8 Bollywood Horror Movies That Were Inspired By True Events

8 Bollywood Horror Movies That Were Inspired By True Events View All Articles

Posted On: 29 Oct 2021 | Last Updated: 04 Nov 2021


Needless to say, when you and your pals are into a movie night, horror is the most tempting genre for everyone. Despite the goosebumps and chills, horror movies are always worth everyone’s time. With Halloween coming around, it is the best time to discuss horror movies. Halloween is all about costumes, tricks and treats, pumpkin patches, etc., but a good Bollywood horror movie on Halloween's eve could be an icing on the cake. While horror movies remain the favourite of many, some couldn’t deal with the shock and after-effects of the horror movies. However, have you ever thought what could be more terrifying than a horror movie itself? The answer would be – the fact that it is inspired by a true event. Let’s check out these top 8 Bollywood horror movies inspired by true events:


1. Mahal (1949)

About film: Mahal was the directorial debut of lauded director Kamal Amrohi. It is also cited as Bollywood’s first horror film that continues to ‘haunt’ its audience. The movie revolves around a young man who moves to an ancient mansion and is haunted by the spirit of his lover from previous life.

Inspiration for film: Many may not know, but this Bollywood horror movie was actually inspired by a chilling real-life incident experienced by the actor and producer of the film, Ashok Kumar. In 1948, he was shooting near Jijibhoy House at a hill station at midnight when he saw a headless corpse in the car of a mysterious woman. When Ashok Kumar narrated the story to his servants, no one believed him. Later, when he decided to file a complaint about the same in a nearby police station, he found out that the similar incident happened 14 years ago at the same place. A woman committed a murder and then, died in a car accident.

Mahal (1949)

2. Ragini MMS (2011)

About film: A naïve and innocent girl named Ragini goes to a deserted location with her boyfriend Uday. It is revealed that Uday is involved in a business of filming and selling sex tapes and wanted to do the same with Ragini. However, his actions are interrupted by the paranormal activities of an evil spirit.

Inspiration for film: The makers of the movie initially tried to hide the inspiration behind the story, however, it was finally revealed. Ragini MMS was based on a Delhi-based girl named Deepika. Few years before, Deepika was on her first night out with her boyfriend at a friend’s place. It was then, when she experienced the paranormal activities and presence of spirit in the place. Deepika narrated her first-hand experience to the film’s producer Ekta Kapoor, which gave her inspiration for the film.

Ragini MMS (2011)

3. ?: A Question Mark (2012)

About film: The movie is about a group of friends who went to a place to make a movie but never returned. Later, their cameras were found that revealed shocking footage capturing events that happened.

Inspiration for film: The movie was partially based on a true incident. A group of friends decided to stay in a haunted place overnight but never returned. Later, their camera was discovered and the footage disclosed what exactly happened to them. The real-life incidents inspired the scary narration and realistic shots for the movie that can give you numerous sleepless nights in a row.

?: A Question Mark (2012)

4. Trip to Bhangarh (2014)

About film: Trip to Bhangarh follows the story of five friends who decide to visit India’s most haunted place, Bhangarh, a fortress in rural Rajasthan. After coming back, they have unusual experiences. The five friends believe it to be the negative effect of demonic spirits of Bhangarh on their lives.

Inspiration for film: Trip to Bhangarh is a horror movie that was based on the amalgamation of events or experiences of visitors of Bhangarh. Bhangarh is considered to be the most haunted place in India. To stay overnight in the fortress was banned by the law after increasing missing reports of people who stayed there overnight. The film is basically about the visitors, who decide to stay in the fortress even after the government restrictions in the name of ‘fun’ and later, bear horrifying consequences for their lifetime.

Trip to Bhangarh (2014)

5. 3 A.M. (2014)

About film: Three friends – Sunny, Cyrus and Raj decide to make a reality show to shoot the paranormal activities in the haunted location to prove the existence of ghosts and spirits. However, the plan goes haywire when one of them is possessed by the evil spirit at 3 a.m.

Inspiration for film: The movie is highly inspired by the folklore that claims the time between 3 am to 4 am as the witching hour or devil’s hour. It is believed that all supernatural forces are most powerful during this hour of the day and witches, spirits, ghosts and other supernatural creatures perform their rituals during this time. The movie also revolves around this concept, as in the movie the demonic spirit of evil man is most powerful and possesses people at 3 am.

3 A.M. (2014)

6. Stree (2018)

About film: The film is set in a small town named Chanderi. People of Chanderi live in a constant fear of Stree, the spirit of woman who whisks men during the four days of annual Pooja season. However, a resident named Vicky decides to unravel the mystery when one of his friends goes missing.

Inspiration for film: The movie finds its inspiration from an urban legend from Bangalore during the 1990s. According to the legend, a witch would knock the door at night and if someone opens the door, she would kill or whisk him. The witch was believed to speak in the voice of a close friend or family member to trick people and make them open the door. To keep her away, people started writing ‘Nale Ba’ (Kannada phrase meaning come tomorrow) outside their houses. When the witch read these inscriptions outside the houses, she turned away to return the next night and the spiral continued.

Stree (2018)

7. Ghost (2019)

About film: The movie is about a young politician of Indian origin in the United Kingdom who is accused of killing his wife. However, he claims that he didn’t kill his wife but the spirit that possessed him killed her.

Inspiration for film: This Bollywood horror movie was based on a real-life incident. A British man named Arne Johnson, who was tried for the murder of his landlord in 1981. However, he confessed to his defence attorney that he didn’t commit the murder but the devil inside him had murdered the landlord. The man believed himself to be possessed by an evil spirit. The case made to the newspaper headlines and media called it ‘The Devil Made Me Do It’ case.

Ghost (2019)

8. Bhoot – Part One: The Haunted Ship (2020)

About film: The first instalment to the planned horror film franchise, Bhoot, is about a shipping officer who has lost his wife and daughter in an accident. The officer investigates a ship named Sea-Bird that was mysteriously found at an unmanned port and was believed to be haunted.

Inspiration for film: Bhoot – Part One: The Haunted Ship is based on a true incident based in Mumbai about the MV Wisdom incident in 2011. MV Wisdom, the 9000-tonne cargo, was found stranded on Juhu Beach in June 2011. It was under tow from Colombo to Alang (Gujarat), but the towline broke and it got stranded on Juhu Beach and remained there for around three weeks.

Bhoot – Part One: The Haunted Ship (2020)