5 of Hollywood’s creepiest curses
Image: MGM/UA Entertainment Co.
Many people use October as an excuse to watch a lot of horror movies and embrace the spooky nature of the season. While it’s easy for most to watch a scary movie and forget all about it when you’re trying to go to sleep, because it’s fiction, sometimes there’s more to it than that.
There are a number of classic horror films that tragedy and unexplainable accidents seemed to haunt the set of. Think about these little factoids the next time you think to yourself, “It’s just a movie…”
Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
Rosemary’s Baby set the trend of occult-themed movies that swept through Hollywood in the 1960s and ‘70s and was so acclaimed that it was considered on-par with Alfred Hitchcock’s terror and suspense. Obviously, it couldn't just be good that came of this.
The mysterious death of composer Krzysztof Komeda a year after the movie’s release oddly mimicked a death in the film, according to Vanity Fair, and producer William Castle suffered severe kidney stones and had to be hospitalized. When he was in the hospital, he began hallucinating and shouted, “Rosemary, for God’s Sake, drop the knife!”
Director Roman Polanski had the highest profile tragedy strike when his wife, Sharon Tate, was murdered by the Manson family the next year. Though many draw a connection between the movie's curse and the murders because of their similarities, it’s also worth noting that it’s also suspected that Tate and her friends weren’t the intended targets for the murder.
The Exorcist (1973)
The fact that The Exorcist is legitimately terrifying isn’t the only reason it’s considered one of the scariest movies of all time. Though not everyone directly starred in the movie, nine people connected to it died during production. Both Linda Blair and Ellen Burstyn - the possessed Regan MacNeil and her mother - sustained back injuries during filming that lingered far after filming wrapped up, and the set of the movie burned down. There was only one part of the set that wasn’t touched - Regan’s bedroom. It was unscathed by the flames.
During the movie’s official premier, rumor has it that a nearby church’s cross got struck by lightning as well.
The Omen (1976)
Was all of the acclaim really worth the production of The Omen? We all hear unlikely scenarios described as having “a better chance of getting struck by lightning,” but we should add “unless you’re a cast member of The Omen” to the end of that. Why? Because three people involved in the movie had their planes struck by lightning. Scriptwriter David Seltzer, star Gregory Peck and executive producer Mace Neufeld were on three separate planes at three different times - but they were all struck by lightning.
There were a number of accidents as well, involving yet another plane and the trained rottweilers. One of the most terrifying accidents, however, happened after the movie wrapped up. The special effects consultant, John Richardson, who created the illusion of all of the deaths in the film was on his way to his next movie in Holland when he crashed his car. His girlfriend in the passenger seat was sliced in half like the photographer in The Omen. Rumor has it that when Richardson gained consciousness after the accident, he saw a sign on the road that said “Ommen 66,6.”
We all know that none of the things that happened in Poltergeist would have happened if Cuesta Verde wasn’t built on top of a cemetery. So you would think creators would know better than to use ACTUAL HUMAN SKELETONS as props for the movie. According to io9, star JoBeth Williams claims that the skeletons that attack her in the movie were made with real bones because they were cheaper than buying props. Some believe this is linked to the fact that four cast members died within a few years following the movie's release.
The Crow (1994)
One of the most notorious of cursed film sets is The Crow’s. Not only did star Brandon Lee die when a metal tip from a fake bullet that wasn’t taken out of a prop gun penetrated his stomach, but there were also multiple accidents that happened on the set. A crew member was hospitalized with serious burns when his crane hit a power cable on the first day of shooting and a construction worker got a screwdriver through his hand.
One of the spookiest aspects of The Crow curse is the fact that Lee’s father, Bruce Lee, had his last film role in Game of Death, which featured Bruce as an actor who dies when fake bullets are replaced with real ones.