With the Ghostbusters vehicles behind them, Ghostbusters Detroit members, left to right, are: Steve Michael Holt, of Detroit; Samara Shaw, of Dearborn; Stan Lindow, of Grosse Pointe Woods; Matt Streicher, of Taylor; Jason Jones, of Taylor; Jarrett Koral, of St. Clair Shores; and Eric Lindow, of Detroit.

With the Ghostbusters vehicles behind them, Ghostbusters Detroit members, left to right, are: Steve Michael Holt, of Detroit; Samara Shaw, of Dearborn; Stan Lindow, of Grosse Pointe Woods; Matt Streicher, of Taylor; Jason Jones, of Taylor; Jarrett Koral, of St. Clair Shores; and Eric Lindow, of Detroit.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Behind the Wheel: Ghostbusters Detroit features 2 versions of Ecto-1

By: Maria Allard | Metro | Published October 27, 2021

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METRO DETROIT — “I ain’t afraid of no ghosts.”

Whenever Ghostbusters Detroit shows up for an occasion, it always arrives in style.

The group of entertainers travels by two distinctive vehicles that draw plenty of attention: a 1977 AMC Wagoneer and a 1984 Cadillac hearse. Both white cars sport the signature Ghostbusters logo made popular by the movies and are equipped with sirens and blinking lights that would frighten away any paranormal spirits.

Ghostbusters Detroit has been entertaining audiences since 2014. The group wasn’t planned. It evolved after Eric Lindow and his friend, Raymond Hayosh, owner of the Found Sound record store in Ferndale, started holding local concerts with bands at the shop. One year on Halloween, Lindow and Hayosh dressed up as Ghostbusters characters during a Found Sound show, and it was well received.

Not long after that, the pair transformed into Ghostbusters personalities again. This time, they headed over to the Redford Theatre in Detroit, where the 1984 “Ghostbusters” film was to be shown. The pair was a hit, and the group grew from there as more appearance opportunities came up. Now about 50 volunteers have joined Ghostbusters Detroit, including Lindow’s dad, Stan Lindow, of Grosse Pointe Woods, who is always enthusiastic when with a crowd. Some are longtime fans of “Ghostbusters” while others are new to the story.

“The 30- and 40-year-olds, it reminds them of when they were kids,” Stan Lindow said. “You put smiles on their faces.”

Dressed in character from the movies, the costuming troupe doesn’t really search for ghosts, but they perform community outreach by raising awareness for nonprofit organizations. Members don’t charge for appearances and make the most of their time at each event.

The Woodward Dream Cruise, the Shorewood Kiwanis Harper Charity Cruise, the Richmond Area Good Old Days Festival and the Screamin’ Scott Scramble are among the many spots where Ghostbusters Detroit has a spooky good time with its followers. And if there’s a parade in town, Ghostbusters Detroit is there. Ghostbusters Detroit also visits hospitals to cheer up patients.

“It’s hard to name a favorite,” Dearborn resident and Ghostbuster Samara Shaw said of each event. “All the reactions are great to see. Kids go crazy over the slime blowers.”

The history of “Ghostbusters” dates back to 1984 with the release of the Hollywood film starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis as parapsychologists who start a ghost-catching business in New York City. The movie’s popularity launched a franchise that included video games, an animated series, comic books, the 2016 movie reboot “Ghostbusters” and more. And who can forget the haunting melody of Ray Parker Jr.’s “Ghostbusters” chart topper in 1984?

Kids and adults find Ghostbusters Detroit approachable, and there’s always time to check out the group’s theatrical props of ghost traps, proton packs, ecto goggles, slimers and meter props. The AMC Wagoneer and Cadillac hearse also are conversation pieces for fans.

“The hearse drives better,” Ghostbusters Detroit member and St. Clair Shores resident Jarrett Koral said. “It drives smooth.”

“They always want to know the years of the vehicles, the makes and the models,” said Steve Michael Holt, of Detroit. “They want to take pictures.” And Ghostbusters Detroit will oblige.

“People are always smiling,” said Matt Streicher, of Taylor. “They’re always chanting for the Ghostbusters. We have a lot of fun.”

Detroit resident Eric Lindow is responsible for finding both iconic heaps that add to the Ghostbusters appeal. Lindow had his eye on the AMC Wagoneer, which used to be red, for a long time. Eight years ago, he began working at the GM Tech Center in Warren and spotted the Wagoneer in the company’s annual car show.

He knew the person who owned it. One day, he told Lindow he would like to sell him the ’77 model. Lindow took him up on the offer. Unfortunately, around 2015, the Wagoneer was damaged in a minor accident.

That’s right around the time when Ghostbusters Detroit found out that actor Ernie Hudson, who portrayed Winston Zeddemore in the ’84 movie, was coming to metro Detroit for autograph sessions at local Emagine Theatres the last weekend of October in 2015. Hudson needed a car, so Ghostbusters Detroit fixed up the Wagoneer, including a paint job, to make sure the actor could get to his appearances.

“We built this car for Ernie Hudson,” Lindow said. “He loved it. While driving around town, people were taking pictures of the car.”

The car has been part of the group ever since.

In 2017, Lindow found the Cadillac on Craigslist from a Wisconsin resident. He wasn’t so sure about it at first.

“It looked rough in the picture,” he said. “I called the (owner) up and asked, ‘Can it make it from Wisconsin to Detroit?’”

The hearse safely made the trip.

“This is a real hearse,” Lindow pointed out, adding that the previous owner bought it from a mortuary. “This was used to transport bodies.”


SHARE YOUR STORY
Do you own a vehicle with an interesting history? Email Staff Writer Maria Allard at allard@candgnews.com and you could be featured in an upcoming Behind the Wheel.

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