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Containment Unit

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Storage Facility

For Permanent Storage of Ghosts

Storage facility 01
Appeared in Ghostbusters
Ghostbusters: The Video Game
88MPH Studios
IDW Comics

"May I please see the storage facility?"

- Walter Peck; Ghostbusters

The Containment Unit (also known as as the Ecto-Containment SystemStorage Facility or Protection Grid) is located in the basement of the Firehouse. It is a large, laser-confinement grid that holds and restrains all the vapors and entities that the Ghostbusters trap.

HistoryEdit

GhostbustersEdit

In 1984, the Containment Unit was constructed in the Firehouse. It took up most of the basement, which was walled-off to create a space in which the captured ghosts could be incarcerated, leaving only a relatively small portion of the basement accessible. As well as the main power supplies and monitoring equipment, the most prominent feature of the Containment Unit was the "air-lock" through which the ghosts were transferred into the Unit from Traps. A few weeks after the Ghostbusters was founded, the newly-hired Winston Zeddemore was taken down to the basement to empty Traps into the Containment Unit. Ray Stantz briefly informed Winston about the unit and taught him the proper procedure on how to empty a Trap into it.

Eventually, EPA inspector Walter Peck visited the Firehouse due to concerns about the presence of dangerous and potentially harmful waste-chemicals that the storage facility might be producing. When he failed to convince Dr. Venkman to show him the storage facility, he returned with a search warrant and police escort. After ignoring Egon's repeated warnings about the dangers of shutting down the Containment Unit, Peck ordered a Con Edison electrician to shut down the power supply to the grid. Almost immediately it became apparent that Egon's warnings were not exaggerated as the whole unit began to rumble and cracks began to appear in the retaining wall before entire blocks were blown out, prompting all present to flee. Ultimately, the vast amount of psycho-kinetic energy released from the system was enough to punch through all three floors and the roof of the Firehouse.

Ghostbusters: The Video GameEdit

Read more at Containment Unit (Realistic Variant)

Egon recently added a viewer to the unit, something that fascinated Slimer. At the beginning of the Thanksgiving holiday in 1991, the Rookie accidentally hit the unit with a Proton Stream, which allowed the Sloth Ghost to escape. Egon maintained it was "his fault" because he was fine-tuning the interspatial gasket earlier in the day and set to work repairing the damage whilst Ray and the Rookie pursued the escapees. 

Secondary Canon HistoryEdit

Animated CanonEdit

Read more at Containment Unit (Animated Variant)

After the Gozer incident, Egon Spengler decided to not only rebuild the Containment Unit but build a much bigger version. Though improved from the original version, the new unit still had its faults. One noticeable feature of the new unit was that it transported the ghosts captured to a containment dimension where they are free to roam around. The dimension seems to vary at times from a brightly colored realm with card tables to a dark realm of destruction.

Video GamesEdit

  • In the earlier Activision Ghostbuster video games for many platforms, a portable containment grid could be purchased for use on the Ecto-1 vehicle, eliminating the need to return to HQ to empty traps.

Legion Mini SeriesEdit

The Containment Unit, six months after the Gozer incident, resembled the version seen in The Real Ghostbusters.

Stylized VersionsEdit

The unit is unchanged from its film appearance in the Stylized Version. The Player can dump a fresh trap into the Containment Unit after each level by interacting with the lever on the right side of the screen.

IDW ComicsEdit

Stuck in the Old West era, Peter Venkman made his own Containment Unit, as close as he could jury rig, to hold the ghosts suddenly appearing. The last known entities deposited in it were The Rudely Mallard Gang.

A new group of Poltergeists possess a unique energy signature different from a standard entity. This development allows these entities to escape the Containment Unit. [1] [2] [3] During the breach, the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man also escapes. After Egon jury-rigs a zombie radar to track the Zombies, he decides to move it downstairs into the basement and connect it to the grid's generator for more power. [4]

By March of the following year, a biometric security measure was added to the Containment Unit and could only be accessed by senior staff. Over a year later, Janine's security clearance to the unit was a determining factor in her remaining a member of the New Ghostbusters team.

Technical SpecificationsEdit

There seems to be a limit to the amount of ghosts that can be contained in the Mark l Containment Unit, as evidenced by Egon's statement that the facility was "getting crowded". However the actual capacity of the Unit is never stated on-screen. The storage facility appears to work in much the same way as a ghost trap does, in that it uses an energy field or grid to act as a barrier which prevents escape.  

The storage facility is a concept that Dr. Stantz and Dr. Spengler first theorized when they gathered data during their first close contact with an actual ghost. Assuming that the ionization rate for all ectoplasmic entities remained constant, they calculated that it would be possible to trap and contain a ghost "indefinitely".   In the Realistic Version of the 2009 video game, the Containment Unit is shown to have incorporated some visual elements from the cartoon version.

Description and ProcedureEdit

Loaded traps are emptied into the Containment unit by way of an apparatus whose operation resembles that of an airlock. This takes the form of a large, red piece of machinery which is mounted on the retaining wall and has apparently been designed for ease of use; the procedure is demonstrated to be "quite simple" by Ray.

1) Unlock and open the system - The locking handle is rotated 90 degrees and a large access panel is rotated down to the horizontal, exposing a "dock" for loaded traps to be inserted for emptying.

2) Insert trap - A loaded trap is inserted into the dock. The outer case and carry-handle assembly can then be released and set aside, leaving the trap in the dock. A red warning light also comes on above the airlock at this point, indicating that a "live" trap is now in the system.

3) Close and lock the system - The opposite of stage 1, the access panel is closed and locked.

4) Set entry grid - A single button-push primes the grid to receive the trapped ghost(s).

5) Neutronize [the] field - Another single button-push operation, the effect of which is not made clear.

6) Empty the trap - Initiated by pulling down a mechanical lever, the traps contents are "flushed" into the Containment Unit. The red status light also goes out at this point and the green one illuminates to show that the system is now secure and that the trap can be removed, presumably to be used again.

As Ray puts it: "[The]Light is green - [the] trap is clean! Ghost is incarcerated here in our custom-made storage facility."

There also appears to be a red access panel or door built into the wall of the unit, to the left of the trap-emptying machinery. However this is never seen to be used or even referred to.

TriviaEdit

  • The Containment Unit was originally set up in a deserted Sunoco gas station in northern New Jersey taken over and converted by the Ghostbusters. [5]
  • In the August 5, 1983 and October 7, 1983 (Also referred to as "Final Shooting Script") drafts of the Ghostbusters script, there is a camera inside the Containment Unit which allowed the Ghostbusters to monitor incarcerated spirits via closed-circuit television. It was described as "a bleak repository for souls of many species. Strange lights, mists and spectral shapes waft about aimlessly. Human-like figures lean against the walls in despairing convict poses. Others flit and hand on the ceiling. It is a sad and frightening limbo and a most unholy makeshift asylum." Even Venkman declared that it was "too depressing" to watch the goings-on inside. [6] [7]
  • The video monitor was deleted from the first movie because there wasn't any time left for another major effects sequence and there was concern the audience would feel sorry for the ghosts. [8] [9] Compositing large numbers of predominantly white, transparent entities on top of one of another would ultimately have resulted in a totally washed out image without any real sense of definition. [10]
  • In Ghostbusters: The Supernatural Spectacular, when Winston is first introduced to the Containment Unit, he peers through the view slit. One ghost "drifts to the viewport and stares back, like a grouper in an aquarium." The Unit is also described to have three slots or airlocks of different sizes for each of the custom traps that Ray Stantz put together. It is noted the type of trap Stantz uses to demonstrate with to Winston is a Mark II. [11] [12]
  • In the Ghostbusters II August 5, 1988 draft, page 44, Janine mentioned Egon and Peter were building a new storage facility. [13]
  • In Ghostbusters: The Video Game (Realistic Versions), at the start of Welcome to the Hotel Sedgewick, the seventh message on the Firehouse answering machine is prank call substituting the refrigerator for the Containment Unit. [14]

ReferencesEdit

  1. Peter Venkman (2011). IDW Comics- "Ghostbusters: Infestation Issue #1" (2011) (Comic p.5). Peter says: "We got dozens of these dog-faced spooks just lying around in Traps because the containment grid can't hold 'em without springing a leak!"
  2. Egon Spengler (2011). IDW Comics- "Ghostbusters: Infestation Issue #1" (2011) (Comic p.6). Egon says: "These new Poltergeists still maintain a different ectoplasmic signature than typical entities."
  3. Egon Spengler (2011). IDW Comics- "Ghostbusters: Infestation Issue #1" (2011) (Comic p.6). Egon says: "If we try to put them into the containment grid again, they'll simply break out."
  4. Winston Zeddemore (2011). IDW Comics- "Ghostbusters: Infestation Issue #2" (2011) (Comic p.2). Winston says: "Egon wanted more power. What's he...? Hey, he's tapping into the grid's generator."
  5. Shay, Don (November 1985). Making Ghostbusters, p. 102. New York Zoetrope, New York NY USA, ISBN 0918432685. Paragraph reads: "In Dan Aykroyd's first script, the spectral storage facility was not at the firehouse itself, but rather in a deserted Sunoco gas station in northern New Jersey, taken over by the Ghostbusters and surreptitiously converted into a holding cell for wayward spirits."
  6. Aykroyd, Dan & Ramis, Harold (1983). Ghostbusters (First Draft August 5, 1983) (Script p. 68). Paragraph reads: "The video camera sweeps back and forth like bank surveillance depicting the interior of the storage facility, a bleak repository for souls of many species. Strange lights, mists, and spectral shapes waft about aimlessly. Human-like figures lean against the walls in despairing convict poses. Others flit and hang on the ceiling. It is a sad and frightening limbo and a most unholy makeshift asylum."
  7. Shay, Don (November 1985). Making Ghostbusters, p. 104. New York Zoetrope, New York NY USA, ISBN 0918432685. Paragraph reads: "We zoom in on the monitor and get our first real look inside the storage facility. It is a bleak repository for souls of many species. Strange lights, mists, and spectral shapes waft about aimlessly. Human-like figures lean against the walls in despairing convict poses. Others flit and hang on the ceiling. It is a sad and frightening limbo and a most unholy makeshift asylum."
  8. Shay, Don (November 1985). Making Ghostbusters, p. 104 annotation. New York Zoetrope, New York NY USA, ISBN 0918432685. Michael Gross recounts: "And we started to think the audience might feel the same way. Again, we didn't want the audience to feel sorry for the ghosts. Another consideration was that this would have been a major effects sequence, requiring the generation of hundreds of supernatural creatures. We just didn't have enough time left, so the shot had to go."
  9. Shay, Don (November 1985). Making Ghostbusters, p. 138 annotation. New York Zoetrope, New York NY USA, ISBN 0918432685. Paragraph reads: "Since the use of a video monitor as a means of seeing inside the storage facility had already been cut, Spengler's invitation to Peck was deleted, as was Peck's snide reply."
  10. Shay, Don (November 1985). Making Ghostbusters, p. 139. New York Zoetrope, New York NY USA, ISBN 0918432685. Paragraph reads: "Devising a means of achieving it, however, proved most troublesome -- primarily because compositing large numbers of predominantly white, transparent entities on top of one of another would ultimately have resulted in a totally washed out image without any real sense of definition. In the end, the shot was never attempted -- primarily because of time and budget considerations."
  11. Mueller, Richard (August 1985). "Ghostbusters: The Supernatural Spectacular," pp. 140. Tor Books, New York NY USA, ISBN 0812585984. Paragraph reads: Winston Zeddemore was absolutely fascinated as he stood peering through the view slit. It's a damned prison, he thought. A prison for ghosts. Inside, the various multicolored spirits, wisps of color and light, swirled about aimlessly or slouched in despair against the walls. Occasionally one would drift up to the viewport and stare back, like a grouper in an aquarium."
  12. Mueller, Richard (August 1985). "Ghostbusters: The Supernatural Spectacular," pp. 140-141. Tor Books, New York NY USA, ISBN 0812585984. Paragraph reads: He slid the smoking box into a slot on the wall of the storage facility. There were three, like airlocks of different sizes, for the custom traps Ray had put together. This one was a Mark II."
  13. Aykroyd, Dan & Ramis, Harold (1988). Ghostbusters II (August 5, 1988 Draft) (Script p. 44). "Janine Melnitz says: "They're in the basement working on the new storage facility."
  14. Male Caller; At start of Welcome to the Hotel Sedgewick, Firehouse 2nd Floor Answering Machine Message 7 of 7 (2009). Ghostbusters: The Video Game (Realistic Versions) - Firehouse (2009) (PC/PS3/Xbox 360). Terminal Reality. Male Caller says: "Hello? Is this Ghostbusters? Is your Containment Unit running? Well, you better catch it. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Hurry!"

See AlsoEdit

AppearancesEdit

Secondary Canon AppearancesEdit

GalleryEdit

OverallEdit

Primary CanonEdit

Secondary CanonEdit

Non CanonEdit

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