7 Iconic Horror Movies That Were Based On True Stories

Robert Englund in "A Nightmare on Elm Street"

When horror films keep us up at night, we take comfort in the fact that the story is not real. These terrifying flicks, however, claim to be based on true stories.

The Exorcist (1973)

The legendary exorcism movie was adapted on a novel of the same name. The novel is based on the story of a 13-year-old boy who experienced what appeared to be possession in 1949.

Jaws (1975)

The film that made us all terrified of sharks is based on the deaths of five shark victims in New Jersey in 1916.

The Amityville Horror (1979)

The horrifying story of a home haunting is based on the true story of Ronald J. DeFeo Jr, who murdered his parents and four siblings.

The Hills Have Eyes (1976)

The movie tells the bombastic story of a clan of cannibals living in the desert. The absurd story, however, is based on a cannibal clan led by Sawney Bean, who killed 1,000 people in the 16th century.

A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)

Fortunately, there is no “real life” Freddy Krueger, but the concept of the film was reportedly based on reports of Asian men in the ’70s and ’80s who died in their sleep.

Psycho (1960)

Psycho is adapted from a novel which tells the story of the real-life murderer, Ed Gein, who was fixated on his mother.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

The events of the film never took place, but Leatherface was inspired by a killer named Ed Gein who wore human skin. Gross.