3 Top Scary Facts About 'The Exorcist' You Didn't Know (Unless the Devil Possessed You)
After reading these, you'd have to wonder if there are dark forces in play (and it's no wonder that three states in America consider the movie the most popular of the horror genre!).
You won't find a more iconic film—The Exorcist. And that's for good reason. After all, this was a film heralded as an Oscar winner for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Sound Mixing, and a few Golden Globes to boot. Which of those Globes did the movie win? Try Best Motion Picture, Best Supporting Actress, Best Screenplay, and Best Director.
Those are heavy accolades for a slick horror film about a girl puking and spinning the head to face off against a couple priests. Typically, these days you see a demon possession film like that with the wicked CGI, and you're put off automatically and the feature goes into the trash of classic B-horror flicks from Hell with no creativity or sense of invention, right?
Yet, William Peter Blatty and William Friedkin did the impossible: they created a masterpiece.
But who knew that such a masterpiece would come with its own real terrors...
Behind-the-scenes action has its own spectacle. You may have heard of some from other classic films. But without a doubt, The Exorcist represents some of the most chilling happenings to ever grace storytelling in ways that may give you nightmares for a while.
After all, to make a film like this.... you definitely have to, how do you say, get into the roles and really act it out. And it showed. These are the top three facts about the film that might shock you and make your own head spin.
The power of Christ compels you.
Linda Blair got so many death threats that she needed armed bodyguards at her house every day.
Of course, the death threats she received were from religious zealots of all kinds, wanting to purge her of the evil inside her. After all, The Exorcist was a real life account of a kid facing off with the devil. Happens to anyone.
It's true—Blair was only 14-years-old when the film hit the theaters in the states, but death threats and "blessings" were aplenty, so much so that Warner Brothers had to hire some armed police bodyguards to accompany her and her family 24/7. Sheesh. The chaos didn't stop as Blair was still continually harassed through the sequels, forcing her parents to hide her with some friends living in Vermont, New Jersey, and Connecticut.
Director William Friedkin often fired guns just to startle his actors.
Honestly, iconic director William Friedkin had to have been possessed as well. There were some things he did that made you question the man's sanity—especially after directing the horrible The Island of Dr. Moreau. He was a terror not only on-screen, directing the story on camera—but off-screen in many ways. Most notably, though... He liked to get real reactions from his cast by consistently firing a gun in the air. Randomly.
Imagine that 14-year-old with the death threats, and you can bet it spells trouble, potentially causing CIA agents to make it a federal matter. DC would have their hands full, no doubt.... which makes sense as to why Washington D.C. views the film this way.
Mysterious deaths occurred during or immediately after the filming of the movie.
Nothing, though, compares to the fact that the film carried with it this bizarre curse of the undead. We're not kidding. Strange deaths littered the production of the film and the immediate screening of it, and you'll be blown away as to which deaths...
For starters, actors Jack MacGowran and Vasiliki Maliaros died shortly after the film wrapped. MacGowran mysteriously died of the flu whereas Maliaros died of just "natural causes." Makes you wonder.... To make it even worse, Blair's grandfather died during the filming (not something a granddaughter wants to hear while practically playing Satan!). And actor Max Von Sydow's brother also died during the production of the movie.
Ready to be spooked even more? The one last death to mortify the most may give you the most chills: son of Mercedes McCambridge was another actor in the film, and he ended up murdering his own wife and two daughters right before committing suicide due to the accusation of fraud in November of 1987.
Guess who that actor played? The actual voice of the demon possessing Blair's character.
That would freak anyone out as an actor, don't you think?
It would freak any actor to want to go to Hawaii. Or the Bahamas. We jest, of course, as we would believe any of these to be mere coincidence... but what if it wasn't?? What if the devil really was at play in the filming of a movie designed to scare the ever-loving crap out of you?
Horror certainly had its place among the frightened minds of the many. But would you like to know what other films ranked way up there all over America? Just CLICK HERE AND FIND OUT.
I am an author, adventurer, and father, living with my wife, four daughters and one son in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I've trekked through tundras, waded through swamps, wandered through deserts, and swam in the Great Barrier Reef.