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Ghosts & Hauntings

'Poltergeist' movie curse endures 38 years on

June 5, 2020 | Comment icon 9 comments



They're here..... Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Manuel Quintero
On June 4th, 1982, this chilling cult-classic horror movie debuted to cinema audiences for the first time.
Directed by Tobe Hooper and produced by Stephen Spielberg, the original 'Poltergeist' told the terrifying tale of a family who became besieged by a malicious haunting that culminated in their youngest daughter being pulled through a portal to the 'other side'.

Some of the stories that arose following the film's release however would end up becoming almost as famous as the film itself. Many of them, including the rumor that the crew used real skeletons instead of fake ones to save money, turned out to be completely true.

Most chilling of all however was the amount of misfortune that befell the cast and crew in the years during and following the filming of the movie and its two sequels.

Just after the movie was released in 1982 the actress who played the older sister Dana, Dominique Dunne, was murdered by her abusive ex-boyfriend, John Sweeney.
Then around seven months before the release of the second movie in the series, the actor who played the evil spirit Kane, Julian Beck, succumbed to stomach cancer.

The actor who played Taylor, Will Sampson, died one year later following a heart-lung transplant.

The most tragic death of all relating to the series however was that of its young protagonist, Heather O'Rourke, who died unexpectedly of septic shock following the release of the third film.

Whether or not you believe that these events were the result of a curse, there is no denying the impact that they have had on the film's reputation over the years.

Whether or not potential future installments will suffer a similar fate however remains to be seen.

Comments (9)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by papageorge1 2 years ago
Curses are things I would have scoffed at years ago. I now believe the non-physical dimensions/realms/planes of reality are sophisticated beyond our ability to get our heads around. I now believe there is something real to many things I would have once scoff at.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Piney 2 years ago
@XenoFish I think these cursed horror movies are Chaos Majick in stealth mode. The attitudes of the cast and crew literally create the curse. 
Comment icon #3 Posted by XenoFish 2 years ago
Much like the spooky 'aura' around anything. People think its cursed and create the effect of the curse.
Comment icon #4 Posted by XenoFish 2 years ago
@Piney It's the thought that counts. https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20150210-can-you-think-yourself-to-death
Comment icon #5 Posted by the13bats 2 years ago
I thought the poltergeist curse was debunked long ago, i saw one actor from the first film making fun of it, all movies have issues and horror movies are the ones "problems" are called "curses". Seems though the only people who have issues with curses are the superstitious who believe in it.  
Comment icon #6 Posted by Timothy 2 years ago
‘The most tragic death of all relating to the series however was that of its young protagonist, Heather O'Rourke, who died unexpectedly of septic shock following the release of the third film.’ @UM-Bot this is not a very tasteful comment, comparing how tragic deaths are. Dominique Dunne being strangled to death by her boyfriend is kinda tragic, no?
Comment icon #7 Posted by the13bats 2 years ago
And the actor who played kane, knew he was deaths door with terminal cancer yet insisted the show goes on,  
Comment icon #8 Posted by InconceivableThoughts 2 years ago
I mean what did she do?....no bad joke ...your right though maybe a better choosing of words like "the most unexpected death".
Comment icon #9 Posted by TashaMarie 2 years ago
The only reason this curse exists is because people have wild imaginations.  It is very unfortunate that lives were lost, one in a very senseless heartbreaking act but it certainly does not mean there was a curse surrounding the movie.  Curses are not real.


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