Billing Displacement: Jamie Lee Curtis is billed second, yet is arguably the least important of the protagonists.
Blooper: The re-shot scenes (see below) are easy to spot because Elizabeth's hair drastically changes in length.
Creator Backlash: John Carpenter didn't think much of the film at the time, but he warmed to it eventually. He also felt he was so bad in his cameo as Bennett that he stopped acting in his movies afterwards (except for "helicopter pilots and walk-ons").
Inspiration for the Work: John Carpenter stated that the inspiration for the story was partly drawn from The Trollenberg Terror. He has also said that he was inspired by a visit to Stonehenge with his co-writer/producer (and then-girlfriend), Debra Hill. While in England promoting Assault on Precinct 13 (1976), Carpenter and Hill visited the site in the late afternoon one day and saw an eerie fog in the distance. In the DVD Commentary, Carpenter noted that the story of the deliberate wreckage of a ship and its subsequent plundering was based on an actual event that took place in the 19th century near Goleta, California (this event was portrayed more directly in the 1975 Tom Laughlin film, The Master Gunfighter). The premise also bears strong resemblances to the John Greenleaf Whittier poem The Wreck of the Palatine which appeared in The Atlantic Monthly in 1867, about the wreck of the ship Princess Augusta in 1738, at Block Island, within Rhode Island.
The original cut of the movie was only 80 minutes. To pad things out for a theatrical release, John Carpenter had several new scenes reshot. Among those includes the opening scene with John Houseman telling the ghost story.
The lead ghost Blake was played by make-up specialist Rob Bottin. He applied to work on the film in a special effects capacity. But John Carpenter took note of his large build and cast him as Blake.
The ghosts were barely seen in the original version of the attack on the boat. The re-shot version made it more violent.