As many of us know, there are times where general mishaps happen on set while filming a movie. What most of us don’t know is that there are some films that have earned the title of being cursed. Films such as Poltergeist, The Omen, The Exorcist, and even The Wizard of Oz have all fallen prey to some type of curse. These are the films that are riddled with bad luck, both during the making of the film and after the film’s production. Films where mysterious accidents, multiple mishaps, and uncanny coincidences all add up to one thing, a curse. So here’s the story of ten movies that are widely thought to be cursed. Movies that might have scared us to our very core, and movies that might have meant death and destruction for some involved. Even if you don’t believe in curses, the number of mysterious happenings involved in all of these films is uncanny. It might even be enough to make you believe in curses after all.
10. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Was The Wizard of Oz, one of the most beloved films of all times, cursed? According to some Hollywood legends, yes. There were a number of strange happenings that went on during the filming of The Wizard of Oz. The first incident that led to a string of mishaps was when the original Tin Man, Buddy Epson, had to step down from the part after getting an infection in his lungs from the aluminum used in the Tin Man’s makeup. After that, it seemed to go all down hill for the cast. The replacement for the Tin Man got an eye infection from the makeup, the wicked witch caught on fire and had to take a leave of absence from filming in order to recover, some winged monkeys fell off their wires, and even Toto had to take some time off after she broke her paw. All in all, the cast members of The Wizard of Oz had a rough time during filming. Rough enough for some to deem the movie cursed.
9. The Conqueror (1956)
The Conqueror is a movie that features John Wayne playing a Mongol leader. This movie would usually be completely off Hollywood’s radar, but The Conqueror is rumored to have suffered from a curse. A curse that eventually led to the death of forty-six people. The film was shot near a nuclear test site in St. George, Utah. The location of the set led to many of the crew members being diagnosed with cancer. In fact, of the 220 cast members, 91 were diagnosed. Experts say that they wouldn’t have expected more than approximately thirty people, from the size of the group, to have contracted cancer. So why did so many people suffer from cancer after working on The Conqueror? Maybe it’s because of the curse. Some big names to die as a result of the cancer included, John Wayne and directors Dick Powell and Susan Hayward.
8. The Crow (1994)
The Crow is considered cursed because it involved the accidental death of Brandon Lee, Bruce Lee’s son. On March 31, 1993, just before the film was about to wrap, Lee was accidentally shot in the abdomen and killed. It turns out, a metal tip from a dummy gun became lodged in the gun that ultimately killed Lee. The star was just 28 when he died. Legend has it that the scene in the movie that shows Lee getting shot with a .44 Magnum, depicts the actors actual death. Other mysterious happenings on set included, a severely burned carpenter, a crew member slipping and putting a screw driver through his hand and a disgruntled crew member driving his car through the studio’s plaster shop.
7. Atuk (Unreleased)
Atuk is a comedy about an Eskimo who comes to The Big Apple, New York City. The movie was never made because it allegedly killed John Belushi. It is reported that Belushi had read the Atuk script and had expressed his interest in playing the role, shortly before he died in 1982 from a drug overdose. The death of one celebrity after reading a script isn’t enough to deem a movie cursed, but what happened next is. After Belushi died, the lead role in Atuk went to Sam Kinison. There were a number of problems with the script and production came to a halt. A few years later, Kinison died in a car crash. After Kinison’s death, the lead role when to John Candy. He read the script and promptly died of a heart attack. In 1997, Chris Farley, who was in talks to play the lead in Atuk died of a drug overdose. Luckily, the cursed script hasn’t been touched since.
6. The Superman Curse
The Superman Curse has plagued many and the first man to get hit by the curse was George Reeves. He played Superman in the 1950’s tv series, Adventures of Superman. Reeves was found dead in 1959 from a single gun shot wound to the head. The death was ruled a suicide but his fingerprints were never found on the gun, making the more likely explanation murder. The next person to get struck by the curse was Christopher Reeve. After playing Superman in four films, he was thrown from his horse and paralyzed from the neck down. Next came Richard Pryor. Pryor played August “Gus” Gorman in Superman III and he was later diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. The Superman stars weren’t the only ones to suffer. After playing Louis Lane, Margot Kidder, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
5. Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
Rebel without a Cause has such a powerful curse, that it caused the premature death of all three of its leads. The first actor to reportedly get hit by the curse was James Dean. He met his death soon after the filming was wrapped up, after wrecking his Porsche. He was just 24 at the time. Then came Sal Mineo, he died in 1976 at the age of 37. He was stabbed by a robber outside his Hollywood apartment after leaving from a play rehearsal. The most suspicious of the three deaths is Natalie Wood’s death. She died in 1981 at the age of 43 from an apparent drowning. Her death was ruled an accident but there has been much speculation that she was murdered. In 2011, Wood’s case was reopened and her death certificate was changed from accidental drowning, to drowning and other undetermined factors.
4. Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
Rosemary’s Baby tells the story of a woman whose husband signs a pact with a Satan-worshiping cult. As expected, all Hell breaks loose, both on and off screen. The film’s composer died of a brain clot, the same way one of the characters in the film dies. The producer of the film suffered from Kidney failure and pledged that the film was cursed. And to top it all off Roman Polanski, the director of the film, saw the murder of his pregnant wife, Sharon Tate. It turns out the owners of the home that he had recently purchased, had pissed off Charles Manson by refusing to record his music. Manson took his revenge by ordering his cult to go to the house and kill everyone inside. The group ended up killing Sharon Tate, her unborn baby, and four others. Polanski was spared from the horror because he was in London at the time of the slaughter.
3. The Poltergeist Curse (1982, 1986, 1988)
The Poltergeist curse saw the death of four of its stars in just six years. Rumor has it, the curse started because of the decision to use real human remains as props. Apparently the spirits didn’t like this very much and so began the curse. At the age of 22, Dominique Dunne, who played Diana in the first film, was murdered by her jealous boyfriend. Julian Beck, who played Kane in the second film, passed away from stomach cancer at the age of 60. Will Sampson, who played the medicine man in Poltergeist II, met his death after a kidney-failure operation, and finally the untimely death of Heather O’Rourke. Her death is unarguably the most shocking and curse-inspiring deaths of the four. She was diagnosed with the flu and within 24 hours she was pronounced dead from cardiac arrest and septic shock. She was just 12 years old at the time.
2. Exorcist (1973)
Depending on who you ask, The Exorcist curse, caused the untimely death of 4 to 13 people. In addition, the curse led to all sorts of uncanny mishaps on set. Two of the actors who died, supposedly as a result of the curse, were Jack MacGowran and Vasiliki Maliaros. MacGowran, who also dies in the film, died at the age of 55 as a result of complications from the flu. Maliaros died before the release of the exorcist from natural causes. Even creepier, Linda Blair, apparently pointed out a man on set and predicted his death. Some of the other strange occurrences on set included a fire that burnt down everything, except Linda Blair’s room, and a broken harness that resulted in a spinal injury. In fact, the cast and crew were so on edge during the filming of The Exorcist, that a priest had to come and bless the set multiple times to keep everyone calm.
1. The Omen (1976)
When it comes to cursed films, The Omen takes the cake. Just some of the strange incidents that happened on and around the set included plane crashes, IRA bombings, and car crashes. During filming, Gregory Peck’s (actor) , Mace Neufelds’ (Executive Producer), and David Seltzer’s (Scriptwriter) planes were all struck by lightening. Two IRA bombings occurred. One being at a hotel that Neufeld was staying at during production and another being at a restaurant that the directors and actors were scheduled to eat at. Luckily no one was killed at either of these bombings, but others weren’t so lucky. On Friday the 13th, 1976, John Richardson, the special effects consultant and his assistant were involved in a car crash. Richardson lived but his assistant was sliced through the front by the car’s wheel. Apparently when Richardson was getting out of the wrecked car he saw a road sign that read, Ommen 66.6km. If that isn’t creepy enough, Gregory Peck’s son shot himself, and a plane that was supposed to be used for the film, crashed killing everyone on board. The Omen curse should serve as a warning to anyone wanting to make a movie about Satan.