There remain many, many inexplicable instances in life – usually on the paranormal/extraterrestrial front. And while science can be used to disprove many of these instances, those that don’t make sense even when trying to use science would often then be chalked up to mere coincidence or the imagination.
Nevertheless, the average humans’ curiosity and veiled interest in the unknown has led to movies about these inexplicable scenarios becoming scarier, more gruesome and horrific. The plots of these movies – while just that, plots – have sometimes been said to transcend the realm of filming and have manifested in spooky, spine-tingling moments for the actors and crew working on them. Amongst the creepy stories from the sets of these movies, here are 5 that are bound to get your skin crawling –
The Omen (1976)
‘The Omen’ follows the story of Robert – a married man – who agrees to switch his wife’s stillborn baby with an orphaned infant. But as the child grows, a sinister series of events start taking place. However, as terrifying as the movie turned out to be, it was what happened during filming that earned the movie the title of “one of the most cursed productions in film history”. The catalyst was the suicide of the leading actors (Gregory Peck) son, just two months before filming began. Then, when it came time for Peck to flu to London for filming, his plane was struck by lightning. A few weeks later, executive Marc Neufeld boarded a flight from LA – his plane was also struck by lightning. It gets worse from here…
The production team had hired a plane to capture aerial shots but the plane they had charted was switch at the last minute. This plane is said to have crashed on takeoff, killing everyone on board. At the same time, the animal trainer that the crew had brought in to handle a pack of baboons involved in a zoo scene was killed the day after they had shot the scene after being attacked and eaten alive by lions. And finally, the car accident that the special effects designer John Richardson (i.e. the man in charge of ALL THE HARRY POTTER films’ special effects) was involved in not long after the movie’s release. While working on Richard Attenborough’s ‘A Bridge Too Far’, Richardson was travelling in the Netherlands when the accident happened. While he survived, his passenger and assistant Liz Moore, wasn’t so lucky. Much like the gruesome decapitation scene that Richardson has overseen in ‘The Omen’, Moore was also decapitated. According to local reports, a sign in the vicinity clocked the distance to a nearby town: “Ommen, 66.6 km”. Plus, the accident is said to have happened on Friday, August 13, 1976.
The Amityville Horror (2005)
The Amityville Horror is a book by American author Jay Anson, published in September 1977 and based on real-life events. The book became the premise of a series of films released from 1979 to 2005. In the first-ever instalment of the movie, actor James Brolin is said to have only accepted the part in the 1979 movie because a pair of his pants inexplicably dropped from a hanger just as he reached a scary section of the script. Now, this may be a small coincidence but in the 2005 remake starring Ryan Reynolds Melissa George and Philip Baker Hall, more is said to have happened behind the scenes than we realised. For one, a dead body washed up on shore by the film set. And for another, the actors (including Ryan Reynolds himself) and crew would find themselves awake at 3:15 AM, the exact time that Ronald DeFeo murdered his parents and four siblings (in both the movie and real-life).
The Possession (2012)
There’s just something about buying trinkets and toys that used to belong to other people… In this gripping horror movie directed by Ole Bornedal: a young girl comes across a dybbuk box (a wine box which is said to be haunted by a restless, usually malicious, spirit believed to be able to haunt and even possess the living) and asks her father to buy it for her. She becomes increasingly obsessed with the box and begins exhibiting signs of being possessed. The story is based around the Jewish folk tale of the dybbuk. With parts of the movie filmed inside what used to be a mental asylum, lead actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan (i.e. Negan on ‘The Walking Dead’) shared that there were no shortages of odd occurrences. Speaking to The Screen Rant, Morgan said that “fluorescent lights would explode mid-take, and cold bursts of wind would suddenly sweep over a closed set”. In another strange occurrence, the storage room that the props were kept in after filming mysteriously burned to the ground – with authorities being unable to find signs of arson or electrical faults.
The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005)
Another one for the books – although, not as scary as the true story that the movie is based on – is what happened to the cast and crew of ‘The Exorcism of Emily Rose’. The movie was based on the real story of Anneliese Michel (but the movie waters down what actually happened to her). The plot tells the story of a woman seemingly possessed by Satan and the priest who attempts to help her. During the filming, star Jennifer Carpenter reported that her radio switching itself on. The song that would come on then would be Pearl Jam’s ‘Alive’ (specifically the part that repeatedly goes “I’m still alive”.) Her co-star, Laura Linney, also reported that her TV would do the same. It is said that the incidents bothered the cast and crew so much, that they eventually had the radios removed from their hotel rooms.
*Cover image credits: Gif free