Some of the world's scariest stories are nothing more than myth or folklore, with little evidence to back them up, but others are totally true and proven. History has shown that some people are capable of shocking atrocities, and many mysterious incidents have occurred without any definitive explanations.
From ghost ships to psychopathic serial killers, history is littered with terrifying tales to keep you up at night, and many of these stories would work wonderfully on the silver screen. Five of the most powerful words in cinema are, after all, "Based on a true story".
Horror movie writers are always seemingly finding new ways to get a bunch of dumb teens into a haunted house, but why bother with tired clichés and boring stories when the real world has provided such a wealth of terrifying tales?
There's something extra scary about watching a horror film based on real events, as it becomes so much easier to imagine yourself in the middle of the action. If any screenwriters or directors are looking for inspiration, these terrifying and true tales will definitely make audiences leave the lights on when they go to bed.
10. The Disappearance Of Frederick Valentich
Frederick Valentich was a pilot who went missing while performing a training flight over Bass Strait, just off the southern coast of Australia. The incident occurred in 1978 and is particularly notable and creepy due to the final radio message Valentich sent to Melbourne's air traffic control.
At 7:06pm on the evening of October 21, Valentich got in touch with air traffic control to let them know he'd spotted an unidentified aircraft that seemed to be following him. Confused, the traffic controllers told the pilot that they had no information on any plane in that area, but Valentich insisted that he could see an aircraft moving at high speed all around him.
Valentich added that the aircraft was "orbiting" him, describing it as shiny, metallic, and featuring a distinctive green light. When air traffic controllers asked him for more details, Valentich's final recorded words sent shivers down their spines: "It isn't an aircraft."
The case has never been solved, with some suggesting Valentich, a UFO enthusiast, faked his own death or committed suicide and wanted to go out in a mysterious way. Interestingly, there were reports of a UFO sighting on the very same day Valentich disappeared, and the idea of a horror movie set entirely in the sky, showing a lone pilot being stalked by an unidentified presence, is definitely an intriguing one.