On February 1, 1988 actress Heather O’Rourke, of the three original Poltergeist movies, died of cardiac arrest caused by septic shock. Originally misdiagnosed in 1987 as having Crohn’s disease, O’Rourke was actually suffering from a congenital intestinal stenosis. She expired on the operating table, as surgeons worked desperately to remove an acute bowel obstruction.
She was 12. It was four months before the release of Poltergeist III, and before post-production on the film could be completed.
Was the Poltergeist franchise “cursed”? And if we can make that determination…what does “cursed” really mean?