Humans altogether make for a quite weird bunch, and nothing is more bizarre than the affectations and traditions surrounding superstitions. Superstitions are strange quirks in people’s nature that dictates to them things to avoid, lest ill fortune befalls them. Many of us are familiar with the list of common ones: don’t walk under ladders, a black cat crossing someone’s path, breaking a mirror equals seven years of bad luck, and the number 13 is unlucky. Many people cross their fingers, knock on wood, have a rabbit’s paw, or have a lucky number, even underwear and stepping cracks on the floor/pavement makes the list.
However, none are more superstitious than the film/TV fraternity. So ingrained are these rituals with actors that even wishing someone working on stage or screen “good luck” is itself bad luck, they must say “break a leg” instead to divert any potential misfortune that may beset an actor! The legendary Shakespeare tragedy about a Scottish King, Macbeth, cannot be referred to by its title among theater folk, so to avoid tragedy themselves, thespians believe they must call it “The Scottish Play,” instead. Even so, plenty of eerie rumors persist and have grown up around the movies and its industry, for a business that trades mostly in make believe, some odd things often crock up. Now and then there is a film where cast members die, or there is a clutch of strange activities that hamper the success of the movie. These curses have lasted the test of time and still seem popular with audiences, long after directors yell cut.
15. The 27 Curse
While this curse is more associated with musicians than with actors, they are still famous, and it is very widely known. As a society people love music perhaps even more than they love movies and singers and musicians become so revered that they can define eras. Rock stars form the benchmark and a defining milestone for people, shaping their childhoods and youth, structuring the culture of the decades they emerge. Although with immense fame and endless adulation comes cushioning the sheer glare of the limelight by using drink and drugs, hence they die young. It seems as though those who go too soon depart at the tender age of 27, in fact, people know it as The 27 Curse. It started with The Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones, found dead in his pool, followed by Jimi Hendrix choking on his vomit after a drink/drugs binge. Janis Joplin’s alcoholism killed her, as did heart failure with Jim Morrison. Kurt Cobain committed suicide, aged 27, due to his heroin addiction, before it finally claimed Amy Winehouse in 2011 through drugs.
14. Atuk Movie – All 4 Stars Ended Up Dead
The Incomparable Atuk started out as a novel in 1963, a comic story revolving around an overweight Eskimo that ends up in Toronto. The book got adapted into a screenplay in 1970 with John Belushi cast as an Alaskan Inuit that eventually lands in Manhattan. Although the movie got cancelled when John Belushi was found dead in a hotel room after injecting a concoction known as a speedball, a mixture of cocaine and heroin. The movie stayed on hiatus for two years, until Sam Kiniston landed the role. However, he stormed off set and refused to work on the film, a couple of years later Kiniston died in a car crash. Then, the role got offered to John Candy in 1993, the Uncle Buck, Home Alone and Cool Runnings actor died of a heart attack soon after. Finally, Chris Farley stepped in, only for him to die too!
13. James Dean’s Car Kept Injuring And/Or Killing People
James Dean arguably became the world’s first male heartthrob and starred in three movies (East of Eden, Rebel Without A Cause and Giant) before his untimely death in 1955, aged 24. James Dean crashed his Porsche 550 Spyder after setting off for a race with his mechanic Rolf Wutherich (who attempted suicide several times before dying in a car crash in Germany in 1981). Car enthusiast George Barris bought the wreckage of the car, which came loose and broke a mechanic’s leg while Barris transported it. Later, Barris sold parts to two guys who died racing one another in their cars, tires he sold from the vehicle exploded and forced the car they were attached to off the road. A man got injured trying to steal the blood-stained seat from the car, a second thief’s arm got torn open when he tried to take the steering wheel. When Barris lent it to two exhibitions, the garage of one caught alight, burning down, leaving only the car unharmed, at a second show the car fell and broke a student’s hip, as well as a driver transporting the car being crushed by it. Finally, in 1960, the automobile vanished while returning to George Barris and has remained unaccounted for ever since.
12. Playmate Centerfolds Keep Dying
Playboy Magazine has worked its way into men’s hearts, under their beds and set them off in the trouser department for 60 years. The tastefully nude adult magazine has made its creator, Hugh Hefner an icon of decadence. The first issue started as it meant to go on by becoming a stalwart of modern culture, featuring the mythical 50s icon Marilyn Monroe as its first centerfold. Marilyn’s checkered career and love life – that included affairs with John F. Kennedy and Bobby Kennedy – clashed with her use of drugs, namely barbiturates, which led to her death in 1962. With other centerfolds Star Stowe and Dorothy Stratten murdered, Willy Rea and Elisa Bridges also dying from drug abuse. Although actress and wife of infamous director Roman Polanski, Sharon Tate, did not model for Playboy, she appeared in a pictorial in 1967 and Tate became a victim of Charles Manson’s murderous cult, The Family. Claudia Jennings, a Playmate from 1970, also died when she fell asleep at the wheel of her convertible.
11. The Conqueror – 91 People Die From Cancer
Before Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis saved the world, Hollywood relied mostly on John Wayne. The Duke, standing at 6 foot 4 inches tall, single-handedly became the face of the western, although every so often, John Wayne turned his hand to another genre of movie. In 1956, a year after his success in the Oscar winning film, The Quiet Man, John Wayne starred in The Conquerer, where he played Genghis Khan (yes, that’s right, the Mongolian Emperor). If one thought such dreadful casting cursed enough, then the location saw the casting and raised the stakes, to near a nuclear site in St. George, Utah. Despite reassurances from the government about the location’s safety, some people that worked on the movie developed cancer some years after. Dick Powell died of cancer seven years after the film’s completion, with Pedro Armendariz getting kidney cancer and committing suicide. John Wayne, Susan Hayward, John Hoyt, and Agnes Moorehead also died of the disease, and People Magazine revealed in 1980 that 91 of the 220-person cast died of cancer, leading to those whose family members died, suing the US government.
10. Weird Pattern Between John Lennon And The Number Nine
As one of the founders of The Beatles, they achieved global success, and many people consider The Beatles as the greatest band in music history. They also dabbled in movies, such as Yellow Submarine and co-founder Paul McCartney is the world’s wealthiest musician. However, keen-eyed observers notice a pattern existing between Lennon and the number nine. Lennon’s date of birth is October 9th, the band’s discovery on The Ed Sullivan Show occurred on February 9th, The Beatles split after nine years, he also met Yoko Ono on November 9th, and they had their son nine years after their meeting. However, nine years after moving to New York, Mark Chapman killed Lennon, on December 9th, at 11:07 (1+1+7=9) and the clincher, John’s hometown is Liverpool – which has nine letters!
9. Poltergeist And The Super Bowl Poster
Tobe Hooper directed the classic horror movie, Poltergeist, with Stephen Spielberg as Executive Producer and George Lucas’ Industrial Light and Magic and Skywalker Sound supplying the effects. As a result, there are nods to Spielberg and Lucas’ movies everywhere, a Darth Vader here, an ET poster there; even Ridley Scott gets in on the act with an Alien poster. Although the curse surrounding the movie is now the stuff of legend, which some believe attributable to the fact the crew used real skeletons because they were cheaper than fake ones.
After filming, actress Dominique Dunn (who played the eldest sister, Dana) died, strangled to death by her boyfriend. Years later, actress Heather O’ Rourke, who played the girl preyed upon by evil spirits, Carole-Anne, died from a medical misdiagnosis, aged 13. What’s odd is that on the wall nearby the bed of her on-screen brother, Robbie, is a poster with the time and date of Super Bowl XXII, set to take place in 1988 in San Diego. O’ Rourke died the day after the actual Super Bowl XXII, and she died in San Diego.
8. Billy Bob Thornton’s Co-Stars Keep Dying
The actor is more than a little quirky and is known as a bit of a wild one, which certainly didn’t lessen during his several years of marriage to actress, Angelina Jolie. Allegedly, during Thornton’s marriage to Jolie – daughter of Hollywood legend, John Voight – she wore a vial of his blood around her neck (definitely more original than donning a wedding band). The weirdness does not end there though; Billy Bob Thornton seems to be somewhat of a harbinger of death himself. Several of his co-stars, including JT Walsh, John Ritter and Heath Ledger passed away after working with him. It appears as though Billy Bob Thornton is the real life embodiment of the Final Destination series, including near misses that targeted Shia LaBeouf and Morgan Freeman, both injured in car crashes. Dirty Dancing and Ghost legend, former co-star Patrick Swayze, developed pancreatic cancer and died too.
7. No One Can Seem To Handle The Role Of John Connor
Nothing is more burdensome than being the saviour of humanity, even if a person is acting as a hero and pretending to bear the burden of the world on their shoulders. Actors are a temperamental bunch, often they fly off the handle or have odd quirks and personalities, but when three actors lined up for the same role experience mental collapse, questions need asking.
James Cameron’s Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgement Day are fan favorites, nearly 30 years after the sequel’s release. So successful that Hollywood has spawned numerous crappy sequels to the point where even the lead stars become a shit show. Edward Furlong, who played John Connor, destined to save the world from robots, has had a marked struggle with drink and drugs. Nick Stahl, who played the hero in the third instalment of franchise, disappeared for two weeks during filming. Moreover, everyone knows about Christian Bale’s meltdown while filming Terminator: Salvation, which involved him attacking his mother and sister, seems like evil cyborgs infected them!
6. The Ghost From Three Men And A Baby
What’s stranger than a story about three bachelors (Ted Danson, Steve Gutenberg and Tom Selleck) left to take care of a baby, a lighthearted comedy directed by Star Trek‘s Doctor Spock, Leonard Nimoy? Well, the fact that the set of this jolly movie is haunted, of course. The Three Men and A Baby urban legend is one of the most infamous rumors to “haunt” Hollywood. In one scene, the father of the abandoned baby, Ted Danson (of Cheers fame), greets his mother who comes to see the infant and eagle-eyed viewers spot what appears to be a boy standing in the window. Fevered speculation mounted and the wrong conclusion instantly got jumped to, the claim that the ghost of a boy lurked on the movie set, caused a rather average movie to become legendary. In fact, the “boy” is a cardboard cut out of Ted Danson himself and got accidentally caught on camera. The cutout, used in a deleted scene from the movie certainly helped to ghost around the movie and help its popularity.
5. Three People Struck By Lightning On Set Of Passion Of The Christ
Biblical epics once formed the staple diet of big budget Hollywood productions in the 1950s and 1960s. The remake of Ben Hur in 1959, won a record breaking 11 Oscars, a feat only equalled by Titanic and Return of the King. Although as time moved on and TV grew more popular than cinema, as well as it becoming increasingly unjustifiable to pay what soon became thousands of extras, cast and crew to retell the Crucifixion over again, put a stop to the epics. Then in 2004, Hollywood’s most famous god-botherer and anti-Semite, Mel Gibson, created his gore-filled homage to the Messiah, called The Passion of the Christ. The movie, directed by Gibson, portrayed such violence that it somehow got a thumbs up from The Pope, however, whether believer or atheist, it seems some odd coincidences occurred when shooting the Biblical epic. During filming, three people got struck by lightning, including the star playing Jesus, Jim Caviezel; apparently, God did not take too kindly to the treatment – in the guise of his son – he endured being reminded to him.
4. The Dark Knight
When Tim Burton directed Batman starring Michael Keaton, Kim Basinger and Jack Nicholson, the comic book hero began to return to its darker roots and away from the camp Adam West TV series. Although, Christopher Nolan took the darkness to whole new levels, so much so that it began to affect cast and crew negatively. The strangeness began with a stuntman that died while testing out a car, extending to the point where method acting spiralled out of control. Heath Ledger invested so much into being The Joker that he experienced insomnia; as a result, relying on sleeping pills that he overdosed on, killing him before the movie’s release – his performance as The Joker won him a posthumous Oscar. Christian Bale ended up detained and questioned over assaulting his sister and mother, while Morgan Freeman also had a car crash.
3. The Blair Witch Project
Movies always rely heavily on marketing to promote themselves and with the dawn of the internet age at the end of the 1990s, creating a mythology around a film suddenly became viable. In 1999, indie filmmakers Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez released the unlikeliest blockbuster not just of the year, but perhaps the decade. It centered on a group of three students making a documentary about a local legend in Burkittsville, Maryland of a witch haunting the nearby woods. The students disappeared and made the “Found Footage” genre one of global prominence, with some help from internet viral marketing. Myrick and Sanchez created a website full of articles, and mentioned the disappearances on student chat rooms, to the point that everyone bought the story, prompting people to visit the woods in question.
2. Roman Polanski
No one is more contentious than the film director, Roman Polanski, whose difficult life has left him an exile from the USA for the crime of statutory rape. From a young age and as a Polish Jew, Polanski ended up in a concentration where the vile crimes of the Holocaust saw him orphaned. After World War II, he moved to America, eventually finding work as an actor, then director. He married actress Sharon Tate and eight months after directing the horror film, Rosemary’s Baby, about a woman pregnant with the child of Satan, Tate fell pregnant. However, while carrying her unborn baby, four members of serial killer Charles Manson’s cult, “The Family,” broke into Tate and Polanski’s home, killing Tate, her unborn child and several friends. In 1977, Polanski had sex with a 13-year-old model, and the US government issued an arrest warrant for statutory rape. The director fled to Paris, though he was arrested in Switzerland in 2009 and stood trial, serving 56 days in prison before his release on probation. Though Polanski fled to Paris again when he discovered the judge planned to overturn that probation.
1. Aleister Crowley Curses Led Zeppelin Guitarist Jimmy Page?
Many consider Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page as one of the greatest guitarists of all time, and when he found fame, Page indulged one of his fandoms. Page has a fascination with the seminal English occultist and writer, Aleister Crowley. He even bought Crowley’s house and took to walking around in the dead man’s cape. Ostensibly some of the occult magic wore off on the garment and began spreading some bad vibes around the Led Zeppelin bunch. Some people believe that “Stairway To Heaven” contains the words, “My Sweet Satan”. Plus, in 1977, John Paul Jones broke his finger, but the greatest tragedy came when lead singer Robert Plant’s five-year-old son died of a stomach virus. Then in 1980, Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham drank four quadruple vodka shots for breakfast at Page’s home, which caused him to choke to death on his vomit. It seems like Aleister cast an evil hex over his property.
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