In this viewer suggested video, we’re going to take a look at the top 10 horror films that have been inspired by actual events. These range from the zodiac murders to a killer sleeping disorder, and even the torture of a young girl.
Ed and Lorraine Warren were American paranormal investigators and authors that investigated well known cases involving mysterious visitors from the other world. The husband and wife claimed that the Perron family’s Harrisville, Rhode Island residence was still occupied by a witch who had lived there some 100 years earlier. Through many hours of investigation, much of which included searching through public records, they concluded that her name was Bathsheba Sherman, and that she had cursed the land so that whoever owned it somehow died. What’s interesting about the movie, is Lorraine Warren was a consultant to the production and appeared in a cameo role in the film.
Robert the Doll is a two foot or .6 meter tall figure, supposedly given to a painter named Eugene Otto in 1906 by a displeased servant of his who happened to be skilled in black magic. After it being in his possession for a few days, his family noticed that something just wasn’t right after hearing the boy speak to it. This wasn’t the problem, the fact that they heard Robert speak back was. Neighbors who kept tabs on the house reported seeing it move from window to window and even claimed that he was capable of emitting a terrifying giggle. When things would fall out of place around the house, Eugene would often blame it on Robert, much in the same way as Alex Vincent did in Child’s Play.
During the late 1940’s, several priests performed a series of exorcisms upon an anonymous boy who is given the pseudonym “Roland Doe.” The boy was born sometime in 1936 and was the victim of an alleged demonic possession. These events were documented by the attending priest, Raymond Bishop. Although exorcisms surely did take place, and the nameless boy did in fact act in a terrifying manner, there is no way to tell for certain if this was because of a mental illness, sexual abuse, or just a childish fabrication, but what is certain is that Doe was introduced to a Ouija board by his aunt who was a spiritualist. The exorcisms performed on the boy were always very hard to perform because of how violent he became upon coming across holy objects. The films’ version of these events was made soon after William Peter Blatty’s best-selling novel “The Exorcist”.
Like the movie “Zodiac”, “Dahmer” details the horrific acts by serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. It tells the story of how his Christian parents may have repressed homosexuality and infuriated his hatred for gay individuals. Between 1978 and 1991, Dahmer killed seventeen homosexual or bi-sexual men. Victims’ bodies were found decaying in acid in his apartment and some of their heads were stored in his refrigerator, along with other human body parts. Dahmer photographed each stage of his victims’ deaths including the sexually explicit acts he was known to perform. It is believed that his twisted mind and taste for human flesh were fueled by a perverted sexual desire that is clearly shown in the film “Dahmer.” Jeffrey died in prison on November 28th, 1994 by the hands of another inmate.
The Amityville Horror
“The Amityville Horror” is a film based off of actual murders that took place on the south shore of Long Island, New York. As the story goes, on December 19th, 1975, George and Kathy Lutz, along with their three children, moved into a Dutch Colonial home located at 112 Ocean Avenue, in Amityville. Just thirteen months prior to this, Ronald DeFeo Jr. shot and killed six members of his family inside the home as they slept. Within the first week of their stay, the Lutzes reported hearing mysterious voices, one of which told Father Mancuso, a local priest they called in to perform a blessing, to “get out” when he began distributing holy water around the property. After just 28 days, the Lutzes fled the house claiming to have been terrorized by evil demonic spirits.
A Nightmare on Elm Street
This may come as a surprise, but the horror film series ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ is based loosely on actual events. Wes Craven, the movie’s director, took inspiration from several childhood events that affected him deeply. The entire plot for the film was derived from a series of newspaper articles published by the LA Times in the 1970’s. They document a group of Khmer refugees fleeing from Cambodia to the United States after American bombings and the actual nightmares they were traumatized by during the journey. Many of them refused to ever sleep again, and eventually died as a result of what medical authorities named the “Asian Death Syndrome.” Craven took inspiration for the films villain, Freddy Krueger, from an encounter he had with a disfigured looking homeless man who would walk along a side path near his house, and one night stopped to stare evilly at him. At first. Krueger was intended to be a child molester, but that soon transformed into serial killer.
The Girl Next Door
Sylvia Marie Likens, born on January 3rd, 1949 was tortured and murdered at the hands of Gertrude Baniszewski. Sylvia’s parents, two carnival workers, left the girl and her sister Jenny in the care of the family. Sylvia soon became the scapegoat for all of Gertrude’s problems, and was blamed for petty things such as stealing candy. The movie ‘The Girl Next Door’ doesn’t even show half the tortures Sylvia allegedly endured; some are so gruesome and horrific that we have decided to omit them from this video. Some of what she endured though were having cigarettes extinguished on her skin, burnt with scolding water, rubbing salt on the wounds, force fed human feces and urine, and maybe most memorably the words “I’m a prostitute and proud of it!” being carved into her chest with a heated needle. On October 26th, 1965 Sylvia Likens died after numerous beatings as a result of brain hemorrhage and malnutrition. This is one movie that shouldn’t be watched by the faint of heart.
The Exorcism of Emily Rose
Emily Rose is the name given to Anneliese Michel, a young German women diagnosed with grand mal seizures and temporal lobe epilepsy. Born on September 21st, 1952, she underwent the Catholic Rite of Exorcism in 1975 and died just one year later. In the years prior, she showed an extremely unusual behavior in which she would attack family members, go into screaming fits upon seeing a religious object, and even drinking her own urine. An investigation showed that her death was because of a lack of medical care, and it was later discovered that, Anneliese Michel, was malnourished and dehydrated. Her parents and the priests were charged with negligent homicide and found guilty, as a result they were sentenced to just six months in jail, later reduced to three years’ probation and a fine. The Exorcism of Emily Rose is a film based upon these events and, even more closely the legal battle that followed.
“Zodiac” tells the infamous story surrounding the manhunt in the San Francisco Bay Area for a serial killer coined as “The Zodiac Killer”. The Zodiac was known for taunting Police, sending them blood stained clothes and letters with seemingly undecipherable riddles; to this day, the case remains unsolved. On several occasions investigators feel that they have come very close to solving the case, but are always a step or two in the wrong direction. The last monumental find was in 2002 when police concluded from an archived autopsy sample that their lead suspect, Arthur Leigh Allen’s DNA did not match the sample on a postage stamp taken from one of the letters Zodiac mailed to police. This does not rule him out as a suspect, but helps to clear the Ace Hardware store worker’s name. The film closely details events that took place on the search for the actual Zodiac and leaves you wondering ‘who was it?’
The Haunting In Connecticut
Matthew Campbell has struggled with medical issues since early childhood. Because of the constant trips to and from the hospital for him to undergo cancer treatments, his mother and father consider finding a rental home closer to the facility. On the way back from one such treatment, they find the perfect upstate Victorian style house. In the months that follow, everyone’s demeanor seems to change for the worse, and very bizarre things begin to occur such as visions of malpractice embalming’s taking place in the former funeral parlor. Hundreds of bodies are found in the walls that are believed to have been controlled through necromancy. The plot for the entire film was provided by the Snedeker family who occupied the residence in 1986. According to skeptic investigator, Benjamin Radford, most of the story, like most Hollywood pictures, is blown out of proportion.