‘In the pie chart of my brain growing up, there’s a huge slice for Ghostbusters’ – Evan Goldberg
I have a chequered past when it comes to the Ghostbusters franchise and I’m talking about the originals here, the less said about the reboot the better. When I was about 6, the one time our babysitter didn’t shove us off to bed early so she could smooch her boyfriend, she decided to show us a bootleg copy of the original Ghostbusters film. My older brother was beside himself with excitement at this coup. We settled down to watch the film and got to about 5 minutes in; to the scene in the library where the ghost goes bananas, when I myself also went bananas, turned it off and went to bed shaking in fear.
I didn’t fair too well in the second film either which we watched in the cinema with my mum. I say watched, I spent the whole film on my mum’s knee, buried in her scarf every time that creepy painting was shown. So needless to say I’m a bit skeptical when it comes to watching these films again. My inner psyche still believes them to be the scariest films on the planet. And I’ve watched Seven and The Woman in Black quite successfully since then too.
I’m 36 years old now, so when Steph and Carly suggested going along to the Castle Keep in Newcastle to watch the original film, in open air, full on a Five Guys tea and loaded with gin, it felt like the ideal time to settle this score once and for all. Although I did bring my own scarf for head burying purposes just to be on the safe side.
What better creepy setting to watch the film that scarred your childhood than a bonafide Roman Castle; built in the last 1100s, it’s steeped in atmosphere and tradition, serving as the Castle that Newcastle gets its name. The screening takes place in the great hall (not wheelchair accessible unfortunately) and is very much an open air cinema type of vibe. I mean, it’s a 800 year old castle so naturally there’s no central heating. So, despite it only being August we came adorned with hoodies, gloves, head burying scarfs and gin. Lots and lots of gin.
The main hall is small and probably fits around 30 people altogether. What it lack in size it makes up for in atmosphere though and the whole event was brilliantly run. They had people dressed up as Ghostbusters and for a small donation to charity you could strap on a backpack and bust your own ghosts against a green screen. Finally my moment had come with the library ghost, and we got her good!
In the hall there are cushioned chairs to sit on and the film projected on a large screen at the front of the room. We were last in (too much piss farting around in front of the green screen) and took the 3 seats right at the front which meant we were on a bit of a harsh angle – so I would recommend getting there in plenty of time if you want to pick your seat. You can also take in your own refreshments, including alcoholic drinks however there are no toilet facilities on site so careful how much you drink (you are able to use the toilets in the Bridge Hotel pub next door if you’re really bursting).
It was a fantastic experience that I would really recommend. It was a great trip down memory lane for us and really makes you realise, if nothing else, how much CGI technology has come along since 1984. Although I still hid behind my scarf a little bit.
So I guess I can now more confidently say I ain’t afraid of no ghost. Except maybe the chick in the library