10 Best Scary Movies Based On True Stories
The 10 best scary movies based on true stories pack a double punch—they're frightening and real. Unlike Jason and Michael Myers, these horror flicks are based on real events and living, breathing bogeymen.
"Psycho" (1960) This Alfred Hitchcock classic tells the story of Norman Bates, a serial killer with an unhealthy fixation on his mother and an intense dislike for showering women. The story was actually based on serial killer Ed Gein, a loner from Wisconsin who killed women and dug up corpses of females who looked like his dead mother in the late 1950s. "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" was also, in part, inspired by Gein's habit of removing his victim's skin to make clothes.
"The Exorcist" (1973) "The Exorcist" followed the attempts of two priests to free a possessed girl from a demon. The movie was inspired by an actual exorcism performed on a young boy in Maryland in 1949.
"Jaws" (1975) An absolute classic, "Jaws" is the tale of a great white shark that paralyzes a fictional fishing community. The movie was inspired by a 12-day shark attack in New Jersey in 1916, taking the lives of four people.
"The Amityville Horror" (1979) All seems well when the Lutz family moves into their new home bought at a bargain because of the mass murder of a family committed months before. Strange paranormal events begin to occur and the family is forced to flee for their lives. "The Amityville Horror" was based on the actual account of the Lutz family who purchased the home after the son of the previous owners, Ronald DeFeo, Jr., murdered his parents and siblings there.
"Dead Ringers" (1988) "Dead Ringers" told an unlikely scary tale: A pair of twin gynecologists sharing women and becoming ensnared in a downward spiral of drug addiction. However, the film was based on the real life discovery of the bodies of twin gynecologists Cyril and Steward Marcus in 1975. Both doctors died from withdrawal symptoms from a barbiturate addiction, but no further information about what lead to their ultimate addiction or death has ever been uncovered.
"Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer" (1986) Henry is a serial killer who sometimes pairs with his friend Otis. He finds a twisted love in Otis's young sister, Becky. The movie is based on the life of real serial killer, Henry Lee Lucas, whose partner in crime was his friend, Otis Toole, and Toole's young niece, Frieda "Becky" Powell.
"Citizen X" (1995) "Citizen X" centered on Viktor Burakov, a police detective in Russia horrified by the murders of young girls in his district. The film was based on Russian serial killer Andrei Chikatilo who killed several young children in the 1980s.
"The Exorcism of Emily Rose" (2005) Told through flashbacks by a priest who is on the stand for the death of a girl he exorcized a demon from, "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" is based on the true story of Anneliese Michel, a German girl who died in 1976 due to the demon-ridding rites performed by two priests over a period of ten months.
"Borderland" (2007) "Borderland" is a brutally realistic depiction of the murders of a group of American students in Mexico in 1989 by a religious cult. The graphic violence in the movies is nearly identical to the horrors the students experienced and is not for the faint of heart.
"The Haunting in Connecticut" (2009) "The Haunting in Connecticut" tells the story of the paranormal haunting of the Campbell family who move to the state to be closer to the physician who is caring for their ill son. They soon discover the house they purchased was once a funeral home, as did the real-life Parker family who purchased a former funeral home in 1986 and reported encountering bloody floors and mysterious voices.