Samara's fictional history is covered through the American films. She was born to a woman named Evelyn, who suspected her daughter of being born with a demon inside her, and so tried to drown her child to exoricse the demon, but she was prevented by nuns. Evelyn was sent to an insane asylum, whilst Samara was put up for adoption and then adopted by Anna and Richard Morgan (Shannon Cochran and Brian Cox), who owned a horse ranch on Moesko Island, Washington. Anna had several miscarriages in the late 1960s, and was thrilled to have a child, but as Samara grew older her powers burnt horrible images into her adoptive mother's mind, nearly driving her mad. Richard banished Samara to live in the ranch's barn, but she used her powers to drive Anna's beloved horses to suicide. At some point, Samara was taken to a psychiatric hospital but they were unable to explain how she created the images. Eventually, the family went to Shelter Mountain for a vacation, but Anna attacked Samara as she stood before an old well, suffocating her with a garbage bag and then dropping down the well, imprisoning her. Anna then committed suicide by jumping off a cliff. Seven days later, Samara drowned in the well.
Eventually, a set of rental cabins were built near the well, one on top of it. This allowed Samara to project her visions into a VCR tape, and creating the seven-day curse. In The Ring, Samara's curse kills Katie, the niece of Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts), leading the journalist to investigate the tape's origins. Rachel, her ex-boyfriend, Noah Clay (Martin Henderson), and their son, Aidan (David Dorfman), all watch the video. Rachel meets Richard but his memories of Samara lead to him killing himself via electrocution. Rachel and Noah eventually find Samara's corpse in the well and bury it, but this releases a corporeal form of Samara's spirit and she kills Noah by crawling out of his television and scaring him to death. Rachel destroys the original video cassette in rage, but uses a copied version of the video to continue the curse in order to save Aidan from dying.
In The Ring Two, Samara deliberately manipulates the tape to get back to Rachel, having decided to make her her new mother. After Rachel burns the tape, Samara possesses Aidan. Rachel drugs Samara and then nearly drowns Aidan to pull Samara out of his body. Samara retreats to a television set, Rachel being willingly pulled into Samara's visionary world and down the well. Rachel climbs out of the well with Samara pursuing her, but Rachel covers the seal on the well just in time.