26. Unsolved Mysteries
Air Dates: January 20, 1987 - Present
Network: NBC, CBS, Lifetime, Spike
Best Episode: None in particular
For some, the creepiest thing about Unsolved Mysteries is the show's conceit. According to host Robert Stack, all of the show's segments are based on real-life cases, meaning every UFO encounter, supernatural occurrence, or grisly homicide “really” happened. An hour spent in front of the tube watching Unsolved Mysteries is a 60-minute span spent witnessing life's darkest side, and it's that sense of it-could-happen-to-you immediacy that gives the series its disturbing power.
But that's not what freaks us out the most about Unsolved Mysteries. For us, the show's eeriest contributions to the nightmare lexicon are its dramatizations, the reenactments of each segment's central incident. The actors were usually subpar, and the foggy camerawork lent a dreamlike quality to each one; they felt more like bad dreams than actual events.