Culture

Who you gonna call when the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man inflates in your house?

This 13-foot Halloween inflatable is meant to be an outside decoration for good reasons.

Yaaaawn, boy, I am beat! You don't mind if I just sack out here for a while, do you?

Marie Hicks

Sure, if there's something strange in your neighborhood, you know who you're gonna call. But what if there's something strange in your living room?

Marie Hicks, a Chicago author, historian and professor at Illinois Institute of Technology, was faced with this very dilemma this weekend. While working on her upcoming book, "Programmed Inequality: How Britain Discarded Women Technologists and Lost Its Edge in Computing," she decided to take a break and check out a new Halloween decoration. She'd bought a 13-foot-tall (3.9 meters) version of the infamous Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man from "Ghostbusters," meant to be placed outside on the lawn -- not inside.

Turns out, there's a reason for that.

Once Hicks plugged the sugary spirit into an outlet, it started to self-inflate, and took off faster than a runaway ECTO-1 with evil cackling ghosts behind the wheel. And once it enlarged, it blocked her path to the electrical outlet, so she couldn't pull the plug.

Despite the fact that the Marshmallow Monster got a little violent with her possessions and nearly missed slicing himself open on her ceiling fan, Hicks told CNET her house survived the supernatural situation.

If you're seeing things running through your head, who you gonna call?

Marie Hicks

"Nothing in my home was damaged in the process, though a few things got knocked off shelves," Hicks said.

The lesson she learned may help other Halloween aficionados keep the ghosts outside, and word of her adventure spread even to the "Ghostbusters" themselves. Hicks tweeted the ghostly photos at the stars of the recent "Ghostbusters" movie, and director Paul Feig favorited her tweet.

"The reaction has been overwhelmingly positive," Hicks said. "Pretty much everyone is in on the joke and that's been great."

Despite her joke on Twitter that she'd made a "grave miscalculation," she still ain't afraid of no ghosts. "Overall it was a fun, terrible idea, which I think is the best kind of idea," she said. "I have no regrets."