The cult horror classic film Poltergeist terrified cinema-goers in the Eighties, but very few people may know the petrifying real life events -or the curse surrounding it. Many strange and unexplained phenomenon's happened behind the scenes during the making of the trilogy ,and cast members died in unexpected circumstances during the filming of the Poltergeist .
The Origin Of The Curse
The use of real skeletons were used on the set of Poltergeist. They were brought in from India ,from a medical and science supply company that sold human skeletons mainly for use in medical schools back in the 1980s. . The reason they used real skeletons was simple, they were cheaper than the plastic ones. It was believed by moving them , this could have upset the spirits of the people, causing the strange phenomenons .
1.) The Murder Of Dominique Dunne
Dominque Dunne played Dana Freeling
Dunne was dating John Sweeney . The relationship was as tumultuous as it was off-and-on again.One evening while at her home , Dominique was running lines with actor David Packer , when John Sweeney showed up at her door unannounced and uninvited. After speaking to him briefly through a locked door, she reluctantly agreed to talk to him on the porch while David Packer remained inside. Dunne and Sweeney quickly began to argue.Sweeney grabbed her forcibly by the throat until she fell to the ground.She was found unconscious outside her home after he strangled her. She never regained consciousness,and was declared brain dead five days later.She was removed from life support and died at the age of 22
2.) Toy Clown tried to strangle Oliver Robbins -for real
Oliver Robbins played Robbie reeling
Robins was filming the famous ‘clown scene’ where the clown attacks him toward the end of the movie. In the scene the clown wraps it’s arms around his neck in order to strangle him. The clowns arm began to choke his neck for real . It squeezed tighter and tighter, and started cutting off his oxygen,until he couldn't breathe. At the time, both Spielberg and director, Tobe Hooper believed it to be a good shot, until Robins began turning a bright shade of blue. Apparently there was a malfunction in the robotics used in animating the clown doll. Fortunately he was saved in time and survived
3.) The untimely death of Heather O’Rourke
Heather O’Rourke played Carol Anne Freeling
In June of 1987,during a film shoot O’Rourke had suffered from "flu like symptoms." She was diagnosed with a parasite she had picked up from drinking water at a campground. Later it was discovered she'd been misdiagnosed . Then on January 31st, 1988, O’Rourke woke up vomiting. Her feet and fingers were swollen and blue. Heather complained that she couldn't swallow. Her mother was going to call the doctor, but Heather passed out, so she called 911. By the time paramedics arrived, Heather was in shock . What had been thought to be a bout of ordinary flu launched her into cardiac arrest. During the drive to the local hospital as bacterial toxins set loose by a bowel obstruction made their way into her bloodstream. Her heart was successfully restarted and she was flown by helicopter to the much larger Children’s Hospital, where she underwent an operation to remove the obstruction. The toxins rampaging through her system proved too much and she died on the operating table. Heather unexpectedly passed away at the age of 12 on 1 February 1988 . The cause of her death was septic shock .
4.) Will Sampsons premonition of his own death
Will Sampson played good spirit Taylor
Sampson , became ill and struggled to breathe on the set of poltergeist. His health worsened and he eventually had to receive a heart-lung transplant.He died in a Houston hospital aged 53.The cause of his death was ascribed to severe pre-operative malnutrition and post-operative kidney failure and fungal infection.Prior to becoming ill he had a premonition of his death
5.) The strange timing of the photo of Zelda Rubinstein
Zelda Rubinstein played Tangina Barrons, the eccentric medium
During filming of Poltergeist III, Rubinstein was having her photo taken ,and on one of the takes she was jolted forward. When the photos were developed there was a troubled photographic light blur across one of the photos . Soon after ,she had a phone call to say her mother had not long passed away . Later she discovered the time stamped on the strange photo with a blur light across it was taken the exact same moment her mother passed away
These are only 5 strange phenomons that happened to cast of the poltergeist movie . There's many more unexplained and unexpected occurrences on and off the set