7 Horror Movies Based on Even More Terrifying Events From Real Life

  • May 02, 2018
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Most good horror movies can give us a real adrenaline rush, and there are some that are so scary, they can even make us want to sleep with the lights on. We can cope with the twisted and uneasy world of horror flicks by reassuring ourselves that all of the stories are fictional and that those horrible events never really happened. But, have you ever considered that some of your favorite horror movies might actually be based on stories from real life? Here are some classic horror movies that were inspired by terrifying events in real life.


Was Freddy Kruger Real?

The original 'A Nightmare on Elm Street' was released in 1984 and it was created by horror mastermind Wes Craven. It has since become a famous franchise with nine movies as well as novels and comic books. 'A Nightmare on Elm Street' is centered around Freddy Kruger, one of the most iconic horror movie characters, who executes his revenge by murdering people in their dreams. Craven revealed that the story draws its inspiration from a rather bizarre and mysterious phenomenon. Namely, the story was inspired by a family from Cambodia, and when the family moved to the US, their son started to experience some disturbing nightmares. According to Craven, the boy was unable to sleep because something chased him in his dreams. One day, the boy managed to fall asleep, but his parents were woken up by loud screams and saw that their son was dead. It's said that the boy died while having a nightmare. This phenomenon has also happened many times in the 1980s, and it was documented that 104 male refugees and immigrants have passed away in their sleep from mysterious causes.



Jigsaw is definitely one of the most twisted characters in horror movie history who uses a variety of deranged methods to test his victims and see how far they are willing to go to injure others in order to escape with their lives. Could something so twisted happen in real life? Well, a couple of years before the release of 'Saw,' a serial killer was on the loose in New Mexico. David Parker Ray got the nickname 'Toy-Box Killer' because he would abduct his victims and lock them in a mobile home, which he named his 'toy box.' Parker would then torture his victims in cruel ways using various tools and objects in the 'toy box' and would film the entire act. In the end, Parker was caught when a female victim managed to escape and was sentenced to 224 years in prison. Even though the 'Saw' creators never cited Parker's story as their inspiration, there are some eerie similarities between Jigsaw and Parker.


The Hills Have Eyes

This terrifying film was another one of Wes Craven's most famous movies, and it was about a family on vacation that gets stuck in Nevada and runs into a family of cannibals. Craven's inspiration for this flick was the notorious Bean family, a clan of cannibals in Scotland which existed in the 13th century and was led by Sawney Bean. The Bean family lived in a cave for many years, and according to historical estimates, they killed and consumed around 1,000 people.


The Real Hannibal Lecter

The inspiration behind this gruesome character was not revealed until 'The Silence of the Lambs' celebrated it's 25th anniversary. Thomas Harris, the writer of the original novels that featured Hannibal Lecter, revealed that the famous character was inspired by a real murderer. Back in the 1960s, Harris was working on a new story, and he visited a prisoner named Alfredo Treviño, who was a doctor, just like Hannibal. Treviño had an argument with his boyfriend after which he murdered and buried him. He used surgical methods to separate his victim's body parts, and his methods and attitude were the inspiration behind Hannibal.