Netflix’s upcoming Devil in Ohio promises to be an exceptional thriller. The poster’s filled with clues as to what we might expect: it features a bare-foot girl dressed in all white, fleeing from a bloody knife on a cross-shaped path cutting through a corn field.

The girl in the poster is most likely Mae, a fragile teenager who flees from a cult into the arms of Suzanne Mathis, a psychiatrist, and mother of three. Mae settles in Mathis’ household, where Suzanne expects her to bond with her three daughters. However, a series of bizarre occurrences spark an inquest into Mae’s past and intentions. 

The showrunners studied real-life cults when creating the series

Devil in Ohio is based on a best-selling novel of the same name by Daria Polatin. She told Netflix Tudum that the narrative in her book is based on a true story:

“The book was inspired by true events from a story that our executive producer, Rachel Miller, heard, which actually took place in Ohio.”

Polatin said the showrunners studied real-life cults to create the cult we’ll see in Devil in Ohio. She said:

“Me and my writers’ room studied all of the cults. We tried to learn as much as we could about as many organizations, then we made up our own cult using elements of many different groups.”

The showrunners also created the cult’s Bible in the show. Polatin didn’t state which cults the creators studied, but there’s no shortage of cults in Ohio that could have inspired the film. 

Recently, the Dwell Community Church, formerly Xenos Christian Fellowship, has come into focus for cult-like activities. Former members talking to NBC4i described the church as a cult hiding behind a religious veil. They reported behavioral control, exploitation, and shaming. 

Few Ohio natives can forget the murders of the Avery family by cult leader Jeffrey Lundgren. Jeffrey convinced followers of his cult that they had to offer the Averys as a ‘blood sacrifice’ to aid their progression into the promised land.