Freddy Krueger is undeniably one of the most terrifying horror icons in the history of the genre. The scarred face, iconic clawed glove, and unique choice in fashion has lodged in the minds of kids not only during the ‘80s when the character made its debut, but still today.
Over the years, Freddy Krueger has graced the big screen on several occasions keeping the story of this icon alive over generations of viewers. With this being the case, plenty of rumors has circulated regarding the character’s origins.
Many believe that a real murderer inspired the character of Freddy Krueger. However, the truth is different but equally as unsettling.
Is Freddy Kreuger real?
There’s no need to freak out — Freddy Krueger is a completely fictional character created by Wes Craven for his 1984 film A Nightmare on Elm Street. Unlike some other iconic fictional horror characters, no real-life person inspired this character to come to life. He is simply a work of terrifying fiction.
The idea for this character came to Craven when he read an L.A Times article about a family of immigrants that came to the U.S from the Killing Fields in Cambodia.
“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,” Craven shared in an interview with Vulture back in 2014.
“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.”
Sadly, real life horrors far more unspeakable than Freddy provided the basis for this memorable villain.