12+ Horror Movies Supposedly Based On True Stories

Diply 18 Oct 2018

There's just something a little extra about it creepy when a horror film is "based on a true story." Even ones that are way more loosely "inspired by true events" can give you an interesting look into the creative process of coming up with these stories!

Today we're looking at some of the most compelling stories that were based on or inspired by true events. Of course, it's all about monsters, hauntings, and everything supernatural, so take the "true events" with a grain of salt and let's have some fun!

1. The Exorcism of Emily Rose 

IMDb | IMDb

Though set in modern-day America, this exorcism tale is based on a case out of Germany in 1976. According to *The Washington Post*, Anneliese Michel died at the age of 23 after having 67 exorcisms performed on her.

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2. An American Haunting

IMDb | IMDb

This story follows the Bell family as they're haunted by a maniacal spirit. It's based on early 19th century American folklore surrounding the "Bell Witch." According to Wikipedia, Jon Bell's death is the only one documented to be caused by a ghost!

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3. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre 

IMDb | IMDb

Like other murderer movies like Psycho and Silence Of The Lambs, this film was inspired by one of Wisconsin's most notorious serial killers, Ed Gein. After being captured, Gein was declared criminally insane and spent the rest of his life in mental hospitals until he died in 1984.

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4. Scream 

IMDb | IMDb

This unique take on the slasher genre was apparently based on a series of murders that took place in Gainesville, Florida, in August 1990.

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5. Annabelle

IMDb | IMDb

This creepy, possessed doll story is actually based on a 1970s account of a Raggedy Ann Doll. Apparently, the doll was given as a gift to a child, but both the mother and the daughter noticed that every now and then, Raggedy Ann would be out of place — having moved the slightest bit.

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As time went on, however, the movements became more and more frequent.

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According to the story, the residents would find notes with messages like“Help Us” written on them.

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6. Child's Play

IMDb | IMDb

Another classic haunted doll story sees the spirit of a madman possessing a "Good Guy" doll. Apparently, this concept came from a story of Key West artist and author, Robert Eugene (Gene) Otto, who was given a homemade doll in 1906 known as "Robert The Doll."

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In my opinion, Robert is wayyy freakier than Chucky. 

Imgur | Alexander717

The story says that this doll was given to Otto by an abused house servant who infused it with a voodoo curse. Robert is said to have blinked, talked, and walked around the house causing mischief. Or, it was a kid blaming his antics on a toy...who knows?

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7. The Shining

IMDb | IMDb

You may know that the film was based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, but that novel was based on The Stanley Hotel, which has had multiple reports of ghost sightings since the early 20th century.

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8. A Nightmare on Elm Street

IMDb | IMDb

In an interview with Vulture magazine, director Wes Craven explained how the tale of this nightmare-inhabiting murderer was largely inspired by a story in the L.A. Times about a Cambodian refugee who had died in his sleep. Nothing was determined as the cause, it was assumed he had just died from the nightmare.

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9.  The Haunting in Connecticut

IMDb | IMDb

This satanic tale is based on the works of demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren who, after an investigation in the '80s, declared the Snedeker family household in Southington, Connecticut, to be "full of demons."

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10. The Conjuring

IMDb | IMDb

If you thought the names Ed and Lorraine Warren sounded familiar, it could be because they are the main characters in The Conjuring. This film and its sequel are based on the reports of this paranormal investigative duo!

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11. Poltergeist 

IMDb | IMDb

This classic Spielberg horror movie was inspired by a haunting that was reported back in 1958. The Hermann family experienced poltergeist activity — objects being thrown around, electronics flickering on and off, etc. — in their house in Seaford, N.Y.

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12. The Strangers

IMDb | IMDb

In the production notes for the film, director Bryan Bertino explains that his inspiration for the film came from something that happened in his childhood. Basically, strangers were knocking on people's houses in his neighborhood, asking for people who didn't actually exist, and were really just casing the place to rob it later. The idea left him pretty shook and became a huge part of what made the strangers in The Strangers so...strange.

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13. The Amityville Horror 

IMDb | IMDb

This thriller is based on the story of George and Kathy Lutz who moved into a new place in Amityville about a year after 23-year-old Ronnie DeFeo had shot and murdered his family there. Apparently, a priest even came to bless the house, but heard a strong voice in the air tell him, "get out."

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14. Primeval 

IMDb | IMDb

This absolutely ridiculous monster movie is based on a legendarily large crocodile named Gustave, from Burundi. They say this beast weighs over 2,000 pounds and has killed 300 people. That being said, it could just be a croc.

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