A while ago, we asked members of the BuzzFeed Community their creepiest behind-the-scenes movie and TV facts, and boy did they come through. Here are 26 genuinely unnerving dark Hollywood facts that freaked me out.
Oliver Robins, who played Robbie in Poltergeist, was actually being strangled in the clown scene.
The film Caine changed its name to Shark after a stunt person was killed by a shark during filming. They then used photos of the accident to promote the film.
In another stunt-gone-wrong, a stuntman named A. J. Bakunas died while filming a 323-foot fall in the 1979 film Steel. He was trying to beat a world record, and had previously done the same fall from a lower story. The footage is rumored to still be in the film.
The Lone Gunmen predicted not only 9/11 but also conspiracy theories about its cause.
Also in relation to 9/11 — the Master of Disguise cast and crew were apparently informed of the events while filming the turtle scene. After a moment of silence, they continued filming.
This one’s more weird than creepy, but…Paris Hilton’s sex tape contains a tribute to 9/11. Just wanted to put that out there. You go into the tape thinking about the thousands that died in the terrorist attack.
Isla Fisher almost drowned for real while filming the water tank scene in Now You See Me.
And that scene in Poltergeist when Diane falls in the muddy pool, only to find herself surrounded by skeletons? Well, turns out they were real human skeletons — which no one told actor JoBeth Williams about.
Speaking of Poltergeist — both daughters from the first film died young. Heather O’Rourke died of intestinal stenosis at age 12, and Dominique Dunne was murdered in a case of domestic violence.
Judith Eva Barsi, the child actor who most famously voiced Ducky in Land Before Time, was murdered by her father at the age of 10.
Two young children and a veteran actor were killed when a helicopter crashed into them on the set of Twilight Zone: The Movie.
This Pearl Harbor scene from Tora! Tora! Tora! featuring people running from an exploding plane happened by accident. This wasn’t supposed to happen, and the stunt people running from the flames were really running for their lives.
A creepy Sesame Street segment from the ’70s called “Cracks” was lost until a man named Jon Armond began to search for it after remembering being traumatized by it as a kid. After years of searching, he received a fax from an unknown, untraceable number promising to send him the segment as long as he agreed never to screen it in public, post it online, or send it to anyone else. He agreed and found a copy of the segment in his mailbox.
The ending of the thriller Sliver almost caused the death of three people when they accidentally crashed into a volcano.
The set for the home of Regan and her mother in The Exorcist mysteriously burned down before filming one morning. However, Regan’s bedroom set was apparently untouched.
Another Exorcist one for ya — in one scene where Ellen Burstyn’s character is thrown to the ground, she actually permanently injured her back. The take was still used in the film.
And one more — Paul Bateson, an extra who played a radiological technologist in The Exorcist, was later convicted of the murder of film critic Addison Verrill.
A contestant on the popular game show The Dating Game also turned out to be a killer — Rodney Alcala, who won his episode (though ended up being rejected for a date). Alcala was a serial killer who would end up being convicted for seven murders — and suspected of many more.
A contestant on Megan Wants a Millionaire and I Love Money 3, Ryan Jenkins, also later turned out to be a killer — in fact, just after the latter show finished filming, his wife’s dead body was found. It was soon discovered he had a history of assault, which apparently his background check hadn’t uncovered.
Jim Caviezel was struck by lightning while filming The Passion of the Christ — in which he played Jesus. Assistant director Jan Michelini was struck by lightning twice. Neither were injured.
Three members of the cast and crew of The Omen were also plagued by strange lightning while filming.
And special effects artist John Richardson was in a car crash that decapitated his assistant a year after doing the makeup for The Omen‘s decapitation scene.
Stunt person Alf Joint — who had worked on The Omen — was seriously injured filming a routine roof-jumping stunt on the film A Bridge Too Far. In the hospital, he said it felt as if he’d been pushed.
Though the film did not include it, the No Country for Old Men novel featured the line, “Here a while back in San Antonio they shot and killed a federal judge.” This was likely referring to Charles Harrelson’s 1979 murder of Judge John Howland Wood. Charles Harrelson’s son? Woody Harrelson, who was one of the film’s stars.
And finally, The Simpsons has predicted a lot over the years, which the creators feel is mostly just educated guessing. However, they have no real explanation for this creepy brochure Lisa holds that seems to be a reference to 9/11…in an episode that aired in 1997.
What behind-the-scenes Hollywood facts always freak YOU out? Let us know in the comments!