BySarah Gibson, writer at
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Sarah Gibson

As the mega successful Paranormal Activity movies continue to scare the crap out of us, let's take a look at some of the insane real-life facts surrounding the franchise. What, you didn't really think that the guys behind Paranormal Activity would do things by the book, did you?

Here are 13 of the most mind-bending Paranormal Activity facts out there...

1. The original ending to Paranormal Activity was changed at the suggestion of Steven Spielberg.

He overruled a scene where cops came into the house and shot the knife-wielding Katie dead...

2. Most of the acting was improvised.

No scripts were given out, only guidelines on how to behave or what to discuss in their scenes.

‘Paranormal Activity’ [Credit: Paramount Pictures]
‘Paranormal Activity’ [Credit: Paramount Pictures]

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3. Paranormal Activity director Oren Peli got the idea for the movie from a personal experience.

Late at night he was sleeping and a box of detergent fell off the shelf. He says the box was pushed too far back for it to just tilt and fall.

4. Because the crews are so small and filming location so narrow, many sound effects are added later in post-production.

This forces the actors to react to imaginary bumps and bangs in the night!

5. After the success of Paranormal Activity, Brian De Palma was considered to direct Paranormal Activity 2.

Can you imagine what the Carrie director would've done with that source material!?

6. Upon release, Paranormal Activity 2 broke the record for the biggest opening for a horror movie of all time.

It earned a total of $41,500,000 in its opening weekend.

7. For most of the movies in the franchise, the studio hired paranormal investigator Christopher Chacon.

He is recognized as one of the world's foremost authorities on paranormal phenomena and was brought in to promote and publicize the flicks.

8. Amid the static at the end of Paranormal Activity 3, there is a frame that shows Dennis and Julie's bed on fire...

Probably the start of the house fire that is referred to in the previous two movies.

‘Paranormal Activity’ [Credit: Paramount Pictures]
‘Paranormal Activity’ [Credit: Paramount Pictures]

9. The parents in Paranormal Activity 4, played by Stephen Dunham and Alexondra Lee, were a real-life married couple.

Sadly, Stephen died before the movie was released and his appearance in the flick is a posthumous one.

10. The entire first movie was filmed in director Oren Peli's home.

And it only took ten days to shoot!

‘Paranormal Activity’ [Credit: Paramount Pictures]
‘Paranormal Activity’ [Credit: Paramount Pictures]

11. Andrew Jacobs, who appears in Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, has numerous tattoos on his body that had to be digitally removed from the film.

But one of the tattoos was accidentally left in during the attack on his character near the vending machine, where a tattoo above his right knee is still visible.

12. For the first movie, the two lead actors deliberately missed the film's premiere screening and avoided cinemas upon initial release...

Just so they could pretend they were dead, as in-keeping with the film.

13. Between the film's shoot and release, Peli turned down several straight-to-DVD offers for Paranormal Activity.

Lucky, really, as Paramount/DreamWorks eventually snapped up the rights!

Let me know in the comments if there are any awesome Paranormal Activity facts I missed!


Favorite Paranormal Activity movie?

[Poll Image Credit: Paramount Pictures]


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