Peter is one of the parapsychologists in the trio that become the Ghostbusters. Unlike his cohorts, who display a more technical and scientific interest in their field of study, Peter's attitude is often jaded and sardonic, and it seems like he might just be in the business to seduce pretty women. When we first meet him, he is administering a test for a study on positive reinforcement, and using his role as a scientist and professor to set up a date with the beautiful young girl who has agreed to participate.
Ever the skeptic, Peter often needs the most convincing to get involved in the extermination of ghosts. He is hesitant, doubting, and would prefer just to have a good time. The main reason he is so committed to working on Dana Barrett's case is because he thinks he can get a date out of it. Peter delights in making fun of more uptight men—such as Walter Peck from the EPA and Dana's instrumentalist friend—and he deems such men "stiffs."
Ray is the most earnest member of the group and is very committed to understanding the paranormal. He enjoys having a good time like Peter, but he also really knows his technical stuff as a scientist. He is much more concerned with his reputation than the other scientists, and when they are fired from their positions at Columbia, he is worried about the fact that it will hurt their chances at other universities. Ray often has bright ideas about how to deal with the enemy, and keeps a positive, plucky energy that keeps the operation afloat.
While Ray is very technically proficient as a Ghostbuster, Egon is the real mastermind behind the whole situation. A diligent and serious geek, Egon often knows the scientific principle behind any given paranormal event. When the others fail to understand what's happening to them, Egon steps in with a sound scientific explanation. Where the other men are more fun-loving, Egon takes his work very seriously and doesn't have as much interest in having fun or accepting fame and glory. He is very offended when Walter Peck suggest that they turn off the main system at Ghostbuster headquarters, warning that there will be some horrific consequences if they do.
Winston is a late addition to the Ghostbusters. Once the business really starts to take off, the Ghostbusters need some back-up, and hire Winston as reinforcement. Winston is often skeptical of the situation, and really just wanted a job with a steady paycheck, but he also gets pulled into the fun of being a Ghostbuster.
Dana Barrett is a beautiful cellist who notices some strange occurrences in her Central Park West apartment. She is smart, sophisticated, and does not easily fall prey to Peter's advances. When he makes her laugh waiting outside for her at Lincoln Center, she eventually agrees to have a date with him, but by that time she has been possessed by Zuul.
Louis is Dana's neighbor, an excessively nerdy accountant, who desperately wants to have a date with Dana. He often waits until she is walking down the hall of their apartment building to come out and talk to her, and he always ends up locking himself out of his own apartment in the process. At the party he is throwing for his clients in his apartment, he encounters one of Gozer's demon dogs, who chases him out of the apartment and possesses him.
The Ghostbusters' receptionist. With a pronounced New York accent and a generally dry attitude, Janine is a humorous foil to the Ghostbusters' earnest commitment to their unusual job. Janine would much rather sit at her desk and read a magazine than get too involved with the paranormal.
Walter Peck is a representative from the Environmental Protection Agency who has a problem with the way the Ghostbusters are running their business. He comes to the Ghostbusters to report them for what he sees as a violation of environmental code, but Peter harasses him and gets him to leave. He then makes it his mission to shut down their operation by force.
Ghostbusters Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Ghostbusters is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.