More horror films than you know were based on, or inspired by, real life events. Wes Craven himself told the story of what inspired Nightmare on Elm Street: a series of Southeast Asian men who died while having nightmares. One of them was a 21-year-old who refused to sleep.
Everybody in his family said almost exactly these lines: ‘You must sleep.’ He said, ‘No, you don’t understand; I’ve had nightmares before — this is different.’ He was given sleeping pills and told to take them and supposedly did, but he stayed up. I forget what the total days he stayed up was, but it was a phenomenal amount — something like six, seven days. Finally, he was watching television with the family, fell asleep on the couch, and everybody said, ‘Thank god.’ They literally carried him upstairs to bed; he was completely exhausted. Everybody went to bed, thinking it was all over. In the middle of the night, they heard screams and crashing. They ran into the room, and by the time they got to him he was dead. They had an autopsy performed, and there was no heart attack; he just had died for unexplained reasons.
But that's just one of ten horror stories behind the movies you'll find at Flavorwire. Link