Who ya gonna call?: Damien is Cork's own real-life Ghostbuster

Ghostbuster Damien Pollock tells Sarah Horgan about his love for the classic movie, as well as his real-life ghostbusting
Who ya gonna call?: Damien is Cork's own real-life Ghostbuster

Ghostbuster Damien Pollock who collects ghostbuster memorabilia, with his 14-month-old daughter Fiadh at home in Newcestown. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

NOT many kids can boast that their dad is a real-life ghostbuster. However, Damien Pollock from Newcestown in West Cork is not your average family man.

While the doting father of one-year-old Fiadh holds down a normal day job, his paranormal antics have been the envy of kids and grown-ups everywhere.

The 35-year-old is one of just five ghostbusters scattered across the country with other team members including Stu McCarthy (Douglas), Jon O’Brien (Rochestown), Alan Coates (Offaly), and Paul Higginson (Belfast).

The friends enjoy exploring haunted buildings together as well as collecting memorabilia associated with the classic 1980s flick following three ghostbusters.

Damien has a lifesized Slimer — a character from the movie — as well as countless figurines collected over the years and replica ghostbuster costumes. All team members have recognised parapsychology qualifications which they studied for online.

The father of one said that while some of the team are strong believers, others simply enjoy the glamour.

“I’m a bit skeptical myself,” he admitted, “but it’s good to have that balance. For me, it’s all about the movie. I’ve always been a huge Ghostbusters fan. However, there are people on the other side who think quite differently to me and they are 100% believers.”

Damien has enjoyed helping the public with their paranormal issues.

Ghostbuster Damien Pollock who collects ghostbuster memorabilia, at home in Newcestown. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Ghostbuster Damien Pollock who collects ghostbuster memorabilia, at home in Newcestown. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

“One guy asked us to come and check out the building he owned for paranormal activity. He knew a lot about the history of the building which was great. Usually, when the person doesn’t know a lot about the building it makes things a lot more difficult. It was a win for both of us — because we got a free night in a hotel — and it was also a handy PR exercise for the owner.”

Others have simply reached out to the team for advice.

“We can’t drop everything to check out a place as we have day jobs and so much going on in our lives. However, we are always happy to give opinions and advice. A lot of people will reach out to us who suspect they have paranormal activity in their house. For a lot of people, it’s an odd feeling. 

"Somebody contacted us who was waking in the middle of the night and saying that there was a person in their room. The sibling said they had heard noises too.”

Ghostbuster Damien Pollock who collects ghostbuster memorabilia, at home in Newcestown. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Ghostbuster Damien Pollock who collects ghostbuster memorabilia, at home in Newcestown. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

He said that ghostbusters have to rule out every possibility before confirming the presence of a ghost.

“The first thing you have to ask yourself is ‘does this sound plausible?’ Some of the questions I ask is if the child has been watching a lot of television or has an imaginary friend. What parapsychology allows you to do is rule out every logical explanation for anything you can’t see. People don’t generally know who the ghost is. 

"If it’s someone’s granny then they’re not going to risk someone coming in and getting rid of them. I spoke to one person who told me they used to see their grandfather at the end of the bed but — again — there’s no way of proving if this was really a ghost or simply a recurring dream.”

Growing up to become a real-life ghostbuster has been a dream come true for Damien.

“As children we never believed that we would own all this gear from the movie.”

He hopes that daughter Fiadh will have the chance to follow in his footsteps.

“I try to drop it into conversations as much as possible. The hope is that she’ll grow up to be a big Ghostbusters fan. I show her old episodes and when she sees the Ghostbusters logo she points.”

The ghostbusters often make appearances at comic conventions.

Ghostbuster Damien Pollock who collects ghostbuster memorabilia, at home in Newcestown. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Ghostbuster Damien Pollock who collects ghostbuster memorabilia, at home in Newcestown. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

“You can make the proton packs yourself so we see kids who have made them from everything from scraps to cereal boxes. It’s really nice to see all the creative interpretations. There is so much imagination that goes into them.

“We meet loads of kids, young and old, who really believe that we are the ghostbusters from the movie. Sometimes they’ll invite us to their birthday parties and if one of us is free and in the area we’ll make every effort to go.”

The ghostbusters also share a special connection with the charity Heart Children Ireland and pay regular visits to their young service users.

“That’s about 95% of what we do. Seeing the look on the kids’ faces is difficult to describe. It’s been a really rewarding experience.”

To find out more about the charity they support visit heartchildren.ie/

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