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5 Horror Movies That Were Based On True Events

Updated on February 20, 2018

As I'm sure we are all very aware horror movies can be a bit hit and miss at times but they are still one of my top favourite film genres to watch. This of course means that a lot of my free time is spent seeking out new and exciting scary films. But the thing with horrors is that however frightening or messed up they are, after the approximately 90 minute fright fest, we can go on with our lives without a second thought to what we just watched because they're not real. Right? But what if they are, or based on true events at least? Does that add a more sinister element that's harder to shake off than those of which are solely fiction?

One of the things I always found truly fascinating was digging into the background of horrors to find out if there was ever any truth to the plot. Below are some horror movies which you may not be aware were based on chilling, true events.


The Clinic (2010)

To date, The Clinic is probably one of the most messed up movies I have ever seen. It follows Beth who is a heavily pregnant young woman, traveling across country with her fiance but during the night she is abducted and awakes to find herself in a bath of ice and a ragged stitch down her belly. Only it's not organ theft, her baby has been removed and she must fight for her life if she wants to ever see her newborn.

This movie is sadly not based on one sole event but in fact many which only makes it all the more distressing to watch. It raises awareness for the many women across the world who have tragically lost their children and often their own lives to womb raiders.


The Hills Have Eyes

The Hills Have Eyes is a 2006 production that follows a family on their travels trough the seemingly uninhabited Nevada desert but to their horror they come under attack from a family who are both cannibalistic and deformed.

The true story behind The Hills Have Eyes is not American in origin at all, it is in fact but one movie based on Sawney Bean who is Scotland's most famous mass murderer and cannibal said to be responsible for the deaths of over 1,000 people in a 25 year period.


The Town That Dreaded Sundown

The Town That Dreaded Sundown is set in the small town of Texarkana where local teenagers are under threat from a masked killer known as ''The Phantom.''

The 1976 movie is a factual based account of the true events which occurred in 1946 where a masked killer terrorised the town and claimed the lives of 5 people and injured another 3 in a six month period but the case remains unsolved.


The Exorcism Of Emily Rose

The Exorcism Of Emily Rose is a horror movie unlike that of many others, instead of playing out the story like a common horror film is set in a courtroom during the trial for the death of Emily Rose (who was though to have been demonically possessed) where Rev. Moore stands accused. During the trial we are shown both sides of the argument and ultimately left to decide which of the arguments we believe to be true.

Anneliese Michel was the real Emily Rose and at 17 she began to experience convulsions which led to her experiencing her first epileptic attack in 1969 after which she was diagnosed with Grand Mal epilepsy. Alongside the epilepsy, Michel began hearing voices and experiencing hallucinations which her parents believed to be signs of demonic possession. Anneliese's symptoms have now been compared to those of schizophrenia.


Open Water (2003)

The 2003 movie Open Water follows the story of Daniel and Susan as they separate themselves from the others during a group dive as they decide to be adventurous and explore a little deeper. After returning to the surface they find that after an incorrect head count, their boat has departed and can only be made out in the far distance. With sharks inhabiting the waters beneath it slowly sets in that their chances of survival are growing smaller as the minutes go on.

Open Water was based upon the disappearance of Tom and Eileen Lonergan who are scuba diving in Australia's Great Barrier Reef in 1998 when their boat and group departed before their return to the surface. None of the crew or fellow divers had noticed that the two had failed to return and it wasn't until two days later that they were discovered to be missing after their belongings were found on the diving boat. Over the next three days both an air and sea search took place and although some of their gear was found to have washed up on the shore, far from where they had disappeared it was assumed they drowned despite their bodies never being found. Fishermen also found a diver's slate which reportedly read "Monday Jan 26; 1998 08am. To anyone who can help us: We have been abandoned on A[gin]court Reef by MV Outer Edge 25 Jan 98 3pm. Please help to rescue us before we die. Help!!!"

Are You A Horror Fan?

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Which of the true stories that inspired these films did you find most interesting?

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I hope that you have found this post interesting and if you have any thoughts or opinions you would like to share feel free to do so in the comments section below.

© 2018 BunnyClaws


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    • BunnyClaws profile image

      BunnyClaws 3 weeks ago from Scotland

      Oh no! Horror movies aren't for everyone, I'm fortunate in the sense that they don't leave me frightened and instead I just get so intrigued by the story-lines and end up trying to find out more haha. :)

    • AlexisG profile image

      Alexis 3 weeks ago

      I've only seen "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" and as a teenager, it terrified me.

    • BunnyClaws profile image

      BunnyClaws 3 weeks ago from Scotland

      I completely understand where you are coming from Lindsey, It's a really difficult watch especially with how raw and realistic each scene is made out to be but overall I have to say it's a very interesting and gripping film. :)

    • husslindsey profile image

      Lindsey Huss 4 weeks ago from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

      I've seen all of these except The Clinic and I don't honestly know if I have the stomach for it haha. I love horror and gore movies but just the nature of that one makes my knees weak.