Original Beetlejuice script was much more grim.
The original Beetlejuice script describes the title character as a leather-winged demon, with a human form that's far less charming than the green haired ghost we know and love. There was a lot more blood and gore in those pages, with a much more sinister tone.
House Ghosts and Scared Sheetless were possible titles.
The higher-ups at Warner Bros. were perhaps understandably a bit squeamish about releasing a movie called "Beetlejuice" and strongly suggested a name change. House Ghosts was their preferred title. Burton jokingly offered Scared Sheetless in response. According to an IFC article, the studio actually took him seriously at first.
Beetlejuice is a star.
Yes, the movie turned the title character into a pop cultural hero, complete with his own band at Universal Studios in Florida and Japan. But the origin of his name is quite literally cosmic. "Betelgeuse" is an actual star, situated in the Orion constellation. In fact, it's the ninth brightest star in the Earth's night sky.
Michael Keaton wasn't Tim Burton's first choice.
Sammy Davis, Jr. was already in his sixties around the time Beetlejuice was getting going, but at that point, the character was envisioned with a bit more of a laidback lounge singer vibe. Tim Burton was gung-ho to cast the famous Rat Packer in the title role. It was actually music impresario David Geffen, who oversaw the picture for Warner Bros., who suggested Michael Keaton. At the time, Keaton was known for more straightforward comedic fare like Mr. Mom.
Juliette Lewis auditioned to play Lydia.
The future star of Natural Born Killers was one of the young actresses who auditioned for the crucial role of Lydia, after a number of stars reportedly passed on the role, including Molly Ringwald, Jennifer Connelly, Diane Lane, and Sarah Jessica Parker. Burton was impressed with Wynona Ryder's performance in 1986's Lucas. Ryder was only 17 when she made both Beetlejuice and Heathers the same year.