Trivia: The scene where the ghosts stacked the chairs on the kitchen table was filmed in one take with no cuts. As the camera followed Diane Freeling to the kitchen sink, the crew members rushed to the table, put an already built pyramid of chairs on the table and then took away the individual chairs.
Trivia: After the first Poltergeist movie was made, actress Dominique Dunne (Dana Freeling) was murdered by her estranged boyfriend in 1982. Actor Julian Beck (Kane) died of stomach cancer in 1985 after filming the second film. And after the third, actress Heather O'Rourke (Carol-Anne) died in 1988 from cardiopulmonary arrest brought by intestinal stenosis. This has (annoyingly) been called "The Poltergeist Curse."
Trivia: Near the beginning of the movie when Dana leaves for school, we see Carol-Ann watching a channel with static. When her mother says, "It'll ruin your eyes" or something, she changes it to a channel that has a war movie on. If you watch for about 5 seconds, you'll hear the Wilhelm scream.
Trivia: Steven Spielberg wanted to direct the film but couldn't due to a contract issue stipulating he couldn't direct another film while working on "E.T." Rumor has it that Spielberg (who was often on-set) served as a creative director and handled major aspects of production like casting and directing the actor's performances, while credited director Tobe Hooper handled the visual and aesthetic direction. (Though allegedly based on storyboards Spielberg also helped out on).
Trivia: Since it is known the film crew moved the table and chairs and replaced them with a stacked set in one take, the tell-tale result of the quick switch can be seen in the disturbance of the leaves of the plants in the kitchen before Jobeth Williams turns to see the table chairs.