It is not surprising that some of the most evocative images in the film are of ghosts in their various forms. The first ghost that appears in the film is unseen by the audience. Instead we just see the older librarian's response to it, as she looks up gasping in the shelves of the basement stacks. When the Ghostbusters come to investigate, they encounter an apparition, the white translucent figure of a girl reading a book. This representation of a ghost is the one we have come to expect, but when the men go to attack it, it becomes fanged and terrifying, frightening the men out of the library.
The second ghost is Slimer, a grotesque and plump monster, or as Ray calls him, a "disgusting blob." Slimer is both grosser and funnier than the other ghost, making mischief wherever he goes, a perverse wide smile spreading across his green face. In the ballroom, he darts away from the proton streams of the men, choosing to drink the liquor supply on a nearby buffet table. The liquor in the bottle passes directly through his body; he cannot even consume, and yet Slimer has an insatiable appetite.
Louis at Tavern on the Green
When he is pursued by the demon dog that has been hiding in his bedroom, Louis runs through Central Park to Tavern on the Green, an iconic New York restaurant. Pressing himself up against the large glass windows of the restaurant, he begs for someone to let him in and save him from the dog. The only problem is, with his hair all messy and his glasses askew, pressing himself up against the glass, Louis simply looks like an insane person, and the wealthy New Yorkers are so used to shrugging off insane ranters in New York that they don't think anything of it. Louis strikes an absurd image, a nervous and frantic man trying to get some fancy restaurant-goers to listen to him about his brush with the paranormal.
When Peter comes over for what he thinks is a date, he is surprised to find that Dana has been possessed by the demigod Zuul. The possession has changed her appearance considerably. Instead of her normal clothes, Dana wears a more seductive outfit and a considerable amount of makeup. Her attitude is also seductive and she pulls Peter into the bedroom trying to get him to sleep with her. In her demonic state, she begins to float above her bed, and Peter is confused. He simply watches in shock as the beautiful woman he's been pursuing floats in thin air above her bed.
The Angry Marshmallow Man
The Marshmallow Man of Ray's childhood is a cute man made out of marshmallows. In the commercials, he would have been an adorable and lovable figure. However, as the physical manifestation of Gozer, he is a terrifying giant blob who is anything but cute. The contrast between his cute outer appearance, his size, and his evil expression is at once terrifying and hilarious. Perhaps the most memorable image of the film is the furious Marshmallow Man climbing the face of Dana's building, his lighthearted smile distorted into a frown and his giant marshmallow paws grabbing hold of the apartment building like a sugary, fluffy Godzilla.
Ghostbusters Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Ghostbusters is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.