|The Real Ghostbusters: Stock Ghosts
|The Real Ghostbusters is copyright 1984 Columbia Pictures
Everett Peck whipped several ghosts for the original "Ghostbusters" pilot animation that would not only
re-appear throughout the series run, but on a wide range of promotional materials. There were at least
fifteen of these "original" ghosts, counting a seldom-used skeletal aviator and not counting Slimer, who
came straight from the theatrical film.
Cards, stickers, buttons, folders, party favors, pillowcases and coloring books are just a few of the
products that these ghosts repeatedly appeared on, in a variety of colors and slight design variations.
The clearest and most colorful incarnations of these ghosts come from the Milton Bradley board game,
"The Real Ghostbusters: Tricks and Traps." The six here are probably the simplest and most generic
of the bunch, and served as filler for many ghostly hordes throughout the animated series.
Slightly more interesting is this multi-eyed, worm-bodied monster, which I personally had in a
"colorforms" playset (plastic stickers that could be positioned on a cardboard backdrop) and
also printed on a package of Ghostbusters napkins.
This big-tongued ghost reminds me of a deep sea fish with its bulging, glassy eyes, and
really shows what I mean about Everett's creepy-comedic taste. One must marvel at the
childish hairstyle of this manifestation. Did it do the braids itself?
....Maybe this one did the braids, since these two are obviously pals in the series pilot. If
anything, this monster has an even more baffling fashion sense. Its noodly fingers, bobbing
stalk-eyes, giant teeth and elephant nose would be crazy enough, but it also wears
custom-fitted lenses over two of its four eyes and a humongous bow tie that could never
have been purchased from conventional reality.
This one would be boring if not for its frog feet, skull face and bad attitude. It stance and
color call to mind the Chupacabras.
The nightgown-wearing ghoul here is perhaps the most traditionally ghostlike of the entire
set, though it still keeps with the comically eccentric feel of the rest. Very few creatures in
Ghostbusters continuity would ever resemble literal, straightforward human spirits, and I think
we can all agree that this adds nothing but appeal.
Sometimes, the silliest monsters are the most unnerving. How would you really feel if this
man-chicken crossed your path on some moonlit night, its toothless maw agape in an
otherworldly howl, its ring of eyes glaring mindlessly in all directions? Imagine this
monstrosity hiding somewhere in your house right now. Maybe not dangerous, maybe not
even smart enough to be malicious...but it's there. And it looks at you.
This crescent-shaped weirdo was portrayed in two different ways. In earlier art and in
animated form, it has a swept taffy-like appearance, with eerily stretched eye sockets. Later
and more frequently, it was given a more solid looking, warty form with gnarled hands. Both
are fairly interesting, but I much prefer the limbless blob version; not only stranger, but really
Finally, we come to my personal favorite of the stock ghosts. Everything about this guy - the
hairy shell, dozens of legs, long neck and goggle-like eyes make for a really distinctive
creature, portrayed with a panicky expression in its most common artwork. I had many items
that featured this ghost and always hoped it would appear as a part of the toy line, but like
the rest of these characters, it never would. The closest you can get is the Street Creeper
ghost, an accessory to one of the vehicles. A superficial similarity, but this does make the
Street Creeper one of my favorites.
This cyclopean ghost is pretty interesting on its own merits, though in Ghostbusters context,
it's more of a modified Slimer.
My appreciation for no-name ghosts is nothing new - it's practically what attracted me to the
franchise to begin with, and I probably drew this picture between four and six years old. You'll
notice I added Soar Throat to the bunch, but I'll bet you couldn't guess the purple guy in
front; He isn't even from Ghostbusters...he's Wrong Way from the "Q*Bert" arcade games!
A BIG thanks to Lanny White for scanning so many pieces of rare merchandise and Joe
Ghostbuster of gbfans.com for the "Tricks & Traps" artwork! This page just wouldn't have
been possible otherwise.