When they say a horror movies is based on a true story or inspired by true events, it almost always peaks the interest of moviegoers. Find out facts about your favorite scary film and learn where to stream them online or watch them on TV this Halloween 2018 season.

“The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”

Though this 1974 film was marketed as a true story, it was more-so based off the crimes of killers Ed Gein and Elmer Wayne Henley, as well as a few other inspirations. Outside of criminals, co-writer and director Tobe Hooper said he was also inspired by one Christmas shopping outing.

"There were these big Christmas crowds, I was frustrated, and I found myself near a display rack of chain saws. I just kind of zoned in on it,” Hooper told Texas Monthly in 2004 .

“I did a rack focus to the saws, and I thought, ‘I know a way I could get through this crowd really quickly.’ I went home, sat down, all the channels just tuned in, the zeitgeist blew through, and the whole damn story came to me in what seemed like about 30 seconds. The hitchhiker, the older brother at the gas station, the girl escaping twice, the dinner sequence, people out in the country out of gas.”

“The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” airs Friday, Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. on SYFY. An encore will air Saturday, Oct. 27 at 2:54 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 28 at 10:54 a.m. on the network. “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning” (2006) can be streamed on Netflix. “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2” (1986) is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video and Epix.

“The Exorcist”

The Exorcist movie
Pictured: People attend a projection of the movie "The Exorcist" at the Saint Guillaume Protestant Church on Sept. 20, 2018 in the eastern French city of Strasbourg. Frederick Florin/AFP/Getty Images

The true story behind the 1971 book and 1973 movie adaptation is not cut and dry. The story came to be after author William Peter Blatty read about the exorcism of a Maryland boy known as Roland Doe. The teenager reportedly started experiencing paranormal activity after the death of a family member in 1948. After loved ones, schoolmates and teachers noticed weird happenings with the boy, a priest applied for an exorcism to be done. Official documents regarding one of Doe’s hospital visits was recovered in 1987 and revealed details about a supposed four-night exorcism. Doe eventually went on to live a “normal life.”

“The Exorcist III” (1990) airs Thursday, Oct. 25 at 10 a.m. on AMC.

“The Haunting In Connecticut”

“The Haunting in Connecticut” follows the Snedeker family in 1986 after they rented an old house in Southington, Connecticut, and found mortician tools in the basement. After they brood started to claim they were being tortured by ghosts, paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren said the house was “infested with demons,” but not everyone believed their story.

Their landlord reportedly said the family lived there for over two years, despite being supposedly tortured. Horror novelist Ray Garton, who was hired by the Warrens to help the Snedekers write their story, explained that after interviewing members of the family he also found their stories reportedly didn’t match up.

“The Haunting In Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia” (2013) will air Saturday, Oct. 20 at 2 p.m. on SYFY. The film will be following by a showing of “The Haunting in Connecticut” (2009) at 4 p.m. The 2009 movie is also available to stream on Roku.


The 2007 film “Zodiac” was largely based on historical data regarding the crimes of The Zodiac Killer, so much so seeing the footage even terrified a real victim. As of May, investigators were still trying to track down the person via DNA-tracing technology who murdered five people in Northern California between 1968 and 1969. The individual earned the name The Zodiac Killer for the cryptic messages and symbols sent to police.

The 2007 movie can be streamed on Amazon Prime Video and Hoopla.

“The Amityville Horror”​

Amityville Horror
112 Ocean Avenue in the town of Amityville, New York on March 31, 2005. The Amityville Horror house rich history and beauty are overshadowed by the story of George and Kathy Lutz, the previous residents who claimed that shortly after moving into the house they fled in terror driven out by paranormal activity. Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images
“The Amityville Horror” all started in 1974 when a man named Ronald J. DeFeo Jr. shot and killed his family inside their home in Amityville, New York. During the trial, he said voices told him to kill his loved ones. The horror tale continued when the new homeowners, George and Kathy Lutz, penned a book about their supposed paranormal experiences in the suburban home. The tale has been told on the big screen numerous times.

“The Amityville Horror” (2005) is available on Amazon Prime Video. “The Amityville Horror” (1979) is also available to stream on Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and Epix.

“Open Water”

The film is based off the terrifying tale of Tom and Eileen Lonergan, a couple who were left stranded by a diving company while exploring the Great Barrier Reef in 1998. Their bodies were never found in the shark-infested waters. While the movie appears to tell their story, it does take some liberities, such as changing the location to the Bahamas. The Lonergan’s belongings were also found to show no signs of damage, meaning they likely did not meet the same end the film suggests.

The 2003 film can be streamed on Roku, Vudu and tubitv.


“Jaws” author Peter Benchley has denied the story was inspired by historical events, but there is speculation the movie and book were inspired by a series of shark attacks in New Jersey in 1916.

“Jaws” (1975) is available to stream on Netflix. “Jaws 2” (1978), “Jaws 3-D” (1983) and “Jaws: The Revenge” (1987) are also available.

“The Strangers”

The trailer teased the movie was inspired by true events, an event which was reportedly experienced by director the film’s writer/director, Bryan Bertino.

"As a kid, I lived in a house on a street in the middle of nowhere. One night, while our parents were out, somebody knocked on the front door and my little sister answered it," Bertino said. "At the door were some people asking for somebody that didn't live there. We later found out that these people were knocking on doors in the area and, if no one was home, breaking into the houses."

“The Strangers” (2008) is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.

“The Conjuring”

The Conjuring 2
Paranormal investigator Lorraine Warren is pictured attending the premiere of "The Conjuring 2" in Hollywood, California, on June 7, 2016. Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images

The 2013 film was a box office success and spawned a 2016 sequel, but not every believes it is “based on a true story” as it claims. The story goes that Roger and Carolyn Perron and their five daughters were taunted by spirits after moving into an 18th century farmhouse in Rhode Island in 1971.

Lorraine Warren, one of the event’s paranormal investigators, helped with the film and said things she witnessed in the home were “incredibly frightening.” Meanwhile, one of the daughters, Andrea Perron, has said the movie has "many elements of truth to it, and some moments of fiction."

“The Conjuring” can be streamed on Netflix.

“My Friend Dahmer”

The 2017 film is based on John Backderf’s graphic novel of the same name about convicted killer Jeffrey Dahmer’s high school experience. The movie stays pretty close to Dahmer’s life story with the film ending as he picks up his first kill, a hitchhiker.

You can catch a showing of the 2017 film on MAX on Tuesday, Oct. 23 at 4:10 a.m. The movie is also available to stream on Hoopla, Kanopy and MaxGo for subscribers.