The Terrifying True Story That Inspired ‘A Nightmare On Elm Street’

Among the likes of Halloween and Friday the 13th, Wes Craven’s 1984 film A Nightmare on Elm Street is a notorious slasher film that’s been the basis for a multitude of sequels, reboots, and tie-in media. The franchise’s success is thanks heavily to the surprisingly creative and iconic visage of Freddy Krueger – nicknamed the Son of a Hundred Maniacs or the Springwood Slasher throughout the films.

But where did Wes Craven come up with the idea for Freddy Krueger? It turns out the inspiration for the murderous and nightmarish villain is a lot more real than you’d expect. Wes Craven unveiled long ago that the inspiration for Freddy Krueger came from a newspaper story a decade before A Nightmare on Elm Street would be produced.

The article detailed the unfortunate history of a family of immigrants. The group had managed to escape from the Killing Fields of Cambodia, but as a result their young son suffered PTSD which included horrible nightmares. The dreams were so bad that their son ended up no longer sleeping at all, and he decided to stay awake in an attempt to escape having the same recurring nightmare.

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