The following article contains heavy spoilers for Veronica.
Paco Plaza, the director of 2007’s horrifying REC, has a new movie that was added to Netflix’s horror catalog last week, much to the surprise of subscribers. The film, titled Veronica, is a Spanish-language supernatural possession flick that immediately made headlines for being legitimately scary- with some suggesting that it’s the most frightening movie they’ve ever seen.
While we don’t necessarily agree with that latter opinion, our reviewer noted that the film certainly has moments of terror, and that the direction from Plaza and the stellar performances by the young cast carry the film to respectable heights.
This isn’t the first horror film to claim that it’s based on a true story. In fact, that happens so often that the boast has become eye-roll inducing. The truly scary thing about Veronica, though, is that it actually is.
Newsweek dug into story that inspired the film, and though details are fictionalized in the movie, the facts are every bit as spooky.
The film claims to be based on a police report, and that report actually exists. It’s known as the “Vallecas Case,” and scans of it are available online. According to the site, the case takes its name from the Madrid neighborhood in which a young woman, Estefania Gutierrez Lazaro, used a Ouija board and performed a seance at her school. Like the movie, she was interrupted by a teacher. Following the seance, Estefania suffered through seizures and hallucinations for months, claiming to see shadows and supernatural presences around her.
Much like the end of Plaza’s film, Estefania passed away, though it didn’t happen in the ambulance after a dramatic supernatural event. Her death came in a Madrid hospital sometime in August of 1991. The police report that Veronica is based on, however, didn’t even really involve Estefania at all.
Estefania’s family, who continued to experience supernatural events in the house, waited until a year after her death before getting police involved. When police arrived, they experienced phenomena such as hearing a loud noise coming from an empty porch, the door of a perfectly closed wardrobe opening unnaturally, a crucified Jesus separating from his cross, and more, all of which were filed in the report.
To this day, the case is a popular topic of paranormal discussion in Spain.
So while the events of Veronica aren’t entirely true, the story from which it comes is legitimate nightmare fuel.