This Michigan Story Inspired the Most Terrifying Part of ‘Jeepers Creepers’ [VIDEO]
'Jeepers Creepers' was awesome, but did you know the best part was almost an exact retelling of actual events that took place in Michigan?
I've loved horror movies for a long time, but recently haven't enjoyed that many. The problem is that I grew up in the 1980s, which was like the golden age of slasher films. They haven't made too many that I loved since the turn of the century, but among that short list of awesomeness is 'Jeepers Creepers.'
It had all the great elements, the most important of which being the terrifying, seemingly unstoppable creature hunting down young adults. The beginning sequence of the film, in which a brother and sister witness something unspeakable on a cross-country road trip, is particularly strong, and is one of the most suspenseful opening sequences of any horror movie. It becomes even more frightening when you learn that it was inspired by a real series of events that took place not far from here.
In the movie, the terror begins when siblings see a man, who had passed them on the road earlier, dumping a body down an old drain pipe at an abandoned church. In real life, Ray and Marie Thornton had a shockingly similar experience driving on Snow Prairie Road just outside of Coldwater, Michigan. They were even playing the license plate game that the siblings played in the movie!
The real events that would eventually inspire the film, happened in 1990, and was the subject of an episode of 'Unsolved Mysteries' in 1991. Check out that segment below, and snippets of the movie below.
The 'Unsolved Mysteries' segment stopped short of telling us the full story, but the man in question was not an un-killable winged cannibalistic demon like in the movie -- he was simply a man name Dennis Depue who murdered his wife on that Easter Sunday in 1990.
Depue did evade capture for about a year, but ended up taking his own life after engaging in a shootout with Mississippi police just hours after the episode debuted. Hollywood abuses the "Based on a True Story" label so much, that I can't believe they skipped it here. I mean, obviously there are huge differences, but roughly 20 minutes of that movie were a note-for-note retelling of actual events.
You can also check out the real life abandoned school house, which was swapped out for a church in the movie, below. There might not be a quilt of dead human bodies making up the walls, but it definitely puts the "creep" in 'Jeepers Creepers.'