Designed in 1984 by Egon Spengler and Ray Stantz, the Proton Pack counters the negative energy which ghosts are made of. The Proton Stream emits from the induction nozzle on the Particle Thrower.[1]

A Proton Stream, is a stream of positively charged ions which can harness a ghost. The Proton Stream is very dangerous and barely controllable. Egon has also mentioned that crossing Proton Streams will result in total protonic reversal causing all life as we know it to stop instantaneously and every molecule in a user's body to explode at the speed of light.

What a Proton Stream is

The known parts of the Proton Stream:

  • Proton Beam (red with a yellow/orange core)
  • Electron/Positron Lightning (blue to white)
  • Sparks (pink/purple sparks that come off the wand point)
  • Emitted Light (partly the sparks, it is usually white)
  • Lens Flare (bright streak horizontal and sometime vertical which is mostly blue)


The Proton Stream has noted traits to capture ghosts for possible storage. The Beam acts like a rope and will lasso around the target during the event.

The stream is also noted for being difficult to control and highly destructive to physical objects. Objects hit by the stream tend to blow apart or catch fire, and as the beam tends to undulate wildly the Ghostbusters tend to cause a lot of collateral damage.

The color of the containing electrons/positrons (blue-white) is scientifically accurate for free electrons/positrons [2]

Difference in Appearance


Explosions were filmed on stage at Entertainment Effects Group then rephotographed with a technique called "pin blocking." The explosions were miniaturized so that the tip of the Particle Throwers appeared to have pyrotechnic explosions and flares. The explosions and flares were laced in with five levels of classical animation which was then manipulated on the optical printer by Optical Supervisor Mark Vargos. [3]

Ghostbusters II

At first, the team at Industrial Light and Magic attempted to duplicate the Proton Streams from the first movie. Dennis Muren and Mark Vargo encouraged animation supervisor Tom Bertino and the crew to go in a new direction in order to surprise the audience. John Armstrong and Peter Crossman came up with designs that evolved the Proton Streams to act like cowboy lassos and fishing lines. Muren and Vargo approved then the designs were brought to Ivan Reitman. Reitman loved them and gave the go-ahead to continue. The lasso idea turned out to work very well with the mylar squash and stretch effect used on the Scoleri Brothers. When the streams were supposed to wrangle them, the mylar would be utilized to constrict the ghost. [4]

Other Differences

The Proton Stream seems to have a different sound effect used in Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II. In the second installment, the stream seems to make a small cling sound when first fired (similar to when the Proton Pack turns on). Other than that, the sound effects are nearly identical.

Also See


  1. Mueller, Richard (August 1985). Ghostbusters: The Supernatural Spectacular, p. 99. Tor Books, New York NY USA, ISBN 0812585984.
  2. CERN 12/2016
  3. Terry Windell (1999). Ghostbusters "SFX Team Featurette" (1999) (DVD ts. 04:36-05:03). Columbia Pictures. Windell says: "And actually took explosions that were filmed on the stage and then rephotographing them with a technique that these guys called pin blocking so we can miniaturize these little explosions so that the tip of the gun had pyrotechnic explosions and flares and things laced in there with five levels of classical animation that was also manipulated on the optical printer by Mark Vargos."
  4. Eisenberg, Adam (November 1989). Ghostbusters Revisited, Cinefex magazine #40, page 18, 20. Cinefex, USA.


Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.