Articles for Horror: “Poltergeist”

A plot summary of the 1982 film “Poltergeist.”



Carol Anne in front of her family TV as she communicates with it.

Autumn Castle, Staff Writer


Who was Carol Anne Freeling? 

Carol Anne Freeling was one of the main protagonists in the movie “Poltergeist.” She was a clairvoyant and had the power to hear, see, and communicate with ghosts through a TV set.

Carol Anne lived in a big house with her brother Robbie, her sister Dana, and her parents. While living there, she is kidnapped by the spirits, while the rest of her family encounters and fights a demon known as The Beast with the spiritual medium named Tangina Barrons in the process to save her.

What was “Poltergeist?”

The family lived in a nice community in California. Carol Anne’s dad was a real estate agent, and her mom looked after Dana who was 16, Robbie (8), and Carol Anne. Late one night, Carol Anne talked to the television as it displayed only static. The next night, she did it again and a white hand came from the screen towards her, with a violent earthquake following after the hand. The rest of the family woke up and found Carol Anne, who terrifyingly looked at them and said “they’re here.”

Odd events occurred the next day: a glass of milk broke, silverware bent, and furniture moved on its own. As time went on, events only continued to happen, but soon grew more sinister. During a thunderstorm, the backyard tree came alive. A large part of the tree crashed through the kid’s bedroom window and grabbed Robbie, and tried to eat him. 

When the family rushed outside to save Robbie, Carol Anne was drawn into a portal inside the closet. After they rescued Robbie from the tree, the family searched for Carol Anne, only to hear her talking to them on the television. 

Martha Lesh was a parapsychologist that arrived at the home with her team – Ryan and Marty – to investigate. They said there was a poltergeist that involved more than just one ghost. Sometime later, Carol Anne’s dad learned from his boss that the development was built on a former cemetery and the graves were moved; but the bodies were still there.

Dana and Robbie were sent somewhere safe, while Martha Lesh called Tangina Barrons, who was a medium. Tangina was set on the fact that the spirits were lingering in a “sphere of consciousness” and were not going to rest because they were drawn to Carol Anne’s life force. Tangina also noticed a sinister presence called the “Beast,” who trapped Carol Anne and was manipulating her life force to stop the other spirits from crossing over.

It was learned that the entrance to the other side was in the childrens’ bedroom closet and exited through the living room ceiling. Her mom was then tied to a rope and passed through the portal. She grabbed Carol Anne and came through the ceiling to the living room floor and Tangina tells them that the house is “clean.”

After the whole family is back together, they quickly pack to move. Before the family left, her dad went to his office while Dana went on a date, and left her mom at home with Robbie and Carol Anne. The Beast attacked Diane and the children, trying to get to Carol Anne once again. The Beast took her mom to the backyard in the pouring rain and dragged her into the swimming pool, where corpses and coffins were seen floating. She dragged herself out and ran back into the house. She took the kids, and they left the house as more coffins and bodies appeared from the ground.

Her dad arrived home with his boss and found out through the family what had happened, and they immediately left. They checked into a hotel room, where they ripped the TV from the wall and threw it outside.

How successful was “Poltergeist?”

“Poltergeist” was known as one of the greatest anti-TV movies, alongside “Network” and “The Truman Show.” It was a clever mix of storytelling and special effects that proved to be an effective horror movie.