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Scarily Random List: The 6 True Stories That Would Make Terrifying Movies

By Jodi Smith | Lists | October 7, 2013 |

By Jodi Smith | Lists | October 7, 2013 |

Be aware that much of this is probably not safe for work or for sleeping later.

Villisca Axe Murder House

Josiah and Sarah Moore lived in Villisca, Iowa with their four children in 1912. One night the family left their home to attend a funeral with their neighbors, Lena and Ina Stillinger, who would also be spending the night at the Moore’s house. At some point an intruder or intruders entered the home and killed all eight inhabitants with Josiah’s axe. The children were aged 11 to 5 when the murder occurred and the site is supposedly haunted.

I’m guessing the story would need some details added and some extraneous filler, but the Villisca Axe Murder House could be a terrifying film. The older of the Stillinger sisters was believed to have fought with the attacker, unlike any of the other victims. Something making Lena the focal point of the movie might make for exciting horror, even if Hollywood decides to let her live to create a better ending to the story.


Clipperton Island Tragedy of 1917

Clipperton Island was once the site of a guano mining operation spearheaded by The British Pacific Island Company and Mexico. A small population of around 100 women, men, and children occupied the island by 1914. They were advised to evacuate the island during the Mexican Revolution, but the island’s governor decided that was crazy talk. Eventually, all of the men on the island perished from disease or failed attempts to find help. Except for one man: Lighthouse keeper Victoriano Álvarez. Álvarez crowned himself king and began raping and murdering the women of the settlement.

Then he crossed the wrong woman. Álvarez was murdered by Tirza Rendon when he tried to pull his kingly bullsh*t on her. Tell me this wouldn’t be an amazing film and I’ll call you a liar! A FILTHY LIAR!



This is another home invasion murder of a family, but it’s German! Farmer Andreas Gruber, his wife, his widowed daughter, and her two children lived together with their maid Maria Baumgartner. (As an aside, Andreas was rumored to be the father of his youngest grandchild. Ew.)

Prior to the murders, Gruber complained to neighbors about hearing footsteps in the attic of the home, seeing footprints leading from the forest to the house, and losing the keys to the house. Oh, the previous maid had left the farm because she believed it to be haunted. On Friday, March 31, 1922,each member of the family was lured to the barn where they were murdered with a pickaxe. It was later determined by investigators that Gruber’s eldest grandchild, Cäzilia, did not die immediately and was surrounded by the corpses of her family as she pulled hair from her own scalp before passing.


Armin Meiwes

Armin Meiwes killed and ate a willing victim he found on the internet. Do I need to tell you more?


O Caso das Mscaras de Chumbo

Two dead men were discovered on Vintém Hill in Brazil wearing suits, water-proof coats, and lead masks. They were later identified as electronic technicians named Manoel Pereira da Cruz and Miguel José Viana. The two men also had a note with them that read “16:30 (04:30 PM) be at the agreed place. 18:30 (06:30 PM) swallow capsules, after effect, protect metals, wait for mask signal.” The hill was also rumored to be the site of alien activity and sightings.

Reconstructing the events prior to their deaths would be some strange sh*t.


Carl Tanzler

Carl Tanzler was a radiologic technologist in Florida. He became obsessed with a tuberculosis patient named Elena Milagro “Helen” de Hoyos. When she died, he absconded with her corpse from the mausoleum he had built for her, preserving her body and living with it in his home for seven years.

It’s like Lars and the Real Girl, but with a crazy German dude and a corpse. It’s Hollywood gold.