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History repeating itself? 'Weird energy' haunted the set of ‘The Exorcist: Believer’

A scene from “The Exorcist”.

A scene from “The Exorcist”.

Published Sep 29, 2023


'The Exorcist: Believer' set was affected by a "weird energy" that influenced the horror movie.

The upcoming supernatural film is a direct sequel to the 1973 horror classic 'The Exorcist' in which Linda Blair starred as Regan MacNeil, a 12-year-old girl who is possessed by a demon.

The original movie was disturbed with supernatural goings-on during production, with the crew believing 'The Exorcist' set was haunted as the shoot was plagued with tragedies.

Before or soon after its release, nine people died that were associated with the movie, most notably Jack MacGowran - who played Burke Dennings - who passed away from influenza a month before the movie released.

Director David Gordon Green - who has helmed the Blumhouse Productions sequel - has now revealed that his shoot was affected by a "spiritual intensity" which made "s***" happen.

In an interview with SFX magazine, Green was asked whether there had been any supernatural experiences during the shoot, to which he replied: "I can’t say it wasn't, because when you get that type of spiritual intensity in a room – and I'm not just talking about the actors, and the characters or the subject matter, but the dolly grip, the boom operator, everybody's bringing an energy.

"I don't care what you believe in. When you get into a room with people with intensity, there's s*** that happens."

Other notable incidents on the set of William Friedkin's 'The Exorcist' included the set mysteriously burning down one day, and it was then covered in snow on another.

Ellen Burstyn - who played Chris MacNeil, the mother of the possessed Regan - suffered a permanent back injury filming a scene where her daughter throws her across the room.

Burstyn, 90, reprises her role as Chris in the sequel - which hits cinemas on October 13 - and shared her tales of paranormal activity with the filmmaker and the new cast.

Green, 48, insists that nothing happened on the scale of the cursed original, but there was a tangible spirituality on set and a tangible atmosphere caused by the subject matter they were dealing with.

He explained: "It wasn't in terms of the stuff you hear from the original film – Ellen tells those stories, some very passionately, some very humorously, some tragically – but there was undoubtedly some weird energy.

"There are not literal exciting stories to tell. It's not like an entity came out of the floors and visited us, but it was undeniable electricity happening.“

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