The Omen's Spooky Real-Life Curse That Haunted The Set

Listen, cursed film sets are nothing new. Movies have seemingly been plagued by misfortune since the very first time a director yelled, "Action!" Some of the most famous cursed films are "Poltergeist" where people in the cast died horrible deaths spanning anything from unfortunate medical misdiagnoses to gruesome murder; "The Crow" where the star of the film, Brandon Lee, was accidentally shot dead during a scene involving a prop gun; and "Rosemary's Baby," which experienced multiple freak deaths in addition to the brutal murder of director Roman Polanski's then-girlfriend, Sharon Tate.

Many of these films have dark elements to them, and can even be categorized as horror, which has led to a lot of speculation over why so much evil seems to visit these sets. "The Omen," a 1976 film directed by Richard Donner, is one of these films. "The Omen" tells the story of Richard (Gregory Peck) and Katherine (Lee Remick) Thorn. When Katherine's own child dies during birth, Richard makes the brilliant decision to accept a chaplain's proposition to just adopt a different child who has lost his own mother to childbirth. Brilliant idea, Richard, truly! What could ever go wrong? This plan, as expected, does not go well considering the fact that the child Richard chooses also just happens to be the Antichrist reincarnated into the body of a young boy whom they name Damien. As one would expect in these sorts of situations, the family is subsequently afflicted by a lot of death and misery. Such is the way of the Devil. 

But the onscreen death seems to have also bled out onto the real world film set. Could it be that the Devil was not just a plot device in "The Omen" after all? 

Even In the Real World, It's Still All For You, Damien!

When I say that a lot of weird and upsetting things happened during the filming of "The Omen," I really mean it. For starters, the person responsible for training and handling the baboons during that extremely memorable zoo trip was mauled to death by a tiger the day after shooting the scene. The movie also had bad luck with the Rottweilers that appear at the cemetery to terrorize Robert and his friend Keith Jennings. They were so poorly behaved during filming that their trainer wasn't able to control them. The dogs were uncharacteristically wild that day, and they caused injuries to people on set, leading many to wonder if they were actually possessed by a little 666 magic themselves.

Some of the more well-known issues during filming happened to actor Gregory Peck and the film's writer David Seltzer. Both Peck and Seltzer flew in airplanes (on completely separate days), and both planes got struck by lightning. I looked it up, and apparently, planes getting struck by lightning is not that uncommon, but even so. What are the odds, right? Thankfully, these lightning strikes didn't cause any real issues, but it still sounds like a terrifying experience.

Poor Peck had an even scarier brush with death, though, after he canceled his flight on a plane that ended up crashing and killing everyone on board. But the creepiest part of this plane crash is that the plane itself apparently tumbled out of the sky only to land on top of a car that just so happened to be carrying some of the pilot's family members. That's some crazy "Final Destination" s*** right there. While I'm sure Peck was freaked out over this brush with death, the pilot, his family, and the rest of the passengers are the true victims of the "Omen" curse here. 

But the most rattling occurrence happened to the one of the film's special effects workers. The man who designed the classic (and killer) beheading of Jennings was later involved in a horrible car accident that actually beheaded his very own wife. At this point, I'm pretty sure it's safe to say that this tragic accident alone is enough to convince anyone that Damien is really out there and ready to ruin us all.