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Friday, April 1, 2011

The "Poltergeist" Franchise Curse

Many American's can say that when it comes to great classic horror films, Poltergeist is among them. The first film was released in 1982 and was very successful earning a gross revenue of $121,706,019. Poltergeist was written by Stephen Spielberg and starred Craig T. Nelson, JoBeth Williams, Beatrice Straight, Dominique Dunne, Oliver Robins, Heather O'Rourke, Zelda Rubenstein
The "Poltergeist curse" is a rumor of a supposed curse attached to the Poltergeist trilogy and its crew, derived from the fact that four cast members died in the six years between the releases of the first and third films. The rumor is often fueled by the fact that real cadavers were used as props in various scenes of Poltergeist and Poltergeist II. The rumor and the surrounding deaths were explored in a 2002 episode of E! True Hollywood Story entitled "Curse of Poltergeist."

Dominique Dunne, who played the eldest daughter Dana in the first movie, died on November 4, 1982 at age 22 after being strangled by her abusive boyfriend. Her boyfriend, John Thomas Sweeney. A fellow actor and friend of Dunnes was at her house rehearsing lines for an upcoming television show she had accepted, they heard Dunne's boyfriend screaming outside her home when she went to calm him down... The Poltergeist Soundtrack was playing. Sweeney was convicted of voluntary manslaughter and sentenced to six years in prison, but was paroled after serving three and a half years.
Julian Beck, 60-year-old actor who played Henry Kane in Poltergeist II: The Other Side, died on September 14, 1985 of stomach cancer diagnosed before he had accepted the role.
Will Sampson, 53 years old, who played Taylor the Medicine Man in Poltergeist II, died as a result of post-operative kidney failure and pre-operative malnutrition problems on June 3, 1987.

Heather O'Rourke, who played Carol Anne in all three Poltergeist movies, died on February 1, 1988 at the age of 12 after what doctors initially described as an acute form of influenza but later changed to septic shock after bacterial toxins invaded her bloodstream. At the time, she had suffered acute bowel obstruction, initially diagnosed as Crohn's disease, which may have been the cause of death.

Was the Poltergeist Franchise cursed? Was it coincidence? I want to hear your thoughts! Vote using the poll located on the right side of the blog. 

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