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The Ghost Face Killer from 'Scream' was actually based on a real killer. What other horror movies are based on real events? Find out here if you dare!

Ghost Face Killer: Discover horrific crimes based on horror movies

Scary movies are great and all until you find out they’re based on true stories. All it takes is one mention of “this film is based on real events” for us to start getting squeamish. Unfortunately, there are plenty of movies without such notice that are also based on real-life murders. 

Some of your favorite horror flicks come from gory headlines rather than a writer’s demented imagination. We know – that doesn’t make us feel too good either.

Did you know our beloved Ghost Face Killer is actually based on a real-life killer? What about Jennifer Check? Leatherface? Sadly, these horror icons are based on some of history’s most disturbing crimes. Take a look at the true stories behind these horror movie legends.

Ghost Face Killer – Scream

Wes Craven’s iconic Scream franchise has become a horror genre staple. The Ghost Face Killer mask can be found all over the streets on Halloween night. Well, if you want to be even more creeped out by the Ghost Face Killer mask, discover the real killer screenwriter Kevin Williamson channeled for the movies. 

The Gainesville Killer was a real serial killer terrorizing Florida college students in 1990. The Gainesville Killer, or Danny Rolling, was responsible for the deaths of five college students over the span of just three days.

In Gainesville, Florida, Rolling killed one student from Santa Fe College and four students from the University of Florida. Their bodies were mutilated and one was even decapitated. Rolling had also posed the victims’ bodies just like Scream’s Ghost Face Killer.

However, unlike Ghost Face Killer, the Gainesville Killer would attack mostly petite brunettes with brown eyes. Rolling had raped most of his female victims before stabbing them multiple times in the back. All of these victims were posed in sexual positions, while the male victim was left as he died. 

Jennifer Check – Jennifer’s Body

When Jennifer’s Body was first released in 2009, let’s just say it was pearls before swine. The horror/comedy follows a teenage girl who turns into a demon after a rock band tries to use her for a satanic ritual gone wrong. Jennifer’s Body is a clever horror film that plays against the usually sexist horror genre tropes. 

Well, our favorite hot demon is actually based on a real-life teen victim. The awful attempted murder of Jennifer Check resembles the real murder of Elyse Pahler. Pahler’s death is one of the most shocking cases of satanic ritual sacrifice in U.S. history. 

On July 22nd, 1995, Pahler was invited to hang out with teens Jacob Delashmutt, Royce Casey, and Joseph Fiorella to smoke marijuana. However, after the effects of the drug subdued Pahler, the three boys strangled and repeatedly stabbed her. The three boys had apparently all taken turns mutilating fifteen-year-old Pahler. 

To make matters worse, the boys left her body in the grove where she was killed and would continue to return to sexually assaulting her dead body. The boys had even bragged about the murder to fellow classmates, but no one ever believed them.

Later, the boys would reveal that they thought by sacrificing Pahler to Satan, their death metal band would become famous. However, Casey soon suffered from guilt and reported to the police what the three of them had done. Elyse Pahler’s body was found eight months after she was killed. Unlike Jennifer Check, Elyse Pahler was never able to get her revenge.  

Leatherface – The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Although The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is only lightly based on a real serial killer, the similarities are enough to either terrify or nauseate (or both). Tobe Hooper’s 1974 horror movie spawned a franchise mascot for the ages, Leatherface. Although Leatherface’s inspiration Ed Gein never used a chainsaw, Gein’s property matches the house of horrors seen in the movie. 

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre closely depicts what police had witnessed in 1957 at Gein’s home. Similar to the home of Leatherface, Gein had human remains all over his property, some even used as furniture. From skulls on bedposts to human skin as sofa fabric, Ed Gein’s home was truly hell on earth. 

Serial killer Ed Gein is known for his mutilation of his victims and has had plenty of horror icons based on his crimes including Norman Bates (Psycho), Buffalo Bill (The Silence of the Lambs), and even Patrick Bateman (American Psycho). 

What other movies are based on true crimes? Did you know Ghost Face Killer was based on the Gainesville Killer? Let us know in the comments below!

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