Yes, it’s time for another spooky tropes post! These will be tropes I like that involve ghosts or appear often in ghost themed books, horror or not.
Connection to the Dead
I enjoy when a book is about a descendant of a ghost, or focuses on somebody that has a strong connection to a deceased character. This might not always manifest as a direct ghost, but I do enjoy when there’s some kind of history laid out that explains why these things happen to one person in particular.
The Benevolent Ghost
While the appearance of any ghost can be frightening to a character, I really love when a ghost brings with them some sort of reassuring presence. A ghost who is there to protect the main characters, or perhaps is the main character and whose motivations we understand. These ghosts are always so fun and interesting because of the feelings they inspire, perhaps by leaving a whiff of a comforting smell or by helping somebody not feel alone.
Man do I love it when a ghost looks like somebody alive! Sometimes the look-alike living person is the protagonist, other times they’re just a side character who plays an important role in the plot. Sometimes it’s reincarnation, other times it’s an honest coincidence. But I think that the immediate fascination and desire to uncover a mystery that comes with finding a look-alike ghost is really interesting. It immediately draws me into a story.
A Mysterious Death
I love when a ghost appears because they want somebody to solve their death. I enjoy this trope whether the ghost knows who killed them but cannot say, or doesn’t even know themselves and needs that knowledge to finally be at peace. Ghost stories that are also a mystery to be solved interest me a lot!
An Unknown Ghost
One of my favorite tropes of all time is when a ghost doesn’t know they’re a ghost. I especially enjoy this when the ghost is the protagonist or the main POV and tells the story as if they’re being interacted with. When the big reveal that they’re a ghost hits and you can review all the scenes they were in and see the hints… Yeah that’s the stuff!
Do you have any favorite ghostly tropes?