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What are the real-world ramifications of ghostbusting?

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Ghostbusters | Flickr
Ghostbusters | Flickr

There's no question that Ghostbusters is a great movie, coming down from the same pulp occult tradition as William Hope Hodgson's Carnacki, the Ghost-Finder. But you really have to wonder: given the public's wishy-washy opinions about ghosts, what would people think of a bona fide ghost tracking agency running loose in New York City? The Awl has republished a classic 1984 Atlantic Monthly cover story entitled "The Politics Of The Next Dimension: Do Ghosts Have Civil Rights?" which dutifully explores the media explosion that would have followed Spengler, Stantz, and Venkman as they track down ghosts in the tri-state area. It's a fun fake (if thoroughly reported) piece that follows the moral and legal gray areas surrounding the Ghostbusters.