10 Scariest Movies Based on Real Life Events
Who doesn’t love a good scary movie? It’s easy to get in the mindset of thinking all horror movies are fake and nothing but fictional stories. Some of the horror movies you grew up watching are actually based on true stories, making them even scarier.
If you haven’t read my first blog for The Creepy Corner, I suggest doing so because I wrote about the true story behind The Exorcist as well as other real-life demonic possessions. Anyway, the original Exorcist movie came out in 1973 and a remake was released in 2000. The movies are about a 12-year-old girl who is possessed by a demon and her mother goes through desperate measures to get her child back.
The movie is about the exorcism of Ronald Doe, which wasn’t his real name, but his case was documented by Roman Catholic priests that performed the exorcisms. Crazy stuff started happening to Ronald after he was introduced to an Ouija board. He was only 14 when he became possessed by a demon, which caused him to speak in tongues, levitate, and make religious items fly off walls. It took over 30 exorcisms to finally get rid of the demonic entity possessing his body.
The Girl Next Door
The Girl Next Door came out in 2007 and it’s such a sad movie. It’s about a teenage girl who is subjected to an insane amount of torture by her aunt after her parents die in a car accident. Neighborhood kids were allowed to wander in and out of the house and witness the torture of this girl and allowed to torture her themselves as they pleased. She’s starved, bruised, blindfolded, gagged, cut, raped, and burned and she eventually dies.
The movie is based on the murder of Sylvia Likens who died in 1965 when she was only 16-years-old. Sylvia and her sister Jenny were left in the care of the Baniszewski family for three months, their father encouraged the caregivers to straighten the daughters out while in their care. The parents agreed to pay $20 a week to the family caring for the daughters, but they would often pay late which made the family mad. Gertrude Baniszewski would take her anger out on the girls, beating them with paddles. Soon the abuse was directed at just Sylvia after Gertrude accused her of stealing candy. Gertrude allowed other children to beat Sylvia and push her down the stairs. Some of the things done to Sylvia include tying her up, burning cigarettes on her body, beating her, and forcing a glass Coca-Cola bottle into her vagina.
Sylvia died of a brain hemorrhage, malnutrition, and shock.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
The first Texas Chainsaw Massacre came out in 1974 and the remake was released in 2003. The movies are about five friends that picked up a young and very traumatized hitchhiker who shoots herself in front of them. After trying to get help from the locals, they soon find themselves being stalked by an insane chainsaw-wielding cannibal madman and his deformed crazy inbred killer family.
The story behind The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is even more frightening than the movies. They were based on the real-life killer Ed Gein who killed people, dug up graves and stole bones and skin from corpses to have as trophies to decorate his home with. Yep, Ed Gein was a real creep. When law enforcement searched his home after he murdered Bernice Worden they found some really crazy stuff like a wastebasket made from human skin, bowls made from human skulls, skulls on his bedposts, chairs covered with human skin, a corset he made using a female torso, and masks made from the faces of corpses. Bernice’s remains were found throughout his home, her head in a burlap sack and her heart stored in a plastic bag. This guy has some serious issues.
The Haunting in Connecticut
The 2009 movie is about a family that relocated to Connecticut. Soon after moving into their new home, the family begins to have many disturbing paranormal experiences, eventually uncovering the horrific history of the house. The house was once a funeral parlor where a lot of pretty creepy stuff happened.
The movie is based on the Snedeker family who moved into the Southington, CT home in 1986. Carmen, the mom, found items in the basement she soon learned were mortician tools, eventually learning the home was once a funeral parlor. The oldest son had terrifying visions and saw ghosts. Both parents claimed to have been sodomized by demons. Carmen was mopping the floor one day when the water turned red and smelled like rotting flesh. Dishes at one point put themselves away right after Carmen set the table for dinner. Matt, one of the sons, experienced radical mood changes, turning violent, dark, and distant. An exorcism was eventually performed on the house, bringing an end to the paranormal experiences.
Dead Ringers is a 1988 movie about a pair of male twins, both who were gynecologists. One of the twins was much more confident than the other, always being able to seduce any woman he met. Once the brother got tired of his partner, he passed her off to his brother. The partners never knew they were with someone else because the brothers were identical. Things go well like that for a while until the shy brother falls in love with an actress who comes to their clinic.
The movie is based on the lives of Stewart and Cyril Marcus, who, like the movie were twin gynecologists. They died together when they were 45 in 1975. It appeared that both brothers died of a barbiturate withdrawal, but toxicology reports showed only Stewart died that way around July 10 to July 14. Cyril died between July 14 and July 17th but his body showed that he didn’t have any fatal convulsions that would occur from a narcotic withdrawal. It’s a mystery how Cyril actually died. It’s believed that after Stewart died, Cyril left the apartment and then returned to die near his brother.
The Hills Have Eyes
The Hills Have Eyes is a pretty bizarre movie that first came out in 1977 and then eventually remade in 2006. The movie is about a family on a road trip. They become stranded in a desolate atomic zone after their car breaks down. The wasteland is a site designated by the United States government to perform nuclear tests and is home to mutants looking for fresh meat to devour.
This one sounds so bizarre that it can’t possibly have come from a true story, but it did. The story is based on Sawney Bean, who was the head of a Scottish clan in the 13th century that spent their time murdering and eating over 1,000 people. They lived in a cave with their ever-growing family, hiding away from civilization. Sawney had to support his family so he decided to take up a career in robbing people. Making sure he never got caught, Sawney had a brilliant idea to butcher the bodies and have a nice high-protein diet. The high-protein diet must have worked wonders for Sawney’s wife because she had 14 children in the cave. They were eventually caught and the whole family was sentenced to death.
The 2007 film Borderland is about three college friends on a trip down to Mexico to live it up for a little while when things begin to go wrong. One of the friends, Phil, goes missing so the other guys try to find him, discovering that he’s being held captive on a ranch in a shack by a guy named Randall. The captors follow African voodoo and perform human sacrifices, which is why Phil is being held captive.
The film is loosely based off of Adolfo de Jesus Constanzo, who was a drug lord and the leader of a religious cult that practiced human sacrifice. In the Spring of 1989, Adolfo and his followers kidnapped and then killed Mark J. Kilroy, who was a student at the University of Texas. It’s believed that Adolfo and his followers killed at least 15 other individuals, but the death count could actually be higher. Adolfo didn’t want to be caught by the police, so he ordered one of his followers to shoot him.
The Strangers is a 2008 movie about a young couple on vacation who become terrorized by three people wearing masks. The whole movie is about the three assailants taking advantage of and harassing this young couple. The movie is completely creepy and terrifying because of how believable it is.
The movie is very loosely based off of Charles Manson and his followers. The Manson Family was led by Charles Manson who guided these followers into killing nine people over the course of five weeks in 1969, including actress Sharon Tate. Manson always referred to himself as Christ, telling his followers he was the “reincarnation of the original Christians.”
Fire in the Sky
I remember watching Fire in the Sky when I was very young and the movie seriously creeped me out. This 1993 movie is about an Arizona logger who goes missing for five days, returning to tell a story about being abducted by aliens. On his way home from work, he sees a flying saucer in the sky and gets out of his vehicle to investigate it. When he does, he completely vanishes. His colleagues were accused of murdering him until he finally comes back with some very frightening memories of his abduction.
Fire in the Sky is based on the true story of Travis Walton and his alleged alien abduction. Just like the movie, Travis and his colleagues were on their way home from work when they saw a saucer-shaped object hovering off the ground making a high-pitched buzzing sound. He got out of his truck and walked towards the object when a beam of light comes out of the object and knocks him over. His colleagues became frightened and drove away. Walton woke up in a hospital-like room with three short bald creatures observing him. Obviously, there’s much debate on whether or not aliens really exist, but his story is one of the most popular alien abduction stories out there.
The Mothman Prophecies
The Mothman Prophecies was a pretty popular movie when it first came out in 2002. The movie is about a reporter who visits a small town in search of answers regarding a moth-shaped creature his wife saw before she dies. His investigation takes him to Point Pleasant where he meets someone who has also seen the moth creature. The movie is about him trying to figure out who or what the Mothman really is.
The movie is based on a true story of the town of Point Pleasant, Virginia and eyewitness claiming to see a moth-man creature in the months before a suspension bridge collapse in 1967, which killed 46 people. People referred to this creature as the Mothman. Mothman first made news on November 16, 1966, when a couple saw a “man-sized bird creature.” The couple was driving next to the McClintie Wildlife Reserve when they saw the creature standing about 7 feet tall with a 10-foot wingspan and large red eyes. They drove away from the creature but he reappeared in front of their car shortly after. Many other locals have also seen the Mothman. The Mothman still remains a mystery, but the citizens of Point Pleasant continue to remember the creature during their annual Mothman Festival.
Next time you’re watching a horror movie and think to yourself that it can’t be possibly real, think again and remember this list. The truth is much scarier than the movies because they actually happened.