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.

2 thoughts on “The Poltergeist Movie Curse: Fact Or Fiction?

  1. What a great article. I have worked in film making for a number of years, and we still joke about the “curses” from several film sets…one of them, of course being, Poltergeist…I always believed in the curse, and I thought many people lost their lives due to the negligence of others…especially their apparent, and blatant disregard and disrespect for the dead…just my opinion.

    It’s a shame that big Hollywood movies don’t let anything stand in their way – even the dead. They just mow straight on through and aim for the big payday (regardless).

    Are you of an age where you remember this movie coming out Chris?

    Great analysis, and great insight…thank you for the awesome information.

    1. Hi Paul,

      So you’ve worked on film sets eh? Anything we’d know about here (anything in the Found Footage genre by any chance?).

      It certainly was blatant disregard for the dead – rather surprising really as I thought Spielberg was a bit more ‘switched on’ than that!

      I certainly do remember this movie coming out originally – it was one of the first horror-type movies I was allowed to sit down and watch with my mother about LOL 🙂

      Great speaking with you Paul – thanks for stopping by and trying out our site!

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