Despite our wildest imaginings, real life is always much worse than even the freakiest hororr movies - I guess that's why so many of the most iconic horror movies are inspired by real life depraved killers.
Check out 5 horror movies inspired by the actions of real life serial killers...
The Killer: Danny Rolling a.k.a. 'The Gainsville Ripper'
Location: Florida, executed 2006
The Case: Rolling began with robbery, but his brutal nature soon escalated his crimes to rape and murder, posing his victims' bodies in 'sexually provocative positions' for police to find. Obviously, the M.O. bears little resemblance to Scream, but Kevin Williamson notes that this was the case that inspired him to write the classic horror script.
The Killer: Alferd Packer a.k.a. 'The Big Headed Cannibal'
Location: Colorado, 1874
The Case: Packer and a group of gold prospectors were trapped in the mountains in the bitter Colorado winter when the food supply ran out... Packer confessed to eating five people upon his return to civilization, arguing it was necessary for his survival. Note: 'Alferd' is not a typo - a tattoo artist misspelled his name and he liked it, keeping it as a nickname.
3. Eaten Alive
The Killer: Joe Ball
Location: Texas, killed himself to escape capture September 1938
The Case: Ball killed several women, including his wife and local barmaids, before feeding their remains to alligators. This method of disposal was fairly exaggerated in Tobe Hooper's horror movie version, where the sociopathic Judd feeds human body parts to a local alligator that is practically his pet...
4. The Town That Dreaded Sundown
The Killer: an unknown man a.k.a. 'The Phantom Killer'
Victims: 5 dead, more assaulted
Location: Texarkana, 1946
The Case: A spate of brutal attacks between February 22 and May 3, 1946, the perpetrator of which was never found. The town had a strict curfew set, hence the title of the film - know to most people as 'that movie on Netflix with a cool poster' - The Town That Dreaded Sundown.
5. An American Crime
The Killer: Getrude Baniszewski
Location: Indiana, 1965
The Case: OK, so Baniszewski was not a serial killer exactly, but the sheer brutality her and her children unleashed upon young Sylvia Likens makes this one of the most shameful and vile crimes ever committed on American soil. Baniszewski was paid $20 a week to care for Sylvia, but this didn't stop her burning, branding, starving, beating and mutilating the poor girl to death, encouraging her young teen children to join in the torture.