Mental Floss has compiled a list of nine horror movies that are made even scarier by the fact they’re based on true events. here they are:
- A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984). The real story: Wes Craven based the film on a series of newspaper articles from the Los Angeles Times about a strange phenomenon where young Asian refugees would mysteriously die in their sleep.
- Child’s Play (1988). The real story: This film is based on a story from Key West painter and author Robert Eugene Otto, who claimed one of his family's servants placed a voodoo curse on his childhood toy Robert the Doll.
- The Amityville Horror (1979). The real story: The Amityville Horror follows the paranormal events that terrorized the Lutz family in 1975.
- Psycho (1960). The real story: Psycho's Norman Bates is loosely based on convicted murderer and grave robber Ed Gein, who killed women and unearthed corpses in Wisconsin during the late ‘50s.
- The Exorcist (1973). The real story: The Exorcist's author and screenwriter William Peter Blatty based the novel and film on a 1949 article in The Washington Postheadlined, "Priest Frees Mt. Rainier Boy Reported Held in Devil's Grip."
- The Girl Next Door (2007). The real story: This film is is based on the murder of Sylvia Likens, a 16-year-old girl from Indiana in 1965.
- The Conjuring (2013). The real story: This is based on real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren and their experience with the Perrons, a family that experienced ghostly occurrences at their Rhode Island home in 1971.
- Open Water (2003). The real story: This film is based on American tourists Tom and Eileen Lonergan, a couple who were lost at sea when their tour group left them behind while scuba diving near the Great Barrier Reef in Australia in 1998.
- The Blob (1958). The real story: The Blob is based on a New York Times article from 1950 titled "A ‘Saucer’ Floats to Earth And a Theory Is Dished Up”--in which four Philadelphia police officers came into contact with a strange gooey material, now believed to be "Star Jelly," a transparent gelatinous substance.