canadianpress - "Ghostbusters" star Dan Aykroyd says he is often asked where he got the inspiration for his blockbuster '80s comedy. He says it's simple - his own family.
Aykroyd's father, Peter, and great-grandfather, Samuel, regularly held seances in the parlour of their eastern Ontario home in a bid to contact the dead.
Samuel recorded their experiences in pencil-scrawled notes that were found in a locked trunk after his death.
Peter reworked the material in his new book, "A History of Ghosts" (Rodale).
"If you ever wanted to know anything about seances, mediums, everybody from (spiritual investigators) Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to Oliver Lodge to (Sir William) Crookes, (Emmanuel) Swedenborg, this is the encyclopedia," Dan Aykroyd said Thursday as he accompanied his 87-year-old father to Toronto for a media blitz.
"This is the absolute definitive book for anybody who is interested in mediumship today or in the past."
Having inherited an intense curiosity about the paranormal from his grandfather, Peter says he sought out to craft something that was part memoir and part primer on the supernatural.
Peter Hugh Aykroyd, left, and his son and actor Dan Aykroyd
The book features a foreword by Dan and mixes family tales with an introduction to ghostly terms like "glossolalia" (speaking in a language unknown to the speaker or listener) and "clairhambiance" (the ability of a medium to experience a taste associated with a spirit).
It also introduces the term "ectoplasm," which entered the mainstream lingo after being featured prominently in "Ghostbusters."
The comedian says he definitely believes that mediums exist and can communicate with the dead.
"What I do believe after reading this book is that there are people and have been people on this planet who can and are willingly able to submit to a control entity beyond this reality that we live in, a control entity being another spirit, a spirit from the other side," Aykroyd said in a booming voice reminiscent of his alter ego as the Super Bass-O-Matic pitchman on "Saturday Night Live."
"There are some people who can go into a trance and give themselves up and be controlled and speak as this being, as this spirit entity."
Dan, who lives in the renovated Kingston homestead where the family seances took place, said he's never experienced a supernatural event himself but freely discussed his spiritual leanings with his "Ghostbusters" collaborators.
"Harold Ramis was a complete non-believer, skeptic and agnostic full-on. Billy (Murray) of course is Irish and he knows ghosts exist and sometimes the dead do linger in the land of the living. Ivan Reitman, he's Jewish so he knows ... there's a lot of paranormal in the Kabbalah," he said.
"Sony Pictures - our other partner - they just saw a good movie and then they made it."
Dan says he's hoping the team can reunite to put together another sequel to the box office hit, noting there's plenty of audience appetite for ghostly fare.
"Look at 'Ghost Whisperer,' look at our culture," he says.
"You have TV shows, syndicated shows, we had one that lasted for four years called 'PSI Factor' based upon events of an engineering group that was studying this stuff out west. It's just in our culture and I look at it all through the filter of an entertainer."
Peter Aykroyd says his own research notes, and the journals of his grandfather, will be donated to the University of Manitoba for anyone to peruse.
"The University of Manitoba is becoming the locus for material on the paranormal of Canadian origin," says the white-haired author, who arrived at the interview with the aid of a cane.
"It's a very very rich archive," he says, noting it also contains the papers of Winnipeg psychic researcher Glen Hamilton.
Previous post 9/25/07
Dan Aykroyd's Haunted House: "I'm Sure It's Mama Cass"
The 4,800 square foot manse sits on Woodrow Wilson Drive and claims Ringo Starr and Mama Cass as previous celebrity owners. But these days, it is the property of Dan Aykroyd and his wife Donna Dixon who, thanks to other homes in New York, Martha’s Vineyard and Ontario, Canada, have little call for day-to-day L.A. living.
According to blogger The Realestalker, the home is currently available for rent at $30,000 per month and has been going unclaimed at that price for a whopping 450 days. Aykroyd has previously claimed that a ghost occupies the home, and he should know. His brother Peter is said to be a psychic researcher.
“A ghost certainly haunts my house," Aykroyd once told iVillage.com. "It once even crawled into bed with me. The ghost also turns on the Stairmaster and moves jewelry across the dresser. I'm sure it's Mama Cass, because you get the feeling it's a big ghost."
In a way, it makes sense that the ghost of Mama Cass would want to hang out with Elwood Blues. He should be thanking his lucky stars that it is not the ghost of John Belushi that is hanging around the home. The cleaning bill alone might rival $30,000 a month. And quite frankly, given Aykroyd’s recent movie output, a screenplay based on his haunted experiences in the five bedroom, five-and-a-half bath abode with pool could make for his most entertaining vehicle in years.
Previous post 2/6/07
Dan Aykroyd in Possession of "REAL" O'Hare UFO Footage
By his own admission, actor and UFO enthusiast Dan Aykroyd is in possession of "real" movie footage of the O'Hare Airport UFO of November 7, 2006. The news came to me first this morning from Jerome Prophet's blog, which was referred from UFO News This is how it happened.
According to the former Saturday Night Live star, Dan Aykroyd and his group of filmmakers have come into possession of exclusive O'Hare Airport UFO photographs and video footage.
During a recent promotion for his line of Tequila beverages, I had a chance to speak briefly with Aykroyd about the topic of UFOs.
"Will you be releasing any more UFO documentaries?"
"We should have another DVD out by next year," Aykroyd replied. "You know there was a major sighting in Chicago recently," he said in referring to the O'Hare Airport UFO.
Acknowledging the event, I asked if there would be any exclusive O'Hare UFO content in the film. To my surprise, he said not only will they be exposing new photographs of the O'Hare Airport UFO, but exclusive video footage. Dan appeared excited about the new film and the O'Hare story, "it will have photographs, video, and the whole works."