Nick Groff Investigates… Poltergeist!

Nick Groff, Nick Groff Investigates, Poltergeist, Tobe Hooper, Steven Spielberg, horror, hauntings,, AITH, Arrow in the Head

Nick Groff is one of the most respected names in television and beyond when it comes to the paranormal. He has had incredible experiences in some of the most haunted locations in the world. As a friend to Arrow in the Head, we’ve shared some very exciting experiences with Nick including a couple of wild and spooky moments that we’ve managed to capture on camera. Thus, we’ve decided to work with the television host and producer extraordinaire so he can share his knowledge and insight on all things that go bump in the night. With this bi-monthly column, we plan to delve into everything from urban legends to ghostly apparitions, to his take on some of the coolest genre flicks ever. This is Nick Groff Investigates…!

Nick Groff, Nick Groff Investigates, Poltergeist, Tobe Hooper, Steven Spielberg, horror, hauntings,, AITH, Arrow in the HeadPOLTERGEIST!

Before I first witnessed the awesomeness of the 1982 classic feature POLTERGEIST, someone I knew decided to tell me nearly every single moment that happened in the film beforehand. Yeah, this dude was kind of a dick. Yet amazingly, this knowledge did not in any way hinder my enjoyment. This is partially true because many of the elements that work so well don't seem like a really obvious thing. Sure, a horror movie should be scary. Yet in this Tobe Hooper directed, Steven Spielberg produced flick, one of the best things about it is the amazing cast. It's difficult to find a better on-screen couple than JoBeth Williams and Craig T. Nelson. As well, the whimsy of Spielberg mixed with the power of suspense from Hooper made this ghostly tale one of my favorite horror films of all time. Even with knowing well in advance every moment that was going to happen.

Recently, I've been thinking a lot about POLTERGEIST for several reasons. It helps that October is about to arrive and this is one of my go-to movies.  Honestly though, just having the television turned on late at night reminds me of this classic flick. That said, the film has another intriguing reputation as a very cursed production. A number of people involved lost their lives in unexpected ways after making this spooky tale, this includes young Heather O'Rourke and her co-star Dominique Dunne. While this isn't the first horror flick to develop a few ghost stories of its own after its initial release, it's become one of the most prominent. Even with two sequels and a remake, the original film feels extra creepy with the common belief that the film left a frightening legacy on some of those involved.

While Nick and I were discussing what this weeks' topic would be, the word POLTERGEIST came up. Mr. Groff suggested this scary tale, not only for the strange happenings to the crew but for the original story on which it was based. While I had a slight knowledge of this, I was unaware of most of the history behind the creepy happenings that took place in Long Island, New York that helped inspire this classic. Thankfully, Nick was very aware of the history, and this leads us to a look inside POLTERGEIST, not only the magical movie itself but the scary entity that haunted a real-life family – as well as a few other inspriations. Have you ever had an experience with a poltergeist? If so, please share in the comments below. And here's what Nick Groff had to say about those pesky visitors that inspire little girls to announce, "They're here!"

Nick Groff, Nick Groff Investigates, Poltergeist, Tobe Hooper, Steven Spielberg, horror, hauntings,, AITH, Arrow in the Head

Poltergeist is one of those films that has stood the test of time. I have watched it throughout my life at different moments and it has always intrigued me. I was born in San Jose, CA, and my cousins and I would always talk about finding the real house that inspired the movie. Learning more as I got older I heard multiple stories that occurred in 1969, an old Native American cemetery was unearthed while excavating land for a Vons supermarket in Agoura Hills California. Another similar story was in 1958 at the house of the Herrmann family in Seaford, Long Island that involved unearthing bones. 

I'm not sure if these two stories entirely inspired Steven Speilberg and Tobe Hooper but they definitely interested me a lot. My interest in the paranormal grew with my knowledge throughout the years with different experiences I encountered. With knowledge comes experience and understanding of the weird world we live in. Films have always been a huge part of my life but investigating the unknown to further evolve myself has been an even bigger part of my journey. Poltergeist was a stepping stone for me to want to search out the truth behind the film. 

With anything in the Film/TV world, we learn that a lot of the screen time seen by viewers is over the top. The more I've searched the more I discovered some truth about the real Poltergeist. The interesting part is the paranormal is a needle in a haystack sometimes. Things just don't happen on cue. This is especially clear watching the films' ending where it all spirals out of control within 1hr 54mins. Throughout my journey, I have seen some incredible moments that I can't explain, but the location didn't curl up into an epic ball of light and vanish in thin air.

This is why I love movies because it is an escape from reality and keeps you questioning the world we live in with, "what if it was possible"? So many different films have interested me like, "The Sixth Sense", "The Others", "Ghost", "The Gift", "The Shining", "The Devil's Backbone", "Session 9", "Stir of Echoes", "Insidious", "Poltergeist", etc…and keep us wanting more. We search for the ultimate question: what happens when we die and what is beyond what we comprehend right now? I get into deep conversations on this topic almost every day.

Life is short and we need to question all things we don't understand in order to grow. Movies at times help us think outside the box and push the envelope to allow the mind to dive deeper. October is here and this month always brings new twists and turns to the paranormal and the horror genre. Explore and enjoy the ride but be sure to check under your bed before falling asleep! Turn off the lights and drift away into the mind that you escape to every day. Sleep well my friends…

Source: Arrow in the Head

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JimmyO is one of’s longest-tenured writers, with him reviewing movies and interviewing celebrities since 2007 as the site’s Los Angeles correspondent.