Quite a few horror games are inspired by real-life locations and events, and many of them may surprise you! There’s nothing quite like hopping into a horror game and learning that it’s based on actual events. Something about the reality of it makes it that much more chilling. The games based on real locations and events are often the best! It allows you to enter into an immersive recount of the situation and experience it for yourself, with some changes here and there. Let’s dim the lights and learn about some of the best horror games inspired by real-life locations!
5. Five Nights at Freddy’s
This twisted animatronics game has some dark inspiration. Throughout the game, there are several instances of children being mentioned or referenced. The terrifying thing about these references is that all the children were believed to be murdered in the 1993 Aurora, Colorado, Chuck E. Cheese incident that resulted in the death of multiple underage employees. A prior employee was upset about being fired and showed up with the intention of shooting down the manager who fired him along with the employees. However, the manager wasn’t even on site when he arrived and commenced the shooting. The shooter was given the death sentence. While this may have been the inspiration for Five Nights at Freddy’s the game does little to reference it or otherwise.
Outlast is a psychological horror game inspired by a real place that will have your hair standing up and give you that “Somebody’s watching” feeling. While you take on the job of investigating a creepy asylum in Colorado, your character will strive to uncover the truth of what happened there. Throughout the game, there are many references to Project MKUltra, a CIA-conducted project that included the brainwashing and mind-controlling of loads of people. While the actual story was horrific in every sense of the word, Outlast takes it even further and increases the fear factor involved. The inspiration for this horror took place at Mount Massive Asylum, within Lake County in Colorado. While Outlast does quite a bit to crank up the jump scares, the game isn’t far off from the chilling events that occurred in Mount Massive Asylum.
Kholat is an indie survival game with a whole lot of horror mixed in. To begin with, the game’s name even translates to the word “dead.” If that isn’t enough, Kholat was based on a true story. The locations within Kholat are real places, and the game is based on the Dyatlov Pass Incident. During the Dyatlov Pass Incident in February of 1959 in Russia, there were nine hikers in the Ural Mountains in Russia. In the middle of the night, something caused all nine hikers to run from their campsite, ignoring the lethal sub-zero temperatures outside. Nobody knows what happened since half of the hikers died from hypothermia, and the other half died from unknown causes, only ratcheting up the creepy factor. Kholat is assumed to be true to real-life events, but there are still many questions surrounding the Dyatlov Pass Incident to this day.
2. Resident Evil Village
Resident Evil Village had a couple of inspirations. The first was Hasshaku-sama, a Japanese urban legend focused on an evil spirit that stood eight feet tall and wore a wide-brimmed hat — noticing the similarities yet? While it fits well, there was a more real-life inspiration for Lady Dimitrescu that strikes fear in a way an urban legend can’t. Lady Dimitrescu was based on a Hungarian woman who was found and convicted as a serial killer, Countess Elizabeth Bathory. Bathory was one of the most terrifying criminals in 16th-century Europe, said to be responsible for torturing and killing over 600 girls and women over 20 years. It’s clear who the tall lady’s inspiration was, but the game does little to reference the true story otherwise.
1. The Town of Light
While many aspects of The Town of Light are purely fictional, the devs drove their inspiration from a very real location, an asylum called Volterra. The game boasts accuracy with its location and environment. While it would be so easy to throw in some crazy jump scares and obnoxious creatures, the game follows the story of Renee, a young girl locked away in Volterra, an old asylum in Italy. Most of your gameplay is spent walking through the asylum, learning what you can about Renee and what happened there, occasionally having flashbacks and visions of the horrific situation she found herself in, struggling with her schizophrenia.