If you're a fan of horror stories or anything involving the supernatural, then you've probably read, or at least heard of, Stephen King's 1983 novel Christine. In both the book and the John Carpenter's Christine movie, a 1958 Plymouth Fury possessed by otherworldly forces terrorizes a small town. It's a completely ridiculous-sounding premise, but did you know that the Christine movie car was inspired by a car that actually existed?
The Golden Eagle was a 1964 Dodge 330 Limited Edition that has since been dubbed "the most evil car in America." Apparently, it's responsible for at least 14 deaths over several decades. Yeah, there's a reason why it has a reputation as one of the most haunted classic cars of all time.
The True Story Behind the Christine Car
The Golden Eagle was originally used as a police car in Old Orchard Beach, Maine. Three of the officers who drove the vehicle all ended up killing their families in a murder-suicide. And, that's just the beginning.
Eventually, it was sold to the Allen family, and while no members of that family were ever harmed, several poor souls who vandalized the car in the '80s and '90s met tragic fates.
One was struck by lightning. Another was decapitated by an 18-wheeler. Two kids who were hit by other cars died after being flung onto the Golden Eagle.
In 2008, one kid simply touched the car. He later went home to murder his whole family and burn his house to the ground.
Wendy Allen, who was nicknamed the EelKat and the Sea Witch of Old Orchard Beach, was the Golden Eagle's longtime owner and continued to drive it despite its apparent kill count. Given Wendy's ominous nickname, members of a local church group suspected that she had actually somehow cursed the car. One day, they sought to put an end to the madness by stealing the car, chopping it up, and distributing each piece to various junkyards.
Since the Golden Eagle had been in her family for years, Wendy tracked down some of the pieces and had the car remade. Other than the doors inexplicably flying open on the highway, she claims that nothing spooky has been attributed to the rebuilt Golden Eagle. At least not yet...
While the Golden Eagle car has its own terrifying backstory, the killer car from Christine is a stone-cold MENACE in both the Stephen King novel and the horror film. King's fictional antagonist, a 1958 Plymouth Fury, began life when "she" was built on the assembly line of one of Chrysler's plants in Detroit, Michigan.
To kick off events in the book, high school student Arnie Cunningham buys the clunker in 1978 for $250. Eventually, the Fury unleashes its full...fury and goes on a killing spree of epic proportions.
Fun fact: While identified as a Plymouth Fury in the Christine movie, a Plymouth Belvedere and Plymouth Savoy were the actual vehicles used to portray the malevolent Christine car onscreen. And, here's another bit of trivia for the road: the CQB in the car's license plate CQB 241 stands for "close quarters battle." Spooky stuff, right?!
The Columbia Pictures big-screen adaption of Christine, penned by Bill Phillips, was released in 1983 and starred John Stockwell, Alexandra Paul, Kelly Preston, and Robert Prosky (Scott Baio and Brooke Shields were initially considered for starring roles).
While the Los Angeles, California-filmed movie performed decently at the box office, it reached more acclaim as a cult classic. If you've never seen the movie, you can rent it on Amazon for only $3.99. It's a must-watch horror movie every Halloween, that's for sure.
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This post was originally published on October 22, 2019.