The 1982 Movie Poltergeist Used Real Skeletons As Props

the 1982 movie poltergeist used real skeletons as - tymoff
the 1982 movie poltergeist used real skeletons as - tymoff

A poltergeist is a type of ghost that haunts homes and causes disturbances. These disturbances can include sounds, a moving of objects and even physical harm.

It has been claimed that the 1982 movie poltergeist used real skeletons as – tymoff props in some of its scenes. This claim has caused controversy among viewers and has raised concerns about the ethical use of human remains in filmmaking.

The Poltergeist Skeletons

One of the most classic horror movies of all time, Tobe Hooper’s 1982 film Poltergeist is notorious for its scares and realistic depictions of paranormal activity. Featuring a suburban family terrorized by malevolent ghosts, the movie has remained a cornerstone of horror cinema for decades.

But what few people know is that the movie used real skeletons as props, which added a sense of chilling authenticity to the film. This revelation has sparked discussions about the intersection of filmmaking and ethics, and highlighted the importance of transparency and respect for human remains.

During the production of the film, many of the cast and crew members were unaware that the skeletons they were working with were actually real. As a result, they were deeply disturbed by their experience on set, and the skeletons became a source of constant anxiety for them throughout the filming process.

This led to rumors that the skeletons were cursed, and several of the film’s actors experienced misfortune after its release. The daughter of actress JoBeth Williams died due to a misdiagnosis, and another actor was murdered by his abusive boyfriend. Some of these tragedies were linked to the movie’s production, but others were not.

The use of real skeletons in the film was a decision that was made out of necessity, and it was not made with malicious intent. The house in which the Freeling family lived was located on top of a cemetery, and the filmmakers wanted to create a sense of otherworldliness in the film. Additionally, the use of skeletons allowed them to achieve more realistic shadowing and movement, which was necessary for some of the more frightening scenes in the movie.

As for the skeletons themselves, they were acquired from medical institutions and prop suppliers. The exact origin of the skeletons is unknown, but they may have been obtained from a morgue or a funeral home.

It is important to remember that the use of real skeletons in the movie was not unique, and it was common for low-budget horror films to utilize them during this period. Other famous examples include The House on Haunted Hill and Frankenstein. Despite these controversies, most modern movies would never dream of using real human skeletons as props.

The Origins of the Skeletons

As far as horror movies go, Poltergeist has always had a special place in the hearts of fans. The film is known for its scares, characters, and the way it has become a part of pop culture. However, some people believe that the movie is cursed because of the use of real skeletons.

One of the most memorable scenes in Poltergeist takes place when the character Marty falls into a pool filled with skeletons. The scene is disturbing and terrifying, but what many people don’t know is that the skeletons were real.

The skeletons were used in the film because Tobe Hooper wanted to create a more realistic and scary scene. The skeletons were purchased from a medical supply company and cleaned before they were used in the movie. Although the use of real skeletons was controversial, it was a great way to add realism to the film.

In the modern era, special effects are often achieved through the use of computer generated imagery and makeup. However, Poltergeist was made in 1982, before these techniques became popular. In order to achieve the otherworldly look of the Freeling house, a lot of the movie had to be done using old-fashioned in-camera trickery and props.

While some people believe that the movie is cursed, others don’t. The tragedies that befell some of the cast members were not related to the production of the film. Dominique Dunne, who played the older Freeling daughter, was killed by her abusive boyfriend. Heather O’Rourke, the youngest daughter in the film, died of an undetected bowel disorder.

Despite the controversy over the use of real skeletons, many people still appreciate the fact that the filmmakers went to such lengths to make the movie as realistic as possible. While the use of real skeletons was not illegal, it has raised questions about the ethics of using human remains for movie props.

The Skeletons in the Movie

The use of real skeletons in the movie was controversial and raised ethical concerns. Some people felt that using human remains in a horror film was disturbing and disrespectful. Others, however, appreciated the authenticity that the skeletons brought to certain scenes in the movie.

Despite the controversy, the movie went on to become a hit. It became one of the highest-grossing movies of its year, and it has since gone on to be regarded as a classic in the horror genre. The movie’s combination of genuine scares and memorable characters has made it a cult favorite among horror fans.

There have been many rumors that the movie is cursed, and that the use of real skeletons was responsible for the misfortunes that befell the cast and crew. In fact, four cast members died during or shortly after the production of Poltergeist. The actress who played the oldest Freeling daughter, Dominique Dunne, was killed by her ex-boyfriend, and two other actors died of cancer and kidney problems.

The film’s use of real skeletons was also controversial because the actresses were not given proper protection from the bones. In one scene, the character of Diane Freeling was attacked by skeletons that appeared to be rising from a pool of water. JoBeth Williams was terrified by the experience, and she claimed that it left her feeling “vulnerable and exposed.”

The identity of the skeletons used in the movie has never been revealed. Some reports suggest that they were obtained from medical institutions, while others claim that they were acquired from a prop supplier.

The controversy surrounding the skeletons in Poltergeist serves as a reminder of the importance of transparency and informed consent in the film industry. Today, the use of real human skeletons is discouraged and tightly regulated to ensure that the rights of the dead are protected.

Despite the controversy, the movie Poltergeist has gone on to become a beloved classic in the horror genre. Its combination of genuine scares and memorable scenes has made it a cult favorite for horror fans, and the discovery that real skeletons were used in some of the movie’s scenes adds to its mystique.

The Skeletons in the Sequel

Tobe Hooper wanted to make Poltergeist as realistic as possible, so he used real human skeletons on the set. The skeletons were obtained from a medical supply company and cleaned before being used as props. The use of real skeletons made the film more believable and disturbing, and it helped to create one of the most terrifying scenes in movie history. The skeleton rising up from the ground in Poltergeist is still a frightening sight to this day.

The use of real skeletons in Poltergeist was controversial, but it was an important part of the film’s success. The skeletons were used in many scenes, and they added a sense of realism to the movie. The skeletons also appeared in the sequel to the film, Poltergeist II. The skeletons in Poltergeist II were not as life-like, but they still had a disturbing effect on audiences.

During production of the first Poltergeist, the cast and crew faced numerous tragedies. Child star Heather O’Rourke was misdiagnosed with Crohn’s disease, and she died shortly after filming wrapped. The movie’s special effects supervisor, Craig Reardon, was also involved in a car accident on the set, and he suffered severe injuries. In addition, many of the actors were subjected to uncomfortable and grueling stunts.

While the first Poltergeist was a critical and commercial success, the sequel was less successful. It was a dark flipside of Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and it was not as scary or effective as its predecessor. The film also had a number of problems, including a disastrous opening and a lack of chemistry between the actors.

The Poltergeist franchise was cursed, according to many fans and critics. Its constant tragedies, dangerous stunts, and the use of real skeletons in some scenes led to a series of horrible events. Some of these events may have been coincidences, but others were definitely not.

The deaths of child actors, special effects malfunctions, and clumsiness by the directors all contributed to the bad luck that plagued the production of the film. The curse of Poltergeist was considered to be so powerful that it even reached Hollywood itself.


  1. Did the movie “Poltergeist” really use real skeletons?
    • Yes, it has been widely reported that real human skeletons were used during the filming of “Poltergeist.” This fact has added to the film’s reputation for being cursed.
  2. Why were real skeletons used in the movie?
    • Real skeletons were used in the film because they were cheaper and more realistic-looking than plastic or prop skeletons. At the time, obtaining real skeletons was a common practice in the film industry.
  3. Where did the real skeletons come from?
    • The exact origin of the skeletons used in the film is not well-documented, but it’s believed that they were obtained from medical supply companies or other sources that provided human remains for scientific and educational purposes.
  4. Were the actors aware that real skeletons were used?
    • Some of the actors, including JoBeth Williams, have mentioned that they were not aware of the use of real skeletons until after filming. This revelation has led to discomfort and superstitions surrounding the movie.
  5. Did the use of real skeletons have any impact on the film’s production?
    • Some people believe that the use of real skeletons may have contributed to the film’s “curse,” as several cast and crew members associated with the film experienced untimely deaths or accidents. However, this is largely a matter of superstition and speculation.
  6. Are real human remains still used in movies today?
    • The use of real human remains in movies has become increasingly rare in modern filmmaking due to ethical concerns and advancements in special effects technology. Most filmmakers now use high-quality prop skeletons or computer-generated imagery (CGI) for realism.
  7. Are there any legal or ethical issues related to using real skeletons in movies?
    • There are legal and ethical concerns surrounding the use of real human remains in movies, especially if proper permissions and documentation are not in place. In many cases, filmmakers today choose to use alternative methods to avoid controversy.
  8. Has the use of real skeletons affected the legacy of the “Poltergeist” movie?
    • The use of real skeletons has become a notorious part of the film’s history and has added to its mystique. While it may have generated curiosity and discussions, it has not overshadowed the overall legacy of the film.

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