4 True Stories That Ruin ‘True Story’ Horror Movies

4 True Stories That Ruin ‘True Story’ Horror Movies

Warner Bros.

Even the most spine-chilling of horror movies ultimately aren’t that scary because we all know that they’re not real; there’s no such person as Michael Myers, Pennywise the clown is completely fictional, and the tape from The Ring doesn’t exist – also, even if it did, who the hell would be able to play it nowadays? You might as well make a movie about a cursed fax machine, or a haunted Blackberry. But sometimes spooky movies are reportedly based on “true stories” – which sounds pretty unnerving. That is until you find out about how ...

The Conjuring – Ed Warren Was Allegedly A Giant Creep

Perhaps best remembered as the movie that introduced us all to Annabelle, the world’s creepiest doll not named “Teddy Ruxpin,” The Conjuring tells the story of Ed and Lorraine Warren, a married pair of surprisingly hot 1970s paranormal investigators. The marketing campaign behind The Conjuring was very insistent on reminding everyone that the movie was based on one of the “thousands” of totally real cases investigated by the Warrens.

At the risk of ruining the spooky nun movies, as we’ve mentioned before, the Warrens were total frauds; take the most recent entry in the Conjuring cinematic universe, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, which involved the true story about the exorcism of a small child, and a dude who drunkenly stabbed his landlord weeks later because he had attended said exorcism and was therefore clearly possessed by some kind of demon (as opposed to just several cases of Jim Beam).

There are a lot of reasons why this story is bullcrap, not the least of which being that kid who was “exorcised” and his brother eventually sued the Warrens in 2007, claiming that they had been “manipulated and exploited.” Somehow even worse, despite the fact that these movies (often targeted at conservative Christian audiences) are predicated on the idea that the Warrens are decidedly wholesome couple whose love for one another can survive the odd demon attack –

– in 2017 The Hollywood Reporter detailed some serious allegations against Ed Warren; namely, that while he was working as a bus driver in the 1960s, he “initiated a relationship with an underage girl with Lorraine’s knowledge.” Allegedly, the 15-year-old girl eventually moved into the Warren's house and lived there for decades, which caught the attention of the police, who arrested the young girl after she refused to sign a statement “admitting to the affair.” 

She also allegedly became pregnant with Ed’s child when she was in her thirties, but had an abortion because Lorraine was concerned that a “scandal” could hurt their stupid ghost-hunting business and later claimed that Ed physically abused Lorraine and once hit her “so hard she lost consciousness.” But sure, keep making movies about how romantic this jerk was. 

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The Person Who Inspired For The Exorcist Was Haunted By … The Movie The Exorcist

The Exorcist is one of the scariest movies ever made – and definitely the scariest horror movie to ever spawn a sequel co-starring Fabio. Weirdly, this story involving ancient Mesopotamian demons, evil Oujia boards, and enough regurgitated pea soup to fill Scrooge McDuck’s vault, was based on a true story … sort of.

Reportedly, author William Peter Blatty’s original novel was “loosely based” on real life exorcisms actually performed by the Catholic Church on an allegedly possessed boy known only as “Roland Doe.” The anonymous kid was later revealed to be Ronald Edwin Hunkeler, who “underwent exorcisms in Cottage City, Maryland, and in St. Louis, Missouri in 1949,  as a 14-year-old.”

Hunkeler went on to become a NASA engineer, even working on the Apollo missions. But still, he remained tormented by the demon Paz– no wait, he was tormented by the movie The Exorcist. 

While Hunkeler died in 2020, his partner claimed that he lived in constant fear that his NASA colleagues would find out that the blockbuster horror movie was based on what happened to him as a kid – he wouldn’t even leave the house at Halloween, for fear that someone would recognize him somehow. He also told his partner that he “wasn’t possessed” and the whole story was “concocted,” admitting that he was “just a bad boy.” So instead of “Tubular Bells” The Exorcist probably should have used the theme song from COPS.

The Fire In The Sky Guy Failed A Polygraph Test On A Dumb Fox Game Show

Extraterrestrial encounters aren’t always frightening, as evidenced by most episodes of ALF, but the 1993 film Fire in the Sky is friggin’ terrifying, chronicling the story of a Arizona logger who is kidnapped by aliens and given the old full-body Durex treatment.

Adding to the eeriness of the movie, it was allegedly all true, based on the non-fiction book The Walton Experience by Travis Walton, who claimed to have been abducted by a UFO in November 1975. But Walton’s version of events was later put to the test in the most appropriate of all forums for paranormal investigation: the garbagiest game show ever produced by Fox. The Moment of Truth was the 2008 show in which contestants answered personal questions for cash prizes while hooked up to a polygraph. Kind of like Who Wants to be a Millionaire? crossed with a homicide investigation.

When he appeared on the show, Walton’s final question was, of course: “Were you abducted by a UFO on November 5, 1975?”

Walton answered “Yes” but failed the lie detector, losing the game and making the shocking “true story” movie from the guy who directed D3: The Mighty Ducks just a little less credible. 

The Birds – The Mystery Behind The Incident That Inspired Hitchcock Was Solved In The 21st Century

Doing for the avian community what he once did for the motel bathroom industry, Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 classic The Birds depicts how a bunch of fowl randomly terrorize an island community, seemingly for reason other than “birds are dicks sometimes.”

While the movie was based on a pre-existing short story, as Hitchcock was prepping the project in 1961, there was a real life freak incident in which a “massive flight of sooty shearwaters” violently slammed into homes in coastal towns near Santa Cruz in 1961. It was reported at the time that Hitchock had read about the incident and “planned to use it” in his movie. Hitchcock even incorporated some of the theories about the real life attack in the finished film.

While it may have seemed very ominous and creepy back in the ‘60s, the mystery was eventually solved in 2012, when researchers concluded that, not unlike the gas pains one gets on the drive home from Arby’s, the culprit was something they ate. Apparently, the birds suffered from “domoic acid poisoning” which was responsible for their “odd behaviour,” since the toxin was in “both in anchovies the birds had fed on and in plankton the fish had consumed.” Hey, at least the plot of Vertigo can’t be chalked up to some bad seafood. 

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Thumbnail: Warner Bros. 

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