The Poltergeist Curse is a rumored curse surrounding the three
infamous Poltergeist films of 1982, 1986, and 1988. The rumor of the
curse surrounded the deaths of several actors, two of which were very
Dominique Dunne, who played the big sister Dana
Freeling in the first film died at the age of 22 in November 1982, only
months after the film’s June release. Her abusive ex boyfriend
strangled her into a coma which ultimately caused her death several days
O’Rourke, who played Carol Anne Freeling in all three movies, died at
the very young age of 12 in February 1988 of septic shock, most likely
caused by complications related to her Crohn’s Disease. Poltergeist III
had not been released yet at the time of her death.
other two deaths were not nearly as surprising or tragic (due to the
young ages of the earlier two actors), but since they occurred around
the times of the movie releases they became further proof of the curse.
Julian Beck, the evil spirit Kane from Poltergeist II, died
at the age of 60 in September 1985 after an 18 month battle with stomach
cancer, seven months before the movie’s release.
Sampson, the good spirit Taylor from Poltergeist II, died at the age of
53 in June 1987. He had received a heart-lung transplant 6 weeks prior
and his death was likely caused by per-operative malnutrition and
post-operative kidney failure and infection. Although these two actors
had known health problems before their deaths, they still died at
relatively young ages.