10 Horror Games Inspired by True Stories | GAME3A

10 Horror Games Inspired by True Stories

What is considered "creepy" varies from person to person, which is why the horror genre has many aspects to play with. In horror games, you have to co...

Ali Jones Sept 03, 2023
10 Horror Games Inspired by True Stories

What is considered "creepy" varies from person to person, which is why the horror genre has many aspects to play with. In horror games, you have to confront various types of frights in order to reach the end. Many things that are generally perceived as scary exist, to our knowledge, only in fiction, such as monsters and ghosts.

But there are countless incidents that have taken place in reality, and there are places that exist and instill fear in people. Many horror games may seem entirely fictional, but in fact, they draw inspiration from real events and locations. However, you may only come to know about this after it has occurred.

Updated on September 3, 2023, by Jouanna Bondakji: It is said that no idea is truly original, but that doesn't have to be a disadvantage. Countless games have emerged from real events or concepts that inspired them. Real life can be stranger than fiction, so there are definitely cases where strange or tragic events directly inspired horror games. We have added more games inspired by true events, and they are likely not the last!

10 Cursed Mountain - Mountaineer Tragedy

10 Horror Games Inspired By True Stories

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for people to go missing or lose their lives while mountaineering, especially on treacherous mountains like Everest. A man named Reinhold Messner not only managed to climb Mount Everest alone but also without supplemental oxygen, which is an incredible achievement.

Messner has served as both inspiration and direct mention in the game Cursed Mountain. He is one of the mountaineers with whom the main antagonist of the game climbed, along with Barry Bishop and Edmund Hillary. Additionally, in the game, a man named Eric has to stop his brother who has unleashed evil spirits and creatures into the world. This storyline was inspired by the tragic loss of Messner's mountaineer brother Gunther as they descended a mountain together.

9 The Dark Pictures: Little Hope - Witch Trials

10 Horror Games Inspired By True

As strange and foolish as they may seem to you in today's times, witch trials were indeed a reality of earlier days. The Salem witch trials in the 17th century are the most well-known, but there were others as well, including those in Andover. Although Little Hope takes place in a fictional town, it is still located in the state of Massachusetts where the witch trials of Salem and Andover took place.

The game also moves between different time periods, one prominent of which is the 1690s when the Salem witch trials took place. The cast of Little Hope has doppelgangers from the past who experience the witch trials themselves.

8 Resident Evil Village - Elizabeth Bathory

10 Horror Games Inspired By

You probably know Lady Dimitrescu, even if you've never played Resident Evil Village. This iconic evil mistress has captivated many fans and made them fall in love with her. But it's not so easy to accept the evil deeds of a person when that person is real. Elizabeth Bathory was a noblewoman who allegedly committed numerous acts of torture on young women before killing them.

It is said that she bathed in the blood of her victims and performed other vampiric acts such as biting into their flesh. Her husband is said to have gifted her clawed gloves to punish servants. Lady Dimitrescu is a noblewoman who possesses similar gloves for a similarly cruel purpose, in addition to her vampiric nature. Her three daughters are also named after the servants who allegedly aided Bathory in her deeds, three of whom were executed.

7 Chernobylite - The Chernobyl Disaster

10 Horror Games Inspired

The Chernobyl disaster is an infamous incident that occurred in the 1980s, and Chernobylite heavily alludes to the consequences of this catastrophe. In fact, the main area where you play is a 3D-scanned environment of the real exclusion zone of the Chernobyl disaster. You play as a physicist who worked at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant before the disaster.

Chernobylite is a survival horror RPG where you have to gather resources and build bases while defending yourself against enemies, both supernatural and human, as well as the environment itself. This game is probably the closest experience you can have to explore the consequences of the disaster without actually having been there yourself.

6 The Town Of Light - Volterra Psychiatric Hospital

10 Horror Games

The Volterra Psychiatric Hospital, also known as the Volterra Asylum, is a real place in Italy. It was notorious for the horrific mistreatment of patients by staff and was closed 90 years after its opening. The Town of Light is a psychological horror game that utilizes the Volterra Psychiatric Hospital as its setting.

In the game, you follow the perspective of a teenage girl as you explore the hospital and experience events through her eyes. The story can change depending on the decisions you make. Although the Volterra Psychiatric Hospital in this game is a fictional version, the scenes in the game may resemble what real patients experienced and endured until the place was closed.

5 Silent Hill - Centralia, Pennsylvania

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The Silent Hill games are known for their excellently eerie atmosphere that keeps you on edge despite the town's desolation. If you've ever wondered about the inspiration behind the setting of Silent Hill, the answer is that it was inspired by a real place. Centralia, Pennsylvania, was once a normal mining town but was soon abandoned after a coal mining fire broke out.

These days, it is virtually a ghost town. If you were to go there, you might be able to sense how empty and menacing Silent Hill felt for the game's protagonists. Allegedly, the fire in Centralia is still burning even today.

4 Kholat - The Dyatlov Pass Incident


If you're familiar with true crimes, you have probably heard of the incident at Dyatlov Pass, where nine students went hiking in the Ural Mountains in Russia. They seemed to have disappeared until they were found dead several months later under strange circumstances. Kholat is a survival horror game where you retrace the steps of the hikers, while the renowned actor Sean Bean provides commentary on your investigation.

In Kholat, shadow monsters appear as you collect clues. They don't allow you to freely explore the mountains but instead chase you as you uncover the truth of the incident. The game adds an interesting twist to the events at Dyatlov Pass.

3 Outlast - Project MKUltra

Project MKUltra was a CIA-operated project in which they tested drugs and procedures to manipulate and control people. The fact that this was a real event in history is already disturbing enough, but Outlast draws inspiration from these events and amplifies them even further.

You play as a journalist investigating an insane asylum where patients were subjected to similar experiments as those in the MKUltra project. Needless to say, they are no longer in their right minds and try to kill you at every opportunity. There are both dead patients and staff in the asylum, and you must advance your investigation while avoiding all the murderous inmates.

2 Five Nights At Freddy's - Murder In Chuck E. Cheese

The setting of Five Nights at Freddy's is clearly reminiscent of Chuck E. Cheese in many ways, and that is definitely not a coincidence. The inspiration for the bloodthirsty animatronics is based on a real murder case that occurred in Aurora, Colorado, in 1993. After closing time, tragically, four employees of Chuck E. Cheese were killed, and one was seriously injured when a former employee shot them while they were cleaning up.

In the game, you play as a security guard who is responsible for ensuring that everything runs smoothly every night. But when the iconic animatronics of the place come to life, you should really worry about yourself. Of course, the game was not inspired by real animatronics coming to life and killing people, but it just goes to show that dark events based on reality can inspire horror that could only happen in fiction.

1 Neverending Nightmares - A Developer's Inner Struggles

Sometimes, it's not external factors that inspire your stories. That's the case with Neverending Nightmares, a psychological horror game that, according to the Kickstarter page of the lead designer, was inspired by his own struggles with mental illness. Matt Gilgenbach is completely transparent about how his battle with obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression served as inspiration for the game.

In Neverending Nightmares, the protagonist wakes up from a nightmare. However, he's not truly awake yet. You must navigate through the nightmarish world and avoid the symbolic creatures that come at you, all while trying to figure out what is real and what is merely a projection of the protagonist's inner struggles.