There are certain movies that have been elevated into the pantheon of cult status. The reasons are varied; some are of them are so bad they’re good (The Room, please watch the trailer its supernaturally atrocious), some are considered underappreciated cinematic gems that were unearthed by people with way too much time on their hands (They Live, Clerks and Brazil) and then there are the movies that have an entire mythos surrounding them and the people that were involved. These are some of those movies that seemed like a dark aura surrounded them as if they were haunted; the cursed movies of Hollywood.
See Also: Ghosts at Work
This is at the top of the list because according to the records, it claimed the life of two of my favorite comedians of the late eighties, John Belushi and John Candy, and since I’m writing this article you can expect a heavy bias. It also allegedly killed comedian Sam Kinison, which I’m neither here nor there about. As the story goes John Belushi received the script and was very interested in enacting the role of Atuk (which he was actually written with the actor in mind), in a fish out of water movie about an Eskimo that enacts his dream of visiting the Big Apple (because that’s what New York was called back in the 80s). Shortly after Belushi received the script he ODed on a cocktail of heroin and cocaine. Because if there is one thing that Hollywood has taught us it’s that living a life of excess is never dangerous until you become associated with a haunted project. Afterwards Sam Kinison (the comedian that again I’m not here nor there about) was asked to play the title role which he accepted, but after freaking out he locked himself into a hotel room on the first day of production bringing the project to a screeching halt…I kind of regret using that analogy considering Kinison died 2 years later in a horrible car accident. Later the script was given to funny fat-man, John Candy, and while he was reading the script died of a heart attack. Finally, Alan Metter, the director of Atuk, suggested Chris Farley for the title role, but he passed away…again while in possession of the script. In a twist of strenuous circumstance Farley was 33 at the time of his death, the exact same age as Belushi. The final funny man that the cursed movie claimed was Farley’s Saturday Night Live fellow alumni, Phil Hartman. A year later Hartman was shot by his wife who then committed suicide. After that the script was shelved and the director, who never considered himself superstitious, was convinced that the movie was indeed cursed.
Sure, the association for this one is a bit more dubious….if by dubious you mean that one of the actresses was shot to death the same year the movie was released, then two of the actors died before the second movie came out, one of stomach cancer, the other malnutrition and post-op kidney failure. The most famous death associated with the franchise was that of Heather O’Rourke, that played Carol Anne. A character that was synonymous with the movie series from the poster images depicting her sitting in front of the staticy T.V. to the film’s arguably most famous line “They’re Heeere,” passed at the young age of 12 years old. This happened a few short months before the third movie’s premier. The curse was attributed to the fact that the skeletons used in the first movie were real human remains without the knowledge of the cast and crew. They procured the real human remains to cut costs as it would be prohibitively expensive to use fake skeletons convincing enough to be used in the film. I thought I’d just put a disclaimer here, the top video is the sad attempt at remaking yet another cinematic classic, the really disquieting movie that was so horrifying they used real human remains in is below. Have fun.
Yeah, yeah I know this is a cheap entry because anything associated with demonic, dark entity story-lines is bound to carry a bit of a weird legend. If you consider a legend the fact that protagonist Gregory Peck and screenwriter David Seltzer were struck by lightning while travelling to the filming location in two separate airplanes that were both headed to the U.K. Peck also managed to cheat death once more when he cancelled his seat at the last minute aboard a flight that crashed and killed everyone on it. The most creepily coincidental tragedy was when John Richardson, the special effects artist behind the scene that a man is decapitated by a sheet of glass, was in a car accident while working on a different film and his companion (some sources claim his girlfriend) was decapitated. It’s also said that the street sign he saw when he got out of the mangle of his totalled car, read Ommen 66.6 km.
I know the Exorcist is on every single “most curst [insert anything]”list on the internet, but come on it’s a movie that was filmed 42 years ago and can still scare the crap out of even the most hardened horror-flick veteran. According to urban legends, on the night of the premier, lighting struck a church across from the theatre that showing the film, resulting in the cross detaching from the steeple and crashing to the ground. Another legend surrounding the film claims that a fire broke out (this is true as confirmed by multiple sources) on the set of the home (the main set of the entire movie). The reason for the fire was completely unknown and no evidence of its origin could be found, but the only part of the set that survived was Riley’s room, or the room where the possession and exorcism takes place. Both Linda Blair, the protagonist, and Ellen Burstyn received serious spinal injuries during the filming, but at least they survived unlike 9 other cast and crew members that were associated with the film. It is even said that the X-Ray technician seen submitting Riley to an examination was a serial killer that was convicted for killing a film critic, and was suspected for the murder of six other men. After it was revealed that Blair wasn’t the voice of the possessed Riley (after being nominated for best actress because of it) she was disgraced and unable to get any more roles, killing her short-lived career.
Well when the story revolves around a cursed/possessed box containing a restless malicious spirit, there are bound to be some on set shenanigans. Well let’s talk about the box that the movie is based on, the Dybbuk box, which according to Jewish folklore is a wine box which holds a restless and malicious spirit, even though this box is sealed with both religious Hebrew inscriptions and wax over the clasps that hold it closed. Although the authenticity of the stories origin is contested, the actors involved with the movie all said that bulbs on set would spontaneously “explode” or burst (which one of the veteran actors said he has never seen in fifteen years on set). Also, when the movie wrapped many of the props (including the replicated Dybbuk box) were stored in case they needed any re-shoots of the movie, however the storage unit burnt to the ground. The fire wasn’t a result of either arson or electrical malfunction, but came from within the storage unit.
See Also: Ghost Hunters: Haunted Workplaces
I’m going to go watch videos of puppies playing to get rid of the heebie jeebies. If you like, feel free to share your own paranormal experience in the comment section below.