Is Insidious Based On A True Story? – Real Truth Behind It

Moviesby sagnika sinha13 May 2023

Is Insidious Based On A True StoryReal Truth Behind It

The film Insidious now a franchise was originally a low-budget film. The moment it was released, it took a massive hit of popularity among horror-genre-loving fans. It was different from the usual gore and predictable plot that the avid horror genre watchers were used to.

Of course the movie has many tropes but there is a new sense of terror that you can see when you watch the movie. After the movie was released in the theaters, in 2010 people went crazy about the concept of astral projection. The accurate perception of the practice cannot be completely explained but I can confirm that not everyone who didn’t possess their body can be possessed by demons. But a lot of things were right in the movie so credit to the writers! So let’s get into it!

Keep reading till the end to find out more information about it – is insidious and based on a true story!



The film Insidious is a supernatural horror film which is a direction by James Wan and written by Leigh Whannell. It stars – Rose Byrne, Patrick Wilson, and Barbara Hershey. The second film, Chapter 2 continues with the plot of the first.

In the film’s first franchise, the Insidious plot mainly revolves around a married couple, whose son enters a state of coma and unknowingly becomes an empty vessel for a wide variety of demonic entities in an Astral plane.

In the third film called Insidious: Chapter 3, the focus changes to the psychic who helped the family of the first two films. The plot revolves around how she helps a young girl who is calling to the dead. The fourth film, The Last Key then turns towards her own family and becomes haunted.

The fifth film, Insidious: The Red Door returns to the first family where the son, Dalton, is trying to come to terms with his relationship with his father. Both have repressed the past and are constantly suffering from both mental and astral projection. In this film, Josh is suffering from the memories of his father and his spirit while a demon of the past comes to haunt Dalton!


The film had its world premiere on the 14th of September,2010, at the TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival), in the year 2010.

The Insidious release date was on the 1st of April, 2011, by the Film District. Insidious Chapter 2 was released on the 13th of September, 2013. The third film Insidious Chapter 3 was released 5th June 2015.

Insidious: The Last Key came out on 5th January 2018. Lastly, Insidious: The Red Door has recently been released on 7th July 2023 and so far, it is one of the biggest horror movies of 2023.

Is Insidious Based On A True Story?

Is Insidious Based On A True Story_

If you have this question – is insidious based on a true story? Then let me tell you that, Insidious was not based on a true story – as much we wish it was, for the dramatics. The filmmakers drew inspiration from the supernatural experiences various people had told them. The writer and director of the film further clarified that they had never had any ghostly encounters ever in their life – to inspire the moments of the movie.

The filmmakers were inspired to make the script from topics like “sleep paralysis” and “astral projection.” Even though not supernatural, there have been many instances where people have experienced sleep paralysis and seen how terrifying it can be.

When seeing the film, if you notice the demons, then you will indeed find correlations to the various reports based on what people experienced.

The writers of the films in the franchise Scott Teems and Leigh Whannell are dolling out successful scripts time and time again. Even though they have taken inspiration from supernatural incidents and real-life stories, however, there was no one event or story of real life.

Tip: If you missed out on my answer when did insidious come out? Then it was released on 1st April, 2011.

More On Sleep Paralysis

The film “Insidious” is derived heavily from this crucial element. Sleep Paralysis is a temporary state where a person is unable to move and speak. This can happen when a person falls asleep or even wakes up.

It usually lasts for about one to two minutes and then eventually goes away. While going through sleep paralysis, there have been many instances where people have seen things that weren’t there (hallucinations). This makes for the episodes to be more frightening.

On a personal account, sleep paralysis can be very frightening. It is a very intense feeling of knowing and being aware of your surroundings and yet not being able to do anything. Your brain conjures up hallucinations that you, at that given moment, feel is very real. It usually takes frightening forms – may be in the form of a demon entity. Your survival instincts kick in, but they are useless as you are not able to even move or speak at that moment.

The movie sure did use such similar elements in the film.

Astral Projection

When someone has an out-of-body experience, then their brain’s body schema and the perception of their body or physical form get altered. Nothing leaves the body. It’s just that the brain doesn’t perceive the body the way it is accustomed to. Hence, the term Astral Projection depicts the process as an out-of-body experience. It is mainly shown in Esotericism.

In the Insidious Universe, all the characters use Astral projection to travel into the realm of “Further.”

1. Astral Bodies

The Astral bodies were capable of traveling into the memories of other people. They were even able to go into something called the astral plane. These bodies were the manifestations of the traveler’s consciousness. Even though it was mostly spiritual, they were considered more powerful than regular human spirits who resided in the Further.

The physical and astral bodies were connected by a very powerful link. The link worked in preventing the easy possession of physical bodies by the other entities.

The one con to it was, that the longer an astral body would stay away from its mortal self, the weaker the link would get, and hence, this brought the link in danger as well.

In the film, these incidents were inspired by the accounts of people who have experienced paranormal activities; however, there have not been any real incidents. The concept of sleep paralysis can be technically proven through rapid eye movement (REM).

At this stage, people cannot move. In the film, the technicality of a demon from another plane accessing the body of an individual in this plane during the paralysis is described through the red door. So, if you question if, is based on a true story, I would say not exactly but it takes artistic liberties from shared accounts! The imagery of the brain and the immobility of the body is highlighted as the factors during which the brain is alert and yet it is unable to fuse with your body.

3. Astral Plane

The Astral plane co-existed along with the physical plane. The filmmakers portrayed it as such that it existed separately. The beings of the astral plane were able to witness real-world events but would, at the same time, remain incapable of contacting and interacting with the physical world. They could possess people’s bodies to interact with the physical world.

Tip: Did you read my answer on is insidious based on a true story? I answered it at the beginning of the article.

So How Does The Movie Show Astral Projection?

Dalton, the young son went to sleep one night and did not wake up! Even the doctors are unable to wake him up so the family just takes care of him, however, paranormal things start happening soon. 

They finally connect with a psychic who tells them about the astral projection by Dalton and how is wandering around in a place called “The Further”! Even the psychic has also experienced astral projection, so she doubts that Dalton is lost in this place and is unable to go back into his body!

Or there might be another reason such as astral ghosts and demons who might be preventing him from coming back. The ghosts or demons might be trying to take over the body! So let me describe the astral projection concept in the movie!

The spirit is attached to the body through a cord or a threat, similar to a bookmark. So if you want the spirit to go back to the body, you just need to wish thus, it will snap back to the body. It is very similar to going back to your home even when you travel far from it!

No demon or ghost can enter your body if you are astral projecting because you are still connected with your body. If your body is intact, nobody can enter your body. Yes, the entities on the astral plane can hover around the body. 

This is especially high if you are depressed or stressed which leads them to feed on your depression! Even in the movie, the ghosts and demons are hovering around the body but they do not get inside. However, they were preventing Dalton from coming back to his body!

Where Was The Insidious Film Shot?

Cursed sets are something that gets all the buzz when talking about shooting horror films.

Now you might be wondering where was Insidious filmed. When it comes to the shooting of Insidious, the cast, and crew working on this supernatural film said that most of the people on the set felt uneasy and couldn’t shake off this general negative energy. According to some insiders on the set, some of the cast also kept hearing buzzing noises, which kept coming from empty rooms around the set – even when no one was in them.

These types of unexplained events also followed through to their sequel, which was shot in an abandoned hospital. The hospital was located on Los Angeles’ south side. It was an abandoned, rundown, and straight-up creepy hospital. It is also a very popular filming site for TV shows and films. The place was considered haunted by the folks.

When the crew was filming, they reported feeling queasy and uncomfortable on the set. The concept of another entity intruding into your brain can be a little uncomfortable for a lot of people. Watching it happen to film it was a little uncomfortable for a lot of people!

To Wrap It Up!

If you haven’t watched the movies yet, then you are missing out big time! Be sure to check out the Insidious franchise of films today!

When you want to know more about astral projections, give this article a read. You can compare the way postmodern fiction is developed about the concept of death. I have also shared with you the concept of astral projection because it is used in the first movie as a part of the plot!

That was all for information regarding insidious based on a true story and other information related to it. Thank you for reading up till here. I hope you found the information useful. Let me know in the comments your thoughts on the same.

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sagnika sinha

Sagnika Sinha is a content writer who is passionate about writing travel vlogs, entertainment and celebrity articles and literature-based pieces. With a 4 years experience in teaching, she loves reading books. A procrastinator by nature, she loves travelling, listening to music, planting and gardening.

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