Horror movies based on real events

By Aliya Zuberi

KARACHI: Watching horror movies is a sure cut way to make you lose sleep. But the only comforting part is the fact that nothing shown in the movies is real. Masked intruders, possessed dolls and unseen entities can’t harm us beyond our screens. Or can they? As it turns out, not all horror movies are fictional and some are based on true events. Here are some of the scariest horror movies that are all based on things that have actually happened in real life!

The Strangers

Our houses are supposed to be our safe spots. And so nothing is more terrifying than a home invasion! The Strangers is one of those horror movies that will make your skin crawl especially because they are based on real events!

An estranged couple stop by their summer house as a pit stop and things go really wrong when a stranger knocks on their door asking for someone who isn’t there. Not soon after, the couple is terrorized by masked figures as they stalk the couple from outside their home. But the couple soon learn that danger lurks in their home as well and they fight to stay alive.

Director Bryan Bernito revealed that the movie is based on his childhood experience where someone knocked on his door asking for someone who did not live there. His neighborhood experienced a series of break-ins around the same time, and the targets were houses where no one answered the door. Bernito also claimed that the movie was inspired by the infamous Manson Family Murders.

Many also theorize that the movie is based on the Keddie Murders where a family and a friend were found beaten and murdered in their cabin and no suspect was ever found! 

The Blair Witch Project

For a very long time, many believed that The Blair Witch Project was actually real footage and not a movie. Many were convinced that the actors were dead and the movie was their “lost footage.”

The Blair Witch Project was one of the most successful horror movies not just because of the way it was marketed and how scary it was but because it was based on a real legend. The movie follows three film makers as they try to trace back the legend of the Blair Witch. The real story behind the legend came to the limelight when hermit Rustin Parr kidnapped and killed seven children. They would kill them in pairs, forcing one to watch the other’s murder. When he was arrested, he claimed that the spirit of the Blair Witch made him do it! But that was not the first time the locals had heard of the witch. In 1888, a young girl had gone missing for three days and when she returned, she began talking of a woman whose feet did not touch the ground. To add to the mystery, an area surrounding the woods became to be known as “Coffin Rock” where the bodies of five men were found killed in a ritualistic manner!

The Town That Dreaded Sundown

Texarkana was a quiet town that was turned on its axis by a killing spree perpetuated by a man known as The Phantom killer. The hooded killer killed young adults and then ended up attacking a couple in their own home. The Town That Dreaded Sundown is one of the two horror movies based on the real life events of the Texerkana Moonlight Murders and it will send a chill down your spine!

The town that was once so safe that no one locked their doors became a ghost town. People were too scared to leave their homes after sundown and as the couple was attacked in their home, hysteria began to rise. The town ran out of locks, guns and ammunition and the smallest of odd noises spooked the town out beyond belief! Despite numerous suspects being interviewed, the killer was never found! 

The Amityville Horror

112 Ocean Avenue is perhaps one of the most haunted houses in America. And it all began when Robert DeFeo Jr. shot and killed his family as they lay asleep in their beds. When he was arrested, he claimed that sinister voices forced him to commit the murders. No one really believed him, until the Lutz family moved into his house.

The 2005 movie stars Ryan Reynolds and it follows the events of the 28 day long haunting of the Lutz family. They moved into 112 Ocean Avenue two years after the infamous murders and strange things began to happen. A priest who had been called to bless the house claimed a loud voice told him to get out, strange odors spread across the house and activity that the Lutz claimed is too frightening to describe took place in the house. And it all begged the question, was there something evil in the house?


Dolls are supposed to be cute and cuddly. Unless they are possessed by a demonic entity. Annabelle really does add a new layer to just how terrifying horror movies based on real events can be!

The movie is based on the true story of a doll that terrorized a couple. No matter how hard they tried to get rid of her, Annabelle would return. And with her she brought along some truly horrifying activity. Famous paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren had to be called in to investigate and that is how it was determined that the doll was truly evil! 

While the real doll isn’t as scary as the one in the movie, she is just as evil. For the longest time, she sat in a glass case in the Warren’s occult museum until it shut down!

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