Real Life Photos That inspired Horror Movies
The Creatures in the Grand Caverns
Year Photo was Taken: 1895
What Happened? A photographer, Oren Jeffries, went exploring in the unchartered depths of the Grand Caverns, VA. He was trying out different techniques to capture anything that moved in the cave’s darkness. Hearing something scuffling in the blackness, he ran, the flash shooting as he went. His camera was recovered years later, documenting something in the blackness.
Year Photo was Taken: 1935
What Happened? Viola Peters of McCaysville, Georgia was violently molested and killed by a drifter, Tom Cullin, who committed necrophilic acts on her body for 17 days before he was captured. The townsfolk formed a lynch mob and hung him from an old bridge on River Toccoa. This photo was taken by a witness, who captured Viola Peters’ restless spirit come to look triumphantly upon her killer.
See it on Screen: The Strangler of the Swamp
Year of Movie: 1946 (stills from the film below)
The Disappearing Woman
Year Photo was Taken: 1935
What Happened? Josephine Yuorno lived in Norwich, CT, taking a brisk walk every evening. One night in 1935 she vanished. Over three years later, Mrs. Yuorno appeared again without a mark on her body and no memory of where she’d been. Five years to the day after her first disappearance, Josephine Yuorno went missing again. This time, she never came back.
See it on Screen: Picnic at Hanging Rock
Year of Movie: 1975
The Harlow Twins
Year Photo was Taken: 1938
What Happened? Evergreen Park, Illinois became the site of a tragedy when Tammie Harlow’s car spun out of control, sending her twin boys Billy and Stevie flying fatally through the windscreen. Tammie lived but the children were killed. However, look closely at the photograph and it seems that the little twin boys stayed long enough to see their mother rescued.
See it on Screen: Carnival of Souls
Year of Movie: 1962
The Tragedy of the Sorrensons
Year Photo was Taken: 1916
What Happened? A Danish family who immigrated to Missouri in the early 20th Century, the Sorrensons fell victim to a horrible tragedy. The three children in this photo were playing on the family farmstead, falling asleep in the hay when they were tired. Unknowingly, their father drove his harvesting machine through them, shredding his children to pieces. The circled area on the photo captures imperfections in the photographic film - marking exactly the location where the children were slaughtered.
See it on Screen: The Collection
Year of Movie: 2012
The Collinwood Fire
Year Photo was Taken: 1908
What Happened? Lake View School in Collinwood, Ohio was destroyed by a devastating fire March 4, 1908. 172 children and two teachers were killed. Every single person in this photo died, apart from Mr. Olson, a teacher circled in the back row. Just like in the Final Destination series - particulary Final Destination 3 - his is the only face that is not blurred.
See it on Screen: Final Destination
Year of Movie: 2000