Real Event Based Horror Movies That Will Get Your Skin Crawling

There is nothing more satisfying than to curl up at a comfy spot, maybe with some pizza, and watch a good horror movie. If you’re into getting the creeps, that is. But nothing is more bone-chilling creepy than real event based horror movies.

Not only do special effects and plotline keep you jumping. The very thought of such a thing happening to real people makes you jump at every little noise inside your house, and rob you of your sleep.

Real event based horror movies

#1 Psycho (1960)

The movie Psycho is based on the 1959 novel of the same name by Robert Bloch (1917-1994). His inspiration for the book comes from the crimes of Wisconsin murderer Ed Gein.

The movie

Phoenix office worker Marion Crane is getting caught in a storm. Tired, she gets off the main highway and pulls into The Bates Motel. The motel is managed by a quiet young man called Norman. He seems to be dominated by his mother. The aftermath comes with an unexpected twist.

The real event

Ed Gein (1906-1984) is obsessively devoted to his mother. After her death, he begins robbing graves. He keeps body parts as trophies, practices necrophilia, and experiments with human taxidermy. In 1954 he turns from grave robbery to murder, killing at least two women.

real event based horror movies: News paper clip showing arrest of Ed Gein. Further photos in newspaper include the house, one of the human masks.


#2 The Exorcist (1973)

This movie is based on the 1971 novel The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty. The book details the true events during the 1949 exorcism of a young boy. This is one of the most profitable real event based horror movies.

The movie

A teenage girl is possessed by a demon and her mother seeks the help of two priests. The older one of the priests recognizes the necessity for a show-down with an old demonic enemy.

The real event

In the late 40s the first ever exorcism in the United States is performed on a 13-year-old boy. He is the son of a Lutheran mother and Catholic father in Cottage City, Maryland. None of the eyewitnesses reveals his true identity. They use the alias “Robbie Mannheim” whenever they talk about him. The Catholic Church refers to him as “Roland Doe.”

His aunt introduces him to the Ouija Board and Robbie expresses quite some interest in it. Soon after the Aunt dies, the family hears angry voices and sound of furniture moving across the room. A little later they see claw marks appearing on Robbie’s body. To get away from the troubles, the family travels to St. Louis, Missouri.

While in St. Louis objects are flying or levitating whenever the boy is nearby. The family asks Father Bishop, who is teaching at St. Louis University, for help.

St. Louis Archbishop Joseph Ritter gives the permission to carry out an exorcism on Robbie. The priests start the rites at the the boy’s relatives’ house in a northwest St. Louis suburb. For several days they deal with violent actions and inexplicable behaviors coming from the boy. These include apparent seizures, many scratches and “brands”. He  spits at the priests and family members, shouts and laughs fiendishly. Furthermore he uses “abusive and dirty” language, urinates and sings phrases from songs he doesn’t even know. These are “Old Man River,” “Blue Danube” and the hymn “Old Rugged Cross”. After a week, the family and priests agree to take him to the psychiatric ward at Alexian Brothers Hospital. There, they carry out the final days of the exorcism.

#3 Deranged (1974)

This is another one of real event based horror movies inspired by Ed Gein. It comes very close to the real story.

Scene from the movie dead mother at the dinner table.

The movie

Ezra Cobb lives in rural Wisconsin where he takes care of his bedridden mother. The mother is a religious fanatic and is very domineering. From early childhood on she teaches him that all women are evil. After she dies he digs up her grave, because he believes she is still alive, and takes her home. He learns about taxidermy and begins robbing graves to get materials to patch her up. Inevitably he begins to look for fresher sources of materials and turns into a serial killer.

#4 The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

This movie is marketed as a true story, but the plot is entirely fictional. However, the character of Leatherface and some minor plot details are inspired by Ed Gein. Movie makers really seem to like that guy.

The movie

After getting reports of vandalism and desecration, Sally Hardesty and her paraplegic brother, Franklin, travel with three friends to check on their grandfather’s grave.

The five teenagers drive past a slaughterhouse where they pick up a sinister hitch-hiker. After he does some weird stuff they kick him out again. Eventually they end up at the old family home. Here, the nightmare begins as they meet a family of cannibals and… Leatherface.

#5 The Entity (1982)

The Entity is based on a novel of the same name by Frank De Felitta. His inspiration for the story comes from the 1974 Doris Bither case.

The movie

One night, an unseen presence beats and violantly rapes Carla Moran, a single mother. This is followed by some poltergeist activity. Carla escapes with her children to a friend’s house. Her friend urges her to see a psychologist. He believes her paranormal experiences are delusions resulting from her past variety of  psychological traumas.

When Carla is at a bookstore she meets two parapsychologists. The researchers discover that an evil spiritual force is responsible for the violent attacks. Desperate, Carla agrees to participate in an experiment carried out by the parapsychologists.

The real event

Doris Bither is a single mother of one daughter and three sons. In 1974 the spirits of three Asian men attack and rape her in her Culver City, California home. From there on ghost apparitions are a daily thing and even people outside of the family can see them.

While at a bookstore, Doris overhears Dr. Barry Taff and his associate Kerry Gaynor talking about the paranormal. She approaches them and tells them about all that is going on in her house. After some consideration, the two agree to investigate.

Doris has a history of multiple abusive relationships and a traumatic childhood. The Investigators notice there is a poor relationship between Doris and her three sons. The home is in poor condition and has been condemned twice by the city. Dr. Barry Taff believes that all this is acting like a lightning rod to paranormal activities. He takes several photos in which orbs are showing themselves.

When Doris Bither leaves her Culver City home, so do the ghosts. To this day the house remains free of ghosts, and any activity around Doris decreases with time. Related to this article True Event Based Scary Movies Part 2 2006-2016

#6 Child’s Play (1988)

The script for this movie is based on the story of Key West painter and author Robert Eugene Otto.

The movie

A widowed mother gives her son, Andy, a doll for his birthday. She is unaware that the doll is possessed by the soul of an infamous serial killer. Trying to escape from a cop, Charles Lee Ray, takes his soul and buries it into Chucky the doll. Charles confides in Andy and continues, now as a doll, to commit numerous murders. By the time the adults believe Andy’s story, it’s too late.

The real event

The story has its beginnings in the early 1900s. Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Otto are wealthy people who live with their son, Robert Eugene, in a large house they had built themselves in 1898. They are known for mistreating their servants and when they abuse one of the servant girls, they made a big mistake.

The girl knows the art of voodoo and decides to take revenge. She gives Gene (the name Robert Eugene is called by his friends) a three feet tall doll made out of straw to be his friend and companion. Gene names the doll Robert and takes it everywhere he goes.

His parents often hear him talk to his doll upstairs and the doll answering him in a complete different voice. Then strange things are beginning to happen and every time Gene claims that Robert did it. Witnesses say that they hear the doll giggling and even catch sight of it running up the stairs.

Strange things continue in later years

Robert, the doll, in his glass house at the Key West Museum

When Gene’s parents die he inherits the house and Robert is being rediscovered in the attic. Gene’s wife does not like it at all and insists she sees the doll changing its facial expressions. The doll gets locked up in the attic again. Robert makes his presence known by walking back and fourth and giggling often so any visitor can hear him. He even mocks school children from the attic window. When Gene dies in 1972, another family buys the house.

The 10-year-old girl finds Robert in the attic. The doll makes her life a living hell. To this day, the now older woman, is still traumatized by the events and claims that Robert wanted to kill her.

Robert, the haunted doll, is now at the at the Key West Martello Museum. He is secured behind glass where he can’t cause any harm. Yet, he manages to pull pranks on visitors and museum staff. He won’t allow everyone to take photos of him either. He causes their cameras to stop working as soon as they try to take a picture of him. Supposedly there are several inexplicable pacemaker failures at the site where he is.

#7 Wolf Creek (2005)

Some real event based horror movies come really close to the actual event. One of them is Wolf Creek. The movie carries plot elements that remind viewers of the real-life murders of tourists by Ivan Milat in the 1990s and Bradley Murdoch in 2001.

The movie

Three backpackers travel into the Australian Outback. When their car breaks down at Wolf Creek crater, Mick Taylor, a bushman who suddenly shows up and offers them a ride back to his place. Once at his place everything  turns into a complete nightmare for the backpackers. Even after they find a way to escape, the nightmare does not end.

The real events

Bradley John Murdoch is an Australian criminal and is serving life imprisonment.

In July 2001 English backpacker Peter Falconio and his girlfriend Joanne Lees travel on the Stuart Highway from Alice Springs in the direction of Darwin, Australia. Murdoch flags them down and tells them that sparks are coming out of their tailpipe. Peter walks to the back of his vehicle and that’s when Murdoch shoots him. Murdoch then proceeds to pull Joanne out of the car, binds her hands, and drags her into his own vehicle.

When Murdoch disappears to take care of Peter’s body, Joanne manages to escape and huddles under a saltbush. Murdoch tries to find her, but eventually gives up. After several hours Joanne finds her courage to come out from under the bush and heads back to the highway. Once there she gets picked up by two truck drivers who take her to safety.

Ivan Milat aka The Backpacker Killer

The location of the backpack murders is not in the outback, but in New South Wales, Australia. Between 1989 and 1993 Milat approaches backpackers and offers them rides. At some time during the ride, Milat changes his attitude. He is going from Jekyll to Hyde character within seconds.

Milat stops his vehicle and pretends to check on something. Then he threatens his victims with a gun and binds their hands. He then takes them to a remote area where he sexually assaults and brutally kills them. He takes all their belongings to his place to keep. The bodies stay behind. Mutilated, stabbed, shot, beaten, and at least one girl with her head cut off. Ivan Milat is convicted of 7 murders, but the number is most likely much higher.

#8 The Amityville Horror (2005)

A haunted house story that is most likely the most horrifying ever told. It is based on the true story of George and Kathy Lutz.

The movie

In December 1975, George and Kathy Lutz and their three children move into a new house. The real estate agent neglects to inform them that a horrific mass murder happened inside the house the prior year.

Which is that in 1974, Ronald DeFeo Jr. murdered his family at their house at 112 Ocean Avenue in Amityville, New York. He claimed that he was persuaded to kill them by voices he heard in the house. It doesn’t take long and the family is being terrorized by evil forces.

The real event

On November 13, 1974  a mass murder takes place in the house in Amityville. 23-year-old Ronald J. DeFeo Jr. uses a .35 Marlin rifle to murder his parents and four siblings while they are sleeping. A year later, the Lutz Family buys the house but only lasts 28 days before leaving it. They talk about the activities in the house and their story propels the legend of the Amityville Horror and “America’s most haunted house.”

According to their story, Lutz wakes up at 3:15am every morning, around the time Ron DeFeo killed his family. They smell strange odors and see green slime oozing out of the walls and keyholes. Furthermore, in certain areas of the house they experience cold spots. At one time a priest comes to bless the house and he allegedly hears a voice scream “Get out!” He tells the Lutzes to never sleep in one of the rooms in the house.

They also experience a nearby garage door opening and closing and a knife that comes flying off the kitchen counter. On more than one occasion a pig-like creature with red eyes is staring down at George Lutz and his son Daniel. At one point, George wakes up and sees his wife Kathy levitating above their bed. When he checks on his sons, Daniel and Christopher, they also levitate in their beds. George and Kathy both pass a lie detector test.

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