Hollywood’s Haunted Past: 24 Allegedly Cursed Movie Productions

Apocalypse Now Martin Sheen

Watching a horror film about a wicked curse or creepy haunting is entertaining and stimulating, but it’s different when you experience these things in real life. For some casts and crews, the horror in their movies became too real. Most of the following are horror films, but some comedies and action movies are also said to be cursed.

1. The Exorcist (1973)

Linda Blair in The Exorcist
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

The Exorcist is one of the most famously cursed movies, and it seems there were difficulties from the beginning until the end. The movie has everything from minor technical difficulties to actor injuries, catastrophic fires, and deaths. There are a staggering nine deaths related to the production of this film.

2. Poltergeist (1982)

Poltergeist (1982)
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Poltergeist was also a deadly movie. The franchise's production of all three films resulted in four deaths stemming from the supposed curse. People on set during the filming also reported strange things happening often, like things breaking or objects moving inexplicably.

3. The Omen (1976)

The Omen Lee Remick, Harvey Stephens
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

The Omen is another famously cursed set. Family members of people on set died during the production, and not one but two people associated with the film were on planes struck by lightning during filming. And those are just the most prominent things that happened, but plenty of other odd occurrences occurred.

4. Atuk

John Belushi in National Lampoon's Animal House (1978)
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Atuk is a comedy movie that was never actually made. The entire film concept was so cursed that it never made it through production. Every time a lead role was cast, the actor would suddenly die. John Belushi, Sam Kinison, John Candy, and Chris Farley all died after reading the script and showing interest in the film.

5. Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

It’s unsurprising that Rosemary’s Baby was a severely cursed set, as the movie is genuinely terrifying. One producer was hospitalized after the film was released and reported having strange and horrific hallucinations. Some also attribute Sharon Tate’s gruesome death to the movie’s curse.

6. The Crow (1994)

the crow 1
Image Credit: Miramax.

Brandon Lee, the son of Bruce Lee, died on set after being accidentally shot while filming a scene. Multiple people from the set of the movie were traumatized by this, and a few even report that they still have vivid nightmares decades after production ended. This incident is all too similar to what happened with Halyna Hutchins on the set of Rust.

7. Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983)

Twilight Zone
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

Luckily, the set of the TV series The Twilight Zone was never plagued by any curses, but the movie they made was. During production, a tragic helicopter accident resulted in the death of three people— Vic Morrow, Myca Dinh Le, and Renee Shin-Yi Chen. The latter two were child actors.

8. Rebel Without a Cause (1955)

Rebel Without a Cause
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Many people know about the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of Natalie Wood, and some blame the curse of the film Rebel Without a Cause. Along with Wood, James Dean, Nick Adams, and Sal Mineo also died suddenly during or just after production.

9. The Conqueror (1956)

The Conqueror (1956), John Wayne
Image Credit: RKO Radio Pictures.

The Conqueror was filmed downwind from a nuclear testing facility in Utah. Eleven tests were conducted three years before production, leading to many crew and cast members developing cancer following the movie. The film consisted of 220 crew members, and 91 developed cancer. Sadly, 46 died from the disease.

10. The Conjuring (2013)

The Conjuring
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

So far, the movies on this list have been from the 20th century, which might make it seem like movie curse beliefs were a product of the times. But, supposedly, The Conjuring was also cursed. A few of the film’s actors and the family the movie is based on experienced eerie happenings during production.

11. The Misfits (1961)

The Misfits (1961) , Clark Gable
Image Credit: United Artists.

This American Western film wasn’t a huge success and is mainly remembered for its curse. All three of the film’s leads died shortly after production ended. While the evidence of a curse may not seem very strong, all the actors had unexplainable ill feelings toward the movie before they died.

12. Annabelle (2014)

Annabelle (2014) creepiest scary movie dolls
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

Annabelle might be one of the most cursed modern films. This Conjuring spin-off had some weird things happen on set, most centered around the doll. People would see prints with three fingers, and Annabelle only has three fingers. There were also freaky accidents on set that caused minor injuries.

13. Maximum Overdrive (1986)

Maximum Overdrive (1986)
Image Credit: De Laurentiis Entertainment Group.

Several people on the set of Maximum Overdrive had near-death experiences, and people didn’t feel safe during production. A hurricane hit the set in the middle of production, wreaking havoc among the crew. Cast and crew members later said that the set felt very dangerous, and they were constantly worried someone would die.

14. Ghost (1990)

Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Ghost is a romantic and moving film, but the set was creepy and terrifying. People believed that Heather O’Rourke, the star of Poltergeist, brought a curse to the film and haunted everyone on set. People heard unexplained footsteps, a child laughing, and other unsettling things.

15. The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005)

The Exorcism of Emily Rose
Image Credit: Screen Gems.

Jennifer Carpenter, the lead star of The Exorcism of Emily Rose, says she was haunted throughout the movie’s production. Luckily, this haunting was not violent, but it was unusual. She would hear music, and her radio would turn on suddenly, so it sounds like a musical ghost was haunting her.

16. Insidious (2010)

Insidious (2010)
Image Credit: FilmDistrict.

Another modern film rumored to be cursed is Insidious. Specifically, the hospital set where a few scenes were filmed was where the strangest things took place. Cast and crew members complained about feeling sick the moment they stepped on set, and there were unexplained buzzes and alarms from an empty floor.

17. The Innkeepers (2011)

The Innkeepers (2011), Sara Paxton
Image Credit: Magnolia Pictures.

The Innkeepers seemed to be a target for a classic kind of haunting. The cast and crew experienced things like lights switching on and off, doors swinging shut, and phone calls with no one on the other end. Individually, these occurrences might seem innocuous, but they were reported to be relentless and often.

18. The Possession (2012)

The Possession (2012), Natasha Calis
Image Credit: Lionsgate.

The Possession set experienced a similar type of haunting. Lightbulbs would randomly explode, the air would go cold in an instant, and people would feel uneasy. So many of the cast and crew members were convinced that the set was haunted or cursed that the possessed box central to the film was burned to ashes after production.

19. Return to Babylon (2013)

Return to Babylon (2013), Rolonda Watts
Image Credit: Montebello Films.

Return to Babylon is a silent film that supposedly captured some spooky stuff on camera. Director Alex Monty Canawati made the movie with an old-fashioned camera and black-and-white film that he randomly found. When watching the footage, he saw what he believed to be demonic activity in the actors’ faces.

20. The Nun (2018)

the nun
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

Along with Annabelle, The Nun is another Conjuring spin-off that was followed by some curse rumors. People on the set of the movie reported seeing unknown people on set, but when they went to approach them, they had mysteriously vanished.

21. The Wizard of Oz (1939)

The Wizard of Oz dorothy
Image Credit: Loew's, Inc.

Despite being a cheerful and colorful film, The Wizard of Oz set was plagued with many dark problems, from abuse to violence to health hazards to curses. Actors and crew members experienced unexplained illnesses; allegedly, one actor who played a munchkin died on set.

22. Apocalypse Now (1979)

Apocalypse Now
Image Credit: United Artists.

Apocalypse Now is a beloved and successful movie, but the production had a dark side to it. The cast and crew had to deal with typhoons, uprisings in the Philippines, heart attacks, and more. Because of all the issues, the movie ended up taking 14 months to complete instead of the predicted five.

23. The Blair Witch Project (1999)

The Blair Witch Project
Image Credit: Artisan Entertainment.

The Blair Witch Project curse is a little different. Some people believed that the film was not a creative project but rather a real story told with real footage. People questioned whether the film was made or found. Beyond that, people also believed that watching the film could make bad things happen to you.

24. Blade Runner (1982)

best-written movies
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Ridley Scott’s sci-fi movie was a wild success, but it came at a price. Throughout the film, you can see many billboards, products, and other company advertisements. Almost every brand shown in the film has since gone out of business, making some think the film has some strange curse associated with companies.