Thinking that Freddy was merely a fictional idea, the story actually began when director Wes Craven accidentally read an article covering the mysterious deaths of several Southeast Asians on 70-80 years.
In 1981, The New York Times reported on the cases of 18 refugees who died abnormally in their beds within the previous four years. One of the causes cited by the investigators is that they may have been frightened to death while sleeping. During that time, about 35,000 Lao Hmong fled to the United States after the end of the Lao Civil War in 1975.
The health authorities named these cases Asian mortality syndrome. These unusual sleep deaths have created a wave of fear not only in the US but also in the world. In the Philippines, people call it bangungut, in Japan it’s pokkuri … all have the same meaning as a nightmare of death.