Before we even get into the numerous deaths that occurred in the wake of Poltergeist’s release, let’s get to the creepiest thing.
For the scene in which JoBeth Williams ends up in the swimming pool with a bunch of skeletons, and for an unspecified scene in Poltergeist 2, real skeletons were used simply because it was cheaper than purchasing plastic ones.
This helped kick-start the theory that those involved with the movie were cursed, as four cast members died during the six years between the release of the first and last movies, reports What Culture.
The first death came less than 6 months after the release of the first movie, when 22-year-old Dominique Dunne, who played the eldest daughter in the movie, was strangled to death by her ex-boyfriend.
Julian Beck, who played Reverend Henry Kane in the second film, died of stomach cancer 8 months before the movie was even released, though had been diagnosed long before being offered the part.
Will Sampson, who played Taylor in the same film, died of post-surgery complications roughly a year after the movie’s release.
Perhaps most heartbreaking, however, was the sudden death of 12-year-old Heather O’Rourke, who had starred in all three Poltergeist movies, dying during surgery to repair a bowel obstruction four months before the release of the third movie.
These four deaths occurring in such a brief time period, two of them totally unexpected no less, caused many to suspect that the use of real skeletons may have caused the movies to become cursed, as a punishment for desecrating the dead.
Is the “Poltergeist curse” a tacky joke kicked around a bar one night that managed to catch on, or something more sinister? Whatever you believe, it’s creepy as hell.