iStock/abadonian, Emma Kapotes/Rd.com
Peter Benchley, who wrote the 1974 novel Jaws, got the idea for a killer shark story after chartering boat rides with a fisherman named Frank “Monster Man” Mundus (who claimed he was the inspiration for the gruff character Captain Quint). The book’s plot was inspired in part by the summer of 1916 when a rogue great white shark (da-dum) lurking in the waters (da-dum da-dum) off the Jersey shore (da-dum da-dum da-dum da-dum) killed five unlucky swimmers. Sink your teeth into these other scary movies that’ll make you afraid to go in the water.
iStock/gl0ck, Emma Kapotes/Rd.com
When a sheriff visited Ed Gein’s Wisconsin farm in 1957, he was expecting to find a robbery suspect. Instead, he stumbled upon a true house of horrors: there was a bowl made from a human skull—and a chair, lampshade, and a suit made out of skin. After Gein was arrested, investigators discovered the remains of 10 women at his farm. He was committed to a mental institution for the rest of his life. In 1959 author Robert Bloch used Gein as the model for Norman Bates in his novel Psycho (including Gein’s unhealthy fascination with his domineering mother), and then Alfred Hitchcock turned it into a movie. Bonus: Gein also inspired Leatherface from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Buffalo Bill from The Silence of The Lambs, and Bloody Face from the TV show American Horror Story.