7 Horror Films About Exorcisms Based On Real-Life Events

Behind the success of horror films, there are stories that have dark and even macabre origins. Especially those that dealt with spirits and exorcisms. That’s why we bring you a list of the movies that were based on real exorcisms.

The Amityville Horror (2005)

The real story has to do with the Lutz family, who bought the house in which Ronald DeFeo took the lives of his entire family on the orders of “voices” that tormented him.

The family claimed that strange things happened in the house and that they even saw DeFeo ghosts, so they had to move out.

The Exorcist (1973)

It was one of the scariest movies of the 70s. It was inspired by the real story of a boy who got possessed by demons that left marks on his body. The boy’s name was Robbie, his case happened in the 1940s and it is said that he became possessed after playing with a ouija board.

The church performed an exorcism on him, but that only made matters worse. It took months for Robbie to be okay again.

The Devils (1971)

Ken Russell’s film was inspired by the case of the 17th century Catholic priest named Urbain Grandier and the Loudun possessions. Grandier was convicted of witchcraft and burned at the stake after he was pronounced to have bewitched a nunnery.

The women spoke in strange languages, yelled, made obscene gestures at men and claimed they were pregnant and possessed. Thousands of people attended the public exorcism of the nuns.

The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005)

This case is also one of the most terrifying in cinema. The Scott Derrickson-directed film is based on the story of a German woman, Annelise Michel, who underwent an exorcism in 1975.

Annelise lost her life a year later for the lackness of proper medical care, leading to her parents and the priest being brought to trial, alleging that Annelise was dehydrated and malnourished, that she did not need an exorcism, but a hospital.

The Changeling (1980)

It tells the story of a writer who is harassed by a spirit living in his isolated mansion. The script is supposedly inspired by the time writer Russell Hunter spent living at the Henry Treat Rogers mansion in Denver, Colorado.

Hunter said he was drawn to the Rogers estate because of its impressive architecture and low rent, but once there, he began hearing inexplicable noises, witnessing poltergeist activity, and discovered a secret room and a diary written by a trapped child.

The Possession (2012)

The film is based on an old story about an object called a dybbuk box that held the spirit of a Holocaust survivor. The box was sold on ebay and contained coins, hair, a Hebrew phrase, wine and a dried rose.

Several owners of the box allegedly reported experiencing supernatural events, such as nightmares, unexplained odors, and exploding light bulbs.

The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988)

Directed by Wes Craven, the film follows an anthropologist who travels to Haiti to investigate a case of black magic that turned people into zombies. The film is based on a book by ethnobotanist Wade Davis.

He studied the case of a man named Clairvius Narcisse, who allegedly rose from the grave and returned home almost two decades later. Voodoo practitioners claim that everything was the work of black magic.

Have you watched all of them?

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