Tracing the Real-Life Inspirations Behind Classic Horror Movies

The Fog (1980)

Recently re-released in jam-packed new DVD and Blu-ray packages by Scream Factory, John Carpenter's underrated, though beloved, The Fog definitely holds up, 33 years after its theatrical debut. A supernatural departure from the writer-director's previous horror hit, Halloween, The Fog pits a ragtag group of flesh-and-blood people against the vengeful, homicidal ghosts of leprosy-inflicted mariners killed in the (fictional) 1880 shipwreck of the clipper ship known as the Elizabeth Dane.

Carpenter and co-writer Debra Hill based the Elizabeth Dane on The Frolic, a clipper ship that crashed into a rocky reef near Goleta, California, in July 1850. The Frolic carried goods used during California's gold rush—after the wreck, the ship's contents were plundered.

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