If you choose to believe the stories, real human skeletons were used as props in the filming of Poltergeist, which kick-started a curse that spanned the entire franchise. Several primary members of the casts of each film in the series lost their lives in close proximity to the productions, most notably young star Heather O’Rourke – who died at just 12 years old.
Dominique Dunne, who played Dana Freeling in the original film, was murdered by an angry ex-boyfriend at the age of 22, the same year the movie was released. Other casualties of the supposed curse include Poltergeist 2 stars Will Sampson and Julian Beck. A Native American shaman, Sampson allegedly performed a ritual to rid the set of evil spirits.
On a less tragic note, JoBeth Williams claimed that each night she returned home from the set of the original Poltergeist, the pictures hanging on her walls were crooked. It became a regular ritual for her to straighten them out, which needless to say gave her a nightly spook.
6) THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE
If you thought curses such as these were exclusive to older films, think again. Released in 2005, The Exorcism of Emily Rose is one of the more recent examples of a horror movie curse, as star Jennifer Carpenter believed that she had been followed home from the set by an entity none too happy about the content of the film.
“When we were shooting, my stereo kept turning itself on in the middle of the night,” the actress revealed after shooting wrapped. “It freaked me out because it started playing Pearl Jam’s ‘Alive’ — just the ‘I’m still alive’ part. It stayed with me for a while.”
The Exorcism of Emily Rose was inspired by the real-life story of Anneliese Michel, who lost her life after a particularly brutal battle with an evil spirit.