It’s spooky season…which means it’s time to load up on scary movies! Of course, some of you don’t confine your scares just to Halloween, but revel in these movies year-round. Completely understandable – a good movie is a good movie any time of year. For the movies below, however, the horror went beyond the screen. Here are ten movie sets and movies that the crew or the public has said were completely cursed. Unsurprisingly, most of them are horror movies dealing with the supernatural. Were there incidents involving Things From Beyond that should not have been toyed with? Or were the rumors convenient PR buzz to promote a movie? Read on and decide for yourself…
1. The Crow
This is the last movie Brandon Lee, son of Bruce Lee, ever made. He died during filming of “The Crow” after a prop gun was loaded improperly. The gun fired, and a piece of shell casing struck him in the chest, killing him instantly. Lee had apparently talked about the fact that he thought his family was cursed, and that he would die soon, to several crew members before his accident.
2. Rosemary’s Baby
Several crew members and others who worked on this film were allegedly followed by a curse during and after “Rosemary’s Baby.” The movie’s composer fell to his death, the producer had kidney stones that were so severe he almost died, and caused hallucinations about Rosemary coming after him with a knife. Mia Farrow was served her divorce papers from Frank Sinatra during filming. Most tragic of all, Roman Polanski’s pregnant wife Sharon Tate was brutally attacked and murdered by followers of Charles Manson just after the release of the movie.
3. The Exorcist
“The Exorcist” inevitably comes up when talking about cursed movie sets. Nine deaths have been connected to the filming of the movie. Also, a fire broke out that destroyed most of the set, and it had to be rebuilt. The only area the fire didn’t touch? Reagan’s room, the spot the demon most frequently occupied during the movie.
4. The Omen
Although (fortunately!) no one was seriously injured while making “The Omen,” there were plenty of crazy things that happened. Both star Gregory Peck and screenwriter David Seltzer flew on airplanes that were struck by lightning while they were on their way to make the movie. The director’s hotel was bombed by the IRA. Other members of the crew were in a car crash.
5. Apocalypse Now
“Apocalypse Now” may not have been a horror movie, but the on-set chaos was extreme enough that there’s an entire documentary on the making of the movie. For starters, filming happened during monsoon season and several sets were destroyed. Actor Martin Sheen suffered a heart attack and a nervous breakdown while filming, said to be brought on by the intensity of his role. Director Francis Ford Coppola had a seizure due to all the stress. Someone tried to use actual dead bodies as corpses in the jungle. And the Philippine government routinely took back the helicopters used in the movie to fight a real-live insurgency happening in the country.
The “Poltergeist” movie trilogy is notoriously said to be cursed. Actress Dominique Dunne was murdered by her boyfriend shortly after the first movie was released. Child star Heather O’Rourke died of septic shock just before the third movie was released. Two other actors from the sequel died after it was released from disease or complications from surgery. The movie itself has actual skeletons in it – replicas were determined to be too expensive so the director just went ahead and used the real deal. Also, in a scene where a clown puppet comes to life and starts strangling young Robbie, the mechanical puppet malfunctioned and started strangling the poor boy for real. Probably just a coincidence…
7. The Innkeepers
This movie about two hotel workers determined to find out if the place is haunted (sure…what could go wrong?) was said to have a haunted set as well. Crew members claim they saw lights turn on and off when no one was around, doors opened and closed by themselves, and some workers even got mysterious phone calls with no one on the other end.
When this movie was released, it terrified moviegoers. Was it real? Was it a scripted movie? The fact that it was shot on handheld cameras instead of being a slick movie studio production made it all the more frightening. It was made for $60,000 and made $248.6 million as more and more people scared themselves silly. In the years since its release, the filmmakers insist all the frightening evidence of the Blair Witch was planted, though the actors didn’t know what would happen so their reactions would be genuine. That hasn’t stopped people from suspecting that at least some of the eerie happenings were real. Who knows for sure? I’m certainly not going to find out.
A common theme among movies involving the paranormal seems to be spooky occurrences on set. “The Conjuring” franchise is no exception! Light fixtures fell on people during “Annabelle” and actors in the original movie say they had mysterious bruises on their bodies. The director of “The Nun” says he flat out met two spirits while he was filming at a fortress in Romania (seems like a nice, creepy place for spirits to hang out).
There’s a reason we don’t have a trailer to show you for “Atuk”…and you may never have heard of the movie. It never actually got made. The film was supposed to be based on a novel about an Eskimo in New York. Four different men were, at some point or another, set to play the lead: John Belushi, Sam Kinison, John Candy, and Chris Farley. All of them died unexpectedly, shortly after each started talks to be in the movie.
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