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Seven Horrific Hauntings Based on True Events

“Based on true events…” “Inspired by a true story…” However you phrase it, one key word always manages to make horror more horrific: true. Sit back and relax as we take a look at some movies based upon the strange, bizarre, and weird.

Sure, much horror carrying the “true story” tag is only loosely based on actual events. Just think of how many extremely different envisionings of the Ed Gein story there are. Everything from The Texas Chain Saw Massacre to The Silence of the Lambs and hundreds in-between trace their roots to that twisted Wisconsin deviant. But there’s just something about knowing even a modicum of the heinous tale unfolding on the screen before your eyes is true that makes it that much more chilling.

Now, say your film is not only based on a true story, but one which involves supernatural, unexplainable events. Now you’re really onto something. Everyone loves a good ghost story. Nothing gets the skin crawling faster than a haunted house. With the release of The Apparition on Friday, August 24, we’ve decided to look back at some of the best films based on actual hauntings and supernatural events. So sit back, strap in and prepare to look back on some horrific hauntings… based on true events!

The Haunting in Connecticut (2009)

One of the more recent haunted house films based on actual reports, The Haunting in Connecticut tells a very interesting story. The film is based on the story of Carmen Snedeker and her family, who were in the market for a home closer to the University of Connecticut’s Heath Center, where Carmen’s son was being treated for cancer. The house they settled upon turned out to have a very sordid past. The film goes into some of the history of the house, but not everything.

In the true story the family found mortuary equipment in the basement and realized they were living in a former funeral home. Now, stop right there… there has to be some kind of real estate ethics rule that says you’ve got to disclose the fact to a potential buyer that the former owner of a home had dead bodies on ice 24/7, right? Anyway, if that wasn’t bad enough, it turns out the owners of the mortuary were involved in necromancy (you can almost live with that one) and necrophilia (that’s where I’ve gotta draw the line). And the room where the Snedeker children were sleeping was once the coffin showroom. Yikes.

The film did have some intense moments, but the true strength of it may have been the questions as to where the haunting visions were coming from. Was it indeed a supernatural occurrence, or were they schizophrenic hallucinations. By embracing the questions as to the legitimacy of the events, the filmmakers actually ended up with a better movie, delivering a unique version of the traditional ghost story we’ve become accustomed to.


MORE Top 7 Horror Movies Inspired By True Events on the NEXT page!


Scott Hallam

  • The Woman In Black

    An American Haunting is one of the worst movies ever made! I can’t remember when I’ve ever been as angry at a film as I was at that one.

  • Terminal

    No one ever mentions the Smurls. I thought their story was much scarier than the Amityville story.

    • Uncle Creepy

      Agreed and a movie was made about that one too. A very effective one at that. It was called “The Haunted” and it’s ridiculously hard to come by. How I wish that was getting an official DVD or Blu-ray release.

      • Terminal

        You figure the re-emergence of Jeffery DeMunn with his stint on the Walking Dead would prompt a much needed Blu-Ray release. That movie scared the shit out of me as a kid.

        • Uncle Creepy

          Every now and again I can still hear an old woman’s voice calling “Janet”

          And the scene with the pillow! Wow was that crazy!

          • The Woman In Black

            That’s the “Janet” movie? Yep, super-scary!

          • Terminal

            What about that fucking shadow? And the house going berserk when the family is camping? Sheesh!

  • Hakk Wylde

    When effectively told, these stories cut through to something inside us all. A good haunting tale is just so classic. Domestic hauntings point out our need to feel secure and safe behind our front doors while stories of possession remind us of the horrors of being personally invaded, body & spirit. Terrifying!
    Very informative read! Now I wanna have a “haunted” weekend movie marathon! }:)