Horror films are often criticized for being over the top and unrealistic, but some horror films are based on actual events so scary they’re almost unbelievable. Below are five horror films you won’t believe were inspired by real-life killers. Read their chilling backstories below.
Number Five: Scream.
Daniel Rolling attacked his father in 1990, but he didn’t kill him. He then went on to kill eight people, including five college students. He was known for mutilating, sexually posing and engaging in sexual acts with his victims’ corpses, and he was the inspiration for the film Scream.
Number Four: The Strangers.
The Strangers was inspired by Charles Manson and followers who broke into Roman Polanski’s house and bound together his wife, Sharon Tate, and four of her friends. Tate and friends were stabbed multiple times, and Manson wrote the word “pig” in their blood all around the house. The group was unable to call for help because the phone lines were disconnected.
Number Three: Borderland.
Adolfo Constanzo was a drug dealer, cult leader, and serial killer. When he tried to join a well-known crime family, he was rejected, and in retaliation he killed seven of their members. He then joined another cartel, the Hernandez Brothers, and he was the inspiration for the film Borderland.
Number Two: Psycho and Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
Ed Gein had a disturbing childhood that led to a tumultuous life. His mother taught him that all women are prostitutes and kept him isolated in her house. He grew up to become a kidnapper, and he also butchered many young women that reminded him of his own mother. He made furniture out of these young girls’ flesh and bones, including lampshades made of faces and bowls made of skulls. He was caught and spent the rest of his life in maximum security, and he inspired the films Psycho and Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
Number One: The Silence of the Lambs.
The Silence of the Lambs‘ Hannibal Lecter was inspired by serial killer Ted Bundy. Bundy used his charisma to lure women into trusting him, and then he would take them into a secluded area and murder them. He would often come back later to perform sexual acts on their corpses.