Jean Hilliard was a normal 19 year old woman, but an incident in her home town of Lengby, Minnesota was enough to make her a one in a million mystery woman after she was discovered completely frozen from head to toe. Jean had endured temperatures of twenty-five degrees below zero for an unknown amount of time. Her arms would not move, and were thought to be completely stiff from the cold. She was also completely frozen in some places, with ice clinging to her. She had been trying to make contact with the neighbor who found her when she had been trapped by the ice and frozen solid after her car wrecked after skidding on the ice.
When the Jeansicle arrived at the hospital doctors tried to thaw her out, but nobody had much hope for a happy ending. Even if she wasn’t dead, all medical evidence suggested she’d at least have severe frostbite and brain damage. As Jean lay wrapped in an electric heating pad her eyelids began to flutter, and after some time she thawed completely, returning to life as if nothing had happened. She showed absolutely no ill effects from her little nap in the snowbank — no frostbite, no brain damage, not even any freezer burn. The 19-year old woman from North Dakota had, essentially, come back from the dead completely unharmed.
Elevator number 14 on the second floor of Christus St. Joseph Hospital’s George W. Strake building was closed for four days. As Doctor Hitoshi Nikaidoh stepped onto the elevator, the doors closed, pinning his shoulders. “He tried to pull back and he couldn’t,” Physician’s Assistant Karin Steinau told HPD officers. “The doors wouldn’t open.” She wasn’t able to find the Door Open button before the elevator started moving upward. “When you get on an elevator, if it closes on you, it’s supposed to open back up,” she told officers. “There was no hesitation. The doors shut and it went.”
Nikaidoh struggled, trying to shrug out of the elevator, or possibly pull himself inside, she said, but the elevator kept moving upward. The ceiling sliced off most of his head. His left ear, lower lip, teeth and jaw were still attached to his body, which fell to the bottom of the elevator shaft, as the elevator continued moving upward. Steinau frantically pushed every button; the elevator stopped four feet below the fifth floor. She was trapped inside the elevator with his head for more than an hour.
What is seen as an unusually large number of deaths have occurred among the former cast of The Poltergeist trilogy. This occurrence has given rise to the rumour that the productions were in some way “cursed” due to the nature of the films themselves, as if the evil spirits conjured up in the make-believe world of the cinema have since reached out into the real world to claim what the might see as their rightful victims.
There have been four deaths among the cast of this set of films - Dominique Dunne (Dana Freeling), Heather O’Rourke (Carol-Anne Freeling), Will Sampson (Taylor, a good spirit), and Julian Beck (Kane, an evil spirit). Dominique Dunne died on November 4th, 1982 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, four days after her boyfriend choked her into a coma from which she never awoke. 12-year-old Heather O’Rourke died of septic shock on February 1st, 1988 at the Children’s Hospital in San Diego. What had been thought to be a bout of ordinary flu launched her into cardiac arrest as bacterial toxins set loose by a bowel obstruction made their way into her bloodstream. The other two deaths were of seasoned actors well into their careers, both suffering from serious illness.