30 Horror Movies Based on Real Life Events – Video

30 Horror Movies Based on Real Life Events – Video

If you’re a horror movie enthusiast looking for a truly terrifying viewing experience, then you’ll want to check out WatchMojo’s latest video titled “Top 30 Horror Movies Inspired by True Events”. This collection of frightful films draws upon real-life crimes and events to add an extra layer of terror to your movie night.

From classics like “The Exorcist” and “Psycho” to more recent hits like “The Conjuring” and “Poltergeist”, this countdown showcases the most bone-chilling horror flicks that have roots in reality. Each movie weaves a story based on disturbing true events, such as the Great Barrier Reef shark attack that inspired “Open Water” or the sinister happenings behind the story of “The Amityville Horror”.

Whether it’s the primal fear of being stranded in the ocean with sharks or the dread of encountering a malevolent spirit in your home, these horror movies are sure to leave you with nightmares long after the credits roll. So grab some popcorn, turn off the lights, and prepare yourself for a spine-tingling movie marathon with these terrifying tales of real-life horror. Let us know in the comments which of these movies gave you the most chills, and be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo for more great content on the macabre and mysterious. Happy haunting!

Watch the video by WatchMojo.com

Video Transcript

I’m Damian Caris and I’m the devil now kindly and do these straps welcome to watch Mojo and today we’re counting down our picks for the most terrifying horror flicks that Drew upon real life crimes or events for inspiration you’re going to need a bigger boat number 30 Open Water Daniel where’s the

Boat it’s a good question getting stranded in the middle of shark infested waters is one of the scariest experiences anyone can endure unfortunately this terrifying scenario became a reality for American couple Tom and Eileen lonan who were accidentally left behind during a group’s scuba diving trip to the Great Barrier Reef

Their chilling taale became the basis for the 2003 survival horror film Open Water about a married couple attempting to strengthen their relationship through a scuba diving Adventure while no one knows exactly what became of Tom and Eileen lonan who have since been presumed dead the characters in the film

Ultimately suffer a horrifying fate at the mercy of the Sharks this can’t be happening how can this be happening I just got bitten by a shark we can actually be eaten alive by sharks over here number 29 Veronica several horror films have centered around the use of Ouija boards to summon

Malevolent spirits but only a handful are grounded in real life events one of them is Veronica the 2017 Spanish film follows the titular character a teenage girl who attempts to connect with her deceased father’s Spirit using a Ouija board only to invite a more diabolical Force the movie draws inspiration from

The real life case of estefania Gutierrez Lazaro in 1991 Lazaro reportedly conducted a seance at a school in Madrid in an attempt to communicate with her friend’s late boyfriend instead she began experiencing debilitating hallucinations and seizures and ultimately succumbs to a mysterious Death number 28 10 rington place the uh stove I I use one in 10 might die from it die the events that inspired this 1971 British film involved both a terrifying serial killer and a grave miscarriage of justice during the 1940s and early 1950s John Christie claimed

The lives of at least 8 people within his flat at 10 rington place in nodding Hill London among his victims were his own wife Ethel as well as his neighbor barl Evans and her daughter Geraldine adding to the horror was christe’s successful attempts to divert suspicion by helping to wrongfully convict Evans

Husband Timothy for the deaths of his wife and daughter christe went on to commit four more murders before being apprehended in 1953 and subsequently hanged for his crimes your Christie John Reginal Christie I should have to take you into custody number 27 Audrey Rose our bodies because they are material can die but the soul which is Spirit can never die after noticing unusual behavior in his son writer Frank deita consulted an occultist during the meeting it was suggested that deita’s son had

Reincarnated and was only recalling memories from his previous life inspired by this experience deita penned the novel Audrey Rose in 1975 which he adapted into a motion picture 2 years later both the book and the movie center around the concept of reincarnation with a compelling twist in the story a New

York City couple finds themselves entangled with a mysterious man who insists their daughter is The Reincarnation of his own deceased child it’s a haunting tale that explores the Intriguing question what if your child harbored a secret past life I came to know the reality of their religious

Convictions and to know the truth of reincarnation number 26 black water get up the tree get up the tree just like open water does with sharks Blackwater confronts its human characters with a massive crocodile released in 2007 the Australian film follows a pregnant woman who goes on vacation with her boyfriend

And sister only to end up fighting for survival against a ferocious crocodile you know a nightmare that nearly everyone has had at some some point however for a trio of friends who ventured into the Australian Outback in December 2003 that nightmare became a haunting reality when they were attacked

By a crocodile their distressing ordeal which resulted in the death of one person served as the inspiration for black water when did we last see another boat we did see that Petr drum that could have been in the water for weeks months okay so what’s your Ida number 25

The Entity do you hear that you did hear that didn’t you being attacked and tormented by an as salant within the confines of your home is inherently frightening now imagine if that as salent was invisible those were precisely the claims of Doris bther in 1974 bther sought the assistance of

Parasyche Barry Taff asserting that she had encountered several invisible entities that not only tormented her but also subjected her to sexual assault tff along alongside a group of doctoral students at the University of California Los Angeles conducted an investigation into her case the findings of this investigation inspired the 1978 book The

Entity which was then adapted into this 1982 film the movie introduces several new elements cranking up the horror with truly disturbing imagery I mean I’d rather be dead than living the way I’ve been living you understand that number 24 The Moth Man prophecies they saw it but seeing is no

Believing in The Moth Man prophecies Richard Gear plays a reporter who is sent to investigate strange creature sightings a phenomenon also witnessed by his late wife the movie is an adaptation of the aonomus book and claims to be based on actual events between 1966 and 1967 residents of Point Pleasant West

Virginia reported encounters with a large winged entity referred to as as Moth Man both the film and the book link these mysterious sightings to the tragic collapse of the Silver Bridge over the Ohio river in 1967 however it has since been determined that the bridge collapse resulted from the corrosion of an eye

Bar in one of the suspension chains wow great tragedy on the river Al number 23 Borderland so what are you going to do about it I’m sorry until you’re friend is missing for at least 72 hours there is nothing we can do don’t worry he’ll turn up three recent American college graduates

Journey to Mexico for a week of pure unadulterated fun however things go horribly arai when one of them encounters a group of strange men and disappears as Borderland unfolds it becomes apparent that the missing man has fallen victim to a religious cult led by a drug lord who practices Human

Sacrifice if that sounds to you like a plot from the the mind of someone under the influence then think again Borderland draws inspiration from real life events involving adalo De Jesus constanzo in 1989 constanzo a drug lord SL murderous cult leader orchestrated the abduction and murder of Mark Kilroy

An American student on spring break in Mexico I know where’s your friend I got to the farm do what I can number 22 The Girl Next Door thanks David that was fun hey back where we’re staying with our cousins the Chandlers based on John ketchum’s 1989 novel this horror drama

Is such a harrowing watch it will make you ache to learn that it’s based on true events message wasn’t only a marketing Ploy you understand how girls get squeamish don’t you and Meg here’s a lady why sure she is unfortunately this tale about a victim who’s tormented under the watch

Eye of a supposed Guardian is based on the 1965 case of Sylvia lyans the game is she’s got to tell okay tell what something secret sounds right although a few things are changed from the real story The Girl Next Door puts a lot of this crime’s cruelty on full display

Stephen King described it as quote a long look into hell Suburban style well Tony told his mother that he’d seen several other boys from the neighborhood over here beaten up on Meg you know kids officer Jennings they’re always exaggerating it was probably just a little rough housing number 21 them AKA e

Alo this French Romanian horror film was allegedly inspired by the story of an Austrian couple that was killed while traveling in the Czech Republic Go the movie follows a French woman Clementine who’s moved into a house just outside of Bucharest Romania when strangers invade her home Clementine and

Her boyfriend Luca run out into the woods yeah that’s not going to end well no evidence has surfaced to support this film’s claim that was based on reality but the fact that it might have been makes it all the more scary playing on our fear of ROM senseless

Crimes number 20 Child’s Play hi I’m Chucky and I’m your friend to the end heidy ho for years many children lived in Perpetual fear of dolls as a result of the 1988 film Child’s Play it introduced audiences to Chucky the terrifying doll that haunted the life of the young boy

Who received it as a gift while the story is fictional Chucky was reportedly inspired by an unsettling toy from the early 20th century known as Robert it belongs to painter Robert Eugene Otto and was supposedly a birthday present from his childhood however Legend has it that a young woman who worked for Otto’s

Family gifted it to him as quote retaliation for wrongdoing the doll has allegedly exhibited Supernatural behavior and caused several Mis fortunes for its owners we’re friends to the end remember this is the end friends number 19 primeval nobody sees little Gustav except those he means to kill man-eating

Animals are always terrifying but none more so than Gustav a nearly 1 ton 20ft long Nile crocodile in Burundi that’s a war to villagers I believe they kept them tight out there as an offering to the croc in real life it’s alleged that this terrifying creature has killed

Somewhere between 200 and 300 people though an exact number is hard to determine either way his reputation has reached legendary proportions primeval follows a group of American journalists who seek to study the Monstrous Croc at their Peril needless to say their field trip does not go as planned maybe just leave

The Manny eating animal alone next time guys the crocodile ruls the water number 18 The Strangers director screenwriter Brian bertino Drew on the crimes of the Manson family as well as personal experience for this home invasion horror film bertino stated he remembers a group of people knocking on

The doors in his neighborhood asking if a madeup person was home is Tamara here no no you got the wrong house if no one answered the door they would Rob the house his movie takes on a much more Sinister approach focusing instead on a group that wants to kill innocent people

In their homes for no reason as with them it’s the randomness and senselessness of their axe that leaves you shivering why are you doing this to us cuz you were home number 17 an American haunting much like The Blair Witch Project this movie draws inspiration from the Bell Witch Legend

Of Adams Tennessee the story of the Bell Witch has always been considered to be a tall tail this is not s according to lore the family of John Bell a farmer in the 1800s was targeted by a Dead witch known as Kate bats bats’ Poltergeist apparently harassed the family

Physically made them hear sounds and displaced objects in their house in the name of Jesus Christ get that once she mainly targeted the family’s youngest Betsy but poisoned John Bell switching between the 19th and 21st centuries an American haunting brings this terrifying tale into the present day help

Her number 16 compliance the most chilling thing about this story has to be the cruelty that some are willing to afflict on the innocent Kevin this is Officer Daniels on the lead officer in the case as your manager explain what’s going went on uh well she said that

Becky stole something and her brother’s arrested starting in the early 90s various fast food restaurants in the United States began to complain about prank calls to their stores in which a supposed police officer would accuse an employee of a crime well I have a customer here with me that says her purse was

Taken well you know I was out there the whole time and you know I I didn’t see anyone the officer would then ask the manager to interrogate and harass the employee in VAR ways so I’m going to need you have her stri down now look through everything okay compliance focuses on an

Eerily similar 2004 incident that happened in Mount Washington Kentucky the film transforms the chilling true story into an even more haunting film putting you right in the shoes of the harassed employee who are you yes I’ll have an original shitch and I’ll have one of those Frost blun

I’m just kidding Sandra it’s me it’s officer Daniels messing with you number 15 The Hills Have Eyes we’re right here someplace on this little blue Road mother this road is not a blue line it’s a dotted line if it’s on the map at all while in search of inspiration for his

Second film The now legendary horror filmmaker Wes Craven stumbled upon the historic Legend of Sony bean bean was a 16th century figure who led a clan of cannibals in Scotland over a span of 25 years bean and his clan members are believed to have cannibalized over 1,000 people this striking tale became the

Basis for Craven’s horror classic The Hills Have Eyes which was released in 1977 although similar in many ways the Savage Family in Craven’s film suffer a different fate from their real life counterparts bean and his clan were hunted down by King James I 6 men and executed in a particularly maob fashion

It’s pretty quiet think the land forest wouldn’t be surprised number 14 The Haunting in Connecticut in this supernatural horror flick the sneaker family moves to Connecticut to be closer to the doctor of their son who has been diagnosed with cancer you’re not going to be scared in

Here all alone I’ve got my toys they discovered that their new home used to be a funeral parlor even worse those who ran the mortuary had questionable practices including necromancy oh forgot sh just leave me alone the movie is supposedly based on a true story fueled by Carmen seder’s

Claim that she was haunted by a quote evil entity so supposedly they contacted the dead through Jonah and people came to have chats with their dead hubby or wife or find out where anti M had the family juls and he claims that he discovered how to amplify the seances

The house was examined by edin Lorraine Warren and exercised in 1988 however many researchers believ that the story was a hoax with Ed allegedly telling author Ray garton to quote just make it up and make it Scary number 13 ravenous starvation and Desperation can make people do strange things when eats must eat more more he never enough he he takes never never gives the Western horror film ravenous is not based on one specific historical incident but it does take inspiration from different sources primarily the

Life of Alfred Packer and the Donner Party he killed everyone go killed everyone along with some nods to these real incidents of humans eating their dead ravenous presents the idea that once someone tries it nothing else will ever satisfy them again get away from me get away from Me atmospheric unsurprisingly gory weirdly comedic and featuring a mesmerizing performance by Robert Carlile ravenous uses history and myth to craft a strange but captivating horror film Captain Boyd Captain how’s the leg number 12 Wolf Creek rather than than being based on one set of circumstances this film is an

Amalgamation of various real life events these include the crimes of two Australian Killers Ivan matat and Bradley John Murdoch what did he actually do now oh I could tell you and then i’ have to kill you both prayed on tourists melat in the late ‘ 80s and early ’90s

And Murdoch in 2001 when he attacked British traveler Peter falconio and his girlfriend Joanne Le paralleling the events of the movie The couple was driving through the Australian Outback when their car was flagged down by a stranded motorist Le managed to escape but heard gunshots falconio was never seen again

And his body hasn’t been recovered like your little M said before you I that’s not a knife this is a knife number 11 the The Exorcism of Emily Rose I don’t care about my reputation I’m not afraid of jail what I care about is telling Emily

Rose’s story this film is based on the life of German woman Analisa Mikel who experienced seizures and was diagnosed with epileptic psychosis Emily don’t touch me due to her aversion to religious objects her parents contacted the the Catholic Church to request an exorcism two priests answered the call and

Performed a total of 67 exorcisms and lead us not into temptation but Deliver Us from EV the results were disastrous with Mikel dying from malnutrition and dehydration this movie expands on that story by following The Exorcist as he’s tried for homicide after that night why do you think Emily refused another

Exorcism I believe she’d accepted her fate the incident also inspired two other films 2006’s requium and 201s and Alisa The Exorcist tapes number 10 Henry portrait of a serial killer Henry Lee Lucas may seem like the stuff of nightmares but unfortunately he’s based on a real life figure I’m not saying you

Can’t use a gun just don’t use the same gun twice active between the years 1960 and 83 Lucas claimed to have committed hundreds of murders initially the police accepted his claims did you really kill your mama what did you really kill your Mama I guess I did however it turned out

That most of his confessions were false nevertheless Lucas was convicted of 11 homicides three of which were confirmed by authorities the film states that it was inspired by his life and Fantasies more than his actual murders but it did get many details right including being

Mal now treated as a child by his mother and his partnership with Otis tulle don’t do that Otis she’s your sister okay I was only kidding around H tell her you’re sorry number nine scream underneath scream’s satirical tone and marketable slasher villain lies a story

About a small town driven to chaos by a string of violent murders is that Sydney Prescott they took away I’m not talking to you what happened to her none of your damn business the script behind West Craven’s 9s horror flick was sparked into existence by the Gainesville murders committed by Daniel Rowling in

1990 he called me again last night at Tatum’s house you see couldn’t have been me I was in jail remember while there are a couple of similarities scream screenwriter was primarily inspired by the widespread fear caused by the killings it’s the idea that there could be a faceless psychopath standing

Outside the window waiting for the opportunity to Strike Number eight Poltergeist poltergeists are malicious Spirits said to be fond of scaring the beesus out of people through abrupt noises and movements and they are hardly a modern concept they’re here the 1982 movie had plenty of tales and myths to fall back on and one particularly influential disturbance involved the prolonged

Haunting of the Herman Family residents in 1958 1 1,2 13 over about a month the family was subjected to loud popping noises and unexplainable phenomena incidents that left police and scientists stumped Poltergeist are usually associated with an individual hauntings seem to be connected with an area Poltergeist

Naturally adds a bit of cinematic flare special effects skeletons and televisions to Proceedings number seven The Conjuring the premise of this film at least is true you said she’s a conduit that’s right what does that mean well very powerful demonic has latched itself onto her in 1971 paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren really were asked to investigate the perin family home which

Was reported Ed L being haunted by the less than hospitable Beth Sheba all night long just like that is it come in threes yeah stops at dawn a masterfully directed horror film with a strong cast The Conjuring brought renewed interest to this Sensational case and undoubtedly inspired its fair

Share of nightmares along the way uh Nancy the movie does change a few things to tell a more cinematic story including an ending that sees the Warren successfully exercise the house of its unwanted guests remember what you showed me remember that day that you said you would never

Forget number six A Nightmare on Elm Street it’s hard to believe there’s even a grain of truth to this Fantastical Blockbuster story but truth is Stranger Than Fiction come to Freddy Wes Craven Loosely based his franchise on a series of Articles he read in the Los Angeles Times in the 70s they were about a group of Southeast Asian refugees who experienced horrific nightmares which led to insomnia and sleep deprivation it’s too late Krueger I know the secret

Now this is just a dream you’re not alive worse yet a few died suddenly in their sleep despite having no other medical problems and that’s how the nightmare figure of Freddy Krueger was born number five The Texas Chainsaw Massacre hello anybody home the notorious murderer Ed Gan has served as a loose

Inspiration for plenty of horror films with the Texas Chainsaw Massacre being one of the most famous the similarities mostly come down to leather faces mask as gin also fashion such keepsakes although not in order to hide a physical deformity like the movies killer the film’s disturbing house also Bears some resemblance to edgin’s

Grotesque flesh themed home The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is far from an edgin biopic but the film’s grizzly aesthetic reflects the depraved nature of the murderer’s crimes now don’t you cry n Grandpa’s the best it won’t hurt a bit Number Four The Exorcist regarded as one of the greatest horror movies ever The

Exorcist depicts two priests struggle to liberate a girl possessed by the demon Pazuzu stop it’s burning while exorcisms have been around for centuries a 1949 incident in St Louis was the primary inspiration behind The Exorcist answer me now The Exorcism of Roland doe lasted for weeks and saw the boy act in similar

Ways to Reagan and The Exorcist s some of the film’s more head turning scenes The Exorcist doesn’t need a link to reality to be terrifying but this background adds a new dimension to the classic film that the power of Christ compels you the power of Christ compels

You number three The Amityville Horror I like to refer to this as a a fixer oper that can be fun one of the most controversial horror movies inspired by true events the amville horror Chronicles the Lutz family stay in a house that had recently seen a gruesome

Tragedy and when he was at trial he testified that he heard voices in the house he heard voices in the house and the voices told him to do it with pig creatures walls spouting blood and ancient burial grounds The Amityville Horror presumably takes a few liberties

With a story that has plenty of Skeptics but the Grim murders that started everything undoubtedly happened taken on its own the Amityville Horror is a quintessential Haunted House movie a tale about a fractured family driven to the point of Insanity by mind-breaking Phenomena down where my baby Kathy number two Jaws I’m only trying to say that Amity is a summer town we need summer dollars Steven Spielberg’s legendary horror film has been striking fear into the hearts of viewers for Decades although a fictional story Jaws is partially inspired by the Jersey Shore shark attacks of 1916 which saw four victims fall prey to sharks in under 2 weeks along with any direct influence it might have had on the movie this tragedy also impacted the public perception of sharks arguably adding

Legitimacy to jaw’s premise a shark is attracted to the exact kind of splashing and activity that occurs whenever human beings go in swimming you cannot avoid it if you open the beaches on the 4th of July it’s like ringing the dinner bell for Christ sakes a master class of

Suspense that demonstrates how less is sometimes more Jaws Taps into legitimate fear through its clever Direction and tight script smile you son of a before we continue be sure to subscribe to our Channel and ring the bell to get notified about our latest videos you have the option to be notified for

Occasional videos or all of them if you’re on your phone make sure you go into settings and switch on your notifications number one psycho the psycho novel and Hitchcock’s adaptation were released only a few years following the capture and trial of Ed Gan are you sure you wouldn’t like to stay just a

Little while longer just for talk I’d like to but all right Norman Bates is a socially awkward but seemingly harmless Outcast defined by his unhealthy relationship with his fanatical and harsh mother traits reminiscent of the real life murderer although G influenced the presentation of Norman Bates in various ways the

Character’s crimes were wholly the invention of Robert block the book’s author a landmark release in the slasher genre Psy holds up as a stylish and frightful exploration of violence and Madness Hitchcock’s the birds is also based on a real incident when birds around California’s Monterey Bay suddenly started to dive into people’s

Homes even if even if this is true even if all don’t you believe it’s true no M frankly I don’t which of these horror movies rooted in reality gave you nightmares let us know in the Comments did you enjoy this video check out these other clips from watch Mojo and be sure to subscribe and ring the bell to be notified about our latest Videos

Video “Top 30 Horror Movies Inspired by True Events” was uploaded on 03/01/2024 to Youtube Channel WatchMojo.com