The people who make horror movies really know how to get to the root of our fears and of course, that makes sense because scaring the wits out of us is their bread and butter. Whether they’re playing on our deep insecurities about own lives or bringing our darkest nightmares to life, we can’t get enough of horror movies. The truth is that we love the feeling of being afraid, it’s thrilling and gets our blood pumping, but we also want to feel that way in a safe environment i.e half hiding under the blanket in our bed at home.
Now we all have our favorites when it comes to horror movies, some of us enjoy supernatural or religious themed stories while others like slasher or gore flicks, but I think we can all agree that when child actors appear in horror movies it makes them even more terrifying. Maybe it’s because we associate children with innocence so seeing one possessed by demons or climbing out of a tv screen really grabs our attention.
But what has become of the child stars who played these spine-chilling roles in the past? Let’s look at some of the actors from iconic horror movies like The Shining, The Exorcist, and The Ring, and find out what became of these young stars…
15 The Omen - Harvey Spencer Stephens
He appeared briefly in the news earlier this year when he was arrested for a road rage incident in which he repeatedly punched two cyclists. He received a suspended sentence and was forced to pay compensation for the victims as well as attend anger management classes.
14 Pet Sematary - Miko Hughes
He took a brief break in his acting career before playing a teenager in the sci-fi series Roswell. His last film credit was in 2011 when he played Jensen in the post-apocalyptic horror flick Steve Niles' Remains.
13 Poltergeist- Heather O'Rourke
Heather reprised her role as Carol Anne for the second and third instalment of the movie franchise and also had a recurring role on the show Happy Days. Sadly this fledgling actress never got to live to her full potential. She died tragically at the age of 12 after suffering septic shock caused by intestinal stenosis. She may be gone, but she’s definitely not forgotten.
12 Orphan - Isabelle Fuhrman
Fuhrman’s latest movie, Hellbent, is still in post-production. The film follows the story of a girl traveling across the country with a fugitive, trying to find her father. A release date for the film has not yet been announced.
11 Children Of The Corn - John Franklin
At the end of 2016 Franklin, who is now 58, announced that he was retiring from teaching. He explained that he wanted to reprise his career as a writer and actor and concentrate on creative projects. He is currently working on several projects, including a fiction novel.
10 Case 39 - Jodelle Ferland
In 2016 Ferland won a Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Younger Actor in a Television Series for her role as Five in the TV show Dark Matter.
9 The Shining - Lisa and Louise Burns
In a recent interview with The Daily Mail, Lisa and Louise (now both 48 years old) spoke about how much they enjoyed their once in a lifetime Hollywood gig and how Jack Nicholson acted as a mentor for them. But according to them, the movie did more harm than good to their acting careers and they were turned down by numerous acting schools simply because they had appeared in a horror movie. Today Lisa is a lawyer and Louise is a published scientist.
8 Child's Play - Alex Vincent
Alex Vincent is best remembered for his role as Andy Barclay in the Child's Play franchise. He appeared in Child's Play, Child's Play 2, Curse of Chucky, and most recently, Cult of Chucky which was released in 2017.
Vincent was just five years old when he was cast to star in Child’s Play, a movie about a dead serial killer who possesses the body of a toy, which ends up in Andy’s home. After appearing in the first two films, Vincent quit acting and tried to live down the image of a child star, but two years later he decided to give it another go. Sadly his career just didn’t take off again. He went to 15 auditions and was turned down for every single one.
7 The Ring - Daveigh Chase
Since then Daveigh, now 27, has played in a number of films including The Ring Two and Donnie Darko and appeared in a number of TV shows. But to us, she’ll always be Samara!
6 The Exorcist - Linda Blair
In the early 1970’s Linda was chosen from a pool of over 600 girls to play the role of Regan in The Exorcist. This role earned her a People’s Choice Award for Best Supporting Actress, a Golden Globe and an Academy Award nomination.
She’s done a lot with her life since she played this iconic role; she co-wrote a lifestyle book, became an animal rights activist and continued to act in TV and film, although we’ll always remember her as the little girl who played with the Ouija board and got possessed by demons.
5 The Ring - David Dorfman
David is not just a talented actor, he’s super brainy too. He’s so smart that he was admitted to study at UCLA when he was just 13 years old – talk about a prodigy! Oh, and he graduated at age 18 as valedictorian and was admitted to Harvard Law School.
He’s also appeared in a number of other films such as Panic, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Drillbit Taylor, and made numerous appearances on TV shows. If this is what he’s done by the age of 24 we can’t wait to see what this talented young man is planning next!
4 The Shining - Danny Lloyd
Despite his success with The Shining Danny retired from acting two years later and studied to become a biology professor. The former actor, now 44, teaches at a community college in Kentucky.
3 The Grudge - Yuya Ozeki
If you like movies with scary kids then The Grudge is probably one of your favorites, with Yuya Ozeki playing the role of a ghost boy named Toshio. This young actor also played the role in the original Japanese versions of the film. He had a cat phobia on set which made filming some of the cat scenes a little difficult, but the film turned out to be a huge commercial success.
He still works on screen in Japan (he is now 21) and recently starred in a show called Oyaji no senaka (Fathers).
2 Dark Water - Ariel Gade
Her most recent role was in Some Guy Who Kills People which came out in 2011. The young actress, now 20, decided to retire from acting following this movie in order to concentrate on school and family.
1 The Sixth Sense - Haley Joel Osment
Osment went on to appear in a number of films, including A.I. Artificial Intelligence and Pay It Forward as well as TV shows. The actor, now 29, most recently appeared in the 2017 comedy film Izzy Gets the F*ck Across Town.