I literally just wrote a post, two days ago, about what JoBeth Williams had to endure in the filming of Poltergeist (in the Val Kilmer post, about what a bad idea it is, to ever argue with directors/filmmakers - you do what they tell you, period - using JoBeth as an example) - and she's on the brand-new episode of Josh Gates Tonight (S4: Episode 22) called "I Am (Urban) Legend" talking about it - and she just confirmed again that they were real skeletons!!!
(However, she says she didn't find out until years later they were real - I thought she didn't know until after the first few takes.)
I'll post a clip of it when available.
Interestingly - keep in mind the 40-year-old rumor I mentioned in that post - about Steven Spielberg having an unhealthy obsession-bordering-on-stalking of JoBeth, and these scenes being retaliation for rejecting him, as she had just married John Pasquin, whom she's still married to - as you read the way this interview went ...
Josh asks her, straight up, if Tobe Hooper directed Poltergeist or Steven Spielberg, because there's been a lot of controversy over that (to say the least).
She said Steven was the producer, but he was there, every day, it was really his film.
Josh mentions that Tobe - who directed "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" - had always been known for using fake blood and skeletons - but used real ones, this time?
JoBeth pauses and says, "Yeah, apparently they were cheaper lol"
Real human skeletons from India were cheaper than plastic-mold casts?
Josh then asks her what he (Steven Spielberg) was like.
She says, without missing a beat: "Like a 13-year-old kid with his favorite toys."
Josh asks her about the bedroom scene.
(AKA the overly-aggressive near-spiritual rape scene, that I mentioned in that post - that went on way too long, was oddly out of place with the rest of the film, included inappropriate cheap, crass, through-the-legs panties shots, and inappropriately attempted to make rape sexy, rather than what rape actually is, just another method of power abuse.)
Josh didn't say any of that last paragraph, he just asked her about it, clearly being careful, and seeming slightly uncomfortable. He awkwardly throws it out there and kind of just waits to see what she'll say about it now.
Interestingly, she tells another story I hadn't heard - which is that she did about 75 takes of that bedroom scene, in a rolling room (to make it look like she was on the wall and the ceiling) - and by the time she was done, her legs and arms were bruised and bleeding.
She said, "Steven, I'm bleeding ..."
... to which Steven Spielberg replied, "Don't worry about it, we can clean that up, no one will see it."
Then Josh asks her if she was okay with all of this?
She says, "As long as I'm still getting residuals, yes, lol"
Brilliant answers, what class act, love her - she laughs it off as if she's teasing Steven as a friend, putting a positive, funny spin on it - but there is an undeniable slight edge to it, too.
HOWEVER ... hmm ... not sure that helped dispel those rumors or actually lends more credence to them.
Like I said, JoBeth will never tell, if she ever wants to work again, and she is still working - but she does seem to drop us hints, doesn't she?
(And she's still married to John, almost 40 years, mind you.)