Have you ever noticed that the words “based on a true story” precede suspenseful movies? Sometimes, movies’ creators aren’t entirely honest and tell us a fictional story based on the background of a real event, leading us to believe that the entire plot is real. Of course, this is not always the case. We’ve prepared several stories that were not only the basis for different films but the very heart of good films and TV series as well. But read carefully because this article contains spoilers!
This article describes stories about relationships between real people that movie plots were built around. Bright Side even managed to find a weird but true story about a ghost that terrorized a family. You’ll have to see it for yourself.
The story of Gypsy and Dee Dee Blanchard — TV show, The Act
Dee Dee Blanchard was the perfect mother. But it was quite obvious that she had a tough life. Everyone knew that her daughter Gypsy was seriously ill. The girl had a list of diagnoses that couldn’t even fit on one page. She could only move in a wheelchair and couldn’t eat solid food because she underwent a gastric bypass. Gypsy also had trouble with her hearing and vision and even had several serious surgeries. Dee Dee kept taking her daughter to different doctors and it seemed that she did everything she could to make her life easier.
In 2015, Dee Dee was murdered in her own house. Her daughter went missing even though all her wheelchairs and oxygen tanks were left at home.
It turned out that the girl had talked a guy she knew from Facebook into killing her mother and after the murder, she escaped along with him. The medical examination showed that the suspect was completely healthy. All her diagnoses were made up by her mother who spent years giving her child unnecessary medical procedures. They were completely useless.
Shelves of Gypsy’s medications
“I was treated for asthma and convulsions. I took pills to go to the toilet, I took painkillers, anti-anxiety medications. I used a breathing machine every evening. I hated it because it made breathing harder, not easier. And also, there was a machine for a feeding tube that controlled everything I ate. All my medications were given through the tube. I didn’t even wake up and my mother could give me anything.”
Gypsy was found guilty as an accessory to murder, but they took mitigating circumstances (such as psychological violence) into account. The girl was sentenced to 10 years in prison with the possibility of parole.
The TV show The Act was based on her true story.
Observations in Mason County — movie, The Mothman Prophecies
On November 15, 1966, the Mason County police were contacted by 2 young couples. They said that they had seen a strange creature that looked like a man with red glowing eyes that had wings. This thing allegedly chased their car for several miles.
It turned out that they weren’t the only people who saw this creature. The same day, gravediggers contacted the police and said that they had seen the same thing in the graveyard. A local fire crew came to the police with the same problems, describing it as a giant bird with huge red eyes. The locals started calling this figure The Mothman. The news about its appearance kept coming up until December 15, 1967. After that, people stopped seeing it.
That day, in West Virginia, The Silver Bridge broke down. The tragedy took the lives of 46 people. Paranormal investigators and ufologists connect the tragedy with the appearance of the “thing”.
The movie The Mothman Prophecies was based on this story.
The story of Robledo Puch — movie, El Ángel
A man from Argentina, Robledo Puch was found guilty of committing 11 murders and 25 other crimes. He’s currently serving a life sentence in a high-security facility. But when you look at photos of this person, it’s hard to believe that he’s actually capable of committing these terrible crimes. So, because of how different his appearance is from his actions, he was named the Angel of Death.
Back when he was in high school, he met his future associates. They committed robberies and they never left any witnesses alive. Robledo’s associates also died under quite strange circumstances.
Puch was diagnosed with psychopathy accompanied by bursts of anger. Even in prison where he is now, he regularly shows very strange and aggressive behavior. This is why he continually doesn’t make parole: he’s still too dangerous to live among other people.
Puch became one of the most notorious criminals in the history of Argentina and his biography was the basis for the 2018 film, El Ángel.
Murderous dreams — film, A Nightmare on Elm Street
Once, director Wes Craven read a story in the Los Angeles Times about a married couple that came to the US from Cambodia. The son of this couple was tortured by nightmares. They were so scary that the boy refused to fall asleep which was very bad for his health.
As a result, doctors recommended the couple change their place of living. The parents listened to the experts and moved to Los Angeles. When the child finally went to sleep, the parents thought that it was over, but at night, they heard their son scream. By the time they got into his room, the boy was already unconscious. They failed to save him.
Craven was so blown away by this story that he decided to shoot a movie A Nightmare on Elm Street. And it was a great decision. The story turned out to be really eerie and original and the viewers didn’t forget about the story long after watching.
It’s worth noting that there have been many cases of people dying at night because of nightmares. And the circumstances are always the same: a person has a scary dream, they scream, and then their heart stops. Asian men are in a higher risk group.
The story of Yossi Ghinsberg — movie, Jungle
In 1981, an ex-soldier of the Israeli navy, Yossi Ghinsberg, read an autobiographical book Papillon by Henri Charrière and was very inspired by the story. With his friend Marcus and two more guys, Kevin and Karl, Ghinsberg went on a trip through the Bolivian rainforest.
Karl, who described himself as a geologist, promised to lead the pack of travelers to the territory of a remote tribe. They went down the Beni river and stayed in local villages. But soon, the travelers ran out of food and they started eating monkeys. The guys deviated from their planned track. More than that, it soon became obvious that Karl was not a geologist, he was a criminal who was an illicit gold miner. The tension was rising and the travelers decided to go back.
Yossi and Kevin were supposed to travel by the river and Marcus and Karl who couldn’t swim decided to walk on foot. Because of a waterfall, Kevin’s and Yossi’s raft crashed, Kevin got to the shore and Yossi was dragged by the water. Yossi spent several days looking for his friend until he realized he was lost.
For 3 weeks, Ghinsberg survived in the wild rainforest without any gear or food. He looked for food and tried to keep safe from predators. In the end, Kevin, who was saved by local fishermen, appeared with help. And we know nothing about what happened to Karl and Marcus.
The film Jungle starring Daniel Radcliff was based on this story.
The story of the Hodgson family — TV show, The Enfield Haunting
In 1977, in one of the houses in the English town of Enfield, a strange thing happened. The Hodgson family, consisting of a mother and her 4 children, were going out when suddenly, they heard unusual sounds. In the beginning, the mother thought that the girls were just messing around but soon, her doubts went away.
According to the story, when she entered the sisters’ room, a heavy cabinet that was on the wall started moving toward her. Miss Hodgson tried to push the piece of furniture away but it kept moving closer to her at a much faster pace. She said that she could hear someone’s feet walking on the floor.
The next day, they called the police but couldn’t explain the phenomenon and inventor Maurice Gross and writer Guy Lyon Playfair started investigating the event. They witnessed some other strange things in the house. They were even able to record one of the sisters speaking in someone else’s voice (they thought she was possessed by an old man’s spirit). You can hear the recording here.
But later, the girls were accused of deception. But they said that they only rarely pranked the investigators to check out how competent they were.
The show The Enfield Haunting was based on this story.
The stories of Dennis Rader and Edmund Kemper — TV show, The Fall
On April 24, 1973, a seemingly nice man named Edmund Kemper was given 8 life sentences. This suspect that gave off the impression of being a reasonable, kind man killed students along with his own relatives.
In 2005, a man who seemed to be just as good as Kemper was also in the courtroom. He was also a good family man, Dennis Rader. As it turned out, his hobby was killing entire families. He dreamed of people writing articles about him on the front pages of newspapers. Later he told the police about these ideas. He was sentenced to life in prison.
Both of these stories inspired the creators of the TV series The Fall to write a detective script. The main role was played by Gillian Anderson.
What films do you like that are based on true events? Tell us in the comment section below.
Preview photo credit Mommy Dead and Dearest / HBO, The Act / Universal Cable Productions