Truth or Scare



Intriguing documentary series for tweens, teens.

What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable

No violence, but plenty of potentially scary material, due to the series' paranormal theme.

Not applicable
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Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that while tweens and teens may find this documentary series about strange creatures and unexplained phenomena entertaining and informative, certain episodes about ghosts and other supernatural occurrences may be a bit scary. If you know that your child is uncomfortable with things like that or prone to sleeplessness or having nightmares after watching scary movies, you may want to watch the show with them and then discuss it -- or suggest they skip certain episodes.

What's the story?

Discovery Kids' documentary-style series TRUTH OR SCARE treks across the globe to investigate paranormal phenomena and legends about ghosts, monsters, aliens, mythical creatures, and more. In a format designed to appeal to older tweens and teens, the show gives the facts about each creepy case and then leaves viewers to decide for themselves: Is it real, or perhaps someone's idea of a nasty joke meant to frighten people? The series is hosted by actress Michelle Trachtenberg (of TV's Buffy the Vampire Slayer).

Is it any good?


Tweens and teens who are curious about the paranormal won't be disappointed with this show if they're seeking a few thrills and chills. The show covers a wide range of spooky topics, like houses, castles, hotels, theatres, or ships that are supposedly haunted; well-known legends like Dracula, Bigfoot, the Bermuda Triangle, and the Loch Ness monster; and UFOs, witches, psychic science, or scare tactics. Truth or Scare effectively hooks viewers with its presentation of each case or topic -- the narration and video footage are engaging, and the earnest testimonials from witnesses are enough to send shivers down your spine. Trachtenberg's presence is also a good hook -- fans will relate to her because of her age, and her role on Buffy ties in well with a show about "real-life" ghouls and ghosts.

Certain episodes might be disturbing to young viewers who strongly believe in evil spirits or are afraid of things that go bump in the night. Truth or Scare does a good job of convincing the audience that these stories are true; a segment about eerie apparitions, for example, may have even sensible adults looking over their shoulders repeatedly to make sure no ghosts are dogging their footsteps. Since almost none of these cases offer concrete proof, it's best to take them with a grain of salt -- but for some people, that's easier said than done.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about each episode's theme. Which legend, paranormal phenomenon, or other topic was addressed? What sort of "proof" did they offer for the legend or phenomenon being real? Do you believe it's real? Why or why not? Does the thought of it being real disturb you? Did you learn anything particularly interesting from the episode?

This review of Truth or Scare was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 16 years old Written bybebreasbud April 9, 2008

pretty cool

this show series is pretty cool exspecially the one about the origin of halloween. it was really cool and everything but i think the bermuda triangle was kinda stupid.
Kid, 11 years old April 9, 2008

Cool kinda creepy show

This show isn't that creepy it has a creepy atpeshere but it is definately not creepy. But kids under 8 would get very scary nightmares. It has a great host and organized plot... great topics and srories
Kid, 11 years old March 22, 2012

Great show! For some kids.

This is a tween+ show. I also don't recommend it for any child under 9 with it's late hour (right before bedtime most likely in your home). It always depends on the child though it's okay for certain kids. However I highly recommend you to accompany your child if she/he is under nine. I'm almost twelve and even I get the chills sometimes. It's a great show with a great host. But if your child is under nine you might want to record it so you can watch it the next day at a before evening time, like the afternoon. Make sure you discuss with your child what the paranormal is and stories are only, stories. Also keep in mind there are a few real death stories
What other families should know
Too much violence


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