Who you gonna call?

(Hint:  NOT the librarians!)

Of course, I had to revisit Ghostbusters (1984) during the Halloween season. Such a memorable opening scene in the New York Public Library!

We start off with a supernatural being who “scared the socks off some poor librarian,” Alice Drummond effectively playing the freaked-out librarian. John Rothman plays the insensitive library manager, which I go into more detail here.

The Library Ghost (played by Ruth Oliver) shows every indication of being a librarian, to her bun hairstyle to her conservative, high-collared dress to the book in her hands.

Undoubtedly a former librarian spirit who’s not too happy at being disturbed:

Can’t a girl read in peace anymore?!

The most frightening close-up in this scene for me personally? The ectoplasm all over the card catalog:

And worse, Bill Murray’s Dr. Peter Venkman shows no respect for the books, wiping ectoplasmic residue goop all over the volumes closest to him. Boo!

Check out the library opening scene here:

Apparently, the Library Ghost plays a major role in the Ghostbusters video game (!), where we learn her real name — Dr. Eleanor Twitty, a former Head Librarian of the NYPL — and the events leading to her untimely death (and subsequent hauntings).

Also, did you know the NYPL has an extensive collection of materials on the occult and parapsychology? Click here for their subject guide on the Occult Sciences. Check it out… if you dare! 😉


5 comments on “Who you gonna call?

  1. I wonder how you remove ectoplasm from old books. I’ll bet it’s much easier to clean off a Kindle.

    • Jennifer says:

      Hah! I don’t know if it would be easier to clean ectoplasm off a Kindle… I’m just picturing that ectoplasm seeping down through the buttons and into the hard drive/computer gizmo/whatever. Sounds like an experiment for the MythBuster guys.

  2. […] in the New York Public Library. I analyzed this opening scene in an earlier post entitled ‘Who you gonna call?‘, back in fall […]

  3. […] written about 1984’s Ghostbusters in bits and pieces before on the blog, including a “Who you gonna call?” post delving into the Librarian Ghost, as well as a “Repeat offenders” post […]

  4. […] — although based on her hairstyle and clothing, she does look like a younger version of the librarian ghost from the original, doesn’t she? Gertrude the Ghost does make a return in the final battle showdown, and she is […]

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