Why Some Believe There's a 'Poltergeist Curse' — And Why This Star Is Calling BS

Oliver Robins, the only child from the original still alive, reflects on the "tragedies" surrounding the film.

Since the original “Poltergeist” film came out in 1982, those involved in the making of the series have found their names associated with a so-called “curse” following a string of tragedies.

So Hollywood legend goes, the movie was cursed after real skeletons were allegedly used during production — and, not long after its release, terrible things started to happen.

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Months after the movie premiered, star Dominique Dunne — who played teen Dana Freeling — was strangled by her ex-boyfriend, fell into a coma and died days later at the age of 22. In “Poltergeist II: The Other Side,” her character was written out by being sent to college.

For the second film, Julian Beck — who played the evil Kane — died of stomach cancer before post-production had completed. Star Will Sampson, who allegedly performed an exorcism on set, also died two years after that film was released at the age of 53.

And then there’s Heather O’Rourke, who starred as little Carol Anne in all three films.

The young actress was misdiagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in 1987, and was given cortisone injections while filming the third film. In January 1988, she suffered two cardiac arrests and died of congenital stenosis of the intestine, complicated by septic shock. She was only 12.

O’Rourke died during post-production for the third movie, before a planned new finale for it had been shot. In the end, the filmmakers shot something that didn’t really feature Carol Ann, and used a double for Heather for the last moments. The movie was dedicated to her.

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When the third film came out, star Zelda Rubinstein called the talk of a “Poltergeist curse” nothing but “superstitious crap,” but the legend never truly subsided. So much so that star Oliver Robins, who played son Robbie, was just asked about it in a new interview.

“I hope there isn’t a curse, because I’m still around,” Robins, the sole surviving child star from the original movie, told Yahoo! Entertainment.

“I do believe in the paranormal to some degree, but I don’t think there’s a curse because those deaths can be explained,” he added. “You had these tragedies happen, but they were going to happen whether [the actors] were in the movie or not. Like with Heather, she had a medical condition for which she wasn’t treated. So I don’t think they are interconnected.”

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He also opened up about how hard it was to lose O’Rourke when she died.

“I hadn’t really lost that many people in my life at that point, and I was so close with her. She was my buddy, and used to stay over at my house,” he said. “I didn’t know anything was wrong with her. It was such a horrible tragedy, and I honestly didn’t know how to deal with it. It was kind of a turning point in my life where it made me wake up to that reality that life is finite and every day is truly precious.”

“Cursed Films” did a really good job diving into the co-called “Curse” surrounding the films in 2020. It’s currently streaming on Shudder.

“Poltergeist,” meanwhile, is streaming on HBO Max.

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