I’ve been a fan of The Ghost Busters since I was a kid in the ’70s, but didn’t become a fan of Ghostbusters until years later when I was in high school back in the ’80s.

Yep, I’m old- and my first introduction to “Ghost Busters” was the original live action The Ghost Busters TV series back in 1975 by Filmation. It featured Spenser/Larry Storch, Tracy the gorilla/Bob Burns, and Kong/Forest Tucker (and spawned a Ghostbusters cartoon series by Filmation in 1986).

Have met Bob Burns and his wife Kathy a few times over the years at shows. They’re awesome folks, and have an amazing personal collection of Hollywood memorabilia- which includes the original Time Machine, props/creatures from Gremlins, the werewolf from An American Werewolf In London, Aliens, T2, the original King Kong stop-motion puppet armature (you can see them make a cameo in Peter Jackson’s King Kong and on the DVD/BluRay special features), plus many other costumes, spaceships, and props. They also produced backyard Halloween shows with many famous Hollywood actors and SPFX artists.

My buddy Kevin L. Williams was the first person I ever met who had their own Ghostbusters jumpsuit, homemade proton pack, and collection of Ghostbusters memorabilia. For several Halloweens we would hang out as Beetlejuice and a Ghostbuster.

One Halloween party Kevin even went as Tracy the gorilla! It actually won him an on-line contest prize of an autographed copy of the Trick ‘r Treat movie book from Michael Dougherty.

A couple times we performed Blues Brother songs as “BeetleBuster Blues“, including one time at the Ronald McDonald House Oscar Night America party at the Isaac Hayes Restaurant in downtown Memphis, TN. We performed “Soul Man“, a song Isaac co-wrote, and just as the music started we looked down and there he was sitting front and center in his personal reserved booth..! I always hate singing and dancing in public, but to do it in front of him was pretty frightening! We got to meet Isaac afterwards and he was just as cool as you might think. Met him again at a book sighing in Memphis before he passed away, and have met Dan Aykroyd and Jim Belushi as well.

Many of the times we were dressed up was for one of the local haunted houses. It originally was Nightmarez…On The Square when it was on Overton Square in midtown Memphis, then became Nightmarez…STAGE FRIGHT! for a few years when it moved to Bartlett, TN, then Haunted Web Of Horrors for a few years more when it moved out to Cordova, TN.

Most of the time we would either entertain the crowds in line, or work a scene or two inside the haunt, but one year Patrick French who ran the haunt hooked Kevin up with a white station wagon we could doctor up as an Ecto-1 for that Halloween.

When we got it it needed a bit of TLC.

Okay, A LOT of TLC. It ran and had some equipment up on the roof rack, but the logos were definitely going to have to be replaced- what was left of them.

 

I was able to get the old logos off, and luckily we had a friend who could make us some new vinyl decals. We did a bit of touch up on some of the rest of the car.

It ended up looking cool and was good enough to get the job done with the little time we had to get it ready for Halloween.

Kevin and I would drive it around the parking lot with the siren running, and occasionally we would give some friends a ride.

We had to make sure to keep the keys away from Slimer– he doesn’t have a license!

 

Unfortunately Kevin wasn’t able to keep the car up and had to let it go. Much like the Ecto-1 in the movie it ended up needing a lot of work, more than he could afford at the time. I think we could have made it a lot of fun to drive to events. Hopefully one day we can have an Ecto-901 again. I wish I had my grandparents old ’60s station-wagon they had when I was a kid. It was white and had a lot of character, including fins and a rear-facing backseat. Would have been perfect for a take on an Ecto.

Last year I decided I was going to finally get my own Ghostbusters costume for Halloween. I wasn’t volunteering at the haunt anymore (was too far to drive and just wasn’t the same after Patrick sold the haunt), and we planned on staying home and handing out candy- which we hadn’t done in a while.

 

Kev was great at hooking me up with suppliers for my flight-suit, belt, elbow pads, and more.He kept a notebook on all of his costume construction so it all came together pretty quickly and easily. I also ordered a Proton Pack from Spirit Halloween. It’s not quite 1:1 scale- about 80-85% of the originals, but has lights and sounds and looks pretty good- especially for the money. I later attached it to an ALICE frame (I got it from the Bluff City Batman) and did a little bit of weathering on in and my ghost trap which really makes them both look more authentic. When I make a new, full-sized custom job for myself I’ll use this one for other folks to wear in photos at events.

Ordered my “WORKMAN” name patch off of Esty, and found a couple “no ghost/Mooglie” patches. Got a good deal on the GB logo patch so I ordered a few extra for future use.

Those patches started my Ghostbusters patch and pin collection- and it’s very addictive.




I’ve been able to get a few from Ghostbusters fan franchises from all over, including Canada and Alaska! That’s one of the cool things about the Ghostbusters franchises- they love trading patches.

I recently picked up these from a member of the Ghostbusters Patch & Pin Group Facebook page– going to use the large one on a GB work shirt.

I don’t collect a lot of Ghostbusters merch- mostly just the pins and patches, some Ecto-1/Ecto-1A cars, costume equipment, and a few animation cells from the Filmation Ghostbusters and DIC Animation The Real Ghostbusters cartoons.

Did an animation display at our local library a couple years ago. Had a lot of my Batman and Beetlejuice animation art on display, too. Love doing the displays there. Have done several different kinds over the years with my wife Nicki. You can see some here and here.

Kevin and I had met some of the Tennessee Ghostbusters at conventions around the state, but most members were pretty far away- mostly either the middle or eastern part of the state.

We got to talking earlier this year about starting our own Ghostbusters franchise, so we did!

The Memphis Ghostbusters franchise is now officially Ghost Corps certified.

We even have our own patches that I designed! Kevin found a source for us to do a short run of them for our members. I had wanted to do the “El-Mooglie” design for a while, but finally had a reason to.

Going to order more to trade with other groups, and possibly sell some to raise money for charity. Will do more stickers (including more of the glow-in-the-dark ones), and may look at doing some pins and/or buttons.

Our first official event as a Ghostbusters group was at the Pink Palace Museum in Memphis in October, and our first official Junior Memphis Ghostbusters member (Anakin Wade) joined us for it. They were showing the 1984 Ghostbusters film on their CTI 3D Giant Theater screen and we were there to greet and take pics with the audience.


Kevin brought his inflatable Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and Vigo painting, plus some extra GB equipment and newly printed business cards and framed posters. I brought some new El-Mooglie stickers to hand out.

The museum had an amazing “life-sized” Slimer on display in the lobby- this thing was HUGE!!!

 

Down near the theater entrance and concession stand they had more displays including these Ghostbusters items and some monster memorabilia.

Tony Hardy who runs the CTI 3D Giant Theater is a big monster movie and sci-fi fan, and has an amazing collection. The items on display were all from his collection.

Had a great time talking to him about his collection, some of the folks we both know, and the Wonderfest toy and model show up in Louisville, KY (which he helped start and where I first met Bob Burns). Great guy! We’re hoping to get back out to the Pink Palace again. They may do Ghostbusters 2 next October…

My wife Nicki joined us for the movie as well, and is also now a Memphis Ghostbusters member.

 

She’s a Ghostbusters fan, and we both really enjoyed the 2016 Ghostbusters: Answer The Call movie. She’s even got a small collection started including some patches, pins, POP!s, action figures, and more.

She bought herself a Spirit Halloween pack and we’re starting to put together her own costume based on the GB:ATC movie versions. Once I can get the garage in order to where I can start some projects new packs for both of us are on the schedule. This Halloween she borrowed my jumpsuit to wear to work- nice we have the same last name and jumpsuit size!

A couple weeks ago I found another XL fightsuit at the Goodwill in Bartlett for only $7.00! I’m going to make this my spare Memphis Ghostbusters jumpsuit and customize it up a bit. I found my War Doctor/Rorschach leather jacket at the one near us in Hernando. I try to pop in to each from time to time because I never know what great inexpensive stuff I’ll find for a costume there.

 

Our second Memphis Ghostbusters event was another movie night in November- this time at the Woodruff-Fontaine House Museum in downtown Memphis. Unfortunately for both of our events it was raining, so that presented some challenges to getting all our gear inside!

We were set up down in the basement of the house, which was extremely spacious. Kevin did a great job with all the set-up and arrangements.

He brought several of his collectibles to display, and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man tagged along.

Kev brought his Slimer puppet, too. I brought some of my gear, and a few boxes of Twinkies. We did some Ghostbusters trivia and handed out the Twinkies as prizes.

We had about a dozen folks brave the weather and join us downstairs to watch the 1984 movie. Before the movie we did a ghost hunt in the house. It was pretty quiet, but a heck of a lot of fun to explore and see some of the investigation equipment that was used. If you haven’t taken a tour through the Woodruff-Fontaine House Museum you really should. Great old Victorian mansion build in 1870 on the former “Millionaires Row“.

It was great to meet some fellow Ghostbuster fans like Matt Wooten (above/right) and Daniel Nogoski (not pictured), and I hope we can do more events at the the Woodruff-Fontaine House Museum in the future.

Hope you all had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

“Who y’all gonna call..?”

Lin

 

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