On June 4, 1982, suburbia became infinitely creepier with the release of "Poltergeist." The landmark horror film came about when Steven Spielberg teamed up with Tobe Hooper ("Texas Chainsaw Massacre") to tell the story of a pleasant California family that gets terrorized by the ghostly spirits of the restless dead -- and an evil presence looking for some eternal torture. The film took advantage of Spielberg's blockbuster wizardry and Hooper's penchant for gnarly gore, to deliver an innovative and frightening spectacle that proved no room in your house was safe from a child-eating tree.
Not surprisingly, "Poltergeist" was a massive box-office success that went on to spawn two sequels, and turned "They're here" into one of the freakiest things you could say to someone. To celebrate the movie's 30th anniversary, we've counted down the series' scariest scenes, featuring everything from a creepy preacher to a nauseating steak with a mind of its own.
9. 'They're Here'
As if we could ignore it; the ominous introduction to the world of "Poltergeist" taught us to turn the TV off before we go to bed.
8. The Beast
There's no crazy special effects and no monsters are displayed on camera, but Zelda Rubinstein's monologue -- along with Jerry Goldsmith's score -- is creepy enough to get the job done.
7. The Vomit... Creature... Thing from 'Poltergeist 2'
6. They Only Moved the Headstones
You can't have an effective third-act-twist without some projectile corpses.
5. Reverand Henry Kane
The "Poltergeist" sequels may get increasingly hokey, but at least they gave us a memorable movie villain with Julian Beck's portrayal of a cult leader-turned-vengeful spirit.
4. What's Hiding in the Light
The whole movie hints at who or what is on<em> the other side</em>, and our only clear look at its inhabitants, is pants-wettingly terrifying.
3. The Only Good Part of 'Poltergeist 3'
One of the goriest scenes in movies history earns "Poltergeist" its hard R-rating -- <em>wait, what? This movie was PG?!</em>
1. The Clown