The Poltergeist curse
is an urban legend
type of rumor that's been attached for years to the Poltergeist movies
series and its stars.
The idea that the cast of the movies was in some way "cursed" is a superstition based on these facts: four of the stars on these movies died deaths that can be characterized by the credulous as mysterious or tragic. It is not clear that this particular film differs from others in the number or nature of the deaths of its actors.
Various urban legends surrounding the film have been attributed to the potential cause of the curse. The most widely blamed is that allegedly real human skeletal remains were used as props in the first film, causing the angry spirits of the deceased to wreak havoc.
The Poltergeist series is just one of a handful of movies and series that have been said to have been "cursed". Some other movies and series include Rebel Without a Cause, Diff'rent Strokes, The Crow and In The Heat Of The Night (TV series).
In Poltergeist's case, the actors and actresses who died include:
- Dominique Dunne, 22 year old actress who played the oldest sister Dana in the first movie died after being stabbed and choked to death by a jealous boyfriend in 1982. The boyfriend was later convicted and sentenced to six years in prison.
- Heather O'Rourke, 12 year old actress who played Carol Anne in the three Poltergeist movies, died in 1988 after what doctors initially described as an acute form of a flu but later changed it to a septic shock after bacterial toxins invaded her bloodstreams.
- Julian Beck, 60 year old who played Kane in part 2, died of stomach cancer.
- Will Sampson, 53 years old, Taylor The Medicine Man in part 2, died of post operative kidney failure and preoperative malnutrition problems.