By Caileigh Ryan
We’re changing things up a bit this week. Below you’ll find a list of classic horrors from the 60s, 70s and 80s that I recommend watching on Halloween night with the lights off, along with an insight to some of the creepy things that happened on, during and after production – just to intensify the experience! It’s amazing what so many cast and crew members have endured to produce something for our entertainment.
Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho is one of the greatest horror films of all time and Hitchcock is one of the greatest directors. Held in too high regard by some, in fact. A body double for one of the actresses was murdered on the film set by a handyman who wanted to impress Hitchcock.
Rosemary’s Baby, 1968
This film will make you feel incredibly uneasy, and so will what happened to some of the cast and their loved ones. One of the cast members stated at one point that “No good will come of all this ‘Hail Satan’ business”, and how right he was. Producer William Castle received an anonymous letter after the film was released that prophesised that he was going to die from a long and painful sickness. Surely enough, and not long after he received the letter, Castle suffered from gallstones so severely that he required emergency surgery. The musical composer in the film, Krzysztof Komeda, met an untimely death after he accidentally fell. The following year, the director Polanski’s wife, Sharon Tate, was murdered by the Manson Family, in the summer of 1969.
The Exorcist, 1973
The Exorcist is said to be one of the most terrifying films of all time – the plot circulates around the possession of a young girl, Regan, by a demon. Coincidentally (or maybe not?), a number of freaky events happened during the filming, which has led people to believe that the film is cursed. The film set actually caught fire, delaying shooting – leaving the bedroom of Regan unharmed. In addition to that, two of the characters who die in the film also died in real life during the film’s post-production.
Many have said that the Poltergeist franchise is also cursed, following a number of cast deaths, including one of the film’s central characters, little Carol Anne, who was played by a young actress by the name of Heather O’Rourke. Heather died at the age of twelve, during the post – production period of Poltergeist III after a short but vicious battle with Crohn’s disease. The actress who played Carol Anne’s older sister in the first Poltergeist film, Dominique Dunne, was strangled to death by her boyfriend at the age of just 22, the day after the film premiered.
Twilight Zone: The Movie, 1983
One of the lead actors in this movie, Vic Morrow, seemed to forecast his death. Shortly before filming, Morrow took out $5 million in life insurance, and died in a tragic helicopter accident not long after filming began.
Other horror classics I’d recommend are Pet Sematary (1989), which was inspired by events that actually happened to author Stephen King, and The Omen (1976), which involved multiple airplane accidents, affecting the crew members.
Photo by Max Langenbeck (Madame Tussauds) [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons