Horror Films and Movies Inspired By Real-Life Events

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As if the world’s current events weren’t scary enough, Halloween brings us an entirely new season of opportunities for people to deliberately scare themselves silly.

So if trick-or-treating and haunted house visits aren’t enough to sate your internal scare-o-meter, simply log into your favorite streaming platforms and watch of host of horrifying entertainment brought to you by Hollywood. 

Here’s a selection of tasty treats that were inspired by scary stories and real-life events. These are all available for streaming (and screaming!) needs. 

The Watcher (2022).

Ryan Murphy, creator of such hits, graciously complies with “Glee” “American Horror Story,”A miniseries of seven parts is a new warning sign of doom. It’s based on the house in Westfield, New Jersey, that has been notoriously stalked by someone sending harassing missives signed by “The Watcher.”

Derek and Maria Broaddus were the ones who received the notes in person, and they shipped them packing before even moving in. During renovations to the home they purchased in 2014 for $1.3 million, a series of bizarre notes started appearing containing such chilling lines as “Have you found all of the secrets (the house) holds yet? Will the young blood play in the basement? Or are they too afraid to go down there alone?”

The Broaddus family sold the house in 2019 and took a $400,000 hit. The writer of the letters has not been found by police.

Murphy’s very embellished version stars Naomi Watts, Bobby Cannavale, and recent Emmy-winner Jennifer Coolidge. 

The Watcher streaming on Netflix

“The Amityville Horror” (1997)

If living on New York’s Long Island ever seemed like suburban hell, it doesn’t get much worse than inhabiting this house in Amityville, made infamous in 1974, when Ronald DeFeo Jr. shot and killed six members of his family in the home. 

DeFeo was convicted of murdering his parents and siblings, Dawn, 18,  Allison, 13, Marc, 12, and John, 9. DeFeo was only 23 years old at the time. In prison, he was killed last year.

Five years after the murders, the Dutch Colonial was bought by George and Kathy Lutz, who moved in with their three children. After 28 days, they fled claiming that they were terrorized and possessed by unexplainable spirits and events.

Some would question their stories and call them a hoax. However, this didn’t stop the book and film from being big hits. The original horror movie was starred by Margot Kidder and James Brolin, with Rod Steiger as Rod Steiger.

Hulu has The Amityville Horror streaming.

“Child’s Play” (1988)

This was the original film that spawned a slew of sequels. It featured Chucky, a doll for children who is possessed by a murderer. The story of the movie centers around a voodoo ritual that Charles Ray, a murderer (played here by Brad Dourif), performs to transfer his soul into a doll. “Good Guys” doll.

There is much mayhem and gruesomeness, as well as laugh-out loud scenes and camp that make the movie a cult favorite. 

The only thing that is real about it is the possessed toy, which was said to have been created in 1906 by Robert the Doll. The toy was given to a young boy named Robert Eugene Otto in Florida’s Key West. Otto was obsessed with the doll and carried it around until he died.

Robert is reported to be on display at Fort East Martello Museum in Key West where he receives fan mail and flocks of visitors. Chucky continues to be popular and has seven sequels, a remake, and a television series.

Child’s Play can be viewed on Prime Video or Amazon Prime via AMC.

“Winchester” (2018)

Helen Mirren was the star of this scary film about a San Jose real house that almost defies description. The acclaimed actress plays Sarah Remington, a woman who marries into the Remington family (of repeating-rifle fame). Sarah, devastated by the deaths her husband and their daughter, consults a medium. He tells Sarah that she will be haunted for life by the spirits of Remington victims unless she builds a house.

And so began renovations in 1886 to Sarah’s farmhouse in Northern California, which didn’t stop until her death in 1922, resulting in seven stories, about 160 rooms, 47 stairways and thousands of doors and stairways that sometimes led to nothing or sudden high drops. Harry Houdini, a famed escape artist, visited the mysterious structure in 1924 to investigate spectral activity. “The Mystery House,”Names that have remained.

It continues to be a tourist attraction.

Prime Video streams Winchester

“Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story”  (2022)

Lurid fascination with one of the most despicable serial murderers in American history seems to have no end. This series of Jeffrey Dahmer’s murder atrocities, currently in its ten-part form, is told largely through the eyes of his victims.

Dahmer murdered and dismembered 17 men and boys from 1978 to 1991. In his Wisconsin apartment, police would ultimately find freezers full of body parts, and learn that Dahmer engaged in cannibalism and necrophilia. 

“For what I did I should be dead,”Dahmer spoke to officers during a search of his apartment in 1991, when he was taken into custody after one his victims ran away and flagged down police. Investigators discovered severed heads, bleach gallons, and preserved body parts in Dahmer’s horrible-smelling apartment.

His heinous life has launched more than a dozen films, TV series and documentaries.

Netflix is streaming Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.

“The Birds” (1963)

This Alfred Hitchcock classic is timeless. The inspiration for the film is sometimes linked to Daphne du Maurier’s short tale. “The Birds,”California’s real-life event is also considered the catalyst.

The strange sight that Capitola, a small California coastal town, saw in 1961 awoke it up was quite amazing. There were thousands of dead birds littering the streets while living ones hid in trees or under low canopies. Residents reported hearing a torrent of bangs and thumps as apparently deranged birds fell on their roofs, crashed into windows, and then died in their yards.

Toxin-laden anchovies (and algae) were later found to be the culprit. These poisons killed the birds and caused seizures in others. Hitchcock was a resident of Monterey Bay and filming began in that year for his next movie. “Psycho.”

The frightening tale of murderous birds in a California coastal town features Rod Taylor, Jessica Tandy, and Tippi Hedren.

Amazon Prime allows you to stream The Birds

“Nightmare on Elm Street” (1984)

It is hard to believe that horror director Wes Craven claimed Freddy Kreuger was a newspaper article about Freddy Kreuger. Freddy Kreuger is a sweater-wearing, homicidal demon that haunts nightmares.

“I’d read an article in the L.A. Times “About a family who escaped the Killing Fields of Cambodia and made it to the United States,” he said. Vulture.

All was well until the young boy began having terrible nightmares. He explained to his parents that he was scared of the things chasing him if he fell asleep, so he tried staying awake for many days.” Craven said.

“His parents thought that the crisis was over when he finally fell asleep. They heard screaming in the middle night. They found him dead when they arrived at his house. He died in the middle a nightmare. This was a youngster seeing a horror that no one else could see. This became the core of “Nightmare on Elm Street.””

Nightmare on Elm Street is streaming on HBO Max, Amazon Prime, and Peacock

“Lizzie” (2018)

The saga of Lizzie Borden and her infamous axe have provided fodder for a slew of movies, including “The Legend of Lizzie Borden” starring “Elizabeth Montgomery, the actress of “Bewitched”, was nominated to an Emmy Award for her 1975 performance.

Chloe Sevigny stars as Lizzie in the latest entry. She lives with her authoritarian stepmother and father in Fall River, Massachusetts. Kristen Stewart portrays the legends of murders that have been captivated people for over a century. Lizzie forms a romantic relationship to her Irish maid.

Lizzie’s stepfather and stepmother are murdered in 1892 with a hatchet at their family home. Lizzie is tried for the murders and acquitted. Despite being rejected by the community, Lizzie remained in the home until her death in 1927 at the age of 66. Today, the family estate is a museum and bed and breakfast site.

Lizzie is streaming Netflix.

In 1986, the Snedeker family moved from upstate New York to 208 Meriden Avenue in Southington, Connecticut, to be near UCONN hospital for their son’s cancer treatments. After being the Hallahan funeral home for many years, the Connecticut house was now the Snekers’. Carmen Sneker, her children and others said that strange things began to happen soon after the Snekers moved in.

Carmen stated that lights flashed even after the bulbs were removed. Her son began to see a figure with long dark locks. The mother claimed that paranormal experts were called in to perform an exorcism. It is not clear if her claims are true.

Virginia Madsen is the mother of a fictional Campbell family in the film. However, the plot is based on the Snedeker claims. The film premiered in 2009. People began to flood the house asking for a peek. This upset the new owner who claimed that the house was not haunted or that nothing strange had happened during her time there.

The Haunting of Connecticut can be viewed on Amazon Prime and HBO Max.

 

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