40+ Best Horror Movies Based On True Stories & Events

Updated On April 15, 2017 by Shalini Singh | Short URL: http://movie.sc/2of8LGu  

Horror movies are the kind of movies even Atheists will be afraid to watch alone. Now think of movies that are in fact inspired by true events, how awesome that could be? Now we have to thank you for giving me a chance to present you some awesome freaking horror movies that are inspired by true actual events.

Horror Movies Based On True Stories

By watching such movies you can also learn about the events that actually happened once. Directors take inspiration from strange and weird events to make horror movies more horrific.

RECOMMENDED READING: Top Calorie Burning Horror Movies You Can Watch Instead Of Having Sex!

Most of the movies are based on Serial Killers, Exorcism, Bizarre Events, and much more. This list practically lists out the best horror movies based on true stories and events. To make this list more effective we have added direct links to IMDb (plus ratings), Wikipedia and also YouTube trailer. Since this post is huge we divided this into two. Credit for the interesting facts about the movies goes to IMDb.

Horror Movies Based On True Stories & Events

1. The Blob (1958)

The Blob (1958) on IMDb | Wikipedia | View Trailer

Interesting Fact about “The Blob (1958)”

The Blob was created with a modified weather balloon in the early shots, and in the later shots with colored silicone gel.

The Blob

Director: Irvin S. Yeaworth Jr. and Russell S. Doughten Jr. (uncredited)

Casting: Steve McQueen, Aneta Corsaut and Earl Rowe

Storyline: A mysterious creature from another planet, resembling a giant blob of jelly, lands on earth. The people of a nearby small town refuse to listen to some teenagers who have witnessed the blob’s destructive power. In the meantime, the blob just keeps on getting bigger.

True Event: In 1950, a group of policemen in Philadelphia discovered a huge disk of quivering jelly. When they tried to move it, it dissolved into a sticky scum. The substance is called star jelly and is usually reported seen near the site of a meteorite landing. It was measured six feet in diameter.

2. Psycho (1960)

Psycho (1960) on IMDb | Wikipedia | View Trailer

Interesting Fact about “Psycho (1960)”

Walt Disney refused to allow Alfred Hitchcock to film at Disneyland in the early 1960s because Hitchcock had made “that disgusting movie, ‘Psycho’.”


Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Casting : Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh.

Storyline: A psychologically disturbed hotel owner, delusions, a dual personality and murders by the brilliant Hitchcock enterprise, This was one of the best horror movies of all times. AND if it is to be believed than yes, something that scares you better be a real legend, right?

True Event: Inspired by Ed Gein, Norman Bates was a Wisconsin man who was arrested in 1957 for committing two murders and digging up the corpses of countless other women who reminded him of his dead mother. He was found to be insane and spent the rest of his life in a mental institution due to his obnoxious dual personality and this story became the genesis for psycho.

Other Similar Movies: Ed Gein (2000) | In the Light of the Moon (original title)

3. The Legend of Boggy Creek (1972)

The Legend of Boggy Creek (1972) on IMDb | Wikipedia | View Trailer

Interesting Fact about “The Legend of Boggy Creek (1972)”

Most of the actors in the film were the real people from the encounters playing themselves.

The Legend of Boggy Creek

Director: Charles B. Pierce.

Casting: Willie E. Smith, John P. Hixon, Vern Stierman, Chuck Pierce Jr.

Storyline: A documentary-style drama which questions the existence of a monster in an Arkansas swamp, it was a fear inciting drama with horrifying elements of death and supernaturalism in its more redundant forms.

True Event: Believed to be based on the story of the Fouke Monster, a large Sasquatch-like creature who lives near the town of Fouke, Arkansas.

4. The Exorcist (1973)

The Exorcist (1973) on IMDb | Wikipedia | View Trailer

Interesting Fact about “The Exorcist (1973)”

The original teaser trailer, which consisted of nothing but images of the white-faced demon quickly flashing in and out of darkness, was banned in many theaters, as it was deemed “too frightening”.

The Exorcist

Director: William Friedkin

Casting: Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow and Linda Blair.

Storyline: Attempt by a pair of priests to exorcise a demon that has possessed a 12-year-old girl and the supernatural encounters became one of the most horrifying movies of all times. Almost most of the movies were then inspired from this historic shout-out-with-fear.

True Event: The novel “The Exorcist” was inspired by an article about an exorcism performed on a 13-year-old boy in Mount Rainier, Maryland in 1949. The story’s details have been muddled through the years in order to protect the family but the exorcism was performed in St. Louis. Evidence points to the boy’s behaviour not being nearly as outrageous or supernatural as was portrayed in the film. No priest died in the process which was another adds up in the movie.

5. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) on IMDb | Wikipedia | View Trailer

Interesting Fact about “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)”

The human skeleton used in the house was a real human skeleton. They used a real one because a human skeleton from India is far cheaper then a fake plastic skeleton.

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

Director: Tobe Hooper

Casting: Marilyn Burns, Paul A. Partain, Edwin Neal, Jim Siedow, Gunnar Hansen

Storyline: Bloody, heart-beat horror of the century, Which went through many remakes is a story about A group of young people travelling through rural Texas falling prey to a family of cannibals, including Leatherface, who wears a mask made from the skin of his victims and kills mercilessly with a machete.

True Event: I researched a lot to find if there was ever this ghastly occurrence and to my surprise, YES. Based on the life of Ed Gein, who was a serial killer from Plainfield, Wisconsin. The majority of the story is true, except for the fact that Ed Gein used a chainsaw to murder his victims. The real Ed Gein did wear a human’s scalp and face. Also Director Tobe Hooper claims to have got the idea for the film while standing in the hardware section of a crowded store. While thinking of a way to get out through the crowd, he spotted the chainsaws.

You can also consider The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003).

6. Deranged: Confessions of a Necrophile (1974) | Deranged (original title)

Deranged: Confessions of a Necrophile (1974) on IMDb | Wikipedia | View Trailer

Interesting Fact about “Deranged: Confessions of a Necrophile (1974)”

The corpses in the film were made using plastic skull kits which were glued to bodies built of chicken wire and painted cotton.

Deranged: Confessions of a Necrophile

Director: Jeff Gillen and Alan Ormsby

Casting: Roberts Blossom, Cosette Lee and Leslie Carlson

Storyline: Based on the Ed Gein case, a deranged rural farmer becomes a grave robber and murderer after the death of his possessive mother whom he keeps her corpse, among others, as his companions in his decaying farmhouse

True Event: Inspired by Ed Gein, Norman Bates was a Wisconsin man who was arrested in 1957 for committing two murders and digging up the corpses of countless other women who reminded him of his dead mother.

He was found to be insane and spent the rest of his life in a mental institution due to his obnoxious dual personality.

7. Jaws (1975)

Jaws (1975) on IMDb | Wikipedia | View Trailer

Interesting Fact about “Jaws (1975)”

Brody’s dog in the movie was actually Steven Spielberg’s real dog.


Director: Steven Spielberg

Casting: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfuss

Storyline: the Quadrology was a box-office hit of all times and possibly the best adventure-horror of all times due to its believability. its about A 25-foot-long great white shark terrorizes the fictional Northeastern fishing community of Amity Island, attacking swimmers and boaters for several days during the summer.

True Event: A series of shark attacks that plagued the New Jersey shore in 1916 inspired Peter Benchley to write it all. Over a 12-day period in July of that year, five people were attacked, four of whom died. A seven-foot-long great white shark was killed on July 14, and its stomach was found to contain human remains.

8. The Legend of Lizzie Borden (1975 TV Movie)

The Legend of Lizzie Borden (1975) on IMDb | Wikipedia | View Trailer

Interesting Fact about “The Legend of Lizzie Borden (1975)”

Elizabeth Montgomery used prescribed eye drops to make her pupils look smaller, so they would look like Lizzie Borden’s eyes after her morphine injections.

The Legend of Lizzie Borden

Director: Paul Wendkos

Casting: Elizabeth Montgomery, Fionnula Flanagan, Ed Flanders, Katherine Helmond

Storyline: This movie is about lizzie borden , who kills her mom and dad brutally. Also possibly possessed as no evidence of her doing so, was ever found. The movie objectifies the saying that “stories can be dared from experiences only and none other”.

True Event: The story of a girl who supposedly murdered her mother and stepfather with a hatchet in 1892 made headlines and the trials, where hundreds of people came to see the outcome, once in their life never believed that lizzie could have done IT. But, did she or did not? Or did someone else will always haunt the mystery lovers.

9. The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1976)

The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1976) on IMDb | Wikipedia | View Trailer

Interesting Fact about “The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1976)”

The only description of the original killer ever obtained was of a hooded man.

The Town That Dreaded Sundown

Director: Charles B. Pierce

Casting: Ben Johnson, Andrew Prine, Dawn Wells, Jimmy Clem

Storyline: Set in 1946 Arkansas, a Texas Ranger hunts for a hooded serial killer terrorizing the residents of a small town.

True Event: Based on the true story of murders that occurred in Texarkana in the 1940s. They were known as Texarkana Moonlight Murders. This movie was loosely depicting the story. Seems like the killer was never caught and this added more power to the movie.

10. Audrey Rose (1977)

Audrey Rose (1977) on IMDb | Wikipedia | View Trailer

Interesting Fact about “Audrey Rose (1977)”

According to the book, “The Case for Reincarnation” by Joe Fisher, the screenplay for “Audrey Rose” was inspired by an actual incident in author De Felitta’s life.

Audrey Rose

Director: Robert Wise

Casting: Anthony Hopkins, Marsha Mason

Storyline: The horror of possession was brought back and this time in style and with lots of details. A couple were forced to believe that their daughter was possessed by a ghost named Audrey rose. The movie made Goosebumps a part of “a good horror movies characteristics”.

True Event: Frank De Felitta was inspired to write the novel and later the movie script after consulting a Los Angeles occultist for his six-year-old son, Raymond, who’d never taken piano lessons, played music perfectly on the family piano explaining that the boy had lived many lifetimes. The incident led to the author’s personal belief in reincarnation.

11. The Hills Have Eyes (1977)

The Hills Have Eyes (1977) on IMDb | Wikipedia | View Trailer

Interesting Fact about “The Hills Have Eyes (1977)”

According to Wes Craven the film was shot on cameras rented from a famous California pornographer.

The Hill have Eyes

Director: Wes Craven

Casting: Suze Lanier-Bramlett, Robert Houston and John Steadman

Storyline: On the way to California, a family has the misfortune to have their car break down in an area closed to the public, and inhabited by violent savages ready to attack.

True Event: The movie was inspired by the legend of Alexander “Sawney” Bean, a Scottsman of the 15th or 16th century who reportedly headed a 40-person clan that killed and ate over 1,000 people, living in caves for 25 years before being caught and put to death.

12. Eaten Alive (1977)

Eaten Alive (1977) on IMDb | Wikipedia | View Trailer

Interesting Fact about “Eaten Alive (1977)”

Joe Ball committed suicide upon possibility of capture.

Eaten Alive

Director: Tobe Hooper

Casting: Neville Brand, Mel Ferrer, Carolyn Jones, Marilyn Burns

Storyline: This is about a psychotic redneck who owns a dilapidated hotel in rural East Texas kills various people who upset him or his business, and he feeds their bodies to a large crocodile that he keeps as a pet in the swamp beside his hotel.

True Event: Based on the story of Joe Ball, a serial killer who murdered many women and fed them to his alligators, this was a new era serial killer who gave rise to the sadist-horror cult movies.

13. The Amityville Horror (1979)

The Amityville Horror (1979) on IMDb | Wikipedia | View Trailer

Interesting Fact about “The Amityville Horror (1979)”

This movie was shot in seven weeks.

The Amityville Horror

Director: Stuart Rosenberg

Casting: James Brolin, Margot Kidder, Rod Steiger, Don Stroud

Storyline: When The Lutz family moves into a haunted house, the site of a mass murder the year before, they encounter a series of malevolent paranormal events that drive them out of the house after only 28 days. In these 28 days, almost all the spheres of horror tactics have been shown which could possibly happen to anyone.

True Event: The film is based on a self-proclaimed nonfiction book describing what George and Kathy Lutz experienced during their four weeks in the house. Based on the story of George and Kathy Lutz, who buy a house where a man named Ronald DeFeo, Jr., shot his family to death a year before. While there, they experience a series of supernatural occurrences. Many people have encountered similar circumstances over the years and thus this movie gains its credibility.

14. The Shining (1980)

The Shining (1980) on IMDb | Wikipedia | View Trailer

Interesting Fact about “The Shining (1980)”

During the making of the movie, Stanley Kubrick would occasionally call Stephen King at 3:00 a.m. and ask him questions like “Do you believe in God?”

The Shining

Director: Stanley Kubrick

Casting: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall and Danny Lloyd

Storyline: A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where an evil and spiritual presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from the past and of the future.

True Event: This movie was based on Stephen King’s Novel. King has a strong personal attachment to the story about a family that spends one winter playing caretaker for a massive hotel then, isolation and strange phenomenon overtakes them. King and his wife Tabitha spent an evening in a similar Colorado hotel that was eerily empty. This seems to inspire them for taking this concept.

15. The Entity (1981)

The Entity (1982) on IMDb | Wikipedia | View Trailer

Interesting Fact about “The Entity (1981)”

The real-life Carla Moran’s teenage son described a particularly vicious attack in which Carla was thrown by the malevolent force and hit her head.

The Entity

Director: Sidney J. Furie

Casting: Barbara Hershey, Ron Silver

Storyline: Plagued by a supernatural entity that abuses and rapes a single mother, she receives help from paranormal researchers, who document the haunting and attempt to trap the spirit.

True Event: A woman believed to be named Doris Bither lived in Culver City, California and claimed to have been physically and sexually assaulted by an entity. In 1974 paranormal researchers Kerry Gaynor and Barry Taff investigated and witnessed objects move in her house. They captured photos of floating lights and saw a humanoid apparition. They never saw it assault the woman and never tried to capture it.

16. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) on IMDb | Wikipedia | View Trailer

Interesting Fact about “A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)”

New Line Cinema was saved from bankruptcy by the success of the film.

A Nightmare on Elm Street

Director: Wes Craven

Casting: Heather Langenkamp, Johnny Depp and Robert Englund

Storyline: In the dreams of his victims, a spectral child murderer stalks the children of the members of the lynch mob that killed him.

True Event: This movie is believed to be inspired by Bangungot, the sudden death of a person while sleeping. In Japan it is called as pokkuri. It has been labeled sudden unexpected nocturnal death syndrome (SUNDS). The strange disorder kills 43 per 100,000 young Filipinos. Asia has an historical culture brimming with folklore about nocturnal demons and lethal nightmares.

17. Gothic (1986)

Gothic (1986) on IMDb | Wikipedia | View Trailer

Interesting Fact about “Gothic (1986)”

The painting that Mary Shelley sees on the wall, and that subsequently comes to life in her dream, is Johann Heinrich Fuessli’s “Nightmare.”


Director: Ken Russell

Casting: Gabriel Byrne, Julian Sands.

Storyline: In 1816, poet Lord Byron gathers fellow poet Percy Shelley, soon-to-be-wife Mary, Mary’s half sister Claire and Byron’s doctor, John Polidori, at his Swiss mansion where they tell ghost stories and experience surreal supernatural encounters that are physical manifestations of their fears.

True Event:Byron suggested they each write their own supernatural tale and Godwin came up with Frankenstein, while Byron wrote what would later be adapted by Polidori into The Vampyre. If you believe in ghosts and you believe this lot, then this movie is a hell of a Goth. Or just another nightmare.

18. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986) on IMDb | Wikipedia | View Trailer

Interesting Fact about “Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)”

The film was shot on 16mm in 28 days with a budget of $110,000.

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer

Director: John McNaughton

Casting: Michael Rooker, Tracy Arnold

Storyline: With an awesome story telling technique, yet to see, Henry, a serial killer who had killed hundreds of people, sometimes aided by his roommate, Otis, was a real treat for horror movie fans.

True Event: The movie’s killing spree is based more on Lucas’ confessions than on actual fact. Lucas confessed to 600 murders, in part because the confessions led police to offer him improved conditions in jail. He had an accomplice named Ottis Toole and a romantic relationship with Otis’ young relative.

19. Dead Ringers (1988)

Dead Ringers (1988) on IMDb | Wikipedia | View Trailer

Interesting Fact about “Dead Ringers (1988)”

Robert De Niro turned down the Mantle twins roles because he felt uncomfortable playing a gynecologist.

Dead Ringers

Director: David Cronenberg

Casting: Jeremy Irons, Geneviève Bujold

Storyline: Twin gynaecologists- Beverly and Elliot Mantle make a habit of sharing women. However, Beverly, the more sensitive of the two, falls in love with their latest conquest, but when she discovers their scheme, she rejects them, sending Beverly into a cycle of drug abuse and dragging his brother down with him.

True Event: On July 19, 1975, the decomposing, emaciated bodies of 45-year-old twin gynaecologists Stewart and Cyril Marcus were discovered in their apartment. The cause of death was extreme withdrawal due to an addiction to barbiturates. It’s unclear what led to their shocking state. But it was a result of a paranormal state of mind, so they say.

20. The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988)

The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988) on IMDb | Wikipedia | View Trailer

Interesting Fact about “The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988)”

Bill Pullman acted alongside a jaguar, a viper and a tarantula during the course of film.

The Serpent and the Rainbow

Director: Wes Craven

Casting: Bill Pullman, Cathy Tyson, Zakes Mokae, Brent Jennings, Conrad Roberts

Storyline: The story is of a Haitian voodoo ritual which induces paralyzes stimulating death in patients; this movie was the first voodoo blockbuster. American anthropologist Dennis Alan is hired by a pharma giant to do this all. The journey and concept which encroaches is real time good.

True Event: An exaggerated adaptation of a 1985 book by Canadian scientist Wade Davi. He shares his experiences with zombification in Haiti and that of Clairvius Narcisse. This movie was a combination of untold voodoo rituals and there remains a huge debate over the veracity of his claims.

21. Child’s Play (1988)

Child's Play (1988) on IMDb | Wikipedia | View Trailer

Interesting Fact about “Child’s Play (1988)”

The babysitter’s death scene originally had her being electrocuted while taking a bath.

Child's Play

Director: Tom Holland

Casting: Catherine Hicks, Chris Sarandon and Alex Vincent

Storyline: A single mother gives her son a beloved doll for his birthday, later they find out that the doll is possessed with the soul of a serial killer, who try to put his soul into the boy’s body in order to become human.

True Event: This movie’s writer got the idea from a real-life voodoo vendetta that a Jamaican nurse inflicted upon Key West painter and author Robert Eugene Otto. The writer would apparently talk to the doll when he was a child. Otto’s family would find things missing or moved in his room, and heard him screaming at night.

This is not the end, we have another page for you, that means another 20+ movies for you to keep in watchlist.

Part 2 Of This List – Another 20+ Movies [NEXT PAGE]

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Shalini Singh

Editor at MoviesDrop
I'm a law student (by choice), a freelancer (by choice) and a movie freak (by passion) and apart from a bibliophile, a turophile and a writer, I am also a TV show and movie addict. I can write on anything under the sun but give this enthusiast a movie slang or a hint and I can yak about it for days to come.
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19 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Shathyan Raja January 15, 2013 at 1:35 pm - Reply

    Great List.

    Usually I don’t see Horror movies as it lits me to get fear when Im alone :P.

    But here I saw some pics and read some where it has been a real and true event happened which was unbelievable.

    I have just seen 3 movies in this list. Guess you have done a lots of research and wrote.

    Hats Off to your first post. All The best

  2. Bharat Chauhan January 15, 2013 at 1:39 pm - Reply

    Great compilation. Though I still feel something is missing.
    1408 😉

  3. Bharat Chauhan January 15, 2013 at 1:45 pm - Reply

    Ooops. Sorry. 1408 wasn’t based on any true events or facts. My bad. 😛

  4. Sachin Jade January 15, 2013 at 4:10 pm - Reply

    Thanks Buddy , Great Share 🙂

  5. Irfan Siddiqui January 15, 2013 at 4:10 pm - Reply

    What I’m going to do is search and download all 21 movies. 🙂

  6. Pavan Somu January 15, 2013 at 2:47 pm - Reply

    I had already had a few movies from the list which you have already posted on the FB group.. Still I have to grab a few movies.

  7. Mac January 16, 2013 at 1:59 pm - Reply

    Outstanding List Bro this is first list . but the big problem is i can understand English 70% . so waiting for next action and crime movie list which is hindi also. thanks again download only one.

  8. Kashish January 21, 2013 at 7:56 pm - Reply

    I really like “The Exorcist” and hated “the nightmare on the elm street”, have already seen half of the list and right now downloading the remaining half.

    Thanks for it bro, Nice work 😀

  9. Ganesh Babu January 23, 2013 at 11:07 pm - Reply

    Woah ! That was a huge list of movies !
    Watched a few of em ! Great compilation Shalini !

    Would like to see similar kinda posts in the future..

  10. angelo February 9, 2013 at 7:56 pm - Reply

    i love all of horror movies.
    blood night was my favorite

  11. gaurav gupta April 4, 2013 at 11:17 pm - Reply

    nice collection……………….

  12. Hassan April 20, 2013 at 9:21 am - Reply

    ” The Girl next door ” Horror movie ( 2007 )

  13. crissy June 28, 2013 at 12:51 am - Reply

    i love horror movies but i don’t know why the hills have eyes scared the shit out of me………..

  14. Surya August 29, 2013 at 8:28 am - Reply

    Very interesting horror collection 🙂
    I haven’t watched many of these movies. I am interested to watch these interesting movies. Thanks for sharing.

  15. angel June 2, 2014 at 10:23 am - Reply

    Dis horror movies r alwys my best movies among dem de conjuring is d most fav. Of mine!!!!

  16. vjjay April 25, 2016 at 2:37 pm - Reply

    good collection.i likei horror movies.do you have more?

  17. Brooke Hendricks July 30, 2016 at 1:34 am - Reply

    Awesome List of Horror Movies “Based on True Stories”!! I can’t wait to check out some of your other Movie list and recommendations!!

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