Is it possible for a horror film to be cursed, the mere act of making it evoking some sort of malicious entity hell-bent on inflicting harm to those involved? It sounds pretty silly, I’m well aware, but the truth is that many horror films over the years have seemingly incurred the wrath of an evil force.
Of course, it’s impossible to ever know if what we’re dealing with in these situations is coincidence or something far more sinister, though the stories we’re presenting to you today certainly seem to indicate the latter. So turn off all the lights and prepare to be spooked.
Here are 8 horror films that were (allegedly) plagued by real-life death curses!
1) THE EXORCIST
One of the most infamous tales of a horror movie curse is tied to The Exorcist, many believing that an evil entity took up residence in the celluloid itself. So plagued was the production by strange occurrences that E! aired a two-hour special a decade ago to collect all of the stories together, ranging from on-set fires to nearly a dozen mysterious deaths in the immediate families of crew members.
At several points a real priest was brought in to bless the set, and he seemed sure that Satan didn’t want the film to be made. Furthering belief in the alleged curse is the fact that Jack MacGowran, who played Burke Dennings, died of influenza shortly after completing his scenes. Other oddly timed deaths included actress Valsiliki Maliaros, Max von Sydow’s brother and Linda Blair’s grandfather.
The strange activity continued after the movie was shot, with many fainting, passing out and/or vomiting upon its theatrical release. At one screening in Rome, a church nearby was struck by lightning after the audience filed into the theater, a giant cross landing in the plaza below.
2) THE OMEN (1976)
Just three years after the release of The Exorcist, The Omen fell victim to a similar rash of mysterious activity, and many cast/crew members lost their lives before, during and soon after the film was shot. Star Gregory Peck’s plane was struck by lightning, director Richard Donner was hit by a car right around the time of filming and an animal wrangler was eaten alive by one of his tigers a mere two weeks after production wrapped.
The most chilling example of the so-called “Omen Curse,” however, is tied to special effects artist John Richardson. The artist, who designed the film’s memorable decapitation scene, was involved in a fatal car accident in late 1976, which beheaded his female passenger. It’s even been rumored that when Richardson got out of the car, he saw a sign indicating that he was 66.6 miles from a town in the Netherlands called Ommen.
These stories are merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the Omen Curse, which nearly claimed the life of a stunt coordinator as well as the producer – the latter narrowly avoiding being struck by lightning.