kill, rape, brutally beat and rob from his victims which included both adults and children, so you can see why I was paranoid afterwards. 

During his childhood, Ramirez endured abuse from his alcoholic father and had epilepsy until his early teenage years. He also was greatly influenced by his two older cousins who consistently showed him very violent and obscene photographs, along with murdering his own wife in front of Ramirez at 13 years old. 

For a true scare, watch this series at night while sitting in the dark. There are talks about sexual assault, rape, and domestic violence, so watch at your own discretion. 


3. ‘Crime Scene: The Vanishing At The Cecil Hotel

photo by rottentomatoes

Sticking to the Los Angeles area, the ‘Crime Scene: The Vanishing At The Cecil Hotel’ docu-series is another true and horrifying unsolved mystery. The Cecil Hotel has been the prime habitat for many murders, suicides, and other crimes that’ve happened in their hotel and even serial killer “Richard Ramirez” aka the ‘Night Stalker’ even stayed at the hotel during his kill spree. Sadly in the past decade there have been reported to be at least 80 deaths at this hotel, whether that be through murder, suicide, drug overdose, or some other unknown cause. 

However, despite the many tragic events that happened at the Cecil Hotel the one that stuck out the most was the vanishing of 21 year old Elisa Lam, a guest at the hotel. She was reported missing in January of 2013 and was found dead three weeks later in the hotel’s water tank. 

The hotel is located right in the center of Skid Row, a neighborhood in Los Angeles that is known for having one of the largest populations of homeless people and high crime rates. 

This docu series gives off the same feel as a scary movie, but all the events happening in the hotel are true. So if you like jump scares and talks of paranormal activity this series is a must watch for Halloween. 

            4. I’ll Be Gone In The Dark 

photo by Amazon

Sticking to the state of California we have the scariest docu series on here. 

I’ll be Gone In The Dark explores the case of ‘The Golden State Killer’ aka Joseph James DeAngelo Jr. who committed 50 sexual assault crimes and 10 murders, and the author of the book Michelle McNamara’s wants to find justice for the victims. Sadly McNamara did commit suicide due to how gruesome the case was so watch this at your own discretion.









5. The Zodiac 

photo by IMDb

Featuring three Marvel actors, Robert Downey Jr, Mark Ruffalo and Jake Gyllenhaal, who play Paul Avery, Dave Toschi and Robert Graysmith. Three prominent people in the Zodiac case, a man who terrorized Northern California in the late 1960s. 

‘Zodiac’ is a true story based off of the book written by Robert Graysmith, a reporter in the Zodiac Killer case. Graysmith explains the obsession that was created in finding the killer’s true identity, while the Zodiac continues to kill and taunt the police with cryptic messages and phone calls. 

None of the phone calls were actual voice recordings of the zodiac killer, but they still haven’t caught the real zodiac killer. However, it’s rumored the actual zodiac killer was in the theaters watching this movie himself, but their main suspect Arthur Leigh Allen died back in 1992.