Where was Ghostbusters: Afterlife filmed?
Beiseker, Alberta; Calgary, Alberta; Crossfield, Alberta, Canada; Drumheller, Alberta, Canada; Fort MacLeod, Alberta, Canada; Los Angeles, California; New York, New York
American, Canadian, House, Fire Station, Miscellaneous
Americana, Classic Car, Rustic, Station Wagon
About Ghostbusters: Afterlife
They were some of New York’s biggest celebrities – so just what happened to the Ghostbusters after Vigo the Carpathian was given a one-way ticket back to the other side? (And honestly, we’d all like to know how they cleaned up all that pink slime and got Lady Liberty back across the Bay.)
Three decades after Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd), Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), Egon Spangler (Harold Ramis) and Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson) saved the Big Apple from a pair of otherwordly cataclysms, fans of Ghostbusters I and II will finally find out what happened to their favorite wisecracking ghost hunters.
After inheriting a dilapidated farm from her father, Callie Spengler (Carrie Coon) arrives in Summerville, Oklahoma, with her two kids Phoebe (McKenna Grace) and Trevor (Finn Wolfhard) and a host of abandonment baggage from her estranged father Egon. Life on a small town farm was anything but boring, however, once Phoebe and her friend Podcast (Logan Kim) discover that their home is haunted by a poltergeist named Muncher and is harboring a secret underground laboratory filled with ghostbusting equipment, as well as her recently-departed grandfather.
The teens, together with Podcast and Lucky Domingo (Celeste O’Connor) also find another secret hidden in a nearby mine – a Gozerian temple constructed by occultist and architect Ivo Shandor designed to bring back Gozer (yes, THAT Gozer). With the help of local science teacher Gary Grooberson (Paul Rudd), a big fan of the original Ghostbusters, Venkman, Stantz and Zeddemore, the family heads into the mine to vanquish Gozer and its minions for the final time.
Although Ghostbusters: Afterlife isn’t the only film to take up the helm of the original late-80s classics – there was a female-led movie in 2016 that was underwhelming – both fans and critics agreed that it was successful both in reviving the decades-old franchise and paying tribute to the late Ramis. The film was a hit at the box office, grossing more than $200 million worldwide, managing to strike a good balance between giving the franchise an update and honoring the nostalgia that many fans of the original films hold near and dear.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife Locations
While the majority of the film takes place in rural Oklahoma, none of it was filmed there. In fact, most of the film was not even shot in the United States, but rather in Alberta, Canada. The town of Summerville is fictional, and is actually a combination of locations in and around Calgary, including Drumheller, Fort MacLeod and Crossfield. In addition to the rural town shots, the crew also used used nearby Horsethief Canyon for many of the paranormal activity scenes, and Shandor’s mine is a real mine located just off Highway 848 near the village of Dorothy.
Creating the family’s farm in an empty lot on the outskirts of Calgary was a labor of love, and the attention to detail shouldn’t be lost. The house itself was constructed exclusively for the film with a lot of care taken in the weathering effects – we think we can all appreciate the amount of work it takes to make something new look old and broken. Not only did the crew construct the farmhouse, the barn was actually moved from another location and placed on the lot, and real crops were planted to give the set an authentic farm feel.
And of course, the iconic Ghostbusters fire station, featured only briefly in a post-credit teaser, was filmed at the same site as the original films – fire station 32 (closed) in Los Angeles. Traveling to these far-flung destinations may seem daunting to the casual road-tripper, but for fans of the franchise, it’s a worthwhile way to spend vacation and get your passport stamped at the same time.
Let’s break down a few of the film’s most memorable scenes and take a look at how to get there. We’ll throw in a spoiler alert for good measure too!
Thanks to the film’s warm reception from fans, Dan Aykroyd has said he and the remaining members of the original cast – including Sigourney Weaver as Dana (Barrett) Venkman and Annie Potts as Jeanine Melnitz – are interested in contributing to more sequels. Another installment of the franchise is already in early development as of April 2022.
Phoebe meets Podcast scene in Ghostbusters: Afterlife
W. G. Murdoch School in Crossfield, Alberta
In the scene where Phoebe meets Podcast, the teen really spells out the family dynamic and how she, her brother and her mother ended up moving to rural Summerville from Chicago. With a hint of drama and more than a little curiosity, Podcast interviews Phoebe and learns that her family moved to Summerville because they were struggling financially and the home that was left to her mother was all they had.
However, Phoebe was quick to point out that even though her grandfather was kind enough to leave them a house, there wasn’t exactly a lot of love lost when he passed.
“My grandfather died,” remarks Phoebe without much evidence of grief. “My mom says we’re just here to pick through the rubble of his life.”
Adding a bit of comic relief to the scene, Podcast somewhat jokingly suggests Egon may have been murdered – in reality, not far from the truth. He also provides an answer to Phoebe’s (and our) question about why he’s called Podcast: it’s a nickname he gave himself because he happens to have a podcast.
The school scenes in Ghostbusters: Afterlife were filmed at W. G. Murdoch School in Crossfield, Alberta, Canada. The town is located about 26 miles north of Calgary, the capital on Alberta. To get there, take Highway 2 north and then turn west onto Highway 2A. You can either explore the entire town by turning left on Laut Avenue and then right on Railway Street. Turn left onto Mountain Avenue and the school will be on your right. To skip the town and get to your destination quickly, take Highway 2A to Limit Avenue, turn left, and then take a right on Alberta Street.
Trevor discovers Ecto-1 scene in Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Grain Elevator, Dorothy, Alberta
After initially being less than thrilled with his move to the “creepy old farmhouse my grandfather left us in the middle of nowhere,” Trevor begins milling around the property in lieu of having any service for his electronic devices. While exploring the half-collapsed barn, he discovers the classic Ecto-1.
Trevor decides to get the Ecto-1 running, and after trying everything he knows and being met with no success, he gets an assist from the afterlife: his grandfather puts a little spirit back into the vehicle and it roars to life. After jumping through the air and landing square on the road (no, really, Egon made the car fly through the air), Trevor finds his sister and Podcast looking for a ride into town. After incredulously asking where he got a car, Trevor simply replied “It’s a Cadillac,” and told them to get in the back. The teens then embark on a wild joyride, which was filmed on a rural highway just outside the village of Dorothy, Alberta.
The barn is also where all of the Ghostbusters’ equipment is stored, including a proton pack, ghost traps and other spirit-catching equipment, which, with their grandfather’s guidance, the teens manage to restore.
The location of the empty Calgary lot where the set was constructed has never been revealed – it was simply referred to as a “picturesque field” about 30 minutes south of Calgary in a rural farming area. There’s not a lot there anyway, since both the home and barn were disassembled after filming.
To get to Dorothy, take Highway 9 northeast from Calgary to Drumheller, then turn right onto Highway 10 to Dorothy. You’ll see the unique grain elevator featured in a few scenes along the highway.
Learning to use a proton pack scene in Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Turner Valley Gas Plant, Turner Valley, Alberta
We find out early on that, unlike her mother, who has a distaste for science intertwined with her other daddy issues, Phoebe has an aptitude for scientific tinkering. After finding her grandfather’s ghost-hunting equipment and learning about Egon’s exploits in the 1980s, (“New York in the 1980s… it’s like The Walking Dead,” quipped Grooberson.) Phoebe decides to restore the equipment. Revealed as the friendly spirit residing at the farm, her grandfather guides her through the process of restoring the ghostbusting equipment – including his proton pack.
Of course, a refurbished proton pack is begging for a test run, which Phoebe and Podcast were happy to provide against (probably everyone’s) better judgment at an abandoned factory outside of town. After discovering how the pack works and what it can do, Phoebe and Podcast seredipitously discover Muncher, a miner sprit poltergeist reminiscent of the first films’ Slimer, who chomps down on metal. After trying and failing to capture Muncher, Phoebe, Podcast and Trevor pursue him through the town, causing thousands of dollars in damage and leading to their arrests.
The Turner Valley Gas Plant was used to film this scene, and the now-defunct factory also serves as a local museum to educate visitors about Alberta’s gas and oil extraction history. The building is open to tours during the summers months (really the only logical time to visit snow-bound Alberta) and is located in the village of Turner Valley around 30 miles southwest of Calgary.
To get there, Take Highway 2 again, this time south, and turn west onto Highway 7. Continue on Highway 7 through Black Diamond and exit left onto Madison Street. Take another left onto Sunset Boulevard and the plant will be on your left.
The Ghostbusters are back scene in Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Horsethief Canyon, Drumheller, Alberta
If it’s occurred to you that a bunch of teenagers, a science-averse mom and an Average Joe seismologist probably shouldn’t be taking on Ivo Shandor, Gozer the Gozerian and a host of other baddies with aging equipment and no practical experience, you’re not wrong. That’s why Egon’s family and friends get a major assist in the form of the surviving ghostbusting posse.
As their plan begins to falter and Gozer the Gozerian (Olivia Wilde) seems to be overtaking Callie and the kids, Stantz, Venkman and Zeddemore return to lay another supernatural smackdown on the interdimensional god. Waltzing in with his signature swagger, Venkman utters perhaps the film’s most memorable line: “Hey Flat top, have you missed us?”
As it turns out, Gozer had not missed them at all.
This Ghostbusters: Afterlife scene, along with many of the other spooky paranormal scenes were filmed near Drumheller, Alberta, at Horsethief Canyon. The deep gorges and remote location makes the area perfect for some light atmospheric scares. To get there, take Highway 56 north out of Drumheller and turn west onto N. Dinosaur Trail. Follow the road until you see the exit for Horsethief Canyon to your left.
The Terror Dogs are back scene in Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Walmart, Deerfoot City, Calgary, Alberta
Although CGI was in its infancy during the original films, no one can forget the two gargoyle-turned-hellhounds that chased down Lewis and Dana in the first film. Ghostbusters: Afterlife sees the return of the not-so-cuddly dogs, this time chowing down (literally) on Purina Dog Chow in the middle of a Wal-Mart.
After stumbling on the creature while shopping, Grooberson tries to back away unseen. A trio of Stay-Pufft mini marshmallow men riding a Roomba draws attention his way, however, and he’s barely able to choke out “Hey puppy…” before turning and running for his life. Of course, much like Lewis, it ends badly (temporarily) for Grooberson.
Although it is just a Wal-Mart like hundreds of others in North America, you can visit this particular Wal-Mart located in Deerfoot City, Calgary, Alberta. The store is located at 1110 57th Avenue NE, just north of the Calgary city center.
The post-credits teaser scene in Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Hook and Ladder Company #8, Tribeca neighborhood of Manhattan
The MCU isn’t the only film franchise that sneaks in a teaser scene after the credits roll – fans of the Ghostbusters movies can catch a glimpse of what lurks on the horizon. It begins with Zeddemore driving the Ecto-1 back to New York, indeed back to the very same firehouse that housed it nearly 40 years ago. Zeddemore, now a successful and wealthy entrepreneur, walks through the ruins of the old station and recalls his time with the Ghostbusters as the “most fun he ever had.”
But the station, so familiar the Stantz, Zeddemore and Venkman, has a few last secrets of its own hiding in the basement. After being out of use for decades, the Ghost Containment Unit is still in possession of something, and the flashing red light indicates the team may have to return to find out just what that is.
Although the iconic fire station is represented as being in New York City, only the exterior shots were actually filmed there. The interior scenes were filmed in a Los Angeles studio and unused fire station. The building used for the exterior shots is the actual firehouse of Hook and Ladder Company #8. It’s located at the corner of N. Moore and Varick Streets in the Tribeca neighborhood of Manhattan. To get there, take the #120 bus to the Varick Street stop or the #1 or #2 train to the Franklin Street Station just a couple of blocks away.
The local firefighters who run the firehouse are known to be very welcoming to fans of the movies looking for photo opportunities.
Not all films that try to pick up part of the original plot line after three decades are successful, but the Ghostbusters franchise has only benefited from the newest iteration. Jason Reitman, the son of previous producer Ivan Reitman, gives fans of the original films plenty of nostalgia to sink their teeth into while introducing the characters and concept to a new generation of viewers with recognizable teen protagonists.
If Ghostbusters was part of your childhood, consider visiting some of the Ghostbusters: Afterlife filming locations and, not least, be wowed by the fact that one of the colder parts of Canada can stand in for rural Oklahoma. If you can’t quite make it to Canada, a stop at the iconic firehouse in Manhattan is a great way to explore not only Ghostbusters: Afterlife but the original films as well.