While in quarantine, Friday nights have gained a new meaning for me. Besides marking the celebratory end to the week, a Friday night also means a new episode of BuzzFeed Unsolved, a YouTube series that summarizes unsolved mysteries, ranging from famous serial killers and creepy historical events to haunted spaces and unexplained supernatural phenomena.
While these topics are morbid, and usually I cannot go right to sleep after just watching an episode, the hosts, Ryan Bergara and Shane Madej, present the content in a comedic manner, poking fun at murder suspects and engaging in some banter with each other. The comedic element is a major reason why the show is so entertaining.
BuzzFeed Unsolved has been airing since 2016 and is currently in its 12th season. The show is divided into two sub-series: true crime and supernatural, which have each had six seasons (I favor the true crime episodes, but the supernatural ones tend to be funnier). The series actually started on a different BuzzFeed YouTube channel but grew so popular that it now has its own—BuzzFeed Unsolved Network. At the beginning of the series’ life, the episodes were usually less than 10 minutes long, but now, they tend to be closer to a half-hour. Starting in 2017, the show started to produce and air “Postmortem” episodes, in which Ryan and Shane respond to questions and theories from watchers and even read “roastmortem” comments from viewers poking fun at them.
There are over 100 episodes, and I have watched nearly every one. All of them are entertaining, so if you’re just starting to watch the show now, you can’t go wrong when choosing which episode to watch. If you really can’t make up your mind, however, here are my main recommendations (they lean more heavily on true crime)…
- “The Grisly Murders Of Jack The Ripper”
In this chilling episode, Ryan and Shane actually travel to London and explore the locations where each murder took place.
- “The Ghosts and Demons Of Bobby Mackey’s”
This supernatural episode contains the famous quote from Shane, “Hey there demons, it’s me, ya boi.” BuzzFeed now even sells merch with this phrase!
- “The Curious Death Of Vincent Van Gogh”
You may think you know how Vincent Van Gogh died, but Ryan and Shane present some other compelling theories.
- “The Thrilling Gardner Museum Heist”
As a Gardner Museum fanatic, I loved watching this episode and learning more about the mystery of the stolen paintings.
- “The Bizarre Disappearance of Bobby Dunbar”
Although this is not a well-known unsolved mystery, the story of this missing child, the boy who pretended to be him, and a DNA test decades later is very interesting.
- “The Unbelievable Horrors of the Old City Jail”
This episode not only has a sequence in which Ryan and Shane play with their belly buttons to try to conjure up some ghosts, but it also contains a video of an apparition that Ryan believes is the most compelling evidence they’ve ever gotten to show that ghosts are real. Also, Ryan slightly loses his mind in this episode (which is not a rarity for him, but amusing nonetheless).
- “The Horrifying Murders Of The Zodiac Killer”
Learning about the theories behind the Zodiac Killer’s identity may freak you out, but the episode will pull you in.
- “The Treacherous Treasure Hunt of Forrest Fenn”
Ryan and Shane explain this mysterious treasure hunt and also travel to New Mexico to try to find the treasure themselves!
- “The Eerie Case Of The Watcher”
This is a widely unknown but relatively recent true crime mystery that will probably keep you spooked in your house for a couple of days.
- “The Suspicious Assassination of JFK”
While everyone probably knows the various suspects associated with JFK’s assassination, it’s very interesting to see them all laid out and learn new theories in this episode.
- “The Odd Vanishing of Amelia Earhart”
The vanishing of Amelia Earhart is taught in school, but did you ever learn about the various theories as to why she disappeared? Ryan and Shane got you covered!
- “The Tragic Murder Of JonBenét Ramsey”
The murder of this child beauty queen received national media coverage but still remains unsolved. Definitely a fascinating episode to watch.
- “The Macabre Death Of Edgar Allan Poe”
Even though Edgar Allan Poe is remembered for his poetry and short stories, his death is still a mystery.
I hope these episodes make your endless hours in self-quarantine pass more quickly. Happy watching, ghouligans (wheeze)!