Spookier Than Fiction!
I saw the original 1976 The Omen on television ironically one stormy night when l was the only one in the family home, my parents and Sister were away on holiday. I think l was around 19, and despite even then being a horror buff it affected me quite significantly, you will read why when the Ghostly Tales series starts in earnest in the next few months. I recall with a deep concern sleeping with the lights on that night! Even though l own the film, l still cannot watch it , and that is not specifically due to the fact that l am no longer as sturdy as l once was with this genre, it is purely down to dark memories of my own a couple of years before l sat and watched it that night.
For years film sets dealing in the supernatural have become haunted and filled to the brim with unsettling events, accidents and mysteries and The Omen wasn’t let off either. This film is oft talked of as having a ‘curse’ or a jinx attached to it due to the strangeness of certain events which left crew and actors alike with a morbid sense of being haunted long after filming finished.
The Omen was released on 6th June 1976 and many already saw the notorious 6.6.6 present there alone which could have been seen as both an invitation and a temptation to the Dark Lord himself. Did Satan step on board the film set alongside Gregory Peck, Lee Remick and David Warner? After-all it was suggested that the Devil had assisted with the likes of Rosemary’s Baby, Poltergeist and Amityville and a host of others, so why leave The Omen free?
What are the facts?
Curse or Coincidence?
1] Gregory Peck’s son committed suicide two months before filming began in 1975 by shooting himself in the head.
2] The plane that Gregory Peck was due to take for filming in England crashed and all on board perished. Peck ONLY escaped death due to him cancelling his reservation.
3] Days later the producer of the film itself Mace Neufeld experienced a lightning strike on the aircraft he was on and he too nearly crashed to his death in the Atlantic ocean. Neufeld described the incident as the ‘roughest five minutes’ he had ever experienced during flying.
4] Scriptwriter David Seltzer’s plane was also struck by lighning as it crossed the Atlantic.
5] The concept of the film itself was created by non film maker Robert Munger, a devout Christian, who in the early days of production called an urgent meeting with the production team heads and gave a warning to be heeded with this “The devil’s greatest single weapon is to be invisible, and you’re going to take off his cloak of invisibility to millions of people.”
6] One of the original opening sequences planned for the movie itself was to involve an aerial shot of London which were to be taken from a rented plane. For whatever reason on the day of the shoot itself the rental company switched aircraft and instead rented out the first plane to a group of japanese buinessmen – that plane with the businessmen crashed killing all on board!
7] Producer Harvey Bernhard escaped being struck by lightning whilst filming in Rome, after which he carried a cross on the set. He was quoted as saying “The devil was at work and he didn’t want that film made.”
8] The animal handler [Sidney Bamford] responsible for helping to create the ‘crazy baboon scene’ was attacked and eaten alive by a tiger not long after filming finished.
9] The set designer for the 1976 film John Richardson created the scene where David Warner who played Keith Jennings was decapitated by a pane of glass that shoots out of the back of a van. The same year he and his assistant Liz Moore were involved in a head on collision in Holland where upon Moore lost her life after being cut in half by the other vehicle in a spookily similiar way that the set designer had created for the film itself. It happened on Friday 13th near a road sign that read Ommen 66.6 km.
So what do you think?