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This article is for Samhain the Ghost of Halloween. To read about magician Sam Hain, go here.

Samhain (the proper pronunciation is sow-en, but the series pronounces the name the way it is spelled) is the Ghost of Halloween and one of the few villains to face the Ghostbusters on more than one occasion. He is a strategic ghost with the ability to manipulate time in order to cause eternal night. Samhain also has the ability to control legions of ghosts at his command, however certain ghosts such as Slimer seem able to resist him to a certain extent.

Since his debut, Samhain has made many appearances throughout the Ghostbuster franchise, he was one of the ghosts to make a cameo appearance on the second opening theme song and even made an appearance on the Extreme Ghostbusters theme song and end song (though never appeared in any actual episodes). He also made numerous cameo appearances throughout the show. Samhain has also appeared in the Now Ghostbusters Comics in two comics, and was mentioned in three other comics. He was also the only ghosts from Extreme Ghostbusters (other than Slimer) to receive a toy. Likewise, the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man was the only ghost in The Real Ghostbusters to receive a toy other than Slimer.


Snapshot 2009-03-01 22-53-02

Samhain is released from his prison after centuries of confinement.

Animated SeriesEdit

Samhain first appears in the episode "When Halloween was Forever". In this episode, he had been imprisoned in an ancient clock for centuries. Once the clock is brought to New York from Ireland, Samhain is soon released from his captivity by his two goblin minions on Halloween night. Once set free, he gathers all the ghosts he can and sends his minions all over New York. He also uses his powers to halt the night as he plans to make Halloween an eternal night that will last forever all over the world. The Ghostbusters however run all over town capturing his minions, to which Samhain confronts them out of rage. However, the Ghostbusters use his weakness against light to stun him and he is captured (along with his minions) just before the world falls under his evil reign forever. He is soon placed within the ecto-containment unit where it is assumed that he would stay.

For quite some time, Samhain remained in his prison. Where he seemed to get along with his fellow inmates (even playing a few card games with them as shown in "Partners in Slime"). Yet despite getting along with his fellow inmates, he never enjoyed being imprisoned. The next year after Samhain was captured, Dib Devlin used an illusion of Samhain on Ray and Winston in the second part of his game show Race the Devil. [1]


Samhain returns with an army of ghostly minions.

Samhain does return to face the Ghostbusters once again in "Halloween II 1/2" thanks to his two goblins releasing him again. This time Samhain's primary goal is to take revenge on the Ghostbusters for his long imprisonment. He summons more ghosts and quickly takes over the Ghostbusters headquarters, transforming it into his new fortress. The Ghostbusters managed to get everyone else and escape just before the headquarters completely transformed. The Ghostbusters attempt to use his weakness to light again, but Samhain puts up a protective barrier around the fortress that only other ghosts can pass through. Samhain then leads his minions around the town to search for the Ghostbusters, allowing the Jr. Ghostbusters to sneak in, yet Samhain returns and takes them hostage. The real Ghostbusters use a camera hooked up to Slimer and see that Samhain's fortress is held together by a keystone that is in exactly the same place that the Containment Unit was in. [2] [3] The Ghostbusters attack Samhain in his fortress and blast the stone from outside the fortress while Slimer attempts to save the kids. After the Jr. Ghostbusters are gotten out, the keystone is destroyed, causing the entire fortress to crumble and unveil the Containment Unit (which was left open after Samhain escaped). [4] With the Containment Unit still active, Samhain and his minions are sucked back into their prison.

Secondary CanonEdit

Now ComicsEdit

Samhain NOWcomics

Samhain returns once again.

Samhain also appears in the Now Comics Ghostbusters series. His first appearance is in issue seventeen, where he has been constantly chanting the word "Evening" for many days. His chanting allows him to finally escape the Containment Unit through a moebius strip-shaped rift and he takes Slimer, Janine, and Louis hostage. As his minions storm through New York, the Ghostbusters team up with an ancient wizard named Phineas Evantide, who they encountered on a previous mission, and are successfully able to recapture him. Samhain then makes another attempt to escape via a second extended session of chanting. His attempt is cut off abruptly by a new foghorn the Ghostbusters installed in the Containment Unit that fires off loudly whenever the word "Evening" is said. The other ghosts in the unit immediately forbid him from ever saying the word again.

Samhain (and his previous crime) briefly appears in a flashback in issue eighteen, where Winston is remembering all the pain he's gone through as a Ghostbuster. He is also mentioned in the nineteenth issue when a troll reveals that he was once a minion of the Halloween ghost. He is mentioned again in the twenty-sixth issue when Egon explains how the Boogieman managed to escape the Containment Unit.

Samhain returns once more in Annual 1993. In the issue, Samhain seemingly meets his ultimate demise when the Ghostbusters turn his plan to absorb more and more power against, causing him to overload and explode into pieces. It is debated as to whether or not this is canon to Extreme Ghostbusters in which Samhain made a cameo in the opening theme. It is possible that after he was destroyed, he was somehow revived and the Ghostbusters were able to trap him again. It should be noted that there were originally plans for Samhain to return on Extreme Ghostbusters (which resulted in him only making cameo appearances in the intro and ending credits of the show), so it's possible that Samhain was resurrected and then recaptured, that is if the NOW comic book is canon with Extreme Ghostbusters.

From Role-Playing Adventure book SeriesEdit


Samhain in Pumpkin Patch Panic

Samhain, very similar but not specifically the same, is a villain of the role-playing series (Tobin's Spirit Guide on page 50 and Pumpkin Patch Panic as the main villain).

IDW ComicsEdit

A ghost named Ralph is trapped and placed into the Containment Unit. He is greeted by Samhain, who assures him he is not alone. Samhain explained he was put into a prison by the Ghostbusters and instructs him to take a moment to acclimate in order to see the other entities captured. Samhain seemed to encourage Ralph's fear to grow. Once Ralph started to panic about being stuck in the Containment Unit, Samhain was overwhelmed by the amount of fear projected. It turned out to be the Boogieman posing as Samhain as part of a strategy to invoke fear and feed on it to regain power.

When two teams of Ghostbusters captured Proteus in their Proton Streams, the god was forced to show them the future. Since eight men captured him at once, he had to show eight futures at once. One of the futures gleaned was of Samhain after he was released from the Containment Unit.

Ghostbusters: The Board GameEdit

Ghost Card InformationEdit

Side AEdit

  • To Hit: 4 or higher, add a Stream
  • To Trap: 5 Streams
  • When Hit: Samhain moves 1 space towards that Ghostbuster.
  • When Trapped: Place it on your Character Card.
  • When Missed: A Ghost emerges from Samhain, then Samhain moves 1 space in a random direction.
  • Special:
    • Samhain is unaffected by combat unless he is in front of the Ecto-1 and within Line of Sight of the front space of the Ecto-1 (in the green spaces as shown at right).
    • After Samhain moves, any Ghost within his Line of Sight moves 1 space in the same direction.
    • At the end of each Ghostbuster's turn, Samhain moves 1 space towards the nearest Open Gate.
    • At the end of each Round, if Samhain is adjacent to an Open Gate, a Ghost emerges from him for each Closed Gate.



Samhain is furious that the Ghostbusters are attacking his "little ones."

Samhain is a direct action type of character, led solely by his mission. Samhain believes that ghosts have been treated unfairly in this world due to people like the Ghostbusters. He is guided by a mission to give ghosts like him a world where they rule and humans are the less dominant ones. Unlike many villains the Ghostbusters have faced, he has compassion for the ghosts he commands as he refers to them as his "little ones." He is willing to enter a battle and protect his minions if he feels they are being harmed. However despite his compassion, he is willing to use some force if they do not corporate with him, as he frighted Slimer when he refused to attack the humans and took him hostage when he recognized the close relationship between him and the Ghostbusters.

Side BEdit

Samhain is the Ghost of Halloween. Believing that ghosts have been eternally mistreated, Samhain's ultimate goal is to create a world ghosts rule and lord over humanity. Samhain is an incredibly formidable entity with powers including the ability to halt time, control legions of ghosts and expel black lightning.

He is not driven by pure malice, but righting what he feels is a wrong. Samhain also exhibits compassion when ghosts, goblins or trolls are threatened and will fight to aid them. His biggest weakness is captivity, which renders him nearly powerless.


Secondary CanonEdit

In Ghostbusters: The Board Game, Samhain is a Class 6.


As the Ghost of Halloween, Samhain is a very formidable foe for the Ghostbusters. Samhain is presumably a Class 7 ghost like Gozer as he is legendary and a number of ghosts seem somewhat terrified of him. Samhain possesses the ability to halt time and cause eternal night. He has attempted to use this power at various times, but is always defeated by the Ghostbusters in the end and his spell is broken. Samhain also has the ability to control entire legions of ghosts, though it is unknown if he controls them himself or they obey him out of fear. The latter may be the most possible as Slimer seemed to drawn by force to him yet did not seem to want to obey him. Samhain also possess an ability to fire black lighting, as he fired one (off screen) at Peter Venkman and the other Ghostbusters during their first encounter. His powers seem to be at their highest point on Halloween as the Ghostbusters were being overworked with a huge increase in ghost activity. Samhain's only real weakness seems to be captivity, as it is the only way to prevent him from halting the night forever. While captive, Samhain is virtually powerless to escape, though he can be released should his prison come in contact with an infinity symbol. He also can be warded off by light as a number of ghosts can. This weakness was used against him during his first encounter with the Ghostbusters and they attempted to use it against him during his second coming.



Samhain's loyal goblins.


Samhain mainly uses other ghosts to aid him on his mission, however he is usually aided by Two Goblin Minions.


In Now comics #19 it is revealed that Samhain is also friends with Trolls.

Based on FolkloreEdit

Samhain's name comes from the old term. The Samhain term is another word for Halloween in a few Gaelic languages. The Scottish Gaelic spelling is Samhainn or Samhuinn (for the feast), or an t-Samhain (for the month). The Festival of Samhain is a celebration of the end of the harvest season in Gaelic culture, and is generally regarded as 'The Celtic New Year'.

The same word was used for a month in the ancient Celtic calendar, in particular the first three nights of this month, with the festival marking the end of the summer season and the end of the harvest. A modernized version of this festival continues today in some of the traditions of the Catholic All Souls' Day, the secular Halloween, and in folk practices of Samhain itself in the Celtic Nations and the Irish and Scottish diasporas. It is also observed by various types of Neopagans.

Wikipedia has more information and the correct way to pronounce it.


He was not in or explained in "The Halloween Door" as his story would be connected and the Containment Unit was opened. He didn't appear in the Slimer! short Sweet Revenge, either, though it was also a Halloween-themed episode.

Also in Extreme Ghostbusters, all the ghosts in the containment unit were worshiping another mighty ghost (Surt) instead of him, while in the show, Samhain seemed to be worshipped by all ghosts as a mighty god. This makes it questionable as to whether his fate in the Ghostbusters Annual #2 is canon to the Extreme Ghosbusters series.


  • Samhain was one of the few ghosts to be slimed by Slimer.
  • On page 10 of Ghostbusters Issue #3, Samhain makes a non-canon cameo on a poster.
  • On page 23 of Ghostbusters Issue #5, Samhain is referred to in the Sam Hain PCOC file. It is stated Hain based his stage name on Samhain, a Celtic witch-god worshiped largely by practitioners of black magic in the Middle Ages.
  • In Ghostbusters Issue #14, there are several non-canon references to Samhain.
    • Page 4: The periodical Janine is reading mentions and has a photo of the relic that served as Samhain's prison
    • Page 19: The Infinity Symbol, used to free Samhain in "When Halloween Was Forever," is in the lower left part of the board
    • Page 19: A photo of Samhain marked Class 11 is also in the lower left part of the board
  • Samhain makes a cameo on a special sketch cover of Ghostbusters #9
  • Samhain is referenced on the back cover of Mars Attacks The Real Ghostbusters
  • On page nine of Ghostbusters Volume 2 Issue #9, Samhain makes a non-canon cameo on a photograph on Egon's board.
  • On the subscription cover of Ghostbusters Volume 2 Issue #13, Samhain makes a non-canon cameo.
  • On the Convention Cover of Ghostbusters: Get Real Issue #1, Samhain makes a non-canon cameo below Tolay.
  • On February 16, 2015, the 8th stretch goal of Ghostbusters: The Board Game, $600,000, was introduced: Samhain. [5]
  • On February 18, 2015, Samhain was unlocked. [6]
  • On Samhain's character card in Ghostbusters: The Board Game
    • The caption on the photograph quotes Egon's "This night will never end" line from The Real Ghostbusters episode "When Halloween Was Forever"



Samhain as he appeared in Extreme Ghostbusters.

Samhain's appearance has been altered numerous times throughout the franchise. In his first appearance, he had worn a brown cloak with a large collar. His pumpkin head also had pupils in in its eyes, teeth and gums. The rest of his body was colored orange. After his first appearance, his eyes were made into empty pumpkin eyes and his cloak was made purple. He remained this way throughout all his cameos. When he returned in Halloween II 1/2 as the main villain, his cloak was changed back to brown, but his eyes still remained pupiless. In the second intro to the show and his cameo in the episode Partners in Slime, Samhain wore a purple cloak and had white skeleton hands.

When Samhain appeared in Extreme Ghostbusters, his appearance was greatly altered. His pumpkin head was made green with a carrot nose and reduced greatly in size. His cloak was also made red with a smaller collar. His skin parts were also changed to flesh color. His pumpkin also did not have a yellow glow in the holes like it usually did, instead the inside of the pumpkin glowed blue. Even though he never appeared in the show, Samhain was given a figure in the Extreme Ghostbusters toyline. However, the toy did not resemble his appearance on the show's intro. Instead the toy featured a black cloak, which appeared more like a cape while the rest of Samhain featured an under robe. Samhain's flesh parts were also made a ghoulish white color. His toy also had a huge orange pumpkin head like the way he originally appeared on The Real Ghostbusters, but his head could now come off to reveal a hideous eyeball and teeth.

In the Now Ghostbusters comic book series, Samhain's pumpkin appeared more wrinkled and freighting than in the show. Samhain's cloak was also purple at all times, never brown. Samhain's hands were also green instead of orange like in the show. Samhain also had a green skinny neck that held up his pumpkin, something that was never shown in the T.V. series.


Primary CanonEdit

The Real Ghostbusters

  • The Devil to Pay
    • Illusion
      • The game show host Dib Devlin included a realistic replica of Samhain in one of his games in order to trick the Ghostbusters into giving up. While revealing the fake Samhain, Dib said, "Why, it's an old friend of yours." "It's Samhain, the living embodiment of Halloween!" But during the battle, Ray realized they already captured the real Samhain. The real one was placed in the Containment Unit. Once Ray realized this, off screen, he defeated the fake Samhain with his bare hands.
  • Title Sequence for Seasons 4-7
    • Cameo amongst other ghosts
  • Partners in Slime
    • Cameo in the Containment Unit playing cards with three other ghosts
  • Deja Boo
    • Included in flashback by means of recycled footage from Halloween II 1/2.

Extreme Ghostbusters

  • Intro and Ending of each episode (cameo with altered appearance) [7]

Secondary CanonEdit

New Ghostbusters II Video Game

  • There were regular enemies that resembled him.

Ghostbusters 2006 mobile phone game

  • As in the New Ghostbusters II NES game, there are regular enemies resembling him.

IDW Comics


  1. Dib Devlin (2009). The Real Ghostbusters - "The Devil to Pay" (1987) (DVD ts. 16:04-16:09). Time Life Entertainment. Dib says: "You fought him last year and now he's back for a grudge match."
  2. Egon Spengler (2009). The Real Ghostbusters - "Halloween II 1/2" (1987) (DVD ts. 17:00-17:02). Time Life Entertainment. Egon says: "That's it. That's the keystone!"
  3. Egon Spengler (2009). The Real Ghostbusters - "Halloween II 1/2" (1987) (DVD ts. 17:04-17:07). Time Life Entertainment. Egon says: "It marks the dead center of where our Containment Unit used to be."
  4. Egon Spengler (2009). The Real Ghostbusters - "Halloween II 1/2" (1987) (DVD ts. 17:08-17:11). Time Life Entertainment. Egon says: "We get the kids out then concentrate our beams here and the fortress will collapse."
  5. Ghostbusters: The Board Game Update #13 2/16/15 "Going downtown?"
  6. Ghostbusters: The Board Game Update #14 2/18/15 "Trick or Treat?"
  7. Samhain XGB Main Title by Fil Barlow deviantArt 8/15/12



Primary CanonEdit

Secondary CanonEdit

Non CanonEdit

Images provided by Paul Rudoff with permission from Nora Salisbury of The Ghostbusters Fan Forum, co-run with the late Doreen Mulman

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