Horror films are pretty creepy at the best of times. But these five scary movies are even more terrifying when you discover they inspired horrendously gory real life crimes...

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Nightmare On Elm Street

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Rex Features

In September 2004, paranoid schizophrenic Daniel Gonzalez armed himself with several knives and indulged in a drug-fuelled rampage across Sussex and London. He murdered four people on his killing spree, three of who were over 60-years-old.

He later told police that he wanted to be remembered as a famous serial killer. He also explained his adoration of Freddy Krueger, the knife-fingered killer from Nightmare On Elm Street, often wondering how it would feel to be like his evil idol. Gonzalez killed himself in his prison cell in 2007.

 

Interview With The Vampire

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Rex Features

Lisa Stellwagon and her boyfriend Daniel Sterling went to see the Tom Crusie fang-flick Interview With The Vampire in November 1994. At 3am that night Lisa woke up to find Daniel watching over her. When she asked him what was wrong he replied, ‘I’m going to kill you and drink your blood.’

Thinking he was joking, Lisa went back to sleep, but hours later Sterling stabbed her 7 times and drank her blood. Lisa survived, and went to prison for attempted murder. While he admitted to enjoying and being influenced by the film, he refused to blame it for his actions.

 

Saw

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Rex Features

25-year-old Matthew Tinling took inspiration from the gory Saw series when he murdered his neighbour Richard Hamilton in 2012. Stabbing Hamilton 17 times, Tinling demanded that the 45-year-old hand over his bank card and PIN number.

Tinling then copied a scene from Saw VI by brutally carving through Hamilton’s spinal cord with his knife in an attempt to completely sever it. He then withdrew £240 for crack cocaine. Matthew Tinling is currently serving 30 years in prison for murder.

 

The Collector (1965)

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Rex Features

Leonard Lake and Charles Ng committed several horrific murders together after being inspired by this film and book it was adapted from. In The Collector, a lonely misfit kidnaps a beautiful woman called Miranda and holds her prisoner in his basement, hoping she’ll learn to love him.

Obsessed, Lake and Ng planned ‘Operation Miranda’, which resulted in the pair abducting 18-year-old Kathy Allen and 19-year-old Brenda O’Connor in 1985. They kept the teenagers in a soundproof bunker, raping and torturing them at will. Worse, the sickos filmed their crimes. In all, the pair are believed to have raped, tortured and murdered between 11 and 25 people.

 

American Psycho

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Rex Features

Florida student Michael Hernandez, 14, mercilessly attacked his best friend Jaime Gough with a knife in a bathroom at Southwood Middle School in 2004. Hernandez stabbed Jaime 40 times and slit his throat before letting him bleed to death on the floor.

Hernandez had dreamed of becoming a serial killer, inspired by Christian Bale’s turn as psychotic murder Patrick Bateman in American Psycho. He told police that he identified with Bateman as well as other fictional killers like Hannibal Lecter. He is currently serving life in prison.