Ghostbusters Wiki
Ghostbusters Wiki

The Kenneth P. Higgins Institute[1] (also known as Kenneth P. Higgins Institute of Science)[2] was the location that Abby Yates and Jillian Holtzmann conducted their research at the beginning of the 2016 movie.


Primary Canon

The Kenneth P. Higgins Institute was established twelve years prior to the Rowan North incident.[3] The Institute was not highly regarded as a school as one dean had to serve jail time which forced him to resign.[4] The institute took over the building that was formerly occupied by the Bronx Kuyper Middle School. The current Dean, Thomas Shanks, was not exactly a respectable Dean either, not even knowing how to spell the word "science." For years, Abby and Holtzmann ran a department about the paranormal. They resided in room 25, the Paranormal Studies Laboratory. It had been forgotten about and operated beneath the Institute's notice.

Abby waited an hour for Bennie to deliver her take out order from Zhu's Authentic Hong Kong Food. Erin took a yellow taxi cab to the Institute and walked past two students fighting each other. Erin found the Paranormal Studies Laboratory and noticed a sign that read, "Do not write stupid things on this door!" with 'stupid' added on in red marker. An angry student rattled a vending machine after it failed to comply with his selection of "F7." She saw a table with stacks of Ghosts from Our Past: Both Literally and Figuratively: The Study of the Paranormal and two yellow Post It Notes. One had the price crossed off from $29.99 to 15.99 to its current price of 5.99. The other read, "Special! Going like hotcakes!" She knocked on the door. Abby remarked it's been awhile then drew some orange curtains apart and was surprised to see Erin as well. Bennie took note of her Antenna-like Helmet and remarked smaller headphones existed. Abby called it an advance in science and told him he was looking at the future then paid him. She directed him to show Erin the door on his way out. Bennie made a half-hearted attempt to grab her arm but she resisted. He left claiming he tried. Erin brought up the book and how she put it online without her permission. Abby played dumb about needing permission and stated she was one-tenth away from a brand new mini fridge. Erin revealed she was up for tenure but Abby could have cared less. She pointed out the book was their baby and Erin abandoned it very quickly. Erin stated there was no experimental backing for anything in that book and it made her look like a crazy person. Abby couldn't believe she got one wonton and a carrot in her order again. She called Zhu's and complained.

Erin met Holtzmann. Abby warned her not to get too close to Erin or she would ask her to write a book, and then squash her dreams. Abby boasted Holtzmann was brilliant and loyal, specialized in experimental particle physics, and was almost hired by CERN then claimed they were close the actualizing their theories like a hollow laser for the reverse tractor beam. Holtzmann suggested letting her listen to the EVP. Erin interrupted Holtzmann and told her she knew what it meant but none were ever substantiated. Annoyed by her cockiness, Abby played along and they told Erin a story about how they spent eight nights at the Chelsea Hotel a few months ago then found something when they reviewed their tapes. Abby started a tape on the Kudelski Nagra III Reel to Reel Tape Recorder. Holtzmann and Abby leaned in to listen. Erin approached and suddenly a recorded fart sound plays. Abby mocked her with a spooky "ooo" noise while Holtzmann laughed. They realized Erin was the first to come right over to the recorder. Abby was concerned when Holtzmann asked if it was more or less disgusting if the noise came from the front. Erin sarcastically asked if they were going to give her a wedgie next. Abby retorted they weren't because she had enough stuck up her butt. Erin had enough. Abby asked her why she came looking for the book if she didn't believe in it. Erin told her about Ed Mulgrave Jr.'s claim that Aldridge Mansion Museum was haunted. Abby and Holtzmann performed an elaborate patty cake then grabbed some equipment. Abby stood at the door and beckoned Erin. Erin misconstrued it as an invitation to join them but Abby needed to lock up the lab. She gave up and told Erin to close the door behind her and it should lock. Erin continued after Abby to take the book down. Abby agreed to consider taking down the book temporarily if Erin would introduce them to Mulgrave.

Erin got fired when a video of the Aldridge investigation came to Dean Harold Filmore's attention. Erin returned to the Paranormal Studies Laboratory. She threw down her purse angrily and told them the news. She grabbed the nearest thing, a Proton Grenade (Air Filter Prototype). Abby and Holtzmann freaked out and exclaimed they would all die and turn to ash from the inside out. Abby instructed her to put the grenade down slowly. Erin slammed it down on a pile of components. Abby and Holtzmann gasped. Erin couldn't believe she got fired after years of hard work and ass-kissing. Abby tried to spin it into a glass half full scenario since they saw a real ghost. Holtzmann agreed it was beautiful until she dislocated her jaw and ecto-projected all over Erin. Erin added the Ectoplasm went everywhere in every crack. Even Abby found that kind of spectacularly beautiful. Erin remembered she detected and smelled a heavy ionization discharge. Abby declared they weren't going to be quiet about it. She informed Erin they got over 100 comments about the video and invited her to read one. Erin took a look and read it aloud, "Ain't no bitches gonna hunt no ghosts." Abby pointed her to the one below it. The comment was a woman describing a Class 3 haunting in her house. Abby asked who she was going to call for help. The theme song for "Ghost Jumpers" interrupted Abby. The show's announcer revealed the Ghost Jumpers made contact with the ghost of Bigfoot. Abby got annoyed and blamed programs like "Ghost Jumpers" on preventing legitimate scientists from researching the paranormal. She felt like they were on the cusp of a real discovery and told Erin the Institute backed her and Holtzmann 100 percent. Erin became interested. Abby reminded her they were achieving what they dreamed up as teenagers and proposed she join the faculty. All they had to do was go upstairs and ask for more money. Abby promised they would pumped if Erin joined.

They met with Dean Thomas Shanks in his office. Shanks had no idea Abby and Holtzmann's department still existed. He refused to let the 12-year reputation of the institute to be besmirched by their discovery. Abby couldn't believe what he said. She knew full well the Institute didn't have an upstanding reputation and pointed out he became the dean because the previous one went to jail. Shanks took that as an insinuation he wasn't qualified. Abby replied he spelled "science" with a "y" and she didn't think he knew that was wrong. Shanks stated it was an institution of higher learning and if they wanted to study ghosts, they had to do it somewhere else. He ended saying he had two words for them. Erin guessed it was "Get out" but Abby predicted it was "suck it." Erin didn't believe her. Shanks told them to suck it. Erin admitted she was right. Shanks pretended to see a ghost then flipped them the middle finger. He pointed to the door and told them bye. He asked if they could hear him. He spun his hands as if it was a volume knob and whistled as he did. Abby was dismayed by the incredibly immature behavior. Shanks mimicked blowing his hand as if it were a balloon, pretended it blows away, stopped, and flipped them the middle finger again.

Holtzmann, Abby, and Erin gathered everything they could and wheeled it outside the Institute. Abby stressed it was just a minor setback. Erin was undaunted and believed they could become the first scientists to prove the existence of the paranormal and all they have to do was find an entity and capture it and bring it into a controlled environment. Abby welcomed the "old" Erin back into the fold. Holtzmann was pleased. Abby warned they should leave quickly since they wanted it back. Erin thought it was all theirs. Holtzmann admitted it was all stolen school property. Shanks appeared at the front door with a bat and demanded it back. Abby ordered everyone to scatter. Erin gritted her teeth. They ran for it. Shanks started to run down steps after them. After the first Mercado incident, Fox 5 News spoke with Shanks about Erin. He clarified Erin's association with the institute, albeit distant, was a blight on the university but he shifted the conversation to his upcoming album, releasing in two weeks. He revealed the name of the album was "I'mma Be Me" and he offered to play the title track. He grabbed his guitar and started playing.

Secondary Canon

IDW Comics

Ray Stantz' students, Zoe Zawadzki, Evan Torres, and Cait Banner, opened a portal with the Ghostbusters' Interspatial Teleportation Unit as part of a demonstration for their new classmate Garrett Parker. The portal appeared in Dimension 80-C near the Kenneth P. Higgins Institute in the evening. A large ghost with tentacles detected the portal and grabbed Garrett's arm. Zoe closed the portal before any of them crossed over. The ghost lost two tentacles in the process. It heard the voice of an entity in the reflection of a storefront across the street.

Doctor Kruger sent Abby into a Nightmare-Scape based on the Kenneth P. Higgins Institute and posed as Dean Shanks. In an office, he told Abby there was no funding, ghosts will never be real, and she was fired. Abby insisted ghosts were real and that she was a Ghostbuster. Kruger transformed himself and Abby into a clown, her fear.

Noted Places

  • Paranormal Studies Laboratory
  • Dean Thomas Shanks' Office


Former Employees


  • It was just a coincidence that Steve Higgins was cast as the dean of the institute. It was not named after him.[7]
  • The name of the institute existed since the first draft of the script.[8]
  • The building used for filming the Kenneth P. Higgins scenes was Everett Community Health and Wellness Center (formerly Everett High School) at 548 Broadway in Everett, Massachusetts.[9]
  • On June 18, 2015, set photos from Boston began emerging of Kristen Wiig going to the former Everett High School dressed as Bronx Kuyper Middle School. The school's exterior was draped with banners that read "Higgs Science Institute." A taxicab dressed as a New York City taxi cab was seen. Wiig walked past two people brawling. Paul Feig was also seen. Melissa McCarthy and Kate McKinnon were also seen in filming in costume.[10][11][12][13]
  • On June 20, 2015, amateur footage published on June 19 recorded exterior filming of Melissa McCarthy and Kate McKinnon's characters hailing a cab and Kristen Wiig's character sends them off with a short line.[14][15]
  • The first trailer for the movie featured an easter egg on Erin's board of equations, a website url, that led to the "official website" for the Kenneth P. Higgins Institute of Science's Paranormal Studies Lab. Embedded on this website was a behind-the-scenes featurette entitled "Busting Ghosts With Science"[16]
  • On March 9, 2016, the Ghostbusters Snapchat posted a still of a door at the Paranormal Studies Lab. The name plates on the door were of Dr. Abigail L. Yates and Dr. Jillian Holtzmann.[17]
  • A lot of the equipment was brought to the new Headquarters from their lab, as suggested by them running stuff out before the dean could stop them.
  • In the alternate scene The Dean:
    • The previous dean is revealed to have been fired for indecent exposure at a mall.[18]
    • The Kenneth P. Higgins Institute's school mascot is a thong.[19]
    • Dean Shanks funded the previous year's graduation ceremony through Kickstarter but it was just to pay for an appearance by the band Hoobastank.[20][21]
  • On page 16 of Ghostbusters 101 #2, in panel 2, there is a banner from the Kenneth P. Higgins Institute of Science.
  • On page 3 of Ghostbusters 101 #5, panel 5, on the second row is the device that was next to Holtzmann in her and Abby's Kenneth P. Higgins lab in Chapter 2 when Erin first met her.
  • On page 19 of Ghostbusters 101 #6, right of Patty is the stack of discounted copies of Ghosts From Our Past seen in Abby and Holtzmann's lab in the Kenneth P. Higgins Institute.
  • On page 12 of Ghostbusters: Answer The Call Issue #2, Dean Shank's name plate has an "M" instead of an "S".
  • On page 12 of Ghostbusters: Answer The Call Issue #2, in panel 1, the infamous red balloon from "It" is in the portrait right of the "dean."


Primary Canon

Secondary Canon


  1. Dean Thomas Shanks (2016). Ghostbusters (2016 Movie) Extended Edition; Chapter 12 (2016) (Blu-Ray ts. 1:28:21-1:28:27). Sony Pictures. Dean Thomas Shanks says: "Ms. Gilbert's association with the Kenneth P. Higgins Institute, albeit distant, is a blight on this university."
  2. Erin Gilbert (2016). Ghostbusters (2016 Movie) Extended Edition; Chapter 1 (2016) (Blu-Ray ts. 00:10:18-00:10:25). Sony Pictures. Erin Gilbert says: "Abigail continues her passion for the study of the paranormal at the Kenneth P. Higgins Institute of Science."
  3. Dean Thomas Shanks (2016). Ghostbusters (2016 Movie) Extended Edition; Chapter 4 (2016) (Blu-Ray ts. 00:25:13-00:25:18). Sony Pictures. Dean Thomas Shanks says: "I will not let the 12-year reputation of this fine institution be besmirched by you!"
  4. Abby Yates (2016). Ghostbusters (2016 Movie) Extended Edition; Chapter 4 (2016) (Blu-Ray ts. 00:25:22-00:25:25). Sony Pictures. Abby Yates says: "You're only dean now because the last dean went to jail."
  5. Shaffer, Andrew (2016). Ghosts From Our Past: Both Literally & Figuratively: The Study of the Paranormal, p. 219. Three Rivers Press, New York NY USA, ISBN 9781101906002. Line reads: "Abby L. Yates, Ph.D., is a supernatural scientist and founding member of the Ghostbusters. Prior to joining the private sector, she was a professor of paranormal studies at the Kenneth P. Higgins Institute of Science."
  6. Shaffer, Andrew (2016). Ghosts From Our Past: Both Literally & Figuratively: The Study of the Paranormal, p. 139. Three Rivers Press, New York NY USA, ISBN 9781101906002. Line reads: "Jillian Holtzmann is a former associate professor of paranormal studies at the Kenneth P. Higgins Institute of Science. A brilliant nuclear engineer, she was once considered for a position at the European Organization for Nuclear Research."
  7. Paul Feig (2016). Ghostbusters (2016 Movie) Extended Edition - Writer & Director Commentary (2016) (Blu-Ray ts. 00:25:15-00:25:23). Sony Pictures. Paul Feig says: "And one of the interesting things is it's called the Higgins Institute. Had nothing to do with the fact we cast Steve Higgins."
  8. Paul Feig (2016). Ghostbusters (2016 Movie) Extended Edition - Writer & Director Commentary (2016) (Blu-Ray ts. 00:25:24-00:25:27). Sony Pictures. Paul Feig says: "It was called the Higgins Institute in the very first draft of the script."
  9. Spook Central Shot on Site "Return of Shot on Site Summer - Ghostbusters 2016 Locations, Part 1 (Movie Rundown)" 6/3/18
  10. Boston "Here are the first photos from the set of ‘Ghostbusters’" 6/18/15
  11. Boston Herald "Sneak peek as ‘Ghostbusters’ reboot starts shooting in Everett" 6/18/15
  12. ET Online "First Pictures From 'Ghostbusters' Are Here! See Kristen Wiig in Costume" 6/18/15
  13. People "Check Out Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig and Kate McKinnon in First Photos from the Ghostbusters Set" 6/18/15
  14. Comic Book "Ghostbusters Hail A Taxi In First Footage From Paul Feig's Reboot" 6/20/15
  15. user GASP! YouTube 6/19/15
  16. Spook Central "Ghostbusters 2016 Reboot Trailer & Hidden Website Found!!!" March 3, 2016
  17. Andrew Shaffer Facebook post 3/9/16
  18. Dean Thomas Shanks (2016). Ghostbusters (2016 Movie) Deleted/Alternate Scenes; (Deleted Scene): The Dean (2016) (Blu-Ray ts. 0:00:21-0:00:25). Sony Pictures. Dean Thomas Shanks says: "Okay, before you judge him, he's in prison because he took his junk out at the mall, okay?"
  19. Jillian Holtzmann (2016). Ghostbusters (2016 Movie) Deleted/Alternate Scenes; (Deleted Scene): The Dean (2016) (Blu-Ray ts. 0:00:38-0:00:39). Sony Pictures. Jillian Holtzmann says: "Your mascot is a thong."
  20. Abby Yates (2016). Ghostbusters (2016 Movie) Deleted/Alternate Scenes; (Deleted Scene): The Dean (2016) (Blu-Ray ts. 0:00:40-0:00:44). Sony Pictures. Abby Yates says: "For God sakes, you raised money for last year's graduation ceremony on Kickstarter."
  21. Jillian Holtzmann (2016). Ghostbusters (2016 Movie) Deleted/Alternate Scenes; (Deleted Scene): The Dean (2016) (Blu-Ray ts. 0:00:45-0:00:47). Sony Pictures. Jillian Holtzmann says: "And it was to pay for an appearance by Hoobastank."


From Film and Trailers

Behind the Scenes and Interviews

Secondary Canon