Timeline


This timeline is based on the highly successful horror series A Nightmare on Elm Street.

The outline here is the canonical account based on the films and approved licensing tie-ins. It contains the least possible spoilers for those who have not seen all the films but still contains enough information to have everything covered.

Below each listing is a footnote that provides evidence or explanation of where the listing originated. Please see these sources to confirm the information documented here.

Click here to view this timeline (with references) in PDF format.

A Nightmare on Elm Street Timeline

1907
Amanda Krueger is born.
[As shown in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors.]

Circa 1940
Practicing nun Sister Mary Helena (Amanda Krueger) is accidentally locked in the tower for the criminally insane at Our Lady of Sorrows mental institution. She is raped for days by the one hundred patients confined there. Amanda is found afterward, barley alive and now pregnant. After the incident in the tower, that wing of the hospital is closed and Our Lady of Sorrows changes its name to Westin Hills psychiatric hospital. Frederick Charles Krueger is born months later after a breech birth and given up for adoption.
[Freddy’s birth date has not been officially released. A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors and A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child both reference it to be sometime in the 1940s. Due to what we’re shown in Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare and Freddy vs. Jason, his birth date is most likely in the early ‘40s.]

Circa 1940 to 1961
Fred Krueger is placed with an abusive alcoholic named Mr. Underwood. Underwood addresses Fred as “Freddy,” and abuses the boy physically and verbally in his drunken stupors. In his elementary years, Freddy begins to exhibit sociopathic behavior by killing small animals. Other children often ridicule him, making him an outsider socially.
[As shown in Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare.]

In his late teens, Freddy proclaims to have learned the secret of pain from self-mutilation and kills Mr. Underwood.
[As shown in Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare.]

In early adulthood, Freddy marries a woman named Loretta. The Kruegers reside in Freddy’s childhood home at 1428 Elm Street.
[As shown in Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare.]

1961
Kathryn Krueger is born.
[Noted on adoption decree in Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare.]

Circa 1961 to 1965
Police begin to find the slashed and burned remains of neighborhood children. They are unable to solve the murders and local newspapers dub the mysterious killer The Springwood Slasher.
[Referenced in A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge and Freddy vs. Jason.]

Loretta Krueger finds a hidden room in the basement of 1428 Elm Street, containing items of the macabre and versions of a workman’s glove with metal talons on the four main fingers. Promising she won’t tell, Freddy strangles her in front of young Kathryn for “snooping in his special work.”
[As shown in Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare.]

Freddy works as a janitor at the local power plant and in its abandoned boiler room he killed the missing children.
[Referenced in A Nightmare on Elm Street and A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge.]

1966
Freddy is arrested for the murders of twenty neighborhood children. A confession from young Kathryn regarding her mother’s disappearance prompted police action. Kathryn is placed in the care of adoption services after Freddy’s arrest.
[Referenced in A Nightmare on Elm Street and Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare. The blackboard confirms the date during the school scene in Freddy’s Dead.]

1967
The Burroughs family adopts Kathryn, gives her a new name, and moves her away from Springwood. Her records are subsequently sealed to conceal her true identity.
[Noted on adoption decree and referenced in Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare.]

1968
Freddy Krueger’s high profile trial begins and is cut short when it’s revealed the search warrant to obtain evidence was not signed correctly. Trial evidence is deemed inadmissible and Krueger is released. Later that night, outraged and grieving neighborhood parents form a mob and track Freddy to his boiler room lair. The mob encircles the lair, pouring gasoline around the boiler room and igniting it. In addition, Molotov cocktails are thrown through the lair’s windows—setting its interior ablaze. The mob stands motionless until Krueger perishes in the conflagration.
[Referenced in A Nightmare on Elm Street and shown in Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare and Freddy vs. Jason.]

While the flames surround him, Freddy is approached by three dream demons. These demons roam the land of the living until they find the most evil soul, and in turn, give them the power to turn dreams into reality. Krueger accepts their offer to “be forever” as the flames consume him.
[As shown in Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare.]

The parents involved with Krueger’s death agree to keep the incident secret and help erase his existence. Krueger’s remains are taken to Penny Bros. Auto Salvage and hidden in the trunk of an old red Cadillac. Officer Donald Thompson moves his family into the house at 1428 Elm Street. With Kathryn Krueger already gone from Springwood, all loose ends from that night are tied up.
[Referenced in A Nightmare on Elm Street, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors and Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare.]

Amanda Krueger, who had been following Fred’s trial, hears of his release and hangs herself in the tower where she was raped. Afterward, her body is sealed in the condemned tower and a memorial stone is placed in the Springwood cemetery for Amanda Krueger, her name in Christ Sister Mary Helena.
[As shown in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors and referenced in A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child. Amanda’s headstone also confirms the date of Freddy’s “death” at the hands of the Elm Street parents.]

Circa 1968 to 1981
Neighborhood children make up a nursery rhyme about the Freddy lore to jump rope to and most parents involved with Krueger’s death separate or divorce.
[Referenced in A Nightmare on Elm Street.]

The dream demons give Freddy the power to exist and kill within dreams. Krueger can appear in any form he wants and can change the dream in any way to achieve his ends. Physical harm inflicted by Krueger in a dream will carry over to the real world, and absorbing his victim’s soul will gain him more power to further influence the line between dreams and reality. In addition, fear of Krueger’s memory will allow him to eventually return in cases of defeat. Setting his sights on a new generation of children, Freddy wants revenge on the parents of Elm Street for taking away his daughter.
[Referenced in A Nightmare on Elm Street, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare, and Freddy vs. Jason.]

1981
The events of A Nightmare on Elm Street take place.
[Though the first film was released in 1984, A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child is set in 1989. Dates of reference in the other sequels push the first film’s events back to 1981.]

1981 to 1986
Nancy Thompson is sent to a psychiatric hospital away from Springwood to recover from her ordeal and finish High School. The house at 1428 Elm Street is placed up for sale. After being released from the hospital, Nancy attends college for a degree in psychology. Freddy continues to kill the Elm Street children through their dreams. Most of these deaths are considered suicides.
[As shown in the Nightmares on Elm Street comic book series and referenced in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors.]

1986
Five years after the events of the first Nightmare, the events of Freddy’s Revenge take place.
[Time lapse referenced in A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge.]

1986 to 1987
The house at 1428 Elm Street is boarded up and placed back out on the market. The remaining Elm Street children are committed to Westin Hills for their violent nightmares and accompanying “accidents.”
[Referenced in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors.]

Nancy Thompson moves back to Springwood, applies for an internship at Westin Hills and is accepted.
[Referenced in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors.]

1987
Six years after the events of the first Nightmare, the events of Dream Warriors take place.
[Time lapse referenced in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors.]

1988
The events of The Dream Master take place.

1989
The events of The Dream Child take place.
[Date confirmed at graduation scene; see cap tassels stating ’89 in A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child.]

1990
Alice and Jacob move away from Springwood. Freddy gains enough power to break free and returns.
[Referenced in the Nightmares on Elm Street comic book series.]

The events of issues 1 and 2 of Nightmares on Elm Street take place.
[Referenced in the Nightmares on Elm Street comic book series.]

Circa 1991 (to 1999)
The events of Freddy’s Nightmares and Tales of Terror take place.
[Assumption based on the events leading up to Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare.]

1995
The events of issues 3 through 6 of Nightmares on Elm Street take place.
[Referenced in the Nightmares on Elm Street comic book series.]

1999
The events of Freddy’s Dead take place.
[During the film’s opening, the events of Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare are said to happen “10 years from now.” Given the dates of reference in Freddy vs. Jason, it would have to be ten years from 1989.]

1999 to 2003
Free of Freddy’s hold, Springwood rebuilds. The house at 1428 Elm Street is remodeled and serves as the new home for the Campbell family. Soon after, Freddy again returns and begins killing. The parents of Springwood take action: Any teen that reports dreaming of Freddy is committed to Westin Hills and placed on medication for dream suppression, mention of Freddy in official documents is erased and certain old obituaries are also edited, and “Freddy” by name is no longer spoken. Not able to get to the committed/medicated teens and unable to spread fear by name, Freddy is rendered powerless and forgotten—giving Springwood four years of peace.
[Referenced in Freddy vs. Jason.]

2003 (Late Summer)
The events of Freddy vs. Jason take place.
[Freddy vs. Jason’s release date aside, the scene at Crystal Lake has a sign that states the area will be open in summer 2004.]

2008
Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash takes place five years after the events of Freddy vs. Jason.
[Referenced in Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash. Side note: The film Jason X states government officials captured Jason Voorhees in the year 2008.]

2009
The events of the Avatar special and novels Suffer the Children, Dreamspawn, and Protégé take place.
[Events in these publications reference story elements shown in Freddy vs. Jason.]

2010
The events of Avatar comic book series Paranoid and Fearbook take place, along with novel The Dream Dealers.
[Paranoid and Fearbook continue events detailed in the Avatar special. The Dream Dealers is referenced to take place almost thirty years to the date of A Nightmare on Elm Street.]

2011
The events of Wildstorm’s A Nightmare on Elm Street comic book series take place, along with novel Perchance to Dream.
[Perchance to Dream references Jacob Johnson’s age to be twenty-one.]

2012
New Line Cinema’s Tales of Horror takes place.

Additional Notes

Events of the Nightmare on Elm Street series primarily take place in the fictional town of Springwood, Ohio. Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, the seventh film, is set outside of the Nightmare story and takes place in the fictional “real world” in 1994. Canon for the Nightmare on Elm Street series only includes what is/was approved by New Line Cinema. See this list for details.

Origin stories and dates presented in “The Life and Death of Freddy Krueger,” Freddy Krueger’s A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Freddy’s Nightmares are not considered canon due to the films rewrote most of what was presented in these tales. Deleted scenes from the films are also not considered canon due to their removal and contradicting references.

Platinum Dunes reinvented Freddy Krueger and his backstory in their 2010 remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street. The Freddy Krueger character in the remake is different than the one in the series proper and does not reflect here.