14 Bone-Chilling Horror Movies Based On Real Events and People 

Horror movies are spooky, but many people get away, saying that they’re fictional stories and nothing is real.

But what if everything they have shown is based on actual events and the story of a real person? Isn’t that terrifying? 

Well, some movies are based on real stories. However, makers did take their creative liberty to highlight or add more elements.

But the base of the story is real. Here are the top ones if you are looking for such movies and want to watch them.

These movies include everything from hauntings and possessed dolls to the exorcism that stores creepy factors for everyone. 

Here are the best movies you might have watched or are going to watch; all these films are based on true events and stories. 

The Exorcism Of Emily Rose 

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While many people believe this movie is pure fiction, you might be shocked that The Exorcism of Emily Rose is actually a true story about Annelise Michel. 

During her teenage years, she found that she was blacking out and frequently getting into a trance-like state. It slowly turned into a nightmare that included wetting the bed, convulsions, and growling sounds. 

According to her, Annelisa was possessed by not just one but five different demons who were fighting against taking power over her body. 

The movie included most of the things regarding the case making it really scary to watch and terrifying, especially when you know there is a real person who faced all this trauma. 


Image Source: SFGATE

The Hollywood adaptation of the real Winchester Mystery House is also based on an actual event.

The mansion is one of the most haunted in the world, with seven stories to tell. It was a Sarah Winchester house as well. She was the heiress of the Winchester Repeating Arms fortune. 

Sarah said the house is haunted by the spirits who were killed by the rifles of Winchester. During her time staying in that house, she said construction never stopped as she wanted to appease the spirits. 

The Shining 

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The movie is an adaptation of a famous book written by Stephen King. Well, the story is based on a real event in Colorado’s infamous Stanley Hotel.

Stephen King stayed in that isolated and empty hotel with his wife in 1974, where he felt the eerie feeling and turned it into a novel. 

He also slept in a  room where the haunted events happened and saw figures, noises that had no explanation, and belongings that got stolen or broken.

The story focuses on Jack Torrence, the hotel janitor who is ruled by evil beings and the force known as The Shining.

The power allows him to see a hotel’s supernatural present and evil’s past. However, the force is too strong to handle, causing Jack to wreak havoc on his wife and child. 

The Possession 

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The movie is loosely based on an actual event as well as it is about a haunted wine combination or dybbuk box.

The story focuses on a young girl who is drawn to a wooden box that is quite an antique she finds in her yard.  

However, the real wooden box was sold on eBay. In both versions, stranger things happen to the box owners, which traumatize their life.

According to the cast and crew of the movie, they experience some supernatural things, such as exploding lightbulbs, mysterious fire with no source, and chilly drafts on set. 

The Birds 

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The iconic movie of Alfred Hitchcock is also based on a true story. It was originally adapted from a short story by Daphne Du Maurier.

Even before that, many townspeople in Capitola woke up one morning, seeing hordes of seabirds dive-bombing their houses, spewing high-digested anchovies, and crashing into their cars. 

However, Harper’s Bazaar reported that scientists found neurotoxin domoic acid in birds which made them do weird things causing the spooky story. 

The Strangers 

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Well, the movie terrorized their views with its unsettling nature. The feeling of being alone in their house and fears of getting home invaded by some creepy strangers is bone-chilling. 

What makes this interesting is that it is based on an actual event live by none other than the director of the movie Bryan Bertino. When he was a kid, he lived in a secluded area with only a few houses in the surrounding. 

One day, he was alone with his little sister, and some strangers knocked on his door as they were looking for someone who didn’t live at that residence.

Later he finds out that those rangers were breaking into people’s houses if nobody was at home. 

A Nightmare On Elm Street 

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The movie spooked the generation with its creepy story and premise of demons killing people when they are asleep. 

But what is creepy is that the movie is actually based on a true story. Director Wes Craven came up with his movie idea after reading an article about a family who were the survivors of The Cambodia Killing Fields in the LA Times. 

Even though the family escaped the brutal massacre, they started living in America. But their youngest boy was suffering from nightmares daily. He said he was getting chased by someone in his dream.

He was so terrified that he gave up sleeping for days. When he finally fell asleep, he kept screaming the whole night. When his family arrived to help, he found him dead. 

The Stepfather 

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The movie and its remake were based loosely on serial killer real life, even though the film uses significant liberties to dramatize the horror of John List’s life. 

The Stepfather focuses on a stepfather who murders his whole family, then relocate and remarries, planning to murder his entire new family again. 

In real life, John List murders his family and moves on. The bodies were hidden until a month after, and John wasn’t caught even after 18 years.

Not just that, he was relocated and remarried without letting anyone know about what he did. 


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Dahmer stars Jeremy Renner, playing the role of a cannibalistic serial killer. 

The fiction biopic focuses on the horrific case of Jeffery Dahmer. He killed many people during his killing spree and pursuit of his new and last victim Rodney. 

Dahmer murdered around 17 young boys and men using the sickest and most painful ways. 

The Exorcist 

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One of the biggest horror movies in 1973, The Exorcist, scared so many people, but you don’t know that it’s actually based on a novel. Peter Blatty wrote the book, and the story is based on an actual event. 

A 14 years old boy from Maryland got possessed in 1949 and had a month-long exorcism performed by a Jesuit Priest.

The boy and the family never talked about their identity, but it’s believed that ten horrifying demons possessed the boy.

However, the movie exaggerated a few things; in reality, he suffered from bloody scratching, seizures, violent screaming, and many other things. 

The Amityville Horror 

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The movie and its remake in 2005,  the story is about a young couple with three children who move into a new house where the previous owners murdered his whole family.

The movie is based on a true story, but there is some criticism about what actually is the true aspect of The Amityville Horror. 

However, the makers took too many liter ties with their source material, but the truth remains. 


Image Source: TG

Charlize Theron brings the performance, which is Oscar-winning, as it’s based on real-life serial killer Aileen Wuornos.

The movie is about her and her life. The movie also highlights her sex worker life and her relationship with Selby, eventually killing her clients. 

Even though the movie is not your typical horror, it does fall into the thriller genre. But the terrifying depiction of a serial killer makes the film scary. 

The movie is also based on real-life Aileen Wuornos, which is spooky on its own. 

The Watcher 

Image Source: Netflix

The watcher is a movie that focuses on actual crime events that happen to a young couple who moved into their new home in New Jersey.

But soon, they discover they made a massive mistake in their new home. The couple also had children, and soon they all started to get odd letters in their mailboxes.

At first, it’s simply odd, but later on, it turns terrifying as their stalkers are not just aware of their new home but their children and details about their life, including the nickname of their children. 

Even though there are some theories, the watcher was never found. 

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, And Vile 

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The movie takes the story of the infamous serial killer Ted Bundy in the 1970s. He terrorized, raped, and murdered young women all across America. 

The movie stars Zac Efron playing Ted Bundy, who murdered people in Seattle, Utah, and Oregon. 

The movie gives the creeps to the watchers. Most importantly, it focuses on showing how evil this serial killer was. 

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