Who ever thought a Super Bowl poster could be so chilling?
The Tobe Hooper-directed Poltergeist, one of the best supernatural horror movies ever made, was released in the summer of 1982, the year of the 16th annual Super Bowl. I bring this up because in the film, alongside Alien and Star Wars posters in Robbie and Carol Anne’s bedroom, is a Super Bowl poster. But it’s not advertising Super Bowl XVI or even the following year’s event.
It’s a poster for 1988’s Super Bowl XXII, which at the time was six years away.
Okay, so that’s pretty odd. Why would a 1982 movie feature a prop poster for the 1988 Super Bowl? I honestly have no idea. But here’s where this stops being strange and starts being creepy.
Super Bowl XXII took place on January 31st, 1988, six years after the release of Poltergeist… the very same day that franchise star Heather O’Rourke fell ill. On that day, she began vomiting and couldn’t keep any food down, and while preparing to leave for the hospital the next morning, she collapsed. En route to the hospital, the young actress suffered cardiac arrest (later revealed to be caused by septic shock due to intestinal stenosis), and she unfortunately died later that day at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, California.
The location of Super Bowl XXII? San Diego, California.
Some fans believe that the bizarre Super Bowl poster, which seemed to in some way predict the tragic death of Heather O’Rourke, is connected to the so-called “Poltergeist Curse,” and in fact it may be the single strongest piece of evidence to suggest that there’s something to the alleged curse. Or perhaps, and this is the more likely explanation, it was just a strange coincidence.
Unsettling, to say the very least.