Horror Movie Fun Facts!

It’s Halloween week! We thought you’d enjoy this list of some fun facts you may not have known about your favorite scary movie. Enjoy!

The Exorcist is Cursed

The Exorcist is a 1973 film directed by William Friedkin and is known as one of the most terrifying films of all time. Not only because the movie touches on a very controversial Catholic ritual but because of the strange incidents that occurred during and after filming. The incidents became so frequent and tragic that many, to this day, believe that the movie itself  is cursed by some demonic presence.

Filming was pushed back significantly due to a fire that touched everywhere except for Regan’s room; the room used for filming the actual exorcism scenes. There is one scene where Ellen Burstyn (who played Reagan’s mother) is shoved down the stars by her demonic daughter. The fall actually injured the star badly and the scream that is heard in the film is completely genuine. Apparently the injury still bothers her to this day. The only characters that die in the movie are played by Jack MacGowran and Vasiliki Maliaros. Both actors passed away in real life very soon after the film was finished. Unfortunately the deaths did not stop there. Actors Linda Blair and Max von Sydow both lost members of their families during filming. There are up to nine additional tragedies connected to the film and many more unusual coincidences that one can’t help but wonder if there really is a curse attached to the film.

The Amityville Horror Hoax

The Amityville Horror was originally a novel written by Jay Anson in 1977. According to George and Kathy Lutz, after buying a six bedroom house at 112 Ocean Avenue in New York, terrible things began happening to the couple and their three children. “An unseen force ripped doors from hinges and slammed cabinets closed, noxious green slime oozed from the ceilings, a biblical-scale swarm of insects attacked the family, and a demonic face with glowing red eyes peered into their house at night, leaving cloven-hoofed footprints in the morning snow. A priest called upon to bless the house was driven back with painful blisters on his hands, famously told by a demonic voice to “Get out!” And so on.” (Snopes) These events were chalked up to demons that caused a brutal mass killing that occurred in the house not long before the Lutz’s moved in. 

The novel recounted this story and claimed the chilling tale to be true. And it was a big hit. After all, who doesn’t like a good scary story? Then in 1979 the film was released and, to no one’s surprise, it also became a big hit; earning 86.4 million at the box office. But it didn’t take long for people to begin to poke holes in the Lutz’s story. How could they have seen demonic hoof prints in the snow when, according to weather reports, there was no snow? How could an unseen force rip doors from hinges when there was no such damage anywhere in the house? Why did the Lutz’s never, in the 28-days they were at the house, call the police? It eventually came out that the entire story was a lie, made up entirely by the Lutz’s and lawyer of convicted killer Ronald “Butch” DeFeo Jr, William Weber “over many bottles of wine”. Weber was hoping to use the excuse of demons to get a new trial for his client; who did actually live in the house before the Lutz’s and did actually kill his parents, two brothers and two sisters. 

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Night of the Living Dead Lost Footage

One of the most important films in horror history is George A. Romero’s 1968 classic Night of the Living Dead. It’s a zombie flick about a group of strangers hiding in a house as the dead come back to life with a hunger for flesh. Back in 2015 the then 75 year old  George A. Romero attended Monster Mania in Maryland, where he revealed something pretty major. After stumbling upon a 16mm print of Night of the Living Dead that apparently included up to 9 minutes of footage that never made the final cut for some reason. The footage is said to be a scene that takes place in the basement and contains the film’s largest zombie scene! 

The Blair Witch Project‘s Filming Conditions Were Crazy

Now, I watch a lot of horror movies. It’s been that way since I was a kid. And none have stuck with me quite like The Blair Witch Project did. Think of it like the underdog of independent films. Despite its puny initial budget of $25,000 the movie went on to make 248.6 million at the box office and was even dubbed “one of the 10 most influencial films of the 20th century” by film critic Roger Ebert. What a lot of people didn’t know until way after the movie’s premiere was that the actual filming was kind of nuts. The script was a 35 page outline so almost all the dialogue was improvised by the actors. The actors apparently needed to hunt down their instructions for the day by using a GPS. Real human hair and teeth were used in one scene. And by the end of filming the directors purposefully gave the actors less food than normal to promote irritation and conflict. The whole movie was shot in 8 days, took 8 months to edit and it came off as so realistic that people even began sending sympathy cards to Heather Donahue’s mother!!

Child’s Play Was Based on a True Story 

No, you didn’t read that wrong. The 1988 film Child’s Play, one where a murderer uses dark magic to seal his soul inside the body of a doll then given as a gift to a small child, is based on an actual thing. In a previous post about urban legends I talk about Robert the Doll. Robert was a doll that apparently moved from room to room, talked to his young owner- the doll was given to him by his voodoo practicing nanny- and caused an overall ruckus. Sound familiar? Child’s Play creator Don Mancini put his own twist on Chucky’s origin. Luckily for the residents of Florida, Robert never killed anyone. As far as we know. 

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Friday the 13th Noises 

The franchise was born with the premiere of Friday the 13th in 1980. Anyone that has seen the films, whether they are a fan or not, knows that during a particularly intense scene or when the killer shows up, the trademark creepy tune plays “Ch ch ch, ah ah ah.” Contrary to popular belief “ch ch ch, ah ah ah” is not actually what the sound is. Back in 2009, the documentary His Name Was Jason it was revealed by the movie’s composer Harry Manfredini, the sound is actually “Ki, ki, ki, ma, ma, ma.” Using Pamela Voorhees famous “Kill her mommy!” from the first movie. Manfredini distorted words “kill” and “ma” so much that people often make the common mistake. 

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Fallon Marie Gannon