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Behind the Horror: Real Stories Behind the Big Screen's Greatest Screams

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  235 ratings  ·  39 reviews
Sitting alongside DK's other true crime titles, Unsolved Murders and Cults Uncovered, Behind the Horror unearths the shocking true stories that have inspired many of the horror genre's most terrifying films.

Which case of demonic possession inspired The Exorcist? What horrifying newspaper story generated the idea for A Nightmare on Elm Street? Which film was inspired by an
Paperback, 288 pages
Published July 28th 2020 by DK Publishing (Dorling Kindersley)
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Johann (jobis89)
Sep 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
“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
Oct 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
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
Ashley Daviau
Nov 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
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’.
It was good! Some chapters were super disturbing and it made me not be able to read this at night lol
Natalie 8luebird
Nov 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 09, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review to come.
Matthew Goodwin
Jul 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, crime, horror
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.
Missy (myweereads)
Nov 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
“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
Nov 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
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
Oct 18, 2020 rated it liked it
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.
Dec 31, 2020 rated it liked it
Great book for true crime and horror fans
Lee McKerracher
If you have always wondered what sparked the plot of horror movies, then this is your book.

Lee Mellor has selected some of horror's classic films including Psycho, Texas Chain Saw Massacre, The Exorcist, Jaws, Amityville Horror and Nightmare on Elm Street to name a few, and delves into the stories behind the stories. What people and events sparked a director's interest to create a classic horror film.

Some of the people Mellor examines that unwittingly became part of these classic films include
Lydia Peever
Aug 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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. ...more
Nov 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Deserves a solid 3.75 stars. Some fascinating film history.
Am Y
Feb 07, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting read. The book talks about a number of different famous horror/suspense movies and the events/people that they were based on. Some of the movies featured include "Scream", "Psycho", "Jaws", "Silence of the Lambs", "Poltergeist", "The Conjuring", "The Amityville Horror", "A Nightmare on Elm Street", "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre", and more. I was quite surprised to learn that "Jaws" was based on some rather unusual real-life shark attacks that really did claim the lives of 4 people, ...more
Lynsey Walker
I’m struggling to think of a witty, interesting review for this one, the kind of review I know my fans expect and deserve. But alas I must disappoint you oh loyal followers, as this book is the epitome of mediocre and therefore deserves a corresponding review.

The premise of this is a good one, all the gory murders behind your favourite scary films! What could possible go wrong?? Well for starters I have discovered that most of the murders used as inspiration for the films are pretty much the sa
Chrissy Dee
Oct 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Book Review: Behind The Horror: True Stories That Inspired Horror Movies by Dr. Lee Mellor

Synopsis: Well...the title really explains it 🤷🏻‍♀️

Thoughts: This book is pretty educational when it comes to horror movie knowledge. I honestly had no idea there were so many serial killers throughout history. It does discuss many cult classics including Jaws, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Silence of the Lambs and Scream. I honestly haven’t read much nonfiction but this seemed like a good one. If you are a fa
Feb 09, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror, non-fiction
Part of the appeal of reading horror, for me, is experiencing anxiety inducing material in a controlled environment. It’s like me telling my brain “hey remember all those killer clowns we read about? And how everything was okay in the end? Is there really anything to worry about, now that we’re being confronted with an actual clown?” Although, to be fair, I’d probably still freak out if I walked past a sewer drain and a white gloved hand waved at me. Because that’s the real question, isn’t it? W ...more
Emily Vivien
Oct 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’d honestly give it a 4.5, even though it took me quite a while to get through I was taking my time annotating it, as well as making sure I was obtaining the information I was reading. Which I feel was well worth it. This book is like a combination of horror movie talk and true crime documentaries coming together and it’s awesome. I will say there are few movies mentioned that I’m not familiar with but yet I’m familiar with the inspirations that are behind them which I find both ironic and real ...more
John Curson
Feb 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Before saying anything, I haven’t finished the books and ill go over the two stories I've read so far.

The conjuring: So, I just finished reading this one and I read it before bed and wow, I am writing this because im too scared to sleep. They terrified me man, spooked me and shocked me. Amazing storytelling and wow, great descriptions and is 1000 times better than the movie.

Ed gein: So, that was uh disgusting. I don’t understand why he did all of that and I felt sick after reading it (which is g
Amber Louise
Nov 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very interesting depiction of true crime/paranormal inspired horror movies. I thoroughly enjoyed, and was intrigued by the depth the author went in explaining the events that occurred and how they inspired horror movies. For example, Jaws, Annabelle, Scream, Amityville Horror, the Conjuring. I’m very glad I came across this great read.
Jan 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book. I found the chapter on Jaws the most interesting, which surprised me as I chose the book to read about the Exorcist, Poltergeist and the Conjouring films. It started each chapter with a short rundown of each film, then went into the real life inspiration. A good read to pick up between longer books. Would recommend.
Katie Followell
Super informative, easy to read. There's definitely information in there for everyone. I'd say I'm pretty well read in ghost stories, horror movies, and all things spooky-- but there was a lot of information in it that I had never heard of before. Wonderful! ...more
Dawn Betts-Green (Dinosaur in the Library)
If you’re a horror fan and/or read a lot of murdery nonfiction, you probably already know a lit of the info here. But it was interesting. And I wasn’t aware if some of the connections previously, so a fun read anyway.
Sep 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best true crime book I’ve read so far. Massive fan of horror movies and true crime alike, I think this is a really great book if you’re interested in either or both of those genres.
Margot Hypnos
Sep 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paranormal, crime, horror
The true stories are more scary than the actual horror movies. It went through all of my favorites like the Scream Movies, Nightmare on Elm Street, Wolf Creek, Mothman Prophecies and more.
Oct 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good read! Graphic stories. Scary to know there are such sick and evil people in the world.
Taylor (taymwoods)
Really fun, easy to casually listen to during spooky season. A little dry at some moments, but I loved the history with a lot of my favorite horror films.
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