Poltergeist (1982 film)

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Poltergeist is a 1982 film about a Southern California family whose home is haunted by a host of ghosts.

Directed by Tobe Hooper. Written by Steven Spielberg, Michael Grais, and Mark Victor.
They're Here. taglines

Diane Freeling[edit]

  • Sleepwalking ... 'Nocturnal somnambulism.' You know what? You know what? I will bet you anything it's genetic. I mean, Carol Anne last night, and all last week, you know—and me when I was ten. You know, I once slept-walked four blocks, and I fell asleep in the back of this guy's car. He drove all the way to work before discovering me. Oh God, I woke up, I started screaming. People came running, from everywhere. They called the cops, the cops came, they took this poor dude downtown. My father, Big—he, Big Ed has me examined for like bruises and hickeys, you name it, Oh God, I was so embarrassed. (beat) Oh, shit, Steven—what if we, like, dig the pool, you know—and Carol Anne sleepwalks and she falls into it before there's any water?
  • Reach back into our past when you used to have an open mind, remember that? Now try to use that for the next couple of minutes...
  • Run to the light, Carol Anne. Run as fast as you can! Mommy is in the light! Mommy is waiting for you in the light!!!!!!!
  • You bastard, she's just a baby! Help her, help her. Can't you hear what's happening?! Help her.
  • (To the Beast blocking the way to Carol Anne and Robbie's bedroom) No, don't touch my babies!
  • (To the Beast while running upstairs to save Carol Anne and Robbie after escaping the pool) Get away from my babies! Get away!
  • It's like, it's like, there's this tickling, you know, right in here. And it starts to pull you. The tickling pulls you. And all of a sudden, it's like there's no air except that you can breathe. And you're getting pulled along and --
  • She just moved through me. My God. I felt her. I can smell her. It's her. It's her. Smell my clothes. It's her. She's all over me. It's her. She's on me. It's her. I felt her. It's her. It is. It's...it is...it's my baby. It's my baby. She went through my soul.

Steve Freeling[edit]

  • A three meter board is like an air pocket, sweetheart. When you dive off, it's like free-falling.
  • We keep the room locked off from the rest of the house. Robbie's sleeping with us now—Dana, she spends a lot of time with friends.
  • So. What side of the rainbow are we working tonight, Dr. Lesh? Is this your Knott's Berry Farm solution?
  • [bodies begin shooting out of his house & yard; to Teague] You son of a bitch! You moved the cemetery, but you left the bodies, didn't you?! You son of a bitch, you left the bodies and you only moved the headstones! YOU ONLY MOVED THE HEADSTONES! WHY?! WHY?!
  • Nobody's goin' in the kitchen until I know what's happening.

Carol Anne Freeling[edit]

  • [to the TV] Hello? What do you look like? Talk louder, I can't hear you!!!! Hey, hello! Hello, I can't hear you! 5. Yes! Yes. I don't know. I don't know.
  • They're Heeere.
  • I can hear you Mommy. Where are you?
  • [readying her deceased pet bird for burial in his eternal cigar box] For when he's hungry...for when he's lonely...and when it's nighttime.
  • Can I get a goldfish now?
  • Can I take my goldfish to school?
  • The "TV People".
  • Mommy, where are you? I can't find you. I can't. I'm afraid of the Light, mommy. I'm afraid of the Light.
  • Mommy, there's somebody here ... Mommy, somebody's coming. Mommy, help me, please! Get away from me. Leave me alone!
  • (First lines of the movie) Hello? What do you look like? Talk louder, I can't hear you! Hey, hello! Hello, I can't hear you! Five. Yes. Yes. I don't know. I don't know.
  • [puts a twizzler in the Tweety's coffin] For when he's hungry.
  • I want pepperoni pizza!
  • Hi, Daddy.
  • [Burying the canary, Carol Anne says a prayer] Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
  • Mommy didn't cook any dinner.
  • You promised pizza.
  • (While the Beast transforms her closet into a throat-like monster) No more.

Robbie Freeling[edit]

  • Is that our house?! Who are all those people?! Where are they coming from?!
  • If I got killed, I could visit her and show her how to get back here. You could tie a rope around me and hold it tight. Then somebody could come and get us and we could live somewhere else.
  • I got beat up once by three kids ... They took my lunch money. Maybe they got hit by a truck, and they're upstairs right now!
  • The house is coming?
  • Mom, when it rots, can we dig it up and see the bones?
  • (While tearing the Clown doll apart repeatedly) I HATE YOU, I HATE YOU!! YOU'RE A MURDERER!! I HATE YOU!!
  • (Repeatedly while trying to open the bedroom door as the Beast transforms his closet into a throat-like monster) Mom! Mom! Open the door! Mom!

Dr. Lesh[edit]

  • Parapsychology isn't something you master in. There are no certificates of graduation. No licenses to practice... I am a professional psychologist who spends most of my time engaged in this ghostly hobby, which makes me I suppose the most irresponsible woman of my age that I know.
  • It isn't over. I'm absolutely terrified... It's all the things that we don't understand. I feel like the proto-human coming out of the forest primeval and seeing the moon for the first time and throwing rocks at it.
  • I'm leaving Ryan here with you. Marty won't be coming back. I am coming back. And I'll bring some help. Try not to worry.
  • Would your family welcome a serious investigation of these disturbances by someone who can make first-hand observations?
  • Mrs. Freeling, the determination as to whether your home is haunted is not very easy. [A heavy teapot slides across the table in front of her] I -- what I meant to say was, it might very well be a poltergeist intrusion instead of a classic haunting.
  • There's going to be two more in a couple of seconds. They always come in pairs.
  • Poltergeist are usually associated with an individual. Hauntings seem to be connected with an area, a house usually.
  • It is—it is a way out, but not for her. Tell her, quickly.
  • The voice source on television - where is it coming from?

Tangina Barrons[edit]

  • This house has many hearts.
  • Your daughter is alive and in this house.
  • Y'all mind hanging back? You're jammin' the frequencies.
  • Now, clear your minds. It knows what scares you. It has from the very beginning. Don't give it any help, it knows too much already.
  • No, no, no... Go downstairs and wait by Ryan and pull. Only when I say so, only when I say.
  • Cross over, children. All are welcome. All welcome. Go into the light...there's peace and serenity in the light.
  • [Steven is trying to pull Diane out of the closet] Steven, not yet!
  • This house is clean.


Diane: Sweetheart, last night, when you said "They're here"?
Carol Anne: Can I take my goldfish to school?
Diane: Sweetheart, do you remember last night when you woke up, and you said "They're here.'?
Carol Anne: Uh huh.
Diane: Well, who did you mean, who's here?
Carol Anne: The "TV People".
Robbie: She's stoned.
Dana: Oh yeah? What do you know about it?
Robbie: More than you. Ask Dad.
Dana: Ask Dad.
Carol Anne: Ask Dad.
All: Ask Dad. Ask Dad.
Robbie: Ask Dad. Ask Dad. [glass breaks by itself & spills all over Dana's homework] Not my mess.
Dana: Thanks a lot, jerko. I've got class in 20 minutes.

Diane: [looking at rearranged, stacked chairs] "TV people"?
Carol Anne: Uh-huh.
Diane: Do you see them?
Carol Anne: Uh-uh. Do you?
Diane: Uh-uh.

Robbie: I don't like the tree, Dad.
Steve: That's an old tree, it's been around here a long time. I think it was here before my company built the neighborhood.
Robbie: I don't like its arms. [whispering] It knows I live here, doesn't it?
Steve: It knows everything about us, Rob, that's why I built the house next to it, so it could protect us: you and Carol Anne, and Dana and your mom and me ... That's a very wise old tree.
Robbie: It looks at me. It knows I live here.

Steve: Something's funny goin' on here next door. Something, uh --
Diane: We were wondering if maybe you had experienced any disturbances lately? ...Oh you know, like dishes or furniture moving around by themselves.

Steve: Tomorrow, I'm going to call someone --
Diane: Oh yeah? Who, for instance? I already looked in the Yellow Pages. "Furniture Movers" we got; "Strange Phenomenon", there's no listing.

Mr. Teague: One of your children was born in your house, huh?
Steve: Carol Anne.
Mr. Teague: I understand that she's missed a lot of school. One of Trask's daughters is in the same nursery class ...I didn't see her.
Steve: She's around.
Mr. Teague: Listen, I wonder if you'd mind if I asked you a question? Are you thinking about leaving Cuesta Verde?...How's that spot for a bay window, huh?
Steve: Yeah, well, it's pretty nice if you're living up here, but uh, not so great down there in the valley having to look at a bunch of homes cutting into the hillside.
Mr. Teague: But you don't have to live in the valley anymore.
Steve: What are you saying?
Mr. Teague: We're starting Phase Five right here where we're standing. All of this can be your master bedroom suite. That can be your view. Interested?
Steve: Oh, Mr. Teague, you know, that's a generous offer. I'm just not a developer.
Mr. Teague: You're responsible for 42 percent of sales. That's almost half of everything down there. Almost 70 million dollars worth of dwelling and properties. Now that's a whole generation of security that nobody can put a price-tag on. Now look, I know we should have made you a full partner three years ago. Well, I don't want to lose you now.

Steve: Not much room for a pool, is there?
Mr. Teague: We own all the land. We've already made arrangements for relocating the cemetery.
Steve: Oh you're kidding. Oh come on. That's sacrilegious, isn't it?
Mr. Teague: Oh, don't worry about it. After all, it's not ancient tribal burial ground. It's just people. Besides, we've done it before.
Steve: When?
Mr. Teague: In '76, right down there.
Steve: Cuesta Verde?
Mr. Teague: All three hundred acres. Well, let me tell you, it was quite a deal!
Steve: No, no. But I never heard anything about it, though.
Mr. Teague: That's not the sort of thing one goes around advertising on a billboard or on the side of a bus. What are you worried about? Friends and relatives can visit their loved ones in Broxton Memorial Park - it's only five minutes further, for Christ's sake.

Steve: You know Teague, he won't take "Go to Hell" for an answer.
Diane: What are you going to do?
Steve: I'm gonna give him directions.

Dr. Casey: I was just about to check out the kids' bedroom, and I don't know, something took a bite out of me!
Robbie: You got bit?
Dr. Casey: Yeah, that or the worst muscle spasm in the world.

Dr. Casey: There's been some ionization flux. I'd like to make sure it's not caused by humidity coming from structural leakage, but I'm not going up there to find out. We have got much more than the paranormal episode taking place here. There's measurable physical science in this house that goes far beyond any of the creaking doors or cold spots I've ever experienced.
Dr. Lesh: The voice source on television - where is it coming from?
Ryan: The absence of a signal on the channel that is not receiving a broadcast means that it is free to receive a lot of noise from all sorts of things - like short wave, solar disturbances, car ignition sparkings -- outer space -- or inner space. Yes, what if these people had an area of bi-location in their own living room? No, I mean: if that is the way out then maybe somewhere in this house, there's a way in.

Robbie: Who are all those people?
Dr. Lesh: They're so alone. So alone.
Robbie: Where are they coming from?
Diane: I don't know.

Dr. Lesh: Well, I'm off. Now these tapes, I am going to have to display them, you know.
Steve: Oh please, not on 60 Minutes.
Diane: Or That's Incredible.

Dr. Lesh: Would your family welcome a serious investigation of these disturbances by someone who can make first-hand observations?
Steve: Dr. Lesh, we really don't care about the disturbances -- the pounding and the flashing, the screaming ... the music. We just want you to find our little girl.

Ryan: Mr. Freeling, we'll record any psychotronic energy or event.
Dr. Lesh: Yes, Ryan photographed an extraordinary episode on a case in Redlands.
Ryan: That's right. It was a child's toy, a very small Matchbox vehicle. Rolled seven feet across a linoleum surface. The duration of the event was seven hours.
Steve: Seven hours for what?
Ryan: For the vehicle to complete the distance. Of course, this would never register on the naked eye. But I have it recorded on a time-lapse camera. It's fantastic.
Steve: -- Mm-hm --
[opens door to see objects flying around children's room]

Diane: How long have you been investigating haunted houses?
Dr. Lesh: Mrs. Freeling, the determination as to whether your home is haunted is not very easy. [A heavy teapot slides across the table by itself in front of her] I -- what I meant to say was, it might very well be a poltergeist intrusion instead of a classic haunting.
[Light flashes twice]
Diane: There's going to be two more in a couple of seconds. They always come in pairs.
Dr. Lesh: Dr. Casey.
[Casey fails to photograph the light flashes]
Diane: You got to be quicker than that around here.
Steve: There's a difference?
Ryan: It's electrical. You can smell the charge.
Dr. Lesh: Poltergeist are usually associated with an individual. Hauntings seem to be connected with an area, a house usually.
Marty: Poltergeist disturbances are of fairly short duration, perhaps a couple of months. Hauntings can go on for -- years.
Diane: Are you telling me that all of this could just suddenly end at any time?
Dr. Lesh: Yes, it could, unless it's a haunting. But hauntings don't usually revolve around living people.
Diane: Then we don't have much time, Dr. Lesh, because my daughter is alive somewhere inside this house.

Dr. Lesh: Some people believe that when you die, your soul goes to heaven.
Robbie: When Grandpa was dying, I looked at him in the hospital bed. And I was watching. But I didn't see anything go up out of him.
Diane: Well, his soul is invisible, Robbie. You couldn't see it.
Robbie: But how come Grandpa isn't there on television with Carol Anne?
Dr. Lesh: Some people believe that when people die, there's a wonderful light -- as bright as the sun. But it doesn't hurt to look into it. All the answers to all the questions that you ever want to know are inside that light. And when you walk to it, you become a part of it forever. (beat) And then, some people die but they -- don't know that they've gone.
Robbie: They think they're still alive?
Dr. Lesh: Yes. Maybe they didn't want to die. Maybe they weren't ready. Maybe they hadn't lived fully yet or they'd lived a long, long time and they still wanted more life. They resist going into that light, however hard the light wants them. They just -- hang around. Watch TV, watch their friends grow up -- feeling unhappy and jealous and those feelings are bad. They hurt. (beat) And then, some people just get lost on the way to the light, and they need someone to guide them to it.
Robbie: So some people get angry and throw things around - like in my bedroom?
Dr. Lesh: Yes. Just like in school. Like -- some kids are nice to you, some kids are mean.
Robbie: I got beat up once by three kids. They took my lunch money. Maybe they got hit by a truck and they're upstairs right now!

Diane: Uhhh ... this is probably going to be seem a little strange. We hear better on this channel, don't ask me why. Well, uh -- I guess I'll call her. Carol Anne? ... it's Mommy, sweetheart. We want to talk to you. Please answer me, baby. Please answer me. Please talk to me, bunny.
Marty: -- look at the dog --
Diane: Are you with us now? Can you... can you say hello to daddy?
Carol Anne: Hello, Daddy.
Steve: Hello, Sweetpea.
Diane: It's Mommy, sweetheart.
Carol Anne: Hello, Mommy.
Diane: Hello, baby. Can you see me? Can you see Mommy?
Carol Anne: Mommy? Where are you? Where are you?
Diane: We're home, baby. We're home. Can you find me? Can you find a way to us, baby?
Carol Anne: Mommy, where are you? I can't find you. I can't. I'm afraid of the Light, mommy. I'm afraid of the Light.
Dr. Lesh: Tell her to stay away from the light.
Diane: Maybe it's a way out --
Dr. Lesh: It is -- it is a way out, but not for her. Tell her, quickly.
Diane: Stay away from the light. The light is dangerous. Don't go near it. Don't even look at the light.
Carol Anne: Mommy, there's somebody here ... Mommy, somebody's coming. Mommy, help me, please! Get away from me. Leave me alone!
Diane: She just moved through me. My God, I felt her. I can smell her. It's her...She's all over me... She went through my soul.

Tangina: I'd give my strongest feeling. The point of origin is in the child's closet upstairs.
Diane: Yes, I believe that too.
Tangina: Honey, are you gonna be strong for me and for your daughter? I can do absolutely nothing without your faith in this world and your love for the children.
Diane: I will, believe me I will.
Tangina: And will you do anything I ask, even if it comes contrary to your beliefs as a human being and a Christian?
Diane: Yes, I promise, please.

Tangina: There is no death. There is only a transition to a different sphere of consciousness. Carol Anne is not like those she's with. She's a living presence in their spiritual, earth-bound plane. They're attracted to the one thing about her that's different from themselves. Her life-force - it is very strong. It gives off its own illumination. It is a light that implies life and memory of love and home and earthly pleasures, something they desperately desire but can't have anymore. Right now, she's the closest thing to that, and that is a terrible distraction from the real light that has finally come for them. Do you understand me?

These souls who for whatever reason are not at rest are also not aware that they have passed on. They're not part of consciousness as we know it. They're in a perpetual dream state, a nightmare from which they cannot wake. Inside this spectral light is salvation - a window to the next plane. They must pass through this membrane with friends who are waiting to guide them to new destinies. Carol Anne must help them cross over, and she will only hear her mother's voice. Now, hold onto your selves. There's one more thing - a terrible presence is in there with her. So much rage, so much betrayal. I've never sensed anything like it. I don't know what hovers over this house, but it was strong enough to punch a hole into this world and take your daughter away from you. It keeps Carol Anne very close to it and away from the spectral light. It lies to her. It says things only a child can understand. He's been using her to restrain the others. To her, it simply is another child. To us, it is the Beast. Now let's go get your daughter.

Tangina: You can't choose between life and death when we're dealing with what is in between. Now tell her before it's too late.
Diane: Run to the light, baby. Mommy is in the light.
Tangina: Tell her you're waiting for her.
Diane: Mommy's waiting for you in the light. [under her breath to Tangina] I hate you for that.

Tangina: Help me tie this around my waist.
Diane: What do you think you're doing?
Tangina: I'm going in after her.
Diane: She won't come to you. Let me go.
Tangina: You've never done this before.
Diane: Neither have you.
Tangina: [pause] You're right. You go.

(Last lines)

Dana: Wh-What's happening? What's happening? WHAT'S HAPPENING?!
Steven: (Drives up to his panicking older daughter) Dana! Get in the car!
Robbie: Daddy! Drive away! Drive away!
Diane: Steven, hurry!
Dana: Daddy!
(Dana dives into the back seat of the car next to Robbie and E. Buzz)
Robbie: The house is coming! Faster! Faster!
Steven: (To Diane who briefly looks back at the house as they drive off) Don't look back!


  • From a dimension beyond the living, a terror to scare you to death.
  • They're here.
  • It knows what scares you.
  • Some things have to be believed to be seen.
  • The first real ghost story.
  • [from trailer] The house looks just like the one next to it, and the one next to that, and the one next to that. A young couple live in it, with their three children... and something more.
  • [from trailer] Now Steven Spielberg crosses a frightening new threshold, into a world within our own.
  • [from trailer] Its form is revealed. Its focus is clear. And the games are over.
  • [from TV spot] Don't adjust the television set. Your reception's fine. But in their new suburban home, the Freeling family has tuned into something beyond our world.
  • [from TV spot] All across the country, by 4am, TV screens go blank. The late night show is over. The Freeling home is different. Although nothing is on, something is there.
  • [from TV spot] You'll never look at your television set the same way again.


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