'Nightmare On Elm Street' Was Inspired By Real-Life Dream Deaths

Detail of the poster art for the German release of 'A Nightmare on Elm Street.' Source: wrongsideoftheart.com

When a horror film says that it’s based on true events that’s usually a bunch of hokum. But the strange thing about A Nightmare on Elm Street - the film Freddy Krueger, a sleep demon with razors on his fingers - is that it’s actually based somewhat in fact. Krueger is one of the most well known monsters from 1980’s horror, but the inspiration for his exploits is more horrific than anything he committed in the films.

Writer-Director Wes Craven was inspired by a series of LA Times articles investigating the mysterious sleep deaths of Asian men across the country who were coming to a violent end while in bed. Some of the deceased refused to sleep, and others simply passed without realizing anything was wrong, but they all suffered horrible deaths that traumatized their families and inspired Craven.