Though fictitious in the name of fun, the very title and anti-ghost logo of ‘Ghostbusters’ (2016) is already morally wrong in the eyes of Buddhism. Why bust ghosts when they ought to be counselled to turn over a new leaf for taking better rebirths? Just as wayward humans should be reformed instead of killed, that solves no actual problem, angry spirits of ex-humans should be reformed too. After all, these spirits are often that of humans who died wronged! To simply trap, vanquish or even terminate them is to doubly murder!
Case in point is the story’s villain, who sought revenge against humanity due to grudges of feeling let down by some humans. As part of his plot, he kills himself to become a vengeful ghost. He then ‘frees’ more demonic ghosts to unleash hell on earth. Karmically, evil spirits cannot hang around indefinitely to see their devilish schemes though, or this world would already be in utter chaos! Their strong negative karma would pull them to the even lower realm of hell. That said, many humans are haunted by inner demons aplenty already!
Then there is the misconception of ghosts being able to enter the human realm (through a vortex) to wreck havoc, who are later banished back to the ghostly realm. This seems to parallel the superstitious idea of how ghosts can exit the gates of hell to enter our world for some time, before returning. This is deemed impossible in Buddhism because humans already share the same plane of existence with ghosts, albeit existing at different spiritual frequencies. Hell-beings do not get holidays here too, and are technically not called ghosts.
Central to the story was the Ghostbusters’ struggle to prove that ghosts are real, with their experiments to make scientific sense of them. But can scientists ever conclusively (dis)prove existence of the spirit world? Well, so long as science theorises and rationalises the supernatural as nature misunderstood or yet to be understood, in terms of anything but the ghostly, it will not work. Even in the end of the story, to contain panic, politicians claimed experience of the ghost-attacked city to be mass-hallucination due to hallucinogens!