The best horror movies based on true crimes

A word of caution: Many of the nonfiction incidents we’ve linked out to in this article are quite disturbing, but our own write-ups of the movies themselves feature no gratuitous details. Just a friendly warning if you plan on clicking a link or two.

Sometimes the truth is far scarier than any fiction a work-for-hire screenwriter could conjure up. This is why some of the most disturbing horror films have been at least partly inspired by a number of infamous real-world crimes. From cannibalistic madmen to enigmatic serial killers, we’ve put together this autumnal roundup of the best horror movies based on true crimes, and we bet you’ll be surprised to learn what classics can trace their roots back to a headline-grabbing travesty that shook a town, state, country, or the entire world.

Want more horror movies in your life? Check out our roundups of the best horror films on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and Shudder.

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