Before a movie is released, the cast and crew spend months on end filming various scenes to bring the movie to life. While on set, things don’t always go as planned. There have been cases of deaths, ghosts, and other inexplicable events that will give you the chills. Some of these stories are more interesting than the movies themselves. Here are 13 horror movie sets that came with a curse.
1. The Omen
In 1975, moviegoers were introduced to the character Damian – a demented orphan who wreaked havoc on his adopted parents. The Omen was a heart-stopping horror movie that creeped out moviegoers across the globe. And the things that happened on set were just as terrifying. It all started when the son of Gregory Peck, the actor who played Robert Thorn, committed suicide a few months before filming began. Then, some of the crew members were in a head-on collision, and both Peck and screenwriter David Seltzer’s airplanes were struck by lightning. And lastly, a private plane was rented for a few of the scenes, but one of the movie’s scheduled flights had to be rescheduled because the plane was going to be used by a few businessman. After takeoff, the plane crashed onto a road – careening into vehicles and killing everyone involved.
2. The Amityville Horror
As if the story surrounding the real Amityville incident wasn’t spooky enough, the film set from the 1979 movie was just as creepy. James Brolin, who played the character George Lutz in The Amityville Horror, was reading over the script in the early morning when a pair of his pants suddenly fell off a hanger. He was hesitant about accepting the role, but that scary incident convinced him to appear in the film. But that’s not all. When the movie was remade in 2005, a dead body washed up on shore in the same area where the movie was to start filming. Actor Ryan Reynolds also claimed that some members of the crew kept waking up at a 3:25 every morning while filming – the same time the real murders took place.
The Batman curse has been around for years, and the most devastating event to occur was the death of Heath Ledger. Prior to taking on his portrayal of the Joker in Dark Knight, Jack Nicholson – who played the character in 1989 – actually warned Ledger not to take the role. The late actor reportedly got only 2 hours of sleep while filming the role as the mass-murdering, demented clown. Sadly, Ledger died before the film was released. A technician also died on set while filming a stunt, and a stunt double lost her balance and careened into film equipment during one scene.
4. Maximum Overdrive
When Stephen King decided to put the pen and paper down and direct a movie, things went horribly wrong from the start. Maximum Overdrive had many intense scenes, and King made sure the atmosphere was full of danger and risky situations that left the crew and actors on edge. A camera assistant said she always felt like someone was going to die on set. Although no one lost their life, there were a lot of close calls. A cameraman was almost killed by an ice cream truck, and the crew had trouble dousing a stuntman who had been put on fire. One of the most horrifying incidents involved a remote controlled lawnmower that King refused to remove the blades from. When the remote went haywire, it sent the lawnmower down a path of destruction. It hit a camera and struck a piece of wood. One of the splinters went flying into the air and struck cinematography director Armando Nannuzzi in the eye. He was rushed to the hospital where he was forced to have his eye surgically removed. He later sued King and 17 others for negligence and was awarded a settlement out of court.
It was his King’s first and last time playing director on a film.
5. Twilight Zone: The Movie
The tragic events that occurred on the set of this movie ruined the friendship between two legendary directors – Steven Spielberg and John Landis. Landis was known for being tough on set. He would shout at the actors and the crew, and had a complete disregard for their safety. Some say he even used live ammunition during some scenes in the film, and he skirted many of the laws set in place for pyrotechnics usage. It’s really no surprise that things took a turn for the worse pretty quickly.
Actor Vic Morrow was supposed to pick up two kids, and carry them into a helicopter. There were heavy winds that day, and the crew was hesitant to climb the 30-foot scaffolding to get the shot. When they complained about the conditions, Landis insisted they move forward. What happened next has been debated for years, but the end results included Morrow and one of the children being decapitated, while the second child was crushed to death by one of the landing skids.
6. The Innkeeper
As soon as the cast and crew showed up at the Yankee Peddler to film this movie, weird things started to happen. Doors would open and close by themselves, lights would turn on and off, and phones would ring with no one on the other line.
7. The Conjuring
The Conjuring deals with spooky, paranormal events that happened to the Perron family. And the set was home to some pretty weird occurrences, as well. Phone lines went dead for no reason and a hotel where the crew was staying caught fire. When the real Perron family showed up on set, they were surrounded by intense winds that didn’t seem to be affecting anyone else on set.
8. The Exorcism of Emily Rose
Paranormal films always seem to be shrouded by the creepiest events. Could it be that the topics of these movies are actually summoning spirits and ghosts? Maybe so, and the actors of The Exorcism of Emily Rose seem to think so, too. Actress Laura Linney said her TV would turn on and off in the middle of the night, and Jennifer Carpenter said the same about her radio. Several times, it would turn on at 3:00 am, and each time, the chorus of Pearl Jam’s “Alive” would be playing.
9. The Ghost of Goodnight Lane
Strange things started to happen on the soundstage of a Texas production company. The occurrences were so weird, producer Alin Bijan decided to create a movie about it called The Ghost of Goodnight Lane. While on set, there were multiple accounts of lighting equipment falling from the ceiling, and crew members hearing spooky voices calling their names.
10. The Exorcist
One of the most iconic horror films was surrounded by terrifying incidents – including nine deaths from the cast and crew, actor Max Von Sydrow and Linda Blair both dealt with deaths in their families while filming, and Jack McGowan, who played Burke Dennings, died of flu complications.
There was also a mysterious fire that started when no one was on set, Blair reportedly had a mental breakdown while filming, and Ellen Burstyn, who played her on-screen mother, severely injured her spine while filming.
11. Rosemary’s Baby
This horror movie is one of the most controversial, and it’s well-known for the horrific events that happened on and off set. The film’s composer, Krzysztof Komeda, died of a brain clot a year after the film debuted, and director Roman Polanski’s wife, Sharon Tate, was killed along with four others by Charles Manson’s murderous group. Many believe the deaths surrounding the film were due to the haunted filming location. Rosemary’s apartment building was the same building where Beatles singer John Lennon was killed, and the building is known for its frequent ghost sightings.
This iconic film is all about ghosts who invade a family’s home and abduct a young girl. If that doesn’t sound scary enough, some believe the movie was cursed because human skeletons were used as props in many of the scenes. A few real-life tragedies plagued the cast and crew for years, including the death of Heather O’Rourke who played Carol-Anne. She died from a medical misdiagnosis, and Dominique Dunne, who played Dana, was murdered by her boyfriend.
13. The Crow
On the first day of filming, a crew member was hospitalized after his crane malfunctioned. It ran straight into a power cable, and he suffered from burns over 90% of his body. And then, a construction driver drove a screwdriver through his own hand, and most of the set was destroyed by a terrible storm. However, one of the most horrible on-set tragedies occurred during this film. Actor Brandon Lee was shot and killed while filming the movie. A metal tip from a fake bullet got stuck in the prop gun, and when the gun was fired, the tip lodged into his abdomen. Ironically enough, his father, Bruce Lee, had died years prior while on set from a gunshot wound, as well.
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