Veronica was the surprise horror hit of March 2018; premiering on Netflix, the streaming giant was boastful about the fact that many viewers found it too terrifying to watch in its entirety. Part of the film’s ability to horrify is the fact that it’s based on a true story. I know, I know, we’ve all heard that tagline before. The difference with this case is that there’s an abundance of documentation—including a police report.
Related Article: The True Story That Inspired the International Horror Hit “VERONICA” (Now on Netflix!)
The “Based on a True Story” claim carries the most intrigue when attached to a supernatural shocker. Even paranormal skeptics like myself love true ghost stories, probably because being proven wrong would be a truly harrowing realization. While Hollywood will always exaggerate, there are indeed supernatural horror movies based on documented events, corroborated by multiple witnesses. These are the creepers that really keep us up at night.
The folks at WhatCulture have assembled a video Top 10 list of horror movies based on true ghost stories. While “truth” most likely depends on your pre-established opinions regarding the existence of ghosts, there’s no denying these are some of the most nightmare-inducing films you’re ever likely to stumble across!
Related Article: Top 15 “Based on a True Story” Horror Movies That Actually ARE!
If you can’t stream, the 10 horror movies based on true ghost stories are listed below the video, along with trailers, synopses, and links to additional information regarding these supposedly real-life events. Pleasant screams!
About WhatCulture on YouTube: WhatCulture is an online culture magazine, covering Film, Gaming, TV and more! Check back regularly for exclusive Top-10s, previews, reviews and other awesome content!
Official Synopsis: Though he is filled with doubt about the subject, seminary student Michael Kovak (Colin O’Donoghue) finds he must attend a Vatican school of exorcism. Believing possession to be the work of a troubled mind rather than actual demons, he urges his superiors to look for answers in psychiatry. Then Michael becomes the apprentice of Father Lucas (Anthony Hopkins), a veteran exorcist, and encounters a terrifying force that causes him to question everything he believes.
Related Article: Shot Doc Lets You Spend a Day in the Life of a Modern Exorcist
The Amityville Horror
Official Synopsis: Chiller about a family who is terrorized by supernatural forces when they move into a new house in New York State which was the scene of a recent mass killing and the home of an 18th-century satanist. When swarms of flies appear from nowhere and the pipes and walls begin to ooze slime and blood, they call on a local priest to exorcise the evil spirits.
Related Article: 6 Horror Movie Sets That Were Definitely Cursed
Official Synopsis: Husband and wife Janice (Marsha Mason) and Bill Templeton (John Beck) lead a pleasant life, residing in New York and sending their daughter, Ivy (Susan Swift), to a good school. Things change, though, when the odd Elliot Hoover (Anthony Hopkins) arrives and tells the couple that, after having spent time in India, he believes Ivy is the reincarnated spirit of his daughter, who died years earlier. The Templetons scoff, but ensuing supernatural events soon turn their lives upside down.
Learn More About the Novel Audrey Rose on Wikipedia, HERE.
Deliver Us from Evil
Official Synopsis: As a veteran member of a South Bronx precinct, NYPD Sgt. Ralph Sarchie (Eric Bana) has seen more than his share of dark and horrifying events — so many that they have begun to poison his soul. Sarchie further finds his beliefs and understanding pushed to the limit when he and his partner investigate a particularly bizarre incident. He forms an alliance with a renegade priest (Edgar Ramirez), who tries to convince Sarchie that real evil — and demons — do exist.
Official Synopsis: In 1970, paranormal investigators and demonologists Lorraine (Vera Farmiga) and Ed (Patrick Wilson) Warren are summoned to the home of Carolyn (Lili Taylor) and Roger (Ron Livingston) Perron. The Perrons and their five daughters have recently moved into a secluded farmhouse, where a supernatural presence has made itself known. Though the manifestations are relatively benign at first, events soon escalate in horrifying fashion, especially after the Warrens discover the house’s macabre history.
Related Article: Did “The Crooked Man” Feature Film Just Get a Release Date?
Official Synopsis: One of the most profitable horror movies ever made, this tale of an exorcism is based loosely on actual events. When young Regan (Linda Blair) starts acting odd — levitating, speaking in tongues — her worried mother (Ellen Burstyn) seeks medical help, only to hit a dead end. A local priest (Jason Miller), however, thinks the girl may be seized by the devil. The priest makes a request to perform an exorcism, and the church sends in an expert (Max von Sydow) to help with the difficult job.
A Haunting in Connecticut
Official Synopsis: When their son Matt (Kyle Gallner) receives a diagnosis of cancer, Sara (Virginia Madsen) and Peter (Martin Donovan) Campbell move to Connecticut to be closer to his doctors. At first all is well, but then Matt becomes increasingly disturbed by what appears to be paranormal activity. Sara turns to a priest for help, and the ghosts are seemingly banished — but Matt’s condition takes a sudden and unexplained turn for the worse, and the lives of Sara and the rest of her family are endangered.
Related Article: Top 15 Most Terrifying Haunted House Horror Movies
The Exorcism of Emily Rose
Official Synopsis: The Rev. Moore (Tom Wilkinson) is prosecuted for the wrongful death of a girl thought to be demonically possessed, because he administered the church-sanctioned exorcism that ultimately killed her. Prosecuting attorney Ethan Thomas (Campbell Scott) contends that the young woman, Emily (Jennifer Carpenter), suffered from schizophrenia and should have been medically diagnosed. Meanwhile, defense lawyer Erin Bruner (Laura Linney) argues that Emily’s condition cannot be explained by science alone.
Official Synopsis: When their youngest daughter, Em (Natasha Calis), becomes strangely obsessed with an antique wooden box bought from a yard sale, parents Clyde (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Stephanie (Kyra Sedgwick) see little cause for alarm. However, Em becomes increasingly unstable, leading the couple to fear the presence of a malevolent force. To their horror, Clyde and Stephanie learn that the box contains a dybbuk, a dislocated spirit that inhabits — and ultimately devours — a human host.
Related Article: (Video) Top 10 Creepiest Cursed Objects That Actually Exist
Official Synopsis: Single mother Carla Moran (Barbara Hershey) is raped and attacked by an invisible force. She begins therapy with Dr. Phil Sneiderman (Ron Silver), a psychiatrist who believes Carla’s traumatic past is motivating her to commit self-induced injuries, rather than anything supernatural. When the attacks continue, Carla invites two college students with an interest in the paranormal to visit her house. After seeing the ghost in action, they agree to help Carla defeat her invisible attacker.