To celebrate the release of The Real Ghostbusters animated series on Netflix, we take a look back at some of the most horrifying ghouls and ghosts from the show.
1. Samhain, ‘When Halloween Was Forever’ (1986)
Samhain was a Class 6 lower life form that had spent several hundred years trapped inside a clock, before being shipped over to New York and unleashed upon the unsuspecting populace. With his gigantic pumpkin head, Samhain exuded a control over the many ghosts and ghouls of NYC, convincing them all to join forces to bring about the apocalypse.
As creepy as Samhain was, the biggest fear here was what the character would do to Slimer. Being “not of this world,” Slimer too found himself falling under Samhain’s spell, and despite his best efforts, the so-called ugly little spud was used as a pawn in Samhain’s big plan.
The character would reappear in the comics – which are considered canon – as well as appearing in the opening titles for Extreme Ghostbusters, but never in the show itself which is probably for the best.
2. The Unspeakable, ‘The Thing in Mrs. Faversham’s Attic’ (1987)
I’ll never forget the terror that engulfed me as a child whenever I went to bed. You see, the hatch to the attic was directly above my bed and I would lay there, sheets pulled right up so that only my eyes were exposed, watching the screws that held it shut slowly begin to unscrew themselves.
This fear of the things that lurk in the darkness of the attic, or cellar, is extremely common among kids and adults alike, so it was an obvious choice for show writer J. Michael Straczynski to turn into a plot line for The Real Ghostbusters.
In “The Thing in Mrs. Faversham’s Attic,” Venkman, Zedmore, Spengler and Stantz are called upon to investigate a bona fide demon from the depths of Hell, that has resided in an old lady’s attic for 70 years, after being summoned by her father.
The Thing in question was actually a Class 7 Metaspectre, which is right up there with Zuul, and takes on the form of a giant, purple cloud with multiple eyes and total control over everything in the attic. When the Ghostbusters head into the darkness of the roof space, nothing can prepare them for the terrifying nightmares that awaited them. The nightmares were all too real for us kids too!
3. The Grundel, ‘The Grundel’ (1987)
J. Michael Straczynski is one twisted son of a bitch. If his time as a writer on The Real Ghostbusters was anything to go by, he clearly spent his free time coming up with ways to scare the piss out of children.
Legend suggests that Grundel was once an ordinary child, who had encountered a Grundel himself, and after considerable manipulation by the creature, morphed into one. That’s hinted at here too as the creepy little child catcher forces children into doing “bad things.”
Parents went crazy at what they believed to be hints that Grundel was a child molester, pointing to dialogue like “So fresh, so pure, but not for long,” and “Open the window, we’ll go away. Far from all the adults,” as so-called proof. This was never the intention of the show runners, and simply put, the character was terrifying enough without the seedy added depth.
The Grundel returned in Extreme Ghostbusters.
4. Ghash, ‘Slimer Come Home’ (1986)
Despite having a ridiculous name, Ghash was one of the ghouls that stuck with me the most in my childhood. Not because he looked all that scary, but more so because he used to absorb lesser ghosts into himself to increase his PKE.
He looked like a gaunt pig, and had a Freddy Krueger-type belly of souls that I found really disturbing. He’s overlooked a lot in these kind of lists but I still remember him, and now you do too.
5. The Fearsome Flush (1990)
What is more terrifying than the thought of a demon toilet? Especially one with a tongue! Potty training was never going to be the same again.
OK, so maybe Fearsome Flush never appeared in an episode per se, but it was created for the Real Ghostbusters toy line, as well as the board game, and was supposed to be the toilet from the Ghostbusters HQ, so technically it had appeared pre-possession.
6. The Boogieman/Bogeyman, ‘The Boogieman Cometh’ (1986)
The name itself should be enough to strike fear into the hearts of children all over the world. Remember how scared you were when your parents left your room, after tucking you in, and your closet door slowly creaked open? Was it the wind? Was it a coincidence? Your parents would tell you that there’s no such thing as The Boogieman. The writers of The Real Ghostbusters on the other hand, felt differently.
Utilizing doors from his own realm, that enabled him to enter the rooms of children via their closets, Boogieman couldn’t have been further from the cute and fury monsters in Disney’s Monsters Inc. He was a stunted, hideous Class 7 Demon, with long claws and razor sharp teeth that quite possibly molested Egon as a child.
The character was so terrifying that he appeared only twice, with the episodes seldom being shown in the form of reruns. He would appear in the Real Ghostbusters comic books though, and in one issue beat the Hell out of a child and wrote a threat to Egon in the child’s own blood! That’s pretty messed up!
Which spooks haunted your dreams as a child? Which episodes are you most looking forward to when The Real Ghostbusters lands on Netflix? Let us know in the comments section.