The Original Inspiration Behind Ghostface


The original inspiration for the film Scream was based on the Gainesville Ripper. The Gainesville Ripper, also known as Daniel Harold Rolling, had a total of 8 victims. The most notable was the 5 college students he killed in the span of 3 days.  During this time a struggling actor and screenwriter by the name of Kevin Williamson was interested in the ongoing case of the Gainesville ripper back in 1990. He based the movie script on the case of the 5 college students that were murdered. He wanted to try to include Daniel’s back story into it, but sadly couldn’t. Ghostface is merely an illusion of the original killer. Daniel’s actual crimes were much more graphic. 

While he was on the loose, Daniel managed to strike fear into the small college town and those in it. Many students were advised to be in groups of 3 or more for safety. The only reason why he was caught and confessed to the murders was that he got caught for thievery. Daniel’s childhood consisted of emotional and mental abuse. His father was a cop and had abused him and his mother when he was little. As he grew he started to develop abusive behaviors toward those around him. The only thing that truly helped him with coping at the time was music and art.

In his younger years, he developed multiple personalities as a way to protect himself from those who would potentially hurt him. He soon joined the Air Force but was kicked out for possession of drugs. When moved in with his grandfather, he attended the local church. This is where he married his wife and had a daughter. Soon though, he started to show the same abusive behaviors as his father did, driving her away.  After the divorce with his now ex-wife, he took a turn for the worst.

The crimes he committed were graphic and very horrific. From 1979 till he was killed on death row, he was in and out of jail for robbery among other things. In 1989, after being fired from his job, he took the life of a family. From here on he started to kill. Danial had a total of 8 victims, the most notable was the 5 college students he killed in the span of 3 days. 

While he was on the loose, the college shut down due to the killings. They put up memorials that you can visit even today. The authorities didn’t know it was him till he was caught on a separate charge of theft, and while in court, he admitted to the killings. From here, Ghostface was born. The franchise grew in popularity, but not many knew the true origins of the inspiration behind it. The Gainesville Ripper caused many deaths and losses, but even then he is stilled remembered for everything he did.

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