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The 18 best scary movies based on real events

The 18 best scary movies based on real events

May 21, 2022

Fear is not a pleasant emotion . However, many people enjoy watching movies of this cinematic genre. And this type of feature films arouse great terror in the viewer, with shocking and tense scenes that often produce great anguish.

  • Related articles: "The 20 types of films and their characteristics"

Horror movies based on real events

Horror films, although they are usually fictional works, in some cases, are based on real cases.

Next we present you the best films of this genre that have their origin in certain stories .


1. Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

Freddy Krueger is one of the best-known characters of horror movies . His physical appearance: his face burned, his green and red striped sweater, his hat and his knives gloves, make Freddy really a terrifying monster. Although many find it hard to believe that this story is true, because Freddy appears in the nightmares of the children and teenagers of Elm Street to murder them, he was inspired by a real case.

As Wes Craven, the creator of this feature film, tells, the origin of "Nightmare on Elm Street" is in a family that fled Cambodia's concentration camps to the United States. The vast majority of relatives recovered from their black past, but one of the children, who suffered nightmares from the Cambodian genocide, died while asleep.


2. The diabolical doll

Another of the myths of horror movies is "Chucky", the diabolical doll . This story, which seems untrue, was based on what happened to Robert Eugene Otto. Well, it was based on a legend. It turns out that Otto received a gift from his maid. It was a doll that Robert called. Apparently, the maid was a practitioner of black magic. Since receiving the gift, Otto spoke alone and in the home where he lived strange things began to happen. Otto said that the doll had a life of its own and some neighbors said that the doll looked out the window when there was no one at home.

The parents decided to lock the doll in the attic. The years passed and, after the death of Otto's parents and due to the inheritance, Otto returned to his old home and was reunited with the doll. At first he found it curious to meet again with this and a close bond with him, but supernatural things happened and he decided to lock it up again. But when Otto died, the house came into the hands of another family, and the daughter, by chance, found the doll Robert. The little girl did not seem to like the doll, who tried to kill him. This story (or legend) inspired the story of Chucky, and, currently, Robert is in a museum.


3. Shark (1975)

Few ignore the story of a giant white shark that embitters life to a series of bathers . This story, inspired by a novel by Peter Benchley, is based on what happened in 1916, in New Jersey, when five bathers disappeared. The remains of three of them were found in the stomach of a large shark, and the rest was never heard again. It seems clear that the great shark had something to do with it. "Tiburón" is a true classic.

4. Psycho (1960)

Psycho is one of the most successful and remembered horror movies . This Alfred Hitchcock film is based on the story of Ed Gein, one of the most infamous murderers in the criminal history of the United States. The also known as "Butcher of Plainfield" (Wisconsin) committed several crimes and his case came to Hollywood. You can know his biography in our two articles:

  • Life and psychological portrait of Ed Gein, "the butcher of Plainfield" (1/2)
  • Life and psychological portrait of Ed Gein, "the butcher of Plainfield" (2/2)

5. The Texas massacre

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is another one of the films inspired by Ed Gein's macabre story . This character, in spite of his numerous crimes, only killed two people. Ed Gein also inspired the film "The silence of the lambs".

6. Terror in Amityville (1979)

This horror film classic emerges due to the events that took place in 1975 at number 112 on Ocean Avenue , in Amityville. This was the new home of the Lutz family, who had to leave the house soon. According to legend, it is a cursed house, because previously, on November 13, 1974, the DeFeo family was murdered there.

7. The girl next door (2007)

The girl next door is one of those movies in which real life overcomes fiction . It is based on the story of Sylvia Likens, a young woman who was given to a family to take care of her.The family and some neighbors mistreated Sylvia until causing her death.

8. Henry: portrait of a murderer (1986)

A film by John McNaughton, who spent several years in anonymity due to his brutality until it was released . Henry Lee Lucas, is the character and inspiration of the film, a psychopath who killed eleven people.

9. Inseparable (1988)

This film tells the story of two gynecologist twins who catered to the New York upper class . They were inseparable, they were exchanged in meetings and even women. But their life changed when they met a model and everything ended in tragedy.

10. The exorcist

We all know the movie "The Exorcist" . It is based on the stories of Anneliese Michel and Ronald Doe, who underwent exorcism. This last case is also the inspiration of a book by writer William Peter Blatty, who inspired the script of the film.

11. Ente (1981)

Another of those stories that are not just credible but that catch the attention of film directors . This film is about Doris Bither who, in 1974, claimed that she had been repeatedly violated by a paranormal entity: a mysterious invisible creature. It is true that this is unlikely, but this curious story was the inspiration for this film.

12. Zodiac (2007)

This movie reviews the story of the Zodiac killer , who was a psychopath who acted in California between December 1968 and October 1969 and who allegedly murdered 37 people. The film tells how Robert Graysmith (in the movie Jake Gyllenhaal) becomes obsessed with the case and leaves out his private life to try to find the murderer.

13. Borderland

This film tells the story of three school friends who run into a cult that makes sacrifices on the border between Mexico and the United States. This movie is based on real events that happened in 1989, in Matamoros (Mexico) . It's about the murderer Adolfo de Jesús Constanzo.

14. The Boston Strangler (1968)

The film is based on the life of Albert de Salvo , known as the Boston Strangler, a murderer who terrorized the inhabitants of this American city in the early 70's. It is a great film that makes the hair stand on end, in which the story of this criminal character is revived.

15. Citizen X (1994)

Andrei Chikatilo is one of the best known assassins of the former Soviet Union, and this film focuses on his macabre case. But it does not deal with history from the character of the criminal, but from the life of the people who seek it. This killer killed 53 people.

16. The mud boy (2007)

A story that is based on the case of Cayetano Santos (better known as Petiso Orejudo) , an Argentine boy committed several murders. However, the story detracts from the original content and esoteric scenes appear. A scary movie that you can not miss.

16. From hell

A fiction that is inspired by the events that took place around the figure of Jack the Rip r . During 1888, the inhabitants of the district of Whitechapel (London), lived a wave of crimes. Five were the victims of this psychopath who, at present, his identity is still unknown.

  • Related article: "Jack the Ripper: analyzing the psychology of the famous criminal"

17. Gacy, the murderous clown (2003)

The clown is a figure who is responsible for making the parties of children fun and memorable. But a well-known case, that of the clown John Wayne Gacy, turned this adorable image of clowns into terrifying and macabre history, because he committed several dozen crimes. In your case this movie is based.

  • You can learn more about this case in our article: "John Wayne Gacy, the murderous case of the murderous clown"

18. Deranged (1974)

The case of Ed Gein, which has been talked about before, was not only curious about the murders that he committed, but because the police found in his house a large number of corpses that belonged to the theft of bodies from several tombs. This film, like many others, is inspired by his case .

  • Related article: "The famous and macabre case of necrophilia of Carl Tanzler"

7 Best Horror Movies Based On True Terrifying Events | Real Life Thriller Scary Movies (May 2022).


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