The True Story That Inspired ‘The Sound Of Music’ Is More Dramatic Than The Movie

If you’ve seen The Sound of Music – and odds are good that you’ve watched it a few dozen times – you’re probably in love with its timeless romance and classic songs.

Since the movie’s release in 1965, it has become one of the most successful films of all time. And the endless copies my family bought on VHS and DVD probably helped a lot.

But when I watched the movie growing up I always wondered: what happened to the von Trapps after the movie ended?

The surprising answer is that the famous singing family moved to America.

See, The Sound of Music, along with the Broadway play and German film that inspired it, are based on the real life story of Maria von Trapp, her husband Georg, and their children.

Maria von Trapp (back row, far left) with her children.von Trapp family

Like in the movie, Maria was a nun who joined the von Trapp household as a tutor (not a governess) for the widower’s seven children.

Unlike the classic film, Maria and Georg did not exactly fall head over heels for each other, as Maria confessed in a book about her life.

“I really and truly was not in love,” she wrote. “I liked him but didn’t love him. However, I loved the children, so in a way I really married the children.” But even their real love story had a Hollywood ending.

“[B]y and by, ” Maria remembered, “I learned to love him more than I have ever loved before or after.”

But their romance wasn’t the only detail about the von Trapps that Hollywood changed. Their dramatic escape from Austria went very differently in real life.

The Terrifying True Story Of The Winchester Mansion

If you’re a horror movie fan, you’ve probably heard about Winchester, the spine-tingling new ghost movie starring Helen Mirren.

The movie’s trailer teases a story about a wealthy heiress haunted by the ghosts who dwell in her incredibly creepy mansion. But the scariest part of this story is that it’s true.

Left: the only known photograph of Sarah Winchester. Right: Helen Mirren in ‘Winchester.’Bettman Archive

The Winchester Mystery House is a very real mansion in San Jose, California, and every year thousands of visitors tour the spooky building.

It was the product of Sarah Winchester’s haunted imagination. Winchester’s father was the wealthy founder of the famous rifle company, and her husband was also a successful gun manufacturer.

The Winchester Mystery HouseWikimedia

But by the 1880s they had both died. Living alone in an eight bedroom farmhouse, Winchester began adding extensions to the building.

Then, things took a strange turn that no one can explain. Winchester spent the next 40 years obsessively building, tearing down, and re-building her massive home.

An aerial view of the house.Strux Travel

The final product is totally eerie, and there’s a chilling paranormal explanation behind Winchester’s designs.

The True Story Behind ‘Love You Forever’ Makes The Classic Book Even More Heartbreaking

Unless you’ve been raising your kids on another planet, you’ve probably heard of Robert Munch’s classic children’s book Love You Forever.

In fact, you’re probably sick of the story after reading it over and over to your own kids. But just in case you need a reminder, it’s about a mother who sings the same song to her son at different stages in life. At the end of the book, the boy (now a grownup) holds his elderly mother and sings back the same song.

Firefly Books

Parents everywhere fell in love with the classic story, illustrator Sheila McGraw’s art, and the beautiful message that you will always love your kids, even if they get on your nerves sometimes.

Since 1986, millions of copies of the book have been sold, and it reached number four on Publisher Weekly‘s list of best-selling children’s books. But there’s a tragic story behind the book that most parents know about.

It was to do with the song repeated throughout the book:

I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living my baby you’ll be.

It turns out that song had a special meaning for Munsch and his wife, at a time in their lives when the author was so sad he couldn’t even bring himself to cry.