Ghostbusters: 3 of the most memorable franchise ghosts


Ghostbusters is one of the most beloved sci-fi/comedy franchises in film history but aside from its lovable characters, it is the ghosts that truly make the movies so memorable.

Not that I don’t watch horror year-round, but since it’s close to Halloween I’ve been watching even more than usual, including a rewatch of all three Ghostbusters films.

I found myself feeling more endeared to the spooky specters this time around than in the past. Even though the ghosts are the villains of the story, some of them are so funny or downright creepy that you can’t help but like them.

Here’s a look back at three of the most memorable franchise ghosts.


Okay, I admit, this one may be influenced by the sheer amount of charisma and charm Chris Hemsworth brought to the role. While Rowan was actually originated by Neil Casey in the movie, he soon dies and returns as a powerful spirit hellbent on bringing about the apocalypse and ruling over an army made entirely of ghosts.

Chris Hemsworth as Kevin Beckman as Rowan in Ghostbusters (2016) Courtesy of IMDb and Columbia Pictures

It doesn’t take long for him to begin possessing people, a technique we were introduced to in the original 1984 film. While he begins in Abby’s body and nearly kills Holtzmann in the process, he eventually finds a more suitable host in Kevin Beckman, played by the surprisingly hilarious Hemsworth.

The climax of the film has Rowan (in Kevin’s body) performing a choreographed dance to get all the ghosts to do his bidding and attack the Ghostbusters. It’s both a hilarious and action-packed sequence that both pays homage to the original movie (such as with the evil Stay Puft marshmallow man balloon) but also puts a spin on a classic.

Rowan allows the women to choose his new form and cleverly manifests as the Ghostbusters’ logo ghost. Adorable – at first. Then he morphs into a giant, terrifying version of said ghost making for a fun and kind of tongue-in-cheek final battle.


Mark Bryan Wilson as Slimer in Ghostbusters (1984) Courtesy of IMDB, Delphi Films and Black Rhino Productions

Even though he only has a small amount of screen time in the original Ghostbusters film (and then a few brief cameos in the rest), Slimer is undeniably an iconic character. He serves more as comic relief than some of the other ghosts, frequently being shown gorging himself on whatever food he can find or wreaking havoc around the city. Slimer doesn’t seem to have ill intentions, he isn’t usually out to attack anyone, he just wants to have fun which makes him one of those ghosts you can’t help but root for.

Of all the ghosts featured in the franchise, Slimer probably has the most merchandise, clearly audiences adore him. Ghostbusters (2016) was even meant to explain Slimer’s origins, but unfortunately the scene in question was cut for time.

He’s not exactly a looker – what with his snot-like physique and expandable mouth – but he’s a ghost that lives out his afterlife the way many humans would, by letting all cares out the window and making the world his oyster. He embraces his most hedonistic tendencies and is never one to turn down a buffet table. Apparently, he even knows how to drive (whether or not he is a good driver is debatable).


Slavitza Jovan as Gozer in Ghostbusters (1984) Courtesy of IMDb, Delphi Films and Black Rhino Productions

You can’t bring up Ghostbusters without mentioning Gozer, an evil demigod from another dimension. Without Gozer we wouldn’t have Zuul, the strange hellion/dog who does his bidding, (and who terrified me as a kid in the infamous scene where he possesses Dana). Without Gozer we also wouldn’t have the malevolent version of the Stay Puft marshmallow man, who was both scary and hilarious.

When Gozer finally appears, in the form of a woman with a haircut to rival David Bowie’s and a catsuit that would give Brittany Spears a run for her money, you can’t help but admire her style. Even if Gozer did want to bring about the end of the world, she was the villain of the first film and responsible for many of the most famous scenes. The villain in the second film, Vigo, simply couldn’t compare.

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Honorable Mentions: The haunted mink suit in Ghostbusters II, the giant dragon ghost at the rock concert in Ghostbusters (2016), and the Titanic and its passengers in Ghostbusters II.

You can watch the original two Ghostbusters films now for free if you’re an Amazon Prime Video subscriber!

Are you a Ghostbusters fan? Which ghosts were your favorites? Let us know in the comments.