|“||I am the Gatekeeper.||„|
|~ Zuul to Vinz Clotho.|
|“||There is no Dana, only Zuul.||„|
|~ Zuul to Peter Venkman while in possession of Dana Barrett's body.|
Zuul the Gatekeeper, or better known as Zuul, is one of the two main minions of the powerful demonic deity known as Gozer and one of the secondary antagonists of the original Ghostbusters film, and she and her male counterpart Vinz Clortho are part of the demonic race of hellhounds known as Terror Dogs. Zuul is known as the "Gatekeeper of Gozer" and is considered by many to be a female entity due to the fact it possessed a female victim and its role as the "Gatekeeper".
Whilst possessing Dana Barrett in Ghostbusters, she was portrayed by Sigourney Weaver, who also played The Director in The Cabin in the Woods. While possessing Callie Spengler in Ghostbusters: Afterlife, she was physically portrayed by Carrie Coon, who also played Proxima Midnight in Avengers: Infinity War, and voiced by Shohreh Aghdashloo, who also portrayed Sunny Quadri in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
Zuul was worshipped by the Sumerians and Hittites in 6000 BC, along with Gozer before he and his followers were overthrown by the Babylonian goddess Tiamat and her followers and thus banished to another dimension.
Centuries later, Zuul rewakens from its statue-like hibernation after a spirit was seen in a strange temple within another dimension by Dana Barrett from her refrigerator at her 55 Central Park West apartment calling out for her. Zuul later attacked and possessed her inside of her apartment and began seeking out Vinz Clortho, the Keymaster who had likewise possessed Louis Tully's body - the union of these two demons would spark the necessary power to release Gozer into the mortal world and begin the apocalypse.
Zuul had originally sought out Dana as an apparition inside of her refrigerator. It laid in front of Gozer's Temple and growled the name "Zuul" at a terrified Dana, causing her to seek the Ghostbusters help. Some time after this incident, during a fierce thunderstorm, Zuul manifested itself physically by "hatching" out of one of two dog-like gargoyles sitting atop the Shandor Building in front of the Temple of Gozer. Later that night, Dana arrived at her apartment exhausted and laid back on her sofa after talking to her mother over the phone. She noticed a bright light seeping through the kitchen door frame and saw the door warping, as if being clawed at by a large beast. Before Dana could react, demon claws ripped through the sofa arms pinning her as the kitchen door swung open, revealing Zuul.
A horrified Dana screamed as her sofa slid into the kitchen where The Gatekeeper attacked and inhabited her. While possessing Dana's body, Zuul was able to speak in Dana's voice but could not access her memories or knowledge. Dana now took on the identity of The Gatekeeper and proceeded to wait for Vinz Clortho, The Keymaster, another minion of Gozer who had possessed the body of Louis Tully, Dana's neighbor.
While lying in wait of The Keymaster, Zuul was visited by Peter Venkman, who had previously arranged a date with Dana. Peter immediately noticed the radical change possession had caused in Dana, who was now wearing a very revealing red dress and was aggressively seducing him from the moment she opened the door. Peter is taken aback and initially responds negatively when Zuul seductively asks if he is the Keymaster, this prompts Zuul to slam the dookr furiously in his face. Peter knocked on her door on e again. When Zuul asks once again if he is the Keymaster, he lies to gain entry to the apartment, telling Zuul he was a friend of his.
Zuul introduced herself as "The Gatekeeper" and told Peter of their plans to prepare for the coming of Gozer, "The Destructor". Zuul laid down on her bed, seducing Peter aggressively. However, he did not reciprocate her lustful intentions and instead focused on trying to talk to "Dana". At first Zuul dismissed his efforts before resuming her wanton seduction but Peter repeatedly refused and restrained her to the bed instead. His persistence began wearing on Zuul and made her increasingly angry and frustrated. Peter asks to speak to Dana and Zuul playfully tells him “there is no Dana, there is only Zuul” then tries to kiss him. Peter restrains her and insists on speaking with Dana which makes her visibly irritated. As Peter asks once more, Zuul (in Dana's body) begins panting desperately before announcing in a deep, demonic growling, voice that "There is no Dana, only Zuul!".
Peter recoiled briefly before giving her to the count of three to release Dana. With each successive count, Zuul further manifested her demonic nature within Dana's body, first by turning her eyes white while snarling, then by thrashing her head while panting like a beast and finally by growling and snarling uncontrollably while levitating off her bed. Zuul unleashed her frustration with a barrage of inhuman growls before turning over in midair to stare down at a speechless Peter. He observed as Zuul floated above him, purring demonically after her outburst. Peter laid on the bed underneath her and timidly asked her to come down. Zuul briefly stopped purring before she replied with a vicious roar. Zuul was later sedated by Peter and remained asleep until Walter Peck shut down the Ecto-containment unit, allowing The Keymaster to escape.
Upon the release of all of the ghosts, Zuul awoke and gazed ecstatically at the chaotic events from her living room window; as beams of supernatural energy flew past her window Zuul unleashed another monstrous roar which caused her entire living room wall to explode outwards. As Zuul stared through the wreckage of the apartment, Vinz wandered around the city aimlessly searching for her until finally stumbling upon the Shandor Building. Zuul lies seductively on her sofa, waiting for her Keymaster amidst the demolished apartment when she suddenly lifts her head to stare at the front door which burst open to reveal a disheveled Vinz. He introduced himself to a grinning Zuul, who likewise identified herself. Vinz walked into the apartment as the door magically slammed shut behind him. Zuul rose seductively from her sofa as Vinz stared lustfully, she walked toward him and the two demons shared a passionate kiss before walking up a hidden staircase leading to the rooftop where they finally consummated their satanic union.
Post-coitus the demonic couple took their respective places atop the pedestals occupied by the Terror Dogs. Zuul and Vinz waited until the Temple had amassed enough supernatural energy from the hellish storm raging above them then began raising their arms up to the sky, signaling the beginning of the opening of the doors to the Temple of Gozer.
As their arms reached their peak the two demons became struck by the supernatural lightning being stored atop the Temple; they redirected the energy toward the doors causing them to grind open. Once the entrance to the Temple had swung open, Zuul and Vinz began to completely absorb the lightning's supernatural powers causing their bodies thrashing violently and glow blue as a result.
The Ghostbusters arrived at the rooftop just in time to stare in shock as Zuul and Vinz's human forms succumb to the energy, the two got down on all fours and became engulfed in lightning explosions which transformed them into their true demonic Terror Dog forms. With their transformations complete, the two demonic beasts roar ferociously at the Ghostbusters before taking their places beside Gozer, who entered through the gate with the intent of destroying the world.
After Gozer was defeated by the Ghostbusters, Zuul disappears from this dimension and Dana Barrett is transformed back into a human being, having no recollection of the events that took place since her and Louis' demonic possession.
- Zuul is referenced in What in Samhain Just Happened?! on page eight. Janine's Car's license plate reads "GBI ZUL".
- On page 17 and 19 of Ghostbusters Issue #3, Zuul is referenced by Idulnas and in the Spates Catalog entry for Idulnas. It is said Idulnas' power eclipsed that of Zuul.
- Despite being a minion of Gozer, Zuul enjoys quite a large fanbase and the name is well-known even to those who are not active Ghostbusters fans due to it often being parodied or referenced in other works.
- Zuul is mentioned in the post-credits scene of the 2016 Ghostbusters reboot.
- Zuul is the etymology of the Ankylosaurid dinosaur Zuul crurivastator.