They say that art mimics life, and why shouldn’t it? Let’s face it; more often than not, life tends to be a lot stranger than fiction. As a result, some of the most famous (or infamous) characters from movies, books, TV, and even cartoons have their roots in the history of real people.

It’s no great surprise that creators draw their inspiration from people who once lived and breathed. It makes the story or movie that much more interesting. When faced with a fictional character inspired by a real human being, there’s no telling ourselves that this could never really happen…it already has!

From voodoo priestesses and serial killer clowns to Disney princesses and comic book superheroes, it seems that just about every type of character has a muse among the living! Here are 25+ fictional characters and their real-life counterparts. We’ll let you decided if fiction beats fact.