Movie sets are supposed to be job sites; Well, until every cast member starts complaining of being visited by a ghost while sleeping or members of the cast start dying mysteriously. Horror movies are the closest most of us get to interact with the supernatural at any level, but you don’t expect the evil forces to come back and attack the sets. Sometimes, however, things get more real than the production could imagine as strange, tragic occurrences start happening on set. From mysterious sightings to unexplained deaths on set, some movie sets just got so tragic that the crew regrated ever signing up. Here is a look at 10 popular movies you probably enjoyed, but the set didn’t.
The Twilight Zone Tv Series ran from 1959 to 1964 with great success, which led to producing the movie in 1982. On July 23, the cast went out early in the morning to shoot a scene where Vic Marrow, who was playing a racist soldier in the Vietnam war, was supposed to redeem himself by saving two children.
They used an actual helicopter for the scene, but it flew too low, and the effects used for the explosions blinded the pilot. The helicopter crashed into Vic Morrow and the two child actors, killing them instantly. It led to an outcry that saw the producers and four members of the crew tried for manslaughter. The tragedy also led to enacting safety rules around movie sets in the 80s and 90s and the setting of stricter laws towards underage actors.
The film’s set burnt down midway through production when a bird flew into a circuit box. Surprisingly, the room where the scenes of exorcism were being shot didn’t burn, raising speculation that the film was cursed. The movie was based on a real-life story, and many people thought the demon didn’t want the film produced. During the production, two cast members, including Linda Blair that played Reagan, the possessed girl, lost close relatives.
Both Linda and Ellen, who plays the mother in the film, also fell and suffered serious injuries. Strange happening continued throughout the production that took over a year, after which two members of the cast whose characters die in the film died within the same year of finishing shooting. Lightning also struck a church next to the cinema where the film was being released in Rome. The rumours peaked when the evangelist Billy Graham labelled the film cursed.
The Omen has gone down as one of the greatest horror films of all time, but the events that happened to the set and the crew during and after shooting left many wondering if the film should’ve been shot in the first place. The producers chattered a plane for the crew, and the cast then cancelled at the last minute only for the plane to go down, killing everyone on board. The lead actor Gregory Peck’s son, also shot himself just before they started filming, then his plane was struck by lightning while he was flying in London, but he escaped unharmed.
The lightning disaster continued with the executive producer Mace Neufeld whose plane was also struck by lightning. Lightning also struck the film set in Rome. John Richardson, the special effects artist on the set, that helped design the famous decapitation scene, was decapitated in a car accident a few years after releasing the film near a road sign that read Ommen 66.6 KM increasing the speculation of the Omen curse.
The Passion Of The Christ-2004
The Passion Of The Christ isn’t a horror film, so you wouldn’t associate it with a curse, but the 2004 film had so many lightning strikes that everyone concluded it was cursed. Jim Caviezel, who plays Christ, was hit twice by lightning, including while filming the sermon on the mount. In one instance, his hair caught fire. His assistant also got hit by lightning a few seconds after Caviezel’s incident. He was also struck twice by real lashes when the actors that played the Roman soldiers missed the pole; they were supposed to hit, hitting poor Caviezel instead. Things got worse when he dislocated his shoulder, carrying the 150-pound crucifix.
High winds and low temperatures also almost gave him hyperthermia while filming, but he survived that and contracted pneumonia and lung infection instead. In the film, Caviezel, who had to act with one eye shut on the last day, also had migraines making the filming impossible. In the end, he confessed that it was never easy “playing our lord and saviour.”
The 1982 Poltergeist film was based on a true story of a family living in a haunted house built on top of a Native American burial ground. The rumours of the curse which allegedly killed almost all the cast members were linked to the directors deciding to use actual skeletons because they were cheaper than plastic props at the time. Tragedy first started when they finished filming as the medicine man that did the exorcism in real life died the very night the cast finished filming.
A year later, Dominique Dunne, who played Dana in the film, was strangled by her ex-boyfriend in her house. The same year, Julian Beck, who played the evil preacher, was diagnosed with stomach cancer and died a few months after shooting the sequel. Will Simpson, who played the movie’s Native American Shaman, died after a heart transplant the same year. Heather O’Rourke, who played the possessed Anne Freeling in the film, died in 1987 after a series of misdiagnosed medical complications and bungled surgery. In the end, the two remaining cast members confessed that the film was cursed.
The crow, shot in 1993, is the film in which Brandon Lee, the son of the legendary Bruce Lee, died when a gun that was supposed to have fake rounds somehow went off on set with an actual bullet and killed him. His death was linked to a curse thought to have haunted the set since other strange occurrences had occurred prior to Lee’s death. Before the crew started filming, someone left them a voicemail message saying they shouldn’t film it since something bad would happen if they did.
When they started, two on-set electricians ran into a live electricity wire and suffered burns in which one of them lost an ear. The movie set was also wiped away by a hurricane before production finished. Lee’s death was the peak of the troubles forcing the producers to finish his scenes using a body double wearing a mask. Some people said that Lee’s death was because of a family curse picking off the male members of Lee’s family. However, one of the actors said there was no curse, and Lee died only because the studio cut corners.
Rosemary’s Baby was included in the Library of Congress’s film registry in 2014 because it is a timeless piece of art. However, the film’s cast faced more horror than what the film itself was about, leading to the speculation that it was cursed. Misfortune seemed to follow everyone involved with the film at any level, starting with the composer Krzysztof Komedam who fell off a cliff to his death shortly after composing the film. Mia Farrow, who played Rosemary, also got served with divorce papers while on the LA set. A year after filming was completed, Tate Polanski, the wife to the director Roman Polanski was killed by the Manson Family Cult members.
Tate was pregnant, and she had played a minor role in the film, but her death was seen as the devil claiming Polanski’s child the same way it happened for Rosemary in the film. The producer William Castle also had kidney failure and a painful stomach infection that made her hallucinate the film’s scenes while in hospital. While hallucinating, she screamed, “Rosemary, for God’s sake, drop that knife,” proving just how haunted that set was. Oh, and John Lennon was killed outside the same building where the film was shot a few years later.
The Conjuring was another horror film that was based on the real-life story of the haunted Perron family. Strange occurrences started when the Perron family on whom the movie was based visited the scene, then s strange strong gust of wind started blowing on the set. The wind coincided with Carolyn Perron, who was at home, feeling a ghostly presence in her house, which caused her to have a bad fall. Vera Farmiga, the lead actress, also woke up with strange claw marks on her thigh. Her laptop screen also had similar 3-clawed marks, which were the same as those of the demon that haunted the family. The curse continued affecting the crew on set as their phone calls kept going static for no reason.
Like most of us, Jeffrey Dean Morgan didn’t believe in evil powers haunting film sets until he showed up on set to film The Possession in 2012. While on stage, the lights exploded for no apparent reason three to four times, which was strange because the stage was secured and properly closed off. The set was also haunted by a strange strong wind and breeze that kept following them.
When they finally finished shooting, they stored the props, including the mysterious Dybbuk box, in a storage facility in Vancouver for reshoots. To their surprise, the storage facility burnt down through a strange fire that is believed to have started from within. Dean Morgan confessed that he left the set less sceptical of possessions that he was before the film.
The Amityville Horror-1979 and 2005
There have been many reproductions of the Amityville horror story, which is based on Ronald DeFeo, who murdered six family members after allegedly hearing strange voices believed to have been a possession. In the 1979 film, James Brolin played George Lutz, the father of the possessed boy, and confessed that he only took up the role after his pants fell off the hanger mysteriously while reading the script.
In the 2005 reproduction, a dead body washed up at the house where filming was taking place before shooting started. The crew and the cast also kept waking up at 3.15 am, the same time the murders happened. The house is still considered a haunted place today.