One of the darkest ectoplasmic creatures to ever walk our world, the Grundel is demonic parasite that feeds on the souls and minds of children. The Grundel is a singular entity with a male personality, that often appears in an ankle length jet black trench coat with a tall black fedora hat and sandals. He has large grasping fingers tipped with deadly razor sharp talons and his face is long and distended with a gaping maw and blood red eyes that pierce the beholder. It is unknown what class the Grundel is, though it is most likely a Class 7 due to its intellect and powers though this is never explicitly stated.
With the ability to fire plasma balls from his bare hands and the unnerving talent of melting into the darkest shadows, the Grundel is often accompanied by fierce lightning storms, manifesting when lightning strikes. Slinking into the shadows, the Grundel selects his victims, unsuspecting children, often with a penchant for mischief and appears to them at night, outside their windows, knocking, asking to be let in.
If the child falls for the Grundel's deception, the child becomes psychically attached to the Grundel and over time, the Grundel's influence rapidly grows, as he goads the child into committing crimes and acts of terror, from arson to theft. Once the child has fallen under the influence of the Grundel enough, the child will transform into a Grundel slowly, bit by bit until the change is complete with the child's soul corrupted, utterly transforming the victim into a monster, into a Grundel. With each child taken, the Grundel grows in power. The only way to break the Grundel's hold upon it's victim is for the victim to reject the Grundel's lure of fun and games, turning their back on the infection of evil that has taken such a deep root.
In the final stages of the transformation, the Grundel and his victim are so closely bound, that the Grundel himself cannot be injured or harmed without doing the same harm to the victim. This, coupled with the Grundel's naturally high intellect, cold calculating cunning, sharp mind and agility, make the Grundel a deadly spirit that must be trapped quickly before children are lost forever to its polluting influence.
Interestingly, when the Grundel is trapped, the effects on his victims seem to abate, breaking, returning the child to normal.
The Real Ghostbusters
In 1985, the Ghostbusters encountered the Grundel himself, who had chosen Manhattan as his new stalking grounds during a violent spate of thunderstorms that rocked the city. While chasing a Jaberwocky, the Ghostbusters encountered a young boy who had boosted the Ecto-1, stripping it unnaturally fast of anything of value in a matter of moments. The police captured the boy and the team was able to recover their equipment but what they didn't know was that the boy was just the beginning and they did not know that he was being influenced by the demonic Grundel.
Having already began the corruption of victims, the Grundel sought a third child, a young boy named Alec Meredith, who had a reputation for being a troublemaker. Appearing in the night during the storm, the Grundel perched upon the Meredith's fire escape, just outside the boy's bedroom. Knocking gently on the window, the Grundel growled in his low voice and with his siren call, woke Alec, asking the half-asleep boy to let him in, and how they would have so much fun.
Half asleep and half hypnotized by the dark power of the Grundel, Alec opened the window and willingly let the spirit enter. Quickly, the Grundel tainted Alec and kept watch over his newest pawn. Over a period of twenty-four hours, the Grundel manipulated and twisted Alec, making him steal and lie to his family. The Ghostbusters had a presentation the elementary school that the Meredith's attended and Lee, Alec's younger brother, was with him during the show. The Grundel's influence over Alec was stronger than ever as Alec could barely stand being near the open Ecto-Trap and it wasn't long before the Grundel took his influence to all new homicidal levels, this time, calling Alec, summoning him to mess with the Ghostbusters proton packs, turning them to maximum power from the harmless settings they were on for the show.
Unaware of the tampering, the Ghostbusters opened fire, thinking they were going to make a light show for the students, but instead were shocked as the proton streams erupted at full stream, blowing holes through the gymnasium roof, melting the goal posts and cutting through the bleachers, narrowly missing the children, burning the stage to the ground. Making a hasty exit, the Ghostbusters left and Lee caught up with them, trying to tell them that he himself had seen the Grundel's reflection in the glass as it tempted Alec.
By nightfall, a new storm had gathered, drawn by the growing power of the Grundel who then turned the now half changed Alec onto his own brother. Alec escaped and bolted off into the storm, leaving Lee with no choice but to chase down his brother into an old warehouse, where the Grundel and Alec cornered Lee. Alec tried to persuade his brother to give into the darkness and tried to seduce him with the infectious power the Grundel had given to him. Lee resisted and despite the Grundel's best efforts, Lee would not be turned. Lee tried to run, but fell through a catwalk, hanging over a hundred feet above the concrete floor of the warehouse, clinging for dear life as his brother stood above him, now nearly fully transformed, his face and features melted and twisted into a horrible visage of a newborn Grundel. Alec extended his hand to Lee, and told him the only way he would save his life, is if Lee would accept the Grundel. Lee's pleas to his brother fell upon deaf ears and right as Lee was about to fall to his death, the Ghostbusters, who, thanks to Egon, discovered the true nature of Lee's claims about his brother's actions and had tracked the brothers to the warehouse to save them from an ugly fate.
Unable to blast the Grundel himself due to the psychic bond on Alec, the Ghostbusters were forced to watch helplessly as the Grundel and Alec got closer to Lee. Peter, remembering his own past as a problem child, put his own life at risk, climbing up to the catwalks, confronting Alec with the decisions he had made, using Alec's love for his brother to break the Grundel's hold, releasing Alec. Furious, the Grundel turned on Peter, leaping onto his back, clawing at him while Alex rescued his brother. Now that the Grundel was fully corporeal, Peter was able to reach up and throw him off. Twisting in mid-air, the Grundel landed upon the railing and was about to finish off the boys and Peter when Ray, Winston and Egon took their shot, blasting now exposed Grundel with full power proton beams, snaring the writhing hissing specter.
As the Grundel was pulled down into the Ecto-Trap, he cursed violently, screaming that he would not go and despite his best efforts, he was trapped, freeing all the children who he had turned. He was later jailed in the containment unit as the storm abated and the Ghostbusters, Lee and Alec, believed they had seen the last of the Grundel.
What they didn't know was how deeply cunning the Grundel really was.
Ten years later in 1995, in the suburbs of Manhattan, in the woods of a dark forest, just outside a family home, an old gnarled tree had waited for all those years and in its middle was a special cocoon, a sheath of ectoplasmically contained slime behind a translucent skin-like barrier, like an egg without the shell. During a fierce lightning storm, a bolt of lightning struck the tree, splitting it, exposing the pulsing egg inside the rotten trunk.
Awakening from its long sleep, the dark form inside began to twist and push, finally breaking through the skin-membrane, erupting out of the egg, landing on its twisted green legs, dressed all in black, with a black fedora and horrible taloned fingers with blood red eyes. The dark form stalked the neighborhood, choosing a house, knocking on the window of a child, begging to be let in, telling him to come out and play as its red eyes burned in the darkness. The terrified child ran and his parents called the police who in turn notified the Ghostbusters.
Kylie, Eduardo, Garrett and Roland investigated and found the shattered cocoon. The dark shape bolted into the shadows and giving chase, the Ghostbusters tracked it to deeper into the forested hillsides where Kylie and Roland cornered it on the edge of a rocky crag, leading into a deep ravine. The monster lashed out, throwing Roland over the cliff and exposing itself to Kylie at last, and to her horror, she saw that it was in fact, a Grundel, triggering her own horrible memories of when the Grundel first came to Manhattan ten years prior, when she was seven.
Deeply shaken, Kylie begins to research at the fire-hall, but dead ends as she cannot find anything. Analyzing the ooze from the cocoon, Egon realizes the slime has odd properties, similar to the original Grundel from 1985. Kylie thought that the Grundel had returned but Egon vetoed the idea, reminding her that there was only one Grundel and that he was still trapped, downstairs, in the containment unit. Meanwhile, Roland's little brother, Kasey, was being babysat by Roland at the firehouse and was running amok, causing trouble. Much to the team's irritation, Roland does not seem to notice how much of a pain Kasey actually is.
Driven by her own repressed memories, Kylie pulled Roland into a plan to pull the original Grundel out of the containment unit to question him. While dangerous, Roland builds a dual trap device that allows them to project incarcerated spirits out into real space while keeping them in a containment field. Upon questioning, the Grundel reveals that he in fact does remember Kylie and recalls how strong willed she was, and how she wouldn't give into his temptations and that as such, he was forced to turn on her only childhood friend, Jack. Kylie and Roland's questioning is cut short by Egon's appearance. Later, the Ghostbusters are called to a new sighting of the new Grundel, leaving Kylie to figure out what happened to Jack as Egon said that all the original children ten years ago had turned back to normal after the original Grundel was trapped.
The Ghostbusters corner the new Grundel on a bridge where Kylie realizes that the new Grundel must be Jack. She tries to break through to him but he snarls at her and leaps off the bridge, leaving Kylie confused and needing answers now more than ever. Upon returning to the firehouse, Kylie and Roland learn from the Grundel that like Kylie, Jack was strong willed and to prevent him from turning back, the Grundel cocooned him to allow him to "mature and gestate". Shortly afterward, he was captured by the original Ghostbusters after the Grundel attacked Alec and Lee Meredith.
Kylie demands the Grundel to release Jack and he refuses, trying to barter for his own freedom. Unknown to either Kylie or Roland, Kasey had snuck down into basement and was watching the interrogation. The Grundel, ever slippery, slyly uses his hypnotic powers, locking on Kasey's mind, influencing him, subtly ordering the child to release him from his prison. Kasey, unable to resist, shut down the field, releasing the original Grundel, freeing him once again for the first time in ten years.
Teaming up with Jack, the new Grundel, the original Grundel set about to bring his original mission to fruition: to pollute the souls of children and specifically, a child that he already had influence over: Kasey Jackson. Both Grundels tracked Kasey down at the Jackson home and attempted to tempt him, to ensnare him. Roland finally realized that his brother is not the well behaved child he thought him to be, and sets of to rescue him with the help of the other Ghostbusters. Kylie tries to save Jack but the original Grundel grabs her, cornering her, trapping his former victim.
While the other Ghostbusters battled Jack and Kasey turned further into a Grundel, the original Grundel held Kylie hostage while she resisted, stripped of her proton pack. The Grundel then revealed he had no illusions about being able to turn Kylie and instead, merely wanted to watch her scream forever. When all seemed to be lost, Roland was able to hit the Grundel, snaring him and Kylie got the revenge she waited ten years for, trapping the demonic spirit for good, freeing Jack at last from his possession. Jack and Kylie had a tearful reunion as Kylie was finally vindicated after Jack's disappearance and now, they had much to catch up on, while Kasey realized that being bad had its price.
The Grundel was once again jailed in the containment unit and has never broken free again, allowing the children to sleep in peace.
In The Real World
The Grundel does not have any direct mythological counterpart. As such, its behavior, voice and mannerisms are highly suggestive of a child molester or pedophile and is often seen as one of the most terrifying of all of the Ghostbusters adversaries. He is often a controversial figure due to the extremely dark nature of his character but he, along with the Boogieman, is one of the most iconic of the Ghostbusters rogues gallery and is one that is not easily forgotten.
- I have no illusions. I just want to watch you scream...forever.
- You will release me!!
- Come out and play child...come out and play..