Note that this article covers the 2016 movie version of the Trap. The 1984/1989 version can be found here, and the Real Ghostbusters/Extreme Ghostbusters one can be found here.

The Trap was a ghost containment tool invented by Abby Yates and Jillian Holtzmann as seen in the 2016 movie.


Primary Canon

The components that would become part of the Trap was developed by Abby and Holtzmann while they worked at the Kenneth P. Higgins Institute. The hollow laser was one of them.[1] After the Seward Street Subway Station case, Abby and Holtzmann were close to adding the reversible psychokinetic energy sink and the hollow beam to their choice for the Trap design.[2] The Trap was used for the first time on Mayhem at the Stonebrook Theatre. It was stored under Holtzmann's Proton Pack and held on by straps. The Trap's pedal was released by the Upper Arm Remote Trigger. Abby told Holtzmann to open the Trap. Holtzmann turned off her thrower and reached for the Trap on the underside of her Proton Pack and threw it onto the stage. Holtzmann informed them she was going to do a three count. The screen on Holtzmann's Upper Arm Remote Trigger read, "Pedal ready to activate." She swiped. The wired pedal shot out from the side of the Trap. Holtzmann counted down to two and rested her foot above the pedal. Patty yelled at her to open it. Holtzmann quickly counted down to one and stomped the pedal. The Trap opened and with some maneuvering, it pulled in Mayhem. Holtzmann stomped the pedal. The Trap closed. Erin asked if they caught it. Holtzmann declared they put a ghost in a box. She held out the Trap as steam hissed from it. The crowd cheered. The Beasts resumed performing their song. During an interview with NY1 News outside, Holtzmann proudly raised the Trap above her head.

Later, after coming back to headquarters, the Ghostbusters were visited by Martin Heiss. He wanted start light and easy then asked them why they were pretending to catch ghosts. Erin stopped Abby and reiterated they were adherents of the scientific method and she, in particular, dedicated her life to it. She picked up Trap and told him they captured a Class 3 vapor at 4:32 pm. Heiss pointed his cane at the Trap and wanted to clarify the ghost was indeed inside the "thermos." He poked it but Abby pushed the cane away, telling him not to touch it. Heiss remarked he would really love to see it. Abby shot that down and stated they were still assessing what type of containment method to use. Abby tried to take the Trap, Erin resisted, but Abby yanked it away. Heiss was amused at his timing, they caught a ghost but he couldn't see it. Erin admitted it sounded like they were making it up, it sounded crazy, and they probably don't really look like legitimate scientists. Heiss contended they only lacked the proper equipment, like a garbage truck to hang on to the back of.

Patty cleared her throat and thanked him for stopping by. Erin was still intent on showing him the ghost. She grabbed the Trap and set it down on the floor. Abby told her not to do it. Erin released the pedal. Abby pulled her back and questioned her. Erin insisted it was because he didn't believe them. Holtzmann and Patty quickly strapped on their Proton Packs. Heiss got out his camcorder and recorded. Abby tried to talk Erin out of it, citing they finally succeeded at doing the thing they talked about since they were little kids and it wasn't worth it trying to impress him. Heiss thought they were something. Erin apologized to Abby. Abby told her it was okay. As soon as Abby turned away, Erin stomped the pedal and the Trap opened. Heiss cheered her on. Erin and Abby cringed. Erin quickly apologized. Heiss mockingly referred to Mayhem as Casper. Suddenly, Mayhem manifested, flied out of the Trap, carried Heiss through the window and dropped him onto the street below. After Rowan North was defeated, the Containment Unit was designed and built to hold a Trap in a visible chamber in the front.

Secondary Canon

In the Yorkville Brownstone, the Ghostbusters trapped the ghost of a child named Timothy. The traps were utilized to help trap the multitude of ghosts in Connla's Army during the Liberty Island bust in the prime dimension.


  • Part names taken from schematic posted on March 3, 2016 on Kenneth P. Higgins Institute of Science Paranormal Studies Lab (Web Site).
    • CPU and Containment Signal Generator
    • Heat Sink
    • Wave Guide
    • Ethereal Resonator Antennae
    • Occupancy Indicator
    • Psychokinetic Energy Sink
    • Resonant Holding Cavity
    • Shielded Containment Doors
    • Veto Shield
    • Spectrally Reflective Plating
    • Polarized Spectral Foam Generator


When the Trap is activated, the trap doors are opened and the P.K.E. sink is engaged. The P.K.E. sink leverages ethereal polarization to attract spectral disturbances of a given polarization. Once an entity is trapped, the shielded containment doors close. The chamber acts as an ethereal resonance cavity that keeps the entity trapped between nodes of standing waves in the spectral field. A Trap is ideally suited to hold one entity at a time. To verify an entity is in the Trap, an occupancy indicator lights up.[3]



Primary Canon

Secondary Canon


  1. Abby Yates (2016). Ghostbusters (2016 Movie) Extended Edition; Chapter 2 (2016) (Blu-Ray ts. 00:14:01-00:14:04). Sony Pictures. Abby Yates says: "We're incredibly close on the hollow laser for the reverse tractor beam. Really close."
  2. Abby Yates (2016). Ghostbusters (2016 Movie) Extended Edition; Chapter 7 (2016) (Blu-Ray ts. 00:48:00-00:48:07). Sony Pictures. Abby Yates says: "Then we add the reversible psychokinetic energy sink plus Holtzy's hollow beam to this baby, and voilá. We got a ghost in there."
  3. Shaffer, Andrew (2016). Ghosts From Our Past: Both Literally & Figuratively: The Study of the Paranormal, p. 138-139. Three Rivers Press, New York NY USA, ISBN 9781101906002.


Primary Canon

Behind the Scenes and Interviews

Designs and Illustrations

Secondary Canon

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