20 Shocking Film Urban Legends You Won’t Believe
Have you ever watched a film and thought that there was more going on than it seemed? Whilst they’re there for our entertainment, there’s something about some movies which seems a little off, and try as we might, we just can’t shake the fact that something’s amiss. Well, it turns out that you might have been right all along. There are dozens of films out there with creepy urban legends attached to them. When the cameras are off, the story doesn’t stop and in these films, there’s much more going on behind the lens than you might have thought.
The Lion King
If you were born at any point during the ’90s, then the chances are that you have seen Disney classic The Lion King at one point or another. Did you know, however, that there is more to the film than meets the eye? In a nighttime scene, it is reported that you can read the letters S-E-X written in the dust, planted by a troublesome animator. Whilst studios claimed that it actually read S-F-X, the scene nonetheless provoked anger among conservative viewers.
The Wizard of Oz
The story of The Wizard of Oz is one of the most uplifting in all of cinema but unbeknownst to some, it is filled with sinister undertones. When Dorothy, the Scarecrow and the Tin Man walked down the yellow brick road, it is said that you could see a ghostly figure dangling in the distance. Some say that it was the body of one of the munchkin actors who hanged himself on set and whilst it has been argued over for decades, no-one really knows the truth.
Three Men And A Baby
Three men find their life turned over when they are left with the task of rearing an abandoned baby. Whilst a comedy at heart, Three Men and a Baby might have much more scary origins and in one scene, it is said that you could see the figure of a ghost in the background, watching from a behind a door.
The Omen could be the most terrifying film of all time but not for the reasons that you might have thought. Whilst the action on screen was scary, it is the things which happened away from the cameras which left the most lasting impact. Among other things, cast and crew were struck by lightning, airplanes were brought to the ground, locations were bombed and a special effects artist was killed. If there ever was a cursed film, then surely this is it.
Another ghostly film that is said to come with a heavy curse, Poltergeist has been terrifying people for years. According to reports, six cast members died during the making of the film in bizarre and unexplained ways. Whilst many people put it down to coincidence, there’s no denying the spookiness of the events.
For Your Eyes Only
The Bond girl is a ubiquitous part of the James Bond empire and many fans go to the movies simply to drool over the spy’s latest squeeze. Imagine the shock, then, when it was revealed that the bombshell in For Your Eyes Only might be something other than she claimed to be? According to reports, Caroline Cossey was in fact a man who had undergone a sex change, a fact which went unnoticed for many years.
When animators want to play tricks on their audiences, they go all out and even the most innocent of films aren’t safe. Disney classic The Rescuers is said to contain lewd images of woman in between shots, planted by rogue cast members. The studio even recalled over 3 million videotapes of the film in the ’90s in attempts to remove all traces of the images.
Back To The Future II
Whilst we might look back and laugh at some of ’80s movie Back To The Future‘s inventions, it turns out that it wasn’t all as crazy as might have thought. After the film was released, children begged their parents for one of Marty’s hoverboards, a product which cast and crew insisted was being kept under wraps from the general public.
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
One of the most gruesome horror films of all time, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre followed some of cinema’s most brutal murders. Terrifyingly enough, it was widely believed on the film’s release that the family in the narrative were real people and that much of the footage was taken from reality. Whilst we know now that this isn’t true, Leatherface was based on a number of real murderers, who violently attacked their victims.
Adventures of Superman
After various actors playing the role of Superman were involved in multiple, spooky accidents, viewers came to believe that the character is cursed. Actors who have played Superman have wound up in a number of terrifying disasters, one paralyzed by a horse and another tragically killed by gunshot. It was enough to put you off superheroes for life.
Despite being one of the most scary possession films of all time, The Exorcist was a lot more frightening behind the scenes than in front of the camera. During filming, it is said that the director himself underwent an exorcism, nine members of the production crew died, some of the cast were seriously injured and parts of the set burned down. Whilst attributed largely to coincidence, there’s no denying the fact that it all feels a little too spooky.
Stanley Kubrick’s winter nightmare The Shining is packed to the rafters with urban legends and conspiracy theories. In the rich imagery and dense film narrative, many viewers believe that they have spotted hidden messages, left behind by the director. Amongst the many theories, the favorite remains that Stanley Kubrick helped to fake the moon landings, a legend based in the various images of rockets, eagles and strange numbers which repeat throughout the film.
The Blair Witch Project
At the time of its release, The Blair Witch Project quickly became one of the most famous films in the world. The documentary style footage had rarely before been seen and lead many viewers to the conclusion that what was happening on screen was absolutely true. The production company tried to perpetuate the belief, too, creating marketing campaigns and websites which claimed the footage as genuine.
Most English speaking film lovers will know Japanese film Ringu as the hugely popular film The Ring but very few will realize its importance in Japanese culture. Released as a harmless horror film around the world, in its native country, the story is believed to replay events which actually happened. In many places, the belief in a haunted videotape making the rounds still holds true today.
Movie star Brandon Lee tragically died days after wrapping on the set of The Crow, a fact which shook many fans to the core. Creepier still, there are rumors that the director’s cut of the movie contained the actual footage of his death at the hands of a firearm. Whilst original copies of the film have since been destroyed, many hold firm in their beliefs.
There’s no denying the fact that gory horror Cannibal Holocaust is one of the most unpleasant films to ever have been made. Even more disturbingly, there are groups of viewers who claim that the gruesome film footage was completely real. To add fuel to the fire, the cast of the film were contractually forbidden from appearing on screen in any form for a year after release.
The tale of a young girl possessed by an evil spirit from a dybbuk box made headlines on its release after many viewers claimed that the story was true. The apparently haunted Jewish wine cabinet was said to contain malevolent spirits which overcome the object’s owner when opened. The film is said to be based on real events.
The Last Temptation of Christ
Martin Scorsese’s cinematic retelling of the final hours of Jesus Christ has gone down in film history as a classic. Apparently, though, the film has more to it than meets the eye. If you’re willing to take a closer look, you can see hidden imagery, unknown to Scorsese whilst he was filming. The final shot appeared to bleed into an image of Christ’s face, an effect that was apparently due to a stock malfunction.
Considered to be one of the greatest films ever to have been made, Apocalypse Now played out one of the most hellish trips ever undertaken in fictional history. Behind the camera, however, things weren’t much better. Constant typhoons, huge setbacks and serious accidents involving cast members lead many to believe that the film was cursed. Most frighteningly of all, star Martin Sheen suffered from a heart attack whilst the camera was rolling, an event which pushed many crew members over the edge.
The Twilight Zone: The Movie
The Twilight Zone looks at some of the creepiest stories out there, so it makes sense that the film was similarly shrouded in conspiracy. During filming, so many things started to go wrong that many came to believe the film was cursed. Most terrifyingly of all, cast members were involved in a freak helicopter crash which left three people dead and production heads in a complex and messy legal battle.