How Much Do You Know about the 1982 Movie Poltergeist? Quiz


By: Kayla McGovern

4 Min Quiz

Image: The Movie DB

About This Quiz

Test your knowledge on the facts around the cast, crew and makings of the movie!

Why did the production crew use real human skeletons as props in the movie?

Purchasing real human remains was actually cheaper than creating or buying replica skeletons.


Who was one of the writers behind the story of Poltergeist?

He was one of the 3 writers that collaborated on the terrifying screenplay for the movie.


Who was originally considered for the role of Carol Anne?

She wasn’t chosen for the part due to Steven Spielberg wanting someone who was more “angelic”. But her audition did land her a role in another in his other film that summer which was E.T the Extra Terrestrial.


The house they used in the film is located in what state?

It is located in Simi Valley, CA and the family that owned it during the filming still actually live there today!


Who was the young actress who plays Carol Anne Freeling?

Steven Spielberg discovered her while her sister, her mother and her were eating lunch in the MGM commissary.


Where is the disturbing clown puppet from the movie showcased today?

This clown was probably the source of many nightmares for people after they watched the film.


Who was the actor that played the role of Robbie Freeling?

“Poltergeist” was actually the young actor's debut into acting in Hollywood.


What happened to both young actresses who played the roles of Steve and Diane Freeling’s daughters?

Dominique Dunne, who played the older daughter, was strangled by her boyfriend just after the film was released in 1982. Then six years later, Heather O'Rourke, who played the younger daughter, sadly died of intestinal stenosis.


Where are both of those actresses buried?

Both girls’ family laid them to rest in a prominent LA cemetery.


What is the German meaning behind the word “poltergeist”?

During the movie the spirits in the house terrorized the Freeling family in many different ways.


What was the reason for writer Steven Spielberg and director Tobe Hooper wanting relatively unknown actors to play the different roles of the Freeling family?

They felt that having well known stars involved with the film would take away or distract the audience from the “realistic feel” of the characters.


Which two cast members were subsequently murdered?

Dunne played the role of Dana Freeling and was strangled by her boyfriend and then declared brain dead in 1982. In 2009 Lou Perryman was murdered in Texas by an ax wielding 26 year old named Seth Christopher Tatum.


Steven Spielberg hired director Tobe Hooper due to being impressed by his directing on what other horror film?

Hooper’s experience with creating a chilling horror film was just what Spielberg was looking for.


At the Academy Awards and the Oscars in 1982 what film did “Poltergeist” lose to?

Since it was another Spielberg film and Steven walked away with the awards, he didn’t feel too bad about himself.


Which multimedia source selected “Poltergeist” as one of The Best 1000 Movies Ever Made?

It’s a movie that had really impressed it’s audiences and critics alike at its release, even to this day it is thought highly of.


Zelda Rubinstein, who played the role of Tangina, claimed have what supernatural ability?

Zelda claimed to see visions or glimpses of things before they actually occurred.


What is believed to effect some of those who were involved with the production of the movie?

Within the first handful of years after the release of the film 4 cast members either died related to illness or were murdered which stirred up gossip of there being a curse connected to the film.


What was the budget for filming?

Spielberg and Hooper had a healthy budget available at their disposable to produce their film.


What award was “Poltergeist” given for Best Visual Effects?

The creators behind the film went above and beyond with producing chilling visual effects to add to the scare factor and they were recognized for their brilliance.


Who was the person in charge of composing the music for the film?

He was a veteran composer who wrote multiple themes for the score including the lullaby called “Carol Anne’s Theme”. Jerry passed away in 2004 at the age of 75.


When the film was released in 1982, how much did it make at the box office?

It took 8th place as the highest grossing movies of the year 1982.


How many awards did “Poltergeist” win overall?

It won the Saturn Award for Best Horror or Thriller Film, the Saturn Award for Best Make-up , the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress (for Zelda Rubinstein) and the BAFTA Award for Best Special Visual Effects.


What was the release date of this classic horror film?

Some joked it was the summer of Spielberg due to the fact that he released two hit films back to back in the summer of 1982.


Why was the actress JoBeth Williams hesitant to film the swimming pool scene in the movie?

There was a ton of electrical equipment used to film and it was extremely close to the pool. She only was persuaded to get in and shoot the scene when Spielberg climbed in the pool with her stating, “Now if a light falls, we will both fry.”


What is unusual about this film despite being in the genre of horror/thriller movies?

Most films in this kind of category typically depict different fatalities such as murders or other violent deaths.


Who were the geniuses behind the amazing special effects in the movie?

George Lucas's company was innovative and creative when it came to producing special effects. So much so that their efforts won them the BAFTA award for Best Visual Effects and they received an Academy Award nomination for Best Visual Effects.


Who was the co-producer with Steven Spielberg?

After his work was completed on “Poltergeist”, Frank Marshall went on to produce another famous film called “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”.


In the film, what did the family learn about their house?

The family unknowingly moved into a house where the land developers and builders had disturbed the sacred ground and angered spirits residing on that land.


In the film, what lie did Steve Freeling learn his boss had told him about the housing development?

Steve’s boss had only moved the headstones from the graveyard and left the bodies behind, but he had claimed to have excavated the remains and laid them to rest peacefully with the headstones again.


In the film the family abandons what was their home and retreats to a hotel, what is the name of the hotel?

The family sought peace and rest in a safe location after going through their hellish ordeal in their own home.


When the Freeling’s arrive at the Holiday Inn, the hotel sign reads “Welcome Dr. Fantasy & Friends.” What is the significance of that sign?

Frank Marshall's nickname is Dr. Fantasy.


What movie studio backed this Spielberg film?

Originally Spielberg had approached Universal Studios before sealing the deal with MGM.


In the film Robbie Freeling is terrorized by a clown and the tree outside his window, those terrors were inspired by which crew member’s childhood fears?

As a child Spielberg was extremely fearful of clowns and there was an ominous tree that gave him the creeps outside his bedroom window as a child.


Which character in the movie says the famous quote “They’re here.”?

In the film Carol sits in front of the TV which is just playing static in her parents bedroom. Then as she gets closer to the TV you see a spirit’s hand reach through and a ghostly apparition fills the room. The bedroom shakes as the spirits enter into our world. Carol’s brother and parents are startled awake looking shocked and confused to what just happened. At the end of the bed Carol turns to face her parents and brother to cheerfully announce “They’re here.”


What happened to the young actor while filming the scene where his character, Robbie Freeling, is being strangled by the toy clown?

At first Spielberg and Hooper thought that the young Oliver Robbins was just acting, but the boy started to turn purple and they immediately rushed to help him. They said that somehow the arms of the clown became wrapped around his neck too tightly and he was unable to remove them himself...SPOOKY!


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