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Who You Gonna Call? Where to Go for a Tour of Ghostbusters Locations in New York City

Written by Javier Peinado

If there’s something strange in your neighborhood…well, you know what you have to do! Because no matter your age, generation, or cultural background: we’re pretty sure you remember the original Ghostbusters movies with a fond feeling of nostalgia. True movie powerhouses on their own, these 80s classics depict the Big Apple in a way that practically no other sci-fi or fantasy movie has achieved. New York is as important in Ghostbusters as Dr. Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz, Egon Spengler, and Winston Zeddemore. More than a setting, it shines as a distinctive and unique character. That’s why fans can explore New York knowing that it’s possible to set foot on many of the main locations where these hilariously spooky movies were shot. Because you ain’t afraid of no ghosts, here’s our list of top 5 Ghostbusters locations in New York you have to visit.

Just remember…no matter what happens, don’t cross the streams!

NYPL Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Midtown

Photo credit: Javier Peinado. Used with his permission.

Let’s start our tour the same way the original movie from 1984 did…by visiting the iconic New York Public Library main building at 5th Avenue with 40th St! This iconic location completely sets the tone of the movie from the very beginning, with that unforgettable scene where a phantasmagoric librarian unleashes hell inside the magnificent Rose Reading Room. Although there has never been a record of paranormal activity inside these hallowed halls, that doesn’t mean you have to resist the urge of fleeing the building the same way the astonished Venkman, Stantz, and Egon did during their first and memorable encounter with the occult…running for your life through the stairs on your way out! You’ll get a few smiles from nearby fans, at least.

Hook & Ladder 8, Tribeca

Photo credit: Javier Peinado. Used with his permission.

As emblematic as the New York Public Library can be to any fan, nothing can beat the unmissable Hook & Ladder 8 fire station located at 12 N Moore Street when it comes to really feel the essence of the  franchise. This place is certainly special. Not only the building looks exactly the way it did during the movies (even after several reforms!), but even sidewalk graffitis are there to remind you where you are: the Ghostbusters Headquarters. Adding even more charm to the place, Hook & Ladder 8 is a functional fire station where you can see real New York firefighters at work…so, don’t forget to be respectful and ask if it’s ok to access first! Once inside you can admire real props used in Ghostbusters II, as well as purchase merchandising like badges and T-shirts.

Columbus Circle, Midtown

Back to Midtown Manhattan, this time to Eight Avenue with one of the most famous commercial hubs in the city. Surrounded by malls and right next to Central Park, Columbus Circle is a well-known and busy meeting point to anyone living around the Upper West Side. Although it might look quite unassuming at first sight, you’ll be happy to know that this is also the location where one of the best and most revered scenes of the original Ghostbusters took place: the unforgettable appearance of the gigantic Stay Puft monster after a Ray unconsciously summoned it by mistake. Although the whole area has changed a bit throughout the years, it’s still easy to imagine the unleashed marshmallow creature wreaking havoc at the heart of Columbus Circle!

You may also like: 10 Places Any Superheroes Fan Should Visit in the Big Apple

Spook Central, Upper West Side

Image adapted from “55 Central Park West” by Flickr account Eden, Janine and Jim — licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Not far from Columbus Circle, at 55 Central Park West, we arrive to the real-life scenario of the final battle of  first Ghostbuster final battle: an apartment building known among the fan community as “Spook Central”. Located between 65th and 66th Streets, the upper floors of the place where Dana Barret (Sigourney Weaver) lives in the movie was digitally enhanced to recreate a hellish gateway from where the demonic Zuul could begin its invasion of Earth…or that was the plan, at least, before our daring quartet of spirit hunters decided to thwart its nefarious plans. Fun fact: initially, “Spook Central” was supposed to be located at 1 Fifth Avenue, right next to the the famous Washington Square Arch. However, due to license complications, the climatic battle was moved from Greenwich Village to to the Upper West thanks to it proximity to Central Park and abundance of quaint art déco structures.

National Museum of the American Indian, Lower Manhattan

Photo credit: Javier Peinado. Used with his permission.

We put an end to our ectoplasmic tour at Manhattan’s southernmost point, right where Broadway begins. One of the oldest parts of the city, Bowling Green is not only surrounded by thousands of tourists eager to strike a raunchy pose next to the Wall Street Bull and gorgeous views of the Hudson River, but one of Manhattan´s most ignored and interesting museums: the National Museum of the American Indian. Part of the highly reputed Smithsonian Institution, this building was temporarily transformed into the fictional “Manhattan Museum of Art” where most of the Ghostbusters sequel takes place. Because it’s here where the main villain of the movie, Vigo (Scourge of Carpathia, Sorrow of Moldavia, etc.), poses a devastating threat to our heroes and every single New Yorker despite being trapped inside a canvas.

Not enough movie frights for you? New York has plenty of many other locations to make the most out of your cheap domestic flights to the city. At Lincoln Center, Dr. Venkman managed to seduce Dana Barret with a memorable dance next to a fountain. The fictional Sedgewick Hotel where the Ghostbusters nailed their first job is inspired in Midtown’s Algonquin Hotel.  The illustrious Tavern on the Green restaurant in Central Park will surely be remembered by fans as the eatery where Rick Moranis’ character tried unsuccessfully to get help while being chased by a hellhound. If you love Ghostbusters as much as we do, it’s clear that you will not find shortage of spooky movie locations in New York!

Ghostbusters is a trademark and copyright of Columbia Pictures. No association between Disney and OneTravel, or its parent company Fareportal, is intended or should be inferred.

About the author

Javier Peinado

Born in Barcelona. Raised in Madrid. New Yorker at heart. When he is not geeking out at a comic book convention or binge-watching superhero shows, this bilingual journalist loves to discover secret venues and hidden places around the world to fill his insatiable wanderlust. He also digs into ghost-busting, Bigfoot-hunting, and UFO-sighting. The truth is out there.

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