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34 Horror Movie Facts You Probably Didn't Know

This includes spoilers for some films.

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1. While on set of The Exorcist, director William Friedkin would have the prop man randomly fire shotgun blanks to surprise the actors.

Warner Bros.

This was so he could get more authentic and frightened reactions on camera.

2. The late H.R. Giger was responsible for all of the creature designs in Alien. He incorporated a real human skull into the head of the alien.

20th Century Fox

When asked about the skull, Giger was once quoted as saying, "Don't ask me where I got it."

3. Walnuts and dead chickens were used to create the gory noises heard in The Evil Dead.

New Line Cinema

"We had a chicken and we'd take a meat cleaver and wedge into it so you'd get the impact and a bit of the goo... cracked walnuts work for a neck twist," The Evil Dead star Bruce Campbell told BuzzFeed last year.

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4. Scream was inspired by actual events that took place in Gainesville, Florida, during the early '90s.

Dimension Films

An American serial killer known as the Gainesville Ripper murdered students in rather disturbing ways. Screenwriter Kevin Williamson watched a news report about the murders and was "scared out of his mind". The fear inspired him to write the opening scene for Scream.

5. Linda Blair, who is best known for playing the possessed child Regan in The Exorcist, had a small cameo in Scream.

6. Iconic late horror director Wes Craven also had a cameo.

Dimension Films

Craven was best known for creating the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, so for his cameo, he wore Freddy Krueger's hat and sweater.

7. Due to the marketing around The Blair Witch Project, some people were convinced that actor Heather Donahue was actually dead and sent her mother sympathy cards.

Artisan Entertainment

At the time of release, many people believed the events in the film were actually real. The film's official website had faux police reports, and "missing" flyers for the cast were handed out at screenings.

8. The Blair Witch actors all agreed to stay in character while filming, but if they needed a time out or wanted to comment on something, they would use the code word "taco".

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11. M. Night Shyamalan comes from a family full of physicians. He was expected to become one too, but instead he fell in love with film at an early age.

Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

As a nod to his family, he had a cameo as a doctor in The Sixth Sense.

12. Saw was inspired by a news story.

Lionsgate Films

When he was just 17, Saw director James Wan watched a news report about a man who broke into people's houses to tickle the feet of sleeping children. It scared Wan so much that he slept with a hammer beside his bed. When the man in the reports was eventually caught, he revealed that he didn't commit the crimes on his own and was forced to do it. This sparked the idea behind forcing characters to do what they're told. The tickling criminal was also apparently sent a jigsaw piece that told him to do what he did, which was the inspiration behind the Jigsaw Killer in the films.

13. The iconic puppet from Saw, known as Billy, was so precious to filmmakers James Wan and Leigh Whannell that they paid for it to have its own seat on a flight from Melbourne to Los Angeles.

Lionsgate Films

This was back when the pair were trying to get the film made in Hollywood, and only had one puppet.

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15. Billy has also popped up in movies other than Saw. He was briefly shown as an Easter egg in Insidious, Dead Silence, and Death Sentence.

17. John Jarratt, who played serial killer Mick Taylor way too convincingly, actually used to be the host of Australian lifestyle show Better Homes and Gardens.

Seven Network / Via youtube.com

He's really not so scary once you listen to him talk about clotheslines.

18. Paranormal Activity director and writer Oren Peli filmed the movie in his own home. Despite its ~scary~ reputation, Peli later had no issues selling the house.

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20. Eli Roth's cannibal film The Green Inferno was shot in a remote village in the Amazon. It took five hours of travel every day in Land Rovers plus 90 minutes up a river to access the location.

22. Actress Lorenza Izzo almost died while filming The Green Inferno. She was thrown into a river with a rock to cling on to, but the water pulled her under and she almost drowned.

Worldview Entertainment

Due to the challenging and remote film location, things like this "happened a lot," according to Roth.

23. And Roth, who is also the man behind Hostel and Cabin Fever, has previously stated that the best way to make gory scenes more realistic is to use fruit, saying: "A grape makes an amazing eyeball when photographed at the right angle."

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24. It Follows director David Robert Mitchell didn't actually pitch the movie. Instead he made an elaborate lookbook because he believed the concept for the film was "so silly" that he "avoided saying it out loud".

Dimension Films

To be fair, the film is basically just about a sexually transmitted supernatural entity.

25. And although the movie has an '80s vibe, it actually doesn't fit into any time period. The film deliberately keeps you guessing about the era it's in because it's placed outside of time.

Dimension Films

It's a little confusing but Mitchell said the ambiguous time period is to suggest that it's all a dream or a nightmare.

26. The Babadook was inspired by a strange story writer/director Jennifer Kent heard in the early '00s.

Entertainment One

Kent had a friend with a young son who was convinced he was being stalked by an imaginary boogeyman. His mother would pretend to talk to the "creature" in order to calm him down.

27. And years after the release of the movie in 2014, the monster in the film has bizarrely now become a queer icon online.

Entertainment One

The Babadook was shown as an evil and terrifying creature but, thanks to Twitter, he's now seen very differently.

28. The Witch director Robert Eggers revealed it bothers him that you can see Anya Taylor-Joy's earring holes in the film. He said in the DVD commentary that he wished he had CG'd them out.

A24

Although he also commented on his own pickiness by adding that "maybe that's getting insane".

29. Joaquin Phoenix was originally meant to star in Split before James McAvoy was cast.

Phoenix previously worked with Split director M. Night Shyamalan on two of his other films, The Village and Signs.

31. Eddie Murphy's 1983 comedy special Delirious inspired Get Out.

HBO / Via youtube.com

In the routine, Murphy makes fun of white people in movies for not leaving haunted houses, saying: "If there's a ghost in the house, get the fuck out."

32. There were several alternate endings to Get Out, all of which were quite dark. According to writer/director Jordan Peele, one of those endings involved the main character, Chris, being taken away by the police and put in jail for killing a white family.

34. And lucky for us, Jordan Peele does plan on writing more horror movies. In a Reddit AMA he said he has "several social thrillers marinating" and he intends on writing and directing all of them.

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