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Containment Unit/Animated

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The Containment Unit (also known as Storage Facility [1] [2], Ecto Containment Unit [3], Containment Chamber, [4] [5] and Containment Tank [6]) holds ghosts permanently. The Containment Unit can be found in the Basement.


The Ghostbusters were not the first to conceive such a storage method. In the late 1600s, Eli Spengler helped devise a crystal ball to serve as a primitive containment unit to house Kestrel and her Goblins for all time. [7] In the late 1880s, Eiffel used principles of ectoplasmic entrapment to develop a primitive but efficient type of ghost containment unit. The Eiffel Tower automatically attracted then trapped the ghosts in the Tower's psionically porous structure through controlled bonding. However, the most aggressive ghosts could escape this unit. [8] [9] [10] [11]

After the events in the Ghostbusters Film, Egon Spengler decided that the Ecto Containment Unit system would be built bigger than the one they had before, so that it does not become too crowded and overflow. [12] The new Containment Unit included a transstater, field generator, an ionization decay meter, a plasmatic refractor, an anti-ectoplasm destruct mechanism, and bi-polar adjuster. [13] [14] [15] [16] It also contains at least one Klein Bottle with an option of adding more in the future. [17] In the haste of rebuilding the system, at least one energy leak went undetected. To compound matters, the leak was right above a box containing the original jumpsuits of the Ghostbusters contaminated by their battle with Gozer. Security features had been added to prevent the power being shut off by the power company, and everyone else, again. However, something like a stray Proton Stream hitting the main electrical system of the Firehouse could blow the entire unit. [18]

Over the years, there have been times when something in the Containment Unit would be needed back outside. Egon went in there once to get out the three ghosts of Christmas in a special suit through some projection device [19] and also in 1997 [20], Eduardo Rivera went into the Containment Unit to get Slimer out, after he stopped some ghosts from escaping but also causing himself to be trapped. The rest of the times, it was Slimer who went in there.

According to Ray the Containment Unit needs "220 Volt 10 Mega Watts" [21] to work. The Extreme Ghostbusters sometimes call it the "Containment Tank." A backup battery system was put in place so the unit would not explode if the power was severed to it. [22] It was programmed to come on three seconds after any black out. However, the system was possessed by an Electric Possessor Ghost and it fled the Firehouse. The Containment Unit was in danger of breach in 60 seconds. Ray and Winston used a generator from Ecto-1 and a bicycle Peter bought to quickly rig up an ad hoc manual generator to keep the Containment Unit turned on. Janine elected to keep pedaling the bicycle, but nobody told her to stop even after electricity was restored. A direct hit on the main electrical line could also blow up the Containment Unit. [23] If the Containment Unit was left open for more than about an hour and 15 minutes, a fatal build up of P.K.E. leakage would wreck havoc, as well. With less than two minutes, there is a loss of gravity in the basement area. In order to reset the Containment Unit, a reset sequence from Series A to Series J had to be initiated. [24]

Since the Killerwatt incident, a new emergency generator was added to the basement. It came into use during lightning strikes. However, when only this generator was the sole power source, the Containment Unit was unable to go through the procedure of emptying entities into it. The Containment Unit's trap lock drains too much power. [25] [26]

It was never fully explained how the Containment Unit could indefinitely hold all those entities, even the more powerful ones. In a bust involving Halliwell, the team postulated the ghost had so much P.K.E. that it could blow up the Containment Unit but enough kinetic force could weaken it. Then the conditions of the Containment Unit would prevent it from reforming. [27] Based on this, the Containment Unit does have a dampening protocol that keeps entities in a more weakened and docile state, unable to have full access to their powers.

After a couple instances of a strange noise, a seal failure on the Unit happened and a small amount of ectoplasm escaped but not enough to form a ghost. Instead, the catalytic paranormal flux infected Slimer and caused him to transform into Big Green. [28] [29] [30] [31] [32] [33] The Containment Unit was once transformed into an entity that spit out the imprisoned ghosts. This happened when the essence of a ghost leaked from a malfunctioning trap. [34] Egon had to make a thrower modification, the Proton Rifle, in order to properly exorcise the Unit. [35]

The Ghostbusters used their knowledge of the Unit to use the house wiring turn Heck House into one big Ecto Containment Unit. It collapsed onto itself like a black hole when ectoplasmic energy was drawn from the house's wood inward. [36]

On one side of the Containment Unit, there is an outer and inner hatch. The grid, in most situations, can be realigned and the hatches can be opened from a keypad console nearby. Once inside, the outer hatch is resealed. Two liquids held in containers between hatches are agitated and aid in opening the inner hatch. The inner hatch then projects a portal that leads directly into the Containment Universe. [37] Eduardo Rivera is the only known person to have entered the Containment Unit through these hatches. He and Slimer escaped and Surt nearly did, as well. Kylie Griffin wrangled Fenris and slammed him into Surt. The collision of opposite forces launched the duo back into the Containment Universe. Egon resealed the hatches by destroying the keypad console. It was highly likely to have been rebuilt after the incident. [38]

Equipment ConnectedEdit

It has a viewer that enables the Ghostbusters to look inside the containment grid so as to keep an eye on the ghosts inside. It also has a computer connected that would be used to suck a ghost into the Unit should it try to open it or shut it off. There is also a calibrated P.K.E. Meter used to make sure that all ghosts are inside the Containment Unit.

There was also a fail-safe device installed so that the grid could only be used by the Ghostbusters, [39] [40] but this feature appears to have been removed after Wat possessed Peter Venkman and attempted to use his fingerprint and voice signatures to open the Containment Unit. At this point, if shut down, the protective grid would explode in 30 seconds.

A similar fail-safe was later implemented except instead of keeping unauthorized personnel from opening the grid, it would have a time delay [41] that would keep the unit from ceasing to function for several seconds after the release lever was turned off.

During a battle against the Bird of Kildarby, the team concluded a single trap couldn't contain the entity. They raced home and Ray connected a trap directly to the Containment Unit. When the Bird was trapped, it was directly sent into the Containment Unit. [42]

While on a case in Paris, the Ghostbusters had the Firehouse's new satellite dish set to 20,000 Mega Hertz to receive and transfer a few million ghosts to the Containment Unit. The transfer was a success but the Ghostbusters were sued by the cable company for the exact amount the French government paid for the bust. [43]

Egon spearheaded a project that attached a functioning airlock into the Containment Unit. He wanted to open diplomatic relations with the spirit world and be the first ambassador. Slimer volunteered to be the test subject and the airlock was a success at setting "7" which gave a reading of -0.2. However, it was destroyed when the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man was released to fight Murray the Mantis. [44]

In order to deal with all the entities invited to the Firehouse by Buster, Egon and Ray reconfigured the Containment Unit to draw them all in then vent them into the sky above New York City. Once 100% capacity was reached, Ray activated the venting procedure from the computer panel connected to the Containment Unit and Egon pulled a lever by the hull. [45] Dr. Destructo attempted to adapt the power grid to power his devices, which would shut off the Unit. Ray managed to activate the Unit and suck in the powerless supervillain. The Unit was also targeted by Mee-Krah for a power source, the ghosts inside it. Some 486 ghosts entered the Unit, before Egon warned the team it was getting close to full. [46]

Ecto-1's dashboard was equipped with a device that sounds an alarm if the Containment Unit was breached. [47]

The Ectoplasmic Frequency Monitor registers frequency patterns of all ectoplasmic entities in the unit and prints out read outs. The Ectoplasmic Entity Projection Unit was later connected to both so that Roland and Kylie could safely question the Grundel. After finding the frequency, the projection unit projected the Grundel outside the unit in a containment field.

List of Episodes when it was openedEdit

The Containment Unit is not perfect, even with safety and fail-safe devices in place. Once in a while it leaks, loses power, becomes sabotaged, opened by unauthorized persons or ghosts, needs urgent repair, or explodes with greater force than the one shown in the film.

  • "Ghosts R Us"
    • Slimer opened it by mistake and let out 3 ghosts.
  • "Killerwatt"
    • The Containment Unit was shut down during Killerwatt's reign of terror. Fortunately, the Ghostbusters managed to keep it working until power was restored.
  • "Mrs. Roger's Neighborhood"
    • Wat possessed Peter Venkman and tries to opens it. Fortunately, it was closed again before any ghosts escaped.
  • "Citizen Ghost"
    • A leak from the Containment Unit let out ectoplasmic energy, which infected the Ghostbusters' original uniforms, creating the Spectral Ghostbusters.
  • "Buster the Ghost"
    • Buster thinks that the Ghostbusters' job is to take care of ghosts, so he invites every ghost in New York. After he learns exactly what the Ghostbusters do, he helps by distracting the ghosts until the unwanted guests are vented out through the Containment Unit.
  • "Cry Uncle"
    • Egon's Uncle Cyrus sees the Containment Unit. When Janine explains that the Unit is used to imprison ghosts, Cyrus doesn't believe her and fiddles with several buttons, ending up freeing the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man. The unit opens in a unique way seen only in this episode.
  • "Deja Boo"
  • "Deadcon 1"
    • Following Ray's orders to do whatever the Deadcon 1 guests demand, Janine releases the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man so that he can serve as keynote speaker.
  • "Don't Tease the Sleaze"
    • Slimer accidentally frees the Sleaze from the Containment Unit and has to get him back in.
  • "The Slob"
    • Professor Dweeb frees the Sleaze from the Containment Unit in exchange for the Sleaze's brother the Glob giving him Slimer.
  • "The Two Faces of Slimer"
    • A symbiotic ecto-parasite leaks from the Containment Unit and makes Slimer turn into a monster whenever he falls asleep.
  • "Sticky Business"
    • When Stay-Puft is let out of the Containment Unit, and the Phantom is also released by accident.
  • "Halloween II 1/2"
    • Samhain's two goblins free him from the Containment Unit so he can have his revenge.
  • "Flip Side"
    • After being captured by the Peoplebusters, the Ghostbusters escaped their version of the Containment Unit.
  • "Elementary My Dear Winston"
    • The Containment Unit is opened by James Moriarty so that he can absorb the evil energy of the ghosts and become corporeal. Sherlock Holmes made a great sacrifice by forcing both himself and his enemy into the Containment Unit along with the escaped ghosts.
  • "The Halloween Door"
    • Boogaloo's minions shut down the Containment Unit, which explodes and frees every ghost inside it. Fortunately, everything was undone when Boogaloo was defeated (just as Halloween was restored, the ghosts were still in the Containment Unit).
  • "Revenge of the Ghostmaster"
    • When Egon and Winston approach the Containment Unit, it starts to shut off due to the force fields shutting off power everywhere they go. It starts working again when they leave and everything is normal when the Ghostmaster is trapped.
  • "Loose Screws"
    • Some of the ectoplasmic energy that leaks out of the broken trap brings the Containment Unit to life. The animated Containment Unit then spits out some of the ghosts inside it.
  • "Guess What's Coming to Dinner"
    • Foul Grungy opens the Containment Unit and frees a lot of ghosts. He jams the trap shut causing a P.K.E. leakage buildup. The Unit eventually starts a countdown, but our heroes managed to stop the countdown before the Containment Unit blew up, the rest of the ghosts imprisoned in it escaped, and part of New York City was destroyed.
  • "Till Death Do We Start"
    • The Ghost Bride keeps on escaping the Containment Unit after she gets trapped.
  • "Sonic Youth"
    • Extreme Ghostbuster Roland Jackson was mesmerized by Siren and freed her sister Banshee from the Containment Unit, but in doing so also freed two other ghosts that had to be recaptured before recapturing the Banshee.
  • "Grundelesque"
    • Kylie Griffin uses an invention of Roland's to contact the Grundel in the Containment Unit to ask him why Jack is still a Grundel despite the original still being in the Containment Unit. After explaining everything, the Grundel demands to be freed. Kylie refuses, but Roland's younger brother Casey was spying on the two and then foolishly frees the Grundel.
  • "Ghost Apocalyptic Future"
    • On July 30, 1997, Tempus had opened the grid to create an army of ghosts in the near future known as "The Great Spirit Uprising." This was prevented when the Ghostbusters captured Tempus's past and future halves.
  • "Slimer's Sacrifice"
    • When the Trap holding Fenris malfunctioned, the grid was misaligned and several ghosts were about to escape but Slimer forced them back in and sealed the inner hatch.

Inside of the Containment UnitEdit

While never actually shown in the movies, the inside of the Containment Unit has varied throughout the series. Most of the time, the inside was shown to be a ghostly dimension with floating platforms of rubble and disjointed pipes where the imprisoned ghosts would fly around. In certain cases, the inside of the Containment Unit more closely resembled the inside of a machine or even a sewer. [48]

List of Episodes someone went inEdit


  • In Ghostbusters Issue #3, the Containment Unit resembles the animated version and even includes the fail-safe device from "Mrs. Roger's Neighborhood."
  • In Ghostbusters Issue #9, page four, the Containment Unit's fail-safe device and shut off switch appear make non-canon cameos in Ecto-2
  • In Ghostbusters Issue #16, page six, the Containment Universe tunnel seen in "Xmas Marks the Spot" makes a non-canon cameo on Janine's computer screen.
  • In Ghostbusters Volume 2 Issue #11, page 15, the Containment Unit makes a non-cameo cameo on two photographs on Egon's white board. They are interior shots from The Real Ghostbusters "Xmas Marks the Spot"
  • On page 15 of Ghostbusters Volume 2 Issue #19, the Containment Unit from The Real Ghostbusters and biometric security measure from "Mrs. Roger's Neighborhood" once more appears as the current version of the Containment Unit in the IDW ongoing series.


  1. Janine Melnitz (2009).The Real Ghostbusters- "Janine Melnitz, Ghostbuster " (1986) (DVD ts. 10:31-10:32). Time Life Entertainment.
  2. Janine Melnitz (2009). The Real Ghostbusters - "Janine's Day Off" (1987) (DVD ts. 1:17-1:18). Time Life Entertainment. Janine says: "This is the Storage Facility."
  3. Ray Stantz (2009). The Real Ghostbusters - "Deadcon 1" (1987) (DVD ts. 12:40-12:42). Time Life Entertainment. Ray says: "How could he have gotten out of the Ecto Containment Unit?"
  4. Peter Venkman (2009). The Real Ghostbusters - "Robo-Buster" (1988) (DVD ts. 04:01-04:03). Time Life Entertainment. Peter says: "Oh. Dump this ghost in the containment chamber, will ya, Janine?"
  5. Egon Spengler (2009).The Real Ghostbusters- "Revenge of the Ghostmaster" (1989) (DVD ts. 03:33-03:36). Time Life Entertainment.
  6. Roland Jackson (1997). Extreme Ghostbusters- Till Death Do We Start (1997) (DVD ts. 13:41-13:45). Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Roland says: "The only place she's going is our Containment Tank downstairs."
  7. If I Were a Witch Man
  8. Egon Spengler (2009). The Real Ghostbusters - "The Ghostbusters in Paris" (1987) (DVD ts. 11:56-12:03). Time Life Entertainment. Egon says: "Gentlemen, we are standing atop the world's largest ghost containment unit ever built and it's getting ready to explode."
  9. Egon Spengler (2009). The Real Ghostbusters - "The Ghostbusters in Paris" (1987) (DVD ts. 12:18-12:27). Time Life Entertainment. Egon says: "As incredible as it may seem, it would appear Monsieur Eiffel had already developed the principles of modern ectoplasmic entrapment by the late 1880s."
  10. Egon Spengler (2009). The Real Ghostbusters - "The Ghostbusters in Paris" (1987) (DVD ts. 12:33-12:40). Time Life Entertainment. Egon says: "He built this tower as a primitive but efficient type of ghost containment unit. The ghosts are automatically attracted to and trapped in the tower's very structure."
  11. Egon Spengler (2009). The Real Ghostbusters - "The Ghostbusters in Paris" (1987) (DVD ts. 12:57-13:06). Time Life Entertainment. Egon says: "Until it was broken, this box was the control for molecularily bonding the ghosts to the tower. When it was damaged, the tower became psionically porous and the most aggressive ghosts could escape."
  12. Citizen Ghost
  13. Egon Spengler (2009). The Real Ghostbusters- Citizen Ghost (1986) (DVD ts. 5:33). Time Life Entertainment. Egon says: "Transstater?"
  14. Egon Spengler (2009). The Real Ghostbusters- Citizen Ghost (1986) (DVD ts. 5:36). Time Life Entertainment. Egon says: "Field Generator?"
  15. Egon Spengler (2009). The Real Ghostbusters- Citizen Ghost (1986) (DVD ts. 5:38). Time Life Entertainment. Egon says: "Ionization Decay Meter?"
  16. Egon Spengler (2009). The Real Ghostbusters- Citizen Ghost (1986) (DVD ts. 5:40-5:47). Time Life Entertainment. Egon says: "Plasmatic refractor? Anti-ectoplasm destruct mechanism? Bipolar adjuster?"
  17. Ray Stantz (2009).The Real Ghostbusters- "Janine Melnitz, Ghostbuster " (1986) (DVD ts. 02:58-03:01). Time Life Entertainment.
  18. Egon Spengler (2009). The Real Ghostbusters - "Buster the Ghost" (1987) (DVD ts. 11:29-11:32). Time Life Entertainment. Egon says: "An accidental proton hit on the main electrical system could blow the entire Containment Unit."
  19. Xmas Marks the Spot
  20. Slimer's Sacrifice
  21. Ray Stantz (2009). The Real Ghostbusters- Ghosts R Us (1986) (DVD ts. 6:21-6:26). Time Life Entertainment. Ray says: "Welcome to our 220 Volt, 10 Mega Watt Ecto Containment Unit."
  22. Killerwatt
  23. Buster the Ghost
  24. Ray Stantz, Winston Zeddemore (2009).The Real Ghostbusters- "Guess What's Coming to Dinner" (1990) (DVD ts. 19:33-19:37, 20:06-20:08). Time Life Entertainment.
  25. Ray Stantz (2009). The Real Ghostbusters - "Future Tense" (1989) (DVD ts. 21:13-21:16). Time Life Entertainment. Ray says: "Emergency generator will handle it... for awhile."
  26. Winston Zeddemore (2009). The Real Ghostbusters - "Future Tense" (1989) (DVD ts. 21:17-21:22). Time Life Entertainment. Winston says: "But now we can't use the Containment. The Trap Lock drains too much power."
  27. Egon Spengler (2009). The Real Ghostbusters - "Masquerade" (1987) (DVD ts. 18:47-18:53). Time Life Entertainment. Egon says: "But if a powerful enough kinetic force could blow it apart upon being trapped, the conditions in the Containment Unit would prevent it from reforming."
  28. Winston Zeddemore (2009). The Real Ghostbusters - "The Two Faces of Slimer" (1987) (DVD ts. 02:42-02:44). Time Life Entertainment. Winston says: "Uhh, you know, it's done that a couple times this week."
  29. Winston Zeddemore (2009). The Real Ghostbusters - "The Two Faces of Slimer" (1987) (DVD ts. 07:21-07:24). Time Life Entertainment. Winston says: "That funny noise we've been hearing seems to be a minor seal failure."
  30. Egon Spengler (2009). The Real Ghostbusters - "The Two Faces of Slimer" (1987) (DVD ts. 07:29-07:34). Time Life Entertainment. Egon says: "A small amount of Ectoplasm escaped but not enough to constitute a whole ghost."
  31. Egon Spengler (2009). The Real Ghostbusters - "The Two Faces of Slimer" (1987) (DVD ts. 11:46-11:53). Time Life Entertainment. Egon says: "Some form of catalytic paranormal flux. Harmless to corporeal entities but capable of inducing malevolent ectoplasmic metamorphosis."
  32. Ray Stantz (2009). The Real Ghostbusters - "The Two Faces of Slimer" (1987) (DVD ts. 11:54-11:58). Time Life Entertainment. Ray says: "He means it was something that can't hurt us but can make harmless ghosts turn mean and ugly."
  33. Egon Spengler (2009). The Real Ghostbusters - "The Two Faces of Slimer" (1987) (DVD ts. 14:27-14:31). Time Life Entertainment. Egon says: "That energy leak from the Containment Unit! It must have infected him."
  34. Egon Spengler (2009). The Real Ghostbusters - "Loose Screws" (1989) (DVD ts. 24:17-24:28). Time Life Entertainment. Egon says: "Elements of the ghost we caught at the store leaked out of the faulty trap. And when we brought the Trap back here, parts of the spirit's essence affected all of this and followed us home in an effort to reassemble itself."
  35. Egon Spengler (2009). The Real Ghostbusters - "Loose Screws" (1989) (DVD ts. 22:21-22:26). Time Life Entertainment. Egon says: "But perhaps there is a thrower modification to extract the harmful effects without breaching the Containment."
  36. The Haunting of Heck House
  37. Roland Jackson (1997). Extreme Ghostbusters- Slimer's Sacrifice (1997) (DVD ts. 10:22-10:34). Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Roland says: "This big hatch works like the Ghost Trap Slot in the front, leading into an airlock. Once you're inside, I'll seal the inner hatch and open the inner door. Now you should get sucked righ into the demon universe."
  38. Slimer's Sacrifice
  39. Janine Melnitz (2009). The Real Ghostbusters- Mrs. Roger's Neighborhood (1986) (DVD ts. 9:41-9:50). Time Life Entertainment. Janine says: "That's why Ray and Egon installed this failsafe protective device. It only responds to the fingerprints and voiceprints of the immediate staff."
  40. Janine Melnitz (2009). The Real Ghostbusters- Mrs. Roger's Neighborhood (1986) (DVD ts. 10:07-10:10). Time Life Entertainment. Janine says: "Oh, no. Just the four Ghostbusters."
  41. Winston Zeddemore (2009). The Real Ghostbusters - "Elementary My Dear Winston" (1989) (DVD ts. 07:03-07:05). Time Life Entertainment. Winston says: "Good thing we have a time delay on this sucker."
  42. The Bird of Kildarby
  43. The Ghostbusters in Paris
  44. The Revenge of Murray the Mantis
  45. Buster the Ghost
  46. Standing Room Only
  47. The Slob
  48. Janine Melnitz, Ghostbuster, Slimer's Sacrifice



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Secondary CanonEdit

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