Every now and then a horror movie comes along that is so plagued by deaths and disaster that one can’t help but wonder if the film production itself might be haunted or cursed. What many of us may not realize is that some horror movies were just as terrifying to create as they are to watch. Is it possible that with scenes of ghosts, paranormal activity, and the summoning of demons that there’s a chance of fiction manifesting itself into reality from a script? Or, perhaps, the writers, directors, and actors are unknowingly conjuring a dark sentient energy that is better left untouched.
The following movies have all gone down in Hollywood lore as cursed productions. Could it all be bizarre coincidences, or something more? Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction…
Rosemary’s Baby is a 1968 Roman Polanski film about a pregnant women who becomes entangled in a Satan-worshipping cult. This iconic horror classic is nothing short of disturbing from beginning to end.
What may even be more disturbing though is what happened after the film’s release.
The film’s composer Krzysztof Komeda died of a brain clot one year after making the film, the same way a character in the film dies. Then producer William Castle became deathly ill as a result of uremic poisoning after the film was made, and swore the movie was cursed after crying out “Rosemary, for God’s sake drop that knife” while being treated.
The most eerie correlation happened in 1969 when Roman Polanski’s wife, Sharon Tate, and four others were slain in a ritualistic mass murder at their Benedict Canyon home in Los Angeles. The murder scene was one of the most horrifying ever seen. Charles Manson’s cult stabbed a pregnant Sharon Tate and four others over a hundred times. Before leaving the house after the killings, one of the cult members took a rag soaked in Tate’s blood and wrote “PIG” on the front door. That word, along with other lyrics from Beatles songs, was written in blood.
The Manson family nicknamed their murder spree, “Helter Skelter,” after a Beatles’ song from The White Album. Manson believed that the Beatles spoke to him through their lyrics, especially those included in the white album, released in December 1968. Strangely enough, Beatles’ member John Lennon would be murdered outside a hotel named The Dakota. And what’s even stranger, the same hotel was used as Rosemary’s apartment building in Rosemary’s Baby.
“The story of Rosemary’s Baby was happening in real life. Witches, all of them, were casting their spell, and I was becoming one of the principal players.” – Producer of Rosemary’s Baby
Poltergeist has to be one of the creepiest PG rated horror films ever made. What’s even more creepy is the supposed Poltergeist curse. Many people believe that the curse started when real human corpses were used as props in the pool sequence of the film. The reason they used real corpses was simple: they were cheaper than the plastic ones. “Craig Reardon, a special effects artist who worked on Poltergeist, commented at the time that it was cheaper to purchase real skeletons than plastic ones, as the plastic ones involved labor in making them”.
Not only did they use real corpses in the first film but they also used them in the sequel as well. Will Sampson, the actor who played the Shaman, attempted an exorcism one night following a shoot in hopes to get rid of the Poltergeist curse. He died less than a year later after complications from a kidney transplant.
The deaths of two of the young actresses who played sisters in Poltergeist is the event people point to when claiming evidence of a curse.
On November 4th 1982, 6 months after the filming of Poltergeist, Dominique Dunn was strangled to death by her estranged boyfriend, John Sweeney, at her Hollywood apartment.
In 1988, the young girl in all 3 Poltergeist films, Heather O’Rourke, died while filming Poltergeist 3. She died of a septic infection due to a bowel blockage. The ending of Poltergeist 3 had to be shot with a body double in O’Rourke’s place. This is why Carol Anne’s face is never seen when she comes back from the Other Side during the final scene of the film.
In 1985, Julian Beck who played the ‘bad spirit’ in Poltergeist, died of stomach cancer.
Oliver Robins, the young actor who played the middle child, had a near fatal accident on the set while filming the scene where he gets attacked by the clown. The mechanical clown on set was actually choking the boy to death because of a malfunction in the prop. Everyone on set just thought he was doing an amazing performance; it wasn’t until he began turning blue that they realized something was wrong.
There are other claims of production delays, actresses being haunted, even an exorcism being required.
Actress JoBeth Williams said that, during filming, she would always return home from set every day to find the pictures hanging on her walls crooked. She would straighten them, only to have them crooked again when she returned home the next day.