* AFIS100Years100Thrills: #84
** #69, "They're here!"
* AllThereInTheManual: Spielberg gave James Kahn free rein on the novelization, leading to it having ''tons'' of backstory (including Tangina's battles with demons on the spirit plane, a spectral SouthernBelle who protected Carol-Anne on the Other Side, an even ''more'' nightmarish NightmareFodder sequence of Marty in the kitchen, and--perhaps most critically--a more thorough explanation of why the ghostly activity started ''now'' rather than when the family first moved into the house) that was never even hinted at in the film.
* AnonymousAuthor: A notorious Hollywood subject. The identity of the one true director of this film is one of the great Hollywood [[UrbanLegends either-legends]] or [[OpenSecret barely-hidden-truths]], depending on whom you ask and what you read. Many sources, in particular Zelda Rubinstein, have openly stated that Hooper was actually little more than a stand-in on the set, and the film was, for all intents and purposes, directed by Creator/StevenSpielberg. Creator/HarlanEllison has denounced that story as "a rumor that time has proved to be utterly false and destructive to Hooper's reputation." [[http://www.poltergeist.poltergeistiii.com/really.html Here is probably the best summary and explanation of the whole issue.]]
* BeamMeUpScotty: By way of PopCulturalOsmosis; the line is "This house is 'clean'" not "'clear,'" thank you, [[Film/AceVentura Mr. Ventura]].
* ChannelHop: To an extent. MetroGoldwynMayer produced the trilogy and the remake. However, the first movie is currently owned by Creator/WarnerBros, due to Turner Entertainment's ownership of MGM's pre-May 1986 library, and WB's ownership of Turner Entertainment. The sequels remained with MGM, and are currently handled on home video by TwentiethCenturyFox, who also distributed the remake. ShoutFactory recently got the rights to release deluxe editions of the second and third films as well.
* DawsonCasting: Dominique Dunne was a few years older than sixteen.
* FatalMethodActing: Averted. The scene with the clown nearly choked Oliver Robbins to death on the first take. Steven Spielberg initially thought he was still acting, but once he realized that something was wrong, he stopped everything and rushed over to save him. The next take had the clown prop not be as tight as before.
* FollowTheLeader: The two major sources Poltergeist is routinely to be seen as following the lead on are: 1. The short story ''Literature/LittleGirlLost'' and the ''Franchise/TheTwilightZone'' episode based upon it. This story containing a little girl who ended up in another dimension who could be heard but not seen. 2. The possible real life "Black Hope Curse" an alleged ghost story about how a community in Texas built over top of a cemetery had a rash of paranormal hauntings. Both connections have been admitted by various people as having held influence on the making of the first Poltergeist film.
* RealitySubtext: Dana Freeling was entirely absent from the second and third movies, and in fact not mentioned at all. Her actress, Creator/DominiqueDunne, was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in 1982.
* TheProductionCurse: A lot of inexplicable bad luck and ill-fortune dogged these films. Murmurs of an actual curse were not helped by the revelation that real corpses had been used in some scenes.
** Dominique Dunne, who played Dana in the first movie, died in November 1982 at age 22, after being strangled by her abusive former boyfriend John Thomas Sweeney.
** Julian Beck, 60,who played Henry Kane in Poltergeist II: The Other Side, died in September 14, 1985 of stomach cancer (diagnosed before he had accepted the role).
** Will Sampson, 53, who played Taylor the medicine man in Poltergeist II, died as a result of post-operative kidney failure and pre-operative malnutrition problems in June 1987.
** Heather O'Rourke, who played Carol Anne in all three Poltergeist movies, died in February 1988 at the age of 12 after a hospital misdiagnosis led her to be treated for the wrong ailment.
** Actress Jo-Beth Williams claimed that during the filming, a poltergeist was active in her own home: she would return home from set to discover things askew and out of place from the way they had been when she left earlier.
* RecycledTheSeries: ''Series/PoltergeistTheLegacy'' had little to do with any of the movies in the franchise.