‘What you are about to see is based on real-life events’. We’ve all seen this warning flash up on screen before a movie starts.
It’s a trick that horror movies often try to milk to scare their audience. But I’ve become so used to seeing it that I just dismiss it these days. But there ARE a few films where the story is based in reality and where it’s even possible to visit the spot where the gruesome events took place. Now that IS scary.
In the film, Norman Bates is a psychologically disturbed hotel owner (or just a psycho) who dresses up as his dead mother and murders guests in his scary abode. He also happens to keep the corpse of his dead mother in a room.
Few people know that the Bates character was inspired by Ed Gein, a Wisconsin native arrested in 1957 for murdering two people and digging up the corpses of countless other women who reminded him of his dead mother. What’s worse, he skinned the bodies in the hopes of becoming a woman himself. I suspect if they made his real home into an Adventure Tours On A Budget location, it would be too gruesome for most.
We’ve all seen the film – a huge, 20-foot-long Great White shark terrorizes the fictional Eastern fishing community of Amity Island, eating swimmers and taking bites out of surf boards during the summer.
The film was penned by screenwriter Peter Benchley after he was inspired by a series of shark attacks that terrorized the Sandy Hook shore, New Jersey shore in 1916. Five attacks, four of which were fatal, took place over a 12-day period that July. The culprit? Probably a ‘mere’ seven-foot-long Great White shark which was shot and killed and whose stomach was found to contain some human remains. Take a swim in New Jersey’s Sandy Hook waters at your own peril.
The Exorcist (1973)
A classic story of a battle between good and evil, but just a whole lot more scary than usual. The plot follows a pair of priests’ attempts to exorcise a demon that has possessed a 12-year-old girl living in Georgetown.
Author of the The Exorcist novel, William Peter Blatty, was inspired by an article he read in college at Georgetown University about an exorcism performed on a boy in Mount Rainier, Maryland in 1949. It is believed the boy’s actual home lay in Cottage City, Maryland. I wouldn’t step a foot near it personally.