Few Hollywood films have caused as much controversy as The Exorcist. Its theatrical release in 1973 terrified and outraged audiences with a grotesque tale of possession. But what you might not know about the movie is the supposed curse surrounding it, and what lead the cast and crew to believe in such a thing.
Going Up In Flames
Some crazy things happened during the film’s production. For instance, the set burned down. Everyone was home for the night when the film’s production manager called director William Friedkin and told him not to bother coming into work the next day. Rationally, Friedkin thought he was being fired for some reason, but that wasn’t the case. There wasn’t much of a set to which Friedkin could return.
Everything was torched except for Regan’s possessed bedroom, which remained intact. To be fair, the room was a separate set from the house, but both were near each other, located in the same building. The fire caused production on the film to shut down for six weeks. The official insurance reports claim a pigeon must have flown into an electrical box, short-circuiting the thing and sparking the blaze. That was a stretch; the closest thing to evidence for the theory was that pigeons were present in the building. The production crew must’ve been worried that the film was being assailed by an evil presence, because they called in a priest to bless the set, according to CBS.
Lightening From The Heavens
The weird happenings continued after the film was completed. The initial premiere in Rome provoked something. As the film played in a cinema between two churches, lightning bellowed from the sky and a 400-year-old cross was struck. The cross then collapsed onto the cinema and caused an evacuation!
Several People Died During And After Filming
Hollywood curses typically surround a production that’s plagued by a string of deaths, and The Exorcist’s cast and crew saw plenty of that with the film. At least one of those deaths happened before the movie was finished. In total, according to The Guardian, nine people who were connected to the film died before it was even completed.
The first to die was actor Jack MacGowran, who played the fictional director Burke Dennings. MacGowran didn’t die in real life by having his head twisted like a wind-up crank before being thrown from a window, like his character did. MacGowran died from complications with the flu. According to CBS, the rest of the deaths included everyone from actors to a night watchman to a special effects expert.
The Movie Was Based On A True Story
The story written by author William Peter Blatty was based on a true story of exorcism that took place in St Louis in 1949. Find out more here:
More Than A Coincidence?
It seems like there were too many happenings to call all of the strangeness purely a coincidence. But that’s just our opinion. There are a lot more strange stories of activity that happened on set of the film. Including equipment malfunctions and more.
If you’d like to learn more, watch this video below.
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