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12 secrets about popular horror movies

If Halloween typically finds you curled up on the sofa with a bowl of popcorn in hand and a favorite scary movie all set to play, you may be interested to learn some behind-the-scenes horror movie trivia. Certain movies may have turned out entirely different if they had starred different actors, and special effects may not seem so scary if you know what's actually behind them. Here are 12 interesting horror movie tidbits in honor of Halloween.

1. Few movies are shot in the order the scenes play out in the final cut. However, "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" was filmed in chronological order.

2. Johnny Depp is known for taking on some eccentric roles, including Edward Scissorhands. However, Tom Cruise was initially offered the title role in that film, ultimately turning it down because he wanted a happier ending.

3. Jack Nicholson evoked fear in many in his role in "The Shining." But Robin Williams and Robert De Niro also were considered to play the part. Interestingly, Nicholson also was considered for the role of Hannibal Lecter in "Silence of the Lambs," a role ultimately played by Anthony Hopkins.

4. Tim Curry's real hair was used in his role as Pennywise the Clown in "It."

5. Chocolate syrup has often been used as blood in horror movies. Bosco(R) brand chocolate syrup was used in "Night of the Living Dead." In the movie "Psycho," chocolate sauce was used because it appeared more realistic in black-and-white filming during the famous shower scene.

6. The symbolic white mask that Michael Myers wears in "Halloween" is actually a mask of William Shatner. The production crew bought the cheapest mask they could find at a party store and spray-painted it white.

7. Long before Andrew Lloyd Webber turned "The Phantom of the Opera" into one of the most successful musicals of all time, it was a movie called "The Phantom" based on Gaston Leroux's book. The Phantom's name is Erik, and he was a construction worker who helped build the Paris Opera House.

8. Almost 50 gallons of fake blood were used while shooting the movie "Scream."

9. "The Blair Witch Project" took eight days to shoot and had a miniscule budget but went on to gross $140 million domestically.

10. "Carrie" was the first Stephen King book adapted to film.

11. In the film "Stir of Echoes," Kevin Bacon's hypnosis sequences are followed by a musical note so viewers were not left in a hypnotized state.

12. Father O'Malley, the priest who played Father Dyer in "The Exorcist," was involved in the case that inspired the movie. He claims the plot is based on an exorcism of a young boy in Maryland and that the movie is 80 percent factual.

LaGrange News