The ‘Poltergeist’ Curse Continues

April 7, 2015

Written by Kelli Marchman McNeely

Kelli Marchman McNeely is the owner of She is an Executive Producer of "13 Slays Till Christmas" which is out on Digital and DVD and now streaming on Tubi. She has several other films in the works. Kelli is an animal lover and a true horror addict since the age of 9 when she saw Friday the 13th. Email:

Do you believe in curses? The cast and crew of ‘Poltergeist’ do. Some of you will remember hearing the rumors that the people and set of the 1982 supernatural hit ‘Poltergeist’ were cursed. The cast and staff suffered many unexplained events, accidents and the early deaths of several people tied to the film. Now the people involved with the ‘Poltergeist’ reboot are beginning to share stories of the unexplained. Could the curse of the ‘Poltergeist’ have spread?


First let’s take a look at the events that happened to the cast and crew of the original film. We will start with the premature deaths of the cast members. Heather O’Rurke, who played Carol Ann, the focus of the supernatural activity in the movie, died at 12 ,not long after the film was finished. Dominique Dunne, who played Carol Ann’s older sister Dana also passed away shortly after wrapping at the age of 22.

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There is a long list of events including problems with machines, minor accidents and bad luck. The clown used in one scene, almost choked young Oliver Robins (Robbie) to death when it mysteriously went haywire.The so called curse continued through all of the sequels. One actor in ‘Poltergeist 2’, Will Sampson, an actual Native American Shaman, waited one night until everyone left and performed a cleansing of the set in hopes of driving angry spirits away.



There are many theories to why the curse may have come to be. It has been said that the property on which the house they used stood, was built on top of an ancient Native American burial grounds. Many believe that the fact that they used real human remains in some of the scenes triggered the haunting. No matter what the cause, the cast and crew still believe a supernatural force was at work.


A few days ago the ‘Poltergeist’ reboot director Gil Kenan held a question and answer session on Reddit. Among other questions Kenan was asked if the rumored ‘Poltergeist’ curse was real and if it had any effect on the reboot.


The location for the house, during shooting, I chose because it had a strange and unnecessary field that the houses of this particular community were built around,” replied Kenan. “And we found throughout production that we had persistent and repeatable equipment failure only on that strange plot of land. For instance, lights that could turn on anywhere else in the neighborhood would blow out the second you’d try to light them on this plot.” Kenan continued “…Also, I used a lot of aerial drone photography in the film, and the drone-pilots were never able to lock in the GPS signal in this field. We would have to move 10 feet away to launch the craft. I was too afraid to find out what the land used to be. We filmed outside of Toronto, somewhere between Buffalo New York and Toronto, Ontario, in a town called Hamilton.”

The second part of that answer, this is gonna be one of the longest ones, is that the house that I rented during filming was straight-up legit haunted by a female spirit dressed in black. And I became aware of her within the first few days of staying in the house. And only after I left did I receive a call from the previous owner, who had moved back in, who was terrified by the goings on in the house, and wanted to see if I had experienced any of it. So it was an incredible real-life inspiration for filming that followed me home. Well, I mean, she definitely was there. It didn’t follow me back to Los Angeles, but it followed me from set back to where I was sleeping during filming.”

For those of you who do believe in curses and the supernatural let me know what you think about the ‘Poltergeist’ curse. To those of you who do not believe in such things, let’s hope you never have to experience the wrath of an entity.

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