The Haunting Real-Life Story That Inspired Scream’s Chilling First Scene

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The Haunting Real-Life Story That Inspired Scream's Chilling First SceneMoviestore Collection Ltd/PictureLux/Alamy

Scream writer Kevin Williamson has talked about the real-life event that inspired the film’s chilling opening scene.

Scream may not claim to be based on a true story or inspired by specific real events, but the iconic opening scene of the first film has a foundation in a spooky real-life story.


According to Metro, Williamson drew from personal experience to come up with the idea for the iconic opening scene of Scream where Drew Barrymore’s Casey is home alone and on the phone with what at first appears to be a mistaken caller, only for her to realise the man on the phone is watching her.

Ghostface in Scream. (Paramount Pictures)Paramount Pictures

The inspiration for the scene came from a time when the writer was house-sitting for a friend in Los Angeles and began to suspect somebody was in the building with him.

He said: ‘I was house-sitting for a friend of mine and I walk into the family room and I see that the window’s open, and I’m freaked out.


‘So I go and I get a butcher knife and I start walking around the house and I call up my friend on the phone and [say] ‘I think someone’s in the house’.’

Neve Campbell and Courteney Cox in Scream. (Paramount Pictures)Paramount Pictures

Williamson was also reportedly inspired to come up with the horror movie series itself while watching a TV special about the Gainesville murders, where five students were murdered over the course of four days in 1990.

The TV special about the grisly murders was said to have left Williamson so disturbed by what he had seen that he put pen to paper and wrote one of the most famous and popular horror movies of all time.


The latest instalment in the franchise, titled Scream, will see the return of Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette, and is the first film in the series not directed by the late Wes Craven, with Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett helming the movie.

Set 25 years after the events of the original flick, the film will follow a new killer donning the iconic Ghostface mask and targeting teenagers in the town of Woodsboro.

Scream (2022) hits cinemas in the UK tomorrow, January 14

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Topics: Film and TV, horror, Scream


  1. Metro

    Gruesome true story that inspired original Scream movie and will chill you to the bone

Joe Harker
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