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Gretta DeMille[1] was an entity who haunted Erin Gilbert as a girl in her bedroom in Battle Creek, Michigan.

History

On October 30, 1982, Gretta heard Erin raking leaves in her backyard with her friends Jimmy and Kate.[Note 1] She "raced" to her porch and warned Erin that if a single leaf ended up on her property, there would be hell to pay. Sometime after 10 pm on Halloween night, Jimmy and Kate got an idea and dumped the two bags of leaves on Gretta's porch as payback then ran off. Gretta stepped out and pointed at Erin then the leaves creepily rose up in the air. By the time Mrs. Gilbert stepped outside, Gretta was gone. Erin, Jimmy, and Kate were scared. Erin left her candy on the ground outside and hid under the covers in her bedroom. Months later, Gretta fell and broke her hip. Days before Christmas, one morning, she died of her injuries. Some time later, an ambulance and fire truck investigated. Gretta's body was found lying down in the living room.[2][3] After a couple of hours, two men exited the house with Gretta in a black body bag and loaded her into the back of a hearse. Erin went to sleep at around 8 pm and awoke at 2:06 am. The ghost of Gretta manifested at the foot of her bed.[4] Gretta whispered "Hell...to...pay, young girl. There will be...hell...to...pay..." then blood spilled out of her mouth down her chin and neck onto Erin's bedspread. Erin hid under the covers until her alarm for school sounded off. Erin's ears popped. She looked around and both Gretta and the blood were gone. Gretta returned again the next morning at 2:06 am. Erin tried turning on her bedside lamp to dispel Gretta but it didn't work. Erin told her parents about the second incident. They took turns and camped out in Erin's bedroom but Gretta only appeared when they left the room or if they fell asleep. Her grin seemed more fiendish each time. Gretta continued to appear in her room every morning for the next year.[5] For unknown reasons, Gretta then stopped manifesting. Erin later speculated she either got bored or lost the power to materialize on the physical plane. Her parents sent her to therapy. When her classmates found out, they started calling her "Ghost Girl" all the way to high school, with Abby Yates being the only one back then that believed her story.

Description

According to Erin, Gretta DeMille had thin white hair in that sprouted in sparse patches like a poorly seeded Chia Pet and wrinkled skin with more spots than a Dalmatian dog.[6][7]

Classification

Primary Canon

Gretta DeMille is a Class 4 Anchored Free-Floating Full Torso Partially Repeating Apparition.[8]

Secondary Canon

Ghostbuster's Handbook

Gretta DeMille was a Class 4 entity.[9]

Trivia

  • Although both Ghosts from Our Past and the Ghostbusters Official Novelization offer different names and backstories for this ghost, they both agree that after she died, she appears as a ghost at the foot of Erin's bed for nearly a year.
    • The former identifies her as Greta DeMille, Erin's neighbor whose reason for haunting her was an incident were 2 of her friends poured leaves in her yard, despise an early warning that there'll be ''hell to pay'' if the raked leaves ended up in her yard.[10]
    • The latter gives her name as Mrs. Bernard, who blames Erin for her pet dog Corky killing one of the chickens Mrs. Bernard raises.[11]
  • Gretta DeMille ranted and raved about the air quality of Battle Creek because of the smells of cereal being produced in the city.[12]
  • The neighborhood kids, including Erin, referred to Gretta as "Cruella" after the villain in "101 Dalmatians."[13]
  • Nobody knew Gretta's name until they read her obituary.[14]

Appearances

Primary Canon

Secondary Canon

  • Ghostbusters (2016 Movie)

Notes

  1. According to page 24-27 of Ghosts from Our Past, the year was 1985. In an Interview with Andrew Shaffer, Andrew Shaffer corrected the year to be 1982.

References

  1. Shaffer, Andrew (2016). Ghosts From Our Past: Both Literally & Figuratively: The Study of the Paranormal, p. 27. Three Rivers Press, New York NY USA, ISBN 9781101906002.Line reads: "As we all later learned, Cruella---real name: Gretta DeMille---had broken her hip in a fall a week or so earlier."
  2. Shaffer, Andrew (2016). Ghosts From Our Past: Both Literally & Figuratively: The Study of the Paranormal, p. 27. Three Rivers Press, New York NY USA, ISBN 9781101906002.Line reads: "Days before Christmas, I heard a bunch of commotion next door."
  3. Shaffer, Andrew (2016). Ghosts From Our Past: Both Literally & Figuratively: The Study of the Paranormal, p. 27. Three Rivers Press, New York NY USA, ISBN 9781101906002.Line reads: "She's been lying there in the living room ever since, wasting away. In fact, the coroner believed she died the morning her body was discovered."
  4. Shaffer, Andrew (2016). Ghosts From Our Past: Both Literally & Figuratively: The Study of the Paranormal, p. 27. Three Rivers Press, New York NY USA, ISBN 9781101906002.Line reads: "I don't remember what time I went to bed---probably around eight---but I remember what time I woke up: 2:06 in the morning. That was the time glowing red on my alarm clock when Gretta appeared at the foot of my bed."
  5. Shaffer, Andrew (2016). Ghosts From Our Past: Both Literally & Figuratively: The Study of the Paranormal, p. 29. Three Rivers Press, New York NY USA, ISBN 9781101906002.Line reads: "Gretta appeared in my room in the early morning hours every single night... FOR THE NEXT YEAR."
  6. Shaffer, Andrew (2016). Ghosts From Our Past: Both Literally & Figuratively: The Study of the Paranormal, p. 23. Three Rivers Press, New York NY USA, ISBN 9781101906002.Line reads: "Her thin, white hair sprouted in sparse patches, like a poorly seeded Chia Pet."
  7. Shaffer, Andrew (2016). Ghosts From Our Past: Both Literally & Figuratively: The Study of the Paranormal, p. 24. Three Rivers Press, New York NY USA, ISBN 9781101906002.Line reads: "Her wrinkled skin had more spots than a Dalmatian."
  8. Shaffer, Andrew (2016). Ghosts From Our Past: Both Literally & Figuratively: The Study of the Paranormal, p. 120. Three Rivers Press, New York NY USA, ISBN 9781101906002.Line reads: "The ghost of Gretta DeMille, seen by Erin when she was eight, would be considered a Class IV anchored free-floating full-torso partially repeating apparition."
  9. Narrator (2016). Simon & Schuster- "Ghostbuster's Handbook" (2016) (Book p.8). Page reads: "As a child Erin suffered a terrifying encounter with a Class IV entity."
  10. Andrew Shaffer reply #1 reddit "WTF: The Ghostbusters 2016 novelization and the in-movie tie-in book "Ghosts from Our Past" have different continuities" 7/1/16 Line reads: "In Ghosts from Out Past, the old woman is called Gretta DeMille. While Erin is raking leaves, the old woman comes out and bitches at her, telling here there'll be "hell to pay" if even 1 leaf gets in her yard. Later that night, Erin is trick or treating with 2 of her friends, who decide to pour the bags of raked up leaves into Gretta's yard; the old lady storms out after them and they run away. Days later, the ambulance takes Mrs. DeMille away; she fell and broke her hip, then laid there suffering for days before finally dying. Later that night, she shows up at the foot of Erin's bed."
  11. Andrew Shaffer reply #1 reddit "WTF: The Ghostbusters 2016 novelization and the in-movie tie-in book "Ghosts from Our Past" have different continuities" 7/1/16 Line reads: "In the novelization, the woman is called Mrs. Barnard. She pesters Erin and her family after their dog kills Mrs. Barnard's pet chicken. Erin's parents end up calling the cops after the pestering gets to be too much; the old lady dies the next day and is taken away in an ambulance, only to return as a ghost at the foot of Erin's bed that night."
  12. Shaffer, Andrew (2016). Ghosts From Our Past: Both Literally & Figuratively: The Study of the Paranormal, p. 23. Three Rivers Press, New York NY USA, ISBN 9781101906002.Line reads: "Not everyone was a fan of the sugary smells permeating the city. Among the chief critics was mean old lady who lived right next door, who could be heard ranting and raving about the air quality even on the clearest of days."
  13. Shaffer, Andrew (2016). Ghosts From Our Past: Both Literally & Figuratively: The Study of the Paranormal, p. 24. Three Rivers Press, New York NY USA, ISBN 9781101906002.Line reads: "In fact, she looked so much like the villain from 101 Dalmatians that the neighbor kids had taken to calling her "Cruella." I'm ashamed to say I joined in."
  14. Shaffer, Andrew (2016). Ghosts From Our Past: Both Literally & Figuratively: The Study of the Paranormal, p. 24. Three Rivers Press, New York NY USA, ISBN 9781101906002.Line reads: "I had no other choice---nobody seemed to know her name, not even my parents... at least not until we read the obituary."
  15. Erin Gilbert (2016). Ghostbusters (2016 Movie) Extended Edition; Chapter 8 (2016) (Blu-Ray ts. 00:50:05-00:50:26). Sony Pictures. Erin Gilbert says: "When I was eight years old, the mean old lady that lived next door died. And that night, I woke up and she was standing at the foot of my bed, just staring at me. She did that every night for almost a year."
  16. Erin Gilbert (2016). Ghostbusters (2016 Movie) Deleted/Alternate Scenes; (Deleted Scene): Backstories (2016) (Blu-Ray ts. 0:01:00-0:01:11). Sony Pictures. Erin Gilbert says: "And she would reach for me and fall towards the bed and I would just take the covers and put them under my head and stay there until the morning."
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