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Behind the Horror: True Stories That Inspired Horror Movies

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Uncover the twisted tales that inspired the big screen's greatest screams. Which case of demonic possession inspired The Exorcist? What horrifying front-page story generated the idea for A Nightmare on Elm Street? Which film was based on the infamous skin-wearing murderer Ed Gein? Unearth the terrifying and true tales behind some of the scariest Horror movies to ever haunt o Uncover the twisted tales that inspired the big screen's greatest screams. Which case of demonic possession inspired The Exorcist? What horrifying front-page story generated the idea for A Nightmare on Elm Street? Which film was based on the infamous skin-wearing murderer Ed Gein? Unearth the terrifying and true tales behind some of the scariest Horror movies to ever haunt our screens, including the Enfield poltergeist case that was retold in The Conjuring 2 and the serial killers who inspired Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs. Behind the Horror dissects these and other bizarre tales to reveal haunting real-life stories of abduction, disappearance, murder, and exorcism.


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Uncover the twisted tales that inspired the big screen's greatest screams. Which case of demonic possession inspired The Exorcist? What horrifying front-page story generated the idea for A Nightmare on Elm Street? Which film was based on the infamous skin-wearing murderer Ed Gein? Unearth the terrifying and true tales behind some of the scariest Horror movies to ever haunt o Uncover the twisted tales that inspired the big screen's greatest screams. Which case of demonic possession inspired The Exorcist? What horrifying front-page story generated the idea for A Nightmare on Elm Street? Which film was based on the infamous skin-wearing murderer Ed Gein? Unearth the terrifying and true tales behind some of the scariest Horror movies to ever haunt our screens, including the Enfield poltergeist case that was retold in The Conjuring 2 and the serial killers who inspired Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs. Behind the Horror dissects these and other bizarre tales to reveal haunting real-life stories of abduction, disappearance, murder, and exorcism.

30 review for Behind the Horror: True Stories That Inspired Horror Movies

  1. 5 out of 5

    Johann (jobis89)

    “As for the doll, it remains in the Warrens’ museum to this day, inside a case marked “Warning, positively do not open.”” Is there anything more terrifying/exciting than when you’re watching a horror movie that is based on a true story?? There’s a certain thrill associated with exposing yourself to such movies - will I be able to separate myself from the horror or will I not sleep tonight?! Behind the Horror is a book that will appeal to horror movie fans, as well as true crime fanatics and those “As for the doll, it remains in the Warrens’ museum to this day, inside a case marked “Warning, positively do not open.”” Is there anything more terrifying/exciting than when you’re watching a horror movie that is based on a true story?? There’s a certain thrill associated with exposing yourself to such movies - will I be able to separate myself from the horror or will I not sleep tonight?! Behind the Horror is a book that will appeal to horror movie fans, as well as true crime fanatics and those who enjoy the paranormal - and if you happen to love all of those, like myself, then it will feel like the holy grail. In each chapter, Dr Lee Mellor tackles a different horror movie that is inspired by a real life story. First and foremost, there are spoilers for the horror movies that Mellor is discussing, so you’ve been warned! Luckily I had already seen most of the movies covered, and those that I haven’t seen I didn’t care too much about reading the plot. Each chapter opens with a short summary of the movie in question, before Mellor delves into the surrounding background. Numerous famous movies and cases are explored, from The Exorcist, Jaws and The Conjuring to the crimes of Ted Bundy, the exorcism of “Roland Doe” and the Salem witch trials. And shout out to my faves Ed and Lorraine Warren who made a few appearances! But there were also a few less popular ones that I had never heard of before, such as the Texarkana moonlight murders and the Gainesville Ripper. All very interesting. I enjoyed revisiting the stories and movies that I know so well, in addition to learning some new facts and trivia that I can slide up my sleeve for future reference. I’d definitely recommend! Oh, and there’s pictures included! Always a bonus. 4 stars.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Scott Neumann

    An interesting book that tells the true stories behind the crimes that film makers based some of their works on. Most of these I was familiar with, since they air these stories on Discovery ID, or Reelz and stream now on Discovery+, but the Hitchcock ones like "Rope and "Frenzy" I wasn't, plus it was nice to get them in short story form with just the facts and none of the exposition they use to pad out an hour long show. Overall if you are interested in true crime and where directors and screenw An interesting book that tells the true stories behind the crimes that film makers based some of their works on. Most of these I was familiar with, since they air these stories on Discovery ID, or Reelz and stream now on Discovery+, but the Hitchcock ones like "Rope and "Frenzy" I wasn't, plus it was nice to get them in short story form with just the facts and none of the exposition they use to pad out an hour long show. Overall if you are interested in true crime and where directors and screenwriters get their ideas from well this is for you.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Daviau

    This is an absolute must read for any horror and/or true crime fan. I was completely hooked from the very first page, I couldn’t get enough of this book. Getting to see the true crime and other origins of some of my favourite horror movies was truly fascinating! I didn’t know any of the facts presented in this book, I’ve never delved into where the movies I love so much came from before. It was all new information for me and my mind absolutely was blown by what I was reading. It’s fascinating to This is an absolute must read for any horror and/or true crime fan. I was completely hooked from the very first page, I couldn’t get enough of this book. Getting to see the true crime and other origins of some of my favourite horror movies was truly fascinating! I didn’t know any of the facts presented in this book, I’ve never delved into where the movies I love so much came from before. It was all new information for me and my mind absolutely was blown by what I was reading. It’s fascinating to see how closely horror and true crime are related in some cases, I honestly had no idea. I really loved reading where the more supernatural/religious movies like The Exorcist came from as well, once again, all new information for me. I really, truly couldn’t have enjoyed this book more and I can’t stress enough how much you should read this book if you’re into horror and true crime!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Peter Monn

    Boring. I knew most of these cases. But it does discuss many movies and their inspirations.

  5. 4 out of 5

    ❤️

    This is a fun crossover between horror and true crime. If you're really into horror, you may already know a lot of what this book has to offer, but there were things even I was only vaguely familiar with, if at all, regarding the full details. It's a succinct little book, but still gives a really good amount of all the essential info of each case it discusses, and even when Mellor discussed how most of the paranormal cases have since been debunked he did so without diminishing the impact those st This is a fun crossover between horror and true crime. If you're really into horror, you may already know a lot of what this book has to offer, but there were things even I was only vaguely familiar with, if at all, regarding the full details. It's a succinct little book, but still gives a really good amount of all the essential info of each case it discusses, and even when Mellor discussed how most of the paranormal cases have since been debunked he did so without diminishing the impact those stories had on the horror genre. If you like horror movies, or learning about true crime, and especially if you like both, this is definitely a worthwhile little book to read. Although, do keep in mind that it does spoil each film it talks about.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Scott Rhee

    Did you know that: ****Wes Craven came up with the idea for “A Nightmare on Elm Street” after reading about a real-life epidemic of mysterious sleeping deaths. Primarily occurring in males from Southeast Asia, Sudden Unexplained Nocturnal Death Syndrome (SUNDS) is exactly what it sounds like: dying suddenly in one’s sleep. There are many different causes for this, including pre-existing heart disease, but Craven wondered if it couldn’t also be some strange guy in an ugly sweater with knives for h Did you know that: ****Wes Craven came up with the idea for “A Nightmare on Elm Street” after reading about a real-life epidemic of mysterious sleeping deaths. Primarily occurring in males from Southeast Asia, Sudden Unexplained Nocturnal Death Syndrome (SUNDS) is exactly what it sounds like: dying suddenly in one’s sleep. There are many different causes for this, including pre-existing heart disease, but Craven wondered if it couldn’t also be some strange guy in an ugly sweater with knives for hands jumping inexplicably into your subconscious and killing you in your dream. Who’s to say it isn’t? ****A real-life shark attack in Beach Haven, New Jersey in 1916 left four dead and one seriously injured. Steven Spielberg’s “Jaws” (and the Peter Benchley novel it was based on) was loosely based on this incident. Also, the story that Quint (Robert Shaw) relates in the movie about the USS Indianapolis is a true story. During World War II, in the Pacific, the U.S. battleship was sunk by a Japanese submarine. Of the crew of 1195 men, roughly 900 survived the bombing. Unfortunately, in the days that followed, the splashing and bleeding survivors attracted numerous sharks, and a feeding frenzy began. Not even four days later, when rescue finally arrived, only 316 men were left alive. ****Anthony Hopkin’s Oscar-winning performance of the sociopathic but charming Dr. Hannibal Lecter is a composite character based on three famous serial killers: a Mexican doctor named Alfredo Trevino who killed and dismembered his lover and buried the body parts in a small box; Russia’s most famous serial killer, Andrei Chikatilo, who was arrested and executed for the murders (and cannibalization) of 53 women and children; and “The Monster of Florence”, an Italian serial killer alleged to have killed 14 people whose identity is still unknown today. ****The 1979 film “The Amityville Horror” was all bullshit. Based on a book by Jay Anson claiming to be a true story, the truth behind the film is even crazier. The Lutz family bought the famous house in 1975 for a great deal, mainly due to the fact that the previous owners were murdered in it. Over many nights of wine-drinking and telling wild ghost stories, the Lutzes and a lawyer named William Weber decided to have Anson write a book about their “paranormal experience” in the house. Weber admitted years later that the whole thing was “a hoax” with the sole purpose of making money. The fact that gullible people still believe that the house is haunted is testament to the fact that everybody loves a good ghost story. These are just a few of the many cool “true stories” behind some classic horror films in Dr. Lee Mellor’s “Behind the Horror”. I could go on and on—-especially about the numerous pre-war German serial killers that formed the basis for Fritz Lang’s classic 1931 film “M: A City Searches for a Murderer” or the real-life exorcism that was the basis for William Friedkin’s “The Exorcist”—-but I don’t want to give all the fun away. And this book is, especially for horror fans, a lot of fun.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nick

    Solid book! A great read for horror fans as well as true crime fans alike. I liked how each chapter starts off with a quick synopsis of the movie plot then dives into a detailed account of the true life event , or events, that inspired the movies. Psycho , Texas Chainsaw massacre , the exorcist, Jaws, The town that dreaded Sundown, The serpent and the rainbow, the silence of the lambs, Sream, wolf creek, and the conjuring universe to name a few. Some fun facts: Silence of the Lambs was based off Solid book! A great read for horror fans as well as true crime fans alike. I liked how each chapter starts off with a quick synopsis of the movie plot then dives into a detailed account of the true life event , or events, that inspired the movies. Psycho , Texas Chainsaw massacre , the exorcist, Jaws, The town that dreaded Sundown, The serpent and the rainbow, the silence of the lambs, Sream, wolf creek, and the conjuring universe to name a few. Some fun facts: Silence of the Lambs was based off a whole smorgasbord of true life serial killers. Hannibal was based off of a handful and Buffalo Bill was based off 2 real life killers plus ther FBI agents in the movie were based off 2 real life agents as well. RIP, to Wes Craven who was a master of horror. Scream, The Nightmare of elm st and The serpent and the rainbow were all featured in here and everyone knows that scream and NOES were 2 groundbreaking movies.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lorel Holt

    This book was okay. I did enjoy hearing about all the movies that were based on true stories. I had no idea that Jaws was and now I’m even more terrified of the ocean. But overall it just felt like the author was just throwing facts at you and got to be a little boring at points. I’d say if you don’t know the stories behind these movies already, it’s definitely interesting, but if you already know them, I would skip it.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sean Kennedy

    There wasn’t really much here I didn’t already know but it was fun to have in one book. The main issue were small little mistakes about the films themselves. Yes, they were minor ones but enough to make me wonder how the author made them in the first place and how nobody else picked up on them in proof reading. An example being that Scream apparently starts off with the murder of a ‘babysitter’.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Miriam

    5 stars audio 5+++++ riveting and enlightening stars story

  11. 4 out of 5

    Natalie 8luebird

    True Crime/ Horror will never cease to be the thing that terrifies me the most. For me, nothing is scarier than reality and when reading this book, I genuinely found myself scared shitless. It’s the unknown. The invasion of safe space. The unpredictability of (hu)man. The idea that someone could gain your trust, infiltrate your life, and then take it. It’s the depth of darkness and depravity that dwells in the human mind. And how that may manifest. It’s the tangibility. The possibility. The simpl True Crime/ Horror will never cease to be the thing that terrifies me the most. For me, nothing is scarier than reality and when reading this book, I genuinely found myself scared shitless. It’s the unknown. The invasion of safe space. The unpredictability of (hu)man. The idea that someone could gain your trust, infiltrate your life, and then take it. It’s the depth of darkness and depravity that dwells in the human mind. And how that may manifest. It’s the tangibility. The possibility. The simple actuality that you are governed entirely by uncontrollable circumstance. You may wake up one day for it be to your last, and yet be completely oblivious. For all the fear it inspired in me, I found Behind the Horror fascinating and exhilarating. When people ask why we enjoy horror and true crime, the answer comes from science. The biochemical reaction that is piston triggered by fear releases a heady, euphoric rush of adrenaline, dopamine and endorphins (which is extremely valuable to a person who is naturally low on these), acting on the opiate receptors in our brains to encourage pleasure and pain relief. Sexy! Whilst providing a suitable sense of shit scared (but safe) satisfaction, this book is actually very informative without being overbearing. There are brief, spoiler inclusive, summaries of the films before the author delves into their individual inspirations. The inclusion of photographs (which I viewed by daylight) was a brilliant touch that allowed for the truly terrifying experience of matching a murderous mystery to an actual face that would be seared into the brain before creeping into your dreams that very night. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Though I did end up checking the locks and under the bed just in case. I recommend it to all horror fans.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Harry (otherworldsthanthese)

    Behind the Horror is an incredibly interesting insight into the stories that inspired many of the horror genre's classic movies. However, the book consists of exactly what it says on the tin, and nothing else. In terms of enjoyment, this book is a little lacking, and the only thing that drives the book forward is the reader's desire to know more, rather than something which the book itself caused. Although, if you just want to learn about the true stories which are responsible for the creation o Behind the Horror is an incredibly interesting insight into the stories that inspired many of the horror genre's classic movies. However, the book consists of exactly what it says on the tin, and nothing else. In terms of enjoyment, this book is a little lacking, and the only thing that drives the book forward is the reader's desire to know more, rather than something which the book itself caused. Although, if you just want to learn about the true stories which are responsible for the creation of cinematic masterpieces, you can't go wrong here.

  13. 4 out of 5

    ~Madison

    It was good! Some chapters were super disturbing and it made me not be able to read this at night lol

  14. 5 out of 5

    Stacey-Lea

    3.5 stars Behind the Horror was far more analytical than I thought it might be and less focused on the film aspect as I had hoped. I still found majority of the book intriguing but a few of the chapters definitely slowed me down in the factual depths Dr Lee Millor went into. Still a fascinating read for those of us with the morbid curiosities of true horror stories and the love of horror film. I've rounded this up to four stars purely for the chapters on The Silence of the Lambs,Scream (though I 3.5 stars Behind the Horror was far more analytical than I thought it might be and less focused on the film aspect as I had hoped. I still found majority of the book intriguing but a few of the chapters definitely slowed me down in the factual depths Dr Lee Millor went into. Still a fascinating read for those of us with the morbid curiosities of true horror stories and the love of horror film. I've rounded this up to four stars purely for the chapters on The Silence of the Lambs,Scream (though I was confused about the apparent opening murder being that of a babysitter?), and The Witch and The Lighthouse. Which were all toward the end finally moving me through the book a lot faster because of my love for these films.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Dollie

    This book reveals the real stories which horror movies are based on, starting with M in 1931 to The Lighthouse in 2019. I liked this book and found it very interesting as I’ve seen all but a couple of the movies. Subjects covered include Ed Gein, Ted Bundy, the Green River Killer, the Mothman and even the Salem Witch Trials. I was a bit surprised to find that the town I live in was mentioned in the Salem Witch Trials chapter.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    As a true crime and horror fan this book was an obvious choice for me and it was so, so good! I've always said if a horror film scares me then that is how I rate it as being good and as you can imagine ones inspired by true events are usually very highly rated by me because if a horror film could actually happen in real life then that is the pinnacle of fear in my opinion so to learn about the actual crimes that inspired some of my all time favourite horror films was so interesting. Each chapter As a true crime and horror fan this book was an obvious choice for me and it was so, so good! I've always said if a horror film scares me then that is how I rate it as being good and as you can imagine ones inspired by true events are usually very highly rated by me because if a horror film could actually happen in real life then that is the pinnacle of fear in my opinion so to learn about the actual crimes that inspired some of my all time favourite horror films was so interesting. Each chapter in this great non-fic read is based on a different horror film and goes into detail about the cases that inspired the directors and writers of iconic horror films when they were working on them to help create the films we know today. It was incredibly interesting and filled with so many facts and so much information to really help you delve into the cases. Overall, I highly recommend this book if you are a fan of true crime and horror!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Danni The Girl

    Oh what a cracker of a book. Well, I say cracker, I mean it was so interesting. Each section is a different horror film, that then goes into detail about the true stories behind the horror films. I loved reading most of this. I think the only reason I didn't give it 5 stars, was for some reason the stories that were based on ghosts bored me. I just wasn't interested in them. The real-life stories really caught my attention, and it was interesting as well to see the differences between the true s Oh what a cracker of a book. Well, I say cracker, I mean it was so interesting. Each section is a different horror film, that then goes into detail about the true stories behind the horror films. I loved reading most of this. I think the only reason I didn't give it 5 stars, was for some reason the stories that were based on ghosts bored me. I just wasn't interested in them. The real-life stories really caught my attention, and it was interesting as well to see the differences between the true stories and how they translated them to film. The only one I wasn't sure about was The Exorcist......because that's a book... and I have read it, but yea this is a cracking read, and I feel like it really helped me from slipping into a slump. Pick it up! 

  18. 5 out of 5

    Karen Bullock

    Quite possibly the coolest non fiction book I have come across this year, combining my two literary loves: horror & true crime. 17 horror movies discussed and the very informative true life experiences that inspired these block buster hits. Some are based off of heinous crimes and the serial killers we’ve watched countless documentaries on, whereas others fall under the scope of paranormal, and the strange and unusual. If you love scary movies and true crime, and parapsychology? this is a book you Quite possibly the coolest non fiction book I have come across this year, combining my two literary loves: horror & true crime. 17 horror movies discussed and the very informative true life experiences that inspired these block buster hits. Some are based off of heinous crimes and the serial killers we’ve watched countless documentaries on, whereas others fall under the scope of paranormal, and the strange and unusual. If you love scary movies and true crime, and parapsychology? this is a book you shouldn’t miss! Grateful to have found this gem.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Goodwin

    A well-researched collection of true crime incidents that served as inspiration for some of the greatest horror movies of all time. Mellor has an easy and unpretentious writing style sprinkled with wry humour to sometimes counteract the incredibly bleak and violent subject matter. The tales, and often hoaxes, behind the poltergeist- inspired films, such as 'Poltergeist' and the 'Amityville Horror' are the weaker chapters, but overall, this was an enjoyable page-turner. A well-researched collection of true crime incidents that served as inspiration for some of the greatest horror movies of all time. Mellor has an easy and unpretentious writing style sprinkled with wry humour to sometimes counteract the incredibly bleak and violent subject matter. The tales, and often hoaxes, behind the poltergeist- inspired films, such as 'Poltergeist' and the 'Amityville Horror' are the weaker chapters, but overall, this was an enjoyable page-turner.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lydia Peever

    Perfect intersection of crime and horror. Gives some background to what built some favourite movies and added a couple to my watch list. With Dr. Mellor's style being conversational, the true accounts read stranger than fiction and as ever, more terrifying. Perfect intersection of crime and horror. Gives some background to what built some favourite movies and added a couple to my watch list. With Dr. Mellor's style being conversational, the true accounts read stranger than fiction and as ever, more terrifying.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn

    Review to come.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Hyzie

    I feel like I might have enjoyed this more if I hadn't audiobooked it? I've been listening to a lot of true crime AND horror movie podcasts, so this seemed like exactly what I needed next, but the voice and delivery was really dry for the content and it made it hard to stay focused. The lack of an introduction also really threw me. I'm used to a bit of "hey, here's what's going on and why I wrote this" and this dove straight into the first story. I actually backed up the audiobook because I thou I feel like I might have enjoyed this more if I hadn't audiobooked it? I've been listening to a lot of true crime AND horror movie podcasts, so this seemed like exactly what I needed next, but the voice and delivery was really dry for the content and it made it hard to stay focused. The lack of an introduction also really threw me. I'm used to a bit of "hey, here's what's going on and why I wrote this" and this dove straight into the first story. I actually backed up the audiobook because I thought I'd somehow skipped a chapter. The stories chosen are interesting, though occasionally I found the connections to the movies a little bit of a stretch. Maybe there was some inspiration drawn, but I didn't really think it was the story "behind" some of these. Obviously others were exactly what was behind the story, including all the stuff about the Warrens, but I did occasionally forget what movie I was supposed to be hearing the story behind. Overall, it's an interesting selection of true crime and horror connections and I might pick it back up as a book to see if I get more out of it without the oddly calm voice of the narrator.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Missy (myweereads)

    “There is nothing scarier than a true story” Behind The Horror by Dr Lee Mellor is an in-depth look at the true stories which influenced the horror movies we have all come to know and enjoy. He takes each movie and relates it to the true events which inspired the stories to be told. A lot of the movies mentioned are well known to me from watching and enjoying them and it’s true the moment you see the phrase “based on a true story” it adds that whole new element of horror. Movies such as Jaws, Psyc “There is nothing scarier than a true story” Behind The Horror by Dr Lee Mellor is an in-depth look at the true stories which influenced the horror movies we have all come to know and enjoy. He takes each movie and relates it to the true events which inspired the stories to be told. A lot of the movies mentioned are well known to me from watching and enjoying them and it’s true the moment you see the phrase “based on a true story” it adds that whole new element of horror. Movies such as Jaws, Psycho, The Exorcist, The Amityville Horror, A Nightmare On Elm Street, Silence Of The Lambs and The Mothman Prophecies are the ones I knew a little bit about their background. There are many more the author looks into and the specific facts were quite surprising to me. The book is a horror fans dream, I know I do it if I watch or read something I’ve enjoyed I will turn to google and start my own investigation on how the story came together 😆 that’s exactly what this book does for you. Some facts were maybe new to you and some you may already know. I was surprised by a few which were mentioned like The Witch and The Lighthouse. A fun read I would definitely recommend and thanks to @jobis89 for putting this on my radar 🖤

  24. 5 out of 5

    Matt Graupman

    I’m a huge horror fan. My mother is not. I remember having a conversation with her once when I was young where she said that she didn’t like the genre because she didn’t want to be reminded that those sorts of things happen. Being a know-it-all teenager, I’m sure I gave her a dismissive roll of the eyes and thought to myself, “yeah right, like there’s someone out there who would actually murder a person, skin them, and wear their face, like in ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’” (you know, for exampl I’m a huge horror fan. My mother is not. I remember having a conversation with her once when I was young where she said that she didn’t like the genre because she didn’t want to be reminded that those sorts of things happen. Being a know-it-all teenager, I’m sure I gave her a dismissive roll of the eyes and thought to myself, “yeah right, like there’s someone out there who would actually murder a person, skin them, and wear their face, like in ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’” (you know, for example). She was right (of course) because there wasn’t a PERSON that would do something like that but, rather, a whole bunch of PEOPLE. And you can read aaaaaaall about them in Dr. Lee Mellor’s “Behind The Horror: True Stories That Inspired Horror Movies.” This book dissects the inspirations - some well known, some not so much - for a selection of classic horror films, from “Psycho” to “The Silence Of The Lambs” to “Scream” to “The Conjuring” to “The Lighthouse,” and hits harder than those movies simply because this stuff is all REAL. It’s fascinating! It’s disturbing! It’s a must read for all horror fans!!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Madeleine Hernandez-g

    " As for the doll, it remains in the Warrens' museum to this day, inside a case marked 'Warning, positively do not open'. " (Annabelle, 2014) I'm rating this more on my overall experience than on the book, because since I knew the author would spoil all of the movies mentioned, I figured it was a great opportunity to watch all 21 of them. I'm so glad I did, because most of them are classic horror movies that I've been wanting to watch for years! I've always loved horror movies, but now I'm obsess " As for the doll, it remains in the Warrens' museum to this day, inside a case marked 'Warning, positively do not open'. " (Annabelle, 2014) I'm rating this more on my overall experience than on the book, because since I knew the author would spoil all of the movies mentioned, I figured it was a great opportunity to watch all 21 of them. I'm so glad I did, because most of them are classic horror movies that I've been wanting to watch for years! I've always loved horror movies, but now I'm obsessed 👻. My favorites to watch were: Psycho (1960) The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) (so disturbing!) A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) The Silence of the Lambs (1991) Scream (1996) The ones that I liked the least were The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1976), Annabelle (2014), and The Lighthouse (2019). I liked reading about serial killers, hauntings and shark attacks, but the writing wasn't the best. I also noticed there was a mistake about the movie Scream. It said that the opening scene was the murder of a babysitter, but if you watched the movie, you know that the girl is not a babysitter at all. Here is another quote that I liked: "Beginning at 10:30 p.m., the ensemble held three séances, with most in attendance reportedly experiencing noxious and highly disturbing phenomena. Among the guests' many vague pronouncements, Lorraine Warren was unequivocal: 'Whatever is here is, in my estimation, most definitely of a negative nature. It has nothing to do with anyone who had once walked the earth in human form. It is right from the bowels of the earth... It doesn't have to stay here, but I think it's a resting place.' " (The Amityville Horror, 1979)

  26. 5 out of 5

    John Williams

    Excellent material, written at arms length The book covered a much more broad set of material than I expected. I anticipated the stories about serial killers. I did not expect the history of the Vietnam war and an exploration of the cultural link between goats and Satan. That said, the author’s tone is often distant, nearly academic. And the background material on ghost movies is somewhat redundant, drawing so much (as he does) on the work of Ed and Lorraine Warren. I think I have read more than Excellent material, written at arms length The book covered a much more broad set of material than I expected. I anticipated the stories about serial killers. I did not expect the history of the Vietnam war and an exploration of the cultural link between goats and Satan. That said, the author’s tone is often distant, nearly academic. And the background material on ghost movies is somewhat redundant, drawing so much (as he does) on the work of Ed and Lorraine Warren. I think I have read more than enough about the Warrens to suit me.

  27. 5 out of 5

    David Veith

    Fun read. I really like the section on Jaws, I remember reading on some of the shark attacks (the ones in the river, but not the ones on the shore) and I did not know the movie was based on those. I have read books on serial killers so that was a lot of info I had already read, but still fun to read again. I also like the section on Wolf Creek, just scary to think how things can go sideways.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jen Hunt

    I really enjoyed this book. There were only a few stories that I felt could have used a bit more of cohesive story transition. I appreciated the author’s format for the stories. There were a lot of movies that I thought were just fiction! i was shocked to learn about some of the stories. Def recommend. Fascinating.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Dani

    I appreciated the straightforward way this book was written. It didn’t seem to embellish any of the details of the true crime stories that inspired famous movies and somehow, that made it an even creepier read. I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    Great book for true crime and horror fans

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