A few months ago (Yes, I said months… That’s how long it took me to finish this) I saw an E! special about the 13 most shocking Hollywood curses. Some of these curses were news to me and so I decided to document them. I know a curse is somewhat hard to believe in, especially during these modern times but when a slew of tragedies connect to one event with no obvious explanation, you have to admit that something eerie is going on, so a curse is born. Some of the curses may seem coincidental by nature but two that really creeped me out was the 27 club and the tragedies surrounding the movie ATUK. Read the examples below and then ask yourself, do you believe in curses now?
13. The 27 Club – The curse of The 27 Club refers to a group of influential rock and blues musicians who all died at the age of 27. Sometimes the cause of death is normal but sometimes the circumstances surrounding their death are somewhat suspicious. One thing’s for sure, the number of musicians who died at the age of 27 is definitely far from the norm. Some of the most famous 27 clubers include Brian Jones, founder and guitarist for The Rolling Stones, who drowned in a pool; Jimi Hendrix, pioneering electric guitarist, singer and songwriter, who became asphyxiated on vomit after combining sleeping pills with wine; Janis Joplin, a vocalist and songwriter, who died of a heroin overdose; Jim Morrison, lead singer and songwriter for The Doors, who supposedly died from heart failure (no autopsy was performed); Kurt Cobain, lead singer and songwriter for Nirvana, committed suicide with a shotgun. Currently there are 40 recorded members of the 27 club but many of the young musicians of our time haven’t turned 27 yet and so we wait and see who’ll join the club next. Lindsay Lohan and Amy Winehouse better get their act together soon.
12. The Superman Curse –Superman’s curse refers to the unfortunate deaths of many actors who have played the role of Superman. Superman’s have been dropping dead since 1959 when George Reaves, who played Superman in the 1951 film Superman and the Mole Men as well as television series Adventures of Superman was found dead from a gunshot to the head. In 1963, U.S. President John F. Kennedy’s staff approved a Superman story in which the hero had the president’s physical fitness initiatives but unfortunately Kennedy was shot and killed before the story came out. Christopher Reeve, who played Superman / Clark Kent in Superman 1,2,3 and 4 between 1978 and 1987, was paralyzed from the neck down after being thrown off his horse in a cross-country riding event in 1995. Reeve subsequently died in 2004 due to heart failure stemming from his medical condition. Even baby Superman wasn’t immune to the curse, Lee Quigley, who played baby Kal-El in the 1978 Superman movie, died in 1991 at the age of 14 after inhaling solvents.
11. The Lee Family Curse – Many say that the curse started with Chinese actor and martial artist, Bruce Lee, who shared some of the Eastern fighting secrets with the Western world. In 1973, while Bruce Lee was working on over dubs for his movie Enter The Dragon, he started complaining about major headaches, took a pill and never woke up. His son, Brandon Lee, followed his father’s foot steps and became an actor. After doing same small roles in several movies, Lee was Cast in The Crow as the lead actor. 21 years after his fathers death, Brandon Lee was shot and killed at 28 with a prop gun prepared for a scene that just happened to be filled with real bullets.
10. Billy Bob Thornton’s Co-Stars Curse – Since 1998 , 6 of Billy Bob Thornton’s co-stars have met an untimely death and 4 others had brushes with disasters. The first victim was J.T. Walsh, who acted along side Billy Bob in the 1996 film slingshot and died in 1998 from a heart attack. Our favorite Three’s Company roomie, John Ritter, joined Billy Bob for Bad Santa, and a few months later died on the operating table during a heart surgery on September 11, 2003. Bernie Mac, also a Bad Santa member, died in 2008 due to complications from an pneumonia. Heath Ledger and Thornton met while co staring in Monster’s Ball in 2001, and in 2008 Ledger passed from an accidental overdose of prescription drugs. The two lucky ones are Morgan Freeman and Shia Labeouf who were both in serious car accidents in 2008 and brought the total to 4 hurt co-stars in one year.
9. John Lennon and the Curse of the Number 9 – (Did you see how they put that at #9… How clever) As one of the most influential people in the music industry, John Lennon (who was one of the founding members on The Beatles for people who just crawled out from under a rock) considered himself a very lucky person. So lets start from the beginning. John Lennon was born on Oct. 9; The Beatles were discovered on the Ed Sullivan show on Feb. 9; the Beatles called it quits after 9 years; Lennon met Yoko Ono on Nov. 9; 9 years later their son was born on Oct. 9. Now this is where his #9 luck turned into a curse, 9 years after moving to NY John Lennon was shot at 11:07 (1+1+7=9) on Dec. 9, which was the date in Liverpool (9 letters) where he was also born.
8. The Curse of the Movie ATUK – The movie tells the story of an overweight Eskimo, who dreams of going to New York City. The curse of ATUK struck all the leading men who got in contact with the script. John Belushi was the first person considered for the part, and the first to reveal the curse. While preparing for the role, Belushi was found dead from an overdose of cocaine and heroine. The script was then passed on to Sam Kinison, who died in a fiery car crash two years after reading it. Next was John Candy, who died of a heart attack (while reading the script). The script then moved on to Chris Farley (Died from cardiac arrest brought on by an overdose combination of cocaine and morphine), who shared the script with his buddy Phil Hartman, who died in a murder suicide committed by his wife. Right now the script is collecting dust in some Hollywood vault, waiting to strike again.
7. The curse of Playboy centerfolds – The first ever cover-girl, legendary Marilyn Monroe, died of an acute barbiturate poisoning (Champagne and sleeping pills) supposedly brought on by a suicide attempt, at the age of 36. Jayne Mansfield, (Centerfold 1955) who was rumored to be close to the leader of the church of Satan and cursed by them, died in a car accident and was nearly decapitated in 1967. In 1980, Dorothy Stratten was killed by her estranged husband in a murder suicide after appearing as a Playboy centerfold in 1979. Anna Nicole Smith was the latest victim, as she was the centerfold in 1992 and later died of a drug overdose at 39. Twenty five total playboy centerfolds had been killed, mostly of unnatural causes. Who will be next?
6. The Led Zeppelin Curse –Led Zeppelin lead guitarist, Jimmy Page, had a strange fascination with a devil cult leader named Aleister Crowley. So much so, that he went to the lengths of buying Crowley’s house and walking around in his cape. Page’s weird obsession, may have also been his demise. Some even say that if you play their hit song, Stairway To Heaven, you can actually hear the words “My sweet Satan”. The curse really started to come into play when in 1977 lead guitarist John Paul Jones broke his finger and vocalist Robert Plant’s 5 year old son died from a stomach virus. Their tour was immediately canceled. In 1980, drummer John Bonham died at Jimmy Page’s house by asphyxiating on his own vomit after drinking four quadruple vodkas (450 ml) for breakfast. A few months later the band issued an official statement saying they were breaking up. Maybe it’s not a good idea to play around with a devil worshiper’s goodies.
5. James Dean’s Death Car – On September 30, 1955, James Dean and his mechanic Rolf Wütherich set off for a car race at Salinas, California. Dean was driving his Porsche 550 Spyder on U.S. Route 46 near when another car driven from the opposite direction by a 23-year-old student crossed into Dean’s lane without seeing him. The other guy walked away from the incident with minor injuries (Died from Cancer in 1995) but James Dean was pronounced dead on arrival to a local hospital. The mechanic Rolf Wütherich, died in a road accident in 1981 in Germany after surviving several suicide attempts. After the accident, a famous car enthusiast George Barris bought the wreck, which slipped off its trailer and broke a mechanic’s leg. Barris sold some parts to two guys who raced each other, one was killed instantly and the other was injured. Barris later sold two tires, which blew up simultaneously causing the buyer’s automobile to go off the road. later, one thief tried to steal the steering wheel and his arm was ripped open. After that, another man was injured while trying to steal the bloodstained front seat. After lending the rest of the wrecked car to a highway safety exhibit, the garage storing the Spyder went up in flames, destroying everything except the car itself. The second display, at a high school, ended when the car fell breaking a student’s hip. While being transported, the truck containing the vehicle lost control, causing the driver to fall out and be crushed by the Porsche after it fell off the back. In 1960, when being returned to George Barris in L.A. the car mysteriously vanished and has not been seen since. That’s one evil little car.
4. The Exorcist Curse – The original exorcism story was actually inspired by a real 1940′s exorcism. After shooting began on the film, weird occurrences began to happen. The original set burned down, a carpenter working on the set cut off his thumb, an assistant cameraman’s baby died, a night watchman passed away, an actor whose character was killed in the movie died in real life and Linda Blair’s lower back was fractured after a riding accident, among others. In total, 9 people connected with the movie died. The church condemned it evil and the crew tried exorcising the set with holly water but unfortunately it did not work. The movie spawned 2 sequels, the second one didn’t do any damage but Exorcist 3 had some casualties. And as the cherry on top, a known serial killer named Jeffrey Dahmer became obsessed with the movie and it drove him to kill 17 men. Let’s just hope they don’t make another one.
3. The Curse of Roman Polanski – As if it wasn’t enough that he survived the concentration camps in Poland just to become an orphan of the holocaust, Roman Polanski’s life is less than normal. After a tragic childhood, it seemed that his life was finally turning around. Polanski became an actor and a film director and married a model by the name of Sharon Tate. The curse however caught up with him when he created a movie called Rosemary’s Baby, a movie about a woman impregnated by the devil to bring on the Anti-Christ. Some say that his curse was brought upon him due to his connection with the Satan church leader Anton Lavey. After Polanski and Tate were married, she immediately got pregnant (Just like Rosemary’s Baby). 8 months later 4 delusional church goers followed the orders of Charles Manson, mutilated and killed Sharon Tate, her unborn baby and 4 other house guests. In 1978, Polanski was charged with raping a 13 year old girl and fled to France to avoid prosecution. Over 30 years later, in 2009, Polanski was arrested in Switzerland and extradited to the U.S. to stand trial. That’s one f’d up life.
2. The Poltergeist Curse – One thing is for sure, you don’t mess with the dead. It is said that the curse was brought upon the movie franchise because the producers of the movie taunted with the spirits. After about a month of production, Joe Beth Williams (One of the actresses) found her pictures askew on the wall. Then lights flickered on and off on separate occasions and random fires and accidents were not uncommon. Once the first movie was released, the curse began to take it’s tole. Dominic Dunn was killed at the age of 22, strangled to death by her ex boyfriend. The sequel took away Will Sampson and Julian Beck, who died of a stomach cancer and kidney failure. Heather O’Rourke, who played Carol Anne in all three Poltergeist movies, died during the 3rd installation at the age of 12 from an acute bowl obstruction. The third movie bombed and the trilogy was finished with plenty of victims left behind.
1. The Curse of The Dark Knight – The latest of the curses and one that will resonate in our minds, The Dark Knight was part of the Batman franchise. First, a stuntman was killed while testing a car, then before the movie was even released, Heath Ledger who played The Joker, got into the character so much that he was having insomnia issues and was found dead in his NY apartment after overdosing on prescription medication and sleeping pills. When the movie came out, Christian Bale was questioned by police for supposedly assaulting his mother and sisters. 3 weeks later, Morgan Freeman’s car rolled off the highway but fortunately no one died. That is one creepy movie to say the least.