While on their way to the final encounter, the quartet of 'busters first has to deal with a particular "sub-boss":

On their way to confront Rowan, the women first have to deal with the stilts-walking ghost and the several others that that one summons. While we see some classic wrangling of ghosts, not one is trapped, and instead some rather violent wrangling tactics results in them "killing" the ghosts so they can move on!

Without touching on the "ghost chipper" at all (just a whole 'nother ball of wax we can ignore for now), do we have any canon material to suggest how they were able to do this with simple wrangling?

  • Because they took the simple conceit of trapping ghosts and putting them in a place they could do no harm... and instead decided to gadget the crap out of the Ghostbusters with guns, chippers, grenades... whatever else they had... and introduce the concept of "killing" something that's already dead (as opposed to being "undead").
    – Catija
    Jul 26, 2016 at 19:30
  • fwiw - this film is it's own canon and bears little relation (and no explicit connection) to the original films
    – NKCampbell
    Jul 26, 2016 at 19:49

1 Answer 1


According to the film's novelisation, the ghosts were "wrangled" using a mixture of high tech ghost-fightin' weapons along with simply chucking them into each other. No explanation is offered as to why this works or why the ghosts care.

Erin and the others switched on their proton packs just as the ghost army rushed them, a mob of incorporeal monsters out for blood. Terrified but with nowhere to retreat, the Ghostbusters battled them with their proton streams and all the wonderful toys Holtzmann had recently invented. Erin used her beam to grab hold of a pimp ghost in a ridiculous wide-brimmed fuzzy hat and bell-bottoms, and threw him into the gang of deceased street punks. They kicked up like bowling pins, flying backward and into the ghosts behind them. Abby and the others picked up on what she was doing immediately, and started using ghosts caught in their beams like clubs, bashing the trailing evil spirits left and right. It was a messy but effective technique; using it, they managed to keep the waves of ghosts from overrunning them.

Patty used her “ghost chipper,” a device that sucked in a ghost, chopped it up into ectoplasmic bits, and shot the debris out the back like a burst of exhaust. She also had a proton sidearm that Holtzmann had made for her. Abby put on her proton glove, which she used to punch holes in the “bodies” of her oncoming phantom attackers. Holtzmann had also created two kinds of grenades—“air filters” and “test tubes”—plus a proton grenade launcher for Erin and a “drop-down” gun for herself.

As Erin sent a drug pusher ghost cartwheeling off toward Rockefeller Center, Abby used her proton wand to smash the face of a flasher pervert ghost that had broken through their guard and was almost on top of her. The beam made ectoplasm burst in a plume from its head and it rained down on them in big, gooey spatters. Explosions rocked the square. Erin cut her gaze and saw Patty throw a second grenade behind the line of approaching ghosts. When it went off with a resounding crack, it sent the spirits flying, arms and legs flailing, ectoplasm exploding.

Ghostbusters: Official Novelisation

  • What do you mean by "cut from the final edit"? Most of the weapons were introduced in a scene in the alley where they try them out for the first time... including the chipper, grenades, proton glove at the very least.
    – Catija
    Jul 26, 2016 at 19:38
  • I don't recall there being multiple kinds of grenades mentioned. That being said, I've not seen the film in full, just edited "highlights".
    – Valorum
    Jul 26, 2016 at 19:39
  • Looks like you've quoted -- or at least cited -- the "Age Range: 8 - 12 years" novelization, rather than the "adult reader" version: amzn.to/29XyrW4 Did you quote the one by Stacia Deutsch (8 - 12 years) or Nancy Holder (adult)?
    – Kromey
    Jul 26, 2016 at 19:41
  • 1
    @NKCampbell - No. That's the adult version. I suspect the kid's version will have fewer pimps and perverts. At least I'd hope so. Heck, with this film anything's possible.
    – Valorum
    Jul 26, 2016 at 19:56
  • 1
    Wow. That novelisation is some of the worst writing I've seen in a long time.
    – WGroleau
    Jul 26, 2016 at 21:47

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