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Horror Movie Facts We All Believed Were True But Aren’t

Creepy myths surround several classic horror
films – and they can be just as scary as what you see onscreen. There are movies that are supposedly cursed,
and films that are apparently based on actual events. Here, we’ll dispel some of the false facts
to put your mind at ease. In the 2008 film The Strangers, a couple is
tormented and tortured by a group of masked criminals in and around their vacation home. The Strangers made quite an impression upon
its release, partly for the striking look of its masked intruders, but mostly for its
central thesis that evil can be senseless and random. One aspect of the film significantly added
to the horror. The Strangers was supposedly “inspired by
true events,” a claim that was repeated in its more outlandish 2018 sequel, The Strangers:
Prey at Night. In both cases, this is a wildly misleading
claim. Did someone wearing a spooky mask really terrorize
a woman while a Joanna Newsom record skipped in the background? The long answer is No. Writer-director Bryan Bertino says the story
was inspired by something that happened to him as a child. One night, a stranger reportedly knocked on
the door and asked for someone who didn’t live there. It turns out that thieves were using this
strategy to burglarize homes. As he explained to Collider in 2008: “And they were knocking on every door on
the street with the idea that whoever didn’t open the door, they would kick in the door
and rob the place.” Bertino was also inspired by the Mansons: “I was around eleven or twelve years old and
my dad gave me a book to read, and he gave me Helter Skelter, which was a very strange
pick.” And those are the events that inspired The
Strangers. True story. Ever since the original Poltergeist hit theaters
in 1982, fans of the film have argued over who really directed the now-classic supernatural
thriller. Was it the credited director Tobe Hooper,
or the film’s co-writer and producer, Steven Spielberg? Some members of the cast and crew have said
that Spielberg was so hands-on during filming that he ultimately deserves credit for directing
the movie. But following Hooper’s death in 2017, filmmaker
Mick Garris set the record straight on his podcast Post Mortem. According to Garris, Spielberg was indeed
a strong presence on the Poltergeist set, but that had more to do with the fact that
this was Hooper’s first big studio film. Plus, Spielberg is evidently just an enthusiastic
guy when it comes to movies. Garris claims Spielberg may have occasionally
jumped in when he wasn’t needed, but he insists that at the end of the day, it’s Hooper’s
vision you see onscreen. As Garris said to producer and actress Caroline
Williams, “Tobe directed that movie, Steven Spielberg
had a lot to do with directing that movie, too.” “Thank you very much for stating that.” Garris claims Hooper did all the pre-production
work, and says he was always on set to yell “Action!” and “Cut!” In fact, Spielberg himself reportedly acknowledged
that Hooper ultimately directed the film. “Tobe got credit because he deserved that
credit – including Steven Spielberg said that.” Shouldn’t that be enough to settle this once
and for all? And since we’re on the subject of Poltergeist:
You’ve probably heard that the film is supposedly cursed, and this curse is apparently so powerful,
it somehow extends to the film’s increasingly terrible sequels. [kid with possessed braces yelling] It’s hard to say why evil forces would choose
to lord over an entire trilogy of films, but the crew reportedly did use actual human skeletons
in the first Poltergeist, so maybe that caused some sort of otherworldly ruckus? Frankly, we have our doubts – and so should
you. As for what this supposed curse entails, there
are various myths floating around. According to Snopes, “An extreme version of the ‘curse’ rumor asserts
everyone who appeared in these movies is now dead.” Well, that is extreme. It’s also extremely untrue. We’re sure Poltergeist stars Craig T. Nelson
and Jo Beth Williams were startled to hear this news, seeing as they’re both very much
alive. But two major players in the Poltergeist franchise
did suffer horrible fates in real life. Dominique Dunne – the actress who played the
older sister in the first movie — was strangled by her boyfriend a few months after
the film’s release. Heather O’Rourke – the young actress who played
Carol Anne in all three films – suddenly passed from septic shock in 1988. These two tragic, unforeseen deaths are really
what inspired the rumored curse, but the myth sometimes includes the death of actor Julian
Beck, who playedthe fiendish Kane in Poltergeist II: The Other Side, and who died from stomach
cancer at the age of 60, seven months before the film premiered. Sometimes the curse also involves the death
of actress Zelda Rubinstein, who starred in all three Poltergeist films. But it’s important to note that Rubinstein
died of natural causes at the age of 76, and in the year 2010. That’s a full 28 years after the original
Poltergeist premiered. Not exactly the stuff terrifying curses are
made of, is it? There are two surefire ways to entice moviegoers
to go see your horror film: You can claim your movie is based on actual events, or you
can claim the production was cursed by dark, unseen forces. Or, in the case of 1973’s The Exorcist, you
can do both. “Your mother’s in here with us, Karras. Would you like to leave a message? I’ll see that she gets it.” The 1971 novel by William Peter Blatty was
inspired by a supposed real-life exorcism that took place in 1949. The Washington Post even covered the story
at the time, publishing an article with the grabby headline, “Priest Frees Mt. Rainier Boy Reported Held
in Devil’s Grip” According to St. Louis magazine, all sorts
of freakish antics surrounded this reported possession: “Objects flew; his bed shook; a heavy chair
tilted; a rug slid across the room. His body was raked with red scratches, which
seemed to appear spontaneously and sometimes spell out words (or draw a devil’s face).” Of course, it’s worth looking at this incident
with a healthy degree of skepticism. Author Thomas Allen – who wrote Possessed:
The True Story of an Exorcism – told St. Louis in 2014, “I’ve always felt it was something we don’t
yet understand about the way the body handles problems that have invaded it. […] I felt there had to be a rational explanation
for what was causing that kid to be suffering.” Meanwhile, Michael Cuneo, author of American
Exorcism, told the magazine: “If I had been there, my hunch is that I would
not have seen the things they reported.” Because the filmmakers decided to explore
these occult themes, many people believe The Exorcist is a cursed film. According to The 13th Floor, that curse supposedly
caused numerous on-set accidents. For example, the set used for the MacNeil’s
home caught on fire – and only Regan’s room was left unharmed. Oh, and actress Ellen Burstyn injured her
spine after she was thrown to the ground in a scene, according to Huffington Post. Also, Linda Blair reportedly hurt her back
when a piece of rigging broke. During post-production, two actors
died in the film – Jack MacGowran , and Vasiliki Maliaros – died in real life. Also, several relatives of people who starred
in The Exorcist were reportedly hurt or killed while the film was being made. Meanwhile, some people believe the actual
film stock was cursed, including the late evangelist Billy Graham, who always had the
spooky stuff on his brain: “I want to talk tonight about The Devil, and
demons, and witches, and wizards!” Director William Friedkin told Entertainment
Weekly that, “Billy Graham, who was not Catholic, denounced
[The Exorcist] from the pulpit and said ‘The Devil is in every frame of this film.’ Now, how he examined every frame, I don’t
know.” Of course, people get hurt all the time – on
and off movie sets. People pass away all the time, too. That doesn’t mean the film is cursed or haunted
in any way. It’s worth noting that Vasiliki Maliaros was
89-years-old at the time of her death. She died of natural causes – not supernatural
causes. Marketing materials for 1974’s The Texas Chain
Saw Massacre really wanted to convince viewers that the film was based on real-life events. One of its taglines even claimed: “What happened is true. Now the motion picture that’s just as real.” And the film even opens with this grand announcement: “The events of that day were to lead to the
discovery of one of the most bizarre crimes in the annals of American history.” The 2003 remake adopted the same strategy,
with promotional posters proudly boasting that the film was inspired by a true story. So is this tale actually based on terrible
things that happened in real life? According to Snopes, that’s a big ole’ “Not
really.” The website points out that the The Texas
Chain Saw Massacre is “based on a true incident” in two ways. For one thing, director Tobe Hooper knew a
bit about Ed Gein, a real-life murderer and grave robber who made furniture out of skin
and bone and who also inspired Psycho and Silence of the Lambs. Oh, and once, Hooper imagined himself chainsawing
his way out of a crowded department store – but haven’t we all? That’s it. That’s the inspiration for the film and its
remake. So don’t let the grimy documentary feel of
this 1974 classic convince you that you’re watching a documentary. You aren’t. The mysterious mousse and its chalky undertaste. The ominous tannis root pendant. The devil is truly in the details in 1968’s
Rosemary’s Baby, a horror film about Satanism that’s full of tantalizingly terrifying touches. Surely someone with a firm grasp on the black
arts had to be on hand to advise the filmmakers, right? “That’s not possible! It’s a mistake!” Well, a popular myth about the film involves
the late Anton LaVey – otherwise known as the founder of The Church of Satan. According to Vanity Fair, “LaVey [was] falsely credited with working
as a consultant on the film Rosemary’s Baby.” It’s a myth that’s endured for decades, and
the story has grown over time. According to Criterion, “One urban legend […] insists that Church
of Satan bigwig Anton LaVey not only served as ‘technical consultant’ on Rosemary’s
Baby but [also] donned the hairy devil suit.” The plot thickens. In fact, it’s not at all unusual for publications
to state this rumor as fact, such as when The Telegraph gleefully reported in 2018 that, “A breakthrough [for LaVey] seemed to come
with Roman Polanski’s film of Rosemary’s Baby in 1968, where he played the Devil himself.” Some sources claim LaVey started the rumor
himself – but is there any truth to the story? Sorry to say, the answer seems to be “No.” As The Washington Post reported in 1998, “According to an interview with the original
producer of the film Rosemary’s Baby, LaVey was not technical adviser, as he claimed,
and not a single member of the cast or crew has ever mentioned LaVey’s involvement.” In fact, according to The Wall Street Journal,
a little-known character actor actor named Clay Tanner actually played the role of the
devil. So, that settles that. But even if LaVey did make up these tall tales,
his efforts might have been encouraged by Paramount Pictures – that is, if The Church
of Satan can be believed, and that’s a pretty big “if.” A post on the organization’s official website
claims that: “A lot of people like to attribute this legend
to Anton LaVey. But in May of 1967, the publicists for Rosemary’s
Baby found Anton LaVey and his Church and were very excited. They solicited his support [for[ their efforts.” So if you’re desperate to believe LaVey was
somehow involved with Rosemary’s Baby, you can at least cling onto that little tidbit. If you close your eyes and think of Dracula,
you probably see Bela Lugosi’s slicked-back hair and black cape, and hear that hypnotic
voice say, “I never drink… wine.” Such is the power of 1931’s Dracula, one of
the first “talkie” horror films. Dracula was a breakthrough role for Lugosi,
and it turned him into a household name in America. To this day, many people believe the actor
couldn’t speak English during the making of the movie and therefore recited every line
phonetically. “Van Helsing. A most distinguished scientist whose name
we know, even in the wilds of Transylvania.” But no. As Legends Revealed explains, that simply
isn’t true. By the time he starred in the film, Lugosi
had already been playing Count Dracula on stage for several years, and he spoke English
as well as he ever would. However, he did speak his lines phonetically
in The Red Poppy, his 1922 Broadway debut. Perhaps that’s where this rumor got started,
even though the two projects were nearly a decade apart. Universal Studios’ 1931 film Frankenstein
is one of the all-time classics of the horror genre. You probably know most of the character’s
names by heart: There’s Dr. Frankenstein, and, of course, his trusty hunchback assistant,
Igor. Right? The iconic Igor character was famously spoofed
in 1974’s Young Frankenstein with the character Igor, portrayed by Marty Feldman. “Dr Frankenstein?” The character also inspired the 2008 animated
feature Igor. But here’s the interesting thing: There is
no Igor in the classic Universal Frankenstein film. Dr. Frankenstein did have a hunchback assistant
played by Dwight Frye, but his name was Fritz. However, Dr. Frankenstein has an assistant
named Ygor in the sequel films Son of Frankenstein and Ghost of Frankenstein. But wait: As you can see, Ygor wasn’t hunchbacked,
though he still had some pretty serious physical issues. “You see that? They hanged me once.” So how did the name Igor become forever associated
with the image of a hunchbacked assistant? According to Dr. M’s Frankenblog: “Mass misremembering may be the culprit for
its popularity.” If that’s true, the idea of Igor the hunchbacked
assistant was ultimately the result of filmgoers collectively confusing and recombining Fritz,
Ygor, and a number of other hunchback assistants from B-movies like 1944’s The House of Frankenstein. Over time, this enduring archetype was born. That’s our hunch, anyway. “It’s alive, it’s alive! It’s alive! It’s alive!” Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Grunge videos about your favorite
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  • Facts like in the original Friday the 13th (1980) at the final conflict between Pamela Voorhees and Alice Hardy, Betsy Palmer delivers real slaps to Adrienne King. Or how about in Halloween (1978), Michael Myers original horror name was supposed to be “The Shape”. But due to the popularity of Laurie Strode and Samuel Loomis (Jamie Lee Curtis and Donald Pleasance respectively) referring to him simply as Michael Myers, this was used instead. Or in Child’s Play 2 (1990), when the plot point of Chucky’s blood dripping into the molten plastic was originally going to create multiple evil Chucky dolls.

  • I loved the first 2 poltergeist movies. Also, I thought the guy who played Tyler in poltergeist 2 died of cancer shortly after the movie

  • there are other movies that are said to be cursed where all the actors died mysteriously. I forget what other movies got that story.

  • The reality is, Heather, the little blonde child, died of a bowel obstruction that went untreated till it was too late, and was caused by repeated anal rape. Now I wonder who would rape a child. Hmmmm, rumor has it that it was ________. Fill in the blank yourselves; I don't want to wind up like Isaac Kappy.

  • I hate it when a movie says "based on true events" when it was actually just inspired by said events. Inspiration is getting an idea; Nightmare on Elm Street was inspired by multiple people dying in their sleep from unknown causes.

    Imo movies (or any media) shouldn't be allowed to be advertised as being based on real events if it doesn't closely resemble what really happened. HBOs Chernobyl is a good example of something based on real events. It's not a completely accurate reenactment of the true events, but it closely follows them; the goal was to tell a mostly true story.

  • Poltergeist may not be haunted, but I can't help but feel sorry for that poor girl that she had to die at such a young age.

  • I don't about any "curses" but it is proven that the little girl from Poltergeist 1 and 2 was dead by the 3rd one, so that is why another kid is in the 3rd movie.

  • Many films have accidents on set. There are a lot of extenuating circumstances. Promoting departments use this for horror, and they get blown out of proportion.

  • I heard that MacBeth in all its incarnations is cursed because the writer and all of the original actors are all dead now. 😛

  • Well let's see, the little girl that played Carol Anne wound up dying very shortly after poltergeist 3, the young woman that played her sister in the first poltergeist wound up getting strangled by her boyfriend very shortly after the film.
    During filming the little boy claimed that when the clown chokes him out in his bedroom, he truly was unable to breathe due to a force around his throat.
    I'm just going to go ahead and say those films are cursed, ridiculous or not that's a lot of shit to try and explain away.

  • you didn't mention that it was rumored that anyone who saw the movie "the exorcist", would die within 4 years of seeing the movie.

  • Get your facts right! The Indian as well is dead. A total of nine people are dead who were associated with poltergeist.

  • Finally, a discussion about what I have been pointing out for years which could also have been a Mandela Effect; why it is everyone came to know the hunchback assistant as Igor when that was never his name.

    Also, it's interesting how people seem to put too much stock into a movie's claim to be "inspired by true events". I mean, all that means is that someone heard about something and came up with an idea.

  • DID YOU KNOW THAT ON THE SET OF POLTERGEIST STEVEN SPEILBERG ALSO MOLESTED AND SODOMIZED THAT LITTLE GIRL SO BAD THAT IT PUNCTURED AND INFECTED HER INSIDES LEADING TO HER DEATH. Yes Spielberg is apart of pedowood/pedogate and is one of the high ups who abused the two Coreys and many more children. And don't you dare comment bullshit. We all know this is what is going on in hollywood. Look at Weinstein, Epstein, Clinton, pizzagate. It's all happening before our eyes

  • Spielberg is a very hands on kinda guy, especially when it comes to young children! This Pedo scum Spielberg was a close fried of Jeffrey Epstein, and took many trips on the lolita Express to his pedo island. Dont believe me, look up the young actors he molested off set. Of course his tribe that runs all of our media, is covering for this piece of feces.

  • Marty Feildman (Spelling) in the Frankenstein movie with the weird eyes was caused by an over active thyroid … After his operation his eyes got bigger and weren't straight anymore….

  • Dear Grunge,
    Do your research. Zelda Rubinstein, one of the stars of Poltergeist, confirmed before her death that Steven Spielberg directed the movie. This was further confirmed by the brother of the film's cinematographer, who was on the set when it happened.

  • Ah hem… as far as the Poltergeist curse goes, Julian Beck already knew he was dying. Why no mention of Will Sampson (Taylor) then?

  • I believe that Lavey was actually a technical advisor for a film called The Devil's Rain. I never heard anything about him being a part of Rosemary's Baby.

  • Texas Chainsaw has a LOT connected to Ed Gein…. The mask, furniture and bowels from 💀 and bones and lampshades from human skin… Dude was SICK

  • Ok, I've always known/understood that "Based on", or 'Inspierd by" is a gross exaggeration. A bit like grandads' "when I was 8…", pregnant w/ embellishments. But I guess I was naive in thinking @ least some of those claims accurate loosely anyway. Doesn't it have 2 b? Isn't that illegal?!🙄 Lols So if 'Strangers' came from some child's imagination, they'd have 2 add that in 4 that claim 2 have ANY truth? Foiled again!!

  • While Hooper may deserve the lion's share of the directing credit, there nevertheless are scenes in Poltergeist that have that cutesy Spielberg touch to them.

  • Dwight Fry was probably one of the great character actors of his time, but he died at a young age, about 44, and never got the recognition he deserved.

  • In reference to Poltergeist using actual human skeletons. Could you imagine becoming a movie star after you're dead.
    Me… oh yeah my aunt played in the original Poltergeist.
    Friend….. Really, you don't say. Which character did she play?
    Me… She was the skeleton with the pearls around her neck that came flying out of a coffin.

  • Here is a fact NO ONE knows about Dracula. Bela Lugosi only played him twice: the original, and in an Abbott and Costello movie.

  • Poltergeist oozes Spielberg! He was just being nice when saying he deserved it….maybe tobe was behind the story and costumes more but it is clearly Spielberg when it comes to shots, family dynamic and overall vibe

  • What took you so long? Movies stated as based on "True Events" is just a hype for attention… Well what do you expect from a make believe industry..

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