I love the original Ghostbusters. Like Back to the Future, the far-fetched equipment had that garage-built look to it, and the characters were unlikely heroes. So, for Halloween 2000 I created a Ghostbusters costume.
I was on a tight schedule and budget, so I went against my normal obsessive tendencies and avoided trying to build exact replicas. For example, my Proton Pack is 2/3 scale and varies in detail from the “real thing.”
The designs are based on the movie and schematics gathered from several fan web sites, including eraser99’s Ghostbuster Prop Page, Ghostbusters Central, Ghostbusters Online, and The Prop Vortex. Unfortunately several of these sites have been lost to the passage of time.
The costume won first prize in my office’s Halloween costume contest. For some added fun, I mounted portable speakers inside the Proton Pack. So on Halloween night as my family went door-to-door in our neighborhood we listened to the music from Ghostbusters. If you’ve never added a musical component to your Halloween costume, I highly recommend it.
Since 2000 more dedicated and resourceful fans have built better and more accurate equipment, and many have shared their photos, blueprints, and instructions online. You gotta love the Internet.
Worn by Dr. Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd), the ecto-goggles are designed to allow the wearer to see supernatural phenomena. As a kid I always wanted a pair of these, so it was super-fun to build some. The base is welding goggles. I used a variety of household items to create the protruding lenses, including the core of a roll of transparent tape, the lense off an old video camera, and knobs from a broken audio component.
Used by all of the Ghostbusters, the proton pack was created to weaken ghosts in order to capture and store them. Its components include a particle thrower and a nuclear accelerator (unlicensed). My particle thrower is a modified Nerf gun that actually fires small yellow balls, but only the end of the gun is visible in the photo. The top of the main unit is an old computer power supply into which I placed speakers for Ghostbusters music. In the middle you can see the head of a broken lamp filled with aluminum foil, silver-painted 35mm film rolls, and a VHS tape. The bottom is made of a plant saucer, a strip of Hot Wheels track, and the bottom of a room freshener.
The ghost trap is a device allowing the Ghostbusters to capture supernature entities for placement into the containment unit, which then released the entities into the grid. The base of my ghost trap is a power supply for an old video camera, including the cabling. Various household items are affixed to the unit, including a broken cassette tape case painted black and decorated with yellow electrical tape.
Ghostbusters equipment is covered with warning and instruction labels. I had a lot of fun making these, being sure to put in some references to Back to the Future (“flux capacitor”) and Star Trek (“duotronic hardware”).
The Ghostbusters uniform is a beige flight suit that was remarkably easy to find. Onto it I placed a Ghostbusters patch purchased from the Intergalactic Trading Company and a custom-made name patch. I also acquired a military surplus belt, elbow pads (actually knee pads), a toy walkie-talkie, and black rubber gloves.