When Halloween Was Forever
Production Number: 75010 [1986 - ABC Season One]

On the eve of Halloween, the Ghostbusters are out on a routine call, while news reporter Cynthia Crawford covers the event. She explains that the hauntings in the city of New York have steadily increased over the past month as Halloween approaches, and many are starting to doubt that it's coincidence.

Back at Ghostbusters HQ, Winston, Ray, and Peter discuss how the ghosts have been getting stronger and it's been getting harder to fight them the closer they get to Halloween. The last job was a lot harder than it should have been, despite seeming like a minor disturbance. Meanwhile, Egon works on something, but he won't say what it is.


After Peter threatens to tell Slimer that Egon has a cupcake in his socks, Egon finally tells the others what he's been doing. He explains that the PKE readings have been increasing all month, but they took a large jump when some ancient ruins from 7th Century Ireland arrived in New York two weeks ago. Ray remarks that 7th Century Ireland is where Halloween started as a holiday to mark the transition when the nights got longer and scarier. Egon thinks there might be a connection between the ruins and the recent hauntings.


Meanwhile, two goblins break into the museum where the ancient ruins are being kept, both of them chanting "Samhain". One of them draws an infinity symbol on the front of the ruins.


The symbols lights up and causes the ruins to explode, revealing the ancient spirit, Samhain, who had been trapped inside of them.

Samhain takes off into the night, and everywhere he goes strange things start to happen. A clock stops 1 minute before midnight and transforms into a ghoulish fash. A stone gargoyle comes to life and apples at a children's Halloween party turn into goblins.


Moments later, those same goblins show up at the Ghostbusters HQ pretending to be trick-or-treaters. Janine gives them bon-bons, but they must not like them because they respond by taking deep breaths and then blowing Janine up against the back wall. No, it doesn't really make any sense.


As the Ghostbusters chase after the goblins on foot, Egon explains that the PKE Meter is going off the scale. It looks to be a city-wide manifestation. Eventually they stop running and find themselves surrounded by ghosts that are hiding in the trees.


The scene then cuts to Samhain on top of a skyscraper, calling for "All things not of this world" to come to him. And that includes Slimer, who attempts futilely to resist being summoned.


After he's done gathering together all of the ghosts in New York, Samhain begins to explain that they have much to do to make sure Halloween never ends and that from this moment on, the world shall only know eternal night. Slimer doesn't like the sound of this and attempts to escape, but he is caught and Samhain asks for Slimer to be brought to him.


Samhain claims that Slimer has "the stench of mortals" about him, and accuses him of being a traitor. However, he says it doesn't matter, because Slimer has no choice: He will join Samhain's midnight army, "or else".


Meanwhile, the hauntings around New York continue to get worse and worse. People are chased by goblins, restaurants become populated with talking skeletons, and the Ghostbusters perservere in trying to contain as many of these things as possible.


Before long they realize that although they've been busting ghosts for hours, time appears to have slowed way down. A news report they catch on TV in the window of a store confirms that a dark cloud is falling all around the world, causing time to stop and night to fall everywhere.


Suddenly, the Ghostbusters are attacked by a goblin driving a speeding car. They destroy the car and catch the goblin with their proton beams, but someone drops a brick wall in front of them, allowing the goblin to escape.


It's Samhain, and he demands to know why the Ghostbusters are bothering his "little ones". They attempt to blast him, but miss. When Peter and Winston question what he means by "little ones", Samhain explains that all creatures of the night are his, and introduces himself. "For I am Samhain, I am Halloween".


Ray remembers that Halloween started as the "Feast of Samhain", and that Samhain was supposed to be a powerful spirit that no one could stop. Mr. Pumpkinhead is flattered that he is remembered, but Peter just wants to know when he will be leaving town. Samhain explains that he is not leaving - he is here to give his gift of eternal night, eternal Halloween.


Samhain warns the Ghostbusters again to leave him and his followers alone, but Egon shines a flashlight on him. Samhain is repulsed by the light and driven off.


Egon realizes that light will weaken Samhain enough for them to stop him. He comes up with a plan and tells the others to attack Samhain head on to distract him while he gets to work.


Meanwhile, Samhain is gloating to Slimer that his friends will not be able to save him. He tells Slimer to swear allegiance to him, but Slimer just blows him off. That doesn't make Samhain too happy.


Egon miraculously finds exactly what he needs to put his plan into action - a group of four portable spotlights. He attaches one to the back of a car being driven by a couple of ghosts.


He calls them "Zone Dweebies" (best insult ever!) to get their attention. As the ghosts chase him around in their car, Egon zaps the spotlight's chain to break it off when they unknowingly tow it exactly to where he wants it to stay.


In a scene slightly reminiscent of the Ghostbusters movie and video game, Winston, Peter, and Ray begin their assault on Samhain by climbing the staircase of the building he is occupying, zapping any ghosts that get in their way. Meanwhile, Egon has succeeded in getting the halfwit ghost drivers to place the four spotlights where he wants them. Then he blows up their car for good measure. (Egon is always such a badass in JMS's episodes.)


When the other Ghostbusters arrive at the top of the tower, they realize they are outnumbered, but Samhain allows them to pass, saying he wants to deal with them "personally".


Back on the street, Egon has hooked all the spotlights up to his proton pack's power generator. He presses the button, but nothing happens, to which he laments, "Sometimes I think the universe just waits for me to get cocky", and unhooks everything to start all over again. Up on the rooftop, Samhain demands that the Ghostbusters surrender their weapons, or else he'll be forced to do "bad things" to Slimer.


Samhain begins to make Slimer fade from existence, but then Ray yells, "Slimer! Pizza!", which causes Slimer to snap out of the trance he's in and go to Ray...


...just in time for Egon's spotlights to finally start working! The light does indeed immobilize and weaken Samhain.


It's enough for the Ghostbusters to finally catch him with their proton beams. The possessed clock finally strikes midnight, thus ending Halloween.


Samhain vows that he "won't go back", but it's all in vain as he's sucked into the ghost trap. Time starts moving again and the city is back to normal.


Back at Ghostbusters HQ, Winston can't wait to see Samhain in the Containment Unit, as he expects he will be "fuming and raging" like the other ghosts in there. But it turns out that Samhain is just sitting there, waiting patiently. Egon explains, "He waited 1200 years to be free. He'll wait for his chance to come again."

Notes & Trivia

In the very beginning of the episode, Winston is shown catching a ghost with his proton beam and throwing out a trap. But he shouts, "Oh no you don't!" in Ray's voice.

The Tahiti song, "Midnight Action", plays after Samhain breaks free from the ruins, and again when Ray yells "Pizza!" to Slimer near the end of the episode.

Ray is correct that Halloween started as the Feast of Samhain in Ireland to celebrate the transition from the lighter half of the year to the darker half. However, Samhain was not originally a spirit or actual entity of any kind. It was the name of the festival, as "Samhain" roughly translates from Old Irish to "Summer's End". Wikipedia has more information if you're interested.

Lol, two Egons!

Egon also mistakenly appears with Winston and Peter on top of the highrise building with Samhain instead of Ray. Egon should not be here because he is down on the street working with the spotlights at the time.

Where do all the ghosts go after Samhain is captured? Maybe they took off once they saw their leader put out of commission, but it seemed like there were enough of them around that they could have easily swarmed and overwhelmed Ray, Winston, and Peter. Not only that, but it looks like they were put in the Containment Unit in the episode's ending, but the only ghost we actually saw captured up on the building was Samhain.


The part where Samhain summons all the creatures of the night to him atop a highrise building seems like it could be an intentional nod to the "Night on Bald Mountain" sequence of the 1940 Disney film, Fantasia. In this scene, the demon Chernabog is seen summoning the spirits of the dead to the top of Bald Mountain. Chernabog's shadow covers the surrounding villages in darkness as he summons ghosts directly from their graves, in much the same manner that Samhain's cloud of darkness covers all of New York and eventually the world.



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