Do you believe in ghosts, monsters, demons, or things that go bump in the night? Well, read on and you just might be convinced.
Hauntings tend to occur around traumatic events. After any horrendous tragedy, negative energy is spilled out into the air, causing the environment to imprint or preserve the event. Then these events are played over and over, just like a broken record... or a horror movie.
Horror movies expose all the negative energies of the past. They bring all the events of a tragedy together in one collective place, opening up the realm of the unknown. This portal attracts ghosts, demons, and otherworldly spirits that feed off the negative energy in the air.
This imbalance of negative energy is why many actors and crew members of horror films constantly report strange, paranormal activity during filming.
While we have all seen the little paranormal events – lights flickering late at night or the television turning on by itself – these actors have experienced something far more menacing. They have re-awakened the spirits of horrific tragedies and brought them back from the beyond. These spirits want their stories heard and will do anything to make sure it happens.
So, get ready to be spooked because here are the 17 Haunted Movie Sets That Will Chill You to the Core.
17 The Conjuring (2013)
The Conjuring is based on the true story of the Perron family. The actual Perron family came to visit the set of the film one day and their connection to the spirit world was clearly evident.
When they arrived, a gust of wind encircled the family. Although they were being blown by the wind, the trees nearby were seemingly unaffected. A few days later, the hotel that the cast and crew stayed at mysteriously caught fire.
In another incident, director James Wan was working onset late at night and his dog started growling at an unseen intruder. He said “She would be just tracking whatever this thing is across my office, just looking at it, following it. She did this many, many nights in a row and it just freaked me out”
Vera Farmiga, who played Lorraine Warren, was also haunted throughout filming. One night, she opened her laptop to read her script and there were three digital claw marks on her screen. She also reported that, on the day she finished filming, she discovered three claw marks across her thigh.
Farmiga wasn’t alone, though. Joey King, another actress, also had mysterious and unexplained bruising all over her body.
16 The Amityville Horror (1979 & 2005)
The set of The Amityville Horror was cursed before the crew even started filming. Four weeks before the start of production, the body of a dead fisherman washed up on the shore of the set and forever cursed the crew.
Ryan Reynolds, who played George Lutz in the remake, claimed to have been inexplicably awakened at 3:15 every morning just like his character in the movie. This specific time is said to be the estimated time when the actual DeFeo killings occurred.
The actor who played George Lutz in the original 1979 movie also claimed to be haunted by spirits. He was initially hesitant to play Lutz until he started reading a copy of Anson’s novel at 2 in the morning.
While flipping through the pages, he got to what he called an “especially tense” part of the book and a pair of pants in his apartment suddenly fell to the floor. From then on, he knew there was more to the story than he originally thought.
15 Annabelle (2014)
According to director John R. Leonetti there were at least two separate paranormal events that took place on the set of Annabelle.
He told The Hollywood Reporter, “The first was when we were prepping. We went into the apartment where we were shooting, and in the transient window about the living room window. It was a full moon, and there were three fingers drawn through the dust along the window, and our demon has three fingers and three talons. [The markings] were being backlit by the moon. I have a picture! It was sick.”
The second incident, according to him, was “much worse.” On the first day that they shot the demon in full make up, they brought it into the greenroom. The actor playing the janitor of the building was following a giant light fixture in the scene they were filming, when all of a sudden, the light fixture fell on his head.
According to Producer Peter Safran, it was freaky because “in the script, the demon kills the janitor in that hallway.” These hauntings may have occurred because the original Annabelle doll is still around. It sits on display at the Warrens Occult Museum where it is constantly exorcised.
14 Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005)
A couple of members from the cast of The Exorcism of Emily Rose claimed to have been visited by dark forces while filming the movie.
Jennifer Carpenter, the actress that played Emily Rose, said that a couple of times while she was going to sleep during filming, the radio would come on by itself. One time, she said it was extremely loud and played the Pearl Jam song, Alive. However, it only played the single lyric that said "I'm still alive."
Much like Carpenter, Laura Linney, who played Erin Bruner, also reported issues with electricity. However, it was her TV set that was randomly turning on at night.
If you’ve watched any horror film, you know that it’s always a bad sign when the electric appliances act up. Apparently, the spirit of Anneliese Michel wanted to make sure the cast knew she was watching them.
13 Behind the Candelabra (2013)
Although Behind the Candelabra isn’t a horror movie, the stars of the film believed the spirit of pianist, Liberace haunted the set. Multiple times after finishing a scene, Matt Damon and Michael Douglas would turn to each other and say, “Did you feel that?”
According to the actors, they constantly felt a cold, damp air that reeked of a potent men’s cologne. One time, Douglas was filming a scene where he was playing a piano and he actually felt someone caress his shoulder. He quickly turned around to see who it was, but was shocked to see absolutely no one around.
The two actors also reported that prop lights would flicker uncontrollably and a piece of equipment that was carefully secured came crashing down on one occasion.
12 The Wizard of Oz (1939)
The Wizard of Oz is one of the most famous movies of all time. However, did you know that it is also famous for being one of the most cursed movie sets?
Clouded in darkness, the set of The Wizard of Oz saw many tragedies. Buddy Ebsen, the man who was originally cast to play the Tin Man, was almost killed by an allergic reaction to the aluminum powder used to make his skin silver. The allergic reaction left him in the hospital, unable to fulfill his role as the Tin Man.
Margaret Hamilton, who played the Wicked Witch of the West, burst in flames on set when the pyrotechnics that helped portray her teleportation spell misfired. She returned to the set after recovering from her burns in the hospital.
There were many other incidents, including the fall of a flying monkey. However, what was most interesting happened after the release of the movie. The curse followed the actors and many cast members died tragic deaths.
Clara Blandick (Auntie Em) and Judy Garland (Dorothy) committed suicide, and Frank Morgan (the Wizard) died of a heart attack in his sleep the day before filming Annie Get Your Gun was to start.
11 The Innkeepers (2011)
Although the film was a horror movie, West said the creepiest events happened back at the hotel. West says he saw doors close by themselves, TVs turn on and off, and lights burned out constantly. He even said that everyone on the crew had extremely vivid dreams every night. So, he decided to revisit the hotel to film The Innkeepers.
The first day he walked back into the hotel, the vivid dreams started again and the cast started seeing weird and creepy phenomenon. West even said that Sara Paxton woke up in the middle of the night multiple times thinking someone else was in the room with her.
10 Rosemary's Baby (1968)
The producer of Rosemary’s Baby, William Castle, once said, “The story of Rosemary’s Baby was happening in real life. Witches, all of them, were casting their spell, and I was becoming one of the principal players.”
The film is a Roman Polanski movie about a pregnant woman who believes that an evil cult wants to take her baby for a ritual, and what happened off-screen was eerily similar.
A year after the movie was released, Polanski’s wife was murdered in a ritualistic mass murder by Charles Manson’s cult. The Manson family nicknamed their murders “Helter Skelter” after a Beatles song. However, what’s more eerie is that John Lennon was murdered outside of a hotel – the same hotel that was used as the apartment building in Rosemary’s Baby.
A year after the release of the film, the movie’s composer died of a brain clot, in the same manor that a character in the film died. Then, William Castle started receiving many death threats that said he unleased evil by making his movie. Shortly after, he had to have surgery for a urinary blockage and during his operation randomly shouted “Rosemary, for God’s sake, drop the knife!”
9 The Possession (2012)
In The Possession, a young girl obtains a box that holds an evil spirit. According to Jeffrey Dean Morgan, an actor in the movie, “I’m very skeptical because I need proof to base things off, but not only would I not want the box around and to tempt fate, but there were enough weird things going on around our set that I’ve never seen happen on set before.”
During the middle of filming key scenes, Morgan said strange things would happen. The lights exploded multiple times, and even though they were on a sound stage with no open doors or fans, they would randomly get hit with cold bursts of air.
A couple of days after filming, they put all their props in storage in case they needed to do any retakes. However, the building that held the props was burned to the ground.
Investigators inspected the fire and concluded that there was no sign of arson or electrical fires. It was simply unexplained. One thing that burst in flames during the fire was the imitation box that allegedly held the spirit.
8 Introducing Dorothy Dandridge (1999)
Halle Berry portrays Dorothy Dandridge in the television movie, Introducing Dorothy Dandridge. However, she may have received some help with the role from beyond the grave. Berry told Ebony magazine that she believes she was visited by the ghost of Dorothy Dandridge herself.
According to Berry, there were strange incidents that occurred in her dressing room and she believes it was related to a white dress she wore that had once belonged to Dorothy Dandridge.
After filming, she brought the dress home and the strange things followed her to her home. Berry's housekeeper said she heard the vanity chair moving by itself and the fridge door would fly open on its own.
One night, Berry even heard the peculiar sound of water boiling and saw a baby doll’s dress floating in mid-air in front of Dandridge’s actual dress. She immediately curled into a ball and realized that, even though she desperately wanted to keep the dress, it had to go.
7 ==7. The Ghost of Goodnight Lane (2012)
The Ghost of Goodnight Lane was based on director Alin Bijan’s Texas production company known as Media World Studios. According the director, “We’ve known for a long time we had a ghost here in the studio. Over the years, we kept a running log, kind of a diary, to document incidents as they occurred.”
Five deaths have occurred at the studio and apparently some of those spirits still linger. Staff and visitors of the studio reported seeing visions of an unknown male on set. Others have reported heavy equipment being moved all on their own and one person even claimed to have been slapped by an invisible entity.
In 2010, paranormal investigators visited the studio and confirmed through several tests and EVP recordings that the site was indeed haunted.
This is what inspired Bijan to create The Ghost of Goodnight Lane. He used the same haunted set to film the movie and once again, the crew reported seeing flickering lights and fixtures fall from the ceiling. Billy Zane even heard voices calling his name.
6 Ghost (1990)
The romantic fantasy thriller Ghost was very light on the paranormal activity. However, the set that it was filmed at was significantly more haunting. The film was shot on Paramount’s Stage 19, which has been given the nickname “Paranormal Paramount” because of its notorious hauntings.
Security guards working the set at night have stopped suspicious men who simply smile at them and walk straight through the wall. Others have reported invisible hands brushing their back and the lights turning off at inopportune moments.
One of the most famous stories is that of Heather O’Rourke. She was a child actress that played the little girl in The Poltergeist and Heather Pfister in Happy Days, which was also shot on Stage 19. O’Rourke mysteriously died at the age of 12 and is said to still linger around the set.
She liked playing on the catwalk above the set, and to this day, visitors can still hear her running and laughing up there. Some have even seen her playing on the stage and if you approach her, she simply runs away.
5 Ghost Whisperer (2005 - 2010)
Jennifer Love Hewitt starred in Ghost Whisperer as a woman who could see and communicate with the dead. Apparently, this intrigued the spirits and many came to visit her on set.
Hewitt and other cast members reported many paranormal instances during the life of the show. Lights would move several inches or burst into a million pieces, things would whirl out of control, and set props would move or go missing.
One day, Hewitt and seven crew members all reported being touched by an unseen entity. Hewitt felt something tug on her dress, and others felt something tug their sweater or jeans.
Hewitt even said they captured some of these ghosts appeared in film footage. They would see people in the shots that weren’t actually there and in one event, the cast noticed something odd going on behind Hewitt while she was acting. It looked as though something over her shoulder was moving. When she turned around, she reportedly saw a shadow. The crew checked the film footage and there was a ghostly figure standing right behind Hewitt.
Rumors about the paranormal activities spread, causing many guest stars to turn down roles on the show.
4 The Exorcist (1973)
The set of The Exorcist was said to be haunted by an actual demon. Shooting had to be delayed because the entire set used for the MacNeil home caught on fire and burned down. However, the one room that remained untouched was Regan’s demonic bedroom.
The fire was said to be caused by a pigeon that got through to a circuit box, but director William Friedkin called it “a winged creature with talons” – much like a demon.
During filming, the actress who played Regan’s mother was injured when her harness broke and the possessed Regan threw her to the ground. The take was used in the film, so her scream in the movie is actually genuine.
Nine cast and crew deaths are also associated with the film, including a crew member and technician who died during production and two actors who died before the release of the film. Even after the movie was released, reports of strange incidents continued. During the film’s Rome premiere, lightning struck a 400-year old cross on top of a nearby church.
3 The Ring (2002)
The Ring features the story of Samara, a young girl with supernatural abilities. She was thrown down a well and returns to haunt the living world whenever they watch a cursed video tape.
After someone watched the video, Samara would come out of her welled grave and take the soul of the viewer seven days later. However, she not only haunted the characters in the film, but also came out of her well to haunt the cast members in real life.
After filming one scene, the cast noticed that there was a ghostly apparition in the corner of the screen. They still used the take in the movie and no one has been able to explain what it is. Some people suggest that it could be the ghost of Samara coming to claim more victims. After all, she is known to travel through film.
2 The Poltergeist Trilogy
Steven Spielberg decided to use real life skeletons during the muddy pool scene in the first Poltergeist movie because they were cheaper than plastic skeletons. However, the use of those skeletons came at a price. Spielberg paid with the lives of his cast and crew.
Months after the release of the first film, Dominique Dunne, who played Dana, was murdered by her abusive ex-boyfriend. When it came time to film the second movie, many of the actresses experienced strange phenomenon throughout production and there was even an exorcism performed on set to rid it of any malevolent spirits. However, Will Sampson, the man who performed the exorcism died three years later.
Julien Beck, or Kane in the movie, died of stomach cancer months before the second film was released and Heather O’Rourke, the famous little girl who shouts “They’re here!” died of cardiac arrest at the age of 12 – months before the release of Poltergeist III.
Another cast member, Richard Lawson, barely escaped death when his plane crashed in 1992, and Lou Perryman, an actor in the original movie, was murdered in 2009 when an ex-convict killed him with an ax.
1 The Omen (1976)
The set of The Omen was cursed by an evil being that followed the cast and crew.
Animals on the set reacted to this evil spirit and multiple times, dogs used in the film went wild and attacked their trainers. The baboon scene in the movie also took place at a safari park and an animal handler was eaten alive the day after the crew finished filming their scene.
On multiple occasions, a faulty camera used to film shots revealed that the devil was nearby by flashing the message “Error 666." However, Error 666 does not exist as a message number.
A stuntman was also injured on set after reportedly being pushed by an unknown force, and multiple crew members were struck by lightning on two separate planes. However, the creepiest accident occurred one Friday the 13th.
John Richardson, the set designer responsible for the infamous decapitation scene, was involved in a head-on car crash with his assistant. The assistant was sliced in half, just like how Richardson created the decapitation scene. However, what makes the event even more haunting is that a road sign near the accident read that the town of Ommen was 66.6 kilometers away.
Do you know of any other spooky tales from behind the scenes? Let us know in the comments!