It wouldn't be that difficult to let THE REAL GHOSTBUSTERS take over this feature every week. It was as if someone watched SCOOBY DOO and said to themselves, "Yeah, we're going to do the opposite of that." Instead of some pat, masked explanation for each week's fake hauntings, THE REAL GHOSTBUSTERS packed its 173-episode run (!) with the kind of rogues gallery that would make Dante Alighieri sweat.
Among the show's monster roster were the Salamander Shifters, space vampire ghosts, and the Celtic deity Samhain. There wasn't a creepy old man wearing a dimestore mask in the bunch.
Perhaps the best-remembered villain from THE REAL GHOSTBUSTERS is the Boogieman, who did untold damage to adolescent psyches on the morning of Oct. 18, 1986. The character first appeared on an episode titled "The Boogieman Cometh," and it's a rather stunning achievement. The concept is essentially MONSTERS, INC. filtered through a Tobe Hooper movie: A demon is using the closet doors of children's bedrooms to access our dimension. There's no big reveal at the end that it was all some stupid misunderstanding: THE BOOGIEMAN IS REAL.
Sleep tight, kids!
If that wasn't enough, the character design for the Boogieman is absolutely terrifying. I'm not sure what was going on with ABC's standards and practices in 1986, but god bless those incompetent bastards.
You can watch the episode in full above. Afterward, visit www.mentalhealthamerica.net to find affordable mental health services in your community.