These horror movies are “cursed” in real life

Gabriela Silva
Harvey Stephens as Damien in The Omen20th Century Fox

The horror genre transcends mere fictional eerie stories depicted on screen, as numerous movies throughout the years have gained notoriety for being afflicted by curses, often linked to a series of accidents and even fatalities that occurred during production.

There are plenty of horror franchises that aren’t necessarily true like John Kramer in Saw or the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. One could only imagine if movies like Friday the 13th or Freddy Krueger were based on real events.

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Instead of heinous serial killers and monsters being true, there are some infamous horror movies that gained fame for being cursed. It means these movies have been plagued with odd occurrences during filming, accidents on set, or even death after production. The Exorcist had Linda Blair fracture her spine during the possession scene, and a fire on set left only the bedroom unscathed.

One thing is for certain, these movies have unexplainable stories behind them that are more than just coincidence. Here are a few horror movies to keep an eye on.

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The Crow saw more than one tragedy

The 1994 gothic comic book movie, The Crow, became a cult classic but was also the last movie done by Brandon Lee before his accidental death on set.

Brandon Lee starred as Eric Draven in The Crow. While not a horror movie, the overall gothic setting fits into the list. Eric Draven and his fiancé are murdered on Devil’s Night by a local group of thugs. A crow brings Eric back to life a year later and gives him powers so he can get revenge and move on.

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Tragedy struck on set when Lee was filming Eric’s death scene. In the movie, Eric is shot and falls through the window to his death. During filming, Lee’s co-star used one of the prop guns as intended. But a real bullet got lodged in the chamber in a prior scene. The prop master had coincidentally been called away that day. Lee was ultimately shot in the abdomen with a real bullet which led to his death. That’s not the only bizarre thing about The Crow.

According to Meaww, someone called and left a voicemail urging them to stop production, claiming bad things would happen. On the first day of shooting, a crew member backed up into an electrical line and received third-degree burns. Hurricane Emily also destroyed the set.

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Rosemary’s Baby had multiple deaths

A horror classic, Rosemary’s Baby went beyond the screen when two people involved in the movie were killed or left in a coma.

Rosemary’s Baby joins the list of cursed horror movies for a few good reasons. The 1968 movie is based on Ira Levin’s 1967 novel of the same name. Rosemary (Mia Farrow) lives in New York and is pregnant. But she soon starts to suspect her neighbors are part of a cult and grooming her to use her baby.

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The movie has its own claim to fame outside of its psychological horror storyline. Composer Krzysztof Komeda reportedly fell off a slippery slope into a coma. Sound familiar? It’s similar to what happens to the witches in the movie. But the biggest spook aspect is who audiences see in the background.

Sharon Tate, Roman Polanski’s wife, auditioned for the role of Rosemary many times but didn’t get it. She happens to appear in the background of a scene. It just so happens that while the movie was in theaters, a pregnant Tate was murdered by Charles Manson’s followers.

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Poltergeist is infamous for its cursed history

The 1982 movie focuses on a family whose daughter is abducted by malevolent ghosts, but Poltergeist is riddled with bizarre deaths even in its sequels.

Poltergeist made little kids and even parents scared beyond belief of their TV screen. The Freelings fight off ghosts in their home when one takes control of their daughter through the TV. While it’s a horror classic, it’s also one of the most cursed movies in Hollywood.

According to Looper, actor Dominique Dunne, who played older sister Dana, died months after the movie’s release. Her ex-boyfriend had strangled her in an altercation, putting Dunne into a coma before she was taken off life support.

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Actor Julian Beck, who played Reverend Henry Kan in the sequel, died from cancer months before the movie’s theatrical release. Will Sampson, who played Taylor in Poltergeist II, but died from post-operative kidney failure following a heart and lung transplant.

The spookiest death was none other than Heather O’Rourke, the child star of the franchise as Carol Ann.

In 1987, O’Rourke was undergoing Crohn’s disease treatment, which later proved to be a misdiagnosis. In 1988, her health plummeted and she later died from septic shock caused by undetected intestinal blockage. O’Rourke died four months before the third movie’s release.

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The Omen was warned against being created

It’s no surprise that The Omen has its own stories as being a cursed horror movie, from death to lightning strikes.

The 1976 movie tells the story of a family and their young son. However, the child was switched at birth by his father, with the real baby having died. As the young boy grows into childhood, bizarre events occur, and it’s revealed he’s the antichrist.

According to PopSugar, The Omen was warned from the get-go about stirring up trouble. Harvey Bernhard had met an advertising executive named Bob Munger who pitched the idea of the antichrist. But Munger was warned the devil didn’t want the movie to be made.

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The curse seemingly came true with several accidents and fatalities plaguing the cast and crew. Gregory Peck’s son committed suicide, while Peck himself was on a plane that was struck by lightning. Executive Marc Neufeld’s plane was also struck by lightning and a plane meant to be used for aerial shots crashed on takeoff, killing everyone on board. The animal trainer for the zoo scene was also killed prior to production by a lion.

The Conjuring had a few scares

The James Wan 2013 movie spawned an interconnected horror universe that came with a few tales of a cursed set and creepy occurrences.

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Real-life paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren inspired the movie’s storyline. The Conjuring focused on Ed and Lorraine (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) as they looked into a series of paranormal occurrences in Perron’s home.

According to Farmiga, while shooting the movie, she often woke up between three and four in the morning, the time when the movie’s witch died. She also claimed to wake up with claw marks on her thighs.

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In the spinoff sequel, Annabelle Come Home, actress McKenna Grace reported doors opening, shadowy figures, and lights turning off on multiple occasions.

You can read more horror news in our hub here and the best found-footage movies here.

About The Author

Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Fordham. Senior TV and Movies Writer for Dexerto covering Netflix, Disney+, K-Dramas and everything in between. Previous TV Writer for Showbiz Cheatsheet and List Witer for Screenrant. Any inquiries email at gabriela.silva@dexerto.com