10 Horror Movies Based On Real Events

Entertainment, History, Lists, Shocking

We’ve all heard the old saying that art imitates life. There are plenty of movies that are based on true stories, but people rarely realize that there are horror movies that are actually based on real life events. Obviously, most movies take a bit of poetic license, but these 10 horror movies are close enough to things that actually happened that you’ll be shocked. Some of the stories on this list are even supposed to be factual tellings with very little poetic license thrown in just for spice. So sit back, and prepare to be shocked that these 10 horror movies are based on real life events.

The Serpent and The Rainbow

The Serpent and The Rainbow is a movie based on the book about real life witch doctors and their ability to actually bring zombies back to life. Clairvius Narcisse supposedly came back from the grave. He was said to have died in 1962 and was seen back in the village in 1980 when he explained that a voodoo practitioner put him into a deathly trance and then revived him to use him as a slave for a plantation from which he could only escape after the death of the master.

Wes Craven took this idea and turned it into quite the horror movie.

The Conjuring

The Conjuring tells the story of Ed and Lorraine Warren, who were indeed paranormal investigators. While there were obviously some things changed for the movie, Lorraine, who is still alive while her husband has passed away says the film is pretty close to the truth.


Much like The Conjuring, Annabelle is said to be based on true life events witnessed by the paranormal investigator couple Ed and Lorraine Warren. This movie is about a doll that was supposedly surrounded by a demon who was out to swallow up souls.

The Hills Have Eyes

The movie about cannibals that reside in isolated mountains that have been irradiated by nuclear testing seems rather crazy. While the nuclear testing might have been faked, the story is based on that of Alexander “Sawney” Bean who led a 48-person clan in 15th century Scotland.

Bean is said to have been executed for the cannibalization of more than 1,000 people and while there are some who doubt he’s real, Scotland claims he did exist.

The Exorcist

There are a number of movies that feature demon possession based on real events but The Exorcist is the grand daddy of them all. This movie is based on the real life of a boy named Roland Doe who was possessed by demons in 1949. The exorcism was so memorable and terrifying that there have been books written on people who witnessed it. And then a movie was made.

The Amityville Horror

The Amityville Horror is supposed to be the true story of the “Most haunted house in America.” The up state New York home was the scene of some rather grisly murders and shortly after those murders a new family says they witnessed a number of supernatural happenings before they moved out.

The Haunting In Connecticut

Yet another ghost story on this list that is based on supposed true events. America certainly has enough ghost stories in its history that it’s possible the movie depicted things that actually happened.

Fire In The Sky

The only horror movie that doesn’t deal with a supernatural story on this list. Fire in the Sky is instead a tale about alien abduction and Travis Walton claims the film details what happened when he was taken aboard an alien spaceship.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, which is an American slasher film, is based on serial killer Ed Gein. The film shows Leatherface murdering and skinning his victims, using their skin to create the infamous mask he wears.


Psycho is yet another film loosely based on the life and times of Ed Gein. The serial killer is said to have had an unnatural relationship with his mother. He also wore costumes, though Anthony Perkins never put on a skin mask, the way Gein did.