Barely five months after the first film was released, 22-year-old Dominique Dunne, who played the family’s teenage daughter, was tragically murdered by an abusive boyfriend.
Then, just a few months after leaving Poltergeist II, 60-year-old Julian Beck, who played Kane in the film, has died. Her film co-star Will Sampson, 53, died less than 18 months later.
Finally, once the shoot is finished, Poltergeist III, 12-year-old Heather O’Rourke, who played the youngest daughter in the family, Carol Anne, died unexpectedly of heart failure caused by an intestinal abnormality.
Because of these high-profile deaths and the films’ focus on supernatural entities who want to harm the living, the idea that the production was cursed spread in the 1980s, often with embellishments . For example, as Snopes points out, one version of the rumor claimed that Oliver Robbins, who played the other child in the family, had also died. However, he is still alive and working in the company.