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Ghost and Paranormal Movie Trivia: Poltergeist Part 1

When it comes to memorable sayings in movies , the tagline for the cult classic titled “Poltergeist” (“They’re here”) is one of the most recognizable in horror films. In this article, you will learn of the major players of this movie, as well as behind the scenes trivia and facts for all of you fans of the wildly successful horror flick depicting a family’s struggle to keep angry spirits at bay.

The Plot

Living in a pleasant neighborhood, the typical family (the Freelings) must overcome strange happenings in their house after they discover that their youngest daughter, Carol Anne, has established a connection with something ‘supernatural.’ Signs of this link to the afterlife appear when she is able to connect with a dead channel found on the TV set. Soon after, odd beings are detecting entering the walls of the house.

At first, the ghosts don’t seem to cause any trouble, as they play tricks on the family , which is often seen as entertaining. However, the ghosts begin to terrorize the Freelings, including the introduction of lethal dolls. Finally, their Carol Anne is kidnapped (through her bedroom closet) and the family must retrieve their daughter from what looks like an entrance to the ‘other side.’  

The cast of this ground-breaking film included Craig T Nelson as the patriarch (Steve Freeling); his wife Diane Freeling (played by JoBeth Williams); the eldest daughter Dominique Dunne (as Dana Freeling); Oliver Robins (who played the brother named Robbie Freeling); and Heather O’Rourke (who played the youngest daughter Carol Anne Freeling).

“Poltergeist” (1982) Trivia

During the filming of the movie, there was only one scene that seemed to shake up the youngest star of the film (Heather O’Rourke). One part of the film has her character holding onto the headboard while a wind machine is used to blow about her toys into the closet that is positioned behind her. At this moment, she became a wreck and Steven Spielberg stopped filming so that he could console her. He assured her that she would not have to complete that scene again.

The goldfish that appeared in the movie was given to Heather O’Rourke as a gift from the crew.

When Heather O’Rourke met Steven Spielberg during her initial interview, he was truly impressed by her capacity to read the “Poltergeist” script out loud.

The hands that are seen pulling off the flesh of the investigator’s face in the bathroom mirror belonged to the screenwriter Steven Spielberg.

The house that is seen getting sucked into a black hole at the end of the film is actually a model that measured around 4 feet across in length. It interestingly cost more than $25,000.

While working on “Poltergeist,” Steven Spielberg would immediately start on “E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial” in 1982.

In real life, Craig T Nelson and JoBeth Williams were only 14 and 11 years older than Dominique Dunne , who played their teen-aged daughter in the movie.

The screenplay of the movie came rather close to being written by none other than Stephen King, which would have become the first written by King that went directly to the screen. However, all the parties involved could not reach an agreement on the terms.