Freddy Kruger Could be an Upstate NY Nightmare
Did a Nightmare on Elm Street start in Upstate NY? It's a scary Halloween story, if it's true.
According to a Facebook post on a page called "The City of Buffalo", the answer is YES:
The Freddy Kruger character was based on a real serial killer who lived in Buffalo NY in the 1800s. According to police files of the time, Mr. Kruger had killed at least twenty children within a three mile radius of where he lived. He reportedly murdered the children using only a gardening claw, and he lived inside an abandoned factory; having set up a small living area (and torture area) within the "mechanical room" of the facility. Oh...back then, a "mechanical room" was also known as a "boiler room".
Mr. Kruger was eventually caught, tried, and found to be criminally insane. He spent the rest of his life in Buffalo Psychiatric Hospital before dying unexpectedly in his sleep at the age of 72.
To this day (and LONG before the Elm St. films) Buffalo Psych Hospital was said to be haunted by the ghost of Freddy Kruger. And is still haunted till this day.
Hmmm. That's a good story - and it's been shared over 17,000 times - but is it true?
After a little online research of our own, we finally got to Snopes.com - which reveals that no, the 'real' Freddy Kruger isn't from Buffalo. In fact, this hoax has been going around for a while - but with different cities as the place of origin.
However, Snopes does reveal that Wes Craven, the creator of the Nightmare on Elm Street series, admits that he based his horror movie on another news report he once heard. Frankly, this excerpt from an interview with Vulture reported by SyFy is even scarier than the Freddy Kruger story:
When asked where they actually got the idea for Freddy’s WTF-tastic dream powers, Craven recounted an old new story he’d read about a family trying to get their lives in order after escaping Cambodia. But the family’s son was haunted with post-traumatic stress that eventually killed him. From there, the genesis of Freddy Krueger was born:
“I’d read an article in the L.A. Times about a family who had escaped the Killing Fields in Cambodia and managed to get to the U.S. Things were fine, and then suddenly the young son was having very disturbing nightmares. He told his parents he was afraid that if he slept, the thing chasing him would get him, so he tried to stay awake for days at a time. When he finally fell asleep, his parents thought this crisis was over. Then they heard screams in the middle of the night. By the time they got to him, he was dead. He died in the middle of a nightmare. Here was a youngster having a vision of a horror that everyone older was denying. That became the central line of Nightmare on Elm Street.”
So even though there isn't a real Freddy Kruger, and he isn't from Buffalo, you still might not get to sleep tonight.