Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Ghostbusters: After The Call!

Updated: January 12, 2020

Ghostbusters: After The Call!
A Composite Timeline positing various Ghostbusters properties, 
set in a single Universe


by Kevin Heim


Notes highlighted in Yellow are recent additions to the timeline.


Behind the scenes, GHOSTBUSTERS began as THE GHOST BUSTERS, a Filmation Saturday Morning live action show in 1975. It lasted one season. The more well-known 1984 Columbia movie GHOSTBUSTERS borrowed the title from Filmation... but only for movie purposes. When Columbia wanted to create a cartoon based on their movie, Filmation offered to do it, but Columbia went with DiC instead. This freed Filmation to make a new cartoon based on their old show, and since they still owned the rights to the name, their cartoon was called GHOSTBUSTERS (though most fans refer to it as the Filmation Ghostbusters). Meanwhile DiC went with THE REAL GHOSTBUSTERS to avoid copyright violation, and followed with SLIMER AND THE REAL GHOSTBUSTERS.

Simple, right?

Comic books based on the Columbia movies, the DiC cartoons, and even the Filmation cartoons have also been produced, as well as a video game that serves as a sequel to the Columbia movie GHOSTBUSTERS II, a cartoon series made by Columbia / TriStar's animation studio called EXTREME GHOSTBUSTERS that served as a sequel to the DiC series. And then there was the Sony movie in 2016 that serves as a reboot of the cinematic Ghostbusters franchise, titled GHOSTBUSTERS: ANSWER THE CALL

All of this can be boiled down to four separate continuities, the Filmation Ghost Busters, the Columbia Ghostbusters, the animated Real Ghostbusters, and the Sony Ghostbusters.  If you squint, you can sort of combine the animated REAL GHOSTBUSTERS and EXTREME GHOSTBUSTERS with the live action movies GHOSTBUSTERS and GHOSTBUSTERS II, so let's say there are three timelines instead. There were call-backs to the RGB cartoons in GHOSTBUSTERS: THE VIDEOGAME that support this conflation.

There are also several other video games that adhere to one or more of the various IPs with varying degrees of continuity and compatibility, which may or may not represent divergent timelines from one of the three baselines. 

Still pretty simple...

But then we have IDW's Ghostbusters comic books. These have some excellent stories, and their continuity follows the video game, which was set in 1991, so do they fit into the GB / RGB / XGB timeline? 

Well, they start out with a conceit that the cartoons are in continuity, with several nods and cameos from the animated series, and even a character first introduced on EXTREME GHOSTBUSTERS becoming a regular cast member. They also take part in a crossover involving X-Files, Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and The Crow. But then they become involved in extradimensional travel, and the first thing they do is meet the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, who are from a different reality's New York City... followed by a crossover with the version of the Ghostbusters from the REAL GHOSTBUSTERS cartoon, which is also identified as a separate reality. And in that crossover they compare notes, determining that the RGB team has done many things that the IDW team has not, and in many cases, cannot do. Later crossovers involve meeting Ghostbusters from still more dimensions, including the ones from the 2016 movie, and a world populated by anthropomorphic animals with its own ghostbusting turtles.

Not so simple now, eh? 

Oh yeah, a new movie called GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE comes out this Summer, set in a continuity that seems to adhere to the 1984 and 1989 movies, but drops everything else. So there's that.
But you didn't come here to get confused, right? You came here to read a composite timeline that brings all these Ghostbuster IPs together. And you're trusting me to do that, which I find adorable, unless you've already read my Ivan Ronald Schablotski timeline(s), in which case you're either very gullible or a glutton for punishment.

This is the promised timeline, with all the crossovers I can justify. Since there IS a comic establishing the Ghostbusters share a timeline with the Ninja Turtles, I use that one instead of the comics that have them meeting via dimensional portal.  I can't keep everything, and in fact NONE of the source materials are kept 100% intact, not even the original movie (the cartoons established that the movie came out after the Ghostbusters were already in business, so the film's events had to happen in 1983, though the film clearly takes place in 1984). 

A great deal of research was done by the ECTOZONE web site, including separate timelines focused on the movies, the RGB cartoons, and the fan fictions they produce. I borrowed liberally from them, instead of reinventing all the wheels they worked so hard on. but even their work is not kept intact. Check out their GHOSTBUSTERS OMNIBUS TIMELINE page to see how things look when you make the effort to stick to continuity.

A lot of Ghostbusters crossover work was also done by Robyn Wronski when the TVCU / Horror Crossover Universe Ghostbusters timeline was created. This timeline does not replace that one, as this is written specifically for the Monster Hunter Universe, which has some noticeable differences from the TVCU. A big difference is that I am not including the visual easter eggs and cameos from the IDW Comics as crossovers. This goes against my personal bias, but I believe that artistic license is necessary for the RGB and IDW characters to be the same characters, which means I cannot take how a character or a thing looks as proof of that it is who or what it looks like. That means CANNONBALL RUN, BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA, and THE A-TEAM don't get included in the timeline. Doesn't mean they aren't part of the same reality, but it doesn't mean they are, either. I also don't count references to the Ghostbusters in other sources that don't specify involvement of one of the established Ghostbusters characters. Since GHOSTBUSTERS is a work of fiction in some realities, saying something like "Don't cross the streams" could be just a pop culture reference.

Using the Ghostbusters multiverse set up by IDW Comics in their 2018 mini-series GHOSTBUSTERS: CROSSING OVER, this timeline most closely adheres to the 50-S reality; that is, it does not contradict anything set in the timeline of the GHOSTBUSTERS: SANCTUM OF SLIME videogame or the information provided in comics to expand that world. This may change at any time of course, so perhaps this world should have a distinct label. My personal name for it is the "Broad Strokes Universe", aka Dimension 35-U.


Let's begin. 

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away... 


Abeloth

Approx: Over One Hundred Thousand Years before the Battle of Yavin (Star Wars IV: A New Hope): The being to be known as Abeloth is created or found by the Family (aka the "Ones") to serve as "The Servant" and keep the peace between the Son and the Daughter. Eventually the Servant is granted the role of "Mother", but unlike the Father, Son, and Daughter, Abeloth is mortal and aged while the Family did not. To gain the power of immortality, the Mother drank from the Font of Power and bathed in the Pool of Knowledge, granting her great mastery of both the light side of the Force and the dark side, and transforming her into Abeloth. When the Father learned of this, he took the Son and the Daughter away, leaving Abeloth alone on the planet. For the next several thousand years the Son and Daughter worked to imprison Abeloth through a race called the Killik that built traps from which Abeloth would eventually escape. [STAR WARS: FATE OF THE JEDI nine book series (2009-2012)]  

(One fan theory holds that Gozer is a Dark Side of the Force wielder because of the purplish-hued lightning Gozer uses against the Ghostbusters. I take this idea further and identify which Force user Gozer originally was; Abeloth, aka the Bringer of Chaos. Abeloth may have become Gozer the Destructor after her second death in STAR WARS: LEGACY continuity, as Gozer's neutral state is that of a female, though it identifies as either male or female depending on need, and can both shapeshift and create new bodies; further, Abeloth is a master of the Dark Side of the Force, which would explain the Force lightning Gozer uses.)
https://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Abeloth

21 Years before the battle of Yavin: The Father, Son, and Daughter are all killed in an encounter with Jedi Knights Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker, and Padawan Ahsoka Tano on the planet Mortis. According to Father, this brought balance to the Force. [STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS episodes 15-17]
(Abeloth is only found in Star Wars: Legacy sources, but the Ones that created her are canon, suggesting Abeloth may also exist in some form in that timeline. If so, her fate will necesssarily be very different from what became of her in the STAR WARS: FATE OF THE JEDI book series. Regardless of which Star Wars timeline is accepted in Ghostbusters continuity, Abeloth could have survived, physically or ethereally, to menace other worlds long after the age of the Jedi passed. Naturally other cultures on other planets would give the demigod other names, and it is here proposed that one of those worlds dubber her Gozer the Destructor.)

Abeloth vs the Jedi AND the Sith
44 Years After the Battle of Yavin: Abeloth makes a bid to take over the galaxy, manipulating the Sith, the Republic, and the Jedi. Ultimately her plan fails when she extends her reach too far and tries to recreate the Family by forcing a Sith and a Jedi to become the new Daughter and Son, so she can become the new Father. Abeloth is defeated through a combined effort of both Jedi and Sith forces, but Grand master Jedi Luke Skywalker acknowledges that Abeloth can never be truly destroyed, and he contemplates how long it may take her to return. [STAR WARS: FATE OF THE JEDI: APOCALYPSE]
(Abeloth was to be featured in another story that was never published due to the cancellation of all Star Wars Legacy products. In it, she was to be revealed to be the offspring of an evil Celestial being, but lacked immortality of her own. She was also going to be the sister of Pomajima, aka Typhojem, aka Cthulhu, which would have further cemented the notion that Abeloth could have founded a cult on Earth aeons after the Star Wars saga drew to an end.)



Approx. 5 Million Years ago: The second civil war between the Autobots and Decepticons on Cybertron (which lasted 4 Million Years) results Optimus Prime and his followers fleeing the planet in a space ark. Shortly after, Gozer the Traveler arrives in the form of a robot, and wipes out the Decepticons using the form of a giant Starscream. Krezmeek the Scavenger transforms several key Decepticons into ghosts and takes them off-planet as part of a personal scheme, while the rest of Cybertron burns. [TRANSFORMERS/GHOSTBUSTERS: GHOSTS OF CYBERTRON #1-6 (2019)]


c 6000 BCE: The Cult of Gozer the Gozerian exists among the Hittites, Mesopotamians, and Sumerians. Sources claim a rivalry existed between Gozer the Traveler and Tiamat, a monstrous Babylonian chaos deity, while others claim Gozer and Tiamat are siblings. Tiamat is believed to have banished Gozer from the Earthly plane around 2600 BCE, though the accounts were recorded by Tiamat's worshippers and may contain inaccuracies. [GHOSTBUSTERS (1984), The Real Ghostbusters season 2 episode "I am the City" (1987), various issues of the IDW Ghostbusters comics]
(Gozer's relatives are not limited to Tiamat. According to the IDW Comics, they have another sibling, Senta, aka the Golden Child of Wraith, who is bound to a human form called Rachel Unglighter, and their father is the demonic entity Koza'Rai, who seeks mastery of all space and time)
((Gozer may ALSO be an avatar or harbinger for the Outer God Yog-Sothoth, who has been identified as the key, the gate, AND the path through the gate, and has also tried to enter the Earth's reality through the creation of hybrid godlings composed of Ectoplasm, i.e. Wilbur Whately and his invisible brother. Gozer shares a tendency that many Lovecraft-created deities have of being worshipped alongside real mythological beings within real world cultures, so a spot for Gozer among the Cthulhu Mythos cosmology is not out of sorts. The Simon edition of the Necronomicon equated Tiamat with Cthulhu, further justifying such inclusion. Alternately, it may be Gozer's father Koza'Rai who is an aspect of Yog-Sothoth)))
http://lovecraft.wikia.com/wiki/Yog-Sothoth
(((Gozer also shares certain similarities with cosmic being appearing in Marvel and DC Comics around 1984-85, particularly the being/beings known as The Beyonder and the Anti-Monitor. In their respective comic book continuities, these beings wrecked havoc upon known reality, much as Gozer would have done, had she not been stopped by the Ghostbusters.)))
http://marvel.wikia.com/wiki/Beyonder_(Earth-616)
http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/Anti-Monitor_(Antimatter_Universe)
Honestly, no one should be shocked that I would be using Lovecraft as a basis for this timeline.


* I know there is more information available about Gozer, especially as relates to Ivo Shandor. I am holding off on including these details until the new Ghostbusters movie comes out so I don't have to retcon myself.  *


c. 2010 BCE: The Cult of Dumazu the Destroyer holds a funeral for their god king in Pre-Columbian North America.  Dumazu is buried, trapped in a living death that can only be broken by restoring the Relic of Nilhe. [GHOSTBUSTERS: SANCTUM OF SLIME videogame, 2011] 


1505-1610: The life of Vigo Von Homburg Deutschendorf, aka Vigo the Carpathian. Vigo was a powerful sorceror who swore he would return just before dying at the hands of the people he ruled. [GHOSTBUSTERS II]

1687: Eli Spengler imprisons a witch in a crystal in Lewiston MA [Real Ghostbusters episode "If I were a Witch-Man", 1989]
(Lewiston appears to be south of Boston, relatively near Plymouth, given that they have an annual Pilgrim Fest each year.)

1692: Edward Spenser, whose family brought him to America aboard the Mayflower, becomes the Head Spell Dissolver in Salem, helping to defeat a witch that seeks revenge on his Ghostbusting ancestors. [The Ghost Busters episode "Which Witch is Which?", 1975]

1742: Zedekiah Spengler attempted to refill his well with magic using magical incantations. Instead, he roused the Genius Loci attached to the well. When it stole farm animals from neighbors, Zedekiah eventually sent the dragon back into the well. [Real Ghostbusters episode "Egon's Dragon"]
(This story is set in Nass Burg, a small New England village, which I assume is in Connecticut since they get lost there while trying to get to New York City)

1837: Egon Spengler, Winston Zeddemore, Ray Stantz, and Peter Venkman time travel from Manhattan in 1984 to London, England, and interfere with three spirits trying to teach Ebeneezer Scrooge about the meaning of Christmas. After they return to their own time, they find the world is worse for their meddling, and they return the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come so they can finish the job. With the timeline restored, the Ghostbusters return to 1984. [The Real Ghostbusters episode X-Mas Marks the Spot]

1842: Western lawman Clint Kong becomes a werewolf. [Filmation Ghostbusters episode "Like Father Like Son", 1986]

1860s: Russian ancestors of Ray Stantz emigrate to the United States.

1864: Dr. Ebon Spenser is privy to an alien autopsy in a cabin in upstate New York, that provides him with medical data regarding the unearthly. This alien was not extraterrestrial, but rather extradimensional, and the material it was made of would later be defined as Ectoplasm. [Based on a letter written by H. P. Lovecraft in 1920, relating a dream he had; the contents of which are reproduced online on the blog The Writer and the White Cat]
(The actual name is recorded as "Eben Spencer", but just in case someone claims to own characters from H P Lovecraft's dreams / letters that never made it into stories, I'm going with an alt spelling)
((And in fact, someone else has already written a story about this same Lovecraft creation that conflicts with my interpretation: https://undeadauthorsociety.com/2016/01/07/dr-spencers-tale/ ))
(((Ebon is descended from Mayflower pilgrim Edward Spenser


1865-67: Fort Courage is host to Captain Wilton Parmenter, Sergeant Morgan Sylvester O'Rourke, and Corporal Randolph Agarn. [F-TROOP, 1965-1967]
(All 3 of these men had descendants that became Ghost Busters, based on the actors who played them also playing Ghost Busters / Ghost Breakers)


1873: O'Rourke buys a stagecoach from a man named Callahan and publicly uses the name Callahan while operating it in order to bank on the former owner's sterling reputation. He and his one employee Dusty shuttle 5 passengers on what was meant to just be a 3 hour tour but winds up lasting most of a year. [DUSTY'S TRAIL, 1973-74]
(This entry is based on the actor who played O'Roarke on F-TROOP playing a very similar role on DUSTY'S TRAIL, aka Callahan. Several episodes of DUSTY'S TRAIL are in the public domain, so I can use the Callahan name for the O'Rourke character.)

1870s-80s: Clint Kong's son marries O'Rourke's daughter and they have at least one child before ghosts force Kong's gold mine to close, and his family leaves the United States for Sweden. In Sweden, they have another child, Noah Kong. [Filmation Ghostbusters episode "The Headless Horseman Caper", 1986]

1889: Randolph Agarn's daughter marries Ebon Spenser's son. They have a son; Avery Randolph Spenser.
(Avery Randolph Spenser is original to my fiction and will be featuring in his own stories, and some of the ideas being used for him show up in this timeline)

1894: Oct 25 - Gertrude Aldridge murders all of her father's servants in their sleep. Her father has her locked away in the mansion to spare the family name from embarrassment. After she dies Gertrude's ghost haunts the Aldridge Mansion. [GHOSTBUSTERS: ANSWER THE CALL, 2016]

Early 20th Century: Stantz family immigrates from Sweden to the Bronx in New York.

World War I: Avery Randolph Spenser becomes a pilot and fights in Europe. After the War, he inherits his grandfather's things, including notes on the alien autopsy and devices originally designed to allow physical interaction with ectoplasm. He studies and modifies these devices greatly.

1919: At the close of World War I, Noah Kong moves with his pregnant wife from Sweden to America, where his son Jake is born.

1923: Randolph's son Edward Spenser is born. Eddie shows little interest in his father's experiments.

1927: Randolph Spenser uses his aviation skills and knowledge of monsters to fight supernatural menaces as the Barnstormer.
(This is a tentative name for a character I see as a stand-in for G-8, a pulp aviator known for fighting monsters)

1930: James Charles Venkman (usually known as "Charlie" or occasionally "Jim") is born on October 31 to a circus ticket taker in Sedalia, Missouri; raised in the atmosphere of the sleazy circus he grows up with some very warped values.

1930s: A member of the Stantz family marries  a granddaughter of the Russian family that immigrated in the 1860's. They would settle in the Bronx, and have at least three children: Gaylord, Lois, and David. Gaylord would settle in Queens and become proprietor of a joke shop; he apparently never marries. Lois would never marry either, and would inherit her parent's house (the house her mother's Russian ancestors built). David would become a doctor and one day move to Morrisville, in upstate New York.

1940s: Unspecified grandfather of Egon Spengler works with Doc Will Murray Hazzard of the Crime Patrol pulp adventure group. Other members are the Crimson Crimebuster, the Lunar Avenger, and Dark Dwarf. The Barnstormer also works with the Crime Patrol on occasion. [REAL GHOSTBUSTERS #7, 20, and 22, published by NOW Comics]
(Barnstormer's involvement is my own addition, allowing a segue into Ghostbusting territory for Egon's ancestor.)

World War II: Edward Spenser avoids the war by enrolling in med school at Darrow University in Crystal Cove, CA. It is here that he meets Jake Kong, an upper classman studying criminology with plans to join the police academy.
(I figure Miskatonic University is way over-used, and since Spenser and Kong will be based out of California, Darrow University is as good a school as any for them to attend. It is originally from the animated SCOOBY-DOO! MYSTERY INCORPORATED series, which ran from 2010 to 2013 and featured fictional horror writer H. P. Hatecraft and real life author Harlan Ellison as professors.)

1948: May 2. Birth of Winston Ramsey Zeddemore, the son of construction worker Edward Zeddemore and his wife Lucille. Winston has at least one sister; by 1984 he has at least one nephew.

1949: Peter Charles Venkman is born on October 25, in Brooklyn, New York, to Charlie Venkman and the former Margaret Abernathy. Charlie is an itinerant salesman and con-man. Margaret dies, possibly while Peter is very young, and the family spends much of Peter's childhood moving around to avoid the law and disgruntled marks his father accumulates. Peter resents his father for never being home on Christmas, and comes to hate the holiday for many years.

1950s: Edison Spengler serves an internship under Will Hazzard, and in the process meets Hazzard's secretary, Katharine Melton, a distant relative who's mother descended from the Lewistown Spenglers. In part because of his resemblance to her notable ancestor Eli, Katharine pursues Edison and the two marry.
(This is taken from the EctoZone fan fiction theories, but as it fills a gap in Egon's ancestry and contradicts nothing I am aware of, I see no reason to change it)

1952: November 21. Egon Spengler is born in Cleveland, Ohio, to Dr. Edison Spengler and his wife Katharine. His uncle, Cyrus Spengler, will run his own research firm, Spengler Labs. Egon is given a very strict upbringing stressing academic success, so much that he was allowed no toys and reportedly an A- on a test brought a harsh reaction from his parents. At some point in his childhood, Egon is victimized by the entity called "The Boogeyman", who inspires the boy to research the supernatural.

1954: The Parkview Psychiatric Hospital is built in New York City, directly above the remains of the Temple of Dumazu. During construction one of the shards of the Nilhe relic is found and turned over to the American Museum of National History. [GHOSTBUSTERS: SANCTUM OF SLIME, 2011]

October 13 - Birth of Raymond Francis Stantz to Doctor David Stantz and his wife, the former Carolyn MacMillan of Scotland. A steady diet of comic books and pulp adventure would feed his interest in the supernatural. David Stantz would take him on visits to the Toad Island park in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Ray grew up in the upstate New York community of Morrisville, part of a large family with at least one cousin and a wise maiden aunt. Apparently he had some weird pets and the people of Morrisville didn't think he'd amount to much. His first crush would be a girl named Elaine Fuhrman. Alan Favish was his childhood nemesis. He also had an interest in stage magic.

1965: Child prodigy Egon Spengler gets his first degree at the age of 12. At some point, he becomes a student of Professor Ian Epimethius, an early researcher into dimensional physics.

1968: Peter Venkman enters college. He eventually attains doctorates in parapsychology and psychology. He is also a pledge to the Tri Kuppa Bru fraternity.

1970: Jake Kong, Eddie Spenser, and Egon Spengler are approached by Mr. Zero (who is secretly Eddie's father Randolph Spenser). He teaches them what he knows about the equipment and notes his grandfather made. Egon reverse-engineers the equipment and with help from Eddie and Jake they develop designs for ghostbusting gear.  Patents are files by the trio under the corporate name "Ghost Busters". Egon returns to the east Coast to attend M.I.T.

1971: Ray Stantz attends Columbia University. After attaining a degree in Occult Sciences, he bounces from job to job, including at least one in private research

1972: Sept. 21. Roland Jackson is born in New York, the first of seven children of Phil and Sharon Jackson (Extreme Ghostbusters)

1972: Abby Yates is born in Rochester, just outside of Detroit, Michigan. Her parents refer to her as "Curious Georgina" and occasionally call her their "Little Monkey".

1973: Birth of Erin Gilbert in Battle Creek, a suburb of Detroit, Michigan. (Ghostbusters: Answer the Call)

Jan 3. Birth of Garrett Miller to Howard and Susan Miller. Due to a congenital birth defect, his legs are completely useless and Garrett is born paraplegic. (Extreme Ghostbusters)

Feb. 12. Birth of Kylie Griffin to Steve and Jill Griffin. Her parents divorce when she is very young, and she's raised by her grandmother Rose Nelson Lockyer. (Extreme Ghostbusters)

July 18. Birth of Eduardo Rivera, the second son of policeman Alberto Rivera and his wife Carlota. Eduardo has one older brother, Carlos, who follows in their father's footsteps in becoming a policeman. (Extreme Ghostbusters)



1973-74: Jake Kong and Eddie Spenser meet intelligent ape Tracy, who helps them complete the construction of their Ghost Dematerializer and maintains their car. They start a paranormal investigation agency in Sunnydale CA called "The Ghost Busters". Mister Zero handles their assignments and pays them (mostly out of pocket, as few in the city acknowledge that they need help against ghosts and monsters.  Over the next year they encounter several ghosts and monsters. One of the spooks they deal with is a vampire claiming to be Dracula, and one of the monsters is the creation of a Dr. Frankenstein. [The Ghost Busters, 1975]
(I located them in Sunnydale, from BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, because it's not far from L.A., has plenty of supernatural activity to keep them busy, and has ONE big freaking castle on the hill overlooking the town, which was pointed out as a feature of the town in which they are active.)
((Tracy has been hinted to be the descendant of King Kong, which may work in the Wold Newton Universe, where Kong was 20 feet tall, per Farmer's "After Kong Fell", but in continuities where King Kong was a genuine daiaiju, with sources measuring him anywhere between 25 and 250 feet in height, a normal sized gorilla would be a very different species, so suggestions that King Kong was Tracy's grandfather are to be treated as a joke between members of the Ghost Busters staff.))
(((I see the cartoon GOOBER AND THE GHOST CHASERS from Hanna Barbara in 1973 as a group of interns working for the Ghost Busters. Much of their equipment is similar to the live action and animated Filmation teams, though the Ghost Chasers came out 2 years earlier. They often ran into genuine ghosts in the course of their investigations, as well as the Partridge Family and other guest-stars. The cartoon specifically states that the kids worked for Ghost Chasers Magazine, but this does not explain the technology they used, so I assume the Magazine was run by Mister Zero, or the teen reporters were specifically working with equipment loaned to them by the Ghost Busters under contract.)))


1975: Dr.s Egon Spengler and Peter Venkman are employed by Columbia University to do parapsychological research. By 1983, they are under the department management of Dean
Yeager.

1977: Dr. Ray Stantz is hired by Columbia University, and he is assigned to work with Egon Spengler and Peter Venkman.

1979: Elliott Fielding, great-grandson of Captain Wilton Parmenter and Jane Angelica Thrift from Fort Courage, writes a book about ghost-busting and after a trip to Fantasy Island to test his theories, meets Eddie Spenser who recruits him to the Ghost Busters. [Fantasy Island episode "Birthday Party/Ghostbreaker", 1979]
(Fielding is actually met by Alain Leblanc, played by Larry Storch, the same actor who plays Eddie Spenser, but they are clearly meant to be the same character)
((Though this episode refers to the team of paranormal investigators as Ghost Breakers, there is no known connection between them and the Ghostbreakers from 1953 (Larry Todd and Myron Mertz, seen in SCARED STIFF), 1940 (Larry Lawrence and Alex, seen in THE GHOST BREAKERS), or 1909 (Warren Jarvis, from the play The Ghost Breaker and its two earliest cinematic adaptations in 1914 and 1922), and because no iteration of the Ghost Breakers depicted them using advanced technology in their investigations, they are instead considered to be a rival paranormal service, so they are not covered by this timeline.))

1982: October 30 - December 24.  Erin Gilbert, age 8, is terrorized by Gretta DeMille, the mean old lady next door, that lasted until the woman's death just before Christmas. From that point on, Gretta's ghost appeared to Erin at 2:06 AM every night that the girl was alone for the next year. Erin's parents, classmates, and second grade teacher did not believe her and she was given the nickname "Ghost Girl". (Ghosts From Our Past)


The Ghost Busters traded in their original car by the time Ray Stantz was shopping for one in 1983.


1983: Ray, Peter, and Egon find physical proof of the paranormal in New York City and finalize equipment that Egon began designing in California. Unaware that Eddie and Jake were already in business as the Ghost Busters, Egon files his new patents under that same name and uses Ghostbusters as the name of their new company of paranormal investigation and elimination. Winston is hired months after they open the business, and they wind up battling the Sumerian god Gozer, its harbingers Zuul and Vinz Clortho, and its manifestation as the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. [GHOSTBUSTERS]
(Evidence in the film as well as in the Real Ghostbusters cartoon suggests these events took place in 1983, rather than 1984, which allows for the movie based on these events to be released after the events took place. Further support is found in a parking citation from the 2019 UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HALLOWEEN HORROR NIGHTS Ghostbusters display, stating the Ecto-1 was ticketed in 1983.)
((One of the side effects of this particular event, later known as the Manhattan Crossrip, is that the walls of the 53th Precinct were seen to bleed. This fictional precinct was the setting of the tv series CAR 54 WHERE ARE YOU?))
(((The 88MPH Comic book GHOSTBUSTERS: THE ZEDDEMORE FACTOR from 2004 takes place during this time period, as it relates the first case Winston Zeddemore worked after signing on with the company.)))

They remain in business until the beginning of 1988. In between they deal with a number of spooks, spectres, and ghosts, including Cthulhu (spelled "Cathulhu") and other Outer Gods, the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow, a werewolf / vampire War in Louisville KY (that involves a young Ron Schablotski), a Transylvanian vampire that claims to be the source for DRACULA, the Christmas spirits from Charles Dickens' A CHRISTMAS CAROL, and a heck of a lot of other ghosts. They also attend the 1984 premiere of the movie GHOSTBUSTERS, based on their exploits with Gozer. [THE REAL GHOSTBUSTERS) seasons 1-7 and some of the comic book tie-ins]
(The 88MPH Comic book GHOSTBUSTERS: LEGION #1-4 from 2004-2005 takes place during this time period, specifically 6 months after the Gozerian Crossrip, though it requires several details of the story to be ignored or changed to fit.)


1983: 3rd Grader Abby Yates in Rochester, MI gets lost trying to find out about leprechauns, possibly as a result of potassium poisoning. She spends three days in the woods with only her imaginary dog Zorp for company.


1984: Four teenagers, enamored by the movie about the Ghostbusters, dress as them and make their own ghost hunting gear for Halloween., in Hawkins, Indiana. They encounter extradimensional monsters and an evil conspiracy responsible for opening the portal to their world. [STRANGER THINGS season 2]


1986: Jake Kong Jr and Eddie Spenser Jr. both teenagers, take over active Ghostbusters investigations from their fathers, though they still work with Tracy the Gorilla. New equipment is completed using ideas taken from some of Egon's patents, which the senior Ghost Busters assumes were filed by Zero. Their office is moved from Sunnydale to Los Angeles, and their first case involves time-travel, earning them an arch-enemy in Prime-Evil, as well as allies from the future; Futura and Belfry. Mr. Zero, aka Randolph Spenser, retires from the Ghost Busters and never reveals his role to his grandson Eddie Jr or his friend Jake Jr. [Filmation's GHOSTBUSTERS]
(Their vehicle, the Ghost Buggy, appears to be a custom model similar to the original car, which was sold off prior to the start of this revival team, possessed by a helpful spirit similar to the ones in Speed Buggy and Herbie the Love Bug. It is possible that the original car was already possessed when it was sold years earlier, and simply found its way "home" rather than face retirement in a junk yard. Regardless, they are two separate cars.)
((Eddie Spenser Jr's aviator helmet and coat are a tribute to his hero the Barnstormer, though he is unaware that this was his grandfather))
(((By this time, The Filmation Ghostbusters are aware of the existence of other Ghostbusters, as evidenced by  the statement that they are the "Original Ghostbusters".)))
((((Among the many spirits they tangle with is Count Dracula, though this cannot be the same vampire encountered by the 'Real' Ghostbusters. He closely resembles the Count Dracula from GROOVY GHOULIES, another Filmation cartoon.))))


1988: The Ghostbusters take a case in Wyoming and find a house 'haunted' by four shapeshifting beings called Gwanzulum. Though they are aliens, not ghosts, they have been stated as being from an earlier Universe and predate the evolution of all other shapeshifting races. The Gwanzulum feed on fear, seeking to use their shapeshifting abilities to inspire terror whenever and wherever they can. [REAL GHOSTBUSTERS #9, published by Marvel UK]
(The Gwanzulum shapeshifters are likely paranormal in the same sense that most of Lovecraft's monsters are; they originate from outside of space and time and are made up of matter unlike that of organic life on Earth, much like the Mi-Go from THE WHISPERER IN DARKNESS. Their feeding habits and extradimensional / extraterrestrial origins also suggest the possibility that they may be akin in some way to Pennywise / It from Stephen King's IT.)
((The Gwanzulu, either through extradimensional travel, existing in multiple realities, or simply being a long-lived species, have also encountered Combat Colin in Wallyville, England, the Thundercats on Third Earth, and the (seventh) Doctor on the planet Adeki, per their appearances in Marvel UK comic books TRANSFORMERS AND ACTION FORCE #161-163, THUNDERCATS #66-67, and DOCTOR WHO MAGAZINE #141-142))

1988: The city sues the Ghostbusters for defamation, based on the unflattering portrayal of the New York Mayor in the 1984 movie GHOSTBUSTERS, and for a number of damages that were previously overlooked. The lawsuit comes to trial in early 1988, and they are shut down, forbidden to use their equipment or investigate the paranormal. In October they resume their business, fully reinstated legally by capturing the ghosts of the Scoleri Brothers [GHOSTBUSTERS II]
(Although this movie established that the Ghostbusters were shut down 5 years ago, a version of the story was made featuring the Real Ghostbusters, who had been active for the majority of time after the first movie was released, as a comic book by Now Comics.)























On October 31st they face the Ghosts of Mars in Elmo's Hill, New Jersey. [MARS ATTACKS THE REAL GHOSTBUSTERS]
(This was part of a large crossover event in which the MARS ATTACKS Martians invaded a variety of comic books; in some cases the crossovers exist only as cover art for comics never published. This does not prove that any of the crossovers with Mars Attacks occur within the same continuity, however, as they are often seen to invade from an alternate reality, as they did in the MARS ATTACKS THE IMAGE UNIVERSE miniseries. Such worlds would all still be within the same multiverse, as they all either have Mars Attacks Martians, or else have been visited by them, but unless these worlds also support the existence of Ghostbusters, they are beyond the intent of this article.

On December 31st they defeat Vigo the Carpathian at the Manhattan Museum of Art, using the Statue of Liberty as both a means of transportation and a battering ram against negatively charged mood slime. [GHOSTBUSTERS II]


1989-91: The city throws the Ghostbusters a parade and awards them the key to the city. Business continues to remain steady through late 1991, including cases that involve Deep Ones (and Dagon), the golden age Crime Patrol, swamp things, Mario & Luigi, and a flux capacitor. Conversations held by the Ghostbusters acknowledge the existence of the Filmation Ghostbusters, and possible existence of Godzilla, as well as the use of a Flux capacitor in the Ecto-4. [REAL GHOSTBUSTERS comics by Marvel UK and NOW Comics]
(Due to the animation of the Statue of Liberty on December 31st, 1988, the Giant Neuralizer used by the Men In Black on occasions when the city of New York needs to forget something, as seen in MEN IN BLACK II, is damaged. Ordnance technicians, which includes future Ghostbuster Ivan
Schablotski, repair the device in December of 1990)
((Doc Brown's visit to the Ghostbusters, and Winston's visit to the Super UNIVERSAL STUDIOS tour video and an episode of THE SUPER MARIO BROTHERS SUPER SHOW!, occur in this period. The actual video shows Doc Brown visiting an attraction at an amusement park, rather than visiting the Ghostbusters, but some connection between the Ghostbsuters and Doc Brown is necessary to explain the presence of a Flux Capacitor in the firehouse. Likewise, Winston Zeddemore's visit to the Mario Brothers' home is depicted as Ernie Hudson, but as a Slime Buster, and is best considered to be Winston for our purposes.))

(((TRANSFORMERS/GHOSTBUSTERS: GHOSTS OF CYBERTRON also goes here, despite the comic coming out in 2019, in order to let the Transformers of this reality appear on Earth in the 80s. Sometime in 1989 the ghost of Starscream arrives on Earth, sending out a distress signal that Ectronymous Diamatron detects and brings the Autobots to investigate. Ectronymous Diamatron transforms into the Ecto-1, and earns the nickname Ectotron. Optimus Prime also comes to Earth and takes the form of a large truck, but quickly decides to adopt a Ghostbusters-themed outer coat to help blend in while at the Firehouse. The ghosts of Megatron, Shockwave, and Soundwave fight the Autobots and Ghostbusters but Megatron's hatred for Optimus Prime is his undoing. It is worth noting that the Autobots are definitely active on Earth, though in hiding, in the X-Files:Conspiracy crossover comic, released and set in 2014.)))

c. 1989: Alex Vaux from Fresno, California applies to become a Ghostbuster. Once the Chicago Division opens, he interns under Bryan Welsh and captures the Enfield Horror. [GHOSTBUSTERS: THE BOARD GAME II]


1990: Jan 1 - Janosz Poha, Vido's minion, is committed to the Parkview Psychiatric Hospital, where he meets fellow mental patient Ismael McEnthol, aka Ismael the Deceiver, the last descendant of Dumazu the Destroyer. [GHOSTBUSTERS: SANCTUM OF SLIME]


Erin Gilbert and Abby Yates meet during their junior year at Hoover High School in Detroit. They bond over an interest in the supernatural and become friends, bullied or shunned by the rest of their class. They create a club called the Metaphysical Examination Society, though they are the only members. 


1991: Around Thanksgiving the Ghostbusters recruit three new Rookies; Bryan Welsh, Maddie Collins, and Chad Fuller, who helps them defeat a number of ghosts and spirits, including the return of the Stay-Puft Marshmellow Man, Gozer, and Ivo Shandor. Afterwards, Bryan is relocated to Chicago to start a new franchise there. Maddie and Chad leave the company. [GHOSTBUSTERS: THE VIDEO GAME (Realistic Version and Stylized Version), IDW GHOSTBUSTERS]
(An important feature of this game is that the original actors lent their voices to their characters, causing many fans to consider this game with its many, many cut scenes to be GHOSTBUSTERS 3. Currently it is believed that official movie canon will not include this game, and even IDW Ghostbsuters continuity is only allowing a version of these events now, as the resolution of the Library Ghost haunting is supposed to have been during their first year of activity, rather than in 1991.)

((This game had three different versions; the Realistic version, which featured the Rookie that IDW calls Bryan Welsh, the Stylized version, with either the female Rookie IDW calls Maddie Collins or the male Rookie IDW calls Chad Fuller, and the Portable Stylized version, which features no Rookie character at all. The story is roughly the same in all versions though some encounters are not present in every platform, Only the IDW Comics' explanation features all three together in the same continuity.))
((This game establishes Walter Peck as the head of PCOC; the Paranormal Contracts Oversight Commission, which forges a new professional relationship between the Ghostbusters and the government. Not only do New York City contracts go through P.C.O.C., ensuring payments are made and insurance is covered, but a cost-value for spooks, specters, and ghosts is established, similar to the P.U.F.F. (Perpetual Unearthly Forces Fund) values for corporeal monsters issued by the government to monster hunters in the MONSTER HUNTER INTERNATIONAL book series.))
(((This game also establishes Egon's nephew Eddie Spengler as a real character. This character debuted in a 2004 fan film FREDDY VS GHOSTBUSTERS, thus bringing the linked fan films into continuity)))

1991:  Dr. Vincent Abraham Belmont, a wizard from Massachusetts and a descendant of Simon Belmont, befriends Ray Stantz at Ray's Occult Books before becoming directly involved with the Ghostbusters. Afterwards, he begins paranormal investigations in Arkham MA. [GHOSTBUSTERS: THE BOARD GAME II]
(Dr. Belmont's ancestor is Simon Belmont, founder of a line of monster hunters in the 1690s, per the CASTLEVANIA videogame franchise)


1991-1992: Erin Gilbert and Abby Yates put together a presentation on ghosts for the science fair, to the chagrin of their AP-Physics teacher, Mr. Gannon, at Hoover High. The presentation includes some sweet dance moves, and foretells the end of mankind if the barrier is not protected.


1992: Lull in activity sees Winston, Peter, and Ray all seek new jobs. Egon stays in the firehouse and teaches "Paranormal Phenomena" at New York City College. In the Summer semester, he only has two students, Peter Fitzhume Jr and Malydia Deetz. In the Fall, he has Garrett Miller, Kylie Griffin, Eduardo Rivera, Roland Jackson, and Janine Melnitz as students. The 4 students join Janine and Egon as the Extreme Ghostbusters. Among their cases are an evil leprechaun, a group of Cenobites called the Vathek, and a golem. By Spring 1993 Peter, Ray, and Winston have returned to rejoin the team. Of the Extreme Ghostbusters, only Kylie remains actively involved, though Eduardo does work part-time at Ray's Occult Books. [EXTREME GHOSTBUSTERS]
(The Cenobites are from Clive Barker's HELLRAISER stories and movies, but also represent the young adult fiction of R. L. Stine, as the Vathek are believed to be the creations of author J. N. Kline, an homage to R. L. Stine. No definitive crossover exists for the Leprechaun, though it is suggestive of the evil leprechaun seen in the LEPRECHAUN film series.)
((During this period is also when Ray tried to take a solo call at Whipstaff Manor in Friendship, Maine but finds multiple Class 5s are too much for him, as per the 1995 movie CASPER THE FRIENDLY GHOST))
(((The Extreme Ghostbusters cartoon aired in 1997. The decision to move them to 1992 was to allow for Kylie to join the team after the series ended, to keep the character in line with her IDW counterpart.)))

1992-1996: Erin Gilbert and Abby Yates attend classes at the University of Michigan, both graduating with a bachelors of science degree in Physics. Erin gets accepted into Princeton while Abby remains in Michigan. During their last summer together they write a manuscript titled "Ghosts From Our Past: Both Figuratively and Literally: A Study of the Paranormal". Self-publishing and promoting the book led to the friends parting on bad terms.


1993-1996: Many of the stories published by IDW Comics take place in slightly altered form, including a rivalry with Ron Alexander's Ghost Smashers, recruitment of FBI agent Melanie Ortiz as a special liason to the Ghostbusters, Recruitment of Ron Alexander to the Chicago franchise, along with his fellow Ghost-Smashers Dani Shpak and Lou Kamaka. Cases include being lost in separate time frames so Gozer's father Koza'Rai could take over the present, dealing with Gozer's third avatar Idulnas, a trip across the United States with an assortment of regional hauntings to handle, several seasonal hauntings, and finally a full-scale chaos assult from Gozer's sibling Tiamat. [IDW GHOSTBUSTERS storylines The Other Side, Displaced Aggression, "Past, Present and Future", "Tainted Love", "Con-Volution", "What in Samhain Just Happened?!", "Guess What's Coming to Dinner?" "Ghostbusters: Infestation", "The Man From The Mirror", "The Most Magical Place On Earth". "The Man Who Holds The Hands of Death", "Haunted America", "Who Killed Laura Parr?", "Who You Gonna Call?", "'Twas The Night Before", "Time Scare", The New Ghostbusters", "In The Box", "Trains, Brains, and Ghostly Remains", "The New Ghostbusters Stripped", "Happy Horror Days!", "Tee Time Terror", and "Mass Hysteria!"]
(The case in which they face Tiamat (Mass Hysteria) is the last IDW story to take place in this reality, as the later stories distinctly place the Ghostbusters in separate realities from the Real Ghostbusters, Extreme Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters: Answer The Call, Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, at least until the Transformers/Ghostbusters crossover, which is all done same-universe.)
((It's worth noting that Tiamat is an actual Babylonian mythological being, as opposed to the fictitious Gozer, meaning that this does not serve as a crossover to other works of fiction using Tiamat unless explicitly or implicitly included. It is NOT worth noting that the Simon edition of the Necronomicon states Tiamat is another name for Cthulhu.))
(((The Tiamat encounter ends with Winston Zeddemore giving up the happiness he'd found in marriage, so that no one, including his wife, remembers they were ever a couple, except Winston. Hearing this leads the other Ghostbusters to speculate that this may be similar to what happened to that photographer in Queens, or that police detective in Portland. The photographer is Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man, who gave up his happy marriage to the demon Mephisto in a 2007 comic book story titled "One More Day". The detective is Nick Burkhardt from the 2007-2011 television series GRIMM. Both of these references are anachronistic for this timeline, and like most visual cameos, are not canon for this timeline.)))


1993: A new team of Extreme Ghostbusters is established in Orlando Florida. Among the threats they face are the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man and Beetlejuice. They remained active at least through 2007, though the roster changed several times. [Universal Studios Orlando attractions]
(The first Ghostbusters: Spooktacular show from 1990 is implied to be the original team taking a job in Orlando, Florida. When the show was revamped in 1993, the franchise element was added, so it is at that point the first Orlando franchise is considered to have begun ghost busting.)


c. 1995: A containment breach caused by Idulnas initiates a series of encounters featuring many former opponents of the Ghostbusters, including Gozer, Cathulhu, the Boogaloo, the Sandman, Samhain, Fearsome Flush, and more.   [GHOSTBUSTERS: THE BOARD GAME]
(This board game, produced by Cryptozoic in 2015, contains elements of the Ghostbusters film, the Real Ghostbusters cartoons, the Ghostbusters Videogame, the IDW Ghostbusters comics, and even ghosts that previously only existed in the Kenner REAL GHOSTBUSTERS toy lines, all as part of the same continuity. The creators of the IDW Ghostbusters comics were heavily involved with the game design and backstory for the scenarios. Based on IDW continuity, this would take place not long after Ron Alexander began working at the Chicago division of Ghostbusters, which would be in 1994 or 1995, but before Ron recruited his former Ghost Smasher employees Lou Kamaka and Dani Shpak to join him in Second City.)


1996-2000: Abby Yates finishes at the University of Michigan with degrees in Astronomy and Physics. She earns a Ph.D. at Yale and becomes a professor at the Kenneth P. Higgins Institute of Science in New York.



c. 1996: 31 year old Carl D Killian III, a regular customer at Ray's Occult Book Shop, becomes an intern with the Ghostbusters. When an incident involving an experimental Dark Matter Pack goes awry, he decides to pursue other career opportunities in software engineering and video game design.  [GHOSTBUSTERS: THE BOARD GAME II]



c. 1996: Peter Venkman and Walter Peck start the "Ghostbusters 101 Fantasy camp / Training program. 


1997: After designing his own Bosun Dart Rifle, an engineer from Detroit who goes by the name Striker sends his credentials and an application to the Ghostbusters, along with some schematics. [GHOSTBUSTERS: THE BOARD GAME II]


Freddy vs Ghostbusters (2004)2004: Eddie Spengler starts a new franchise in Denver CO. This group lasts until at least 2007, and in that time they face Freddy Krueger and Mummies, among other threats. [Fan films FREDDY VS GHOSTBUSTERS and THE RETURN OF THE GHOSTBUSTERS, and web comic GHOSTBUSTERS THE DENVER CHRONICLES]
(Though these events are covered by fan films, their validity is established in GHOSTBUSTERS: THE VIDEO GAME by the inclusion of Egon's nephew Eddie, who was original to these fan films. Freddy Krueger is from the A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET series of films and associated media, while the mummies are specifically those found in MUMMIES ALIVE!)
((This fan film, possessing exceptional special effects and decent writing and acting, serves as the basis for the GHOSTBUSTERS CINEMATIC FAN FILM UNIVERSE. Not all fan films included in that timeline are part of this reality, however.))


Alberta Ghostbusters Micah Agard, Jordin, Kristi, Candace Schneider, and Jordan Hayes
Other franchises begin popping up around the country at this time, and soon there are Ghostbusters all across North America and Europe, as well as some based in South America, Asia, and Australia. Most franchises do not have sufficient paranormal business to conduct and do a lot of charity work. 
(Only fan franchises that have verified connections to  established Ghostbusters properties will be dealt with here, such as the Alberta Ghostbusters, whose likenesses were drawn into IDW Comics' GHOSTBUSTERS 101 #6 as cadets in the Ghostbusters 101 fantasy Camp.)


2004: Haunted house resident Christopher Faulkner and his ghost-sniffing dog Clover visit the Ghostbusters in New York when Chris' parents try to sell their home. He also proves apt with the Ghostbusters hardware, able to repair a non-functional gigameter. [GHOSTBUSTERS: THE BOARD GAME II]


c. 2004:  A cult takes advantage of the slime under Manhattan to restore Vigo, the Sorrow of Moldavia, to the mortal plane. He attacks the Ghostbusters at their headquarters with an army of haunted humans. Several potential candidates for Ghostbusters employment are brought in to help; they are Alex Vaux, Anthony Micari, Carl D Killian III, Christopher Faulkner, Chris Wakukawa, Colin McRavey, David Fines, Mike "Striker" Daly, Rely Mariano, Tristan Boutros, Tyler Hicks, and Dr. Vincent Abraham Belmont. [GHOSTBUSTERS: THE BOARD GAME II]
(The events of the first board game are considered canon for this timeline, but the follow-up game came out in 2017, after IDW Comics had already introduced the idea that the Ghostbusters and the Real Ghostbusters existed in separate realities, and as such the second game contains elements that are not entirely canonical.)
((Several new Ghostbusters were created by high-level Kickstarter backers of the game. These characters have backgrounds that have them first getting involved with the Ghostbusters at different times, but all are present for the events of this story, necessitating the placement of this timeline entry after the last of them was introduced.))
(((This game is specifically set one year after the previous game, utilizes the Real Ghostbusters as potential allies, and mentions Lou Kamaka as a Chicago Ghostbuster, setting this story shortly after the events of GHOSTBUSTERS GET REAL in IDW Prime continuity, a story that is not part of this continuity. Without a sliding scale timeline, that would place this story around 1996.)))


2005: Several Ghost Hunting groups converge in Amity Park in hopes of collecting the bounty for capturing Danny Phantom. Besides the Fentons, who live in town, there are MIB agents (identified as the "Guys in White"), the Groovy Gang and Scaredy Cat (an homage / parody of Mystery Incorporated and other mystery-solving teen groups), and Brenner and Sullivan; the Extreme Ghostbreakers (because of their high-tech equipment, these are more likely Ghostbusters, possibly younger members of the Chicago Division or another Mid-Western franchise). [DANNY PHANTOM season 1 episode 19: "The Million Dollar Ghost"]


2008:  Harry Spengler and Ed Zeddemore start a new group, the Ghostfacers, in Wisconsin. They do not get support from their Ghostbuster relatives. They expand their team with an ever-changing roster but none of their additional crew lasts long. Ed and Harry have several run-ins with the Winchester brothers and a sort-of Slenderman, and are still investigating the paranormal. [SUPERNATURAL television series, and its web series spin-off GHOSTFACERS]
(Harry Spengler and Ed Zeddemore are implied to be related to Egon Spengler and Winston Zeddemore. The show alters the spellings of their last names to Spangler and Zeddmore, but the intent clearly there. As the world of SUPERNATURAL does not acknowledge the existence of the Ghostbusters as a real business, there is no ghost-busting technology beyond that seen on shows like GHOST ADVENTURES available to this team, meaning they are not an official Ghostbusters franchise.)


The Middleman and his trainee Wendy investigate a haunted sorority using a PKE Meter, a Positron Glider, a Neutrona Wand and a BTRS Scanner. [THE MIDDLEMAN season 1 episode 9 "The Ectoplasmic Panhellenic Investigation"]
(This was a tough inclusion, as the show contains several gags such as naming streets and buildings after cast and crew members of the movie. Such metatextual humor would have gotten this dismissed if not for the specific reference to gear that was originally named in the 1984 movie; i.e. the Neutrona Wand.)


2009: The St. Paul Ghostbusters (later, the Twin Cities Ghostbusters) makes a deal with a local television station to have a camera crew follow the team around, in a manner similar to the show COPS, for a reality TV show called GHOSTBUSTIN' 911.  Many successes and failures are documented this way, including a very embarrassing faux pas involving Dr. Winston Zeddemore. The final episode to date aired in 2013, though the series has not been officially canceled.


c. 2010: Dr. Jillian Holtzman, having missed out on employment at CERN due to a lab explosion, starts as an associate professor at the Kenneth P. Higgins Institute of Science in New York, where she befriends Dr. Abby Yates. Together they begin creating technology based on the research Abby did when writing GHOSTS FROM OUR PAST, and utilizing Jillian's expertise in experimental particle physics and nuclear engineering. 
(This year is conjectural. Jillian Holtzmann is played by actress Kate McKinnon, who was born in 1984. Kate graduated high school in 2002. If Holtzmann graduated at the same time, she would have needed at least eight years to get her doctorate at M.I.T. before spending some time at CERN and returning to the states. It's possible she graduated high school earlier than 2002, and she may not be the same age as the actress who plays her, but this date fits the confirmed data.)


2011: The New York Ghostbusters recruit a junior team consisting of Alan Crendall, Bridget Gibbons, Samuel Hazer, and Gabriel Sitter. They are assigned a driver, Geoff, who handles the Ecto-4WD for them while the original team continues to use the Ecto-1 on the rare occasions when they take assignments. When the rookies take on the god Dumazu the Destroyer during the so-called Sanctum of Slime case, they receive the nickname (and later, official designation) of the S.O.S. Ghostbusters.  [GHOSTBUSTERS: SANCTUM OF SLIME videogame, 2011]
(Very little is revealed about the world of Sanctum of Slime, though it is implied to be a sequel to the 2009 videogame. Thus far there has been nothing in the game or its comic book tie-ins to contradict any of the continuity in this article, making this the only source taken completely at face value.)
((Alan Crendall is stated to be the nephew of Janosz Poha, the painting restoration project head in GHOSTBUSTERS II that aided Vigo the Carpathian. Most information about Janosz has been withheld from this timeline in case the new movie in 2020 significantly adds to or alters his history.))



2012: A franchise opens in Arkham, Massachusetts, run by Scáth Hazard, great-grandson of Doc Will Hazard of the Crime Patrol. Scáth hires Billie Harkness and Ivan Schablotski for field work, and trains two ghost-sniffing dogs named Oni and Venkman. The branch eventually expands to include Hazel Dinkley, Nerinea Holtzmann, and Constance Virgo. They have worked cases with Ray Stantz, Winston Zeddemore, and Eddie Spenser, in addition to being one of the franchises to found the North East Ghostbusters Alliance: Taskforce Ecto, aka NEGATE, aka Taskforce Ecto.
(Will Hazard is from issues of the Now Comics' THE REAL GHOSTBUSTERS. Hazel is related to Velma Dinkley from SCOOBY-DOO.)


2012: The Ghostbusters: S.O.S. team is met by the Ghostbusters of an alternate reality and assist that team in closing an extradimensional containment breach alongside teams from other parallel realities. After they return home the rookies and Egon face a powerful ghost called Wat in the guise of Mrs Rogers. Dr. Griffin is acknowledged to have moved to Minneapolis.  [GHOSTBUSTERS: CROSSING OVER #1-8, published in 2018, and GHOSTBUSTERS 20/20, 2019, by IDW]
(Wat originally attacked the Ghostbusters in the 80s, in an episode of THE REAL GHOSTBUSTERS. Kylie Griffin originally appeared in the 1997 EXTREME GHOSTBUSTERS cartoon. These references verify that at least some portions of those animated series are canonical for the reality of the SANCTUM OF SLIME videogame, despite the characters from that game meeting the characters from THE REAL GHOSTBUSTERS and THE EXTREME GHOSTBUSTERS as extradimensional counterparts.)


2013: April - Dr. Ray Stantz leads a group of New York and New England Ghostbusters on an assignment in Winter River CT to capture the spirit known as Betelgeuse. Among the paranormal investigators present are Ivan Schablostki of the Arkham Ghostbusters and George DuMass of the Bay State Ghostbusters franchises. [ONE LESS HAUNTING IN CONNECTICUT]
(This entry takes place within the adventures of Ivan Ronald
Schablotski, based on photographic evidence rather an actual published or broadcast story. In early copies of the script for BEETLEJUICE, the Maitlands lived in Winter River, Connecticut though the name was never revealed in the final film. In the animated series the setting is called Peaceful Pines.)


2014: Egon, Winston, Peter, and Ray are still around but are not actively busting ghosts; mostly they do research, while the younger franchises take care of the legwork. The public at large does not take them seriously (as seen in several Ghostbusters fan films). They are visited at the firehouse by Byers, Frohike. and Ringo, aka The Lone Gunmen. [THE X-FILES: CONSPIRACY: GHOSTBUSTERS]
(This crossover also involves the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Transformers, and the Crow, all existing within the same reality, and has been declared non-canon for IDW Ghostbusters comic book continuity, aka the Prime dimension; as such I use this as a primary source for the BSU)

Later that year, Egon Spengler passes away. Peter Venkman accepts Peck's old job with PCOC, and primarily works to downplay paranormal sightings. By this time there are dozens of Ghostbusters franchises active, so Peter still has a large part to play in keeping them in line and avoiding the bad press they sometimes generate. Ray Stantz and Winston Zeddemore retire for good, picking other jobs in New York, but still maintain the gear at the Firehouse (though Ray has put the building up for lease.)
(This is primarily conjecture to justify the conditions that exist in the 2016 Ghostbusters movie. Once the new movie is released in 2020, this will be reviewed.)


2015: AUG-NOV - Erin Gilbert prepares to start teaching Fall classes at Columbia University, but crosses paths with her old friend Abby Yates and her associate Jillian Holtzmann. both teaching at the Kenneth P. Higgins Institute. They prove ghosts are real and call themselves the Conductors of the Metaphysical Experiment because they are not associated with the Ghostbusters, but the press dubs them as Ghostbusters anyway, which brings Peter Venkman of PCOC to check them out. Patty Tolan (niece of Winston Zeddemore) and Kevin Beckman (actually the Norse god Thor seeking to live as a normal human) join the team and they face several ghosts along with a city trying to keep the existence of the supernatural a secret from the general public. They develop several new devices and improve their technology over several weeks while encountering numerous ghosts and Ozzy Osbourne. Their success against Rowan North's "Fourth Cataclysm" earn them positions with the actual Ghostbusters, and they take over running the firehouse, but not before losing their Ectomobile in a portal to the netherworld.  [GHOSTBUSTERS: ANSWER THE CALL 2016 movie]
(The movie was set in a continuity that did not have any ghostbusters in it prior to Rowan's plans saw fruition, and comic book follow-ups showed the team encountering other Ghostbusters only as extradimensional counterparts. For my purposes the Ghostbusters were real but were not taken seriously, and with the disappearance of the original team, none of the other NYC based franchises were using the Hook & Ladder 8 firehouse. Bill Murray's cameo in the movie as Martin Heiss is assumed to be Peter Venkman, and the character is assumed to have survived being pushed out the window by a ghost, as per the tie-in "in-universe" book Ghosts From our Past, second edition.)
((Presumption that Kevin Beckman is actually Thor is based on the characters being played by the same actor, but is reinforced by Kevin's seeming ignorance of some of the most basic details of modern society, things Thor has demonstrated trouble adapting to in the first two THOR movies as well as MARVEL'S THE AVENGERS. Thor was also noticeably absent during the events of CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR, and attempting to fit in better with his Earth-borne companions in the Avengers is certainly within the realm of possibility.))


2019: A haunted apartment in Italy turns into a worldwide crisis, involving the cooperation of many Ghostbusters franchises around the world. [REAL: A GHOSTBUSTERS TALE 2020 fan film]
(REAL is a fan film made by the Ghostbusters Italia fan franchise. As of this
writing filming is complete but the special effects and English subtitles are not.  Footage of other fan frachises around the world was contributed for use in the movie, including Taskforce Ecto members Ivan Schablotski, Ark Gearheart, and Juan Ramirez.)





c. 2019: In the small town of Summerville, Oklahoma, a new threat emerges and a new team of paranormal investigators are forged to combat it, using equipment left behind by the original Ghostbusters. The full names of the new characters have not been released yet, but include a high school teacher called Mr. Grooberson, a teenaged boy named Trevor (who is likely related to one of the 80s Ghostbusters), and a teenaged girl named Phoebe. [GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE, aka GHOSTBUSTERS: LEGACY, aka GHOSTBUSTERS 2020, aka RUST CITY]
(The exact nature of these events has yet to be revealed, but they will definitely deviate from the actual film, since the movie runs with the conceit that ghosts haven't been seen since the 1980s, and likely contains other inconsistencies with a world in which the Ghostbusters remained together into the 21st Century. All evidence points to this movie being set in 2020, but there may be evidence within that suggests 2019; time will tell.)

* It is very likely that new information will be revealed about Ivo Shandor and Gozer in this new movie. I have purposely held off on placing much information about Shandor. I have likewise not gone into any details about Janosz Poha in case he is also discussed. This is not an oversight and the information will be included after the movie release date. *

Again, this timeline is designed to be for the world that exists in the Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime videogame, or the Broad Strokes Universe. It does not replace or supercede anything at any of the following excellent sites, and all mistakes or whacked-out theories are mine.
GHOSTBUSTERS WIKI
GHOSTBUSTERS OMNIBUS TIMELINE
TVCU: Ghostbusters



MULTIVERSE
Study this picture carefully; there may be a quiz later.


IDW Ghostbusters Multiverse - As mentioned before, IDW Comics has established a set of realities containing versions of the Ghostbusters based on an assortment of movies, cartoons, and videogames. Not all of them have been labeled, but those that have are listed below.

Prime Dimension =  The world of the 'mainstream' IDW Ghostbusters. This world contains the events of the 1984 and 1989 movies, and a version of the events from GHOSTBUSTERS: THE VIDEOGAME (as evidenced by the existence of the Rookie and Walter Peck's position with P.C.O.C.), but does not contain any of the animated adventures of the Ghostbusters. Additionally some elements of The Real Ghostbusters and Extreme Ghostbusters exist here, along with original characters such as Ron Alexander. These Ghostbusters live in a world that does not have indigenous Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, though they have met the Turtles through dimensional travel.



Dimension 00-D - A world where magic replaced science, aka the "Groovy Doom Dimension". This reality had no inherent Ghostbusters but Rachel Unglighter's good half wound up here and she started Ghostbusters Beyond alongside that world's Louis Tully. They eventually became involved in the CROSSING OVER saga and helped the members of various Earths' Ghostbusters.
The "00-D" may refer to the word "Doom", as in "Groovy Doom Dimension, though this is not entirely clear.



Dimension 11-W = This is the world of the GHOSTBUSTERS: THE VIDEOGAME, specifically, the stylied animated style version of the game found on the Playstation 2, PSP, and Wii platforms. Because the Wii has an option allowing for a female Rookie, it is possible that another dimension parallelling this one almost exactly also exists, with a female rookie joining the Ghostbusters in 1991 instead of the male in the other platforms, though it may be that both Chad and Maddie exist in this world, as they are seen together in one of the worldpools in GET REAL. Another version exists for the Nintendo DS which contains no Rookie at all. This game brings back Gozer, along with Ivo Shandor. The game ends with the Rookie being layed off due to a decrease in paranormal activity in New York, but he is encouraged to start a new franchise in another city. 
The designation for this reality, 11-W,  is derived from the Wii videogame console, spelled backwards.


Dimension 35-N = A world with impish sprites filling the role of the Ghostbusters, using magic, rather than science, to catch ghosts. These Ghostbusters appear pixelated, and are based visually on the NEW GHOSTBUSTERS II videogame for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) released in 1990. Videogame character graphics were often animated using "Sprites" at this time, prompting the identification of these ghostbusters as actual fae Sprites.
The "35" appears to be intended to represent a backwards "GB", while the "N" represents the NES, though the events found in the NEW game are not considered canon for this reality.

Dimension 68-E = Home of the Extreme Ghostbusters, a cartoon spin-off of THE REAL GHOSTBUSTERS set in the late 1990s after all the original team retired and a new team of college students takes over, led by Egon and Janine.The events of the Real Ghostbusters cartoon series all took place in the past of this world, which leads its Ghostbusters to believe that the Ghostbusters from 68-R are from their past, rather than being from an alternate reality. Kylie Griffin and Eduardo Rivera both have dopplegangers in the Prime universe. Additionally, Kylie Griffin has been positively identified as existing in the 68-R and 50-S realities.
This reality's identifier is based on the similarity of 68 and GB, with the E designating it as the "Extreme" Ghostbusters. 




Dimension 68-M = The reality where the "PenguinBusters" exist; Ghostbusters who resemble the Penguin Busters seen in the anime TokyoESP. The Penguin Busters were animated parodies of the Ghostbusters, and as such, the Ghostbusters of 68-M speak Japanese and have somewhat exaggerated personality features when compared to their Prime counterparts. 
68-M is likely derived from "Manga", Japanese comic books, though the PenguinBusters appeared in a Japanese cartoon, which would mean they originated in Anime, not Manga. There is also a Ghostbusters manga titled GHOST BUSTED. The artwork from that book doesn't match the art used for the 68-M Ghostbusters, but that doesn't mean they are not the same reality.


Dimension 68-Q = The world of SLIMER! AND THE REAL GHOSTBUSTERS cartoons and tie-in comics. It is described as the world of Saturday Morning Cartoons. Note that this was never intended to be a separate reality from THE REAL GHOSTBUSTERS, though the tone and style do justify making the distinction.
68-Q is called so because it is, according to the trading cards, "just a fraction of a decimal point off from the frequency of the REAL GHOSTBUSTERS."

  



Dimension 68-R = THE REAL GHOSTBUSTERS cartoons and comics take place in this world. Prior to GHOSTBUSTERS: GET REAL there were easter eggs and hints suggesting the adventures of the Ghostbusters from these cartoons took place in the past of the IDW Ghostbusters Prime dimension, and a few adventures set in the prime reality were drawn in a style inspired by the Real Ghostbusters artwork. 
This reality's identifier is based on the similarity of 68 and GB, with the R designating it as the "Real" Ghostbusters. 


Dimension 68-V = A world where Elias Tobin brought Mike the Golem to life and trained Ray Stantz. Years later, Ray and Mike created the Robo-Buster to help out. With Elias long gone and Ray too old to keep up, the job of Ghostbusting belongs to the golem and the robot, who both reside in the Grennwich Village area of Manhattan, earning their team the nickname of "The Village Ghostbusters" by the Egon Spengler of Prime world.
The V in the name 68-V is in reference to the Village.


Dimension 80-C = The 2016 Ghostbusters movie takes place here. This world did not have any Ghostbusters until 2016, and they were initially told to shut down by the Mayor, despite him and his staff believing that the paranormal threat was real. The company consists of four women and their pet Kevin. Per the GHOSTBUSTERS 101 comic book mini-series, a dimensional portal device on the Prime Earth was used incorrectly and started merging that reality with Dimension 80-C, where the method used to neutralize ghosts, rather than trapping them, may have caused their Manhattan to be extra susceptible to the dimensional overlay (though the efforts by Rowan North to destroy the barrier between worlds may also have played into this). The Prime Ghostbusters and the 80-C Ghostbusters worked together to resolve the situation. The teams met again before and during the CROSSING OVER event.
80-C is phonetically pronounced "A-T-C", the initials for the subtitle to the 2016 movie; ANSWER THE CALL. 


Dimension TH-151 = the equivalent of DC Comics' "Earth-Prime" or Earth-Real, as it is the world where the Ghostbusters are movie and comic book characters. The creators of the comic books live here, and if you lived here, you'd be home right now. It should be noted that the Prime dimension has its own Dan Schoening and Erik Burnham who make the comics books about the Ghostbusters in their own world. The Dan and Erik of TH-151 do the same job, but have never met the characters in person. This is the world where the documentary films GHOSTHEADS and CLEANING UP THE TOWN take place.
The designator TH-151 is unique in that it has the letters first, rather than the numbers, and as such is probably NOT official to Ghostbusters continuity. the designator is simply a clever pun stating that the world these characters are from is "This one."



Notice any differences between this picture and the version above?



Marvel Universe (Earth-616) - While mention is made in the IDW Comics that suggests Peter Parker is real and at least some events that happened on Earth 616 also took place on Earth Prime, there is also visual evidence that a version of the Real Ghostbusters from Earth 68-R exist on Marvel's Earth 616. Specifically, four men who appear to be physically identical to the Real Ghostbusters were hired to help Peter's Aunt May move. Note that Egon is even wearing a Ghostbusters teeshirt. [AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #589]



Ghostbusturtles Universe - The Ghostbusters from IDW's Prime dimension have met the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from IDW's comic books via an Interspacial Teleportation Unit, in their first crossover. In the second one, the two teams split up and disburse into the multiverse in an effort to avoid the Collectors. One of the worlds visited by Peter Venkman and Michelangelo was populated by anthropomorphic animals. The equivalent to New York City in this reality was called Zoo Amsterdam. A team of four turtles closely resembling the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles exist here as the local Ghostbusturtles, named Dr. Dan Welker, Harold LaMarche, Bill Music, Ernie Hall, after the actors and voice actors that portrayed the Ghostbusters in film and animation. [TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES II #2-4, 2017]



FUNKO UniverseThe Ghostbusters of this world began business in a manner that reflects the story in the 1984 movie. The comic book deals with unleashed spirits called the Four Winds. The Ghostbusters travel to Japan to defeat them.
Despite being called the Funko Universe, there is no evidence that this comic exists in the same world as the other Funko Universe specials... but no evidence proves they do not coexist, either. The full list of specials includes GHOSTBUSTERS, TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE, THE X-FILES, and JUDGE DREDD. Additionally, Funko Universe cover art was made for issues of MICKEY MOUSE, BACK TO THE FUTURE, ORPHAN BLACK, DIRK GENTLY, STAR TREK, DONALD DUCK, THE POWER PUFF GIRLS, and WALT DISNEY'S COMICS AND STORIES.
If you collect anything, you are probably aware of Funko Pops. Normally, merchandising wouldn't be enough to suggest a separate reality, but then we got a comic book detailing some of the exploits of the Ghostbusters of just such a dimension, so what can you do?  

Deviations Universe - Deviations are a series of one-shot comics published by IDW that depict "What If?" or "Elseworld" style alternatives to the worlds we remember, Technically there are an infinite number of Deviations, or at least five, since that's how many individual Deviations stories IDW has published so far, all in 2016. Only one of these featured the Ghostbusters though, so only one such universe can be discussed here. 
As the cover states, this is a reality in which the Ghostbusters never crossed the streams. As a result, they did not defeat Gozer, and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man continued to destroy Manhattan months after the events of the first movie. Unhappy with being a blob of sugary goo, Gozer proposes the Ghostbusters help reverse the flow of time so they can all go their separate ways. Shockingly, Gozer betrays them.






Lego Dimensions Multiverse - Lego animated movies and videogames have established continuities inspired by their source materials but distinctly different, but in at least a few cases have ALSO established that these worlds exist in the imaginations of real world humans playing with Lego toys. The Lego Dimensions game took many of these properties and placed them in a multiverse that includes worlds based on the original 1984 Ghostbusters movie and the reboot 2016 Ghostbusters movie. Travel between the various Lego Dimensions is very easy to do within the game, allowing for crossovers between Peter Venkman and Abby Yates, for example, as well as characters from Scooby-Doo, DC Comics, the Wizard of Oz, Gremlins, Sonic the Hedgehog, the Lego Batman Movie, Jurassic World, and far too many others to list here. 



Ghostbusters™ A Frightfully Cheerful Roleplaying Game / Ghostbusters International RPG - On the surface this game from 1986 provides several additional adventures that could be fit into almost any Ghostbusters timeline. Unfortunately the game works with the conceit that the company started creating franchises shortly after the events of the first movie, well before the events of Ghostbusters II. The modules are all very entertaining in concept, but they are written to be carried out by franchises that are not established characters. Every session of this game would therefore have to take place in a separate reality. Rather than placing these scenarios when they were published and claiming that unidentified Ghostbusters were involved, I opted to leave them out so that players can place them wherever they fit into their own campaign world, and make whatever changes suit them. The only change (rather than addition) that would have to be made to this timeline would be the events of the movie GHOSTBUSTERS II, as the game scenario for it includes another franchise stepping in to help with the problems in New York City. 


The Ghostbusters Fan Film Cinematic Universe - This reality is formed by a series of fan projects, with the caveat that they all connect either to Ghostbusters canon (the 1984 film, the 1989 film, and the 2009 videogame), or else link to an existing fan film that is already connected. These standards all fit within the guidelines of this timeline, but the adherence to IDW Prime continuity makes it a n awkward fit. For more information, visit their Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/GBFCU/


There are other examples of official and unofficial Ghostbuster appearances that might qualify as Alternate Realities, but most are spoofs or commercial ads and not easy to determine if they are actual Ghostbuster cases or just paid endorsements, such as the 1990 Earth Day Special and the advertisements for Radio Shack, Wal*Mart, QuickBooks, the Ghostbusters World App, etc. The best place to find information about every Ghostbuster or Ghostbuster-like appearance is the GHOSTBUSTERS WIKI, a resource I turned to time and again for this article.


2 comments:

  1. Wasn't the Earth Day Special Egon's brother Elon, a Wastebuster? For me, it counts. Kudos on this write up, by the way. I didn't know the Gwanzulum link for all the Marvel UK books before.

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  2. The Earth Day Special has many characters appear in-universe, and many actors appear out-of-universe... and then it has the Bundys in-universe WATCHING the Earth-Day Special... as well as animated characters, and the existence of Mother Earth, who then exposes that it was all staged. The scene with Harold Ramis and Martin Short was poorly written and, sadly, poorly acted, and to me it typifies the type of "acting" that Egon demonstrated in the in-universe GHOSTBUSTERS tv commercials. Thus, I count Elon as a character played by Egon.

    If I count the whole thing as-is, I have to count the part where Mother Earth exposes it as fake. Since I won't do that, and I don't really see WASTEBUSTERS playing a role anywhere else in this timeline, I opted to disregard Elon, leaving Ed's father unidentified.

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