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The Haunting of Heck House

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The Haunting of Heck House
116
Air Date Number 124
Episode Number Dvd 116
Production Number 140-502
Written By J. Michael Straczynski
Date First Aired 09/29/1990
Season Aired Season 6
On Boxset Vol. 4, Disc 4

In The Haunting of Heck House, in a flashback, the Ghostbusters recount their most dangerous exploit: the time they spent the night in Heck House, the most haunted house on the planet, inhabited by thousands of ghosts! For their troubles they are to receive a million dollars apiece, provided they survive the evening until dawn... without their Proton Packs.[1]

CastEdit

Fifth Grade Visitors

Peter Venkman

Slimer

Jeffers Marston

Egon Spengler

Ray Stantz

Winston Zeddemore

Janine Melnitz

2436 Ghosts of Heck House

EquipmentEdit

Ecto-1

P.K.E. Inverter

LocationsEdit

Firehouse

Heck House

PlotEdit

A fifth grade class visited the Firehouse and ran rampant. Surprisingly, they were greeted by Peter and Slimer. Peter revealed the others were giving a lecture and Janine had the day off. Peter decided to spend the day cleaning up. Two boys looked through the stuff piled on Peter's desk. They gazed at a snow globe. Peter noticed and told them it was a souvenir from one of the Ghostbusters' most dangerous cases. On a Thursday night, a man named Jeffers Marston paid a visit to the Firehouse and tracked in some mud. Jeffers proposed a rare opportunity, Heck House. Ray and Egon recognized the name right away and tried to walk away. Janine and Winston implored them to explain. For 50 years, no one has stayed the night at Heck House and survived. Ray recalled one of his professors stayed half the night and became a drooling mess. Egon refused to go to Heck House. Jeffers revealed $1 million would go to anyone who could stay the night from dusk to dawn without a Proton Pack. He represented E. Henry Merriweather, a wealthy man and former adventurer in the supernatural who recently passed away. In his will, Merriweather left the money to the Ghostbusters if they could overcome his challenge.

Peter relented the Ghostbusters could handle anything. Winston thought of buying a quantum chain for Ecto-1, Peter wanted a Porsche, and Ray, an osmotic processor. Egon still absolutely refused to go. Jeffers, Slimer, and the Ghostbusters soon arrived at Heck House. Once they entered, Jeffers asked how long ago sundown was. Ray answered it took place two minutes ago. The Ghostbusters watched as Jeffers raced to his car and took off. As Peter rallied the others in the front foyer, a chandelier nearly fell on them. In a guest room, Ray outsmarted a haunted light switch and was oblivious of a bed waiting to eat him. Ray heard Winston and ran out into the hall. Winston's room was arranged upside down. Ray invited Winston to sleep in his room. Egon sat in a library and was alone until Peter checked in on him. Peter teased Egon about their first case and all those flying books. After Peter left, a book slowly lurched out of its place. Egon warned it not to even try.

While Peter and Slimer passed down a hallway adorned with suits of armor, Slimer was sucked into a hidden passage. Slimer was accosted by giant dancing skeletons. Slimer forced his way out but bumped into a demonic horseman. He hid from the horseman and was spooked by a giant black cat then a pack of Spectral Dogs. Slimer eventually made it back into the hallway. Peter, nonchalantly, continued with his story then walked away. A painting morphed into a ghost and scared Slimer, too. As the Ghostbusters reunited for some sandwiches, Ray mumbled to himself. Peter revealed Slimer was clinging to one of his legs. Egon determined he wasn't classified to help and announced Heck House was home to 2,436 ghosts. The most haunted house on record was the Crowley House in London and it only had 25 ghosts. Slimer flew through a wall upon hearing the revelation. Ray snapped out of it and questioned how there could be so many ghosts when only a dozen people ever lived in it. The guys returned to the foyer and discovered all the exits were bricked up.

Peter used a pick axe and knocked a brick out but it simply went back into the wall. Winston was fed up and reminded the guys they had to use their wits to win. Egon returned to the library to figure out where the ghosts came from in order to beat them. Peter vowed all they had to do was stay together. The lights went out temporarily and both Ray and Winston were missing. Peter pulled up his sleeves and marched onward to save them. The chair Slimer sat on came to life and held him down with its arms. Winston encountered several Dark Knights who invited him to join the hunt. Winston turned down the offer and stole on of their horses. Ray landed on a pile of laundry and confronted several Sheet Ghosts. Ray tricked them into jumping into the dryer but a towel dispenser wrapped him up like a mummy. Back in the library, Egon was frustrated with the lack of answers then suddenly realized the truth. Peter knocked a knight off his horse and took over then caught up to Winston. They rode towards a landscape painting but bailed at the last second. The knights leaped into the painting and vanished. Ray stumbled into the room but Peter mistook him for another ghost. Winston say the Ghostbusters shoulder patch and stopped Peter. The trio's reunion was cut short when a dragon ghost approached. Slimer managed to break free from the chair as well.

Gathered in the library, the Ghostbusters learned Heck wanted to build the most haunted house in the world. He built the house, filled the library with 2,436 books, and cast a spell that brought all the stories to life. Ray was intrigued the ghosts were from the books. Egon suggested they use the house's wiring to turn the place into one big Ghost Trap. Slimer acted as a sentry and soon spotted lot's of ghosts marching to the library. Slimer flew back in and warned the guys. Winston took a look and quickly shut the door. He, Peter, and Slimer tried to prop the door shut as Ray and Egon put the finishing touches on a device. Ray hit the switch and the guys ran for the entrance. The wall was weakened enough for them to escape in time as Heck House collapsed. They cheered but Jeffers declared they violated the terms of the challenge by leaving Heck House five minutes early. Peter was angry but calmed down and decided to take a souvenir. He had Heck House made into a paperweight. The teacher called Peter away from his story. The two boys were still skeptical but the shadow of the dragon ghost appeared and spooked them. The boys ran out of the office.

TriviaEdit

  • The title and plot is a play on the famous 1959 novel "The Haunting of Hill House" and the similar 1971 novel "Hell House."
  • This episode was story boarded by Kazumi Fukushima, Will Meugniot, Steve Moore, Brad Rader, Vince Waller, and Stan Phillips. [2]
  • The voice cast recorded this episode on April 4, 1990.[3]
  • Before Jeffers can finish making his pitch, Peter mentions Elvis Presley in jest.
  • The original owner of Heck House was said to be Jonas Heck (called Joshua Heck later in the episode). [4] This could be an inside reference to DC Comics character Jonah Hex.
  • The episode makes numerous nods to the "The Ghost Breakers" film in 1940. One of those is the Lightning at the beginning of the episode. Another is the similar commented things about the house and how no one can stay there one night and survive.
  • Ray mentioned one of his professors from Paranormal Studies at Columbia University was driven insane by Heck House. [5]
  • Egon mentions Gozer. [6]
  • Peter wanted to use his $1 million to buy a Porsche, a high end luxury car.
  • Peter reminds Egon of the first case at the New York Public Library, and hopes for Egon's sake that the spirits in Heck House never saw the movie based upon that incident, this being another reference to the fact that the movie exists in The Real Ghostbusters timeline, first suggested in "Take Two". [7]
    • Humorously, enough after Peter leaves Egon alone in the library the ghosts of Heck House attempt to fling a book at Egon he catches the attempt and scolds them then the book quickly slides back onto the shelf.
  • Peter tells Slimer about the first time he went camping with his father and learned there is nothing too big to handle in life. [8]
  • Two of the Spectral Dogs from "Janine, You've Changed" can be seen very briefly near the end of the episode.
  • Egon admits he has some medical training but mostly in first aid. [9]
  • Egon mentions three other haunted houses: [10]
    • The Whateley House in Arkham is a reference to H.P. Lovecraft's "The Dunwich Horror" which featured several characters with the surname Whateley.
    • The Vincent House may be in reference to Vincent Price, a well known horror actor.
    • The Crowley House in London is a reference to occultist Aleister Crowley.
  • When Peter says "I'm here to kick ectoplasm and chew bubble gum, and I'm fresh out of bubble gum!", that line is a cleaned up version of the line from the movie "They Live" from 1988. The original line is "I have come here to chew bubble gum, and kick a--. I'm all out of bubble gum.
  • When he was 12 years old, Winston wanted a horse but his mom told him he couldn't because they lived in an apartment. [11]
  • Egon lists off several famous authors in the library: [12]
    • Poe - Edgar Allan Poe, writer of mystery and macabre
    • Jackson - Shirley Jackson, mystery and horror writer
    • Matheson - Richard Matheson, horror, fantasy, and science fiction writer
    • Howard - Robert E. Howard
    • Machen - Arthur Machen, Welsh author and mystic
    • Le Fanu - Sheridan Le Fanu, Irish writer of Gothic tales and mystery novels
    • Lovecraft - H.P. Lovecraft
    • Bloch - Robert Bloch, American writer in crime, horror, and science fiction
  • Peter refers to Slimer as Lassie.[13]

ReferencesEdit

  1. Eatock, James & Mangels, Andy (2008). The Real Ghostbusters Complete Collection booklet, p. 36. CPT Holdings, Inc.
  2. Rader,Brad (2009). The Real Ghostbusters- "The Haunting of Heck House" (1990) (Storyboards p. 1). CPT Holdings, Inc.
  3. Eatock, James & Mangels, Andy (2008). The Real Ghostbusters Complete Collection booklet, p. 36. CPT Holdings, Inc.
  4. Jeffers Marston, Egon Spengler (2009).The Real Ghostbusters- "The Haunting of Heck House" (1990) (DVD ts. 03:20-03:23, 17:05-17:08). Time Life Entertainment.
  5. Ray Stantz (2009).The Real Ghostbusters- "The Haunting of Heck House" (1990) (DVD ts. 03:38-03:47). Time Life Entertainment.
  6. Egon Spengler (2009).The Real Ghostbusters- "The Haunting of Heck House" (1990) (DVD ts. 03:54-03:58). Time Life Entertainment.
  7. Peter Venkman (2009).The Real Ghostbusters- "The Haunting of Heck House" (1990) (DVD ts. 07:37-07:49). Time Life Entertainment.
  8. Peter Venkman (2009).The Real Ghostbusters- "The Haunting of Heck House" (1990) (DVD ts. 08:06-08:09, 09:40-09:42). Time Life Entertainment.
  9. Peter Venkman, Egon Spengler (2009).The Real Ghostbusters- "The Haunting of Heck House" (1990) (DVD ts. 10:15-10:17, 10:18-10:20). Time Life Entertainment.
  10. Egon Spengler (2009).The Real Ghostbusters- "The Haunting of Heck House" (1990) (DVD ts. 10:52-10:56, 10:57-10:58, 10:59-11:03). Time Life Entertainment.
  11. Winston Zeddemore (2009).The Real Ghostbusters- "The Haunting of Heck House" (1990) (DVD ts. 14:20-14:26). Time Life Entertainment.
  12. Egon Spengler (2009).The Real Ghostbusters- "The Haunting of Heck House" (1990) (DVD ts. 15:06-15:11). Time Life Entertainment.
  13. Peter Venkman (2009).The Real Ghostbusters- "The Haunting of Heck House" (1990) (DVD ts. 18:20-18:23). Time Life Entertainment.


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Episode Screen CapsEdit

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