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Held captive for seven years, Colleen Stan got through it by focusing on the memories of family and friends.

On September 10th the Lifetime TV network is premiering a new dark psychological drama movie called Girl in the Box about a young girl forced to live in a coffin sized box for seven years and act as a deranged couple’s slave.

Sounds like just another crazy Lifetime movie right?

Well, it’s not… because this actually happened to Colleen Stan.

On May 19, 1977, 20-year-old Colleen Stan left her her home in Eugene, Oregon to hitchhike to a friend’s birthday party. A car stopped and she met Cameron and Janice Hooker, a seemingly nice young couple with a baby. Stan got in the car, but she never made it to that birthday party.About half an hour into the car ride, Cameron pulled the car over onto a dirt road, held a knife to her throat and threatened to kill her. He bound her, gagged her and put her in a wooden box.”I thought I was going to die,” says Stan, now 59, and living in northern California in an interview with People magazine.

The Hookers brought Stan to their home in Red Bluff, California, and chained her up in a box underneath their bed. For the next seven years Stan spent 23 out of 24 hours of every day in that coffin-like box. She was let out only to be beaten, raped and tortured.

Stan says she held on to her sanity by focusing on her memories of her family and friends.

“I learned I could go anywhere in my mind,” she says. “You just remove yourself from the real situation going on and you go somewhere else. You go somewhere pleasant, around people you love. Whatever makes you happy.”

In August 1984, with the help of Janice, who later testified against her husband in court in exchange for immunity, Stan escaped her terrifying prison. After both Janice and Stan gave testimony in court, Cameron was found guilty of kidnapping and sexual assault and was sentenced to 104 year in prison.

Almost 40 years after she was kidnapped, Stan says her life since her escape has been wonderful and she is grateful to be alive.

“Your life is just kinda in limbo when you’re in captivity, and once you get that freedom back and you have that choice again, it’s just like the gates open,” she says. “And you just run for it.”

Girl in the Box premieres September 10 on Lifetime.