“Okay, I have a plan. I know exactly what to do…Now stay close…stay close…I know…do exactly as I say…get ready…ready? GET HER!!!”
Ghostbusters. It’s actually on AMC as I’m writing this post, and the library scene just played with the infamous “GET HER!” part. I was already obsessed with the paranormal when this movie came out in 1984, but seeing as how I was 10 years old it goes without saying the film was a huge influence on me. The library scene for me is, hands down, the highlight of the film. Sure it’s hilarious, but when they see the wispy, ethereal librarian floating there, doing her job for an eternity…wow! If it was meant to be scary I’m sure it was effective for some, but for me? Damn! Let me in that library!
As a paranormal investigator in the 21st century, believe me when I tell you that Ghostbusters still hovers mightily over the field. Like it or not. On the off chance that my hobby comes into a conversation, if I don’t get a chilling personal tale (which I do love to hear) I’ll get asked about proton packs or Zuul. Naturally, being a fan of the movie, I usually just play along with the references. However, I won’t allow myself to be actually called a “Ghostbuster”. Ever.
Mind you, I’m not a jerk about it. It’s rarely, in my experience, used as an insult. It’s just a quick way for some to describe what we do, despite being horribly inaccurate. I’ve come to terms with being called a “Ghost Hunter” since it’s technically somewhat accurate, but being called a “Ghostbuster” just implies so much, pop culture reference aside. Sure, there are people and groups everywhere that claim to “remove” spirits/ghosts or what have you, but without going into an overly huge rant I’ll just say “horse hockey!” and leave it at that for now.
This is one of the reasons I now use “paranormal explorer”, or “documentarian” instead of “investigator” or “hunter.” “Researcher” works well too. The why-what-when-where-how of spirits/ghosts is, I think, a conversation to be had over coffee or beers away from an investigation. To be honest, I just want to capture the alleged phenomena on video or audio and leave the speculation for later.
Getting back to Ghostbusters, it always blows my mind how many paranormal “groups” use it for their team names. Even going so far as to use the logo! (Copyright infringement much?) Just head over to that hideous morass known as Facebook and search out the paranormal groups to check it out. As much as I love the film, why deliberately parody yourselves? Listen, I get the whole “para-unity” thingy. There should be a certain mutual level of respect (where warranted), but saying you “bust” ghosts? Really? If you’re going to play pretend, why not pretend to be a scientist? (Yeah I know, some will do that too.) You can make the valid argument that a percentage of society will NEVER take what we do seriously, but why make it easier for them?
None of this interferes with my love of the movie. The dream of working out of an abandoned firehouse, being on call for ghostly activity, hands down was another impetus for me to get into the field as an adult. I can assure you though, I have never been on a case where we all wore matching jumpsuits.