The puppet was created to be used as the monstrous visage of Eleanor Twitty, the first entity featured in the original Ghostbusters, but the initial design was deemed too frightening, so the creature was never finished. Months later when the crew went to work on Fright Night, they repurposed the structure and utilized it for the demise of Jerry Dandrige.
Two different models were used for Jerry's fiery destruction. The first was just a partial human torso with a rubber face which was used for close-ups, the second was a large skeletal bat.
"Our intention of designing the skeleton was to imply that Dandrige was attempting to turn back into a bat but never makes it," said FX man John Bruno. "To make the skeleton, Richard Edlund asked Columbia to return the molds for the librarian ghost from Ghostbusters. It was her skull that punches through Dandrige's face and, oddly enough, it really resembled our bat."
The monster was operated through a fireproof wall in the parking lot of Edlund's Boss Film Studios and rigged to enable it to flail around as it burned. "We had rotted skin built up all over it and ten organs inside the chest that pumped until it melted," said Steve Johnson. "We also hooked up flame jets inside the eyes and mouth so they could shoot long streams of fire. We mixed magnesium powder into melted wax, then brushed the compound over the bones to add some sparkle." Optical effects were then employed to create an explosion which reduces the skeleton to flecks of green dust floating through the air.
After production wrapped, writer/director Tom Holland acquired the charred remains of the torso, which currently resides in his home.