Weaver Hall is a building associated with the Department of Psychology at Columbia University. At the start of the film, the three future Ghostbusters worked there, conducting experiments and research on the paranormal.

History

Primary Canon

Before their funding was terminated, Egon Spengler, Ray Stantz, and Peter Venkman worked in the Department of Psychology located at Weaver Hall on the upper west side of campus.[1] They were based in the Paranormal Studies Laboratory, Room 205 A.[2] Presumably, the men taught courses that in some way related to the paranormal, even though Dr. Venkman's specialties were psychology and parapsychology.

In Room 205 A, Peter conducted one of his experiments. Peter sat on one side of a table. A Male Student and Jennifer sat on the other side. They were wired to electrodes of an electro-shock generator that laid in the middle of the table. He held up the back of the card to them. The card was a star. The Male Student pressed his left ring and middle finger to the side of his head and guessed it was a square. Peter revealed the card to them and shocked him. Jennifer was squeamish. Peter turned to Jennifer and smiled. Peter told her to clear her head. She smiled. He held up the next card. It was a circle. Peter asked her what she thought it was. The male student watched her. Jennifer asked if it was a star. Peter lied and pretended to be amazed she was correct. She was ecstatic. He held up a card for the male student. He instructed him to think hard. The male student guessed it was a circle. Peter revealed a square then shocked him. Pink gum shot out of his mouth. He grabbed it off the table, put it back in his mouth, and continued chewing. Peter jotted down a note, asked Jennifer is she was ready, and held up the next card for Jennifer. It was a plus sign. He pressed the eraser end of a pencil on the side of his head, smiled, and asked what it was. Jennifer stared at the back of the card. She guessed figure eight. Peter pretended to be surprised again. He remarked she was five for five. He asked if she could see the card. Peter moved the card around and squinted. The male student tried looking from her vantage point. Jennifer smiled and swore she wasn't cheating, the answers were coming to her.

Peter turned to the male student. The male student grabbed at his collar. Peter asked if he was nervous. The male student admitted he was. Peter reminded them they only had 75 more to go. He held up the next card. It had three wavy lines. The male student guessed it was a couple of wavy lines but Peter lied and told him it was wrong. Peter reached for the lever. The male student stuttered. Jennifer looked amused by the tension. Peter winked at her. Peter electrocuted him. The male student got agitated. Peter countered he volunteered and would be paid. The male student pointed out he didn't know Peter was giving the volunteers electric shocks. He asked Peter what he was trying to prove. Peter pressed his hands together and revealed he was studying the effect of negative reinforcement on ESP ability. The male student became irate and screamed the effect was the shocks were pissing him off. Peter stood and countered maybe his theory was correct. The male student ripped the electrodes off his hands, told Peter to keep the five bucks, then he stormed out of the room and slammed the door. Peter yelled he would. He changed his demeanor as he sat down next to Jennifer. He warned Jennifer to get used to that kind of resentment because her ability was going to provoke some people. Jennifer asked Peter if he really thought she had a gift. Peter promised her she was no fluke.

Ray entered the room excited about something, nearly killing the mood Peter has created. Ray exclaimed, "This is it! This is definitely it!" Ray grabbed a camcorder off a table near Peter then asked him if those UV lenses came in for the video camera and for the blank tape that he erased the day before. Ray gathered equipment from a shelf. Peter turned to Jennifer and asked if she would excuse him. Peter crept over to Ray, hopped off the floor, and cartoonishly slapped him on the head as he told him he was right in the middle of something. He was standing, pretending to be talking normally to Ray by the time Jennifer peaked over. Peter insisted he needed a little more time with Jennifer and asked him he could come back in an hour or hour and a half. Ray stated at 1:40 p.m. at the main branch of the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue, ten people witnessed a free-floating, full-torso, vaporous apparition, it blew books off shelves from 20 away, and scared some poor librarian. Peter, uninterested, tried to handle him and told him get right down there, check it out and get back to him. Ray shook his head and told Peter he was coming, too. He revealed Egon took P.K.E. valances and it went right off the top of the scale. Ray emphasized it buried the needle and they were close. He could feel it. He walked past Peter. Peter repeated to himself that he could feel it and they were very, very close. He sat back down next to Jennifer and told her he had to go but he would like to work with her some more. He asked her if she could come back in the evening. Jennifer suggested 8:00. Peter, still pretending astonishment, lied he was just going to say 8:00. He called her a legitimate phenomenon. She giggled.

The Board of Regents voted to terminate the funding for the lab, and they were evicted from the school's campus. Peter, Ray, and Egon entered Room 205 A mid-conversation. Ray exclaimed the possibilities were limitless. He noticed Dean Yeager was present. Several Removal Men were also in the Paranormal Studies Laboratory. Dean Yeager stood in the middle of the room and turned to Peter, Ray, and Egon. A man in a rolled up long sleeve wearing headphones carried a cardboard box. A man in a checkered collar shirt carried a piece of equipment out of the lab. He walked between Ray and Peter. Peter presumed they were being moved to better quarters on campus. Dean Yeager informed them of the Board of Regents' decision. He instructed them to vacate the premises immediately. Peter closed his eyes then stated the situation was preposterous and demanded an explanation. Egon's face conveyed he was mortified. Yeager wound up and obliged Peter. He stated Columbia was no longer continuing any funding of any kind for their group's activities. Peter countered the kids loved them. Yeager sat at the edge of a metal desk and stated Columbia believed the purpose of science was to serve mankind. The mover with headphones carted the Medrad Mark IV Angiographic Injector Injection System between Peter and Ray. Yeager pointed out Peter seemed to regard science as some kind of dodge or hustle. He critiqued Peter's theories as the worst kind of popular tripe, told him his methods were sloppy, and thought his conclusions were highly questionable. He called Peter a poor scientist. The mover in the checkered collar shirt started taking the camcorder and module equipment Ray had on his person. Ray took the Nikon camera off himself and handed it over. Peter only replied, "I see." Yeager concluded he had no place in the department or in the university. Yeager stood back up and turned away. Despite being popular with the students, their academic careers were over, and they had to find a new source of income.

Secondary Canon

IDW Comics

While possessing Peter, a Hungry Manitou was at an impasse on how to deal with his lack of fear. It established a dialogue with Peter on the mental plane. Their conversation took place in a mental construct that represented Peter's center of being, the Paranormal Studies Laboratory where a lot of fond memories were attached to.

Trivia

  • In reality, there is no Weaver Hall at Columbia University.[3]
  • The Paranormal Studies Laboratory scenes were filmed at Columbia University.[4][5]
    • In real life, Weaver Hall was filmed at Havemeyer Hall which is primarily dedicated to science and math.[6]
  • The door to Venkman's office which had the note "Burn in hell Venkman" originally contained a more adult-oriented threat, but Ivan Reitman and Harold Ramis felt that the family nature of the film called for a more polite joke. The reason was also re-enforced, as the footage was shown again in the Real Ghostbusters animated episode "Take Two".
  • In "The Ghostbusters Storybook", the narrative oddly refers to the University as Weaver Hall University. Weaver Hall is taken from the name of the building that the Paranormal Studies Laboratory occupies at the beginning of the movie.[7]
  • The 10/7/83 final shooting script mentions the Paranormal Studies Lab was located in Weaver Hall's basement.[8]
  • The electric shocks were inspired by the Milgram experiment.[9][10] Ramis commented the shocks scene spoke volumes about Peter Venkman and set him up as the skeptic of the group.[11]
  • To the Male Student's right is a Medrad Mark IV Angiographic Injector Injection System on a rolling stand. It is medical equipment used to inject ink into your brain, or other venous organ, that can been seen through imaging equipment like an MRI or X-Ray.
    • When Peter, Ray, and Egon, one of the movers carts the Injection System out of the room.
  • To Peter's right during the experiment is an AVL Electrolyte Anaylzer. It is used in hospitals, labs, and physician's offices to test the levels of sodium, potassium, chloride, ionized calcium, and lithium in samples of blood, serum, plasma, urine, and aqueous standard solutions.
    • The Analyzer can be seen later when Peter, Ray, and Egon are fired by Dean Yeager.
  • It was discussed at length when the Male Student would spit out his gum.[12]
  • Right after the Male Student snaps and yells at Peter, in front of Peter on the desk is a waterful ring toss game.
  • After Ray greets Dean Yeager, music from the soundtrack's "I Can Wait Forever" can be heard.
  • The deleted scene "Nobel Prize Aspirations" took 17 takes on the first day of principal photography. It was ultimately deleted during editing.[13]
  • On page nine of Ghostbusters Volume 2 Issue #6, Peter holds Weaver Hall mug while interviewing Janine Melnitz.
  • On page seven of Ghostbusters: Get Real Issue #2, on the far left is a reference to a 8'o clock appointment at Weaver Hall.
  • On pages 4 and 9 of Volume 1 Issue #7, the I Love New York ceramic pig is behind the Hungry Manitou.
  • On page 8 of Ghostbusters 101 #1, in panel 3, behind Peter, is the I Love New York ceramic pig seen behind him in Chapter Two of the first movie when he administers electric shocks.
  • On page 20 Transformers/Ghostbusters Issue #3, in panel 3, "Burn in Hell, Venkman" is one of the pieces of graffiti on Optimus Prime.
  • On Cover A of Ghostbusters Year One Issue #3, there is the scene of Peter holding up a Zener card in Chapter 2: Shock The Nerd.
  • On Cover B of Ghostbusters Year One Issue #3 are Zener Cards from Chapter 2: Shock The Nerd.
  • On Cover RI of Ghostbusters Year One Issue #3, a nod to the cover of Batman #251:
    • The wavy line Zener card replaces the Ace of Spade playing card.
    • Peter's "8'o clock" quote replaces the Ha Ha Ha.
    • Male Student is spitting gum like he did in Chapter 2: Shock The Nerd.
  • On page 6 of Ghostbusters Year One Issue #3, Peter alludes to his experiment in Chapter 2: Shock the Nerd.

Appearances

Primary Canon

Secondary Canon


References

  1. Aykroyd, Dan & Ramis, Harold (1983). Ghostbusters (Final Shooting Draft June 7, 1983) (Script p. 2). Line reads: "Students are entering and leaving a neo-Gothic building on the University's upper west side campus. A sign identifies the building as: Weaver Hall -- Department of Psychology.""
  2. Ghostbusters Chapter 4: Terminated Columbia University Weaver Hall Paranormal Studies Laboratory Door Reference ImageDoor reads: "205 A.""
  3. Joe Medjuck (2005). Ghostbusters- Commentary (2005) (DVD ts. 02:40-02:44). Columbia TriStar Home Video. Joe Medjuck says: "There's no Weaver Hall but this is Columbia University. "
  4. Ivan Reitman (2005). Ghostbusters- Commentary (2005) (DVD ts. 02:45-02:47). Columbia TriStar Home Video. Ivan Reitman says: "Even this was at Columbia, wasn't it? "
  5. Joe Medjuck (2005). Ghostbusters- Commentary (2005) (DVD ts. 03:39-03:54). Columbia TriStar Home Video. Joe Medjuck says: "And this was actually a room at Columbia University, we should have--we were planning to shoot this on the set but were moving so fast in New York that we went to our cover sets that John De Cuir aged it but otherwise it's in the basement somewhere in Columbia."
  6. Spook Central-Columbia University Line reads: "In reality, Weaver Hall is actually Havemeyer Hall, a classroom building primarily dedicated to science and math. Columbia's Psychology department is actually located in Schermerhorn Hall."
  7. Digby, Ann (February 1985). "The Ghostbusters Storybook", p. 2. Scholastic Inc., New York NY USA, ISBN 0590336843.
  8. Aykroyd, Dan & Ramis, Harold (1983). Ghostbusters (Final Draft October 7, 1983) (Script p. 11). Line reads: "They walk through the hall, then down the stairs to the basement.""
  9. Joe Medjuck (2005). Ghostbusters- Commentary (2005) (DVD ts. 02:57-03:00). Columbia TriStar Home Video. Joe Medjuck says: "And this was based on a real experiment, wasn't it, Harold? "
  10. Harold Ramis (2005). Ghostbusters- Commentary (2005) (DVD ts. 03:01-03:17). Columbia TriStar Home Video. Harold Ramis says: "We based it on the Milgram Experiment which was to psych--subjects in a psychological study were instructed to give electrical shocks to people trying to learn a list of words but what they were really testing were the peoples' willingness to give electrical shocks to other people. "
  11. Shay, Don (November 1985). Making Ghostbusters, p. 20 annotation. New York Zoetrope, New York NY USA, ISBN 0918432685. Harold Ramis says: "Our original concept for the scene was to have the ESP test and Venkman reinforcing the girl by telling her she's getting them all right, even when she's not. Then I came up with the added dimension of having him give shocks to the poor nerd -- an idea that was based on a real experiment, were people had to give electric shocks to test people; but the people giving the shocks didn't know that they were the test subjects. The idea was to see how far people would go in giving shocks to other people. I thought that was a very interesting psychological problem, and I loved the notion of the hero of the film giving electric shocks. It has an interesting moral edge for people, and it just seemed like a delightful setup."
  12. Ivan Reitman (2005). Ghostbusters- Commentary (2005) (DVD ts. 04:47-04:58). Columbia TriStar Home Video. Ivan Reitman says: "There was a lot of conversation I remember about when the spitting of the gum moment should occur. Should it be on the first? The second? The third? We used it as a climax moment. "
  13. Shay, Don (November 1985). Making Ghostbusters, p. 35 annotation. New York Zoetrope, New York NY USA, ISBN 0918432685. Paragraph reads: "The Weaver Hall interior was shot on the first day of principal photography. Apparently, it took awhile for all concerned to hit their stride since seventeen takes were needed to get the relatively straightforward scene onto film. Ultimately, it was deleted during editing."


Gallery

Primary Canon

Secondary Canon

Non Canon

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