DIY Ghostbusters answer the call to do good in their neighborhood

Faces of Chicago
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These DIY Ghostbusters answer the call when there’s something strange — or some good to be done — in the neighborhood. Here’s their story — in their own words:

Chris Biddle, Windy City Ghostbusters

Starting about 10 years ago with the pop culture explosion of conventions, everyone started cosplaying so something that you wanna be, you can be it.

I remember as a kid playing with the other kids in the neighborhood that all had Ghostbusters outfits, and we would invent ghosts that we would go and bust all day.

I’m just doing it again 30 years later with better toys.

Today, pretty much every major city in the US and in Canada and Mexico, every major city has a squad of ghostbusters.

Steven Szyndrowski, Windy City Ghostbusters

Egon was my hero in those films cuz you know I was kind of nerd, and he made being a nerd cool.

As a person, I’m more of a reserved kind of quiet person but when I put this jumpsuit on I become more flamboyant, I become funnier or I become more outgoing, and I think that’s kinda the appeal to it is it It allows you to be yourself turned way up.

James Brija, Ghostbusters Peoria

I’ve done everything myself all the wiring, all the welding, all the fabrication and everything’s built to fit the specific car.

One of the things for me is the smiles on kids faces, their faces really light up and we kinda sponsor a girl named Carly Rathbun. She has leukemia and we go to all her fundraisers and events and stuff and she’s my hero because she does everything with a smile.

We get to have fun and get to do a good cause. It’s just a feel good feeling all around.

Silia Medrano, Windy City Ghostbusters

The little girls run up to the women in the group and it’s it’s nice for them to have someone to look up to. A lot of like hero movies are centralized around men so it’s good to have women role models.

Chris Biddle, Windy City Ghostbusters

I think for most people, it’s a hobby just like you know being into sports or being in the video game culture, it’s a culture, of community and so this is like a big family reunion when we get together so it becomes kinda like your second family is your cosplay community.

You wouldn’t think 35 years later, it’d still be relevant but it’s part of the cultural psyche.

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