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Tobin's Spirit Guide[1] by John Horace Tobin is a book that serves as a compilation of various supernatural occurrences, entities, and facts. The computer software version is hard to find and is very expensive. Egon and Ray refer to it so frequently they may have entire sections memorized. Copies of the book have been shown to be available in hardback, paperback, and electronic media. Tobin's Spirit Guide often helps the Ghostbusters with identifying entities involved in the cases that they take on.

Canonicity

Tobin's Spirit Guide in the Primary Canon is developed from Ghostbusters (1984) and Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Tobin's Spirit Guide in The Real Ghostbusters and Extreme Ghostbusters, a Secondary Canon, is based on the events of Ghostbusters (1984) and later subsumed Ghostbusters II and pre-dates Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Tobin's Spirit Guide in Ghostbusters: The Video Game (Realistic Versions), a Secondary Canon, Ghostbusters (1984) and Ghostbusters II pre-date the movie, Ghostbusters: Afterlife which conflicts with the game. Tobin's Spirit Guide appears in the IDW Comic Series, a Secondary Canon, which follows Ghostbusters (1984) and Ghostbusters II, also includes some elements from Ghostbusters: The Video Game (Realistic Versions) and Ghostbusters: The Video Game (Stylized Versions); as well as being canon to Tobin's Spirit Guide (Insight Editions). Tobin's Spirit Guide in Ghostbusters: Legion, deemed a Tertiary Canon, follows Ghostbusters (1984) and Ghostbusters II. Tobin's Spirit Guide in Ghostbusters: The Board Game and Ghostbusters: The Board Game II, deemed a Tertiary Canon follows Ghostbusters (1984) and Ghostbusters II and elements from Ghostbusters: The Video Game and the IDW Comic Series.

History

Primary Canon History

Before Ghostbusters

Entries on cult leaders, cults, gods, demigods, and various entities, including Ivo Shandor, the Cult of Gozer, Gozer, Vinz Clortho and Zuul were recorded in Tobin's Spirit Guide by J.H. Tobin. Ivo Shandor's entry mentioned bizarre rituals being conducted on roofs in New York after the Cult of Gozer was founded in 1920. Gozer the Gozerian's entry included mention and illustrations of Zuul and Vinz Clortho. One passage in the Gozer section was, "The Sumerians believed in a land of the dead. A dark and shadowy realm within the bowls of the earth. The souls of the dead are ruled by a mighty god Gozer and protected by a powerful Gatekeeper and Keymaster. In order for Gozer to rise up and walk the human plane again, Gatekeeper and Keymaster must assume the form of beasts."[2]

Ghostbusters (1984)

In 1984, after Dana Barrett was interviewed, Egon thought of looking up the name "Zuul" in Tobin's Spirit Guide. While the Ghostbusters were incarcerated briefly, Egon Spengler briefed everyone on what he found out about 550 Central Park West from Tobin's Spirit Guide.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife

Phoebe found a first edition copy in Egon's study in the Farmhouse. She read some of it in bed on her first night at the Farmhouse. Podcast later hung out with her in her bedroom. He found the section on Gozer and recognized the Sentinel Terror Dog and Terror Dog engravings from earlier in the day when they released Vinz Clortho from a Trap by mistake. He read the passage aloud.

Secondary Canon History

The Real Ghostbusters

Chapter 27 of Tobin's Spirit Guide is called "Botanical Specific Avoidance in Spectral Manifestations" and page 23 has illustrations of Class 5 Full Roaming Vapors. Egon and Ray carried around a paperback version of the book on assignments. Egon sometimes had Tobin's Spirit Guide on small computer interface devices and later on computer. The latter was noted as being very expensive by Ray, because it probably wasn't popular to which Egon scoffed. The Ghostbusters never memorized every entry, as they often found something new when they looked up unknown spirits in the guide.

Extreme Ghostbusters

The Extreme Ghostbusters used Spengler's Spirit Guide, a spiritual successor to Tobin's Spirit Guide written by Egon Spengler after the original team disbanded. However, the Extreme team relied more on the electronic version and Internet and checking out books to dig up information on ghosts that they know little about.

Ghostbusters: The Video Game

The Spirit Guide was used extensively in the Shandor Incident of 1991. The P.K.E. Meter and Ecto Goggles were modified to work in tandem. When an entity or Cursed Artifact was fully scanned, the data was added to an electronic version of Tobin's Spirit Guide that Rookie could access at any time. The new entry provided a complete biography of the entity, including a picture, their class level, their powers, the ghostbusting weapons they are weak against, whether they can be trapped or destroyed, and some information on their back story.

IDW Comics

In mid-September 1912, Tobin documented his travels in Siberia in the guide. In the 1920s, Tobin went undercover in the Cult of Gozer to research their methods and history for his Tobin's Spirit Guide book.[3] Tobin completed the full text of the guide in 1929. The original printing weighed almost 40 pounds. In later editions, the guide was split into two volumes.[4]

In the present, the Paranormal Contracts Oversight Commission keeps a file on Tobin's Spirit Guide, #SG1a. A hardcover copy of Tobin's Spirit Guide was taken aboard a flight to Schenectady by the Ghostbusters. Ray and Egon consulted it while trying to narrow down the identity of the entity they were sent off to confront. Ray Stantz and Kylie Griffin used Tobin's Spirit Guide for their research on instances of recurrent child hauntings and supernatural abductions in the last 50 years. There are pages on Tiamat and Gozer in succession. Both have depictions of one of their known forms and entries are written in Gozerian Alphabet. There also pages that detail the rules that bound Gozer. Gozerian imagery and hieroglyphics are included on these pages. An annotated copy of Tobin's Spirit Guide is kept in Egon's foot locker. Kylie had Tobin's Spirit Guide with her while everyone brainstormed about the Thralls of Chi-You following the Madison Square Garden battle.[5] She later had it when the Turtles, April O'Neil and Casey Jones went back home through the Interspatial Teleportation Unit portal in the Firehouse basement.

While the two teams of Ghostbusters researched Proteus, an Egon consulted Tobin's Spirit Guide. After an encounter with a powerful entity on Staten Island, Ray did some research. He identified the entity as the Sandman in Tobin's Spirit Guide. The entry about the Sandman begins with "A nursery monster from the 19th century used to scare children. During the early part of the century the Sandman brought terror among children as it would sneak into the rooms of young ones who would not go to sleep. The Sandman would throw sand into the eyes of children causing them to itch. When the child rubbed its eyes, his or her eyes would fall out on the floor creating a bloody mess. The Sandman would collect these..." The entry also contained some Latin. Somnum sempiternum loosely translated to "sleep eternally" and "oculus satietas" loosely translated to "sight satiation." The parallel Egon consulted Tobin's Spirit Guide, while on a flight to Chiloe Island with that universe's Ghostbusters, to inform himself of the local lore of Chile. Kylie Griffin presented a few selections from Ray's Occult Books to Abby Yates. Tobin's Spirit Guide was among them. Abby asked if there was anything on Ley Lines. The books went flying when pressure from a build up of P.K.E. was violently released.

Insight Editions

Egon and Ray put in several weeks to update and summarize the guide into a more mainstream edition.[6]

Tertiary Canon History

Ghostbusters International

It was published as a source book for the Ghostbusters Role-Playing Game, containing ghosts from all over the world that could be used as adversaries in the game. As well as some background on Tobin himself. According to page V of the source book representing the title page of the manuscript, The full title is written as, "J.H. Tobin's Spirit Guide BEING A COMPENDIUM of Ghosts, Gods, Spirits, and Manifestations from Outside the Normal Realms of Existence, ~ WITH A TRAVELOGUE and Notes on a Philosophy of the Occult - Established by the Author -"[7]

See Also

Trivia

Ghostbusters (1984) Trivia

  • The publication date of the book in the movie canon is unknown. Since Ivo Shandor is mentioned in the tome, it is reasonable to assume Tobin's Spirit Guide was written sometime in the 20th Century. The Gozerian rituals recorded in the book come after the mention of the cult being founded in 1920 so the guide would have to have been published in that decade at the earliest.
  • In the novelization of the first movie, the book that Dr. Venkman slams on the desk near Dr. Spengler's head in the New York City Public Library is a copy of Tobin's Spirit Guide.[8]

Ghostbusters: Afterlife Trivia

  • Jason Reitman teased the front cover on his instagram account on September 23, 2019.[9]
  • The version that appears in the movie is a first edition.[10]
  • The design of the prop was inspired by old first edition leather bound books in rare book collections.[11]
  • In addition to the Gozer pages, there were pages about ghost classifications.[12]
  • Marie Massolin hand drew the cover art.[13]
  • Creature designer Brynn Mettheney hand drew the Sentinel and Terror Dog engravings.[14]
  • A traditional book binder was engaged to manufacture the prop, complete with a stamped leather and gold-leafed cover.[15]
  • The first entry Podcast opens the book on is about water spirits.
    • The text is taken from "Encyclopædia of Superstitions, Folklore, and the Occult Sciences of the World Volume II", Chapter XVII, The Sea, pages 1073 to 1074.
  • The passage Podcast reads from has a reference to the "Trick of Mecone" from Greek mythology when Prometheus tricked Zeus for the benefit of mankind.
  • The passage Podcast reads refers to the Sumerians believing in a land of the dead. In Sumerian mythology, this realm was named Kur. It was said to be a dark and dreary cavern located deep underground where "a shadowy version of life on earth" existed. Some interpretations also refer to it as a desert. The dead did not have to undergo final judgment, nor were they punished nor rewarded for their deeds in life. They all ended up in the same place. The dead's quality of existence in Kur was determined by their conditions of burial. The ruler of Kur was the goddess Ereshkigal, who lived in the palace Ganzir.
  • On the back of the Ghostbusters: Afterlife Cereal box, Tobin's Spirit Guide is mentioned.
  • The Hasbro Plasma Series's Ghostbusters: Afterlife Ray Stantz figure comes with a Tobin's Spirit Guide.

Ghostbusters International Trivia

The Real Ghostbusters Trivia

  • In The Real Ghostbusters, Tobin's Spirit Guide has a total of 1213.7 words.[16]

Ghostbusters: Legion Trivia

Ghostbusters: The Video Game Trivia

  • In Ghostbusters: The Video Game (Realistic Versions), scanning and obtaining the Spirit Guide entry of any ghost in the game will unlock an Xbox 360 Achievement or PlayStation Trophy called "I'm Picking Up A Signal...," while obtaining the entries of all ghosts will unlock "Back Off Man. I'm a Scientist."
  • In Ghostbusters: The Video Game (Stylized Versions), Art Pages can also be found, which add images to the spirit guide entries. The original manuscript can also be found in the basement of the Firehouse in the Stylized version.

IDW Comics Trivia

Insight Editions Trivia

Ghostbusters (2016) Trivia

Ghostbusters: The Board Gamme Trivia

  • Tobin's Spirit Guide was added as a Kickstarter exclusive character to Cryptozotic Entertainment's Ghostbusters: The Board Game after the $850,000 stretch goal was achieved. It is a cardboard box (3.25" width x4.25" height x 0.75" diameter) where cards can be stored in. It is free to Mass Hysteria backers or a $5 add-on.[21] [22]

Appearances

Primarary Canon Appearances

Secondary Canon Appearances

Tertiary Canon Appearances

References

  1. Egon Spengler (1999). Ghostbusters - Chapter 09: The 1st Customer (1984) (DVD ts. 23:41-23:42). Columbia Pictures. Egon says: "Tobin's Spirit Guide."
  2. Podcast (2022). Ghostbusters: Afterlife Chapter 6 (2021) (Blu-Ray ts. 37:58-38:25). Sony Pictures. Podcast says: "The Sumerians believed in a land of the dead, a dark and shadowy realm within the bowels of the earth. The souls of the dead are ruled by a mighty god, Gozer, and protected by a powerful Gatekeeper and Keymaster, in order that Gozer might rise up and walk the human plane again. The Gatekeeper and Keymaster must assume the form of beasts ."
  3. 101 Class Notes (2017). IDW Comics- "Ghostbusters 101 #5" (2017) (Comic p.23). 101 Class Notes reads: "(In fact, Tobin actually went "undercover" in the Gozerian cult to research their methods and history, and supposedly went more in depth on this in a separate, smaller, book titled The Gozerians Among Us. The print run was marginal, and no copies are believed to exist.)."
  4. 101 Class Notes (2017). IDW Comics- "Ghostbusters 101 #5" (2017) (Comic p.23). 101 Class Notes reads: "The full text, completed in 1929, is usually split for publication, resulting in two (still very heavy, very dense) volumes instead of the original all-inclusive tome that weighs nearly 40 pounds on its own."
  5. Dapperpomade Tweet 4/6/15
  6. Narrator (2016). Insight Editions- "Tobin's Spirit Guide" (2016) (Comic p.4-5). Paragraph reads: "My colleague Dr. Egon Spengler and I put in weeks of effort to boil the essence of Tobin's down into this slim pocket reference you now hold in your hands: a book that contains basic information on some of the most common types of entities that manifest themselves on this side of the dimensional wall, be they spirit, demon, or even minor gods with aspirations to end life as we know it via destruction, subjugation, or both."
  7. Mohan, Kim (1989). Tobin's Spirit Guide, p. V. West End Games, Honesdale, Pennsylvania USA, ISBN 0874312590.
  8. Mueller, Richard (August 1985). Ghostbusters: The Supernatural Spectacular, p. 25. Tor Books, New York NY USA, ISBN 0812585984.
  9. Jason Reitman instagram 9/23/19
  10. Inguanzo, Ozzy (2021). Ghostbusters: Afterlife The Art and Making of the Movie, p. 68. Titan Books, London UK, ISBN 1789096529. François Audouy says: "It was really exciting to imagine what a first-edition copy would look like."
  11. Inguanzo, Ozzy (2021). Ghostbusters: Afterlife The Art and Making of the Movie, p. 68. Titan Books, London UK, ISBN 1789096529. Line reads: "The design was inspired by old first edition leather-bound books one might find in a rare book collection."
  12. Inguanzo, Ozzy (2021). Ghostbusters: Afterlife The Art and Making of the Movie, p. 68. Titan Books, London UK, ISBN 1789096529. Line reads: "Pages included ghost classifications, and a section about Gozer the Gozerian and Terror Dogs."
  13. Inguanzo, Ozzy (2021). Ghostbusters: Afterlife The Art and Making of the Movie, p. 71. Titan Books, London UK, ISBN 1789096529. Annotation reads: "Raw embossed leather, patterned from the graphic artwork hand drawn by Marie Massolin-white is raised and black is recessed leather with lettering in gold leaf."
  14. Inguanzo, Ozzy (2021). Ghostbusters: Afterlife The Art and Making of the Movie, p. 71. Titan Books, London UK, ISBN 1789096529. Annotation reads: "Hand-drawn Sentinel and Terror Dog engravings by Brynn Metheney."
  15. Inguanzo, Ozzy (2021). Ghostbusters: Afterlife The Art and Making of the Movie, p. 68. Titan Books, London UK, ISBN 1789096529. Line reads: "A traditional book binder was then engaged to manufacture the prop book, complete with a stamped leather and gold-leafed cover."
  16. Ray Stantz (2009). The Real Ghostbusters-"Don't Forget the Motor City" (1987) (DVD ts. 10:32-10:35). Time Life Entertainment. Ray says: "Like I always say, a picture is worth 1213.7 words" then holds out Tobin's Spirit Guide
  17. Michael Draverhaven (2004). 88MPH Studios- "Legion Issue #3" (2004) (Comic p.02). Michael says: "Egon still sleeping with that copy of Tobin's Spirit Guide I gave him?"
  18. TomWaltz Tweet 5/3/18
  19. Narrator (2016). Insight Editions- "Tobin's Spirit Guide" (2016) (Comic p.4). Paragraph reads: "However, the unabridged edition weighs in at somewhere around 35 pounds, which makes it very comprehensive but not convenient as a go-to reference for John and Jane Q. Public."
  20. Narrator (2016). Tor Books- "Ghostbusters Novelization (Holder)" (2016) (Book p.36). Line reads: "First they read the standard "ghost hunter" works: Spates Catalog, Tobin's Spirit Guide, and The Roylance Guide."
  21. Ghostbusters: The Board Game Update #29 3/2/15
  22. Ghostbusters: The Board Game Update #30 3/3/15
  23. "Don't Forget the Motor City" Storyboard Page 71
  24. Reaves, Michael (2009). The Real Ghostbusters Complete Collection Volume Two Disc Five, p. 14-15. CPT Holdings, Inc.
  25. Egon Spengler (2009).The Real Ghostbusters- "Apocalypse - - What, Now?" (1986) (DVD ts. 10:00-10:02). Time Life Entertainment.
  26. Ray Stantz (2009). The Real Ghostbusters - "The Scaring of the Green" (1987) (DVD ts. 7:49-7:56). Time Life Entertainment. Ray says: "You're forgetting Chapter 27 in Tobin's Spirit Guide. Botanical Specific Avoidance in Spectral Manifestations."
  27. Egon Spengler (2009). The Real Ghostbusters - "The Devil in the Deep" (1987) (DVD ts. 8:42-8:49). Time Life Entertainment. Egon says: "According to Tobin, Necksa was lord of the Undines, master of all the water elementals, one of the most powerful of all the primal gods."
  28. Peter Venkman (2009). The Real Ghostbusters - "I Am the City" (1987) (DVD ts. 05:41-05:46). Time Life Entertainment. Peter says: "So? We look it up in Tobin's Spirit Guide under flying hot dogs."
  29. Ray Stantz (2009). The Real Ghostbusters - "I Am the City" (1987) (DVD ts. 07:53-07:56). Time Life Entertainment. Ray says: "This new computer version of Tobin's Spirit Guide is great!"
  30. Egon Spengler (2009). The Real Ghostbusters - "I Am the City" (1987) (DVD ts. 07:57-08:00). Time Life Entertainment. Egon says: "It is expensive though, I guess it's not a very popular seller."
  31. Egon Spengler (2009).The Real Ghostbusters- "The Long, Long, Long, etc. Goodbye" (1987) (DVD ts. 7:16-7:22). Time Life Entertainment. Egon says: "In addition to Tobin's, I suggest we comb through old newspapers and any books on the history of the region."
  32. Jason (2009). The Real Ghostbusters - "Halloween II 1/2" (1987) (DVD ts. 01:42-01:48). Time Life Entertainment. Jason says: "We're Class Five Full Roaming Vapors, as illustrated on page 23 of Tobin's Spirit Guide."
  33. Capizzi, Duane and Roberts, Steven (2009). The Real Ghostbusters Complete Collection Volume Four Disc Five, "Poultrygeist" Script p. 24. CPT Holdings, Inc. Line reads: "Slimer scrambles through the cupboard, grabbing various bottles of stuff, and hands them to Winston who adds ingredients to mixing bowl and stirs while Ray reads from Tobin's Guide."
  34. Ray Stantz (2009). The Real Ghostbusters - "Poultrygeist" (1988) (DVD ts. 12:37-12:40). Time Life Entertainment. Ray says: "Wereaardvarks... Werebears... Werechickens!"
  35. Ray Stantz (2009). The Real Ghostbusters - "Poultrygeist" (1988) (DVD ts. 12:40-12:45). Time Life Entertainment. Ray says: "Anyone a Werechicken bites will turn into another Werechicken."
  36. Ray Stantz (2009). The Real Ghostbusters - "Poultrygeist" (1988) (DVD ts. 12:50-12:53). Time Life Entertainment. Ray says: "According to this, there is an antidote."
  37. Ray Stantz (2009). The Real Ghostbusters - "Poultrygeist" (1988) (DVD ts. 12:59-13:09). Time Life Entertainment. Ray says: "One tablespoon paprika. One clove of garlic. Some parsley for color. Cup of gelatin."
  38. Ray Stantz (2009). The Real Ghostbusters - "Poultrygeist" (1988) (DVD ts. 13:22-13:24). Time Life Entertainment. Ray says: "And one tablespoon of chickenbane."
  39. Ray Stantz (2009). The Real Ghostbusters - "If I Were a Witch Man" (1989) (DVD ts. 07:45-07:54). Time Life Entertainment. Ray says: "According to this, Kestrel is an evil demon who has no physical shape so she takes possession of people's bodies and makes them do terrible things."
  40. Egon Spengler (2009).The Real Ghostbusters- "The Halloween Door" (1989) (DVD ts. 04:17-04:22). Time Life Entertainment.
  41. Egon Spengler (2009).The Real Ghostbusters- "Busters in Toyland" (1990) (DVD ts. 16:05-03:24). Time Life Entertainment.
  42. Egon Spengler (2009).The Real Ghostbusters- "Not Now, Slimer!" (1991) (DVD ts. 08:53-08:56). Time Life Entertainment.
  43. 101 Class Notes (2017). IDW Comics- "Ghostbusters 101 #5" (2017) (Comic p.24). 101 Class Notes reads: "The catalog is more specialized than Tobin's, focusing on the most fantastic lore that Spates could collect."
  44. Ray Stantz (2017). IDW Comics- "Ghostbusters Annual 2017" (2017) (Comic p.41). Ray Stantz says: "Tobin's had a bit about the Sedgewick's several repeat manifestations, but I found a little bit more background in the revised Funder's Cults of the Northeast."
  45. Kylie Griffin (2018). IDW Comics- "Ghostbusters Crossing Over Issue #5" (2018) (Comic p.15). Kylie Griffin says: "And if I remember by Tobin's, the longer the possession lasts, the more the Horseman's spirit will eat away at Dr. Venkman's until..."
  46. Egon Spengler (2019). IDW Comics- "Ghostbusters 35th Anniversary: Ghostbusters" (2019) (Comic p.3). Egon Spengler says: "There was nothing in Tobin's."
  47. Narrator (2016). Insight Editions- "Tobin's Spirit Guide" (2016) (Comic p.4). Paragraph reads: "For help in this regard, my fellow Ghostbusters and I have most often turned to the seminal work of John Tobin, whose eponymous spirit guide has provided us with a wealth of insight into the realm of the supernatural."

Gallery

Primary Canon Images

Secondary Canon Images

Tertiary Canon Images

Behind The Scenes Images

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