San Pedro California Haunting
Jackie and two infant children have been living with what she feels are evil entities,watch as the camera man seems to be attacked, and red stuff runs from the walls and a red mark appears on her infants head….
The Enfield Poltergeist
In 1977, an 11-year-old girl found herself at the centre of a ghost mystery.
Janet Hodgson was photographed in mid-air wearing her red nightdress and visibly screaming while two other children looked on.
She was apparently channelling the spirit of a former resident who had died in the Enfield house many years before.
Graham Morris took the original photographs and told Radio 5 live’s Stephen Nolan what happened the night he visited the house.
The Poltergeist Curse
What is seen as an unusually large number of deaths have occurred among the former cast of the Poltergeist trilogy. This occurrence has given rise to the rumor that the productions were in some way “cursed” due to the nature of the films themselves, as if the evil spirits conjured up in the make-believe world of the cinema have since reached out into the real world to claim what they might see as their rightful victims.
In a popular form of the rumor, one of the child actors is said to have come to an untimely end after the making of each film, one murdered, one in a car accident, and one of a mysterious disease. Though it’s true Dominique Dunne and Heather O’Rourke have since died, Oliver Robins (the lad who played the boy) appears to be still with us.
Though coincidence is a much more likely explanation than a curse, there have been four deaths among the cast of this set of films — Dominique Dunne (Dana Freeling), Heather O’Rourke (Carol Ann Freeling), Will Sampson (Taylor, a good spirit), and Julian Beck (Kane, an evil spirit). Though two of the deaths were foreseeable — indeed, expected — two were not. It’s the combination of the two unexpected deaths which lies at the heart of every rumor about a curse.
22-year old Dominique Dunne died on 4 November 1982 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, four days after her boyfriend choked her into a coma from which she never awoke. Weeks earlier, Dunne had ended her abusive live-in relationship with Los Angeles chef John Sweeney. On the night of 30 October 1982, he dropped by their former shared residence to plead with her to take him back. The conversation did not go as he’d hoped, and the encounter ended with him strangling her for what was later determined to be 4 to 6 minutes, then leaving her for dead in her driveway.
Sweeney was convicted of voluntary manslaughter, sentenced in November, 1983, and released in 1986 after serving only 3 years, 8 months of a 6 1/2 year sentence. His sentence is controversial to this day.
12-year-old Heather O’Rourke died of septic shock on 1 February 1988 at the Children’s Hospital in San Diego. What had been thought to be a bout of ordinary flu launched her into cardiac arrest during the drive to the local hospital as bacterial toxins set loose by a bowel obstruction made their way into her bloodstream. Her heart was successfully restarted and she was flown by helicopter to the much-larger Children’s Hospital where she underwent an operation to remove the obstruction. The toxins rampaging through her system proved too much, and she died on the operating table.
The circumstances surrounding her passing rendered her death even more of a shock than it otherwise would have been, as she went overnight from a little girl who had the flu to a dead little girl who expired during a desperate operation to save her life.
O’Rourke appeared in all three Poltergeist movies. Poltergeist III had been completed at the time of her death although it had yet to be released, leading to rumors that she had expired during shooting and a double had to be used to complete the picture. (Poltergeist III was in the can by June 1987 but wasn’t released until 10 June 1988; however, writer-director Gary Sherman decided to change the ending of the already-finished film after O’Rourke’s death, so a double was used to shoot the alternate ending.)
60-year-old Julian Beck died of stomach cancer on 14 September 1985 at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. Like O’Rourke, he expired during the period between filming and release, but in his case the film in question was Poltergeist II, which was released in May 1986. Unlike O’Rourke, his death was not unexpected; he had been battling the cancer for 18 months.
53-year-old Will Sampson died on 3 June 1987 in a Houston hospital after receiving a heart-lung transplant 6 weeks earlier. The cause of his death was ascribed to severe pre-operative malnutrition and post-operative kidney failure and fungal infection. It has been said he knew his chances for survival were small due to his weakened condition prior to surgery.
Fun Fact: The skeletons that emerge from the swimming pool while Diane searches for help are actual skeletons