Did you know actor Dan Aykroyd’s Ghostbusters films (a third is currently in development) were inspired by a true story? No joke. His dad reveals their family’s not-so-secret obsession with the supernatural in his new book
Dr. Samuel Aykroyd ain’t afraid of no ghosts. In fact, if you ever saw something strange in your neighborhood, he’s the guy you would want to call.
Too bad the dentist hasn’t been around (physically anyhow) for several decades. But his diligent notes about the paranormal and hypnotism (what docs used in place of painkillers in the 1890′s) still exist in his 83 journals, which his grandson, Peter, discovered while cleaning out his Toronto home in the early 1980′s.
Though Peter remembers witnessing his grandpa practice spiritualism (the belief that spirits of the deceased can be contacted through ‘mediums’), he hadn’t thought about it until that fateful mild winter afternoon. Vivid memories of the séances held in his small farmhouse came flooding back when he found those fragile journals filled with handwritten conjectures, observations and letters from 1905 through 1932.
“My grandfather created in me a lifelong interest in the paranormal, an interest that has proved to be enormously engaging and fun. I have passed it on to my sons, Dan and Peter, and it also resulted in a television series and movies, which have been the most fun of all,” writes Peter Aykroyd in his new book called A History of Ghosts, which hit bookstores in September.
Carrying on the family legacy, Peter’s son, Dan, the famous actor who has made us laugh for decades both on the small and big screen, is currently working on Ghostbusters III–the third film installment of a mega franchise that includes two films (the first has been seen by a billion people to-date), an animated TV show, a comic book series, action figures and video games. He won’t be the only one reprising his role either. Look out for the familiar faces of the original cast, including Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver, and possibly Rick Moranis, in 2012.
If it weren’t for Dr. Aykroyd’s well-preserved journals, Peter and Dan might never have been inspired to pursue their respective creative projects and the world might never have known the joy of one of the best ghost stories ever told.
Photos Courtesy of Shot7.com