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Top 10 Scariest Non-Fiction Horror Movies to Stream

I always find that horror movies based off of real horror events make the best horror movies. That is because we can easily relate some elements of the film to actual events. Here are the scariest non-fiction horror movies you must see! I know that Hollywood has to overemphasize some scary events in order to please the horror fans but even the horror movies based loosely on actual events carry a more eerie feeling to the films. All these movies can be streamed on popular streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and Shudder.


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Below you will find a breakdown on each real event that inspired each horror movie followed by a countdown of all the horror movies listed in a countdown to the best horror film inspired by real events.

Real Events that Inspired These Films / Origins of the Horror Movies

  • Psycho (1960) - The lead serial killer Norman Bates and his mother split personality was inspired by the life and profile of one of the most famous American serial killers Ed Gein. The film was directed beautifully by the Master of Horror Alfred Hitchcock and actor Anthony Perkins.
  • The Exorcist (1973) - Based on the accounts of a young boy who was possessed by a demon(s) and the priests who ultimately delivered the young boy from the demon(s). The Exorcist (1973) film features a young girl instead of the boy as to further keep the boys’ identity a secret. The Exorcist is one of the scariest demon movies you can watch.
  • The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) - Director Tobe Hooper brought us this horror film about a crazed inbred family with the iconic Leatherface inspired by real-life serial killer Ed Gein who dressed in human skin.
  • The Amityville Horror (1979) - Based on the Lutz house haunting in Amityville, Long Island. The Lutz family claimed a terrible haunting forced them out of their home. Many people believe this haunting to be a hoax created by George Lutz to get out of his mortgage and gain fame. Ed and Lorraine Warren also investigated this home haunting.
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) - Wes Craven (Master of Horror), recounted reading about a slew of nightmare-inducing deaths throughout the Philippines. People were dying in their sleep and it seemed to be spreading. Wes Craven took that idea and created the iconic horror boogeyman Freddy Krueger who killed teenagers in their sleep.
  • The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988) - Master of Horror Wes Craven directed this tale of a man investigating the powers of Voodoo and bringing people back from the dead as zombies. Many people believe in Haiti fear the power of the Shamans and Voodoo priest while scientists believe that the powder used may put people into a state of unconsciousness where the heartbeat is too low to detect and allows the person to resurrect after the effects have worn off. The longer lasting entranced effect takes longer to wear off.

    This movie was inspired by many accounts of a "dead man" being seen walking around well after his funeral and looking like he was a walking zombie with no emotions and a blank stare.
  • The Mothman Prophecies (2002) - This film is based on the accounts of many townsfolk in a small town in West Virginia who all account seeing a mysterious and strange looking figure referred to as a Mothman looking creature. They believe the Mothman was either warning them of the impending tragedy on December 15, 1967, and the collapse of the Silver Bridge leading to the death of 46 people or the cause. Were all these people imagining the Mothman or were they hoaxed into believing they saw such a creature?
  • The Girl Next Door (2007) - Based on the book written by Jack Ketchum about a young girl who moves in with her aunt and cousins leading to a very fatal and tragic end for the girl. A sad horror film too emotional for the casual moviegoer but a must see for the evil next door, do you really know your neighbor?
  • The Conjuring (2013) - Inspired loosely by a scary case where Ed and Lorraine Warren helped a family that was plagued by a demonic force in their home. The writers of The Conjuring (2013) and director James Wan took the liberty of intensifying the scary jump scares in the film and the concluding battle with the demon possessing the mother at the end of the film.
  • Child’s Play (1988) - Chucky’s full name is Charles Lee Ray and is not only a scary doll. Chucky is derived from the names of notorious killers Charles Manson (not an actual killer but the mastermind), Lee Harvey Oswald, and James Earl Ray. Writer Don Mancini and director Tom Holland created a movie icon in the form of a menacing scary doll serial killer.

Ranked Scariest Non-Fiction Horror Movies

  1. 10). Psycho (1960)

    Movie Overview | Review | Trailer

    Psycho (1960)

    Official Synopsis: Phoenix officeworker Marion Crane is fed up with the way life has treated her. She has to meet her lover Sam in lunch breaks and they cannot get married because Sam has to give most…

    Tagline: The picture you MUST see from the beginning... Or not at all!... For no one will be seated after the start of... Alfred Hitchcock's greatest shocker Psycho.

    Cast: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Virginia Gregg, Vera Miles, Martin Balsam, Walter Bacon, Francis De Sales, Hans Moebus, George Dockstader, Robert…

  2. 9). The Exorcist (1973)

    Movie Overview | Review | Trailer

    The Exorcist (1973)

    Official Synopsis: A visiting actress in Washington, D.C., notices dramatic and dangerous changes in the behavior and physical make-up of her 12-year-old daughter. Meanwhile, a young priest at nearby Georgetown University begins to doubt his faith while…

    Tagline: The movie you've been waiting for...without the wait.

    Cast: Max von Sydow, Eileen Dietz, Linda Blair, Jason Miller, John Mahon, Ellen Burstyn, Donna Mitchell, Kitty Winn, Rudolf Schündler, Rudolf…

  3. 8). The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

    Movie Overview | Review | Trailer

    The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

    Official Synopsis: En route to visit their grandfather's grave (which has apparently been ritualistically desecrated), five teenagers drive past a slaughterhouse, pick up (and quickly drop) a sinister hitch-hiker, eat some delicious home-cured meat at a roadside…

    Tagline: The idyllic summer's day that became a nightmare of fear and blood... [UK Video]

    Cast: John Larroquette, Marilyn Burns, William Vail, Gunnar Hansen, Jim Siedow, Paul A. Partain, John Dugan, Perry Lorenz, Levie Isaacks, Edwin…

  4. 7). The Amityville Horror (1979)

    Movie Overview | Review | Trailer

    The Amityville Horror (1979)

    Official Synopsis: Based on a true story that was claimed by writer Jay Anson, The Amityville Horror is about a large house on the coast of Long Island where newlyweds George and Kathy Lutz and their three…

    Tagline: Houses don't have memories.

    Cast: Margot Kidder, Baxter Harris, James Tolkan, Helen Shaver, Murray Hamilton, Rod Steiger, Elsa Raven, Peter Maloney, Hank Garrett, Natasha Ryan,…

  5. 6). A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

    Movie Overview | Review | Trailer

    A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

    Official Synopsis: On Elm Street, Nancy Thompson and a group of her friends (comprising Tina Gray, Rod Lane and Glen Lantz) are being tormented by a clawed killer in their dreams named Fred Krueger. Nancy must think…

    Tagline: She is the only one who can stop it... if she fails, no one survives.

    Cast: Johnny Depp, Lin Shaye, Robert Englund, Robert Shaye, Heather Langenkamp, Joe Unger, David Andrews, John Saxon, Jsu Garcia, Joseph Whipp,…

  6. 5). The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988)

    Movie Overview | Review | Trailer

    The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988)

    Official Synopsis: In 1985, after a successful research in Amazonas, Dr. Dennis Alan from Harvard is invited by the president of a Boston pharmaceutics industry, Andrew Cassedy, to travel to Haiti to investigate the case of a…

    Tagline: Don't bury me...I'm not dead!

    Cast: Bill Pullman, Michael Gough, William Newman, Zakes Mokae, Francis Guinan, Paul Winfield, Dey Young, Paul Guilfoyle, Johnny Pephanon, Ana Ramirez,…

  7. 4). The Mothman Prophecies (2002)

    Movie Overview | Review | Trailer

    The Mothman Prophecies (2002)

    Official Synopsis: John Klein is involved in a car accident with his wife, but while he is unharmed, his wife mentions a moth shaped creature appearing. After her death, John begins to investigate the secrets behind this…

    Tagline: What do you see?

    Cast: John W. Iwanonkiw, Laura Linney, Sam Nicotero, Tim Hartman, Zachary Mott, Rohn Thomas, Sara Brooks, Dwayne Pintoff, Matt Miller, Tony…

  8. 3). The Girl Next Door (2007)

    Movie Overview | Review | Trailer

    The Girl Next Door (2007)

    Official Synopsis: Find showtimes, watch trailers, browse photos, track your Watchlist and rate your favorite movies and TV shows on your phone or tablet!

    Tagline: In this town murder became the neighborhood game

    Cast: Mark Margolis, William Atherton, Daniel Manche, Jennifer Alexander, Michael Zegen, Kevin Chamberlin, J.M. Parkhurst, Irene Katehis, Michael Nardella, Alana Rader,…

  9. 2). The Conjuring (2013)

    Movie Overview | Review | Trailer

    The Conjuring (2013)

    Official Synopsis: In 1971, Carolyn and Roger Perron move their family into a dilapidated Rhode Island farm house and soon strange things start happening around it with escalating nightmarish terror. In desperation, Carolyn contacts the noted paranormal…

    Cast: Patrick Wilson, Joseph Bishara, Steve Coulter, Millie Wannamaker, Jesse Michael Fullington, Vera Farmiga, Christopher Cozort, Shannon Kook, Sterling Jerins, Felix…

  10. 1). Child's Play (1988)

    Movie Overview | Review | Trailer

    Child's Play (1988)

    Official Synopsis: When Charles Lee Ray needs to get a quick escape from cop Mike Norris, he takes his soul and buries it into playful, seemingly good guy doll Chucky. Little does he know a little boy…

    Tagline: No one believes the truth...or lives to tell it.

    Cast: Brad Dourif, Chris Sarandon, Alex Vincent, Ed Gale, Jeff Dlugolecki, John Franklin, Roslyn Alexander, Neil Giuntoli, Leila Lee Olsen, Edan…