April 13, 2012

Paranormal Fridays: Curse of the Poltergeist Movies

Curses and the entertainment industry is nothing new. Any serious student of Shakespeare knows the Macbeth is considered a cursed play, with some actors even refusing to say the name of the play out of fear they will have a mysterious accident. It has been documented that actors have been seriously hurt or even killed while preparing for or acting in a production of Macbeth.

Up until recently, I had never heard of the curse phenomena crossing into the movie industry. I read this article on Fear Net about the Poltergeist movies and their supposed curse. It appears that the Poltergeist movies were not only scary to watch, but were also scary for the actors and production crew during filming.

Not convinced? Well, the article details how the scene in the first Poltergeist with the skeletons in the pool might have been where all the trouble started. Apparently those skeletons in the pool were real and not fake plastic reproductions. Using real bones was cheaper, and so to save on production costs they were used. Will Sampson, who played the shaman in the movie, was actually not really acting since he was a real-life shaman. Things on the set got so bad that Sampson actually at one point performed an exorcism on the set. Apparently the exorcism did not stop the strange occurrences. In the clown attack scene the actor who played the son was actually choked by a malfunctioning clown robot, and the production crew had to wrestle him free after her started turning blue.

Death is also a part of the Poltergeist curse, just like the curse of Macbeth. Sampson died after a kidney infection caused complications. Two of the three children died mysterious deaths. Richard Lawson escaped death by a narrow margin several times, including him surviving a plane crash through pure luck.

Perhaps the use of human skeletons in the production of the Poltergeist did lead to a curse hovering over the franchise. Many believe that Macbeth is cursed because the incantation the witches use at the beginning of the play was lifted by Shakespeare directly out of a book of magic, meaning the witches are actually performing black magic. 

So what do you all think? Are some plays and movies cursed?


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Just glad I only had to watch the movies, not be involved. If I remember right, the oldest daughter was strangled by her boyfriend.

Steven said...

Alex, I am glad I was not on set either. You are correct about the oldest daughter. The youngest one died suddenly during the filming of the third movie.