Did The 1982 Movie Poltergeist Used Real Skeletons?

the 1982 movie poltergeist used real skeletons as - tymoff

The 1982 horror film “Poltergeist” remains a chilling classic, not just for its narrative but also for a behind-the-scenes detail that adds an extra layer of creepiness. 

The swimming pool scene, where Diane Freeling encounters a chaotic mess of mud, rain, and bodies, featured real human skeletons.

This choice to use real remains sparked debate about the ethics of handling human bones in filmmaking. 

While cost-effectiveness influenced the decision, compared to crafting replicas or acquiring pre-made models, the moral implications cannot be ignored. Though acceptable in the past, such practices would likely raise more eyebrows today.

Adding to the film’s eerie lore are rumors of a “Poltergeist curse” linked to the use of real skeletons. These rumors suggest unfortunate events plagued those involved in the production. While likely just a spooky story, it undeniably adds another layer of intrigue to the film’s history.

The supposed curse centered around misfortunes experienced by cast and crew members. Two young actresses tragically died within a few years of the first and third films’ releases. Dominique Dunne, who played Dana Freeling, was murdered by a former boyfriend. 

Heather O’Rourke, known for her role as Carol Anne Freeling, passed away at the age of twelve due to undetected intestinal complications.

Some attribute these deaths to the curse stemming from the movie’s use of real skeletons. However, many who worked on the film, including Zelda Rubinstein (Tangina), dismiss the notion of a curse. The tragic events were likely just unfortunate coincidences.

Despite the unsettling detail and supposed curse, “Poltergeist” undeniably used real skeletons, a fact verified by credible sources and reflecting filmmaking practices of the era. This unsettling truth adds another layer of memorability to the film’s place in cinema history. 

The next time you revisit “Poltergeist,” consider the chilling reality – the skeletons that terrorized the Freelings were once actual people. This knowledge undeniably enhances the film’s creep factor.


What is the 1982 movie “Poltergeist” about?

Poltergeist” is a scary movie about a family in the suburbs. Ghosts haunt their house and take their young daughter.

Is it true that real skeletons were used in the movie “Poltergeist”?

Yes, it’s true. The movie used real human skeletons in one scene.

Why were real skeletons used in the movie “Poltergeist”?

They were bought from a medical supply company. It was cheaper than making fake ones or buying already-made ones.

What is the “Poltergeist Curse”?

It’s a story about bad luck related to the Poltergeist movies. Some people think it’s because two young actors died between the first and third movies.

Who were the directors and producers of “Poltergeist”?

Tobe Hooper directed it, and Steven Spielberg produced it.

What are some famous scenes from “Poltergeist”?

One scary scene is when the Freeling family’s house goes crazy, and Diane Freeling ends up in their swimming pool, which is full of mud, rain, and bodies.