Val Lewton did not like the article "I Walked With A Zombie" by Inez Wallace that had been optioned, so he adapted the story to fit the novel "Jane Eyre" because he felt the article's plot was too clichéd.
Hanging on the wall in Jessica's room is a copy of Arnold Böcklin's mysterious painting "Isle of the Dead," which would serve as the basis for another Lewton production with that title two years later.
Sir Lancelot wrote the song "Shame and Scandal in the Family" for this movie. In the early 1960s Lord Melody used the melody and the chorus and an old humorous story to create a new song, initially called "Wau Wau", though it became more familiarly known under its original title. The song was recorded by a variety of international artists (e.g.. The Kingston Trio, Odetta, Peter Tosh and The Wailers), even becoming a #1 hit in Australia. In the course of its life, the original writers have been ignored at times, with the authorship being attributed to a duo of Donaldson and Brown, instead of Sir Lancelot and Ardel Wray (the film's co-writer).
Edith Barrett, who played the mother, was only 3 years older than James Ellison, who played her younger son, Wesley. She actually was 2 years younger than Tom Conway, who played her older son, Paul.
Although the screenplay is credited to "Curt Siodmak and Ardel Wray", the two did not work together on the film and in fact never even met each other. Wray was brought in after Siodmak left.
In the script, the fictitious island is very explicitly identified as being owned by the United States. None of these items (such as a prominent American flag flying at the harbor) made it into the film, and items like the island's association with Ontario (where Betsy is from) suggest that it might instead be a current or former British colony.
The legal disclaimer at the end of the credits, which roll at the start of the film, makes light of the film's subject. The disclaimer states: "The characters and events depicted in this photoplay are fictional. Any similarity to actual persons, living, dead, or possessed, is purely coincidental."
The role played by Frances Dee was originally filled by Anna Lee.
The Boomslang snake's venom causes you to bleed from all holes of your body.
The two figures seen walking along the beach during the opening credits are Frances Dee and Darby Jones.
Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
Location shooting was cut by five days due to wartime gasoline rationing.