The Man Who Never Reached Home

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"The Man Who Never Reached Home"
Real Ghostbusters episode
Episode no. Season 2
Original air date October 12, 1987 (1987-10-12)
Episode chronology
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"Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Ghost?"
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"Doctor, Doctor"
Real Ghostbusters: Season 2
Real Ghostbusters: Episode Guide

All Simon Quegg wants is to go home! The 100 year old ghost of a lost man in a horse drawn carriage is being chased by a mysterious dark ghost rider! Ray Stantz gets more than he bargained for when he tries to help Quegg! Can the Ghostbusters save Ray and help Quegg find his way back? Who is the mysterious rider?

Plot

In 1887 at a road side inn, furious and snobby hotel guest Simon Quegg storms out into the night, screaming at the innkeeper, shoving a fellow out of the way and down into the mud, vowing to have the inn shut down, robbing the innkeeper's family of his only means of income.

Swearing that he will sleep under his own roof, Quegg challenges the powers of darkness, that if he doesn't see home that night, that he will never see home again, his horse bucking and rearing wildly, its eyes flaming red but he does not notice. He lashes at the horse and he takes off, leaving the innkeeper and the guest astounded, that despite their warnings about the storm, that Quegg refused to listen.

A bolt of lightning hits the ground and a dark cloaked rider, clad in armor with a demonic steed materializes, and with a roar, sets out into the storm after Quegg.

One hundred years later, in 1987, the Ghostbusters are traveling through the New York countryside after a case with a serious thunderstorm shaking the earth. They make a pit stop at a local diner, and Ray, while feeding Slimer, meets a mysterious rain soaked rider in clothes that do not match this century, begging for help to get home to Providence. When Ray tells him how far it is to Providence, Rhode Island, the man disbelieves him and rides off, distraught, chased by the Dark Rider. Ray runs into the diner and tells his story. The diner's manager and cook tells the Ghostbusters the story of Quegg. When Ray mentions he saw the Dark Rider, the cook throws them out of the diner, saying that disaster always follows those who see the rider.

Ray, feeling sorry for Quegg, attempts to break the cycle and free Quegg but when he does, he finds himself trapped in a deadly race against the Dark Rider as Quegg has to finally face his inner demons while Ray gets himself trapped in the cursed carriage!

Characters


Trivia

  • Egon flies Ecto-2 in this episode.
  • This episode is set in 1987, one hundred years after the events of Simon Quegg's disappearance, setting it between Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II.
  • When Peter and Winston open the back of Ecto-1 to get Ecto-2 out, Winston is incorrectly colored resulting in two Peter Venkman's.
  • Egon mentions he is going to use silver iodide to make it rain. He is referring to the actual scientific principle of cloud seeding. Silver iodide is an inorganic compound with the formula AgI. The compound is a bright yellow solid, but samples almost always contain impurities of metallic silver that give a gray coloration. Cloud seeding, a form of intentional weather modification, is the attempt to change the amount or type of precipitation that falls from clouds, by dispersing substances into the air that serve as cloud condensation or ice nuclei, which alter the microphysical processes within the cloud. The usual intent is to increase precipitation (rain or snow), but hail and fog suppression are also widely practiced in airports.

Real World

This episode is based on a fictional story from 1824 that became an urban legend after readers of the day thought it was a non-fiction story. The man in the "real" story is named Peter Rugg. Peter Rugg is a New England literary character who figures in several American short stories and poems. Rugg is a stubborn and angry man, born about 1730. He rides out into a thunderstorm in the year of the Boston Massacre (1770), and is cursed to drive his carriage till the end of time. Travelers claim to have sighted him along one road or another, driving a carriage with a child at his side, and declaring that he will reach Boston by nightfall.

Rugg is often assumed to be a folk character out of New England legends. Actually he was simply made up in 1824 by attorney and writer William Austin (1788-1841). Austin, writing under the pseudonym Jonathan Dunwell, wrote the tale, "Peter Rugg: The Missing Man," in an epistolary style that suggested reportage. Initially the Rugg story appeared in The New England Magazine, a Boston Masonic periodical.

When reprinted by The New England Galaxy almost immediately afterwards, many readers took it to be a nonfiction account of what we would today call a Fortean phenomenon. When readers wrote into the Galaxy asking for further news and references about the Rugg legend, Austin/Dunwell obliged with two further tales, in which Rugg is reported as having been sighted in New York, Virginia and elsewhere.

The fictional origin of the story is sometimes forgotten or ignored even in modern publications. For instance, Daniel Cohen in his Encyclopedia of Ghosts (1994) presents the story as an actual report of a supernatural phenomenon, confounding Austin with his fictional first-person narrator: "A complete version of this story is said to come in a letter from a man named William Austin, who claimed to have actually seen and spoken with the ghost. In the letter Austin said that he first encountered the wanderer in 1826 when he was taking a couch out of Boston "

But the story is fictional nonetheless.

Quotes

Ray Stantz: What happens to you now, Mr Quegg?
Simon Quegg: I go home, Mr. Stantz. I can finally go home!!

Simon Quegg: The Devil himself can't stop me! I'll see home before the night is out, or by all that's unholy, may I never see home again!

Gallery