The 1982 Movie Poltergeist


By @tripguiderz

The 1982 Movie Poltergeist: Iconic Horror Movie of Real Skeletons

Today, in this blog, I am going to debunk a myth about the rumours on air regarding the Iconic 1982 Movie Poltergeist Used Real Skeletons as – Tymoff  in the film, particularly in the sequence where Diane Freeling (JoBeth Williams) is confronted by skeletons in the pool. Not even the cast knew that the skeletons used in this movie were real because they were cheaper and more cost-effective than creating and using fake plastic. This secret behind this horror classic movie was first revealed by its makeup artist of film’s special effects.

Glance at the cast and production of Iconic Horror Movie Poltergeist (1982)

In 1982, American storywriters Steven Spielberg, Michael Grais, and Mark Victor created a horror story. This famous supernatural horror film was directed by Willard Tobe Hooper (an American filmmaker best known for his work in the horror genre). However, the film’s cast includes JoBeth Williams, Craig T. Nelson, and Beatrice Straight. Spielberg and Frank Marshall also produced it. Industrial Light and Magic made the special effects for Poltergeist, overseen by Richard Edlund.

Theme and Plot of the Story

Poltergeist is a supernatural horror film partially inspired by the true story of the Herrmann house. Though it is not the exact story of the actual events of the Herrmann house. Most of the scenes in the movie are somewhat adapted from actual events.

It is the story of a Long Island family’s dream house that turned into their worst nightmare when some supernatural poltergeist terrorized them. An evil spirit possessed the soul of their youngest innocent daughter.

The story was both emotional and horror. It illuminated the darker side of the American dream in the latter half of the 19th century. However, it arrived to unveil the hidden fears and anxieties about supernatural forces beyond our existence. It delved into fears of unknown forces, such as how paranormal activities in homes are an open invitation to ghosts and supernatural forces. However, the story had a good sense of humor and amazing special effects that made it relatable to real-life experiences.

Burning Question: Were The 1982 Movie Poltergeist Used Real Skeletons?

Were the skeletons used in the film accurate? This question might have stuck your mind. This rumor took the film industry by storm when the podcast Secret Level revealed this new and mysterious fact to the audience. Initially, people thought it was a rumor or myth, but it was clarified after Craig Reardon’s statement. Many people took it as a rumor, but this was not a rumor; this claim of using real skeletons was true.

Who Revealed that the 1982 Movie Poltergeist Used Real Skeletons?

This fact was initially revealed by the film’s special effects makeup artist, Craig Reardon, under oath during a deposition. This was also discussed on a podcast Secret Level. Especially when the skeleton of Jobeth William’s character, Diane Freeling, falls in the pool and many other skeletons started popping out of the water around her.

She was unaware that the skeletons used in the scene were real. Even the whole cast was unaware of this during the entire shooting. She stated in an interview that was aired on VH1 in December 2002.

“I would have to go into this huge tank of what I thought were mud with these skeletons — which, by the way, I thought were plastic but later found out they were real skeletons. It was a real nightmare.”

Why Real Skeletons were used?

The actual reason behind using these skeletons instead of fake ones was that they were cheaper and even more cost-effective than expensive plastic ones. Obviously, that’s incredibly creepy! But everything is fair in the film industry. However, it also faced much criticism from the audience. Later, it was witnessed that many of these skeletons were acquired from India at cheaper prices. These were the study skeletons taken from medical colleges and used unethically in filmmaking.

However, the cost of making “Poltergeist” increased since the movie used real skeletons. The film’s assistant prop master, Bruce Kasson, claims that the skeletons originated from Carolina Biological. It is a science supply and medical company that mainly supplied human skeletons to medical institutions in the 1980s.

Not only Poltergeist but Many Others

Poltergeist and many other films are also facing ethical considerations and controversies. It is also claimed that “Apocalypse Now” is another film that uses real skeletons. Though this decision was made to create a realistic impact, the director of the film, Francis Ford Coppola, faced much criticism.

How the Use of Real Skeletons in Film Poltergeist Impacted Film Industry?

This unethical act, conducted in making the film “Poltergeist,” had many ramifications for the film industry. The public reacted to this secret in both varied and critical ways. However, this can be both emotional and traumatizing for people who believe it is dishonouring the dead ones. It also caused an amoral and ethical controversy. It gave rise to many questions about whether it is moral to use skeletons or even any remains of human bodies in the film industry.

Moreover, this also had few cultural impacts. Many people called it a curse to use the remains of human bodies for entertainment purposes. Besides, this controversy sparked many ethical considerations in the film industry.

The 1982 Movie Poltergeist Used Real Skeletons Final Words

Though this rumor emerged as the 1982 movie Poltergeist used real skeletons as – off, this became a real controversy in the film industry. This has remained a hot topic of discussion until the truth was revealed by the film’s special effects makeup artist, Craig Reardon, under oath during a deposition. This truth brought many ethical considerations in filmmaking. However, the film faced much criticism but left a lasting impact in the horror genre. It captivated the hearts of audiences with its mysterious and thrilling storyline and framework.

Even while the controversy can give it a fascinating new dimension, it’s important to view such assertions cautiously until complex data comes to light. In the end, “Poltergeist” is still regarded as a timeless cinematic masterpiece because of its capacity to give viewers Goosebumps and thrills.


Find answers to common questions about the 1982 movie Poltergeist:

1. What was the name of the demonic ghost in the 1982 film Poltergeist?

The original trilogy centers on the Freeling family. They were are hounded and terrorized by a group of spirits led by the Beast, a demon drawn to Carol Anne, the youngest daughter.

2. Has the use of genuine skeletons in films continued since “Poltergeist”?

Many other films and television series have used genuine skeletons to achieve the same dramatic effect as “Poltergeist.”

3. Have there been any notable reactions from audiences to the use of real skeletons in movies?

The use of real skeletons in movies, such as in “Poltergeist,” has indeed elicited notable reactions from audiences, with a mix of responses ranging from shock to discomfort.