Story Book

Freaky Friday: 3 Horror Movies That Were Inspired by True Stories

When you watch horror movies, you’re actually relieved by the fact that it’s just a movie, it’s not real… right? Well, apparently, sometimes horror movies, just like any other movie, draw inspiration from real-life stories. Here are 3 freaky movies that were other people’s reality.

The exorcism of Emily Rose

Remember this movie? There was a rage about it when it came out – all my friends wouldn’t shut up about it. Anyway, as you recall, the story follows a lawyer who is defending a priest charged with homicide after he performs an exorcism on Emily Rose (played by Jennifer Carpenter) and she dies. Throughout the movie we see flashbacks of pretty grueling stuff!


Though exaggerated, turns out the movie is a fictionalized version of the true story of a German woman called Anneliese Michel. In the 1970s, she was believed to be possessed from the age of 16, after she began shaking and lost the ability to control her body. When she was 21, her parents sought after pastors to perform an exorcism. It was 2 years later when the church gave the green light. Michel soon died from malnutrition and dehydration. Her parents and two priests were charged with negligent homicide.

Texas Chain Saw Massacre

One of the first great slasher films, this 1974 movie was so good, it became a franchise consisting of 7 slasher films, comics and a video game. Texas Chainsaw Massacre follows a group of teens who end up on a farm belonging to a family of cannibals. One by one, the teens are tormented and killed. When the movie came out in 1974, it was marketed as a “true story” even though the antagonist, Leatherface, was a totally fictitious character.


Though untrue, the story was inspired by true events. The real-life serial killer Ed Gein, was the inspiration behind the world-renowned horror film. Also known as the Butcher of Plainfield, Ed Gein is known to jave created a “woman suit” out of skins that he removed from stolen female corpses and from at least two women her murdered.

Ed Gein was also the inspiration for the main character in Alfred Hitchcock’s famous movie, Psycho.

A nightmare on Elm Street

Yet another renowned slasher film, A Nightmare on Elm Street follows a group of 4 teenagers who are all having strange dreams about the monstrous Freddy Kruger. When one of them dies gruesomely in her sleep, they realise that if Freddy kills them in their sleep, they die in real life. Freddy continues to hunt them in their sleep, one by one. There is no way that this movie is based on a true story, right?


Well, apparently the makers of the movie were inspired by a the story of a Latin family that survived the Cambodian genocide now known as the Killing Fields in Cambodia. The family sought refuge in the United States, but a young boy in the family was still haunted by terrible nightmares. One day, they boy told his parents he was afraid that if he slept, the thing chasing him in his dream would catch him. He tried to stay awake for days. When he finally slept, his parents heard screams in the middle of the night, and when they got to him, he was dead!


Do you have a freaky story to share? Do @ me on Twitter (@MissOlendi), and your story could be featured here on the website. (We will credit you, of course)



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