A new Ghostbusters book will be hitting shelves on June 28th titled “Ghosts From Our Past: Both Literally and Figuratively: The Study of the Paranormal”.

A version of the book will appear in the new film. The premise is that the book was written by the new Ghostbusters founders Erin Gilbert (Kirsten Wiig) and Abby L. Yates (Melissa McCarthy) while still in school, years before they started Ghostbusting, and now, after the events of the film the book is being released as an expanded version with various updates related to what they now know given the events of the film.

The actual book is written by Andrew Shaffer though he shares credit with the fictional characters on the cover. Shaffer’s other humor titles includes “How to Survive a Sharknado and other Natural Disasters”.

If you are avoiding spoilers for the film you may want to wait until after you’ve seen the film to read this book. There are a number of things some may consider spoilers throughout (I’ll be avoiding spoilers as best I can for this article).

I personally love books like this. It is like owning an artifact from the world of the film. Like having a copy of Henry Jones’ Grail Diary or the Necronomicon from Evil Dead… and you can actually read and enjoy it not just display it.

The photo of the “authors” on the back is pretty great:

The book tells the origins of the duo and their earliest encounters with the paranormal, delves into the history of ghosts and similarly supernatural beings as well as the science behind their existence and information about other paranormal researchers.

Additionally the book gives solid classification guidelines for a ghost with the “Kemp’s Spectral Classification Table” (A Class 1 would be something like a Will-o-the-Wisp, a Class 7 would be more of a Cthulu situation). Since this edition of the book is supposed to be available after the events of the film it also includes an appendix with contributions by Patty Toland, Jillian Holtzmann and even Kevin (as well as a new forward by Martin Heiss).

Also included in the appendix is language for a liability waiver, client interview form, job stakeout report form, and Paraterminology Dictionary. Handy stuff for Ghostbuster franchises!

Throughout the book various Ghostbusters specific content is injected. For instance the book lists a number of real world paranormal investigation tools such as night vision goggles and infrasound monitoring equipment but then adds proton packs, pke meters and ghost traps into the mix as updates to the original text.

The book is illustrated in black and white throughout with hand drawn depictions of various ghosts, maps and… FBI Special Agent Fox Mulder? It also contains photos and other documentation.

There is a lot to chew on here. You don’t usually see this kind of world building going into an action/comedy/horror film tie-in book. The book is surprisingly well researched and contains four pages of a bibliography that seem to be a mix of real (Quantum Field Theory by Lewis Ryder) and fictional sources (“The Big Book of Blasphemy”). The author Andrew Shaffer really did his homework and has built something that is not only entertaining but a good resource for fans.

The book is available in softcover, ebook and as an audio book (unfortunately not read by the actresses in the film).

For more and information on where to order visit ghostsfromourpast.com


A free copy of the book was provided to the NYC Ghostbusters for the purposes of review. Our review copy also included a business card likely not available with the final retail version for the restaurant the Ghostbusters HQ is above in the film, “Zhu’s Authentic Hong Kong Food”. We’ve included a scan of it below (click the image for a full resolution printable version).


Chris Beaumont is on the board of the NYC Ghostbusters. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, cat, and what he can now identify as a Class II entity that keeps knocking pencils off his desk.