15 Paranormal Movies Based on True Stories

By on September 1, 2017

Paranormal movies are already a lot of fun to watch. These movies are even eerier because of their factual basis. Instead of just making up a story about a terrifying ghost or demon, these stories are based on true stories. Even if the ghostly apparition was not actually real, the people who experienced these strange happenings believed that they were. If you are ready to be scared out of your mind, check out these 15 paranormal movies based on true stories. We highly recommend that you watch them with a friend. If you are quite brave, you can try to watch these on a dark, moonless night.

1. From Hell

Jack the Ripper was, and is, one of the best known serial killers in history. Part of this is because no one ever really figured out who he was. Jack the Ripper was the appellation given to the man responsible for killing and mutilating women during 1880s London. Like many serial killers, he tended to focus on the easiest victims like prostitutes. Some people speculate that he may have been a doctor, and theories abound about who could possibly be Jack the Ripper. Today, we still do not know his real identity.

While his story may be long gone, people are still fascinated by it. Unsurprisingly, Hollywood decided to take their turn in telling this story. If you want to be terrified, this is a good paranormal movie based on a true story to see.

2. The Amityville Horror

This is one of the most famous true ghost stories to hit the silver screen. Decades ago, the DeFeo family lived in a house on the east coast. Before long, strange things started to happen. Some people think that angry spirits were rising up from the Native American burial ground beneath the house. Whatever the case, the DeFeo family was found murdered by one of the family members.

Later on, the Lutz family bought the house. Because of the tragic murders, they were able to get a great deal on it. The members of the family started to experience odd occurrences and unexplained, scary happenings. Once they realized how dangerous the paranormal forces were at the house, they fled the scene and never came back. They ended up writing a book about the scary happenings, which was eventually turned into a movie. There is an older and a more modern version of the film. While some parts of the movie are exaggerated, others are completely real.

3. The Mothman Prophecies

Surprise! This paranormal movie is actually based on a true story. From 1966 to 1967, a number of people in Point Pleasant, West Virginia reported seeing a large, moth-like creature. Some people said that they saw it flying around or hovering on the Silver Bridge in torn. Ultimately, that bridge actually collapsed during rush hour traffic and 46 people died. After the collapse of the bridge, the Mothman was never seen again.

4. Audrey Rose

This is one of the oldest films on the list. It is focused on a loving family. The daughter is believed to be possessed by a ghost who calls herself Audrey Rose. This story was based on a book written by Frank DeFelitta.

5. Shadow People

This story is all about an unexpected, unexplained phenomenon that started occurring in the 1970s. Researchers were looking at an event called Sudden Unexplained Nocturnal Death Syndrome. Basically, people were going to bed healthy, but never waking up. Researchers could not figure out why they were dying, so some people developed a theory that there were shadow people who killed other people as they slept.

6. The Exorcism of Emily Rose

In the 1970s, Anneliese Michel was a 17-year-old student who was thought to be possessed by a demon. This story is based on her real-life experiences. In the movie, it discusses a negligent homicide case about the death of Emily Rose. While the case moves along, the viewer gets filled in on the back story. We watch Emily Rose slip into madness and see tapes that were recorded when an exorcism was attempted.

All of the events in the film are modeled after what happened to Anneliese Michel in real life. Most people believe that Emily was just mentally ill. A combination of religious hysteria, abuse and negligence led to her demise. Either way, the movie based on her will have you terrified.

7. Hard Candy

This movie will give you a new take on how people operate. It is not traditionally scary, although it is a little unnerving. The movie is based on the real story of Japanese girls who would lure businessmen into secluded areas where they would beat, torture and robe them. One of the most horrifying things about the story is how normal and sweet the girls look. You would never believe that they could be capable of something so awful.

8. The Shining

The Shining may have been a Hollywood hit, but it was actually based on a real life place. The actual hotel was called the Stanley hotel and was located in Estes Park, Colorado. For years, people reported odd, paranormal activity in the hotel. Most of the strange events occurred in the ballroom. Workers at the hotel would hear dancing, conversations and loud music. When they went to investigate, there would be no one there and no reason for the odd noises.

People reported that the piano would play at odd hours. Some people even reported seeing ghostly apparitions. After Stephen King visited the hotel with his wife, he decided to write a book based on it.

9. An American Haunting

According to the marketers of this movie, this was the only case in American history of a man dying because of a spirit. It occurred in the 1800s, and the event was known as the Bell Witch Hauntings. Long ago, the Bell family lived in a small town within Tennessee. Suddenly, they began to hear knocking and scratching on the walls. Before long, the activity began to grow violent. The Bell’s youngest daughter would feel pinched or hit by an unexplained force, and actual bruises would develop. Other family members would feel their hair pulled and would get kicked.

Ultimately, John Bell became extremely sick and died next to a bottle of poison. To this day, there are many theories behind why this happened to the family, and An American Haunting chooses just one of them.

10. The Possession

In this film, the odd events are based around a dibbuk box. This box is said to be a Jewish wine cabinet that is haunted. It was auctioned on eBay for $280 and came with a list of hauntings. According to the buyer, the dibbuk led to scared employees and broken glass. Supposedly, it even caused his mother to have a stroke. The actual movie follows a different plot line and has a young girl become possessed by the box instead of the actual story.

11. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

This story revolves around two siblings who hear that their grandfather’s grave was vandalized. They head out with friends to see what happened. When they reach the family’s old farmhouse, they run into a group of murderous hoodlums and outcasts. The group falls victim to these cannibals. Although much of the story is not actually true, it was marketed as a true story to attract more viewers. Some of the actual characters were inspired by real people though such as the actual murderer, Ed Gein.

12. Deranged

This is another film based on Ed Gein. He was a serial killer who was raised by an extremely religious mother. Because of her, he ended up having a hatred for women. He started by digging up women to use as decorations. After getting tired of that, he started killing women instead. This movie is beyond deranged, and it is not something that you should watch on a full stomach.

13. Dahmer

Jeffrey Dahmer was another real-life serial killer. He ended killing up to 20 men and dismembered him. He stored their body parts in his freezer before engaging in necrophilia and cannibalism. The scary part was that he was ruled sane after he was caught. Ultimately, he blamed his deranged actions on his parents getting divorced.

14. The Haunting in Connecticut

This movie follows a family with a mentally ill son. They move to a new home to give their son a new start. Later, they learn that the house was previously a mortuary. The ghosts return to haunt the owners, and it based on a real family who experienced disturbing occurrences after moving into a former mortuary.

15. The Zodiac Killer

This serial killer was infamous during the 1960s and 1970s. He killed numerous people and had the audacity to brag to the press about it. He was proud of his crimes and wanted attention. This movie makes his murders even more terrifying, especially when you consider the fact that he got away with it.

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