Paco Plaza, the director behind 2007’s found footage flick [REC], is back with the Spanish horror film Veronica which has been all over genre sites since it arrived on Netflix earlier this month.
The reason the film is getting so much buzz, many viewers can’t finish watching the film because it’s so scary. One thing that adds to the reputation is the fact that it is based on a true story.
The film centers on a young woman (Sandra Escacena) who must protect her younger brother and sister after she attempts to contact the spirit of their dead father through a ritual using an Ouija board.
So, what’s the true story that inspired the film? Back in August of 1991 in Madrid, Spain, a teenage girl named Estafania Gutierrez Lazaro died a mysterious death. Her parents believed the death was caused by Estafania playing with an Ouija board.
Shortly before she passed away one of her friends died in a tragic accident. Estafania and her friends gathered to perform a seance in hopes of making contact. Performed at her school, the seance was interrupted by a nun before it could be finished. The nun reportedly broke the board. Following the event, Estafania began having strange hallucinations of dark figures. She also began having seizures. Doctors were unable to find the cause of her troubles and Estafania died that Summer. After her death, Estafania’s parents insisted that the paranormal events continued. A year after her passing her parents called the police to report an evil force plaguing their home. The police heard loud noises, saw scratches made by invisible hands, flying knives, and a photo of Estafania burst into flames.
The case of the Estafania Valleces is famous in Spain due to the fact that it is the only time in Spain’s history that police actually filed a report claiming that they had personally witnessed paranormal activity. Chief Inspector Pedro Negri was head of the investigation.
In Spain it’s very popular, this story; as we say in the film, the only time a police officer has said he has witnessed something paranormal,” says Paco Plaza. “And it’s written in a report with an official police stamp… it’s really impressive when you look at it.”
Veronica is now streaming on Netflix.