The Town that Dreaded Sun Down is based on the real life murders which took place in the Texarkana Metropolitan area, made up of Texarkana, Texas and Texarkana, Arkansas.
In one of the first major American media publicized murder cases, a serial killer attacked 8 people, leaving 3 injured and 5 dead. The murderer came to be known as The Phantom Killer, a name first ascribed to him in the Texarkana Daily News, the local newspaper. The reason for the name, was that he wore a white bag over his with two eye holes cut out, and could appear at a crime scene suddenly then disappear just quickly, like a phantom.
The film remains very faithful to the source material, with only the chronological order of a few events being altered and the ending being played up to make it more of a climax.