19 Horror Movie Facts Way Scarier Than the Movies They're About
These classic horror movies are already scary, but these behind-the-scenes facts make them a lot more terrifying.
Spoiler alert, obviously.
1. "The Ring"
The flashes at the beginning and end of the film show the deadly tape in its entirety, just at high speed. If you play the whole movie in slow motion, frame by frame, you can see the whole tape being played.
2. "Texas Chainsaw Massacre"
This one takes the cake for most disturbing. The human skeleton at the end of the movie spooked the audience, sure, but even creepier? It's not a fake. It's a real human skeleton, bought from India.
3. Bram Stoker's "Dracula"
There's a scene where Dracula turns into a bat-like creature and flies away. Gary Oldman, the actor, didn't feel like the scene was all that scary. To make sure the other actors looked properly terrified, Oldman whispered something — no one knows what — into each of their ears. It was something apparently awful, because they all nailed the look of horror.
Doug Bradley was ignored at the post-production party and felt really bad about it. He wasn't being snubbed, though. It was just that no one had seen him without his Pinhead makeup, and they didn't recognize him.
5. "Paranormal Activity"
The first film was so successful at spooking Steven Spielberg so badly, he had to finish it in the morning. The authenticity of the actors comes from the fact that the movie didn't have a script; the actors were given general directions and ad-libbed their lines.
While most directors on this list worked to make their sets more scary to elicit more genuine responses from their actors, Eli Roth had to make his set a little more cozy. This splatter film was shot in an abandoned psychiatric hospital in the Czech Republic, known for housing very violent patients.
Since the atmosphere was already creepy, Roth toned it down for his actors and crew by playing chamber music. What a guy.
Heather O'Rourke, 7, completely fell apart from fear during the scene where she had to hang onto the headboard in a vortex of wind. This was the only time she was scared on set.
Filming stopped, and producer Steven Spielberg personally comforted her.
8. "Interview with the Vampire"
The vampiric characters' features prominent blue veins to make them look translucent and deathly. To achieve this, the actors hung upside down for a while before getting into makeup. This made the blood rush to their heads, so their actual veins could be traced.
9. "The Exorcist"
To get the visible clouds of breath in the bathroom scene, the room was kept near-freezing. This was very uncomfortable for actress Linda Blair, who was wearing only a thin nightgown.
She put on a good show, though — her delivery of her profanity-laced lines so startled Max von Sydow that he temporarily forgot his own lines.
10. "Night of the Living Dead"
A lot of the zombies in the film are not actually actors. Rumor has it that the Macgruder zombie in the beginning of the movie was a guy director Tom Savini found in a diner.
He basically said, "Hey, you'd look great as a zombie. Wanna be in my movie?" The rest is history.
Those are real bees in Tony Todd's mouth. The only thing preventing him from swallowing them was a mouthguard, and the only thing preventing them from stinging was his serious sense of calmness.
The movie was actually based on a novel of the same name. In the original material, Norman Bates is described as a squat, older man who is decidedly unattractive.
Hitchcock wanted to subvert this, and hired the young and handsome Anthony Perkins instead.
13. "The Omen"
Originally, everyone was supposed to die at the end, including the spawn of Satan. After some deliberation, the studio head decided that you can never really kill the devil, so the ending has evil
14. "Rocky Picture Horror Show"
With no heat and no bathrooms, the set of "Rocky Horror" sounds scarier than the movie. Susan Sarandon complained about the cold set, but was essentially told to suck it up.
She caught pneumonia after the swimming pool scene.
15. "The Fog"
One scene features the name "H. Hawks" carved on a wall. Everyone freaked out trying to determine the symbolism behind it, but it turns out it was just a shoutout to director Jon Carpenter's own favorite director, Howard Hawks.
16. "A Nightmare on Elm Street"
Wes Craven went through a few stuntmen looking for someone to play Freddy Kruger and finally decided on Robert Englund. Englund, not used to anything stuntlike, cut his hand very badly when first getting aquainted with the bladed Freddy glove.
17. "The Shining"
Actress Shelley Duvall spent almost the entire movie in a state of hysteria, with a lot of crying. So much so, that she had to keep a lot of water bottles on set to keep from getting dehydrated.
18. "The Conjuring"
In the Philippines, some theaters hired priests to bless moviegoers after some people complained they felt a "negative presence" after watching the film.
Really? That's why it's called a horror film, y'all.
Michael Myers has his name because it was Jon Carpenter's way of saying thanks to the European distributor of his previous film. Kind of weird way to honor someone, but it did make Michael Myers a household name.