Movies & TV

Horror Movies That Are Even Scarier Because They're Based on True Stories

Pray these stories never happen to you.
IMAGE IMDB/The Conjuring

You didn’t think only Hallmark movies are based on true stories, did you? Some of the scariest horror movies ever released also happened to be based on true stories.


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The ghosts, the murders, the gruesome killers—they were all real, at least according to the paranormal investigating couple Ed and Lorraine Warren. Of course, Hollywood took some creative liberties by dramatizing these horrific tales, but the gist of them is largely true.

While we're all stuck at home this Halloween, we dare you to watch (or rewatch) all the films below, and internalize the fact that they're all horror movies based on true stories of some very, very unfortunate people. And pray it doesn’t happen to us too:

1| The Amityville Horror

The champion of the haunted house trope, this film was based on a book that was based on the real life story of a man, Ronald DeFeo Jr., who murdered his entire family in their home in Amityville, Long Island, New York, in 1974. Two months after the murders, the Lutz family moved into the then-empty home. They only lasted 28 days before they all ran from the house claiming they were being haunted by the ghosts of the dead DeFeos.

2| The Conjuring

Based on the story of two paranormal investigators who covered the Amityville case, The Conjuring follows the famed Ed and Lorraine Warren as they investigate the Perron family’s haunted house. The Perrons were a huge part of the film’s marketing, going on record to describe the horrifying experiences at the house.


3| The Conjuring 2

The second film in the Conjuring universe opens to the Amityville murders, before moving on to follow the Warrens’ investigation of the Enfield poltergeist. The Hodgsons family heard knocking noises and disembodied voices, witnessed levitating items, among other creepy experiences. The film ends with a nod to the doll Annabelle, the center of another Warren case. 

4| The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It

The upcoming film will follow the Warrens’ other popular case: the trial of Arne Cheyenne Johnson, who was accused of killing his landlord. The story goes, the Warrens performed an exorcism on the brother of Johnson’s fiance, but the demon then took refuge in Arne, who was possessed to murder his landlord. Unfortunately for him, demon possessions can’t be used as a defense in court.

5| Annabelle

Annabelle was one of the Warrens’ most popular cases, revolving around an already creepy looking Raggedy Ann doll that was said to be possessed by the spirit of a little girl called Annabelle Higgins. The Warrens’ solution to the paranormal occurrence? To put the haunted, and probably demonic, doll on display in their museum.


Science Reveals That These Are Officially the 20 Scariest Horror Movies Of All Time

The Haunting Of Series Should Continue the Thread of Loss and Horror in Season Three

(Note: These are only five of many horror movies based on true stories. The writer couldn't get through the rest because said writer is already scared shitless.)

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Anri Ichimura
Section Editor, Esquire Philippines
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