Many people only like to watch scary movies that are based on true stories. You may have seen many movies that start or ends with this statement “based on a real story” or “inspired from a true story”. It adds to the thrill. Some of the horror classics like Psycho and The Exorcist are what some people consider horror stories that go overboard in the scary factor. It delivers high-octane scenes that give the viewers nightmares. Do you want to know what are the scary movies based on true stories?
Here you can find the list of real scary stories.
Table of Contents
- 1. The Birds
- 2. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
- 3. Jaws
- 4. A Nightmare on Elm Street
- 5. The Serpent and the Rainbow
- 6. The Silence of the Lambs
- 7. Scream
- 8. Ravenous
- 9. Open Water
- 10. Wolf Creek
- 11. Hounds of Love
- 12. Child’s Play
- 13. The Amityville Horror
- 14. Things heard & seen
- 15. Lord of chaos
- 16. Above Suspicion
- 17. Lost Girls
- 18. The Iceman
- 19. The Texas Killing Fields
- 20. All Good Things
1. The Birds
Do you remember Alfred Hitchcock’s classic The Birds? It is a tale of the people of a town who get scared by a flock of birds. It seems this story was based on a real incident that happened in the town of Santa Cruz in California. The local newspaper also documented the rare attack of the birds that tried to invade the streets and harassed the people. Then Hitchcock called the newspaper to tell them that he is using the news to make a horror film.
2. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a 1974 film based on the life and crimes of the serial killer named Ed Gein. The killer Leatherface has become one of the scariest horror characters of Hollywood. He wears a raw human mask which is similar to the one worn by Ed Gein the real killer. Some of the plots of the movie are fictional to increase the scare factor.
Jaws is a blockbuster film that everybody loves. A giant shark frightens the residents of New England beach town. It is one of the scary movies based on true stories. The film is based on the story 1916 shark attack on the Jersey shore. The director Benchley revealed that he came up with the shark story after reading news about the shark attack in an article. It was about fisherman Frank Mundus’ who had a frightening encounter with 4,500-pound great white shark.
4. A Nightmare on Elm Street
This is a 1994 film directed by Wes Craven. The film is about a group of teenagers who get stalked by a man called Freddy Krueger. This scary movie is based on true stories because the director read an article about a Cambodian family whose young son suffered from terrible and realistic nightmares. Like most of the teens on Elm Street, the boy died in his sleep because of staying awake. But instead, he died because of Sudden Unexpected Nocturnal Death Syndrome and not because of a scary creature in a coat and knife.
5. The Serpent and the Rainbow
This is yet another of Wes Craven’s horror films released in 1988. The film is based on real-life frightening stories to tell a fictional story. Mostly it is based on a book of the same name written by Harvard Ph.D. Wade Davis. The film tells the story of a man who is living as a zombie for two years. Then he is poisoned, buried, and revived back to life with a herbal brew. A lot of research was made on the zombification rituals to write the book and make the film. The chilling scenes in the film make it an R-rated film.
Also read: 7 Best Horror Movies To Watch
6. The Silence of the Lambs
This is the only horror film to get Best Picture Oscar. It is a scary movie based on true stories borrowed from the FBI files. The director created a serial killer Buffalo Bill in the film based on real-life killers like Ted Bundy. It is known that Bundy faked an injury to trap his victims and kidnap them. Who can forget the phenomenal performances of Jodie Foster as FBI agent Clarice Starling and Anthony Hopkins as Dr. Hannibal Lector an imprisoned cannibalistic serial killer?
This is the 1996 slasher film of Wes Craven. It became a sleeper hit because people loved the idea of the masked killer known as Ghostface. It is the story of teenager Sydney Prescott who struggles along with her friends to escape from the killer in disguise. It is one of the scary movies based on true stories. In 1990 a man called Danny Rolling used a knife to kill five students in Florida. This was the incident that made Williamson create Scream. Currently, a new Scream film is in the works.
Ravenous is a scary movie based on true stories. It is about Alfred Packer a man named the “The Colorado Cannibal”. In 1874 he confessed to eating his fellow travelers as they tried to survive in Colorado’s the San Juan Mountains.
9. Open Water
It is a low-budget film released in 2003. The film is based on a real-life couple named Tom and Eileen Lonergan. They were American tourists who never returned after a scuba dive vacation. It is assumed that they were hunted down and eaten by the sharks. This is the story that was made into the film with extra details.
10. Wolf Creek
This popular horror film is made by writer-director Greg McLean. He borrowed the material from gruesome crimes committed in his hometown. The killer in the film was based on two killers from Australia. It seems that many tourists were killed by real-life killers.
11. Hounds of Love
This film is an underrated one but its story is based on true stories. It is about a teenage girl trying to escape from her crazy captors. The crazed couple in the film is inspired by real-life people called Brinies. They tortured and killed many women in their home and even recorded it.
12. Child’s Play
This horror film’s script is based on the real-life story of a nurse who put a hoodoo curse on author Robert Eugene Otto. It changed one of his dolls into a dangerous menace.
13. The Amityville Horror
This film is based on the events that took place in a house during the 1970s. This is the scary story discussed by many paranormal investigators. That is why this film is scary to watch.
14. Things heard & seen
This is a thriller about a young woman who moves into a new home with her husband. But little did she know that the house has sinister secrets that can endanger her life. It is a really scary movie based on the paranormal experiences of the writer Elizabeth Brundage.
15. Lord of chaos
During the nineties a teen attempted to launch Norwegian black metal. So this scary movie tells the story of unsettling events from the perspective of Mayhem co-founder Euronymous.
16. Above Suspicion
It is a 2021 film that narrates the real story of FBI agent Mark Putnam. He gets relocated to a mining town in Kentucky. The agent starts an affair with a woman named Susan Smith but things start to get twisted and ugly.
17. Lost Girls
This is not a horror movie but a scary tale for sure. The film is one of the scary movies based on true stories. It tells the story of female sex workers on the South Shore of Long Island. Some of the events detailed in the story are shocking and chilling.
18. The Iceman
Have you heard about a hitman with a violent temper called Richard Kuklinski? Then this film is the scary story that tells his story. It is a biographical thriller that narrates his life.
19. The Texas Killing Fields
It is a 2011 film that tells the real-life details of many murders that took place between Houston and Galveston. This area is well known as the killing field. You can stream this film now to know the shocking incidents.
20. All Good Things
This is a real-life story of the convicted murderer Robert Durst. The film revolves around the story of the wealthy son of a New York real estate tycoon who starts a romance with a woman. But suddenly things turn deadly in their marital life.
These are the twenty scary movies based on true stories. These real scary stories will spook you for sure. It will allow you to know about the things happening around you.