top of page

10 Movies Based on Real Hauntings: A Casual Dive into the Paranormal

Updated: Oct 14, 2023

movies based on real hauntings

If you're anything like us, you love a good scare, especially when it's based on real-life hauntings. So, buckle up, because we're about to take a thrilling ride through the 10 scariest movies inspired by actual paranormal events and based on real hauntings.

1. The Amityville Horror (1979)

Let's kick things off with a classic. The Amityville Horror, based on the Lutz family's terrifying 28-day stay in a supposedly haunted house in Amityville, New York, is a must-watch. The family reported seeing green slime on the walls, hearing strange noises, and even claimed to have been physically attacked by unseen forces. It has subsequently been claimed that the story was falsified for monetary gain by the family who wanted to sell the rights to their story for a book and movie but....spooky, right?

2. The Conjuring (2013)

Next up, we have The Conjuring, a film that revolves around the real-life paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren. The movie is based on the haunting of the Perron family in Rhode Island. From levitating beds to ghostly apparitions, this film will have you sleeping with the lights on. There has been a slew of movies that came after this one, based on the files of the infamous investigators, including the Annabelle series which is also worth a watch.

3. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

While not a traditional haunting story, A Nightmare on Elm Street was inspired by real-life events. Director Wes Craven read about a group of Laotian refugees who died in their sleep after suffering from terrifying nightmares. The story inspired him to create the iconic character Freddy Krueger who might not be a ghost, but he's a haunting figure in his own right.

4. The Exorcist (1973)

The Exorcist, based on the real-life exorcism of a boy known as "Roland Doe," is a horror classic. The film's depiction of demonic possession and the subsequent exorcism is enough to give anyone the creeps. Although this film was made 50 years ago, it is still terrifying and the effects have mostly stood the test of time.

5. The Changeling (1980)

Whilst on a family vacation John Russell, and his family, are involved in a freak car accident which claims the lives of his wife and daughter. John is persuaded to rent an extremely large old turn-of-the-century house by his friends as a way of dealing with his grief. He does not realize that he is not alone in the house. His unwanted guest is the spirit of a child who focuses on John's despair and uses him to uncover decades of silence and deceit. With the help of his friend, John sets out to uncover the mysteries of the house and bring peace to himself and his guest.

6. The Mothman Prophecies (2002)

Based on the real-life sightings of a creature known as the Mothman in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, this film is a unique blend of horror and mystery. The Mothman, a terrifying figure with glowing red eyes, is said to be a harbinger of disaster. Those who claim to have seen the figure reported sightings soon before tragedies. Not an outright horror but definitely a film which makes you question the reality we know.

7. The Entity (1982)

The Entity is based on the haunting of Doris Bither who claimed to be attacked by an invisible entity. In the film, Doris is portrayed by the fictional character Carla Moran who awakens one night to find herself being beaten and raped by an unseen entity. Terrified of what's happening to her, and shunned by friends and family who think she's lost her mind, she seeks help from parapsychologists. The researchers soon discover that evil spiritual force has been drawn to Carla and is responsible for the violent attacks. The film's depiction of her struggle with this unseen force is both terrifying and unsettling. A film which will live with you long after the credits roll.

8. The Possession (2012)

Inspired by the story of a haunted dybbuk box, The Possession is a terrifying tale of demonic possession. The real-life box was said to bring bad luck and terrifying nightmares to its owners. The film takes this supposedly true story concept and runs with it, resulting in a truly scary movie. Purchased by a young girl at a yard sale, in the movie, the box contains a malevolent spirit that torments and terrorises her. Her father, played by Jeffrey Dean-Morgan, searches for a way to break the curse the box has placed on his daughter.

9. The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005)

The nineteen year old Catholic college girl, Emily Rose, dies a couple of days after being submitted to an exorcism carried out by her parish priest, Father Moore. Emily believed she was possessed by six demons, and although authorized by Emily and her parents, Father Moore is accused of negligent homicide since he had suggested Emily interrupt the use of epilepsy medications. In order to avoid a scandal, the Archdiocese hires the successful, ambitious and agnostic lawyer Erin Bruner, and the prosecution assigns the religious prosecutor Ethan Thomas. This story walks us through a passionate battle between science and religion in the courtroom.

10. Deliver Us From Evil (2014)

A cop and a priest team up on a case of demonic possession in this film based on actual cases investigated by retired NYPD police officer-turned-demonologist Ralph Sarchie. When a frightening wave of violence sweeps through New York City, troubled cop Sarchie fails to find a rational explanation for the bizarre crimes. His eyes are opened to a frightening alternate reality, however, when renegade Jesuit priest Mendoza convinces him that demonic possession may be to blame for the gruesome murders. Together, this unlikely duo wage a valiant supernatural struggle to rid the city of an otherworldly evil. But the closer they get to the source of this malevolent scourge, the more immediate the danger becomes to Sarchie, his pregnant wife Jen, and their young daughter Christina.

So, there you have it....Ten spine-chilling films based on real-life hauntings. Whether you're a seasoned horror fan or a newbie looking for a good scare, these films are sure to deliver. Just remember, sometimes truth is stranger (and scarier) than fiction.

If you have any other movies you would like to see added to this list then drop them in the comments below. All movies on this list are included On Demand with our IPTV subscription. Join the cord cutting revolution and cut the cord today.

Recent Posts

See All

1 Comment

Michael grainger
Michael grainger
Jul 22, 2023

Brilliant reviews, look forward to reading more

bottom of page