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How to see New York City like a Ghostbuster

Simon Calder’s Travel

There was one movie I was glued to as a (mildly terrified) 10-year-old: Ghostbusters. My dusty old VHS cassette – a ‘90s re-release of Ghostbusters I and II together – was played to death so much that it jumped about on my chunky CRT TV set more than I did when Dana Barratt discovered Zuul in her refrigerator. I still rue the day that tape was accidentally recorded over.

At that age I never thought I’d be running around New York City in my early thirties on a tour of Ghostbusters filming locations, let alone among a group including a super-fan dressed as Egon Spengler – complete with beige jumpsuit, inflatable proton pack and toy neutrona wand. But there I was, prancing up the steps outside the New York Public Library, where Alice the librarian was the unfortunate first person to encounter a ghost. It was here the Ghostbusters were born.

“As adults we probably look back now and laugh at scenes like the ghost in the library, but if you ever saw the film as a child it really was terrifying,” says On Location Tours guide Chris Trieber, a life-long Ghostbusters fan and pioneer of a new bus tour to mark a trio of ghost-busting milestones.

The New York Public Library is where the Ghostbusters were born

(Richard Franks)

This year is indeed an important one for the franchise and fans alike, as not only does the original film turn 40 in the same year as the follow-up turns 35, its latest release, Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire, is on the horizon. There’s been so much demand for Ghostbusters locations on their other set-jetting tours that Triebel begged his bosses to let him run this one.

“In the six-and-a-half years I’ve been running general TV and movie location tours across New York City, there’s always one location people want to see the most,” says Triebel, holding on to a secret for later on. I have an inkling. But first, our tour begins at Tavern on the Green – where Louis Tully (played by Rick Moranis) was chased by the demonic hellhound and bangs on the windows for help. Little did he know it’s a restaurant of nonchalant New York diners.

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Louis Tully was chased by the demonic hellhound to Tavern on the Green

(Eric Mudsker)

Within 30 seconds of getting on the bus we loop around Columbus Circle, infamous with the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man in the first movie. “This is where a seemingly…

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