ByJancy Richardson, writer at
To avoid fainting, keep repeating 'It's only a movie...It's only a movie...'
Jancy Richardson

The truth is often way more upsetting than fiction. Real life crimes should never be made light of, but these true stories make for the most compelling, horrifying viewing.

Did you know the real life events that made these horror movies happen?

1. Wolf Creek Is Based on a Killer Who Preyed on Backpackers

Psychotic trucker Mick Taylor was so close to his real-life counterpart that the Australian Northern Territory court put out an injunction on Wolf Creek's release. Bradley John Murdoch was still at trial for the murder of two backpackers when Wolf Creek was releasing its first publicity.

Ivan Milat. Image: High Risk Management Unit, New South Wales

Murdoch was not the only influence on the Mick Taylor persona. Outback serial killer Ivan Milat also abducted and killed seven backpackers in New South Wales, Australia, during the 1990s. His victims had been tortured and killed, and police were unable to recover the head of one decapitated victim.

2. The Haunting in Connecticut Will Creep You Out

The true story behind Connecticut is supposedly that of Carmen Reed, who claimed her family house was beset with demonic beings. She said, 'One of the demons was very thin, with high cheekbones, long black hair and pitch black eyes. Another had white hair and eyes, wore a pinstriped tuxedo, and his feet were constantly in motion.'

Adding credence to their claim when the discovery of mortuary equipment in the cellar confirmed that the house had once been a funeral home. Further research suggested that mortuary staff had engaged in necrophilia and occult practices with the cadavers.

3. The Hills Have Eyes Looks To Late Medieval Scotland!

The origins of The Hills Have Eyes go back a little further than you might expect. Clan leader Jupiter draws on the quasi-mythical Alexander 'Sawney' Bean, head of his nearly 50-strong incestuous cannibal family around 15th Century Scotland.

Bean allegedly lived in a cave with his equally murderous girlfriend, where they had children, who bred with each other to populate the clan, feeding their children on the flesh of travelers. The clan were executed by burning, drawing and quartering in Edinburgh.

4. The Exorcism of Emily Rose was the Exorcism of Anneliese Michel

Before Emily Rose terrified audiences, Anneliese Michel allegedly lived the real thing. Medical professionals diagnosed Michel's series of incidents of severe shaking as seizures, but her situation became more bizarre.

Image from footage of the real Anneliese Michel

Michel apparently attacked her family, consumed her own effluent, and became crazed and violent in the presence of religious items. Her family finally brought in priests to attempt to exorcise Anneliese. Michel had undergone 40 exorcisms at the time of her death in 1976.

5. The Amityville Horror Was More Horrifying Than The Movie

There have been several Amityville Horror movies, but all are inspired by the same true events. Writer Jay Anson made the case famous in his book on the topic, shocking the world with the story of the Lutz family, who experienced disturbances in their NY house, leaving just 28 days after moving in.

Ronald DeFeo Jnr, led away from the Amityville scene of his crimes

The Lutzes discovered that a previous resident, Ronald DeFeo Jnr, had murdered 6 of his family members in the house 13 months prior. However much debate there is around the paranormal component, the Amityville story has endured in the popular imagination: there have been eleven movies based on the tale between 1979 and 2014.


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