The first Poltergeist was released in 1982. The Freeling family discovers that strange things are happening in their house – at night the TV turns on on its own, furniture moves. They feel the emergence of an entity that threatens their life. The film received 3 Oscar nominations, but strange events marred the film’s success.
A scenario that came true
Writer James Kahn was assigned to write the script. When he, sitting in his office, wrote: “Thunder roared, and a bright lightning tore the night sky,” – in the street, there was a strong thunder, and lightning struck his house.
From the blow, the air conditioner behind Kahn’s back shattered into several pieces, the largest hit right in the back of the writer. Kahn spent several months in the clinic, pondering whether it was a coincidence or not.
In the course of filming, the young actor Oliver Robins, who played Robbie Freeling, almost died. In the scene with the clown, when the animatronic toy attacks him and begins to choke him, the robot seemed to be wedged, and he squeezed Oliver’s throat so hard that he began to choke and lose consciousness. Steven Spielberg, who was on the site and snatched Robins out of the hands of the robot clown, helped to avoid the tragedy.
Shortly after the premiere of the first part of Poltergeist, a series of deaths occurred. Dominique Dunne, 22-year-old, was strangled by her boyfriend, with whom she wanted to break up. On the day of her death, the producers announced the start of filming for the sequel, but due to the tragedy, they postponed the start.
A few months before the end of the filming of the sequel, actor Julian Beck, who played the demon Kane, died of stomach cancer. This character needed to “play out” with the help of visual effects and dolls.
The 53-year-old actor Will Sampson, who played in the second Poltergeist Indian shaman Taylor, died soon after. He died of kidney failure after heart surgery.
Then was the death of 12-year-old Heather O’Rourke, the main character of all three films. In 1988, doctors discovered that the girl suffered from a congenital stomach defect that no one in her family even knew about. Heather passed away four months before the premiere of the third part.
And, in 1994, during a strong earthquake in Los Angeles, the very house in which the first Poltergeist was filmed was razed to the ground.