There’s nothing creepier than a creepy doll that’s totally possessed, right? What about a creepy doll that’s actually totally possessed and two ghost hunters have the proof?
That’s the terrifying backstory behind Annabelle, the new horror movie starring that terrifyingly terrorizing doll from select scenes of The Conjuring. As the story goes, real-life ghostbusters Ed and Lorraine Warren apparently encountered a Raggedy Ann doll named Annabelle during a routine exorcism in the apartment of two college-aged girls. This doll had reportedly been moving on its own, spurting blood and even targeting the girls’ male friend. The Warrens say they investigated Annabelle and deemed her motivated by a demon (whose origins we learn about in Annabelle). According to the story, the Warrens initially took Annabelle away and gave her free reign in their home, but once she started acting up again, they called in a priest. And once that priest was in a near-fatal car accident after telling the doll off, they locked her up for good in a special box inside their museum of similarly spooky finds.
Annabelle is still in the Warrens’ place to this day. Actor Patrick Wilson, who played Ed in The Conjuring, even posted pictures on his Instagram account of his visits to her resting — or is it waiting? — place.
— patrick wilson (@patrickwilson73) October 3, 2014
The scariest thing though, is that Annabelle isn’t even the most chilling cinematic creation to come out of actual horror stories. Since it’s nearly Halloween, the season for the spooky and the scary, let’s play the Warrens and investigate 10 horror movies that reportedly come from truly bloodcurdling life experiences.
These movies are scary, but the true stories that inspired them are even scarier
The Amityville HorrorThis 1979 flick with James Brolin and Margot Kidder was based on the novel about the lives of the Lutzes — a family that moved into a "haunted" house in Amityville, NY in the '70s. The story is that the Lutzes began noticing strange things: moving items, dank liquids dripping from walls and demonic footprints and eyes. (Continued)MGM
The Amityville HorrorSome (the Warrens) felt the haunting was due to the previous family being slaughtered there. Today, some tales have been refuted or taken back (a helping priest who wound up with lashes and a message to GET OUT). But the real Lutzs always maintained they were haunted; a recent documentary, My Amityville Horror, has one of the sons retelling it pretty convincingly.MGM
The Exorcism of Emily RoseEmily Rose, aka Anneliese Michel, definitely existed. In the '60s, the twenty-something German, appeared possessed: she reacted to holy water, growled, wanted to kill animals and drank her bodily fluids. A very religious person to start, she also had extreme epileptic attacks and heard voices telling her dark things, like she was ripe for damnation. (Continued)Sony Pictures
The Exorcism of Emily RoseMany doctors attempted to help Anneliese, but she continued her downward spiral so her parents called in priests. They couldn't help either and she eventually starved herself to death. Anneliese's parents and priests were charged with negligent manslaughter, with the courts refusing to admit she may have been possessed. Sony Pictures
ZodiacAs many know, The Zodiac killer featured in this 2007 David Fincher film actually terrorized California in the '60s and '70s. In fact, San Francisco Chronicle cartoonist Robert Graysmith wrote a detailed account of the note-leaving serial murderer, which served as the inspiration for James Vanderbilt's screenplay (Jake Gyllenhaal played Graysmith on screen). (Continued)Paramount Pictures
ZodiacIn that book and movie, you see examples of the horror he/she inflicted, including the sudden and random shooting /stabbing of a couple in a park in the middle of the day and at least seven other confirmed murders. The Zodiac claimed to take more than 30 lives, but what’s truly chilling is that he or she was never caught. Paramount Pictures
Open WaterIn this 2003 flick two tourists are stranded in the middle of the ocean with sharks. In real life, Tom and Eileen Lonergan were scuba diving on a 1998 trip to Australia's Great Barrier Reef. Just like the movie, they were accidentally abandoned in — you guessed it — open water. The worst part is that while their passports and other things were recovered, neither Tom's nor Eileen's body was ever found.Plunge Pictures LLC
The StrangersThe Strangers is a slow-moving slasher that follows a couple (Scott Speedman and Liv Tyler) who are targeted by anonymous masked killers. But it came from director Bryan Bertino's childhood memory of a stranger knocking in the night, looking for someone Bryan didn't know. He went on to terrorize other homes in his neighbourhood. (Continued)Universal Studios Home Entertainment
The StrangersBertino also drew inspiration from the Charles Manson murders, where the infamous serial killer would have his followers prove their allegiance by preying on random suburban households just for kicks.Getty
A Nightmare on Elm StreetFreddy? Yup. Well, sort of. In the '70s, male Cambodian refuges reported extremely disturbing nightmares after escaping genocide. These men, all under the age of 60, tried to stay up after these night terrors and many ended up mysteriously dying when they fell asleep. This horrific plight was eventually named Sudden Adult Death Syndrome and is still said to have caused the deaths of many young men in the Philippines.New Line Cinema
The Hills Have EyesLike tales of cannibals? Prepare to eat this one up. In 15th and 16th century Scotland, Alexander "Sawney" Bean, his wife and their oversized family of children and grandchildren ate thousands of people. Apparently Sawney and his clan would draw in villagers and passersby, slaughter them and then serve them up as dinner. (Continued)20th Century Fox Entertainment
The Hills Have EyesThey were supposedly clever about it too, staying hidden for years upon years until James VI of Scotland ordered a manhunt for them, captured them and then sentenced them to gruesome deaths (we're talking disembowelment, burning alive, hanging and bleeding out). Wes Craven’s X-rated tale of incestuous people-eaters came out years later, in 1977.Getty
The Texas Chainsaw MassacreLeatherface and his deranged relatives were loosely based on serial killer Ed Gein. In 1950 the man went on a reign of terror, killing multiple women in Wisconsin and keeping numerous body parts, including skin, for his own personal use. The details are gross, but let's just say he made good use of everything, finding ways to fashion organs and skin into clothing items and keepsakes to show off as faux paraphernalia. (Continued)Astral Films
The Texas Chainsaw MassacreOne of his ultimate goals was supposedly to make a skin suit, which would allow him to — literally, he thought — live the life of his dead mother. In addition to Texas Chainsaw, Gein also inspired Psycho (see: the dead mother fascination), as well as Silence of the Lambs (see: the skin suit). In other words, although this guy is long since dead, his insanely morbid and haunting legacy lives on.Universal Pictures
The Mothman PropheciesIn 1966 Virginia, when several lovers hanging out at a makeout point reportedly saw a six-foot-tall creature with red eyes and wings, many were fascinated -- including author John Keel. As time went on, hundreds more people were said to have seen this "Mothman," as well as a slew of other strange occurrences (think slaughtered pets and UFO sightings). (Continued)Sony Pictures
The Mothman PropheciesKeel himself got knee-deep into the phenomenon, as he reportedly started receiving prophecies about dark events to come. He was told there would be a "blackout" in the northeast of America when the president (Lyndon B. Johnson) turned on the Christmas lights and sure enough, that night saw the collapse of a bridge across the Ohio river. Of the 60 or so people injured, 44 were named dead and apparently a lot of them had been touched in some way by the Mothman.Amazon.com
The Girl Next DoorThe 2007 horror flick (based on Jack Ketchum's novel) revolved around the abuse and eventual murder of a girl in 1965 Indiana. Sylvia Likens and her sister were abandoned by their carnie, criminal parents, but taken in by Gertrude Baniszewski and her children. From the start, Baniszewski brutally punished Sylvia for fairly minor things, like when a boy was interested in her. (Continued)Modern Girl Productions
The Girl Next DoorThings quickly ramped up, as Baniszewski encouraged her kids and other neighbourhood children to burn Sylvia and force her to insert glass bottles in places they shouldn't go. Later, she was kept tied in the basement, where she was forced to survive on her own bodily fluids. Eventually, the 16-year-old died after one torture session that saw her being beaten and burned. Modern Girl Productions