Was the ‘Jurassic Park’ cast haunted? Everything you want to know
There have been many film sets said to be “haunted” or “cursed” over the years due to mysterious accidents, unexplained phenomena, or terrible deaths. On the set of the first Jurassic Park movie in 1992 the cast and crew went through a traumatic experience that haunted them forever.
It was during the last days of filming on Hawaii’s Kauai Island that a huge hurricane, named Hurricane Iniki, ripped through the set. The sheer ferocity of the wind & rain caused the film cast & crew to fear whether they would make it through the storm. Here are all the details of the terrifying night the Jurassic Park cast & crew spent in the storm.
Setting the scene
The setting for the park itself in Jurassic Park needed somewhere lush & green and it was decided that Hawaii was the perfect location. Upon arriving on Kauai Island, the cast & crew gathered at a waterfall the day before filming to attend a Hawaiian ceremony meant to bless the production.
For the most part, the filming goes on without a hitch, beyond the usual forced pauses while the crew waited out the rainfalls that are common in Hawaii. What the film crew didn’t know was that the time of the year, in early September, was known for hurricanes.
It was on September 11, 1992 that the cast & crew of Jurassic Park woke up to a storm warning. Filming was canceled and actor Sam Neil recalls feeling at first glad to have a day off before he realized how serious the storm would become.
In the eye of the storm
The cast & crew hunkered down in the ballroom to ride out the storm. Since a film crew is highly resourceful by necessity, everything from generators & lights to craft service was made available to everyone. Steven Spielberg decided to get some shots of the hurricane, images that were ultimately used in the Jurassic Park’s storm scenes.
Spielberg and a small crew got their shots but were forced to retreat to shelter once the waves grew to twenty-five feet. Then Hurricane Iniki hit the island at full force with driving rains and winds that reached 145 miles per hour. Stunt coordinator Gary Hymes described the sound of the wind as “twelve freight trains barreling down on you.” Inside the ballroom the chandelier shook, the building shuddered, and water began to seep in.
Steven Spielberg turned his attention to the children and kept them entertained by playing cards and telling them ghost stories. At one point Gary Hymes went outside to check the weather updates on a battery radio and was almost lifted off the ground. Hymes was only saved by the foresight he had to strap himself into a safety harness beforehand.
Hurricane Iniki raged all day, leaving Kauai around six in the evening. When the cast & crew emerged they saw that the island had been utterly ravaged by the storm. The multi-million dollar set they had built for Jurassic Park had been completely washed away.
A strange fact from the movie was that actor Richard Attenborough never went down to the ballroom but slept through the whole thing in his room. When asked by Speilberg how he managed it the actor replied, “Dear boy, I survived the blitz!”.
The aftermath of Hurricane Iniki, which is known to be the most powerful hurricane to strike Hawaii in recorded history, left the island with no running water, electricity, or access to flights. The film crew used their resources to help out the island as much as they could, even working to clear the roads & distributing their leftover food supplies.
The hurricane meant that a sequence in Jurassic Park featuring Samuel L. Jackson running from the velociraptors had to be scrapped. Despite the damage to the sets, Jurassic Park managed to stay on schedule and the film went on to become one of the most successful films of its time.