Reverend Henry Kane is a fictional ghost from the Poltergeist film trilogy.[1] In Poltergeist II: The Other Side (1986), he was played by Julian Beck.[2] In Poltergeist III (known in Australia as Poltergeist III: The Final Chapter) (1988), he was played by Nathan Davis, but an uncredited Corey Burton provided his voice. He is depicted as a power-hungry zealot and religious leader who predicted the "end of days" in order to entice his followers into a cavern.[3][4][5]

Fictional character historyEdit

Kane was an insane Christian Minister who predicted the end of the world. Kane vocalized his views and gained many followers in the process. Sometime in the early 1800s, he would lead his followers of his pseudo-Christian cult to southern California to set up a Utopian society. Somewhere along the journey, Kane predicted the end of the world was near. When they reached the land where the future Cuesta Verde development would be constructed, they sealed themselves in a subterranean cavern in which they prepared for Judgement Day. Even after Kane's predicted doomsday passed, he kept himself and his followers in the cavern, in which they eventually died. His followers' spirits were unable to rest because of their untimely death. Kane himself also became unable to rest as a spirit, and became a powerful, Satan-like spirit known as The Beast.

In the first movie, Kane (who didn't appear in his physical form) kidnapped Carol Anne Freeling, the youngest member of the family who lived in a house built over the cavern that Kane and his followers died in, and took her to the Other Side (the dimension between the world of the living and the ghosts). Kane lied to Carol Anne and claimed to be her friend so she could help lead him and other lost ghosts in the light that led to the hereafter. While it was learned towards the end of the movie what the intent of the lost ghosts was, it was never revealed who Kane was, nor was any information about his religious cult revealed. In fact, the story told in the first movie only mentions that the ghosts were lost, mainly in part to their neighborhood being built over a cemetery. In the second movie, Kane showed his true form and tried to pull the Freeling family apart. This was the first physical appearance of the Rev. Henry Kane, and was also the first telling of his story. His monstrous form had the souls of his followers fused onto his very body until he was seemingly killed and his released captives went into the other side.

In the third movie, he took on Carol Anne's form and stalked mortals in mirrors that served as portals to the Other Side. Also revealed was the fact Carol Anne was born in the house from the first movie, which partially explains her connection to the ghosts in pursuit of her. In the end, the Freeling family's clairvoyant ally, Tangina Barrons, goes off with Kane so he can go into the light and leave the Freeling family alone forever, seemingly. He was a ghost, now seemingly at true peace having finally crossed into the light. This does not come without a price, as Tangina must cross over with him, thereby sacrificing herself. Her final words (to Carol-Anne's aunt, who begs Tangina not to sacrifice herself, but soon realizes that it's the only way to save her family) are to tell Carol-Anne that she will always love her, and that her nightmare is now over. Tangina and Kane then walk hand-in-hand into the light. Following this, Carol-Anne and other relatives held captive subsequently emerge seemingly unscathed from the netherworld of the "other side".

Relevant character notesEdit

  • Kane appeared in his ghost form in the original script of the first film as one of the ghosts floating down the stairs.
  • Due to the passing of Julian Beck who played Kane during filming of the second film,[6] the filmmakers enlisted the help of H R Giger to create the "Beast" version of the character to replace Beck in scenes that remained to be filmed. Giger created several designs but only two appeared, and didn't get much screen time in the final film. His ghosts are displayed on his official website.

Appearances elsewhereEdit

  • Kane was depicted on the cover of Among the Living by Anthrax. The band stated in interviews that he was one of the things that scared them the most.


External linksEdit


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