|Tropes and genres|
|Synonym(s)||appears as a ghost, appears as a spirit|
|Related tropes/genres||Deathfic, Bodysharing, Afterlife|
|Related articles on Fanlore.|
Characters appearing as ghosts in fanworks is a trope that may take one of several forms:
- A popular ghost character from the source text may appear in fanworks
- A character who is killed off in the source text can be brought back as a ghost
- A character who is still alive in the source text can be killed off in the fanwork and then brought back as a ghost for extra angst.
- A character who is dead, still alive, or doesn't exist in the source text can be (re)cast as a ghost in a supernatural AU with no angst required.
Often this trope arises due to the existence or appearance of ghosts in canon. The trope is fairly popular in Due South fandom because one character, Benton Fraser's father, not only dies in canon, but also makes regular appearances as a ghost in canon. In fanon, the character is referred to as Dead!Bob.
A ghost, Sai, is a main character in Hikaru no Go, and appears in many fanworks. Not only the high death rate, but also the canon ghosts in Harry Potter encourage the presence of ghosts in HP fanworks.
In Star Wars works, the canon existence of Force Ghosts results in many dead characters reappearing in fanfic. These works often overlap with Force Sensitive or Jedi AUs, as only characters with a connection to the force are believed to return as force ghosts.
In Supernatural fandom, stories in which Sam or Dean stay dead but, as a ghost, continue traveling or hunting with their brother (who is often working on bringing the dead brother back to a corporeal state) are fairly common.
- The Anatomy of a Fall by novembersmith. AU in which highschool!Gerard hangs out with ghost!Frank in the woods and doesn't notice at first that he's dead. Frank's murder is a central plot point.
- vampire gerard & ghost frank, a series of fan edits by iero-dogs on tumblr (August 7, 2014)
- Across the Great Divide by Isis. In which Fraser dies in an avalanche and then watches Ray Kowalski die and then goes back in time to save him. (2006)
- Beyond Embarrassment by Speranza, in which Fraser thinks he has died and come back as a ghost, but is in fact on drugs.
- Going Under Part 1, 2, 3 by silverthunder. Gen. Hikaru encounters another ghost, this one much less friendly than Sai.
- Even a Moron Connects by mousapelli. AU. Touya is haunted by his father, who died before he could acquire his first title as a pro.
- It Feels Like Home When I'm With You by Etothepii. AU in which John becomes a ghost after being killed in Afghanistan. (2010)
- Ghost Writer by lavvyan, in which Rodney appears as a ghost.
- Laying Odds by liketheriver, The ethereal tale of the Atlantean afterlife and sports book.
- The World That We Live In (No, We Can't Go Back) by kyuuketsukirui. AU where Rodney and John are kids, and Rodney asks John to stay with him. Written for McShep Match 2010.
- Another Morn Than Ours by britomart_is. Gen fic where as his last act, ghost!Sam saves Dean from dying. (2008)
- The Minor Fall and the Major Lift by withdiamonds. When Sam dies at Cold Oak, Sam turns down the Reaper to stay with Dean as a ghost. (Sam/Dean)
- The Firefly That Loved Metallica by fleshflutter. Dean's soul declines to take up residence again in his corpse. Sam tries to figure out how to fix it. (Sam/Dean)
- Servatis a Periculum by jade-1459. Far futurefic, Hunting is a religious calling/order, Dean is immortal and Sam is a ghost. They cope. (Sam/Dean)
Archives & Links
- Ghosts and Ghost AU works on Ao3
- Force Ghost(s) works on Ao3
- ghost au tag on Tumblr
- Recs tagged Mythical Creatures: Ghosts at Fancake
- archived, with 4,174 notes as of 28 April 2016