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The 25 Craziest Real-Life American Horror Stories

17. Sharon Tate and the Manson family

It's referred to as the night when the free-loving, happy-go-lucky era of the 1960s officially died. Non-metaphorically, five innocent people were brutally murdered on August 9, 1969, by followers of charismatic and deranged cult leader Charles Manson. Famously, one of the victims was aspiring actress, and wife to acclaimed director Roman Polanski, Sharon Tate. Technically, six people died that day—Tate was eight-and-a-half-months pregnant at the time.

Polanski, on that fateful day, was working on a movie in London. As for Tate, she was hanging out inside their Los Angeles home with three of her friends (the fifth victim was an unrelated driver who rode past the property as the murderers approached). Manson had ordered four of his young followers (one guy and three girls) to go to the house, where an associate formerly resided, and "totally destroy everyone in [it], as gruesome as you can."

And so they did. Or, as Mansonite Charles Watson told one of Tate's houseguests, "I'm the devil, and I'm here to do the devil's business." By the time Manson's minions left the premises, they'd killed Tate and her friends with multiple gun shots and stabbings. Tate, specifically, was stabbed 16 times after pleading for the life of her unborn baby.

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