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Another Top 10 Horror Movies Inspired By True Events

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Tiffany Ezuma. Can’t get enough true crime? The phrase “based on a true story” has rarely been so terrifying. In this video, counts down our picks for another top 10 horror movies inspired by true events. Our first list on the Top 10 Horror Movies Inspired by True Events was so popular, we decided to spotlight ten more horror flicks that were based in reality. Get ready to get scared. Special thanks to our users mjbatigolify, troll, batman8446, Mohammed Al-hooti, Calumclow, Twerking_Potato and tom dray for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Script written by Tiffany Ezuma.

Another Top 10 Horror Movies Inspired By True Events

Can’t get enough true crime? Welcome to and today we’re counting down our picks for another top 10 horror movies inspired by true events.

Our first list on the Top 10 Horror Movies Inspired by True Events was so popular, we decided to spotlight ten more horror flicks that were based in reality. Get ready to get scared.

#10: “Them” [aka “ils”] (2006)

Inspired by the story of a husband and wife that were killed by three teenagers while on traveling in the Czech Republic; this film begins with the couple being awoken by a group of assailants at 3:00 in the morning, and then being tortured by their random attackers. No evidence has surfaced to support this film’s suggestion that it was based in reality, but the fact that it might have been makes it all the more scary, as it plays on our fears of random, senseless crimes.

#9: “Primeval” (2007)

Man-eating animals are always terrifying but none more so than “Gustave,” a one ton, 20-foot-long crocodile that lives and kills in Burundi. In real life, it’s alleged that this terrifying creature has killed upwards of 300 people, though an exact number is hard to determine; but what is confirmed is that Gustave’s rep has reached legendary proportions. That’s why “Primeval” billed Gustave as a prolific serial killer, likening him to Jack the Ripper and The Zodiac Killer.

#8: “The Strangers” (2008)

Director/screenwriter Bryan Bertino drew from personal experience, as well as the Keddie Cabin Murders, and the Manson Murders for this flick. Bertino stated he remembers a group of people knocking on the doors in his neighborhood asking if a made-up person was home. If no one answered the door, they would rob the house. His movie reverses that occurrence, and instead focuses on a group wanting to kill innocents in their homes for no reason.

#7: “A Nightmare on Elm Street” (1984)

It’s hard to believe there’s even a grain of truth to this fantastical blockbuster’s story; but truth is stranger than fiction. Wes Craven loosely based his franchise on a series of deaths he read about in the ‘70s, where a group of Cambodian refugees experienced horrific nightmares, which led to insomnia and sleep deprivation. Worse yet, a few died suddenly in their sleep despite having no other medical problems. And that’s how the nightmare figure of Freddy Krueger was born.

#6: “Compliance” (2012)

The most chilling thing about this story has to be the cruelty some are willing to afflict on the innocent. Starting in the early-‘90s, various fast food restaurants in the United States began to complain about prank calls to their stores, in which a supposed police officer would accuse an employee of a crime. The officer would then ask the manager to interrogate and harass the employee in various ways. “Compliance” focuses on an eerily similar incident that happened in 2004 Mount Washington, Kentucky.

#5: “An American Haunting” (2005)

Much like “The Blair Witch Project,” this movie draws inspiration from the Bell Witch legend of Adams, Tennessee. According to lore, the family of John Bell – a farmer in the 1800s – was targeted by a dead witch known as Kate Batts. Batts’ poltergeist apparently harassed the family by physically abusing them, making them hear sounds, and displacing objects in their house. She mainly targeted the family’s youngest, Betsy, but poisoned John Bell. Switching between the 19th and 21st-centuries, “An American Haunting” brings this terrifying tale into the present day.

#4: “Wolf Creek” (2005)

Rather than being based on one set of circumstances, this film is an amalgamation of various real-life events. However, it mostly borrows from the abduction, assault, and murder of British traveler Peter Falconio and his girlfriend, Joanne Lees. Paralleling the events of the movie, the couple was driving through the Australian outback, when their car was flagged down by a stranded motorist. Lees managed to escape but heard gunshots; Falconio was never seen again and his body hasn’t been recovered.

#3: “The Haunting in Connecticut” (2009)

After moving to Connecticut to be closer to their cancer-stricken son’s doctor, the real-life Snedeker family discovered their new home used to be a funeral parlor. Even worse, those who ran the mortuary practiced necromancy and necrophilia. Claiming to be plagued by a demonic presence, the family experienced random occurrences of blood on the floor, hearing sounds, and seeing ghostly figures. The house was examined by Ed and Lorraine Warren, and exorcised in 1988. This is one case where the true story may be scarier than the film.

#2: “Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer” (1986)

Henry Lee Lucas seems like the stuff of a fictitious nightmare but unfortunately, he’s based on a real life serial killer. Active between the years of 1960-83, the real killer claimed to have committed over 600 murders. Even though his claims are false, he was convicted of 11 killings. The film states that it was inspired by his life and fantasies more than his actual murders; but it did get many details right, including his childhood abuse by his prostitute mother and his partnership with Ottis Toole.

Before we unveil our number one pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- “Audrey Rose” (1977)
- “The Shining” (1980)
- “Fire in the Sky” (1993)

#1: “The Exorcism of Emily Rose” (2005)

This film is based on the life of Anneliese Michel, who, in 1975, was a 23-year-old woman already suffering from a long-documented battle with medical conditions like epilepsy and depression. Due to her various seizures and sudden repulsion by religious objects, her parents contacted the Catholic Church who commissioned two priests to secretly exorcize her. The ritual lead to disastrous results and she eventually died of malnutrition and dehydration. This movie expands on that story by following the exorcist as he’s tried for her negligent homicide.

Do you agree with our list? Which horror story can you not believe is true? For more chilling Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to

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