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It's often said that some people are just born under an unlucky star.
They seem to see the worst that life offers, often causing chaos and problems everywhere they go. When it comes to people, the unfortunate folks who seem to be cursed are often avoided by the superstitious—simply due to their reputation alone.
Among those who are believers, the idea that a person could be cursed is a given. Items, too, seem to have the ability to attract negative energy that eventually becomes manifested as tragedy. This begs the question, can movies be cursed too?
Rumors of cursed films have always existed, but the horror genre seems to attract them like flies to honey. As years progressed, certain movies that were allegedly cursed definitely seem to offer up evidence to support the claims of bad juju.
Take a look at the stories that haunted these movie sets. Would you really want to star in any of these?
Most moviegoers might have remembered The Innkeepers as a pretty run-of-the mill horror movie, but if you're in Hollywood, you will recognize this as one of the most recent movies that are allegedly cursed from the day filming started.
Part of this could be because director Ti West made the unfortunate mistake of housing the movie crew (and himself) in one of the most haunted hotels in Connecticut while they shot the film: the Yankee Pedlar Inn.
The Yankee Pedlar Inn is known for having ghostly apparitions, poltergeist activity, and causing nightmarish dreams in visitors. West, thinking like a director, decided to model The Innkeepers after the stories he heard about the hotel. Then, he chose to film everything there, too, for added realism.
The curse that affected this movie was mostly based on the ghosts taking offense to having a movie filmed based on their existences. People who stayed on set often would feel cold spots, see strange things, and experience lightbulbs shattering while they shot.
It seems like the nightmares were the worst part; one actress almost quit because of the terrible dreams she had while filming.
It only makes sense that a movie that's based on witchcraft gone wrong would end up carrying some bad vibes. The Conjuring might have had one of the more violent curses associated with it, and if you ask many, it's one of the only horror movies that were allegedly cursed to the point that it even affected sequels.
As you might know, The Conjuring was based on the true story of what happened when people investigated a house that was allegedly haunted by a witch. Everything about the movie seemed automatically hexed, even down to the movie's script.
Most people who were on set claimed to feel unusually jittery, with many people feeling watched by a menacing presence. One staff member's dog started to behave strangely, regularly growling at thin air. Once the film was finished, the pup went back to acting normal.
One actress regularly felt a "strange wind" that came from nowhere. When she fell ill and headed to the hospital, she blamed the strange air that seemed to waft around the set.
Actress Vera Farmiga really didn't feel comfortable with the film—to the point that she wouldn't even bring the script home with her to study. She even claimed to have found claw marks on the cover of her laptop after returning from shooting.
The most damning evidence of a curse, though, would be the random fire that broke out on set. No cause was ever discovered, but it's safe to say a spirit wanted to show it didn't approve.
The Conjuring 2 seemed to grab some of that bad energy, since disembodied voices and construction noises were regularly reported by film crews.
The Exorcism of Emily Rose
Hang onto your hats! This isn't going to be the only exorcism-based movie to be found on this list. In fact, it seems like most of the horror movies that were allegedly cursed have something to do with demonic possession.
The Exorcism of Emily Rose proved itself to be a bone-chilling movie based on a true exorcism story that occurred in the 1970s. To a point, it seemed like some of the strange vibes may have rubbed off on the actress.
Jennifer Carpenter, who played Emily Rose in the film, seemed to see her fair share of oddness. Thankfully, it was relatively minor. Her stereo started to play at odd hours of the night—often turning itself on and off without being touched.
The Amityville Horror
The Amityville Horror and its sequel are both horror movies that were allegedly haunted—and in this case, we're using the word "allegedly" pretty heavily. The movie follows the investigations of Ed and Lorraine Warren as they look at the scene of a gruesome mass murder.
Many people believe that the paranormal activity documented during the filming was hyped up for profit's sake. Even so, some of the records just can't be explained, regardless of how much Hollywood might have hyped it up.
Crew members who were filming often found themselves jolted awake at 3:15 in the morning, precisely the time the original Amityville killings occurred. During the shoots, the body of a dead fisherman washed up along the shore near the set.
This wasn't the only dead body associated with the Amityville Horror shoots. Kathy Lutz, who owned the real Amityville home, died shortly before the shooting sessions started.
Her husband then died in 2005 while trying to sue over movie rights during the remake's creation. Strange that two original Amityville owners would die during two separate instances of film production, isn't it?
When you're making a movie about giving birth to the Antichrist, it almost certainly seems like the type of decision that could invite malevolent spirits to say, "Hello!" That might be why it's often considered to be one of the most cursed movies in Hollywood history.
Unlike other horror movies that were allegedly cursed, The Omen had a serious body count of actors who were involved in its making. One of the movie's screenwriters, David Seltzer, and actor Gregory Peck were both on a plane to the shoot when it was struck by lightning. Another movie producer was almost struck by lightning as well.
Animal attacks caused multiple actors and trainers to get injuries. Peck's son killed himself before filming started, and Peck himself almost ended up in a plane that would end up being crashed.
Shocking as that may be, the accidents continued to pile up. People who were heading to set got into car accidents. Richard Donner's hotel was bombed by the IRA while filming. As suffering continued to pile up, no one could see what would end up being one of the most disturbing aspects of The Omen's curse.
Special effects director John Richardson and his assistant, Liz Moore, were in a car riding to the set. Then, they sustained a horrific car accident that left Moore decapitated in the car—a grisly reenactment of one of The Omen's most grotesque scenes.
Could Satan himself influence a movie? If so, The Omen might be proof of the supernatural.
Annabelle is another film that is associated with Ed and Lorraine Warren's paranormal investigations. This time around, it's about a doll that happens to be possessed—and yes, it's also considered to be one of the many horror movies that were allegedly cursed.
The movie kicked off with mysterious claw marks that were found throughout the set, similar to what Vera Farmiga found on her laptop. Multiple cast members claimed to feel uneasy on set despite no reason to feel that way.
At one point, a man who was dressed up like the demon that possessed Annabelle walked by on set while a lamp crashed right behind him. He narrowly escaped injury. The janitor behind him couldn't say the same. Oddly enough, the original script had a janitor die in the same fashion.
Another exorcism film? You know it; although, you shouldn't be surprised, as some of the terrifying true stories of modern day exorcisms have still gone untold. This particular film is one of the few horror movies that legitimately had the scenery and ominous signs to really solidify a "curse" accusation.
The screening of The Exorcist started by having a 16th-century church across from the theater's street getting struck by lightning. However, the tragedy didn't stop there.
During the filming, the set caught fire in the room that was supposed to be the family's home. Regan's room, oddly enough, was untouched. The shoot was delayed, but managed to continue, not without tragedy, of course.
Around eight different deaths are associated with this horror film, many of which happened during production.
Actors Vasiliki Maliaros and Jack MacGowran, died shortly after post-production—an oddity considering that both their characters died in the film. Several relatives of big shots on the set also passed away during the year that the film was shot.
Ellen Burstyn, who plays Regan's mother, was seriously injured during the shoot. That blood curdling scream you hear was real. The child managed to toss her that hard! At one point, Linda, who played Regan, was thrown off the bed by an unseen force.
Mercedes McCambridge, the voice actress who played the demonic entity, was the tragic victim of a domestic violence-related killing shortly after the film was brought to theaters.
Those who are of the Jewish faith may be aware of a demonic entity known as a Dybbuk, and might also have heard of cursed boxes that contain these creatures in them.
The Possession was a 2012 movie that was based on the true story of a couple who found themselves as owners of a Dybbuk box. The film involved a faux box for the shoot, but as actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan could tell you, something was very, very wrong on set.
He was quoted as saying, "I'm a skeptic, look I'm not going to lie. That being said, there was some weird goings on on set. Lots of light bulbs exploding. Just overall kind of creepiness... "Don't mock the box," was sort of the mantra that we lived by while we were filming this."
During shooting, props often would ignite by themselves. At one point, the real owners of a Dybbuk box offered to give them the box for shooting. Everyone in the film politely declined.
You might recognize The Possession as a well-shot movie. Among Hollywood workers, it's one of the newest movies that were allegedly cursed by an irate entity.
A lot of the movies that were allegedly cursed saw a serious amount of box office success almost immediately upon release. We'd think it's just nature's way of showing some kind of reward for the efforts. Unfortunately, The Crow was not one of these films.
Everything about The Crow was wrapped up in doom and gloom. The script was originally written after the tragic death of one of the writer's wives. Once it was set into motion, the entire movie's filming was nothing but tragedy after tragedy.
Crew members found themselves being accidentally electrocuted, getting stabbed through the hand with screwdrivers, and dealing with trucks being set on fire. However, the most famous victim of this movie curse was Brandon Lee—Bruce Lee's son.
Brandon Lee was tragically killed at the age of 28 when a pistol that was meant to carry a blank had a real bullet inside it. He was shot to death filming the final scene of the movie. Whether it's the Lee curse or the curse of The Crow remains to be known.
Finally, let's talk about one of the few movies that were allegedly cursed enough to have its bad vibes stretch to a trilogy: Poltergeist. This film goes down as one of the most notoriously unlucky movie franchises in history, and for good reason too.
No one knows why Poltergeist attracted such negative energy, considering that it wasn't really about demons or Satan. Maybe it was the fact that Spielberg decided to use real human skeletons as props without telling actors?
Either way, Poltergeist is considered to be one of the best horror movies of all time. Even so, there were serious issues with this film that escape conventional explanation—particularly when it came to the sheer number of associated people who died untimely deaths.
Here are just a handful of the strange deaths and occurrences tied to the Poltergeist franchise:
- Dominique Dunne, the actress who played Dana Freeman, died at 23. She was murdered by an abusive ex-boyfriend that choked her into a coma that she never woke up from. Her death happened during the filming.
- Heather O'Rourke, the child actress who appeared in Poltergeist and Poltergeist 2, died at 12 years old. The child's death was sudden, and was linked to a previously undetected illness.
- A mechanical clown that was used on set malfunctioned and tried to strangle actor Oliver Robins. The boy was choked so hard, he actually had marks left on his neck by the robot.
- Actress JoBeth Williams noticed that every single picture in her home would be tilted after she filmed on set. She told E! True Hollywood Story, "I began to think, is somebody trying to send me a message that I shouldn’t be doing this film?"
- James Kahn, who was told to write a novelization of the movie, saw some seriously creepy stuff happen. Lightning struck the building that he was writing in. He noted, "The facing on the air-conditioning unit blew off, flew across the room, and hit me in the back. After about half a minute or a minute, the lights flickered and went on, and then all the video games in the room started playing themselves."
- Actors Julian Sampson and Will Beck both died shortly after their appearances on Poltergeist 2. The curse continued despite an exorcism being performed on the set.