The 'Omen' Curse — Inside the Iconic Horror Film's Mysterious Succession of Bad Luck

"The Omen" is one of the most haunted films ever made. The trouble began before it ever went into production. Take a look at the true story behind this film.

A frightening description of "The Omen" shows how the Antichrist will pour down upon humanity. There are also rumors that the movie unleashed quite a devil-like atmosphere on its cast and creators. 

Having seen the success of "The Exorcist," a dark and frightening story that revolutionized the horror genre, producer Harvey Bernhard was confident that "The Omen" would be a smash hit.

Lee Remick, Gregory Peck, and Harvey Stephens, in a scene from the 1976 movie "The Omen." | Photo: Getty Images

Lee Remick, Gregory Peck, and Harvey Stephens, in a scene from the 1976 movie "The Omen." | Photo: Getty Images

THE CAST

"The Omen" featured an impressive cast, including acclaimed stars Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, David Warner, and child actor Harvey Stephens as the Antichrist himself, Damien Thorn.

Stephens told a 2007 interviewer he was picked from 500 child actors for the role after two interviews at the age of five. He, however, had a short film career, and after graduation, he went to work in the City.

Several planes were then set ablaze, including the plane carrying Peck and screenwriter David Seltzer.

Gregory Peck pictured in the 1950's. | Photo: Getty Images

Gregory Peck pictured in the 1950's. | Photo: Getty Images

THE FILM'S REPUTATION

Bernhard might not have envisioned the bizarre episodes that would later be associated with the movie, earning "The Omen" the reputation as one of the most cursed productions ever made.

Before "The Omen" was even a movie idea, Bernhard had received a serious warning. Bob Munger, an advertising executive, reportedly approached him about an antichrist idea.

Munger explained to Bernhard his cautious concept. The latter said, "He warned us that he thought the devil didn't want us to make the picture. And that we would have problems."

Lee Remick in New York, New York, circa 1975. | Photo: Getty Images

Lee Remick in New York, New York, circa 1975. | Photo: Getty Images

THE BIZARRE OCCURRENCES

In June 1975, Peck's son, Jonathan Peck, killed himself with a bullet to the head, two months before filming was to start. Several strange events then surrounded the production.

For protection on the set of "The Omen," Bernhard wore a Coptic cross. In an interview, Bernhard spoke about the production's eerie events, which included the death of an animal trainer.

Precisely one day after they shot the sequence involving the baboons at the animal center, Bernhard said that a tiger seized the animal trainer by the head, causing his death immediately.

Harvey Stephens stands in a cemetery of cross-shaped tombstones in a promotional still from the 1976 film, "The Omen." | Photo: Getty Images

Harvey Stephens stands in a cemetery of cross-shaped tombstones in a promotional still from the 1976 film, "The Omen." | Photo: Getty Images

In another incident, the special effects man was working in Belgium when something tragic happened. When he and his girlfriend were traveling, he was involved in an accident, and the girl was beheaded.

Several planes were also set ablaze, including the plane carrying Peck and screenwriter David Seltzer. Meanwhile, Bernhard said they had to land in Nova Scotia after flying back from England. He added:

"We had the film on board... Dick [Donner] and I were very, very nervous."

David Warner and Gregory Peck in a scene from the 1976 movie "The Omen." | Photo: Getty Images

David Warner and Gregory Peck in a scene from the 1976 movie "The Omen." | Photo: Getty Images

MORE LIES AHEAD

IRA bombs ripped through a hotel, in which executive producer Mace Neufeld and his wife stayed, and another in which prominent executives and stars, including Peck, were to have dinner.

Once filming ended, the curse followed both the actors and technicians to a variety of new projects. These stories and others surrounding "The Omen" have been compiled into a documentary.

David Warner and Gregory Peck in a scene from the 1976 movie "The Omen." | Photo: Getty Images

David Warner and Gregory Peck in a scene from the 1976 movie "The Omen." | Photo: Getty Images

A SMASH SUCCESS

A huge box office hit, "The Omen," cost just $2.8 million to make but earned $48 million in profits. The film brought a positive change in the fortunes of a struggling 20th Century Fox.

"The Omen" also marked a significant step up for television director Richard Donner, who would go on to direct several successful shows, including "Superman," "The Goonies," and the "Lethal Weapon" series.

Gregory Peck and Harvey Stephens in a scene from the 1976 movie "The Omen." | Photo: Getty Images

Gregory Peck and Harvey Stephens in a scene from the 1976 movie "The Omen." | Photo: Getty Images

Meanwhile, due to the fact that "The Omen" frightened millions of people in America, subsequent sequels were rushed into production. In 1978, "Damien: The Omen" II appeared on the market.

The studio was again looking for strange incidents that could be used to boost the film's profits. Until this day, a debate continues concerning whether there is any truth to the concept of an "Omen curse." 

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