The Terrifying 'True' Story That Inspired The Blob

In 1958, director Irvin Yeaworth and writers Kay Linaker and Theodore Simonson unleashed "The Blob" upon the world. In it, a mysterious, gelatinous, corrosive, amoeboidal material seeps out of a meteorite that has crash landed onto earth. The unknown sludge slowly begins to consume everything in its path, growing stronger and larger with each envelopment. "The Blob" terrorizes small Pennsylvania towns as it grows more aggressive with its hunger, and grows monumental in size.

"The Blob" was terrifying due to its unstoppable nature, and unlike most horror movies of the time period, "The Blob" is not destroyed at the end of the film. Instead, the Air Force transports the giant slime ball to the Arctic, hoping to freeze it in its tracks. Lieutenant Dave Barton (Earl Rowe) even says aloud that the creature will at least be stopped this way, and teenager Steve Andrews (Steve McQueen) replies, "Yeah, as long as the Arctic stays cold." What follows is the iconic title card of "The End" with a question mark following, implying that "The Blob" was not yet finished with us.

The film would inspire a 1988 remake of the same name, and the titular "Blob" has influenced everyone from "Stranger Things" to "Spongebob Squarepants." There's even a computing code term known as a "blob" referring to a collection of binary data stored as a single entity. Now that global warming has lowered the temperature of the Arctic, it's time we prepare for a rematch with "The Blob." After all, the creature is inspired by a real event ... sort of.

Mysterious Pennsylvania Ooze

In late September of 1950 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, two police officers claimed to have spotted something falling from the sky. Officers Joe Keenan and John Collins went to investigate the scene, when they noticed a mysterious glob of something hanging from a telephone pole. The two looked at the substance and noted that the bizarre blob of ooze seemed to be moving on its own. Collins reached out to touch the glob of goo, and it allegedly left behind a sticky residue before evaporating right before their eyes. Neither officer has ever provided an explanation as to what the hell they saw, nor has anyone ever been able to discount their findings.

The two took the situation so seriously that they called for back-up, which meant Keenan and Collins weren't the only two to witness the inexplicable muck. Four additional officers were able to corroborate their story. Their discovery became a popular news story after reporters got a hold of the police report, and became part of Philadelphia local lore for years. It was only eight years later that Pennsylvania based filmmakers Irvine H. Millgate and Jack Harris would start to develop "The Blob." Millgate is credited with the story of "The Blob," but didn't actually write the screenplay. It would appear that Kay Linaker and Theodore Simonson were able to take Millgate's story about the police discovering a mysterious blob and turned it into the horror classic we know and love today.