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8 Horror Movies That Are Based On Real Life Stories


By Stephanie Stevens, Semesterz

If you thought you could handle a good horror flick, how well do you think you’ll respond to the next scary screening you attend knowing that these classics are based on true stories? Low and behold, these are the frightening movies that were inspired by, but mainly based on, true events.



The Exorcist (1973)

[post_ads]Even the most loyal scary movie fanatic isn’t aware of The Exorcist’s origin tale. The classic film, which has made a deep dent in pop culture and the horror, is based on actual events. In 1949, a young boy named Roland Doe was possessed by demonic spirits in his home. Reports of the exorcism were so haunting, that witnesses of the religious ritual authored their own books detailing the events that took place. The Exorcist is based on the accounts of those writers.



The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre may have chased away mainstream audiences who couldn’t bear to look at Leatherface and his family of psychopaths but the cult following that developed throughout the 70’s knew couldn’t tear their eyes away from the on-screen bloodfest. Leatherface, one of the most gruesome and possibly misunderstood horror characters of all time, is actually based on serial killer Ed Gein. Gein was famous for skinning the faces off of his victims as wearing them as masks. The events in Texas Chainsaw are loosely based off his murders.



The Amityville Horror (1979)

The Amityville Horror caused just as much speculation as it did fear in suburban Long Island. The Lutz family moved into what they called a legitimately haunted house and after they evacuated the home, scared for their own lives, they wrote a tell-all book that detailed the bleeding walls, phantom pigs, swarms of flies, and slamming doors. The Lutz Family has been sued for fraud but still maintains their experience was real and till this day, the account of Amityville is still a favorite debate amongst paranormal researchers.


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The Conjuring (2013)

The Conjuring, released in 2013, was a commercial success at the box office and is (for the most part) accurately descriptive of one of Ed and Lorraine Warren’s most prolific paranormal investigations. The film is based on The Perron Family’s haunting during the 1970’s, an experience that gradually worsened over their decade spent living in the Rhode Island farmhouse. The house was haunted by the Witch Bathsheba, who had reportedly haunted families living in the house prior to The Perrons. We suggest The Conjuring on a rainy night, even if you don’t believe the off-screen hype.



Deranged (1974)

If you can’t get enough of Ed Gein inspired horror flicks, another good one to watch at the stroke of midnight is deranged. The fascination of the famous, American serial killer spawned some great movies of the 70’s but none come close to the disturbing images you’ll see in Deranged. If you’re into Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho and can get behind the whole living with a dead body as if it was alive sort of thing, Deranged will get your gears grinding and make you look Gein in a different light.


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The Haunting In Connecticut (2009)

Al and Carmen Snedeker moved into a house that was once occupied as a funeral parlor. The Haunting in Connecticut is based on this controversial account, or tale, where the Snedeker’s eldest son was haunted by evil spirits who had clung to the life force of the body after their bodies were defiled by the mortician who worked there many years prior. The Haunting in Connecticut may sound like an old wive’s tale but watch the horror flick for yourself and pass your own judgment.



Fire In The Sky (1993)

1993’s Fire in the Sky brought a new whole concept of scary to the horror genre of its time. The haunting antagonist of the film wasn’t a serial killer or a cannibal, but instead a group of rogue aliens keeping human cocoons in their possession. In 1975, a man named Travis Alton insisted that these aliens captured and trapped him in this silicone cocoon next to other people they had abducted from Earth. Fire in the Sky is more likely to give you nightmares than any of the other movies on this list.


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The Exorcism Of Emily Rose (2005)

The Exorcism of Emily Rose is one of the most faith-shattering exorcist films to date. Based on the story of German-born, Anneliese Michel, this film follows the trial of her priest as it recounts the year-long exorcism that consequently sent the young, possessed girl to her grave. If you haven’t seen the exorcism of Emily Rose, we strongly suggest you – if not for the sake of film, but for the sake of history and how religious belief is handled within a court system.


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