‘Poltergeist’: The Chilling Story Behind the Film’s Mythical Curse

by Jeremy Spirogis
‘Poltergeist’: The Chilling Story Behind the Film’s Mythical Curse

In 1982, Poltergeist shook horror followers to their core. In the spooky story, a typical suburban household, The Freelings, change into victims of malevolent spirits. The entities change into fixated on Carol Anne, the youngest of the bunch.

The unique movie spawned two sequels, and all three movies gave the impression to be steeped in tragedy, making approach for rumors of a Poltergeist curse. Shudder’s documentary sequence, Cursed Films examined the phenomenon of the so-called jinxed manufacturing. Here’s what we discovered.

‘Poltergeist’ 1982 | Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/Getty Images

‘Cursed Films’ explored the ‘Poltergeist’ trilogy

Cursed Films is an unique sequence on the Shudder
streaming platform that explores horror movies tormented by so-called curses.
Episode three of the present focuses on the excitement round Poltergeist. The
episode synopsis reads as follows:

“A sequence of premature deaths linked to the making of the
“Poltergeist” movies encourage rumors that the manufacturing is cursed;
suspicions are stoked by rumors that actual human skeletons have been used in the course of the
making of the movie.”

In the episode, crew
members and consultants debate and debunk claims and make clear the origin of
the supposed curse.

Spooky on-set occurrences fueled rumors of the ‘Poltergeist’

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During manufacturing, some on-set incidents triggered
superstitious chatter. In a scene by which a toy clown strangles a boy, the mechanism
malfunctioned whereas filming and allegedly choked the actor.

Another thread that believers within the film jinx cling to is
that the crew used precise skeletons as props. In the film, Mrs. Freeling falls
right into a gap meant for setting up an in-ground pool. Rainwater fills the pit, and
our bodies start to drift to the highest, surrounding the lady. Some followers consider the
skeletons within the pool have been actual stays from India, and utilizing them within the Poltergeist
led to an actual curse.

Several forged members from the movie franchise handed away

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Grief surrounded the Poltergeist franchise, with
a number of actors from the movies dying earlier than the trilogy might be accomplished.

Dominique Dunne, who performed Dana, the eldest Freeling youngster,
was concerned in a unstable relationship. After breaking apart together with her boyfriend
beat her up, he went to her residence and choked her. Dunne went right into a coma after
the assault and by no means regained consciousness.

Two actors who appeared in Poltergeist II: The Other Side additionally died. Will Sampson, who was a shaman, carried out an on-set exorcism to expel demons from the manufacturing. Two years later, the 53-year outdated died from malnutrition and kidney failure. His co-star, Julian Beck, died of abdomen most cancers. The filmmakers introduced his character again within the third and closing Poltergeist movie by making a forged of Beck’s face and outfitting the brand new actor with a masks.

The younger star of the movies, Heather O’Rourke, was in therapy
for Crone’s illness. Unfortunately, she was misdiagnosed and died because of
issues of a congenital incapacity in the course of the filming of Poltergeist
. The filmmakers declare that the studio compelled them to finish the
undertaking, they usually did so by reluctantly utilizing a double.

Is the ‘Poltergeist’ curse actual?

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RELATED: ‘The Exorcist’: The Creepy Story Behind the Film’s Legendary Curse

Although many followers consider that evil forces haunted the Poltergeist
movies, the forged and crew appear to agree that the claims of a curse are false.

Zelda Rubinstein, who performed the Freeling’s psychic friend,
Tangina, answered the query in regards to the purported curse, saying, “Heather died
due to an undetected congenital anatomical defect. And Dominique Dunne died
by the hands of a particularly ill-directed, passionate boyfriend. I feel that
it’s just about a courtesy to place to an finish this superstitious crap.”

Craig Reardon, a particular make-up results artist for Poltergeist,
discovered it offensive and insulting to O’Rourke and Dunne when individuals used the
curse to clarify the actresses’ deaths. He additionally revealed that earlier than Poltergeist,
real human skeletons had been utilized in many movies, akin to House on
Haunted Hill
and Frankenstein with out triggering a so-called curse. And
the rationale behind utilizing actual skeletons? Using actual stays was cheaper than setting up
props. “Wake up and smell the budget,” Reardon barbed.

“It’s possible if I had to do this all over again, that I probably wouldn’t have made the movie,” mentioned Gary Sherman, the director of Poltergeist III. “But I don’t think it had anything to do with a curse. I think people are always fascinated by the unknown,” he famous. “The proven fact that some individuals wish to join that with Poltergeist and skeletons, to every his personal.”

Fans can try the total episode of Cursed Films: Poltergeist now streaming on Shudder.

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