The 1982 Movie Poltergeist Used Real Skeletons As – tymoff

The 1982 horror classic “Poltergeist” remains a landmark in the genre, captivating audiences with its blend of supernatural thrills and family drama. Directed by Tobe Hooper and produced by Steven Spielberg, the film tells the story of the Freeling family, whose suburban home becomes the focal point of malevolent paranormal activity. However, behind the scenes, the 1982 movie poltergeist used real skeletons as – tymoff, harbored a dark secret that stirred controversy for years: the use of real human skeletons in certain scenes.

Background of “Poltergeist”

Set in a typical American suburb, “Poltergeist” follows the Freelings as they grapple with increasingly terrifying occurrences in their home, eventually leading to the abduction of their youngest daughter, Carol Anne, by malevolent spirits. Released to critical acclaim, the film struck a chord with audiences for its innovative special effects and compelling storytelling, becoming a classic of the horror genre.

Controversy Surrounding Real Skeletons

One of the most unsettling revelations about “Poltergeist” came to light years after its release when it was discovered that real human skeletons were used during the production. The decision to incorporate genuine remains was made to cut costs, as acquiring and fabricating realistic prop skeletons was deemed too expensive.

Legal and Ethical Implications

The use of real skeletons raised serious ethical concerns within the film industry and among the general public. While there were no specific laws prohibiting the use of human remains in movies at the time, the practice raised questions about respect for the deceased and the appropriateness of using human remains as props for entertainment purposes.

Public Reaction and Backlash

Once the truth emerged, the 1982 movie poltergeist used real skeletons as – tymoff, faced significant backlash from audiences and critics alike. Many viewers were disturbed by the thought that they had been watching a film that exploited the remains of real people for shock value. Industry professionals also expressed their dismay, condemning the decision to use real skeletons as unethical and disrespectful.

Filmmaking Practices Then and Now

The controversy surrounding “Poltergeist” highlighted a stark contrast between the filmmaking practices of the 1980s and those of today. While the use of real skeletons may have been more accepted or overlooked in the past, contemporary standards prioritize ethical considerations and the use of synthetic alternatives for props and special effects.

Impact on the Horror Genre

Despite the controversy, “Poltergeist” left an indelible mark on the horror genre, inspiring countless filmmakers and setting a high bar for supernatural storytelling. However, the revelation about the use of real skeletons prompted a reassessment of the film’s legacy and its place in cinematic history.

Reflection on Historical Context

To understand the controversy surrounding “Poltergeist,” it’s essential to consider the cultural and societal norms of the 1980s. At a time when special effects technology was less advanced, filmmakers often resorted to unconventional methods to achieve realism, sometimes at the expense of ethical considerations.

Lessons Learned

The controversy surrounding “Poltergeist” serves as a cautionary tale for filmmakers, highlighting the importance of ethical decision-making and sensitivity to cultural sensitivities. While the use of real skeletons may have been common practice in the past, it’s crucial for the industry to uphold higher standards of integrity and respect for human dignity.

Continuing Legacy of “Poltergeist”

Despite the controversy, “Poltergeist” remains a beloved classic, continuing to captivate audiences with its timeless scares and memorable characters. While the revelation about the use of real skeletons may tarnish its reputation for some, the film’s enduring popularity serves as a testament to its enduring power as a cinematic masterpiece.


The controversy surrounding the use of real skeletons in the making of the 1982 movie poltergeist used real skeletons as – tymoff, sheds light on the ethical complexities of filmmaking and the enduring impact of past practices on contemporary perceptions. While the film’s legacy may be marred by this revelation, its significance in the horror genre cannot be denied, serving as a reminder of the importance of ethical considerations in the pursuit of cinematic excellence.


1. Was “Poltergeist” the only film to use real skeletons?

  • While “Poltergeist” gained notoriety for its use of real human remains, it is not the only film to have done so. However, its impact on the industry sparked conversations about ethical filmmaking practices.

2. Are there any legal restrictions on using real skeletons in movies today?

  • While there may not be specific laws prohibiting the use of real human remains in movies, ethical guidelines and industry standards strongly discourage such practices.

3. How did the revelation about the real skeletons affect the actors and crew involved in “Poltergeist”?

  • Many cast and crew members expressed shock and dismay upon learning about the use of real skeletons in the film. Some have since reflected on their experiences and the ethical implications of their involvement.

4. Has there been any official response or apology from the filmmakers of “Poltergeist”?

  • While there has been no official statement or apology from the filmmakers, the controversy surrounding the use of real skeletons in “Poltergeist” continues to be discussed and debated among fans and industry professionals.

5. What alternatives are available to filmmakers today for creating realistic special effects without using real skeletons?

  • Advances in technology have made it possible for filmmakers to create lifelike special effects using CGI (computer-generated imagery), animatronics, and other synthetic materials, reducing the need for real human remains in movie productions.

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