If there’s something strange in your neighborhood, who you gonna call? THESE Ghostbusters!

It all started with a movie released in 1984. Ghostbusters tells the tale of three friends and parapsychologists in New York who start a venture catching ghosts. Business increases, and they add a fourth Ghostbuster, and the team must save the Big Apple from rampant spirits and the threat from shapeshifting god of destruction. Add in a gigantic marshmallow man, catchy theme song, special effects, proton packs and some snarky characters, and you have a fun movie to enjoy. For many, like Matthew Bousman and Chad Griffiths, founders of two nonprofit Ghostbusters-themed groups, it became more than just a movie.

“It’s not really a ‘cult classic,’ but it has kind of a cult following. It’s timeless,” Griffiths, founder of the Ghostbuster Rebels organization, said. “There are groups everywhere – South Korea, China, Russia, Japan, of course, the U.S., South America. There have been groups ever since the movie came out.”

Part of the appeal of the Ghostbusters groups stems from the familiarity of the franchise and the overall unpretentious approach for many members. “You can dress up and basically be yourself. You can put your own name badge on your flight suit and just go with it,” Bousman, founder of the Iowa Ghostbusters group, said. “It’s really about the love of a great movie and helping out other people.”

Both organizations do charity work around the region, and Griffiths and Bousman said they’re always open to new members. For more general information on their work or joining the ranks of Ghostbusters, contact Iowa Ghostbusters or Ghostbuster Rebels.

They’re ready to believe you!