The Ecto Containment Unit, also known as the Storage Facility, is housed in the basement of Ghostbusters Headquarters and is where all of the entities trapped through the course of business are stored.
The original Containment Unit was a rectangular box jutting out of the wall made to look like metal. It had a single locking door in order to allow entities to be loaded via an occupied ghost trap. A variety of electric metering devices were attached to the wall to the left of the Containment Unit in order to keep track of its power usage, as well as the circuit breaker for the system and a red emergency light.
The original Containment Unit utilized a high-voltage laser grid in order to permanently entrap ghosts, vapors, and other entities. This grid had a limited capacity which was never disclosed. However, we know by questions and statements such as "How is the grid holding up?" and "It's getting crowded in there.." imply a limited capacity.
To move an entity from a trap to the Containment Unit one would need to follow the steps below:
- Unlock and open Containment Unit Door - Load trap body and cartridge into slot. - Remove trap body, leaving the cartridge. - Close and lock the door. - Press button to set entry grid. - Press button to neutronize field. - Pull lever down - Flip lever up
The green light above the unit lights up to indicate the trap is clean.
The Real Ghostbusters
In The Real Ghostbusters, the Containment Unit is much larger and also has more of a rounded shape. It has a scope which allows the Ghostbusters to view inside of the unit itself in order to see the entities it contains. The "world" inside the unit seems to be mostly void space with rocks floating around like islands.
The Containment Unit in The Real Ghostbusters also allowed for entities to be removed from the unit through various techniques including through the trap-loading door and by the unit splitting via a seam across its middle.
There was at least one occasion in the series when the Containment Unit got possessed and was literally spitting out ghosts.
Additional changes to the Containment Unit were made, including the ability for a human to enter into the unit itself via a special suit.
Ghostbusters: The Video Game
In Ghostbusters: The Video Game the containment unit appears to be half-way between what was in The Real Ghostbusters and the original unit. The player will usually accidentally destroy part of the unit and can also flip a lever which will make them think that the unit is going to explode.
The Containment Unit has failed/exploded multiple times throughout the franchise. The most notable is the first Containment Unit explosion in Ghostbusters, triggered by Walter Peck's orders to turn off the protection grid on the device.
Other incidences occurred in The Real Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters: The Video Game.