Top 10 Unsolved Mysteries Episodes That Will Keep You Up at Night

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Top 10 Unsolved Mysteries Episodes That Will Keep You Up at Night

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: George Pacheco
These are the Unsolved Mysteries episodes that will keep you up at night.
Transcript
That theme song still haunts our dreams. Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Unsolved Mysteries Episodes That Will Keep You Up at Night.

For this list, we'll be ranking the scariest, most memorable, or otherwise disturbing episodes of "Unsolved Mysteries" that gave us the creeps. We'll be including episodes from all the iterations of the series, from the classic first run, hosted by Robert Stack, to the various incarnations "Unsolved Mysteries" has enjoyed over the years.

#10: The Lizzie Borden House


The tried-and-true murder mystery always makes for creepy nighttime viewing when it comes to diehard fans of "Unsolved Mysteries." And what better true crime tale than the infamous case of Lizzie Borden? This episode not only detailed facts about the horrible double murder from New England, but also goes into the present-day history of the Fall River home that Lizzie shared, alongside her father, stepmother, and live-in maid. The house may be a popular bed and breakfast for the brave and the bold, but there are also plenty of late night ghost stories that keep us awake wondering whether or not Lizzie still prowls the hallways, axe steadily in hand.

#9: The Tatum House


Okay, so it isn't as if "Unsolved Mysteries" needed an excuse to be creepy, but this special Halloween episode delivered the supernatural goods with a host of frightening tales. The "Tatum House" segment dealt with poltergeist activity in a home owned by a retired married couple, who reported continued explained noises in the house. The reenactments forego cheesy theatrics and overacting, and instead describe the Tatum's experiences with a basic, matter-of-fact delivery that makes it feel all the more real. As a result, we can identify much more with how the couple must've felt, particularly Jim Tatum, who becomes increasingly upset as he describes what happened to the camera.

#8: Spirits at The Comedy Store


Sometimes, buildings have personalities all their own. Case in point? California's classic stand-up venue The Comedy Store, which possesses a history dating all the way back to the 1940s and '50s. The Comedy Store was known as Ciro's during these days and was a hub for criminal activity for the local mobsters. As a result, some people claim to have witnessed paranormal activity and other mysterious occurrences, such as inanimate objects being moved around by an unknown force. Given the fact that so much comedy seems to come from pain, we're not entirely ruling out the possibility that The Comedy Store walls have some sort of bad juju lurking deep inside.

#7: The Allagash Abductions


Okay, we admit it: sometimes the recreations on "Unsolved Mysteries" and other similar shows are more... well, "humorous" than frightening. Thankfully, this isn't the case with our next entry, a harrowing tale of an alleged contact with the extra-terrestrial. "The Allagash Abductions" doesn't play it light, or for laughs, but instead presents the four subjects as men who definitely seem to be shaken by a collective experience. As a result, we can put ourselves in their shoes, and imagine how we might feel if we felt we were abducted by visitors from outer space. It's here that "Unsolved Mysteries" has always shined, and an example of why this episode continues to give us the creeps.

#6: Prison Mystery


Speaking of reenactments, the updated version of "Unsolved Mysteries," hosted by Dennis Farina, featured increased production values when it came to staging these sequences. As a result, this episode from that iteration's second season has aged pretty well, all things considered. The murder mystery which serves as the centerpiece to this episode deals with Judge James Michael Francke, who was hired by the Oregon State prison system to try and increase inmate capacity. The reenactments do a great job at stressing how Francke was murdered outside of his office in an apparent robbery-gone-wrong, while also lending credence to the theories that he might have been the victim of an inside hit by corrupt government officials. Either way, it's truly chilling stuff.

#5: Resurrection Mary


There's a tinge of sadness to the next entry on our list, the tale of Resurrection Mary. It's a ghost story about a young life taken too soon, and the people who swear they've seen her spirit prowling the streets near Resurrection Cemetery in Illinois. Mary Bregovy was her name, a girl who is said to have died in a car accident during the mid-thirties. Multiple folks claim to have encountered her over the years, some of whom have even attempted to give her rides, only for her to disappear. The episode itself possesses a dreamlike allure, and captures well the tragedy of Mary's story. This is perhaps, in part, why the story of Resurrection Mary has survived to this day.

#4: The Circleville Letters


The word "chilling" doesn't even begin to describe what happened to the residents of Circleville, Ohio during the late 1970s. Small town gossip turned deadly when residents of this otherwise unassuming small town began receiving threatening letters about their personal lives, increasing exponentially to the point where the entire community was turned upside down with paranoia, fear, and anger. The reenactments do a great job at presenting how tense and on edge the whole affair made the community, and the voice-over of the Circleville Writer is delivered in an ultra-creepy monotone. Finally, it's revealed that even the crew behind "Unsolved Mysteries" weren't safe from being harassed, as they received a threatening postcard prior to airing the episode.

#3: Friends to the End


Not every unsolved mystery can be resolved during the lifetime of a family members, friends or, in this case, a dedicated prosecutor. Richard Garrett was determined to uncover what happened to Kevin Ives and Don Henry, two popular teenagers who were tragically run over by a train, under mysterious circumstances. It took multiple autopsies and the testimony from witnesses as bizarre as former professional wrestler Billy Jack Haynes to discover that the boys were murdered and brought to the tracks, not accidentally run over while under the influence of marijuana. The episode detailing their demise is a somber and sad affair, a story which haunts us almost as much as it seemed to haunt Garrett, who died in 2018 without receiving an answer to his investigation.

#2: Scared to Death


There's harassment, and then there's what reportedly happened to Cindy James. The nurse claimed to be the victim of threatening phone calls, letters, and behavior for over seven years, so much so that she told friends that she feared she was going to be "scared to death." Still, James' reluctance to reveal specific details about the case has raised suspicion about what exactly happened leading up to her death in 1989. The "Unsolved Mysteries" take on her tale raises more questions than answers about how she was bound, hand and foot, with a lethal dose of morphine found in her system. Yet, it's the evidence and mystery behind the death of Cindy James that continues to haunt our dreams every time we re-watch the episode.

Before we name our number one pick, here are a few honorable mentions!

Arson Mystery

ATM Abduction

Tallman's Ghost

The Connecticut River Valley Killer

Crew of the L-8

#1: Shane, Sally & Satan


"Satanic Panic" refers to a period during the 1980s where moral outrage over the occult, heavy metal, and “Dungeons & Dragons” spilled over into accusations of Satanic ritual abuse. Shane Stewart and Sally McNelly were teenagers whose disappearance and violent deaths were attributed to their involvement in a local cult. Although today "Satanic Panic" is largely seen as a reaction to Christian conservatism, misinformation, and paranoia, those involved at the time seemed to be searching for something to blame for this tragic loss. A person of interest for the murders didn't emerge until 2017, when a Texas Sheriff's Office named John Gilbreath as someone who possessed "biological material" associated with the case. Sometimes, reality is much scarier than anything associated with imagination or The Devil.
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