In The Cabinet of Calamari, Calamari, magician and escape-artist supreme, is being haunted by a ghost that cannot be captured in a Ghost Trap. To make matters worse, Peter has fallen through Calamari's secret cabinet into a strange dimension! [1]


Winston Zeddemore

Egon Spengler

Peter Venkman


Ray Stantz

Janine Melnitz

Joe Magic



Harry Houdini



Proton Pack

Particle Thrower

P.K.E. Meter



Cabinet of Mystery

Houdini's Notebook



Magic Theater

Cabinet Dimension


In the evening at the Firehouse, Winston and Egon waited for Peter by playing chess. They are dressed to go out. Peter chased after Slimer. Slimer had Peter's jacket and Egon's school tie on. Ray and Janine waited downstairs as Peter and Egon charged after Slimer. Some time later, the Ghostbusters were seated in the front row at the Magic Theater. The owner, Mr. Joe Magic, introduced the Great Calamari, an illusionist. For his first trick, Calamari made his assistant, Vanna, vanish and reappear from his giant mirror. Ray suddenly got a feeling he saw that trick before but couldn't place it. Next up, Calamari was wore a straitjacket and was restrained before being lowered upside down into a water tank.

A ghost appeared in the tank and shattered it after Vanna stopped the act. Vanna was caught in the water and landed on Peter's lap. Backstage, Magic berated Calamari just as the Ghostbusters arrived. Magic revealed the ghost started showing up at rehearsals. If the Ghostbusters could catch it, Calamari could keep his job. Ray took charge and devised an impromptu strategy - Winston and Egon would check Calamari's equipment while he and Peter looked for the ghost backstage.

As Winston and Egon inspected the equipment, Calamari walked through his mirror and sent his handsaw after the duo. Egon's thrower was sliced off and he quickly tossed the pack and ran for it. Winston hid in an apple prop while Egon ran for the curtain. Calamari summoned several blades into the apple as the saw almost got Egon. Egon checked on Winston and none of the blades got him. Egon quickly suspected the ghost was behind the murder attempt. Peter checked on Vanna but she was uncooperative. After Peter and Ray left, Calamari went to her room and put her under hypnosis. The ghost appeared to Ray and Peter but didn't attack. Ray attempted to communicate with him but Winston and Egon interrupted and opened fire. Egon trapped it as Ray voiced his annoyance.

In a shocking turn, the ghost escaped from the Ghost Trap. Egon dismissed it as a defective trap and got another one. They trapped the ghost again and Peter wrapped a chain around it then added a lock. Amazingly, the ghost escaped again then led the Ghostbusters to Calamari's dressing room. Ray got a reading from Calamari's trunk but it was locked. Ray attempted to open the lock with Egon's hairpin but Peter simply shot the lock with his thrower. Ray, Egon, and Winston looked through the trunk and discovered that Calamari couldn't hold up a job and kept changing his stage name as the trunk was filled with a bunch of old theater posters, all with Calamari's picture on them but with different stage names such as the Great Spumoni, the Great Linguine and Antipasto the Magnificent. Egon then found a newspaper article that revealed Calamari, as Spumoni then, was jailed in the unexplained disappearance of a volunteer. Apparently, Spumoni asked for a volunteer from the audience to disappear in his Cabinet of Mystery but after disappearing in the cabinet, the volunteer was never seen again.

Meanwhile, Peter visited Vanna again and she let him into her room. She opened the Cabinet of Mystery and invited Peter inside. Once Peter went inside, Vanna closed the door and the cabinet lit up. The other Ghostbusters charged inside and discovered Peter was gone. Egon ran his P.K.E. Meter over Vanna but determined she wasn't possessed. She was hypnotized. Peter walked through a dark passageway and found a room full of fire. The guys confronted Calamari but he only told them to catch the ghost first to help their friend. The Ghostbusters begrudgingly went after the ghost and Calamari started packing. Peter arrived in a strange white room with larger than life objects and discovered the laws of physics were rather different.

Egon and Winston fired on the ghost as Ray readied a trap in a large crate. After Egon trapped it, Winston ran off to a cement truck. Egon and Ray rolled the crate over to the theater's loading dock to meet up with Winston. Winston then poured cement into the crate to keep the ghost trapped once and for all. Peter wondered through a desert full of melting clocks and a giant flying eyeball. After the landscape shifted, Peter met Irving, the volunteer who disappeared. Irving had no idea how long he was gone and the landscape shifted again. Peter lost his set of keys as the land shifted around.

Calamari was about to leave the theater when the Ghostbusters arrived with the crate. He shoved his luggage tray at them. This in turn cracked the cement block and the ghost escaped again. Calamari was horrified and tried to run away. The guys opened fire but hit the ceiling instead, seemingly burying Calamari in debris. Egon examined the luggage and found the secret notes of Harry Houdini in a false bottom. The guys realized Calamari stole Houdini's tricks and the ghost was Houdini. Judging how the ghost kept escaping from the traps, Egon stated that Houdini hadn't lost his touch as an escape artist. Ray theorized the Cabinet of Mystery was Houdini's as well and he may be the only one who could save Peter. Egon surmised Calamari was afraid the ghost would reveal the truth and tried to kill them all. Winston then realized that Calamari must have been the one who attacked them with that saw. Ray took the notes and offered them up to Houdini. Houdini took them and flew right into the cabinet.

The Cabinet of Mystery lit up and Irving stepped out. Concerned for his wife, Irving asked for a dime to make a phone call to her. Winston quickly informed him it now cost a quarter. Irving was shocked and wondered if maybe he should've stayed in the cabinet. Peter stepped out next and was greeted happily by the others. Calamari saw it as a chance to push the four into the cabinet. Houdini rose up from the cabinet and told the Ghostbusters to look out and the Ghostbusters saw Calamari. Luckily, Calamari slipped on some papers and fell into the cabinet. Houdini also vanished. As the Ghostbusters departed, Peter asked about his keys. The keys hopped out of the cabinet and Peter thanked Houdini.

The next morning, at the Firehouse, the Ghostbusters were stuck and couldn't figure out how to bring Vanna out of her trance. They tried hypnosis, past life regression, a Ouija board, hunting dogs, and new wave music. Peter declared it was time for the last resort and he kissed Vanna. Somehow it worked and Vanna was back to normal. She revealed the only way to break the spell was to have a toad kiss her. The others laughed at Peter's expense.


Egon: Notice the vacant stare. The completely mindless look. That could only mean one thing.

Winston: She's from California?!?
Egon: No. She's been hypnotized.

Rgb ep cabinet audio01
Winston: He can't even hold a name. Is anybody hungry?


  • The title of this episode is a reference to a 1920 horror film called "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari." [2] [3]
  • According to the Visual Commentary Track of the episode in the The Real Ghostbusters Complete Collection, Matt Edens pitched the Houdini premise of the episode to his two older brothers who ended up writing it. Matt Edens was paid $100 from each brother. [4]
  • In the September 12, 1986 script, Joe Magic was originally named Ted Magic.[5]
  • Calamari had at least three former stage names: The Great Spumoni, The Great Linguini, and Antipasto the Magnificent. All of these are references to Italian food.
  • Some of the magic props in the episode were the result of research by Michael Swanigan, who is a fan of Houdini. [6]
  • For legal reasons, the ghost of Houdini could not bear a direct likeness to the person. [7]
  • The melted clocks hanging on the tree branches in the cabinet's world is a reference to Salvador Dalí's famous painting "The Persistence of Memory."
  • While not exactly stated how long he was stuck in the Cabinet of Mystery, when Irving leaves he asks for a dime to call his wife on a pay phone. Winston tells him it costs a quarter now. However, in the script (included on Disc Five of Volume Three from The Real Ghostbusters Complete Collection), Irving asks if Nixon was impeached, thus implying Irving went missing before Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974. Peter replied that it's been "over 10 years" since then.[8]
  • In the September 12, 1986 script, Calamari stated he was headed to Schenectady for two weeks at the Mohawk Inn.[9]
  • In the final scene, Egon mentioned a Ouija board and Peter referenced "Sleeping Beauty."
  • In the September 12, 1986 script, Peter originally kissed Vanna right after Calamari vanished into the Cabinet of Mystery. She also reacted negatively to the kiss and slapped Peter.[10]
  • The theme of stolen notes of Harry Houdini and a possible ghostly magician is also in the TV show "Simon & Simon" "Grand Illusion" {Season 3 episode I}

Animation ErrorsEdit


  1. Eatock, James & Mangels, Andy (2008). The Real Ghostbusters Complete Collection booklet, p. 21. CPT Holdings, Inc.
  2. Eatock, James & Mangels, Andy (2008). The Real Ghostbusters Complete Collection booklet, p. 21. CPT Holdings, Inc.
  3. Andy Mangels, Michael Edens (2009).The Real Ghostbusters- "The Cabinet of Calamari " (1987) Commentary (DVD ts. 08:36-08:42). Time Life Entertainment.
  4. Michael Edens (2009).The Real Ghostbusters- "The Cabinet of Calamari " (1986) Commentary (DVD ts. 02:14-02:32). Time Life Entertainment.
  5. Edens, Mark and Edens, Michael (2009). The Real Ghostbusters Complete Collection Volume Three Disc Five, p. 5. CPT Holdings, Inc.
  6. Michael Swanigan (2009).The Real Ghostbusters- "The Cabinet of Calamari " (1987) Commentary (DVD ts. 08:36-08:42). Time Life Entertainment.
  7. Michael Swanigan (2009).The Real Ghostbusters- "The Cabinet of Calamari " (1987) Commentary (DVD ts. 10:26-10:30). Time Life Entertainment.
  8. Edens, Mark and Edens, Michael (2009). The Real Ghostbusters Complete Collection Volume Three Disc Five, p. 28. CPT Holdings, Inc.
  9. Edens, Mark and Edens, Michael (2009). The Real Ghostbusters Complete Collection Volume Three Disc Five, p. 29. CPT Holdings, Inc.
  10. Edens, Mark and Edens, Michael (2009). The Real Ghostbusters Complete Collection Volume Three Disc Five, p. 28. CPT Holdings, Inc.


Episode Screen CapsEdit

Collages and EditsEdit

RGB DVD Boxset FeaturesEdit

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