Poltergeist has to be one of the Top 5 cursed Horror movies of all time & creepiest PG rated horror films ever made. What’s even more creepy is the supposed Poltergeist curse. Many people believe that the curse started when real human corpses were used as props in the pool sequence of the film. The reason they used real corpses was simple: they were cheaper than the plastic ones. “Craig Reardon, a special effects artist who worked on Poltergeist, commented at the time that it was cheaper to purchase real skeletons than plastic ones, as the plastic ones involved labor in making them”.
Not only did they use real corpses in the first film but they also used them in the sequel as well. Will Sampson, the actor who played the Shaman, attempted an exorcism one night following a shoot in hopes to get rid of the Poltergeist curse. He died less than a year later after complications from a kidney transplant.
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The deaths of two of the young actresses who played sisters in Poltergeist is the event people point to when claiming evidence of a curse. On November 4th 1982, 6 months after the filming of Poltergeist, Dominique Dunn was strangled to death by her estranged boyfriend, John Sweeney, at her Hollywood apartment.
In 1988, the young girl in all 3 Poltergeist films, Heather O’Rourke, died while filming Poltergeist 3. She died of a septic infection due to a bowel blockage. The ending of Poltergeist 3 had to be shot with a body double in O’Rourke’s place. This is why Carol Anne’s face is never seen when she comes back from the Other Side during the final scene of the film.
In 1985, Julian Beck who played the ‘bad spirit’ in Poltergeist, died of stomach cancer.
Oliver Robins, the young actor who played the middle child, had a near fatal accident on the set while filming the scene where he gets attacked by the clown. The mechanical clown on set was actually choking the boy to death because of a malfunction in the prop. Everyone on set just thought he was doing an amazing performance; it wasn’t until he began turning blue that they realized something was wrong.
There are other claims of production delays, actresses being haunted, even an exorcism being required.
Actress JoBeth Williams said that, during filming, she would always return home from set every day to find the pictures hanging on her walls crooked. She would straighten them, only to have them crooked again when she returned home the next day.