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Are Horror Movies Ever Based on Real Events?

Back in the 1950s, in the early years of cinematic science fiction, schlocky horror films entertained America, often at drive-in theaters. Titles ranged from I Married a Monster from Outer Space and Creature from the Black Lagoon to the iconic Invasion of the Body Snatchers and The Blob. While plots were typically outlandish, and often amusing, The Blob was actually based on an incident that took place in Philadelphia in 1950. Police officers reported seeing a parachute land. Upon investigation, they found a six-foot (1.8-m) mound of purple goo. Within half an hour, the "blob" had dissolved completely.

It's alive:

  • Accounts are fuzzy, but the police reported that the blob contained “strange crystals, giving off a mist.” One cop touched it, and said that it left an “odorless sticky residue” on his hand.

  • The story made the national news, but no one took the incident very seriously. The FBI was called in, but the Air Force declined to investigate.

  • The 1958 version of The Blob starred Steve McQueen in his feature film debut. In typical Hollywood fashion, the film was remade. The 1988 story of a deadly blob from outer space starred Kevin Dillon.

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