In Hanging By a Thread, a large horde of demons invades the city looking for a pair of scissors once owned by the mythical Three Fates. Now, the Ghostbusters find themselves in the depths of the netherworld, racing to stop the demons from controlling the lifespan of all mankind.[2]


The Fates

Lord of the Stench

Legion of the Stench

Ben Franklin

Grover Cleveland

Arnold Lieberman

Sheldon Lieberman

Egon Spengler

Peter Venkman

Ray Stantz

Winston Zeddemore

Janine Melnitz




Standard Ghosts and Demons Identification Test


Proton Pack

Particle Thrower


P.K.E. Meter



Garment District



Shears of Fate


A legion of demons from the Underworld gathered around a cavern shrine. They were ordered by the Lord of the Stench to steal the shears and thread of the Three Fates, which determined the life of all mortals. If they stole the items for their master, the Lord of Evil, he could turn the world to evil and destroy his enemies. The Fates sent the shears off in time and space and the demons went after them. This caused several demons to steal scissors from significant points in history (such as the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge and Benjamin Franklin's discovery that lightning was made of electricity). But most of the demons were able to follow the scissors to the right time and general area: 1980's Manhattan Garment District.

Meanwhile, Ray was testing the others on identifying entities until Janine got a call in the morning about the demons. The demons ransacked the area until the Ghostbusters came and scared them away. The demons regrouped and converged on the Ghostbusers' own Firehouse after Ray accidentally picked up the Shears of Fate while he repaired his Particle Thrower's hose. The Ghostbusters used a move called the Seismic Ripple on the demons but Ray was knocked backwards. The shears were revealed. The Lord of the Stench retrieved the shears and escaped.

The Fates came and teleported the Ghostbusters to the Underworld to retrieve the shears. The Fates stated they only had one hour to complete the task. They met Charon, who took them across the River Styx to where the shears were. The Ghostbusters didn't have much on them but paid Charon with a rabbit's foot and a cheese sandwich on white bread. The Ghostbusters were able to retrieve the shears from the Lord of the Stench by trapping it and returned to the Underworld lobby for extraction by jumping over the rails. The shears were returned to the Fates, and the Ghostbusters took pride in a job well done. Egon revealed it was just a wild gamble. Peter fainted at the revelation.


  • The episode was recorded on November 19, 1986.[3]
  • Lewis Arquette makes an uncredited cameo as the voice of the head demon.[4]
  • The Fates are based on the Parcae, in Greek and Roman mythology.
  • A demon stole from Benjamin Franklin during his famous lightning rod experiment, causing him to use a key instead of shears.
  • Peter reminded Ray he melted a statue a week ago by mistake.[5]
  • Peter revealed his suit size, 38 Long, at the end the Garment District bust.[6]
  • As the Ghostbusters returned to the Firehouse from the Garment District, Peter mentioned crazy things happened on President's Day sales.
  • Peter refers to Ray as "Tex."[7]
  • The guys also visited the Underworld in "Chicken, He Clucked." The lobby of the Underworld looked very similar in both episodes. Both had a horned demon with a visor behind a desk.
  • When the Ghostbusters get to the underworld, Venkman says, "People are always saying I should come here," suggesting people always tell him to go to hell.
  • One of Charon's offers was for a Captain Midnight decoder badge. Captain Midnight was an adventure franchise from the World War II era featuring an Army pilot turned secret agent.
  • Charon was apparently really hungry. He longed for pastrami, roast beef cut lean, and corn beef. He also seemed to be tired of white bread and wanted wheat or rye. He was also interested in an outboard motor.


  1. Marsha Goodman (1986). Episode Call Sheet and SAG Report - "Hanging By a Thread" (1986).
  2. Eatock, James & Mangels, Andy (2008). The Real Ghostbusters Complete Collection booklet, p. 13. CPT Holdings, Inc.
  3. Marsha Goodman (1986). Episode Call Sheet and SAG Report - "Hanging By a Thread" (1986).
  4. Eatock, James & Mangels, Andy (2008). The Real Ghostbusters Complete Collection booklet, p. 13. CPT Holdings, Inc.
  5. Peter Venkman (2009).The Real Ghostbusters- "Hanging By a Thread" (1986) (DVD ts. 05:56-05:58). Time Life Entertainment.
  6. Peter Venkman (2009).The Real Ghostbusters- "Hanging By a Thread" (1986) (DVD ts. 08:32-08:34). Time Life Entertainment. Peter says: "Anyone find a nice tweed in a 38 long?"
  7. Peter Venkman (2009).The Real Ghostbusters- "Hanging By a Thread" (1986) (DVD ts. 11:31-11:32). Time Life Entertainment.


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