The 'Paranormal Activity' Movies In Chronological Order
This article is more than six years old and was last updated in August 2020.
There are six 'Paranormal Activity' movies which tell the story of a sinister demon named Tobi, the story unfolds in a "found footage" style in a series of video tapes, home security camera recordings, and digital recordings and the timeline of the movies is spread across 25 years.
This is how the Paranormal Activity movie order unfolds...
The first 'Paranormal Activity' was released in 2007 and follows the weird goings on at Katie and Micah's house as a demon entity seemingly grows in power and torments them. In 2010 the second movie was released as prequel. Although the movies do overlap slightly 'Paranormal Activity 2' shows us what Katie's sister Kristi was going through in the two months leading up to the story of the first movie and also shows us what happened to Katie immediately after the first movie.
The third movie is a true prequel, more of an "origins" movie and delves back in time to when Katie and Kristi were younger. 'Paranormal Activity 4' develops the story further, this is followed up by a Latino spin-off, 'Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones' which takes place after 'Paranormal Activity 4' but includes a scene where Jesse and Hector are transported back to Katie and Micah in the timeframe of the original movie.
The series is concluded with the 2015 movie, 'Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension' which takes place last chronologically, seven years after the events of the first movie.
You may be thinking of watching the Paranormal Activity movies in chronological order rather than in the order they were released. While this is an option it's probably best to watch them in original release order chronology as this is the order they were intended to be watched in. Watching them out of release order will expose you to spoilers. However, if you've seen the whole series before then repeat watching them in chronological order works just as well.
'Paranormal Activity' Movies Chronologically
- 'Paranormal Activity 3'
- 'Paranormal Activity 2'
- 'Paranormal Activity'
- 'Paranormal Activity 4'
- 'Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones'
- 'Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension'
SPOILER ALERT: Below is an explanation of how the Paranormal Activity movies fit together chronologically, the content that follows on this page contains major plot spoilers.
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'Paranormal Activity 3'
The first movie starts in 2005, before the events of the first two movies but within minutes the family uncover a haul of old VHS video tapes dating back to 1988 and the rest of the movie consists of footage of Katie and Kristi from these tapes. The videos show the sisters making contact with their "imaginary friend", Tobi for the first time.
It becomes clear that Tobi is in fact a malevolent demon who terrorises the young girls, focussing primarily on Kristi.
At the end of the movie, amid the static, there is a quick flash of shot that shows the girls' childhood home besieged with fire, something which is mentioned in the first two movies.
'Paranormal Activity 2'
The events of this movie take place two months before the events of the original movie but there is a slight overlap and this film ends with a depiction of events immediately following those in the original film.
Now grown up and married, Kristi has recently given birth to her son, Hunter and she once again finds herself living in a haunted house. After a suspected burglary, Kristi's husband Dan installs security camera around the home and they soon start to capture poltergeist activity.
Towards the end of the movie Dan, performs a ritual to transfer the demon to Katie, this leads on to the haunting of the original movie. Soon after this scene, a message is displayed on screen saying, "Micah was killed on October 8th, 2006".
From this point on the movie shows what happened immediately after the first movie when Katie killed her boyfriend, Micah. In the final scenes Katie is seen entering her sister's house, killing the family and abducting her nephew, Hunter.
Now you can move on to the first movie and uncover the series of events which lead to the death of Micah and fill the gaps in this movie.
This movie slightly overlaps the second movie, the events occur alongside the final moments shown in 'Paranormal Activity 2'.
The movies, like the second one, is set in 2006 and shows what happens at the home of Katie and Micah, who have recently moved to a new home. After Dan transferred the demon to Katie in the second movie, the couple start to experience strange happenings.
The story unfolds on handheld video camera footage shot by Micah as he attempts to ascertain what is happening to him and his girlfriend. The movie ends with a possessed Katie brutally murdering her boyfriend, this then leads on to the ending of the second movie.
'Paranormal Activity 4'
At some point after the events at the end of the second movie, it seems that Katie is some how separated from Hunter and he's now been adopted by the Nelson family and is now known as Wyatt. The family's daughter, Alex becomes the victim of a haunting, which she captures on her MacBook's webcam, as well as hidden cameras around the house, including an infrared camera combined with an Xbox Kinect's IR motion detector.
The activity starts after Katie moves in across the street with a mysterious, unknown child, known as Robbie. When Wyatt befriends Robbie he starts to learn about his true identity as Hunter and towards the end of the movie is taken by Katie after she kills his foster family.
'Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones'
The fifth movie in the series is technically a spin-off and takes places in 2012 following the events of 'Paranormal Activity 4'. For the first time in the series, the film is set in a Latino community where a group of teenagers uncover a mysterious cult who have "marked" one of them.
The paranormal activity is captured primarily on Go Pro cameras and footage includes many clues and background information on Tobi, the demon which features in the previous movies. The teens make contact with Ali, Krisit's daughter and the only survivor of the events of 'Paranormal Activity 2'.
Ali has spent the last six years researching the cult, known as "The Midwives Coven" and their practice of marking pregnant women to possess their children in exchange for wealth or power.
Towards the end of this film, the teens discover a portal which takes the form of a mysterious brown door, it takes them back in time to Katie and Micah's house in 2006, moments before Micah's death.
'Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension'
The final movie in the series and the last part of the story chronologically, set in 2013, 25 years after a young Katie and Kristi encountered Tobi.
The movie follows the events of a haunting at the Fleege family home, which was built by the Midwives Coven on the site of Katie and Kristi's childhood home which burnt down.
As the family prepare for Christmas they discover a box of old video tapes, the same recordings from 1988 which featured in 'Paranormal Activity 3' as well as a series of previously unseen recordings from 1992 which show Katie and Kristi taking part in their initiation to the coven. The recordings appear to show the girls using their psychic abilities to remote view the Fleege family in the future.
The Fleeges start to experience hauntings at the hand of Tobi and their young daughter Leila becomes the focus of the activity, the tapes reveal that she was chosen 21 years previously as the ideal host, alongside Hunter, to complete the coven's invocation of Tobi.
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