IRL Ghostbusters Gettysburg Ghost Gals Review The New ‘Ghostbusters’ Movie

Photo courtesy of Sony


In 2010, Brigid Goode moved to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, which, as the site of the Civil War’s bloodiest battle, is ground zero for hauntings in the United States. It was there that Goode, who had been a paranormal investigator for 20 years, formed the Gettysburg Ghost Gals, an all-female team of ghost hunters that also includes Jenny Thomas, Tracy Wilson, and Jennifer Spear. Together, the group has written books, traveled across the country giving guided tours and speaking at conferences, and have partaken in countless private investigations into the paranormal.

Calling them real-life ghostbusters was an easy, if not entirely accurate (they don't use proton packs and there's no Ecto-1 in sight), way of describing what they do as is, but when Sony announced they'd be rebooting the franchise with women as the four leads, the parallels became even more prevalent. Goode told us that the filmmakers even used them for research. So naturally, they were super excited to see the movie as soon as it was released last Friday. We called them up soon after to get their thoughts on it. (Spoiler alert: They loved it). 

How did you guys get into this field?
Jenny Thomas: I started investigating ghosts about five years ago. I had a job working at the Farnsworth House Inn in Gettysburg. There are lots of ghost tours there, and one of the things we’d do were ghost hunts. That’s how I got started. I met Brigid when she actually came out to investigate my house about four years ago.
Brigid Goode: I had an experience at 14 years old. We had been going to this abandoned house, me and two girlfriends. At the time my brother had a boom box. I thought, “Oh, let’s record the noises on this boom box,” since we’d hear these noises. We were young kids. I actually obtained my first EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) at 14 years old on my brother’s boom box. That was around 1984. At the time, we didn’t know there were EVPs. That was the beginning of my paranormal past.

What were your initial impressions when you left the theater?
Oh my gosh. What’s our overall quote for the review Jenny?
JT: “We came, we saw, and the movie: it kicked ass! Boo-ya!”
BG: Boo-ya! Emphasis on the boo! I personally loved it. I wish to god I could have that equipment. I thought the opening scene was terrific. It really grabbed you, when they go into this mansion and the tour guide is trying to spook the people who are going into this mansion. They have a fake candle that falls over onto its side. They’re trying to have spooky effects. People leave, and there’s this glowing device under a piece of furniture. The guy winds up being dragged down to the basement. He winds up there, and there’s a ghost out to get him. It’s really good and scary. It’s a really cool scene. The cast held their own, and they weren’t trying to be Bill Murray or Dan Aykroyd or Harold Ramis. They weren’t trying to be the guys in the original movie. They were being themselves, and it was refreshing and funny. The sound effects were absolutely amazing.
JT: The CGI–oh my gosh. I will never look at mannequins the same way again. They’re creepy, to begin with. After that scene where the mannequin is chasing [Leslie Jones’ character] Patty [Tolan], I was terrified. That was the scariest part for me!
BG: I think we collectively agreed that was our favorite scene in the movie. That was so creepy.

Were you guys able to relate to anything you saw? Was any of it grounded in your reality as ghost hunters?
We obviously don’t have any of the proton phasers or anything like that. I think we can relate to the characters being women. I think every woman who watches the movie will be able to relate, and see at least a little bit of herself in at least one of the characters. I personally think my personality is a lot like [Melissa McCarthy’s character] Abby [Yates] and a whole lot like [Kate McKinnon’s character Jillian] Holtzmann. I am the unusual one of the group. I would be the one to lug my equipment as I ate in a restaurant.
BG: We were actually being used for research for the movie when they were casting it and doing research on female ghostbusters. We were actually looked at when they were writing the characters and thinking of their personalities and stuff like that.

In the movie, the ghostbusters face skepticism from the larger world about the paranormal existing. Was that something you could relate to? 
Of course. We face skepticism every day.
BG: That’s not gender-based. It just has to do with what we do and the paranormal.
JT: The majority of the population does not believe in ghosts. Whether it’s because they’re terrified and they don’t want to think about it, or they just don’t believe in it. I think a lot of people get defensive about it, like, “Prove it, prove it, prove it!” This isn’t an exact science. When we show them weird photographs and weird videos and EVPs, they make up a reason for almost anything that happens in the paranormal. It’s that small percentage of the things you cannot have a reason for that really keep us going.
BG: Personally, I’m very much a skeptic. I truly come at these things with a scientific manner. I was a lab tech for almost 20 years. I worked in hospitals, I ran lab tests. I truly go into this with a skeptic’s view. When we review things, like an Electronic Voice Phenomenon, we analyze them on a spectrogram and look at the decibels to see if they’re in human speaking range. We also look for specific vocal patterns. When human beings speak, they take breaths, and you can see that with an audio software program. When we get an EVP, it’s literally a line with none of those breath breaks.You know you’re getting something because you’ll hear a sentence, or one word or a few words, and there are no breath breaks. At that point, we make sure it fits the criteria and is a possible EVP, which is not a proven science. Nothing is 100 percent.

Why do you think the movie faced a misogynistic backlash?
BG: The sexism part of it is people being upset with the fact that it shouldn’t be a remake or a reboot. People didn’t want that done to the original. What I would tell people if they’re looking to judge the movie, is it’s a different movie. It’s a fresh take on a movie that was wonderfully done almost 30 years ago. These women, they’re not trying to be the original ghostbusters. It’s very hysterical. I was very surprised how funny it was. There were some great minds behind the movie. One of my favorite characters had to be Patty. She was hysterical in the movie. I think of myself I’m a cross between Patty and Melissa McCarthy.

Why’s that?
She’s scientific, but she’s a wise guy. She’s a little bit condescending. She’s also kind of funny. She’s just an intelligent, scientific person. That’s me in a nutshell. This is based on the first movie, but in no way, shape, or form are they trying to be the original ghostbusters. And we absolutely loved all the different cameos and the respect that was paid in the film to the first Ghostbusters.
JT: I have to say, I loved the bust of Harold Ramis in [Columbia] University. That’s a choice easter egg that’s in there. When I saw that I said, “Oh my god, that’s a bust of Harold Ramis!” I would tell people that the movie is just good fun and entertainment.
BG: Again, relax people! It’s refreshing, enjoy it.
JT: Honestly, if Dan Aykroyd didn’t think it was a good movie, I don’t think they would have let the girls have it. The original people had to like it. They’re in the movie, and why would they be in it if they thought it was going to be terrible?

Was there anything in the film that was rooted in reality in terms of how they look? 
No. I would say a lot of the proton packs and things like that are Hollywood-esque. They respond to EVs though, which is neat. In the beginning when [Kristen Wiig's character Erin] Gilbert goes to Abby, she’s like, “You’ve got to hear this EVP!” They bend over to the machine, and it’s actually a raspberry. And Holtzmann has a rather nasty, hysterical comment about that [laughs]. There were some great things in the movie. I dare someone to go see it and not laugh. That would be a great quote. I don’t want to say I was surprised, but I was a little bit since it was better than I anticipated it would be. Paul Feig did an amazing job with the movie. I’ve seen the returns on numbers, and I’m very happy for them. I’m glad it’s standing on its own.
JT: I want to say I liked the movie so much. I’m going to see it again this week. I have to see it two, possibly three times. I was laughing so hard I missed things. Wednesday after work, you and I are going. My treat, in 3-D!

Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

"In my head I thought, This is how it ends"

Kit Harington almost lost a lot more than the Iron Throne while filming the final season of Game of Thrones. According to an interview with NowThis News, the actor almost lost one of his balls while riding a mechanical dragon.

Harington revealed that the incident took place when he was filming the scene where his character, Jon Snow, takes a ride on Rhaegal for the first time in the Season 8 premiere. Since dragons aren't real (sorry), Harington was filming the scene, where Jon almost falls off the dragon and then swings around to pick himself back up, on a mechanical contraption.

"My right ball got trapped, and I didn't have time to say, 'Stop,'" Harington said in an interview. "And I was being swung around. In my head I thought, This is how it ends. On this buck, swinging me around by my testicles, literally." We see shots of the fake dragon he's riding in front of a green screen, and it does look pretty terrifying.

Luckily, his testicles remained intact through the near-disastrous event, and he's survived with quite the story to tell to unsuspecting journalists.

Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for goop

"I had to create a harder shell about being a woman"

In a panel discussion during Gwyneth Paltrow's In Goop Health summit, actress Jessica Alba revealed that she "stopped eating" to avoid unwanted attention from men when she was first starting her career in Hollywood.

According to People, Alba said that she "had a curvy figure as a young girl" and, as such, was made to feel as though her body was the reason that men may be inappropriate toward her. "I was meant to feel ashamed if I tempted men," Alba said during the panel discussion. "Then I stopped eating a lot when I became an actress. I made myself look more like a boy so I wouldn't get as much attention. I went through a big tomboy phase."

She continued, "In Hollywood, you're really preyed upon. They see a young girl, and they just want to touch you inappropriately or talk to you inappropriately or think that they're allowed to be aggressive with you in a way."

Alba also noted that she was raised in a conservative household. "My mom would say, 'You have a body, and it's very womanly, and people don't understand that you're 12,'" she said. "I wasn't allowed to have my nalgas out, which is butt cheeks [in Spanish], but I was born with a giant booty, and they come out of everything. So, I didn't get to wear normal things that all my friends wore."

She said that these reactions to her body really affected her attitude. "I created this pretty insane 'don't fuck with me' [attitude]," she said. "I had to create a harder shell about being a woman."

According to her, her relationship to her body only changed when her first child, Honor, was born in 2008. "[After she was born,] I was like, Oh this is what these boobies are meant to do! Feed a kid!" she said. "And that was the dopest shit I'd ever done. So, I came into my body as a woman finally and I stopped being ashamed of myself."

Photo courtesy of Teva

Because of course

Teva, the most obvious lesbian footwear brand since Birkenstock, really knows its customer base. In time for Pride, the brand has teamed up with Tegan and Sara for a gay shoe to end all gay shoes. In other words, your Pride footwear is on lock.

The shoe isn't just your average Teva sandal. Tegan and Sara's design, the Teva Flatform Universal Pride sandal, is a 2.5-inch platform shoe with a rainbow sole. Tegan and Sara noted in a press release that they have been Teva wearers for pretty much their whole lives. "We got our first pair of Teva sandals when we were 16," they said. "This rainbow Flatform collab is like full circle LGBTQ+ Pride validation."

What's better, with each sandal sale, Teva will donate $15 to the Tegan and Sara Foundation, up to $30,000. The funds donated will go toward scholarships which will give young members of the LGBTQ+ community the chance to go to summer camps which will "help develop self-confidence and leadership abilities in a safe and nurturing environment." Tegan and Sara added, "Teva's generous support for our foundation will allow us to help even more LGBTQ+ youth."

Available today at Teva's and Nordstrom's websites, the sandal retails for $80.

Photo courtesy of Teva

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Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images

"Focusing on innovative materials will allow the company to explore new boundaries of creative design"

Prada Group has announced that Prada, as well as all of its brands, will now be fur-free. According to a press release from the Humane Society, Prada, Miu Miu, Church's, and Car Shoe will ban the use of fur beginning with the Spring/Summer 2020 collection (aka the Fashion Week coming up next). The list of fashion designers banning fur only continues to grow, with 3.1 Phillip Lim, Coach, Armani, Versace, Gucci, and more having stopped using the material in seasons past.

"The Prada Group is committed to innovation and social responsibility, and our fur-free policy—reached following a positive dialogue with the Fur Free Alliance, in particular with LAV and the Humane Society of the United States—is an extension of that engagement," Miuccia Prada told the Human Society. "Focusing on innovative materials will allow the company to explore new boundaries of creative design while meeting the demand for ethical products."

Following London Fashion Week designers forgoing the use of fur in September and the first-ever Vegan Fashion Week taking place in February, it's easy to imagine an entirely fur-free fashion future. It's especially easy, I presume, for the brands to consider a fur-free future, given that entire cities and states are taking a stance. New York is following in the footsteps of Los Angeles banning fur, with a bill proposed this March that would ban sales across New York State.

Photo by Johnny Dufort

"Club leisure" is the new athleisure

Alexander Wang is recognizing clubbing as the workout that it truly is with his latest Adidas collaboration. In this fifth installment, he "changes gears," per a press release from the brand, taking the iconic sports brand to the dance floor.

For the new campaign, the collection comes to life in iconic choreographer Tanisha Scott's dance studio and stars dancers Noemi Janumala, Dakota Moore, Avi McClish, and Olivia Burgess. The dancers show just how far these clothes can go when you want to bust a move or stretch, but TBH, I'll leave these poses to the pros and just use my clothes for flexing on the 'gram.

The collection—which features six apparel items, three shoes, and six accessories—features, per a press release, "Wang's knack for pre-styling." Standouts from the mostly black-and-white items include a silver sneaker that was *made* for moonwalking, an airy windbreaker that has just the right dash of bright blue with the scattered Adidas trefoil design, and a towel hoodie that you won't feel bad sweating in.

Ahead of the May 25 collection drop online and in stores, peep the gorgeous campaign images below.

Photo by Johnny Dufort

Adidas Originals by AW, Sweatshirt in Black, $250, available starting May 25 at Adidas; Adidas Originals by AW, Towel, $80, available starting May 25 at Adidas; Adidas Originals by AW, Joggers, $250, available starting May 25 at Adidas; Adidas Originals by AW, Turnout BBall Shoes, $250, available starting May 25 at Adidas.

Photo by Johnny Dufort

Adidas Originals by AW, Towel Hoodie, $350, available starting May 25 at Adidas; Adidas Originals by AW, Sock Leggings, $60, available starting May 25 at Adidas; Adidas Originals by AW, Adilette Slides, $90, available starting May 25 at Adidas.

Photo by Johnny Dufort

Adidas Originals by AW, Futureshell Shoes in Platinum Metallic, $250, available starting May 25 at Adidas.

Photo by Johnny Dufort

Adidas Originals by AW, Sweatshirt in Core White, $280, available starting May 25 at Adidas; Adidas Originals by AW, Shorts in Core White, $120, available starting May 25 at Adidas.

Photo by Johnny Dufort

Adidas Originals by AW, Sweatshirt in Black, $250, available starting May 25 at Adidas; Adidas Originals by AW, Bum Bag, $50, available staring May 25 at Adidas; Adidas Originals by AW, Towel, $80, available starting May 25 at Adidas; Adidas Originals by AW, Turnout BBall Shoes, $250, available starting May 25 at Adidas; Adidas Originals by AW, Duffle Bag, $70, available starting May 25 at Adidas.

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