There’s a lot of spookiness out there and it’s not anywhere near Halloween yet.
Note all the “ghost” shows (one now even featuring a former New York City detective).
Note all the shows about cryptids and aliens and the like.
Note all the stories — they crop up constantly — about the most famous ghost-hunters/exorcists of all, Ed and Lorraine Warren, now deceased, of Connecticut. A series of documentaries about them is scheduled. (Be careful nothing comes through your television set.)
Let’s revisit the issue of curses. They’re also in the headlines of late, specifically what seems like a “curse” on a kids’ television musical drama called “Glee.”
“‘Glee’ curse?” blares a recent headline. “Fans reject the idea, but show has been haunted by tragedies.”
It went on to report the death of a former actress on the show named Naya Rivera, who went missing while boating on a lake in Ventura County in California on July 8. One of the songs she sang: If I Die Young.
Said the article (in the San Jose Mercury News): “The first seismic blow to the show and its cast occurred in July 2013, when Cory Monteith, who played lovable quarterback Finn Hudson, was found dead in a hotel room in Vancouver, British Columbia. Tragedy struck again on Jan. 30, 2018, when Mark Salling, who played bad boy Noah ‘Puck’ Puckerman, was found hanging from a tree in a riverbed near his home in Sunland, California. A lesser-known ‘Glee’ actress, Becca Tobin, suffered a personal tragedy of her own when her boyfriend, nightclub entrepreneur Matt Bendik, was found dead in his Philadelphia hotel room in July 2014 at the age of 35.”
There was a lot of alcohol and drugs in this circle. That’s a “curse” of it own, but not the supernatural kind (at least directly).
Newspapers continue, meanwhile, to report on the Exorcist curse.
Nine deaths were associated with the movie (rightly or wrongly), including two actors, Vasiliki Maliaros and Jack MacGowran, who were scripted to die in the film and died in real life during the post-production stage of the film.
The first set for the movie caught fire and delayed filming six weeks. While shooting one of the scenes in the film, Ellen Burstyn got severely injured due to random malfunctioning of her harness. In that scene, she got pulled too quickly and landed herself on the coccyx with a great impact, which caused a permanent spinal injury. (“The screech that you hear in that scene is pure pain and real,” notes BookMyShow.) Linda Blair was also injured, and later suffered a mental breakdown.
Perhaps most interesting are the movie’s “priests”:
Bad “luck” here also. As reported in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, last week, “Three priests and a lay teacher who taught at McQuaid Jesuit High School decades ago have been accused of sexually abusing students there in newly filed lawsuits. In a suit filed Tuesday morning, a one-time star teacher at the Brighton school, the Rev. William O’Malley, was accused of sexually abusing a student there in 1975 or 1976.
“O’Malley, who left McQuaid in 1986, was well-known for his teaching and writing and for his role as a Jesuit priest in the supernatural hit film The Exorcist.“
There was lightning. Notes a website: “The first time the film was screened at Rome, it was at a theater located between two churches. On the day of the screening, there was torrential rain and a lightning storm brewing in the background to create that haunting effect. One of the 400-year-old crosses was also struck by the lightning and it fell right in the middle of the piazza. Jason Miller, who played Father Karras in the film, was approached by a priest on the street. The priest gave him a medallion and said this to him: ‘Reveal the devil for the trickster that he is, he will seek retribution against you or he will even try to stop what you are trying to do to unmask him.’
“Just as Max Von Sydow (Father Merrin) touched down in New York to film his first scenes, his brother died unexpectedly in Sweden,” notes American Hauntings. “Von Sydow himself later became very ill during the filming. Irish actor Jack MacGowran (Burke Dennings) died only one week after his character was killed by the demon in the movie. Jason Miller (Father Karras) was stunned when his young son, Jordan, was struck down on an empty beach by a motorcyclist who appeared out of nowhere.” The boy almost died.
Objects allegedly moved of their own accord on the set.
Author William Peter Blatty supposedly had supernatural events occur as he was penning the novel, including levitation.
“Things got so bad that [director] William Friedkin took some drastic measures,” says the site. “Father Thomas Bermingham, S.J., from the Jesuit community at Fordham University, had been hired as a technical advisor for the film, along with Father John Nicola, who, while not a Jesuit, had been taught by Jesuit theologians at St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein, Illinois.
“Friedkin came to Bermingham and asked him to exorcise the set. The priest was unable to perform an actual exorcism, but he did give a solemn blessing in a ceremony that was attended by everyone then on the set, from Max Von Sydow to the technicians and grips. ‘Nothing else happened on the set after the blessing,’ Bermingham stated, ‘but around that time, there was a fire in the Jesuit residence set in Georgetown.'”
And while nothing else tragic occurred on the set, strange events and odd coincidences were reported during post-production work on the film.
“There were strange images and visions that showed up on film that were never planned,” Friedkin later claimed. “There are double exposures in the little girl’s face at the end of one reel that are unbelievable.”
And where was the final version of the movie edited?
At 666 Fifth Avenue (a building now owned by the family of Jared Kushner, with no similar recent reports.)
During filming of The Omen, lightning hit the plane carrying actor Gregory Peck to the set and also the one (in a separate incident) transporting the screenwriter, David Seltzer. (The son of Peck, who in the movie tries to kill his son, committed suicide two weeks before filming started.) The animal handler who helped with the baboon scene at the zoo was eaten alive by a lion two weeks after the completion of the film.
And oh yes: executive producer Mace Neufeld’s plane was also struck by lightning.
Notes CBS News, “Special effects artist John Richardson, who helped with the film’s infamous decapitation scene, was in a car crash during post-production. While Richardson survived the Friday the 13th crash, the head-on collision beheaded Richardson’s passenger, assistant Liz Moore, in a manner that was eerily similar to the death scene he helped shoot. Richardson reportedly saw a road sign near the accident scene showing the distance to a Dutch town that read: Ommen, 66.6 km.”
[resources: spiritual warfare books]