Ghostbusters on Campus
USF students don ghost-busting gear for the sake of charity, love of the movie.
USF.edu News Writer
TAMPA, Fla. (Nov. 4, 2010) – During the month of October, the undead in all forms are plentiful. Zombies, vampires, ghostly folklore of a entity that haunts the University of South Florida library- you name it.
And outfitted in tan flight suits with proton packs and ghost traps readily available, USF students Jon Hunn and Misha Allen are ready to take them on.
As a long-time fan of Ghostbusters, a 1984 movie about ghost hunting parapsychologists, Hunn decided one day a couple years ago to do something different than watch the movie over and over again. He set out to make himself and girlfriend, Allen, flight suits similar to the ones worn in the movie, complete with proton packs and the famous Ghostbusters logo.
“We get a lot of the stuff from the internet but the most of it is homemade,” Hunn said. “You can't just pick up an unlicensed nuclear accelerator at your local retail outlet.” Costume tips are readily available online in Ghostbusters community and many materials are made out of foamcore, sewn fabric and small parts from hardware stores.
Not only is creating costumes fun, and a real hit at conventions like Orlando’s Spooky Empire and Megacon, but the attention they get goes to charitable causes. Hunn redesigned a 1987 Cadillac Fleetwood hearse into an ectomobile and takes it to conventions and charity events with the nearest Ghostbusters chapter, the Orlando Ghostbusters.
“The Orlando Ghostbusters has three Ectomobiles readily available,” Hunn said. “It’s a spectacle from the street to see those bright lights and hear the infamous siren's scream. Besides that, we dress in our finest uniform and volunteer to do whatever they want us to do, from trotting with proton packs on our back in a walk to heckling from a dunk tank. You name it, and we're there.”
Charities that Hunn and Allen have helped raised awareness and money for are the Make a Wish Foundation, American Cancer Society and Heidi’s Legacy Dog Rescue. No cause is too small, no job is too big and no fee is too big.
“We have always wanted to do something to be able to help children,” Allen said. “We just needed a way to get out there and do it. The Orlando Ghostbusters just gave us a way of doing this and they have been doing charity work for some time now.”
Hunn agreed. Sometimes he said, just the sight of the flight suits themselves is enough to cheer up people going through chemotherapy or struggling with diseases and illness.
“We're not just people in silly costumes,” Hunn said. “But sometimes a silly costume is all that someone needs to brighten up their day. We don't consider our outfits - outfits - they're our uniforms. We put them on week after week, usually for the sake of a good cause.”
With full schedules, the time-consuming work of creating the costumes and attending events can be tiring but the couple does their best to make time for the group and the causes they represent.
“It’s hard to get together a lot since Jon and I are in school all week and I have work on top of that,” Allen said. “We try to get together at least once a month though.”
But what’s been pulling fans for nearly three decades to the gooey, ectoplasmic, ghostbusting adventures of Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd’s characters?
“The movie has things for everyone - comedy, horror, romance, thrills, drama - there's a lot to go around,” Hunn said. “As for the fans? We just know something good when we see it.”
Are you ready to believe? For more information about the Orlando Ghostbusters or to request them for your ghostbusting needs call (813) GB1-2023.
Daylina Miller covers student activities and trends. She can be reached at 813-500-8754.