38 Paranormal Facts About The Ghostbusters Films

March 14, 2020 | Dylan Fleury

38 Paranormal Facts About The Ghostbusters Films

“He slimed me” – Dr. Peter Venkman

Ghostbusters has had an interesting run as a franchise. The first one is considered a childhood treasure by a generation of fanboys while the last one supposedly ruined the childhood of that same group of fanboys. And then there’s the one in the middle that no one seems to talk about—it’s the best one, by the way (controversial opinion alert!) Either way, Ghostbusters is one of the funniest and most creative films of all time that brought together a comedy dream team—and did it again over 30 years later! So, get those proton packs on and be careful not to cross streams—here are 38 paranormally funny facts about the Ghostbusters franchise.

Ghostbusters Films Facts

38. It Runs in the Family

It’s almost as if it were Dan Aykroyd’s destiny to make Ghostbusters, as the obsession with the paranormal runs deep in his family. All the way from his great-grandfather to his father, the Aykroyd men have consistently been investigating or trying to communicate—legitimately—with the spirit world. They passed this on to Dan, and thankfully he saw the potential for a film in all of this instead and made Ghostbusters. Later on, he starred in a series called Psi Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal, created by his brother, Peter Aykroyd.

The Ghostbusters Films facts Top250

37. Mole People

Even though Aykroyd had a finished script before the film was greenlit by Columbia Pictures, it was far from the finished product they ended up making. The final version was written by Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ivan Reitman during a two-week long writing session in the basement of Aykroyd’s house in Martha’s Vineyard.

The Ghostbusters Films facts Medium

36. Ghost Stories

Aykroyd’s inspiration for the tone and feel of the film came from the ghost projects of comedic greats like Bob Hope, Abbott and Costello, and the Bowery Boys.

The Ghostbusters Films facts Another Old Movie Blog

Abbott and Costello

35. The Original Dream Team

One of the factors that made Ghostbusters so iconic was the amazing cast that Aykroyd put together, a comedic dream team comprising himself, Bill Murray and Harold Ramis. However, the original choice for the cast was just as impressive and would have seen Aykroyd team up with John Belushi and Eddie Murphy, instead.

The Ghostbusters Films facts

34. That’s A Lot of Zero’s

A major issue that screenwriters face is that they never think of the potential budget needed to support the script as they write, and instead just let their imagination fly and write down any idea that comes to mind. That’s exactly what happened with the first draft of Aykroyd’s Ghostbusters script—it was estimated that it would have cost $300 million dollars to make.

The Ghostbusters Films factsGizmodo

33. To Infinity and Beyond!

Not only was the cast different in the first draft of the script, but the tone was darker, it took place in the future, and there was a lot more ghost-busting going on. Aykroyd wanted to see multiple Ghostbusters teams fight multiple ghosts not only on Earth but in different dimensions. That $300 million dollar budget is starting to make sense.

The Ghostbusters Films facts Geek Outlaw

32. Different Approach

Rick Moranis was perfect as nosy neighbor Louis Tully, so it’s hard to imagine he was the second choice to play the part. Originally, Aykroyd offered the role to John Candy, but when Candy wanted to change the character to a German man with a thick German accent who has two dogs--German shepherds, of course—Aykroyd pulled the offer and gave it to Moranis, who loved the part.

The Ghostbusters Films factsVillains Wikia

31. One and Only

The iconic Ectomobile that the Ghostbusters drive around in was truly one of a kind, as they didn’t have any backup Ectomobiles for the entirety of the shoot. The vehicle ended up breaking down during production, but luckily they had already shot everything they needed with it.

The Ghostbusters Films facts Vanity Fair

30. Movie Magic

With such a short amount of time to put the movie together, the visual effects team had to improvise a lot on set to get certain shots. At one point, a green, spray painted peanut was used for Slimer to get a shot of the ghost in a hotel scene, spinning around a chandelier. The end result was quick and blurry, but it made the final cut of the film.

The Ghostbusters Films facts The First Hour

29. Listen Closely

Reitman never got an acting credit for his appearance in Ghostbusters, but he should have at least got a vocal credit—if that’s a thing—for providing his voice in the movie. He made the sound effects for Slimer when the ghost is eating food, and provided the voice for Zuul when it possesses Dana.

The Ghostbusters Films facts Imgur

28. Is This Edible?

For the end of the movie, when the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man blows up and covers everyone in marshmallow, they weren’t able to get their hands on enough of the candy—and what a waste of perfectly good marshmallow that would have been—so instead, they used a boatload of shaving cream.

The Ghostbusters Films facts Suddenly, a shot rang out

27. You Gotta Have Faith

Reitman was terrified during the first screening of Ghostbusters for an audience, as he was worried that the movie would be too absurd and that certain jokes would be lost on an audience. His concerns were obviously unnecessary, as the audience loved it and it became a massive success.

The Ghostbusters Films facts Hollywood Reporter

26. Put It on the DVD Cover

Ghostbusters was nominated for two Academy Awards, for Best Original Song and Best Visual Effects. It is the only one in the franchise to receive this honor.

The Ghostbusters Films facts Complex

25. Let’s Go Smash Some Ghosts!

The original title for the movie was Ghost Smashers and is one they almost had to use when they found out that Universal Studios already made a short-lived TV show called The Ghost Busters, in 1975. They were able to keep the name Ghostbusters—thankfully—as Ghost Smashers just sounds wrong on so many levels.

The Ghostbusters Films factsZaki

24. I’ve Heard That One Before

After Huey Lewis turned down an offer to write and perform a theme song for Ghostbusters, they got Ray Parker Jr. instead and asked him to make a song that was “Huey Lewis-esque.” It’s fair to say he accomplished just that, and was later sued by Lewis for plagiarizing his song, “I Want a New Drug.” They settled out of court, but if you listen to both songs, Lewis has a point.

The Ghostbusters Films facts The daily beast

23. Bring Your Kids to Work Day

Ivan’s son, Jason Reitman, and daughter, Catherine Reitman, both appear in Ghostbusters II, with Jason telling the Ghostbusters they’re, “full of crap”, and Catherine playing with a puppy in Egon’s lab. Jason went on to become a director as well, known for films like Juno and Young Adult, while Catherine created and stars in the TV show Workin’ Moms.

he Ghostbusters Films facts

22. Inspired By

The popularity of the animated TV series The Real Ghostbusters played a huge part in shaping the final product of Ghostbusters II. Characters appearances were changed to match that of their animated counterparts, adult innuendos were toned down to make the movie more kid-friendly, and Slimer made an appearance because of his popularity on the TV show.

The Ghostbusters Films facts Slash Film

21. What’s This Thing Called Again?

Proton packs are heavily used throughout Ghostbusters, but those words are never actually said in the first film. It’s not until the sequel when the term is finally used in the subway scene.

The Ghostbusters Films facts Agents of GUARD

20. Ghost Cameo

It turns out Slimer appears as himself in the Ghostbusters movies and isn’t playing a character, as he is billed as Slimer in the credits for Ghostbusters II. He must have retired from acting, as his film credits stop there.

The Ghostbusters Films factsThe raffon

19. Unfortunate Record

It’s fair to say that fans of Ghostbusters were not behind the all-female reboot, and made their displeasure known once the first trailer dropped. It quickly became the most disliked movie trailer of all-time on YouTube, and currently sits at over 1 million dislikes on Sony Pictures YouTube channel.

The Ghostbusters Films factsTheMacGuffin

18. Not Another Franchise

Two high profile actresses, Emma Stone and Jennifer Lawrence, were both considered for roles in the Ghostbusters reboot, but both turned them down because of other movies franchises. Lawrence was wrapped up in filming X-Men: Apocalypse, while Stone simply didn’t want to commit to another franchise after finishing up her role as Gwen Stacey in The Amazing Spider-Man movies.

The Ghostbusters Films factsVanity Fair

17. Character Development

In the Ghostbusters reboot, Kevin—played by Chris Hemsworth—was meant to be more apathetic, according to writer Katie Dippold, but Hemsworth decided to improvise the character as more of an idiot, and they went with it. So, in the end, Kevin doesn’t really care about the job, but it’s more to do with stupidity than apathy.

The Ghostbusters Films factsFan Fest

16. Try Something New

The role of Patty Tolan—played by Leslie Jones—was originally written with Melissa McCarthy in mind. However, director Paul Feig realized that he had seen McCarthy in that type of role before—in his own films—and decided to let her try a different character. It ended up being a win-win for Feig, as he kept McCarthy on board and added the mega-funny Jones!

The Ghostbusters Films factsGiphy

15. New Generation

One of the main reasons why the 2016 Ghostbusters ended up being a reboot and not a sequel was because Feig wanted to bring the concept to a new generation of moviegoers, and give it a fresh start to develop an entirely new franchise. Unfortunately, this version may be one and done.

The Ghostbusters Films factsLe M Cronache

14. Familiar Faces

The cast of the first two Ghostbusters movies—minus Rick Moranis and Harold Ramis—appeared in the reboot, but in cameo roles as brand new characters and not the ones they were known for. An odd choice, but it helped keep the franchises separate.

The Ghostbusters Films factsGhostbusters Wikia

13. New but Not Improved

Not only did Ghostbusters get remade, they also updated the catchy “Ghostbusters” song, by Ray Parker Jr. The new version, titled “Ghostbusters (I’m Not Afraid)” is performed by Fall Out Boy and Missy Elliot.

The Ghostbusters Films factsDiffuser

12. Good Ratings Equals More Money

Out of all three movies, Ghostbusters (1984) is the highest grossing worldwide at $282 million dollars, followed by Ghostbusters (2016) with $229 million and Ghostbusters II at $215 million. The Rotten Tomato scores are in the same order as well, with 97%, 73% and 53% from the critics, respectively.

The Ghostbusters Films factsOverthinking It

11. If You Ain’t First, You’re Last

Even though Ghostbusters (2016) outperformed the first two movies opening weekend at the box office, it still wasn’t enough to open number one, a feat that the first two films were able to pull off.

The Ghostbusters Films factsPinterest

10. Are We Thinking of the Same Movie?

While watching the 2016 version, some people may have noticed that the opening credits say Ghostbusters, but the end credits say Ghostbusters: Answer The Call. That’s because the movie technically has two names to help differentiate it from the original and help the studio catalog it. Why didn’t they just stick with the full version and avoid the confusion? Good question. I don’t have the answer, but it’s a good question.

The Ghostbusters Films factsWallpaperSite

9. Bad Sign

Back in 2013, Reitman was gearing up to direct a third Ghostbusters movie, titled Ghostbusters: Alive Again that would’ve seen the original cast pass the torch to a new, young group of Ghostbusters. However, after Ramis passed away, and Murray was hesitant to return, Reitman decided to drop the project altogether and let someone else take the reigns.

The Ghostbusters Films factsDigital Spy

8. Plans Change

There were plans to make a sequel to the 2016 Ghostbusters movie, but after a poor performance at the box office, the plans were reportedly scrapped. The studio believed they needed to make at least $300 million dollars just to break even, but only got $229 million, leading to a nearly $80 million dollar loss!

The Ghostbusters Films factsHuffington Post

7. Two Sides to Every Story

There is still hope for more Ghostbusters films in the future, though, as Reitman revealed plans for an animated movie, but with a twist. The movie would explore the Ghostbusters world but from the point of view of the ghosts. It’s just so crazy it might work! Or, fans will just revolt against that one too, because you can’t please everyone.

The Ghostbusters Films factsGiphy

6. One Hell of an Idea!

Before it was decided to completely reboot the franchise, there were several ideas thrown around for a potential third movie. One of them came from a script Aykroyd wrote, called Ghostbusters 3: Hellbent, that would have seen the paranormal hunters go to—well—hell. The movie would be very topical today, as the villain of the film was a man named Lou Siffer—get it—who bore a striking resemblance to the President of the United States, Donald Trump! I can already imagine all of the tweets.

The Ghostbusters Films factsScreen Rant

5. Who You Gonna Call? Not Bill Murray

As crazy as it may sound, Murray appeared to be far down the list of actors to play Peter Venkman. Aside from the original choice of Belushi, the role was also offered to Chevy Chase and a pre-Batman Michael Keaton before it eventually found its way to Murray.

The Ghostbusters Films factsFictional Characters Wikia

4. Uncredited Cameo

When Belushi passed away before Ghostbusters was filmed, the role that was originally his ended up going to Murray. However, to honor their beloved friend, they found a way put him in the film, kind of. The character Slimer is apparently based on Belushi and is described by Aykroyd as a “gross-looking, gluttonous, party-guy” apparition. I feel like anyone other than Belushi would be offended if their friends saw them that way.

The Ghostbusters Films facts

3. Describe the Movie in Five Words or Less

Director Ivan Reitman was able to sell Ghostbusters to Columbia Pictures with a one-sentence pitch—“Ghost janitors in New York.” The studio was also sold on the comedic trio of Aykroyd, Murray, and Ramis, and the successful comedies Reitman had already made, but it sounds better if they wanted to make the movie just because of those five words.

The Ghostbusters Films factsABC7 News

2. If It Walks Like a Dog, and Barks Like a Dog…

Sigourney Weaver got the part of Dana Barrett without uttering a single word in her audition. For her audition scene, she chose the one where her character gets turned into a dog by Gozer, and began running around the room on all fours and barking at Reitman. I’m surprised they didn’t try to save some money on special effects and just have Weaver do that in the movie, too.

The Ghostbusters Films facts MTV

1. Spooky Stuff

The scene in the original where the Ghostbusters are detained in a cell after being arrested was filmed in an actual old jail. While filming there, director Reitman noticed that the film dailies were covered with mysterious, violent scratches that couldn't be explained by any camera malfunction or other cause. The prison was actually reportedly haunted, and fearing that something worse would happen if they returned to film there again, they cobbled together the usable footage to complete the scene.

Ghostbusters Factsgiant freakin robot

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26

More from Factinate

Featured Article

My mom never told me how her best friend died. Years later, I was using her phone when I made an utterly chilling discovery.

Dark Family Secrets

Dark Family Secrets Exposed

Nothing stays hidden forever—and these dark family secrets are proof that when the truth comes out, it can range from devastating to utterly chilling.
April 8, 2020 Samantha Henman

Featured Article

Madame de Pompadour was the alluring chief mistress of King Louis XV, but few people know her dark history—or the chilling secret shared by her and Louis.

Madame de Pompadour Facts

Entrancing Facts About Madame de Pompadour, France's Most Powerful Mistress

Madame de Pompadour was the alluring chief mistress of King Louis XV, but few people know her dark history—or the chilling secret shared by her and Louis.
December 7, 2018 Kyle Climans

More from Factinate

Featured Article

I tried to get my ex-wife served with divorce papers. I knew that she was going to take it badly, but I had no idea about the insane lengths she would go to just to get revenge and mess with my life.

These People Got Genius Revenges

When someone really pushes our buttons, we'd like to think that we'd hold our head high and turn the other cheek, but revenge is so, so sweet.
April 22, 2020 Scott Mazza

Featured Article

Catherine of Aragon is now infamous as King Henry VIII’s rejected queen—but few people know her even darker history.

Catherine of Aragon Facts

Tragic Facts About Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII’s First Wife

Catherine of Aragon is now infamous as King Henry VIII’s rejected queen—but very few people know her even darker history.
June 7, 2018 Christine Tran

Dear reader,

Want to tell us to write facts on a topic? We’re always looking for your input! Please reach out to us to let us know what you’re interested in reading. Your suggestions can be as general or specific as you like, from “Life” to “Compact Cars and Trucks” to “A Subspecies of Capybara Called Hydrochoerus Isthmius.” We’ll get our writers on it because we want to create articles on the topics you’re interested in. Please submit feedback to contribute@factinate.com. Thanks for your time!

Do you question the accuracy of a fact you just read? At Factinate, we’re dedicated to getting things right. Our credibility is the turbo-charged engine of our success. We want our readers to trust us. Our editors are instructed to fact check thoroughly, including finding at least three references for each fact. However, despite our best efforts, we sometimes miss the mark. When we do, we depend on our loyal, helpful readers to point out how we can do better. Please let us know if a fact we’ve published is inaccurate (or even if you just suspect it’s inaccurate) by reaching out to us at contribute@factinate.com. Thanks for your help!

Warmest regards,

The Factinate team

Want to learn something new every day?

Join thousands of others and start your morning with our Fact Of The Day newsletter.

Thank you!

Error, please try again.