The Trap (also known as Ghost Trap and Ecto Trap) functioned just like in the movie, the temporary storage of ghosts until they can be placed into the Containment Unit. However, it was further explained what a trap's limitations and alternative functions were.
It is shown that it is possible to trap more than one ghost in the same trap at one time and that even though the proton guns were often used to get a ghost near the trap, the trap can simply suck a ghost in. It is demonstrated that if too many ghosts or a very big and powerful ghost were trapped, they could not be held in it for long, like the Bird of Kildarby and Ghash when he took in a massive amount of ghosts. Also the trap was explained to mix multiple ghosts together when trapped in the same trap, though many instances showed the ghosts to be still separate after being put into the Containment Unit.
Against a multitude of Television Manifestations, Winston Zeddemore threw out six standard Traps at once which he nicknamed a six pack. Also, multiple traps can be used to catch one ghost. On one occasion, a trap was connected directly to the Containment Unit. Then a second trap was connected to the first through its pedestal. This configuration successfully captured the Bird of Kildarby. Another configuration involved connecting five traps together. The trap could also be used to temporarily hold environmental substances, such as the ectoplasmic lubricant used on the Pillar of New York, or powerful artifacts, such as the Shears of Fate. At least some traps had the ability to indicate the Class Level of the ghost(s) inside. The trap could also be reconfigured to handle living beings.
When forced to relocate, the Ghostbusters safely bled energy from the traps. Peter disregarded safety protocols and caused one trap to short circuit. It transported Slimer and the Ghostbusters to April 10, 1959. Egon had to recharge the trap to the exact power level it was during the accident in order to seal a hole in the fabric of time and to transport them back to the present. While playing around, Slimer broke a Trap and tried to reassemble it but was left with one part. He panicked and tried to hide his mistake. The trap was used to capture the Grocery Specter. Its essence leaked out and affected various objects. The objects animated and converged on the Firehouse to reassemble itself as a ghost. In November 1997, the original type of Trap was used one last time to trap an Ecto-Clone pair.
Other Type of Traps
When the Ghostbusters realized Janine Melnitz's lamp was the source of a massive build up of spectral energy, Ray Stantz connected four Traps. Their combined power would be able to reverse the polarity of the lamp and pull in all the ghosts that passed through it from the spirit world. Once Janine connected cables to the lamp, Ray triggered the traps and the theory was applied.
Just before the team was called to an Arizona assignment, Egon Spengler tested a new Ghost Trap, with twice the P.K.E. suction of the older model, on Slimer. However, it proved to be too powerful and trapped itself. Fortunately, Slimer returned unharmed after the trap sucked itself in.
During a mission to extract Shifter, Slimer went into the Containment Unit with a Camera Trap that looked like a floating ball with a camera. It would be signaled to trap by someone outside the Containment Unit using a device to monitor the events. Once locked on to a target, the trap captures its query then teleports back to the control panel.
Egon and Ray modified their ghostbusting equipment for the Ghostbusters' new career as the Crimebusters. In the case of the Trap, it was modified to create a solidified energy cage around living beings.
While the Ghostbusters dealt with the uptick in supernatural activity caused by Proteus, Egon used a remote control to activate several traps at the same time to capture all the heavily armed Street Thugs ghosts in one move.
Extreme Ghostbusters Trap
The ghosts of New York that were released in 1997, starting with Achira, had gotten stronger so the Proton Packs had to be redesigned to be more powerful and hold bigger spirits. Likewise, the Traps would have to be modified in order to correlate with the augmented proton charge. Also, the traps were a lot bigger than before so one person (usually Kylie Griffin) would carry only one on the back. In the bust involving the Dry Spell Spirit, a floatation mode was utilized to trap the ghost. As displayed when Fenris blasted it, the trap was not built to withstand sub zero temperatures. The trap also has the ability to analyze a trapped ghost by connecting it to a computer. These traps were commonly held by hand. When Tempus' essence was split into two, he was able to escape from the Trap. During the battle against Cernunnos, Kylie's Trap was caught in an energy blast. When activated, the Trap's containment vortex was fried. In order to generate a proper vortex, the circle of four believers was formed again. The plan worked and Cernunnos was trapped.
- Kenner made a voice modulator that resembles a trap called Ghost Spooker in Weapon Action Figure Toys 3
- Kenner later made a "functional" Ghost Trap in Weapon Action Figure Toys 4
- Screaming Hero Figure: Peter Venkman came with a ghost trap
- Trendmasters made their own Ghost Trap with Positron Blaster in the Extreme Ghostbusters Weapon Toys
- In an apparent nod to Extreme Ghostbusters, the Ghost Trap from that show is seen on Egon's work table in both open and closed form in the Realistic Version of Ghostbusters: The Video Game.
- In fact, they are unused equipment known as Stasis Mines based on the Extreme Ghostbusters' Traps. They would have acted as ghost flash freezers.
- On page 17 of Ghostbusters Issue #16, the Real Ghostbusters Trap makes a non-canon cameo as Winston's Trap.
- On page one of Ghostbusters Volume 2 Issue #19, the Camera Trap makes a non-canon cameo on the shelf.
- Roland appears on Cover B of Ghostbusters Crossing Over Issue #6 holding an an early version of the Extreme Ghostbusters' Trap seen in the VHS release of Rudyard Kipling's "The Second Jungle Book".
- A Trap appears on all 3 covers of 35th Anniversary: The Real Ghostbusters.
- On Cover RI of Ghostbusters Year One Issue #2, In the upper right are the 3 spotlights, by Ray's left leg is spotlight switch panel, and by Ray's head are the extending traps from "Halloween II ½".
- John Seitz- "XGB Preview from Video Release of Rudyard Kipling's The Second Jungle Book 1997"
- Spook Central - Extreme Ghostbusters The Original Version Screen caps for the Preview Promo can be found there.
- Ghostbusters Get Real
- Ghostbusters Annual 2015
- "Daydreams and Nightmares!"
- The Real Ghostbusters version
- Page 10, on panel 3, on the top shelf
- The Real Ghostbusters version
- "Daydreams and Nightmares!"
- Ongoing Series
- Ghostbusters Annual 2018
- The Real Ghostbusters and Extreme Ghostbusters versions
- Ghostbusters Crossing Over
- Ghostbusters 35th Anniversary: The Real Ghostbusters
- The Real Ghostbusters version only.
- Ghostbusters 35th Anniversary: Extreme Ghostbusters
- Extreme Ghostbusters version only.
- Egon Spengler (2009). The Real Ghostbusters - "It's About Time" (1989) (DVD ts. 07:28-07:29). Time Life Entertainment. Egon says: "Back through our Ecto Trap."
- Egon Spengler (2009).The Real Ghostbusters- "The Bird of Kildarby" (1986) (DVD ts. 18:16-18:19). Time Life Entertainment.
- Egon Spengler (2009). The Real Ghostbusters - "Slimer, Come Home" (1986) (DVD ts. 20:47-20:53). Time Life Entertainment. Egon says: "There are too many ghosts in the Trap. It wasn't made to hold that many. It could overload at any second!"
- "Drool, the Dog Faced Goblin"
- Winston Zeddemore (2009). The Real Ghostbusters - "Station Identification" (1987) (DVD ts. 06:00-06:01). Time Life Entertainment. Winston says: "I say this calls for a six pack."
- "Cry Uncle", "Ain't NASA-Sarily So"
- "Janine Melnitz, Ghostbuster"
- "Beneath These Streets"
- "Hanging By a Thread"
- "Doctor, Doctor"
- Ray Stantz (2009).The Real Ghostbusters- "Ghost Busted" (1986) Time Life Entertainment.
- Ray Stantz (2009). The Real Ghostbusters - "It's About Time" (1989) (DVD ts. 03:09-03:11). Time Life Entertainment. Ray says: "We're bleeding out the energy from these Traps."
- Egon Spengler (2009). The Real Ghostbusters - "It's About Time" (1989) (DVD ts. 07:34-07:37). Time Life Entertainment. Egon says: "First, the Trap must be charged to the precise power level the original accident occurred."
- Egon Spengler (2009). The Real Ghostbusters - "Loose Screws" (1989) (DVD ts. 24:17-24:28). Time Life Entertainment. Egon says: "Elements of the ghost we caught at the store leaked out of the faulty trap. And when we brought the Trap back here, parts of the spirit's essence affected all of this and followed us home in an effort to reassemble itself."
- Ray Stantz (2009). The Real Ghostbusters - "Janine's Genie" (1986) (DVD ts. 19:52-20:00). Time Life Entertainment. Ray says: "By combining the power our our portable Ecto Traps, we may be able to reverse the polarity of that lamp. Turn it into one big trap that sucks all the ghosts back into their own world!"
- Egon Spengler (2009). The Real Ghostbusters - "Ghost Fight at the O.K. Corral" (1987) (DVD ts. 3:24-3:29). Time Life Entertainment. Egon says: "This new Ghost Trap has twice the psychokinetic energy suction of the previous model."
- Ray Stantz (2009). The Real Ghostbusters - "Partners in Slime" (1989) (DVD ts. 06:00-06:03). Time Life Entertainment. Ray says: "This Camera Trap will follow you in, Slimer."
- Egon Spengler (2009). The Real Ghostbusters - "Partners in Slime" (1989) (DVD ts. 06:06-06:08). Time Life Entertainment. Egon says: "And we'll be able to monitor you from here."
- Egon Spengler (2009). Extreme Ghostbusters- Darkness at Noon, Part 2 (1997) (DVD ts. 13:50-13:55). Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Egon says: "And then, of course, the Ghost Trap would have to be modified."
- "Dry Spell"
- Roland Jackson (1997). Extreme Ghostbusters- Slimer's Sacrifice (1997) (DVD ts. 05:28-05:30). Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Roland says: "The sub zero temperature is shorting out the circuitry."
- Extreme Ghostbusters, "Rage"
- Roland Jackson (1997). Extreme Ghostbusters- Witchy Woman (1997) (DVD ts. 19:05-19:09). Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Roland says: "By recreating the energy field that gave Cernunnos his power in the first place."
- skankerzero 7/7/09
The Real Ghostbusters Pilot Design
The Real Ghostbusters Design
The Real Ghostbusters Collages
The Real Ghostbusters Secondary Canon
The Real Ghostbusters Behind the Scenes
Extreme Ghostbusters Preview Promo Design
All images for the Preview Promo were from John Seitz (aka Johnny Splitz).