The Poltergeist Movie Curse: Fact Or Fiction?

The Poltergeist Movie Curse: Fact Or Fiction?

After a remake of the Steven Spielberg 1982 classic horror movie Poltergeist, was released in 2015 it got people talking again about the apparent curse surrounding the original.

Although there were no nasty incidents reported following the new movie, many fans will remember the series of petrifying events that unfolded after the earlier production was released.

This included the untimely deaths of 5 cast members, and many people believe that it is the most cursed franchise to ever come out of Hollywood.

But is the Poltergeist movie curse really a “curse”, or just a series of unfortunate coincidences?

Let’s take a closer look and you can decide for yourself what you believe!

The trilogy is the chilling tale of a normal family haunted by an evil poltergeist after moving into their new home.

Strange things begin to happen around their young daughter Carol Ann, who becomes a conduit for the supernatural occurrences.

Where It All Started

Speculation about a curse began after the brutal murder of beautiful actress Dominique Dunne who was just 22 years old.

She played Dana (the older sister of Carol Ann) in the movie. She was strangled by an abusive ex boyfriend, and died 5 days later when taken off life support.

The Secret Behind The Curse?

Some people speculate that perhaps the film is cursed because it used actual human skeletons. In one famous scene, the character Diane (played by JoBeth McWilliams) falls in the family pool and terrifyingly it is full of skeletons.

This was a scene that took 4-5 days to shoot.

At the time the cast and crew were unaware that they were real human skeletons and in fact thought they were made from plastic or rubber.

Of course they soon found out the truth, but could that really be the reason for the series of events that ensued?

Could it really be the reason that so many people lost their lives in unexpected circumstances?

Why then did the actress who actually ended up in the pool with the skeletons not fall foul of the curse?

Today age 67, JoBeth McWilliams is still alive and well. And why would certain cast members be affected when they had nothing to do with the decision to use human skeletons?

Many people believe that the fact the human remains were disturbed, and used in this manner caused a curse to fall on the movie and those involved.

Two More Deaths Followed The Sequel

On the set of the 2nd movie in the trilogy, Native American actor Will Sampson, conducted an exorcism after concern about the use of real human skeletons in the making of the first film.

However two more cast members met an untimely demise within a few short years of the sequel release.

Actor Julian Beck got stomach cancer and died at the age of 60, and Will Sampson himself (the man who performed the exorcism), died at just 53 from complications following an operation.

While these are not particularly suspicious sounding deaths, many people believe they are linked to a curse on the trilogy.

Death of Heather O’Rourke

Just after finishing filming the third and final chapter of the original Poltergeist, and several months before its release in 1988, child star Heather O’Rourke died age 12.

Heather played Carol Ann, the child in the movie who was targeted by the supernatural entities. Cause of death was septic shock and cardiac arrest related to a misdiagnosed intestinal problem.

Death of Heather O'Rourke

Her death at such a young age is often cited as one of the most convincing cases for a curse.

Other events include cast member Richard Lawson who was aboard a US plane that crashed in March 1992. The actor survived, but 27 of the 51 passengers on board were killed.

In 2009, Lou Perryman, who had a small part in the original Poltergeist, was killed at home by an ex convict who had recently been released. Just two more incidents that prompt the belief in a curse.

Conclusion

The reality is that even today, we understand very little about the supernatural and the paranormal. Many people believe that there are consequences involved when messing about with the paranormal or dark topics such as that in Poltergeist.

Is it really a curse or are the illnesses and deaths just a tragic coincidence?

Nobody knows for certain.

Whether or not you believe in the Poltergeist movie curse is up to you, however there’s no denying that the terrible events surrounding this famous trilogy are extremely creepy and certainly seem like more than just a typical coincidence.

Room 428 in Ohio University

Room 428 in Ohio University

Mention room 428 in Ohio University to any alumni or current resident of Wilson Hall dormitory; you’re guaranteed a ghost story.

Ohio University is considered one of the most haunted schools in the world.

Built only one year after Ohio established statehood, Ohio University’s walls have witnessed plenty of tragedy.

It all started in the 1970’s when a student lost their life. Accounts differ when it comes to the gender of the student, but sources agree on the unexpected or unusual nature of the death.

Some time after that, however, a female student lived in the dorm. Those who knew the woman claimed that she studied the occult. She allegedly used the energy of the room to speak with the dead.

Forgotten over the course of decades, her name does not seem to be known. Yet, nearly every story about this woman ends in her grisly death.

It is said that she drew on the power of the room one night. She wanted to astral project or speak with the dead, but somehow this resulted in her violent and bloody death. Some stories say that she slit her wrists. However, this is not a widely circulated claim.


 An Array of Supernatural Phenomenon

After the first death in the 1970’s, students experienced an array of supernatural phenomenon. Frequently, students occupying the room alone would hear footsteps.

Other times, objects would fly across the room and shatter against the walls. And still other accounts claim to have seen the ghost of the ill-fated occult follower.

But why did the first death in Room 428 occur at all?

It is interesting to note that Wilson Hall sits in the center of five prominent cemeteries. When these sites are connected with a marker on a map, they form a pentagram.

A pentagram is not an inherently evil symbol. It symbolizes the five elements or the God and Goddess of the Wicca religion. It’s considered a talisman of strength or protection from which one may draw or amplify energy.

To be located in the center of a pentagram, as is the case with Wilson Hall, is a potent sign that the site is one of great importance. In the occult, it is similar to a building that resides upon crossing ley lines.


The Cemetery

Another fascinating theory for the paranormal activity in Room 428: Wilson Hall rests on a cemetery. Sources differ on whether this cemetery held the corpses of Native Americans or those of the Athens Mental Institute.

Regardless, everyone seems to agree that the dorm is directly atop a graveyard.

On January 9th, 1874, the Mental Medical Center (then called the Athens Lunatic Asylum) first opened its doors. All was as well as it could be in a mental ward at that time.

View of Campus, Ohio University
View of Campus, Ohio University

For many years, the patients of the institute enjoyed a peaceful atmosphere complete with fountains and gardens.

As the asylum gradually became overran with patients, the quality of the institution plummeted into the dark ages. The doctors and staff grew cold and temperamental with their charges.

Difficult or unruly patients were punished with icy cold dunks in tubs of water; electroshock therapies became the norm.

The most wild or unmanageable patients underwent a procedure called a lobotomy, permanently destroying their already broken or misfiring minds.


Room 428

All of these phenomena are said to contribute to the mysterious death of the unknown student of Room 428 in Ohio University back in the 1970’s.

Several spiritualist experts have conducted investigations of the area. They determined that the geographical layout surrounding Ohio University (such as the outlying valleys, peaks, and mountains) served to conduct spiritual energy.

The state of Ohio in general is known to be an epicenter of paranormal activity and hauntings, actually.

Ohio in general is known to be an epicenter of paranormal activity

Today, Room 428 in Ohio University is sealed off from students. This happened shortly after the death of the woman who practiced the occult.

However, the door of the room is said to depict the face of a demon, even after the entire thing is replaced. The students currently residing in Wilson Hall are curious, as expected.

Some confess that, as Halloween approaches, their RA’s allow them to “tour” the room. And when they open the door and step into Room 428, each student unanimously reports…

…a couple of dead birds. Oh, well. There’s still the constant complaints of someone walking around in the room from those living in the adjacent dorms!

The Thornton Heath Poltergeist

The Thornton Heath Poltergeist

During the 1970’s, in Thornton Heath, England, a happy family unit became the target of an angry entity residing in their home. The Thornton Heath poltergeist is now one of the most famous real life hauntings to come out of the UK…


The Beginning

One hot summer night in August the family were awoken by a bedside radio blasting out a strange foreign station. The family had no idea where the radio station was transmitted from and had never tuned into it before.

Little did they know that this strange incident was the catalyst of a four year trip into the realm of the paranormal.

The following nights saw bedside lamps and ornaments tampered with by unseen hands.

The Beginning of The Haunting

The following Christmas ( 1972 ) things started to get physical when the husband was assaulted by a flying figurine in the living room. It hit him so hard on the forehead that he collapsed giddy into a nearby chair.

As the family struggled to get the husband back to his feet the nearby Christmas tree began to rise and shake violently.


The New Year

The New year brought with it a mass of new paranormal activity. The family would constantly hear the footsteps of an unseen visitor walking though the bedrooms upstairs.

Several days after the New Year celebrations were over their young son was awoken by what he later described as a tall angry looking man.

The man hovered over him as he lay there with an incredibly evil look on his face. The son later claimed that this man was dressed in ‘old fashioned clothes’.

Before long visitors to the family home started experiencing the paranormal events. One evening the family was in the process of holding a dinner party for some close friends when the door began to shake and knock violently.

It seemed as though the front door was being knocked first then the living room was targeted. As the party members cautiously stood up the living room door flung open and every light in the house started switching on and off.

The family realized that things were steadily getting out of control – they needed help.


The Church

The family managed to get hold of a representative from their local church who sent a priest around to their home. Unfortunately the blessing the priest gave only seemed to make matters worse.

The family were then put in touch with a medium who visited their home to find out the cause of the haunting.

The medium was able to deduce that the entity was actually a dead farmer by the name of Chatterton. This Chatterton character was angry with the family because he considered them to be trespassers in his home.

After a little digging they did find out that a farmer named Chatterton owned their home during the mid-18th century.


The Farmer’s Wife

For some reason Chatterton’s wife began to make an appearance after the medium’s visit. She seemed to have a bit of a problem with the mother of the household.

Whenever the tenant’s wife would walk up the stairs she would become aware of someone following her. She would often turn around to see Chatterton’s grey haired wife following her.

As soon as the old lady’s specter noticed she had been spotted she would disappear into the nearby shadows.

Things eventually got so bad that Chatterton would frequently pop up on the family’s television screen – interrupting whatever program they were watching.


The End

After nearly four long years of paranormal activity the family decided to throw in the towel and purchase a new home. Once out of the house in Thornton Heath the strange happenings ceased immediately.

There have been no further reports of poltergeist activity in the house they left behind…

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