No horror movie list is complete without a mention of the most iconic and groundbreaking film, The Exorcist. It was not just the scariest film of the 70s but one of the highest grossing films of all time. They say that the film was so gory for that time that the theatres actually provided people with vomit bags and paramedics assistance when needed. And to add to the scare factor, this film was based on a true story of the demonic possession and exorcism of a boy, who was given a pseudonym "Roland Doe" or "Robbie Mannheim" in order to hide his real identity.
In order to convey the boy’s story, William Peter Blatty wrote the book The Exorcist where he tweaked the characters and wove a bone chilling story. This book was later made into a film by William Friedkin and then the rest is history. Everyone from the cast and crew of this film claimed that they felt the darkness surrounding them and it was definitely difficult for them to deal with the unexplained incidents that took place while making the film.
Back in the day, people believed what they saw, and all of that could be a big coincident or a sign that the dark forces were at play. Whatever it was, it definitely proved that there was something creepy about this film. Scroll down to read about the incidents.
The unexplained fire
The first set of this film had caught on fire and everything on the set except for Regan’s room, where most of the exorcism scenes were to be shot, was still intact. Due to this unexpected fire, the shooting of this film was delayed by six weeks.
Ellen Burstyn’s permanent spine injury
While shooting one of the the scenes in the film, Ellen got severely injured due to random malfunctioning of her harness. In that scene, she got pulled too quickly and landed herself on the coccyx with a great impact, which caused a permanent spinal injury. The screech that you hear in that scene is pure pain and real.
Two actors, Vasiliki Maliaros and Jack MacGowran, who were scripted to die in the film also died in real life during the post production stage of the film. Apart from that, seven other people associated with the cast and members of the crew died due to natural or unexplained causes before the release of the film.
A warning or a sign?
Jason Miller, who played Father Karras in the film, was approached by a priest on the street. The priest gave him a medallion and said this to him, “Reveal the devil for the trickster that he is, he will seek retribution against you or he will even try to stop what you are trying to do to unmask him.”
Linda Blair’s mental breakdown
Linda’s character in the film was absolutely intense and she had to be in that mind frame to portray that character. All of that got to her so much that it was rumored that she started having nervous breakdowns while filming.
The first time the film was screened at Rome, it was at a theatre located between two churches. On the day of the screening, there was torrential rain and a lightning storm brewing in the background to create that haunting effect. One of the 400-year-old crosses was also struck by the lightning and it fell right in the middle of the piazza.
While writing the book
The presence of the darkness was so strong that Blatty, while writing the book, experienced strange and supernatural activities such as things randomly levitating in the air. Was it late night writing or stress? None of us could explain it, but if you see a pattern, it has to mean something, doesn't it?