A countdown of the top five scariest moments in real life that inspired some of Hollywood’s most popular horror films.
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The Omen (1976)
The Omen is a 1976 horror movie about a young boy named Damien who is revealed to be the Antichrist. The movie is based on a novel of the same name by David Seltzer. The movie was directed by Richard Donner and starred Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, and Harvey Stephens.
The Omen is a 1976 American supernatural horror film directed by Richard Donner and written by David Seltzer. The film stars Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, David Warner, Harvey Stephens, Billie Whitelaw, Patrick Troughton, Martin Benson and Leo McKern.
The first installment in The Omen series, the film centers on a young boy named Damien Thorn (Stephens) who is revealed to be the Antichrist. The movie was released on June 25, 1976.
Despite mixed reviews from critics, the movie was a box office success, grossing $60 million against a budget of $2.8 million. It was nominated for two Academy Awards: Best Original Score (Jerry Goldsmith) and Best Supporting Actor (David Warner). A sequel, Damien: Omen II, was released in 1978.
The real-life inspiration
The Omen is a classic horror movie about a mother who realizes that her young son is actually the Antichrist. The movie was inspired by a number of real-life events, including the birth of the Antichrist, the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, and the Holocaust.
The birth of the Antichrist is believed to have happened in Jerusalem in 3 BCE. Christ was born of a virgin mother and was crucified at the age of 33. His body was taken down from the cross and placed in a tomb, but he rose from the dead three days later. Christ’s followers believe that he is the Son of God and that he will one day return to Earth to judge the living and the dead.
The Holocaust began in 1933 when Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany. Hitler’s Nazi regime systematically murdered six million Jews in concentration and extermination camps during World War II. The Nazis also killed Romani people, homosexuals, and political opponents. The Holocaust is one of the most horrifying events in human history, and it served as inspiration for The Omen’s portrayal of evil.
The Conjuring (2013)
Based on a true story, The Conjuring is about paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga) who are called to help a family terrorized by a dark presence in their farmhouse. During the course of the investigation, the Warrens discover that the house is haunted by a demonic entity. The Conjuring is one of the most successful horror movies of all time and is considered to be one of the best examples of the found footage genre.
The Conjuring is a 2013 American supernatural horror film directed by James Wan. The movie is based on the “true” story of the Warrens, who were American paranormal investigators and authors associated with prominent cases of haunting. The plot follows the Warrens as they travel to Rhode Island to help a family terrorized by a dark presence in their farmhouse.
The Conjuring was released in the United States on July 19, 2013, and grossed over $319 million worldwide. The movie was well-received by critics, with many praising its direction, acting, and atmosphere.
The real-life inspiration
The movie is based on the case files of Ed and Lorraine Warren, two of America’s most famous paranormal investigators. The Warrens were called to the house of Roger and Carolyn Perron in 1971, after the family began experiencing strange activity. The family had recently moved into the home, which was over 200 years old, and soon after, they began to notice that things were not quite right.
The activity escalated quickly, and soon the family was being terrorized by something unseen. The mother and daughters would often find themselves waking up in strange places, and the family’s pet dog would refuses to enter certain rooms of the house. Objects would move on their own, and strange voices would be heard.
The Warrens were able to help the family rid their home of the entity, but not before it left its mark. The events that took place in the Perron home would go on to inspire one of Hollywood’s most successful horror franchises.
The Amityville Horror (1979)
In December 1975, the Lutzes buy a new house on Ocean Avenue in Amityville, New York. Not long after moving in, they begin to experience a series of unexplainable paranormal events. The family starts to fear for their lives and soon decides to leave the house. The story of the Amityville Horror is based on a true story.
The Amityville Horror is a 1979 American supernatural horror film directed by Stuart Rosenberg, based on Jay Anson’s 1977 novel of the same name. It stars James Brolin and Margot Kidder as George and Kathy Lutz, a couple who experience terrifying paranormal events after moving into a house in Amityville, New York where a mass murder had been committed the year before.
The film features supporting performances from Rod Steiger, Margaret Colin, Jayne Meadows, and Murray Hamilton. The screenplay was written by Sandor Stern based on Anson’s book. It was released by American International Pictures on July 27, 1979.
The Lutzes begin experienceing paranormal activity after moving into the house, such as strange noises, demonic imagery appearing in windows and the walls bleeding. Kathy also experiences horrific nightmares and sleepwalks. The family’s oldest daughter, Missy (played byTheme Roberts), explains that the house is haunted by the demonic spirit of Ronald DeFeo Jr., who murdered his family in cold blood in 1974.(wiki)
The real-life inspiration
The Amityville Horror is a 1979 American supernatural horror film directed by Stuart Rosenberg, based on Jay Anson’s 1977 book of the same name. It is the first installment in the Amityville franchise. It stars James Brolin and Margot Kidder as George and Kathy Lutz, who move into a house inhabited by hostile ghosts in Amityville, a village on Long Island in New York.
The film is based on the Defeo family murders that took place in 1974, in which six members of the family were killed with a rifle by eldest son Ronald “Butch” DeFeo Jr., who also lived in the house at 112 Ocean Avenue in Amityville, New York. In December 1975, George and Kathy Lutz and their three children moved into the house. After 28 days, they left the house, claiming to have been terrorized by paranormal phenomena while living there.
While Anson’s book was marketed as being based on a true story, lawyer William Weber, who represented Ronald DeFeo Jr., claimed that he and DeFeo had fabricated the entire story over many bottles of wine. The Amityville Horror was released on July 27, 1979, grossing $86 million at the box office.
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
The Blair Witch Project is a found footage horror film that was released in 1999. The movie is about three student filmmakers who disappeared while filming a documentary about the local legend of the Blair Witch. The movie was a huge success and grossed over $248 million dollars.
The Blair Witch Project is a 1999 American psychological horror film written, directed, and edited by Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez. It tells the fictional story of three student filmmakers—Heather Donahue, Michael C. Williams, and Joshua Leonard—who hike in the Black Hills near Burkittsville, Maryland in 1994 to film a documentary about a local legend known as the Blair Witch. The three disappear, and their footage is discovered a year later.
The found footage/handheld camera aesthetic was popularized by The Blair Witch Project, and many films have imitated this technique in the years since. The movie was a surprise success upon its release, grossing $248 million at the box office on a budget of just $60,000.
The real-life inspiration
In 1994, three film students disappeared in the woods while shooting a documentary. One year later, their footage was found. The Blair Witch Project is based on these events.
In October of 1994, college students Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard, and Michael C. Williams set out to make a documentary about the fabled Blair Witch, who was said to haunt the woods of Maryland. The three students interviewed residents and gathered stories about the witch before heading into the woods to see if they could find any evidence of her existence. They were never seen again.
One year later, their footage was found. The Blair Witch Project is based on these events.
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
A Nightmare on Elm Street is a 1984 American slasher film directed by Wes Craven, and written by Bruce Wagner. It is the first installment in the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. The film stars Heather Langenkamp, John Saxon, Ronee Blakley, Robert Englund, Johnny Depp, and Amanda Wyss. The plot revolves around a group of teenage friends who are terrorized by Freddy Krueger (Englund), a child murderer who kills people in their dreams.
A Nightmare on Elm Street is a 1984 American slasher film directed by Wes Craven, written by Bruce Wagner, and starring Robert Englund as Freddy Krueger. The film’s plot concerns four teenagers living on one street in the fictitious town of Springwood, Ohio, who are terrorized by a burnt serial killer who attacks them in their dreams. The teenagers are unaware that their tormentor is an undead child killer who was burned to death by the vengeful parents of his victims 30 years earlier.
Freddy’s powers allow him to alter the environment of the dreamscape and to kill his victims with impunity. He becomes a malevolent presence in the lives of the four protagonists—Nancy Thompson (Heather Langenkamp), Glen Lantz (Johnny Depp), Tina Gray (Amanda Wyss) and Rod Lane (Nick Corri). The teenagers are eventually able to defeat Freddy by pulling him into the real world and mincing him with a power lawnmower.
The real-life inspiration
Few horror movies have left as much of an impact on popular culture as A Nightmare on Elm Street. The story of Freddy Krueger, a vengeful spirit who preys on the teenage children of the people who killed him, is one that has resonated with audiences for decades.
But what many people don’t know is that the movie was actually based on a real event. In 1981, eighteen-year-old student Annettedreamed that a man tried to kill her. When she awoke, she found scratches on her body.
Investigation quickly revealed that her friend had been having the same nightmare. And then another student came forward with a similar story. It wasn’t long before the police were convinced that there was something more to these nightmares than just coincidence.
Although they never caught the man responsible, it’s believed that he was responsible for a string of brutal murders in the area. In the end, only four people were killed, but the terror he inflicted was enough to inspire one of the most iconic horror movies of all time.