When Leslie and the graduate students are scoping out potential victims at the school, Leslie makes eye contact with a young woman. As this happens, three girls can be spotted playing jump rope in the background. This is a reference to the "Nightmare on Elm Street" series.
When Leslie is applying his makeup while being interviewed about his target, the song playing in the background is the same as that heard at the end of The Shining (1980), where Jack Torrence appears in the photo: ''Midnight, The Stars and You,'' sung by Al Bowlly with the Ray Noble Orchestra, 1934.
The town the movie is set in, Glen Echo, is based off a real neighborhood in Montgomery County, MD, near where the director grew up. A notable feature of the area being a turn of the century amusement park that stood mostly abandoned for several decades as it deteriorated and earned a fitting "haunted" reputation among locals. The carousel which the park is known for is also referenced in the Glen Echo Entertainment's (Glosserman's production company) logo.
Several character names are references to classic Horror films. For instance, Doc Halloran is a mash-up of Danny Torrence's nickname (Doc) in "The Shining" (1980) and Dick Halloran from the same movie, and Jamie being a reference to Jamie Lee Curtis, who was the final girl in several slasher movies such as "Halloween" (1978) and "Prom Night" (1980).