The Mind-Blowing Way Ghostbuster's Stay Puft Scene Was Actually Filmed

Bill Murray looking at the Stay Puft Man

The newly released " Ghostbusters: Afterlife " is as much a continuation of the " Ghostbusters " franchise as it is a love letter to the series as a whole – and with all the Easter eggs and callbacks that director Jason Reitman included in "Afterlife," it's worth taking a look back at the movie that started it all.

When "Ghostbusters" launched in 1984, it became a cultural phenomenon: Proton packs, the Ectomobile, and the iconic Ghostbuster uniform became essential parts of pop culture, and the film's bizarre sense of humor helped establish it as a defining film for an entire generation of moviegoers. There is perhaps no better example of the film's bizarre comedy than the iconic final battle between the Ghostbusters and a gigantic Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man that is terrorizing downtown New York.

The climactic showdown against the giant fluffy marshmallow monster is as intense and action-packed as it is laugh-out-loud silly, and has stuck with audiences for generations after it hit the big screen. It's one of the most memorable and influential scenes in movie history (let alone the "Ghostbuster" franchise itself). In the current age of CGI, it might shock many fans to learn just how difficult it was to film the ambitious battle sequence.

The power of practical special effects

When director Ivan Reitman read Dan Akyroyd's original script, he stated that the movie would be impossible to film due to the ludicrous special effects the story would require — and while it obviously didn't end up being impossible, it was certainly very difficult. In order to correctly represent the scale of the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man, the set designers actually had to build a 1/18th scale model of downtown New York and fill it with handcrafted model cars built from toys (via CineFix) .

There were several different Marshmallow Man suits constructed for the project, and at least three unique puppeteered Marshmallow heads were sculpted to represent a complete range of emotion on the monster's face. The heads were so complicated that it took four puppeteers to control the monster's face as it lumbered around the set.

As if that weren't complex enough, for the scene where the Marshmallow Man is set on fire and begins scaling a building, the VFX department constructed a fire-retardant version of the suit and a head that could melt realistically in the fire. After the head "melted," the team dumped hundreds of gallons of shaving cream on the life-sized street, enough to a stuntman to the ground.

The emphasis on practical effects and the painstaking detail taken in crafting this scene is a big part of why the final battle continues to hold up remarkably well even to this day.

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  • Three parapsychologists forced out of their university funding set up shop as a unique ghost removal service in New York City, attracting frightened yet skeptical customers.
  • Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz and Egon Spengler work at Columbia University. where they delve into the paranormal and fiddle with many unethical experiments on their students. As they are kicked out of the University, they really understand the paranormal and go into business for themselves. Under the new snazzy business name of 'Ghostbusters', and living in the old firehouse building they work out of, they are called to rid New York City of paranormal phenomenon at everyone's whim. - for a price. They make national press as the media reports the Ghostbusters are the cause of it all. Thrown in jail by the EPA, the mayor takes a chance and calls on them to help save the city. Unbeknownst to all, a long dead Gozer worshiper (Evo Shandor) erected a downtown apartment building which is the cause of all the paranormal activity. They find out the building could resurrect the ancient Hittite god, Gozer, and bring an end to all of humanity. Who are you gonna call to stop this terrible world-ending menace? — Chad Grill
  • After delving too deep into the mysterious metaphysical realm, three scientists and ambitious supernatural researchers find themselves out of work. As a result, the team comes up with Ghostbusters, a paranormal search-and-destroy service, bent on proving everyone wrong by capturing the Big Apple's rogue spirits. Indeed, a malevolent interdimensional entity has targeted the bustling, unsuspecting city, possessing two seemingly ordinary New Yorkers to do its bidding. In other words, the fearless Ghostbusters are on to something big for the first time in their brief career. However, do they have what it takes to look evil in the eye, and confront the ancient shape-shifting demon Gozer, the Destructor? — Nick Riganas
  • Three odd-ball scientists get kicked out of their cushy positions at a university in New York City where they studied the occult. They decide to set up shop in an old firehouse and become Ghostbusters, trapping pesky ghosts, spirits, haunts, and poltergeists for money. They wise-crack their way through the city, and stumble upon a gateway to another dimension, one which will release untold evil upon the city. The Ghostbusters are called on to save the Big Apple. — Greg Bole <[email protected]>
  • After being kicked out of their university, parapsychology professors Spengler, Stantz and Venkman decide to go into business for themselves by trapping and removing ghosts from haunted houses. After some initial skepticism, business is soon booming as The Ghost Busters rid New York of its undead. When a downtown skyscraper becomes the focal point of spirit activity linked to the ancient god Gozer, however, the problem may be more than the team can handle. — Jean-Marc Rocher <[email protected]>
  • The film opens within the New York Public Library, where a librarian ( Alice Drummond ) is first gathering books, before heading downstairs to a remote and empty section. She places a book back on the shelf, not noticing that the books behind her are levitating across the aisle. Later, she passes the card catalogue shelves as they open behind her and suddenly begin to hurl their contents into the air. Frightened and screaming, she runs through the room before being stopped by an unseen ghost, which scares her terribly. This leads into the title card. After the opening title shot, the film continues in the Paranormal Studies Dept. of Columbia University, where Dr. Peter Venkman ( Bill Murray ) is conducting a test on ESP with a nerdy male student ( Steven Tash ) and an attractive female student ( Jennifer Runyon ). Venkman continually flirts and lies about her abilities, while enjoying administering electric shocks to the male student. Having finally had enough, the male student departs, and Venkman continues to flirt with the young woman. Dr. Ray Stantz ( Dan Aykroyd ) enters, and frantically begins to tell Venkman about the sighting at the library, insisting they leave at once to check it out. Venkman makes a date with the student, and follows Stantz out. Upon arriving at the library, Venkman and Stantz meet up with Dr. Egon Spengler ( Harold Ramis ), and Venkman proceeds to ask a series of personal (and cynical) questions about her medical and social history, before the three head down to the area the ghost supposedly inhabits. While down there, the three men collect ectoplasmic residue, discover a tall "symmetrical stacking" of books from floor to ceiling, and narrowly escape a falling bookcase. Turning the same corner as the librarian, they see the ghost: a transparent form of an elderly lady ( Ruth Oliver ), reading a book. Having no idea what to do, Venkman begins to talk to the ghost as if it were a lady in a bar. She shushes him, before Stantz proclaims he knows what to do. They stealthily approach the ghost, before Ray yells, "Get her!" and the ghost mutates to a ghoulish, skeletal apparition, scaring the hell out of the trio, who run screaming from the library. They ignore the library administrator ( John Rothman ) in their frantic way out. After they've calmed down a bit, they walk back to the university. Venkman mocks Ray's idiotic plan, and Egon announces that based on his readings, they now have a "good change of actually catching a ghost and holding it indefinitely." However, once they get back to the school, they meet the dean ( Jordan Charney ) who tells them that their grant has been terminated due to their shoddy and highly suspect findings, research, and methods. Peter and Ray sit drinking on campus, and Ray mopes about their bleak prospects, before Peter suggests this turn of events happened so that they could go into business for themselves, as the world's first firm for paranormal investigations and eliminations. Peter convinces Ray to take out a mortgage on his childhood home, and use it for startup capital. The trio checks out an empty firehouse to use as a headquarters, and while Egon enumerates the many problems with the building itself, Ray is beside himself with excitement at the prospect of living and working there, specially with the fire-fighter pall in the middle of the hall. At 55 Central Park West, classical musician Dana Barrett ( Sigourney Weaver ) arrives home with groceries. Her neighbor, übernerd and accountant Louis Tully ( Rick Moranis ), stops her in the hall, telling her that her television had been left on. Louis badgers her about an upcoming party he's hosting, and Dana finally brushes him away and enters her apartment. As she is putting away her groceries, she notices that her eggs are now leaping out of their shells and cooking themselves on her countertop. She then hears a growl coming from her refrigerator, opens it, and sees an otherworldly temple, and a doglike creature that growls the word "Zuul" (voiced by Ivan Reitman ), before Dana frantically slams the door shut. Back at the newly christened Ghostbusters headquarters, Ray pulls up, shocking Peter with the new business car, an old beat-up ambulance that needs a lot of work. Peter goes back inside, makes small talk with their new secretary, Janine ( Annie Potts ), and waits around for business. Dana arrives seeking an explanation for the events in her kitchen. Peter flirts vigorously with her, while Egon and Ray examine her briefly, and speculate as to what may be the cause of her encounter. After deciding on a plan of action, Peter insists on going with Dana back to her apartment, where he haphazardly looks around, but mostly flirts with her. He looks in the kitchen, and sees the eggs on the counter, but nothing else out of the ordinary. Dana is annoyed, but Peter continues to beg her for a date, pledging to solve her problems in an effort to impress her. Later, the Ghostbusters sit around enjoying dinner celebrating getting their first customer, but Ray has to let them know that the meal has just used the last of the business' petty cash. Fortunately, even as the business' failure is staring them in the face, Janine finally gets an urgent call about a ghost that needs removal immediately. Peter, Ray, and Egon quickly dress, and race out of their headquarters, to the Sedgwick Hotel, where the manager ( Michael Ensign ) informs them of a ghost on the 12th floor. They've always had problems, he tells them, but lately it's gotten out of hand. The Ghostbusters assure him they'll take care of it, and head up to the 12th floor. Egon and Ray worry about their equipment, which Peter describes as an unlicensed nuclear accelerator, and decide that they'll ignore the danger for now. They make chitchat conversation with a guest ( Murray Rubin ) outside the elevator, and they tell him they are going to kill a cockroach, to which the guest answers, "That's gotta be some cockroach." He takes the next elevator. Almost immediately after the Ghostbusters exit the elevator, a maid startles them, and they nearly kill her with their proton packs. The three split up, and Ray eventually sees the ghost: a rotund, green blob, eating everything on a room service cart. Ray tries to hit it with his proton pack but misses, and it flies away, frightened. Ray calls Peter on his walkie-talkie, and Peter, who is now face-to-face with the ghost, is suddenly attacked by it. Ray runs to Peter, and finds him on his back, covered in green slime, but otherwise OK. Egon calls them and informs the other two that the ghost went into the hotel's ballroom. They calm the hotel manager, and then set to work on containing the little green ghost. While shooting their weapons all over the room, Egon suddenly warns the others not to cross their streams, because to do so would result in the destruction of "all life as you know it." After destroying much of the ballroom with their seriously unstable proton packs, the Ghostbusters finally trap the ghost, and burst triumphantly from the ballroom, before the anxious manager and a host of guests burst in. The Ghostbusters haggle with the manager over the $5000 bill for a moment, and then head back home, victorious. This successful hunt proves to be but the first of a sudden rash of hauntings mean brisk business for the Ghostbusters. There is a montage of a series of missions, news spots, newspaper clippings, and stories about the Ghostbusters' new fame and success. There are even interviewed by Larry King and Joe Franklin (themselves). Peter briefly meets with Dana after her orchestra practice, and flirts a bit with her before telling her about Zuul, whom he has discovered is associated with an ancient Sumerian god of destruction, Gozer. He tells her that he'll go over it in more detail over dinner, and finally, she agrees to a date. The Ghostbusters soon hire a fourth man, Winston Zeddemore ( Ernie Hudson ), a black, blue-collar type guy, who is just looking for a job. Hired immediately by Ray and Peter, Winston is handed a couple of traps and led off by Ray to learn about getting rid of the ghosts, while Peter is informed that there is a man from the EPA waiting for him. Walter Peck ( William Atherton ), the pompous EPA delegate, condescendingly talks to Peter, refusing to acknowledge that Peter is, in fact, a PhD, and therefore, Dr. Venkman, and briefly questions him about the possible environmental impact of their business, and specifically, their custom-built storage facility. He demands to see it, but Peter just patronizes him for a bit before throwing him out. Ray shows Winston how they unload the ghosts they've trapped into the storage facility, while Egon admits he is worried about the facility's looming capacity problem and the larger problem it indicates. To illustrate, Egon tells them that his latest research indicates that the city is experiencing a colossal increase in paranormal activity, comparing it to a 600-pound Twinkie. Peter joins them, mentioning the EPA, and memorably asks, "What about the Twinkie?" A brief shot on the top of Dana's building shows that dog-like gargoyle statues atop the roof are breaking apart and real animals are underneath the stone. Back inside, Dana arrives home, and is once again accosted by Louis who is raving about his party. He is disappointed when Dana tells him she has a date. She gets rid of him again, and goes into her apartment, undressing and talking on the phone. She sits in an armchair for a moment before noticing the same growling sounds from the kitchen. Before she can react, three arms burst from the chair and hold Dana down as she is dragged through her kitchen door to one of the Terror Dogs. Another shot on the roof shows that the gargoyles on the roof have completely broken apart, and whatever was in them is loose. Louis' party continues as he rambles on about the price efficiency of his hosting a party. Two guests show up, hand Louis their coats, and he throws them -unnoticing- on the terror dog sitting at his desk. It roars, and bursts through the door, apparently only after Louis. He runs out of the apartment, through Central Park, before being cornered and attacked outside Tavern on the Green. Meanwhile, Peter arrives at Dana's apartment, stepping over the carnage of Louis' party, and knocks on the door. Dana opens it, dressed in a slinky red dress, and asks, "Are you the Keymaster?" Peter says no, so she angrily slams the door in his face. He knocks again, and enters after answering her question "yes". Dana says that she is Zuul, and they must prepare for the coming of Gozer, The Destructor. Peter talks to her and resists the possessed Dana's aggressive advances, before requesting to speak with the real Dana. At first, Dana coyly replies "There is no Dana, there is only Zuul," trying to kiss him but Peter, still trying to get through to the real Dana Barrett, restrains her. The possessed Dana now becomes visibly annoyed at his persistence, as Peter once again inquires about the real Dana; she replies in an unearthly demonic voice "There is no Dana, only Zuul!" Peter sarcastically dismisses her and gives her to the count of three to talk to the real Dana. With each count, Dana presents further signs of her possession: at first demonically rolling her eyes, then panting like an animal, and finally roaring like a demonic beast and magically floating above her bed. She turns over in midair, to face down at Peter whom asks her to please come down. Dana roars fiercely at him, finally frightening him. Louis, looking disheveled and generally abused, runs out from Central Park rambling, and asks a hansom cab horse if he is the "Gatekeeper". The driver ( Danny Stone ) chases him off, so he runs away, screaming about a sign of Gozer's arrival. The NYPD arrives at the Ghostbusters headquarters, to drop off Louis, who's been captured and rejected by both the city jail and Bellevue's psych ward. Egon looks at him briefly, and takes him inside. Louis reveals his name is Vinz Clortho, Keymaster of Gozer. He goes on about the history of Gozer, how the god assumes various forms and would mean the destruction of the civilization he targets. During the exam, Peter calls, and tells Egon about the developments with Dana, who is now lies heavily sedated on the bed next to him. Egon tells Peter in return about Louis' psychic transformation, and insists Peter come back to headquarters. Winston and Ray are driving back to the office, Winston driving while Ray examines the "very odd" blueprints of Dana's apartment building. Winston asks Ray about his belief in God, and speculates that the reason they've been so busy lately is because the dead have been rising from the grave, as it was foretold in the Book of Revelations, as a precursor to judgment day, and the end of the world. Ray ponders this. Back at headquarters, Walter Peck has returned with a court order, a cop, and a Con Edison worker ( Larry Dilg ), intent on shutting down the storage facility. Egon tries to talk them out of it, and Peter arrives just in time to antagonize Peck some more, before the cop intervenes and the Con Ed guy, although highly reticent handling equipment he has never seen before, shuts off the power grid. A warning buzzer sounds, and everyone clears the building, as the storage facility rumbles and begins to destroy the basement. A supernatural light show occurs, as all kinds of paranormal energy bursts through the building and shoots out of the roof. Across town, Dana, immediately wakes up from her sedation, and walks toward her living room window. Louis is excited, claiming this is the sign he was waiting for. Ray and Winston arrive to witness the disaster's immediate aftermath even as Peck demands they all be arrested for causing it. Enraged at this self-righteous blowhard outright lying about them while ignoring his own responsibility in this disaster, Egon attacks Peck, getting everyone arrested. Ghosts run rampant through the city, but most of the energy seems to run directly to Dana's building. Dana growls at the energy, ripping out the wall of her apartment in a small explosion. Sitting in jail, Ray shows Egon and Peter the blueprints of Dana's apartment building, pointing out highly unorthodox methods and materials, especially near the roof. Egon tells them that the building, he's discovered, was designed by an insane architect/surgeon named Ivo Shandor. In the 20's, Shandor was evidently so disgusted by the First World War, that he decided he would try to bring about the end of the world with a secret society of Gozer worshippers. They performed rituals atop Dana's building, and the roof itself was meant to be the gateway to allow Gozer into our world. A guard arrives ( Reginald VelJohnson ), and tells the Ghostbusters that the mayor wants to meet them, to deal with the rash of ghosts and other unbelievable phenomenon happening throughout the city. Louis arrives at Dana's demolished apartment, introducing himself as the Keymaster. A smiling Dana responds she is the Gatekeeper and they share a passionate kiss before slowly making their way up to the roof via a mythical staircase behind the wall where Dana's fridge used to be as lightning flashes ominously. The four men and Peck are brought before the Mayor ( David Margulies ) both arguing their sides. Peck claims the Ghostbusters are con artists and use nerve gases to force people to hallucinate and have visions of ghosts. Winston steps up and defends the things he's seen as real while numerous city officials like the Fire Chief present evidence of bizarre phenomena of which the Ghostbusters have the only possible explanation. Ray reveals that the city is headed for a disaster of "biblical proportions", and Venkman finally appeals to the possibility that the mayor could be responsible for saving the lives of millions of registered voters. Convinced, the Mayor throws Peck out of his office and offers whatever support he can to the Ghostbusters. People have gathered all around the apartment building, which has clearly become the center of the entire mess. They cheer as the Ghostbusters arrive with a police escort and following National Guard troops, and Peter mugs for the crowd. The four men put on their proton packs and are prepared to enter, but a sudden earthquake seems to swallow them beneath the street. Eventually, they emerge unharmed to the continued cheers from the crowd. They band together and head inside. Once inside, they must climb the stairs to Dana's 22nd floor apartment. Dana and Louis lie on a large stone table as lightning flashes in the dark sky above them. Dana seductively wakes up, followed by Louis. They stare in awe at the large Temple in front of them then walk toward the opposite stone pedestals where the Terror Dog statues once stood. The Ghostbusters arrive to find Dana's apartment burned out and more or less destroyed. They see the staircase in the kitchen and go up. Dana and Louis stand on their pedestals and raise their arms to the sky. They are suddenly struck by bolts of lightning which they redirect toward the temple door, causing it to grind open and signaling the arrival of Gozer the Gozerian. With the temple doors finally open, Dana and Louis now absorb their full power as the Ghostbusters arrive just in time to see the lightning converge on the demonic couple in a huge blast, transforming them back into the monstrous Terror Dogs, who now turn and roar menacingly at the Ghostbusters before leaping towards the side of the Temple doors. Gozer appears in the form of an exotic female with a tall, dark flattop and blood red eyes ( Slavitza Jovan ). Egon points out that she's not really a woman, but rather, takes the shape of whatever it wants. Peter goads Ray into talking to her. Ray very formally requests that Gozer returns to her place of origin, but she responds by asking if he is a god. He says no, and Gozer responds by shooting lightning from her fingers and nearly hurling the Ghostbusters off the roof. They regroup and decide to attack Gozer, but she nimbly jumps clear of their streams and lands behind them. Another attack proves fruitless as she disappears rather than being caught in the streams. Believing they are victorious, the Ghostbusters begin to celebrate, but it is short-lived as Gozer's booming voice is heard above the city demanding that they "choose the form of the Destructor". Peter tells everyone to clear their minds, and think of nothing, so no form will be taken, but it is clearly too late. Ray admits he did his best, but something just popped in his mind, something he thought could never harm anyone. "It's the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man." A 10-story, white, puffy marshmallow man begins to walk the streets of the city, crushing everything underfoot. When he is close enough, the Ghostbusters open fire, setting Mr. Stay Puft ablaze, as he begins to climb the building, King Kong style. Running for cover, the Ghostbusters appear out of ideas, until Egon suggests that they cross the streams, in an effort to close the door, and destroy Gozer's portal. Realizing this will probably mean their doom, the Ghostbusters go ahead with the plan, and set off to finish the god. Crossing the streams does indeed result in a catastrophic explosion, destroying the temple and incinerating the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, raining molten marshmallow all over the street, including an onlooking Walter Peck. Back on the roof, the Ghostbusters have survived, and slowly emerge from the rubble, covered in marshmallow. Peter finds the roasted carcasses of the Terror Dogs, and believes Dana dead. Behind him, though, her fingers crack through the hardened ruins of the animal, and the Ghostbusters quickly break apart the rest, freeing her and Louis. They leave the roof, and Winston exclaims, "I love this town!" As the closing credits roll, the Ghostbusters return to the street to the roaring cheers of the crowd. Peter and Dana kiss in front of everyone, Louis is helped into an ambulance, and as they drive off, the green ghost from the hotel roars toward the camera as it fades to black.

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20 Things You Might Not Know About Ghostbusters

By sean hutchinson | jul 14, 2016.

Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, and Harold Ramis in Ghostbusters (1984).

As Paul Feig's reboot of Ivan Reitman's classic sci-fi-horror-comedy readies to hit theaters, we're looking back at the film that started it all.


Dan Aykroyd grew up surrounded by spiritualists . His great-grandfather, Samuel A. Aykroyd, was a noted nineteenth century psychic investigator who conducted séances at the Aykroyd family farmhouse in eastern Ontario with a medium named Walter Ashurst. This predilection for the paranormal was passed down to Aykroyd’s grandfather, Maurice, who was an engineer for the Bell Telephone Company. Maurice allegedly tried to use his know-how to create a high-vibration crystal radio that could contact the spirit world. Dan's father, Peter, kept a sizeable library of books about spooky subjects (including his great grandfather’s séances), which kept ghosts and ghouls in the back of young Aykroyd’s mind. After he left Saturday Night Live  in 1979, he read an article about parapsychology in an  American Society of Psychical Research  publication, which inspired Ghostbusters .


Aykroyd found comedic inspiration in films like Bob Hope's  The Ghost Breakers , the horror-comedies of Abbott and Costello, and Bowery Boys fare like  Spook Busters and Ghost Chasers.  He went wild writing his original script, which took place in the future and had a much darker tone. The actors he had in mind for the three main protagonists were himself, John Belushi, and Eddie Murphy. His concept involved dozens of Ghostbuster groups fighting specters across time and different dimensions. The now-iconic Stay Puft Marshmallow Man—which is in the climax of the finished film—appeared much earlier (on page 20) and was one of 50 large-scale monsters that the Ghostbusters would do battle with. Eventual director Ivan Reitman estimated that the first script would have cost up to $300 million to produce—and that was in 1984.


Part of the reason Aykroyd had to recontextualize and rethink his idea—other than its implausible potential budget—was the tragic death of his fellow former SNL castmate John Belushi, whom he envisioned as the sarcastic Peter Venkman. The role was later immortalized by Bill Murray, another SNL  alum, but the writers still wanted to honor Belushi by somehow involving him in the movie. When it came time to think up the design for the first ghost the group is commissioned to bust, Aykroyd conceived of a gross-looking, gluttonous, party-guy persona for the apparition as an ironic homage to his friend Belushi. The ghost made it to the screen and was later christened “Slimer.”


Once Aykroyd nailed down the general concept and the narrative of the film (but before he'd penned the final draft ),  he brought on Ivan Reitman, not only to direct, but also to sell the movie to a major motion picture studio. Reitman had previously directed the popular Bill Murray comedies Meatballs and Stripes —both of which had been co-written by another eventual Ghostbuster, Harold Ramis. Since Reitman had a relationship with Columbia Pictures (which produced Stripes ), he approached pragmatic studio head Frank Price with Aykroyd’s outrageous one-sentence pitch—“Ghost janitors in New York”—in May 1983. While admittedly skeptical, Price was attracted to the project because the tripartite of comedy geniuses who had agreed to play the leads: Aykroyd, Murray, and Ramis.

Price asked Reitman just how much the outrageous-sounding movie would cost, and the director allegedly threw out a random guesstimate of $30 million. Price agreed on the budget and the movie with one stipulation—that it must have a firm release in June 1984, in time for the summer season. This was no small detail, considering this gave them only 12 months to finish the script, shoot the film, and create and finish the special effects. The rushed production schedule immediately forced Aykroyd, Ramis, and Reitman to retreat to rented houses on Martha’s Vineyard for a marathon three-week writing session to complete the final shooting script. Afterward, they immediately began prepping the shoot and scouting locations.


ghostbusters stay puft building

Despite the fact that the film began production with its three leads already cast, Reitman needed the right actress for another vital part of the film. For the role of Venkman’s headstrong love interest, Dana Barrett, Reitman chose Sigourney Weaver. She was eager to do a comedy after her amazing performance as Ripley in Ridley Scott’s Alien, so she tried something altogether different for her audition . She offered up a wordless scene where she turned into one of the grotesque dogs that do Gozer’s bidding, an act that allegedly involved writhing across the casting couch and loudly snarling at Reitman. The director was impressed—if not a little scared—and she got the part.


For the loveable loser-turned whacked-out demon “Keymaster of Gozer” Louis Tully, Aykroyd thought of actor John Candy. The Canadian comedian had previously worked with him in 1941 and The Blues Brothers; with Reitman, Ramis, and Murray in Stripes ; and for Ramis again in National Lampoon’s Vacation . But Candy envisioned Louis as a stern German man with a thick accent who kept dozens of dogs in his apartment. He also wanted the character rewritten and made into a starring role. Filmmakers preferred the original character that Aykroyd and Reitman had developed, so they gave the role to another member of the Second City troupe, Rick Moranis. The soft-spoken, bespectacled comic brought his own brand of misfit comedy and improv styles to the now-classic character—and he also provided his own wardrobe.


When trying to come up with the perfect name for his character—who was the brains of the Ghostbusters—co-writer Harold Ramis combined both personal and academic inspirations. “Egon” was the first name of Egon Donsbeck, a Hungarian exchange student at Stephen K. Hayt Elementary School who was Ramis' classmate when he grew up in Chicago. “Spengler” came from German historian and philosopher Oswald Spengler. For the "look" of his character, Ramis copied the style of an unknown guy he'd seen on the cover of an abstract architectural journal. He thought the man’s old three-piece tweed suit, wire-rim glasses, and puffed-up hair were perfect for his geeky parapsychologist.


ghostbusters stay puft building

Come to New York and you can visit some key Ghostbusters   locations . The exterior of the fully functioning FDNY Hook & Ladder #8 building at 14 North Moore Street in TriBeCa served as the Ghostbusters’ base of operations—definitely not a “demilitarized zone,” as Egon said. The building at 55 Central Park West housed the apartments of Dana Barrett and Louis Tully. The main branch of the New York Public Library at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street is recognizable for the lions guarding its entrance, and Columbia University’s Havemeyer Hall  served as the Weaver Hall Department of Psychology  building that the guys are kicked out of at the beginning of the movie. Then there’s the legendary restaurant  Tavern on the Green , where Louis was attacked by one of Gozer’s dogs.

But none of these places appear exactly as they do onscreen. The interior of the Ghostbusters' firehouse was actually an abandoned fire station in Los Angeles, and the rooftop temple scenes at Dana’s apartment were filmed at a huge set built on Stage 16 at Columbia Pictures (large-scale matte paintings were used for long shots). The early library scene where Egon is introduced was in fact filmed at the New York Public Library, but the scene where the three Ghostbusters come across the old librarian ghost in the stacks was actually shot across the country at the Los Angeles Public Library. Similarly, the Sedgewick Hotel—where the guys bust Slimer—wasn’t in New York at all; the exterior and interior shots were taken at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles.


Out of the handful of iconic details from Ghostbusters is the Ectomobile, a 1959 Cadillac ambulance outfitted with gadgets and gizmos to help the guys bag pesky poltergeists. In a typical movie production, several similarly-adorned vehicles are used for stylistic and insurance purposes. (The production of Back to the Future,  for instance, used three different DeLoreans.) Because the filming of Ghostbusters was so rushed, only one Ectomobile was put together. Naturally, everyone on set was very cautious around the then-25-year-old jalopy. While they handled the ambulance with care, the car broke down at the end of a shot of the Ecto driving across the Manhattan Bridge. Luckily, this didn't happen until after main production wrapped in New York City, but still, the car was DOA and wasn’t available for use again.


Visual effects supervisor Richard Edlund and his team—who also worked on such films as Raiders of the Lost Ark,  the original Star Wars  trilogy, and Poltergeist —were given only 10 months to design, storyboard, build, and shoot every special effect in the film. The quick turnaround forced workers like animation supervisor Terry Windell to have to think on their feet, especially when the deadline got very tight. When a wide shot that featured Slimer quickly floating around a chandelier in the Sedgewick Hotel scene wasn’t coming out right, and time was running out, Windell spraypainted a small peanut green in order to mimic the green ghoul. The seconds-long shot depicted Slimer blurred and spinning, so detail wasn’t a factor, and the shot was used in the final print of the film. Windell revealed that the extreme tactics taken for certain shots proved that the effects team was “totally serious about making it stupid.”


You won't see Reitman in Ghostbusters , but still, he does have a presence: For the noises of Slimer pigging out on a pile of food before he famously slimes Peter Venkman, Reitman stepped in to provide the gross-out grub-gorging sounds. Reitman’s naturally deep voice also proved perfect for the moment when Dana becomes possessed and says “There is no Dana, only Zuul,” which was later enhanced with special effects for a truly spooky result.


It isn’t specified, but the voice and mannerisms of the character that Murray plays opposite Dan Aykroyd in this deleted scene is eerily similar to Carl Spackler , the lowly groundskeeper he portrayed in the 1980 comedy masterpiece Caddyshack (which was directed and co-written by Harold Ramis). The scene was cut for time, mostly to get to the scene where Louis Tully is attacked by the demon dog chasing him, but one doesn’t have to wonder what it would have been like if the worlds of Caddyshack and Ghostbusters had collided in such a fashion.  


The most indelible icon from Ghostbusters  is the famous “no-ghost” logo that appeared on the guys' car, their uniforms, and widely among advertisements and promotions for the movie. Associate producer Michael C. Gross , a bit of a renaissance man, designed the image. Prior to getting into the movie business as a producer, Gross served as an art consultant for The Muppets, John Lennon, and The Rolling Stones. He also served as art director for National Lampoon  and Esquire in the 1970s.  


While shooting exteriors in front of Dana’s apartment building, the production had permission to temporarily shut down traffic in the area surrounding West 65 th Street and Central Park West. What they didn’t know was that it would disrupt traffic throughout Manhattan. During rush hour, cars backed up to Columbus Circle, eventually going all the way downtown. In fact, Aykroyd was concerned that they had inadvertently pushed the traffic jam all the way to the Brooklyn Bridge. After receiving complaints, cast and crew members jokingly told others that the delay was caused by Francis Ford Coppola’s production of The Cotton Club,  which was shooting in New York at the same time. One particularly ornery Upper West Side resident who complained was author Isaac Asimov, who stumbled on to the set and told Aykroyd that they were “inconveniencing” him. Aykroyd, a lifelong fan of the writer, smoothed things over by using the opportunity to lavish praise on the irritated Asimov.


The deus ex machina of the Ghostbusters crossing the streams of the proton packs helped them to—spoiler alert—defeat the Marshmallow Man and the evil demon Gozer at the end of the film. According to Ramis, this activity didn't appear in script. He and Aykroyd were unsure how to get the Ghostbusters out of the final scene alive, and because the nuclear technology behind the proton packs was “explained” with humorous techno-babble and mostly left up to the audience’s imagination, they came up with the idea of crossing the streams—an act which would somehow cause a cataclysmic shift in our dimension. After this decision was made, they added in some foreshadowing of the event to an earlier scene, only to revisit the concept in the climactic standoff at the end.


Once the Ghostbusters cross the streams, the rift between the two dimensions causes the Marshmallow Man to explode, raining down marshmallow on the unsuspecting New Yorkers below. But getting that amount of actual marshmallows to dump on the film’s extras was implausible. Instead, Edlund’s team collected 500-gallon batches of shaving cream to substitute for the remnants of Mr. Stay-Puft. William Atherton, who played EPA villain Walter Peck, was skeptical about having such a large amount of heavy cream dropped on him, so they tested the idea on a stuntman using only 75 pounds, and it knocked him to the ground. The stuntman was okay, and another smaller batch was collected to dump on Atherton for the final take in the film.


Once production wrapped, Reitman faced a situation that would possibly have derailed the whole movie. In the 1970s, Universal Studios had produced a live-action TV series titled The Ghost Busters , and their lawyers threatened legal action if the name of the movie wasn’t changed. Reitman, who had shot footage of the leads referring to themselves as the Ghostbusters and of massive crowds shouting “Ghostbusters! Ghostbusters!” was in deep trouble.

Luckily, Frank Price—the head of Columbia Pictures and the man who originally green-lit the movie—was moving to Universal Studios to become the new studio head there, and allowed Reitman to keep the name for the film. But the legal snafu reared its head again when a TV cartoon was made out of the movie. To satisfy Universal, the Saturday- morning fare was labeled The Real Ghostbusters , so as to not legally confuse the two properties.


Because his song "Holiday Road" was featured prominently in National Lampoon's Vacation (directed by Harold Ramis), Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham was allegedly approached about a theme song for the film, but he passed on the project. Reitman hoped that Huey Lewis & The News would take the job, and even used their hit “ I Want a New Drug ” as a temporary filler song while cutting the film. Lewis declined as well, because he had already agreed to contribute the song “ Back in Time ” to Back to the Future and didn’t want to do any more soundtrack work. The filmmakers then approached Ray Parker Jr., who had sung hits with Raydio ("Jack and Jill") and was finding success as a solo artist as well. Unfortunately, the titular tune —with the often quoted “Who you gonna call?” and “I ain’t afraid of no ghosts!”—bore a striking resemblance to Lewis' "I Want a New Drug," so much so that the song's publishers sued for plagiarism. The suit was settled out of court, but you can decide for yourself with the mashup of the two songs above.


Composer Elmer Bernstein wanted to go beyond a conventional orchestra for Ghostbusters, so he used both new and old technology. He included the then-cutting-edge Yamaha DX-7 synthesizer to create weird sounds that orchestral instruments couldn’t conjure up, and even employed an Ondes Martenot —a relatively obscure early electronic instrument created in 1928 by inventor Maurice Martenot—for additional otherworldly tones. You can hear it in the beginning and middle of the song above.


On paper and out of context, Ghostbusters was an admittedly outrageous prospect for a feature film. During the movie’s first test screening, held for 200 random people at Columbia Pictures Studio only three weeks after principal photography wrapped, Reitman was utterly terrified. He was not only uncertain about the fundamental plot of the film, he was also concerned that perhaps-too-absurd major details (like the Marshmallow Man) might take audiences "out" of the movie. In addition, only one fully-completed effect shot was available for the test screening—one of the film's opening scenes, where an old librarian ghost transforms into a frightening ghoul. Reitman waited in the wings during the scene, and when audiences burst out laughing one second and hid their eyes the next, he knew that his fears were unfounded. And Reitman knew he had a major hit on his hands while walking around New York City during the second week of the film’s release, where he saw street vendors selling bootleg Ghostbusters T-shirts.

Additional Sources: Ghostbusters Blu-ray special features Esquire 's Oral History Peter Aykroyd's A History of Ghosts: The True Story of Séances, Mediums, Ghosts, and Ghostbusters


Stay Puft becomes Hay Puft as a massive Ghostbusters Halloween decoration is built in Tennessee

  • September 25, 2023

ghostbusters stay puft building

Halloween Hollow Haunted House has chosen the form the destructor, providing a sneak peek at one of their newest attractions; a hay barrel recreation of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man!

Given the name of Hay Puft , the seasonal haunted house located in Silver Point, Tennessee, shared the image on its social pages, writing, “When there’s something strange in your corn maze, who you gonna call?!”

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Halloween Hollow Haunt (@halloweenhollowhaunt)

ghostbusters stay puft building

A Stay Puft- sized undertaking, this 12′ tall take is comprised of multiplayer painted hay barrels and details such as his trademark sailor’s garb that includes an added hat, justifiably renaming the dried grass behemoth.

For locals, the unexpected manifestation shouldn’t be all that surprising, given that Phillip Clark, a member of the fan franchise group the Tennessee Ghostbusters , runs Halloween Hollow, which is set to open this Saturday, September 30th.

Alongside the reveal, Clark would upload a “making of video,” providing a behind-the-scenes look at the build, which you can check out below.

If you happen to find yourself around Silver Point, Tennessee, this Halloween season, we’d recommend stopping by Halloween Hollow Haunted House and taking in the world’s largest ( and likely only) hay barrel take on the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man! For more information on attractions or to buy tickets, click here .

Special thanks to Extraplasm Podcast host Jim Maritato for providing the heads-up!

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Photo of Apartment Building from Ghostbusters

Apartment Building from Ghostbusters

55 Central Park West, New York , New York 10023 USA

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“Former home of Dana Barrett and Zuul”

Best known as the apartment of Luis Tulley and Dana Barrett  - and the point where the evil Zuul enters our dimension - in Ghostbusters, this 19-floor housing cooperative is located in Manhattan, New York City, U.S.A. The building was built in 1929 and designed by the firm Schwartz and Gross. Both the interior and the exterior possess unique architectural features that set the structure apart from its peers. The building is considered a contributing property within the Central Park West Historic District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. (It's also where Walter lives in Elf!) The building is a contributing property to the Central Park West Historic District, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 9, 1982. The property is also a contributing property to the New York City's Upper West Side/Central Park West local historic district. The entire area along Central Park West is considered one of New York City's finest residential neighborhoods. Benjamin Schwarz, writing for the Atlantic Monthly said of the buildings along Central Park West, "no endeavor on earth is more arduous than getting into one of these buildings." He specifically cited the "details of Donna Karan's deal for her digs at 55 Central Park West." The building also holds significance in American popular culture because scenes from the 1984 film Ghostbusters were shot there. In the film, the building is said to have been designed by an insane architect named Ivo Shandor, who started a secret society which performed rituals on the building's roof as early as 1920. The building, however, was not built until 1929. Since the movie used the building in 1984 it has been known as the "Ghostbusters Building," though it was portrayed as much taller and with a different roof in the film. Well known residents of the building have included Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, Ring Lardner, Jr. and Marsha Mason.

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Ghostbusters Wiki

Ghostbusters Stay Puft Series: Ghostbusters Shooters

  • View history


Ghostbusters Stay Puft Series: Ghostbusters Shooters by Marshmallow Fun Company.

  • 1 List of Products
  • 3 References
  • 5 External Links
  • 6.1 Products

List of Products [ ]

List was formed based on Facebook timeline cover description by Marshmallow Shooter Company .

  • Ghostbusters Blaster
  • Ghostbusters Mini Bow & Mallow
  • Ghostbusters Orb Slime Ball
  • Ghostbusters Shooter
  • Ghostbusters Snap Dragon
  • Ghostbusters Straight Shooter 4 pack
  • Ghostbusters Marshmallows Ammo (convention exclusive in spring 2014) [1]
  • Ghostbusters Double Shooter (Originally was planned for 2015, but never saw release)
  • Ghostbusters Bow & Mallow (Remains unreleased, release date unknown)
  • Zoe Zawadzki has the Ghostbusters Mini Bow.
  • Evan Torres has the Ghostbusters Shooter.
  • Garrett Parker has the Ghostbusters Snap Dragon.
  • Cait Banner has the Ghostbusters Blaster.

References [ ]

  • ↑ Marshmallow Shooter conversation with Ghostbusters Wiki on Facebook "We won't have the Ghostbusters marshmallows. That was for the show that year." -Marshmallow Shooter
  • ↑ teamlattie Tweet 9/1/18

Also See [ ]

  • Toy Weapon: GhostPopper
  • Stay Puft Marshallow Products Line (Kingsway)

External Links [ ]

  • Marshmallow Fun Company Facebook Page
  • (Official store for Marshmallow Fun Company merchandise)

Gallery [ ]

Products [ ].

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Why were so many metro stations in Moscow renamed?

Okhotny Ryad station in Soviet times and today.

Okhotny Ryad station in Soviet times and today.

The Moscow metro system has 275 stations, and 28 of them have been renamed at some point or other—and several times in some cases. Most of these are the oldest stations, which opened in 1935.

The politics of place names

The first station to change its name was Ulitsa Kominterna (Comintern Street). The Comintern was an international communist organization that ceased to exist in 1943, and after the war Moscow authorities decided to call the street named after it something else. In 1946, the station was renamed Kalininskaya. Then for several days in 1990, the station was called Vozdvizhenka, before eventually settling on Aleksandrovsky Sad, which is what it is called today.

The banner on the entraince reads:

The banner on the entraince reads: "Kalininskaya station." Now it's Alexandrovsky Sad.

Until 1957, Kropotkinskaya station was called Dvorets Sovetov ( Palace of Soviets ). There were plans to build a monumental Stalinist high-rise on the site of the nearby Cathedral of Christ the Saviour , which had been demolished. However, the project never got off the ground, and after Stalin's death the station was named after Kropotkinskaya Street, which passes above it.

Dvorets Sovetov station, 1935. Letters on the entrance:

Dvorets Sovetov station, 1935. Letters on the entrance: "Metro after Kaganovich."

Of course, politics was the main reason for changing station names. Initially, the Moscow Metro itself was named after Lazar Kaganovich, Joseph Stalin’s right-hand man. Kaganovich supervised the construction of the first metro line and was in charge of drawing up a master plan for reconstructing Moscow as the "capital of the proletariat."

In 1955, under Nikita Khrushchev's rule and during the denunciation of Stalin's personality cult, the Moscow Metro was named in honor of Vladimir Lenin.

Kropotkinskaya station, our days. Letters on the entrance:

Kropotkinskaya station, our days. Letters on the entrance: "Metropolitan after Lenin."

New Metro stations that have been opened since the collapse of the Soviet Union simply say "Moscow Metro," although the metro's affiliation with Vladimir Lenin has never officially been dropped.

Zyablikovo station. On the entrance, there are no more signs that the metro is named after Lenin.

Zyablikovo station. On the entrance, there are no more signs that the metro is named after Lenin.

Stations that bore the names of Stalin's associates were also renamed under Khrushchev. Additionally, some stations were named after a neighborhood or street and if these underwent name changes, the stations themselves had to be renamed as well.

Until 1961 the Moscow Metro had a Stalinskaya station that was adorned by a five-meter statue of the supreme leader. It is now called Semyonovskaya station.

Left: Stalinskaya station. Right: Now it's Semyonovskaya.

Left: Stalinskaya station. Right: Now it's Semyonovskaya.

The biggest wholesale renaming of stations took place in 1990, when Moscow’s government decided to get rid of Soviet names. Overnight, 11 metro stations named after revolutionaries were given new names. Shcherbakovskaya became Alekseyevskaya, Gorkovskaya became Tverskaya, Ploshchad Nogina became Kitay-Gorod and Kirovskaya turned into Chistye Prudy. This seriously confused passengers, to put it mildly, and some older Muscovites still call Lubyanka station Dzerzhinskaya for old times' sake.

At the same time, certain stations have held onto their Soviet names. Marksistskaya and Kropotkinskaya, for instance, although there were plans to rename them too at one point.

"I still sometimes mix up Teatralnaya and Tverskaya stations,” one Moscow resident recalls .

 “Both have been renamed and both start with a ‘T.’ Vykhino still grates on the ear and, when in 1991 on the last day of my final year at school, we went to Kitay-Gorod to go on the river cruise boats, my classmates couldn’t believe that a station with that name existed."

The city government submitted a station name change for public discussion for the first time in 2015. The station in question was Voykovskaya, whose name derives from the revolutionary figure Pyotr Voykov. In the end, city residents voted against the name change, evidently not out of any affection for Voykov personally, but mainly because that was the name they were used to.

What stations changed their name most frequently?

Some stations have changed names three times. Apart from the above-mentioned Aleksandrovsky Sad (Ulitsa Kominterna->Kalininskaya->Vozdvizhenka->Aleksandrovsky Sad), a similar fate befell Partizanskaya station in the east of Moscow. Opened in 1944, it initially bore the ridiculously long name Izmaylovsky PKiO im. Stalina (Izmaylovsky Park of Culture and Rest Named After Stalin). In 1947, the station was renamed and simplified for convenience to Izmaylovskaya. Then in 1963 it was renamed yet again—this time to Izmaylovsky Park, having "donated" its previous name to the next station on the line. And in 2005 it was rechristened Partizanskaya to mark the 60th anniversary of victory in World War II. 

Partizanskaya metro station, nowadays.

Partizanskaya metro station, nowadays.

Another interesting story involves Alekseyevskaya metro station. This name was originally proposed for the station, which opened in 1958, since a village with this name had been located here. It was then decided to call the station Shcherbakovskaya in honor of Aleksandr Shcherbakov, a politician who had been an associate of Stalin. Nikita Khrushchev had strained relations with Shcherbakov, however, and when he got word of it literally a few days before the station opening the builders had to hastily change all the signs. It ended up with the concise and politically correct name of Mir (Peace).

The name Shcherbakovskaya was restored in 1966 after Khrushchev's fall from power. It then became Alekseyevskaya in 1990.

Alekseyevskaya metro station.

Alekseyevskaya metro station.

But the station that holds the record for the most name changes is Okhotny Ryad, which opened in 1935 on the site of a cluster of market shops. When the metro system was renamed in honor of Lenin in 1955, this station was renamed after Kaganovich by way of compensation. The name lasted just two years though because in 1957 Kaganovich fell out of favor with Khrushchev, and the previous name was returned. But in 1961 it was rechristened yet again, this time in honor of Prospekt Marksa, which had just been built nearby.

Okhotny Ryad station in 1954 and Prospekt Marksa in 1986.

Okhotny Ryad station in 1954 and Prospekt Marksa in 1986.

In 1990, two historical street names—Teatralny Proyezd and Mokhovaya Street—were revived to replace Prospekt Marksa, and the station once again became Okhotny Ryad.

Okhotny Ryad in 2020.

Okhotny Ryad in 2020.

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