Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction was a paranormal TV show hosted by Jonathan Frakes and James Brolin. Each week there were five tales, some true, some fiction. The catch was that you wouldn’t be told which ones were true and which were fiction until the end of the show. The scariest thing about this show was the unknown. Throughout the episode you’d be trying to guess if it was fact or fiction, but you’d never know until it was over. The funny thing was that the ones you were sure were too scary to be true were the very ones that turned out to be fact.
A married couple buy a new house and move in with their young son and their nanny. On the first night they stay in the new house, the son goes down to the kitchen. He hears a a disturbingly loud whooshing sound and sees a pair of ominous evil red eyes floating towards him. The parents think their frightened son just imagined the whole thing, until the same thing happens to the wife some time later. This one just freaked me out. I cannot describe how scary and unpredictable that ending was. The worst thing is, they claim it was a true story.
Kid in the Closet
There was a really freaky one about a kid who claimed that there is a monster in his closet. His parents didn’t believe him. His schoolmates and his brother tease him. One day, they threaten to put him in the closet. The kid goes into the closet, screaming when the door is closed. He was never seen again. Instant classic, scary as hell, with horrific music and one of the most memorable closing lines ever. And again, they claim it’s a TRUE STORY.
The Mirror of Truth
A vain and shallow woman who is obsessed with her appearance visits a beauty parlor. She is engaged to be married and wants to get a makeover before the wedding. Dissatisfied with the results, she is mean and rude to the beautician who apparently puts a curse upon her. The woman’s good looks rapidly begin to fade and in the end, when she looks into a mirror, she sees a hideously deformed face staring back at her. The deformed face is Nightmare Fuel at its finest, especially since you’re not expecting it.
House of Shadows
A teenage girl is house-sitting for a rich architect who is on vacation with his wife. On the first night, she sees something very strange on the television. It is a video of a man in the basement, mixing up cement and bricking up a wall. She can’t change the channel and when she plugs out the TV, she can still hear the sound of his shovel scraping against the concrete.
Out of Service
A young couple are out camping in the woods when they hear a news report on the radio about a serial killer on the loose. When they spot a man washing his knife in the river, he chases them through the forest, trying to kill them. Just when they think all hope is lost and they have no chance of escape, a mysterious man in a yellow jacket appears to show them the way.
A nurse is working the night shift at a hospital when she encounters a very strange patient who she suspects could be a vampire.
A mystery writer and his wife move into a new house, but at night, they hear the sound of a little girl begging for help. This is yet another true story.
The Boy Who Cried Wolf
Another great one. Boy is teased at camp by two kids. The boy has a nightmare and is woken up by his counselor. The boy tells the story of his dream. The kids stray off and are confronted by a mean wolf. The boy then appears and feeds the wolf cookies, so the wolf leaves and the kids are saved. Suddenly, the kids run in and ask what the boy is doing there, since he just saved them from a wolf. But the boy was there the entire time.. suddenly he looks in his hand.. he finds a bag of cookies.
The Mute Janitor
This one is great too. Four kids find themselves trapped in detention. A mute and deaf janitor is being harassed by two of them. Later, one of the kids starts writing on the chalkboard, when moans start occuring. Every time he writes using the chalk, moans occur. The moans eventually lead them to the janitor, who is MUTE and therefore cannot moan. Freaky, huh?
A woman sees a strange house in her dreams. Every night she wanders the house in her dreams. One day, she finds the house in reality, and every detail is perfect.. but it turns out to be haunted. When she meets the homeowner, the homeowner says the woman IS the ghost haunting the house.
A guy decides to ride a haunted carousel. Everyone who rides it dies, but he thinks he can turn the fate around.. until he sticks his hand in the horse’s mouth and a rattlesnake bites him.
There was one about a comic book artist who drew his own death in a comic and came back to haunt his boss…