What Is Each Scary Movie Based Off?

Horror movies have been a staple in the film industry for decades, with each one trying to outdo the last in terms of scares and suspense. However, have you ever wondered what these movies are based on?

From true events to urban legends, many of these films take inspiration from real-life stories. Here’s a breakdown of what some of the most popular scary movies are based on.

The Exorcist

This 1973 classic is based on a real-life exorcism of a young boy in Maryland in 1949. The boy’s family reported strange occurrences such as objects moving on their own and scratches appearing on the boy’s body. The Catholic Church eventually got involved, and after several failed attempts, they were able to perform a successful exorcism.

The Conjuring

The Conjuring is based on the true story of the Perron family who moved into an old farmhouse in Rhode Island in the 1970s. They experienced paranormal activity that escalated over time, including apparitions and objects moving on their own. The Warrens, paranormal investigators, were called in to help and deemed the house haunted by multiple spirits.


Halloween follows the story of Michael Myers, who murders his sister as a child and escapes from a mental institution years later to continue killing. The character is said to be loosely inspired by real-life serial killer Ed Gein, who also inspired other horror movie villains such as Norman Bates from Psycho and Leatherface from Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

A Nightmare on Elm Street

The iconic Freddy Krueger is based on a series of news articles about young men who died in their sleep after reporting terrifying nightmares. Writer-director Wes Craven took this idea and created the character we know today.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is loosely based on the real-life crimes of Ed Gein, who was known for his fascination with human skin and bones. The character Leatherface shares similarities with Gein, including wearing a mask made of human skin.

The Amityville Horror

Based on a book by the same name, The Amityville Horror follows the story of the Lutz family who moved into a house where a mass murder had occurred years before. They experienced paranormal activity and eventually left the house after only 28 days. The book is said to be based on true events, but many have disputed its accuracy.


Scream is a meta-horror film that plays on horror movie tropes and cliches. However, it is also loosely inspired by the Gainesville Ripper murders in Florida in 1990. The killer was found to be obsessed with horror movies and even wore a mask similar to Ghostface from Scream during some of his crimes.


Horror movies have always been a way for us to face our fears in a safe environment. However, knowing that some of these movies are based on true events can make them even scarier. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, these stories are sure to send shivers down your spine.