She also popularized the "string-haired ghost girl" horror trope in Western cinema although the trope has long existed in Japanese culture. She is portrayed by Daveigh Chase in The Ring, Kelly Stables in Rings (Short Film), The Ring Two and Bonnie Morgan in Rings.
In 1970, a woman named Evelyn Osorio was held captive in the basement of a sexually perverted priest named Burke. Burke raped her under captivity which eventually impregnated Evelyn. Evelyn escaped captivity after eight and a half months and fled to a Christian hospital to give birth.
Evelyn soon gave birth to a baby girl named Samara, who ceased to cry and was born with strange supernatural abilities. It is unknown where these abilities came from since both of her biological parents were fully human but it was most likely that she was a human incarnation of a demonic spirit that resided within the waters, which Evelyn lived in constant fear of.
Shortly after her birth, Evelyn claimed to hear voices in her head telling her that the only way to get rid of the evil spirits residing within Samara was by drowning her. Whether these voices came from her conscience or from Samara telepathically telling her to do so is unknown. Evelyn eventually decided to drown the baby girl in the fountain outside the hospital but a group of nuns caught her in the act and seized the baby away. Samara was put up for adoption whilst her mother was institutionalised.
Eventually, Samara was adopted by Anna and Richard Morgan, who were prize-winning horse breeders in Moesko Island. A book dedicated to Samara, which was written by Evelyn, was stored in the basement of the Morgan ranch despite Samara having little memory of her own biological mother. Anna loved Samara dearly as if she were own child due to her several miscarriages between 1963 to 1969 and Samara loved her back in return. As Samara grew up, she developed strange supernatural powers known as nensha, which enabled her to unintentionally burn gruesome images into her parents' minds whenever she was around.
Having no knowledge over her powers, her powers unintentionally spiraled out of control as Samara grew up. This caused her to be the perfect scapegoat by the local community who blamed her for the island's misfortunes such as not being able to catch enough fish etc. In addition, Anna became more mentally unstable and distant towards Samara, due to the gruesome images that Samara unintentionally burnt inside her head. Living as an outcast, Samara spent most of her time alone on the swings outside the Morgan ranch. Ironically, she developed a phobia of water despite the fact that she actually human incarnate of sea demon itself.
Anna consulted Dr. Grasnik, the local doctor, about the gruesome images in her head but being unable to help her, Dr. Gransnik referred both Anna and Samara to Eola Psychiatric Hospital. Under 24/7 surveillance, Anna was treated for depression and suicidal thoughts whilst Samara's powers were observed by a psychiatrist named Dr. Scott. During her stay in Eola Psychiatric Hospital, Samara was unable to sleep and displayed her nensha by burning images onto transparent film which Dr. Scott uses as evidence for her powers.
Dr. Scott records the psychiatric session on camera and asks Samara on how she was able to perform her powers but she gives cryptic answers such as "I see them... and then... they just... are." He also presumes that Samara doesn't truly want to hurt anyone with her powers but Samara sinisterly confesses to him that her powers are too strong and that she won't stop hurting others, indicating that she is slowly becoming psychotically insane. The recording abruptly ends on static and it was presumed that Samara killed Dr. Scott with her powers. His murder was further hinted when Samara mentally compares him to be a centipede, viewing him as a pest that needed to be exterminated.
The footage becomes missing soon afterwards. To prevent Samara from harming anyone else with her powers, her father Richard locked her in the upper level of the horse barn with only a TV set to entertain her. Samara struggled to fall asleep every night due to the noises that the horses made. In a fit of psychotic rage, Samara burnt gruesome images into the minds of the horses and drove them to commit suicide by causing them to jump off a nearby cliff.
The mass suicide was considered to be an epidemic and the Morgans later became the center of unwanted media attention. According to several news reports, about 36 horses were killed in this bizarre mass suicide. The horse barn was quarantined by the authorities but none of them were aware of Samara's presence. Depressed over the loss of her horses, Anna was sent back to Eola Psychiatric Hospital. Anna was eventually released from the hospital five days later and as a way to relieve themselves from the recent tragedies, the family decided to travel to Shelter Mountain Inn for a vacation.
Whilst Samara stood besides a well in Shelter Mountain Inn, Anna finally snapped and suffocated her with a black, garbage bag and threw her down the well, in order stop her from mentally tormenting her and the horses. Anna later became horrified by her actions and committed suicide by jumping off a nearby cliff out of remorse. Meanwhile, Samara tried to crawl out of the well but broke her fingernails in the process as a stone lid slowly covered the top of the well, sealing her fate. She eventually died due to hypothermia and starvation after spending 7 days in the well. After Samara died, the horses in the Morgan ranch returned to normal but Richard decided to stop breeding them. She was about 12 years old at her time of death. Meanwhile, the rest of the citizens on Moesko Island seemed to be relieved that they won't have to encounter Samara's troubling presence ever again. Dr. Grasnik even admitted herself that "things have been better" ever since Samara's death.