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These Movie Sets Were Cursed

Creating a cinematic masterpiece can be a very dangerous process, from special effect pyrotechnics going wrong to working with Mel Gibson. Many actors and crew have died during the making of some of your favorite films... and there have been some truly eerie events surrounding filming as well. Here are eight movies that seem cursed.

The Twilight Zone (1983)

During a scene involving heavy explosions, star Vic Morrow and two illegally-hired child actors were decapitated and crushed when a low-flying helicopter spun out of control. The incident shook the entire film industry, and set many safety reforms into motion. Steven Spielberg even ended his relationship with director John Landis, whose negligence was partially responsible for the deaths, saying, "No movie is worth dying for."

The Wizard Of Oz (1939)

From a time before safety regulations were enforced on set, Oz was a hotbed of accidents. The original Tin Man, Buddy Ebsen (aka Jed Clampett) was almost killed by the aluminum powder used for his makeup and was forced to leave production for an iron lung. Wicked Witch Margaret Hamilton caught on fire and refused to perform any more pyrotechnic scenes. Toto broke a paw. But no, that weird thing moving in the background was not a munchkin who hung himself – it's just a weird bird.

The Passion Of The Christ (2004)

Religion and film are a dangerous mix. Star Jim Caviezel's injuries and ailments were mostly due to the intense violence of the film getting out of hand, including pneumonia, lacerations during a whipping, and a dislocated shoulder. Weirdest of all, however, was when Caviezel was struck by lightning while filming. Weirder still, director Jan Michelini was struck also — twice. It's as if Mel Gibson's own god is angry at him. Probably for nine or ten really good reasons.

Poltergeist (1982)

Horror films with religious overtones are notoriously haunted. Some attribute "the Poltergeist curse" to the fact that real skeletons were used during filming. During the six-year span between the three films, four main actors died. Tragically, young Carol Anne (Heather O'Rourke) died four months before the third film was released due to a botched operation. Additionally, Dominique Dunne was murdered by her boyfriend soon after the first film was released.

The Conqueror (1956)

Arguably one of the worst films ever made, John Wayne insisted on taking the role of Genghis Khan in this cinematic flop. As if The Duke as an Asian ruler weren't weird enough, filming took place way too close to a nuclear testing site in the Nevada desert, which according to the government, was "safe". Somehow, at least 93 of the 220 cast and crew members developed cancer in the following years, though some cite this as a ratio among a crew that size.

The Crow (1994)

During the filming of The Crow, actor Brandon Lee was fatally shot when a prop gun accidentally fired a real bullet fragment. While one on-set mistake doesn't equate to a curse, some argue that this fate was foretold by Brandon himself, who had a premonition that he would die suddenly. Even stranger, Lee also believed that his family was cursed because his grandfather had angered some businessmen who were apparently in the business of magical curses. Add multiple on-set injuries sustained by the crew and you have one cursed movie.

Rosemary's Baby (1968)

The second film in a trilogy by director (and alleged pedophile) Roman Polanski, Rosemary's Baby seemed to summon up a terrifying collection of tragedies for those associated with the film. Polanski's pregnant wife, Sharon Tate, was murdered by Charlie Manson's clan a year after the movie's release. Producer William Castle would suddenly suffer kidney failure after receiving hate mail about the film, and the film's composer died of a sudden blood clot, making Rosemary's Baby the creepiest baby of all time, narrowly beating out little Ashley Olsen.

The Exorcist (1973)

Based on a true-ish story, the curse surrounding this film is presumably because the devil didn't want his dealings exposed on the silver screen. Actress Ellen Burstyn wrote about the inexplicable anxiety on set in her 2006 autobiography, which was a feeling perpetuated by constant electrical problems on set, the death of Jack MacGowran just days after finishing filming, and an unexplained fire. Crew on the film came to believe that the devil was responsible for ongoing injuries and tensions, but he apparently couldn't stop it from becoming the ninth highest-grossing film of all time.