[[quoteright:350:[[ComicBook/HouseOfSecrets http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/hauntedheroine_4103.jpg]]]]

-> ''"You best start believing in ghost stories, Miss Turner. You're in one!"''
-->-- '''Captain Hector Barbossa''', ''Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbeanTheCurseOfTheBlackPearl''

A heroine haunted equally by her own past and the uncanny events around her.

This character continually pops up in films involving ghosts or supernatural characters. She moves into HauntedHeadquarters without any idea of what's in store for her. She seems attractive, capable and altogether normal until...the strange noises from the attic keep waking her up. Or that CreepyHousekeeper keeps making [[ArcWords cryptic comments]]. Or her kid starts going on about some ImaginaryFriend who [[NotSoImaginaryFriend might not be so imaginary after all]]. The Haunted Heroine typically comes equipped with a kid (or younger sibling) that is inevitably the first one to notice the supernatural goings-on, possibly because kids are supposed to have more imagination. It won't take long however, before the woman realizes she's being haunted.

Now the fun begins as the Haunted Heroine sheds her well-groomed exterior to reveal the barely-concealed neuroses and phobias hidden underneath. This character tends to have a MysteriousPast and hinted-at childhood trauma. She might be sexually repressed [[RapeAsDrama or traumatized]] too. Whatever her problems, there's always the subtle suggestion that she herself might be [[ThroughTheEyesOfMadness imagining the whole thing]] because of her messed-up psyche. Freud would have loved the Haunted Heroine. It doesn't help that [[CassandraTruth nobody ever seems to believe her story]]. As the story continues, expect to see hints of MamaBear in her as well when her kid or kids are threatened.

The originator of this trope is Henry James' ''Literature/TheTurnOfTheScrew'', in which a governess becomes convinced that her dead predecessor and her lover have somehow come back from beyond the grave to mess with the kids. This famous and influential story set the tone for a slew of SupernaturalFiction ever since that tries to imply it might be All in Their Minds. All this while still having a lot of fun with the ghosts.

Compare and contrast with SupernaturalProofFather. See also HauntedHouseHistorian, who typically warns the Haunted Heroine and gets ignored for their trouble.



[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* ''Manga/YoureUnderArrest'' [[SubvertedTrope subverts]] the trope. While Miyuki ''does'' have an extreme fear of anything remotely supernatural (to the point of having panic attacks if someone so much as tells a ghost story), the series takes place in a modern setting and has no supernatural elements.
* Rohan in ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure''. From the manga to the one-shots, every story about Rohan involves him encountering ghosts.


[[folder: Film ]]

* Grace from ''Film/TheOthers'': Subverted with a twist: [[spoiler:the haunted heroine and her children ''are'' [[TomatoInTheMirror the ghosts]]]].
* Yoshimi and Dahlia from ''Film/DarkWater'', both the 2002 Japanese original and the 2005 American remake, respectively.
* Julia from ''Film/FullCircle'', who tries to escape her overbearing husband and the trauma of her daughter's tragic death, which she may have caused, by moving into a house that turns out to be (apparently) haunted.
* Laura from ''El Orfanato'', also known as ''Film/TheOrphanage''.
* ''Film/TheWatcherInTheWoods'', an atypical (suspenseful) Disney movie from 1980.
* ''Film/{{House}}'' played this entirely by the book, except in two ways - it was a comedy, and the protagonist was a dude, played by William Katt. Still, he was trying to rescue his disappeared child, there was some implication that it was all in his head (although it turned out that it wasn't), and it all centred around trauma in his past (specifically, UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar).
* Any version of ''Film/TheRing'' has this character as the protagonist except for the book, which has a Haunted ''Hero''.
%%* Katie in ''Film/ParanormalActivity''.


[[folder: Literature ]]

* ''Literature/TheTurnOfTheScrew'', of course. As well as ''The Innocents'', the 1961 film version with Deborah Kerr.
* Subverted in ''Film/TheGhostAndMrsMuir'', where the heroine is a young widowed mother who might just be imagining the hearty sea captain's ghost out of romantic yearning, but the ghost himself is utterly benign and the heroine can matter-of-factly tell him not to reveal himself to her daughter as she's much too young for ghosts.
* Eleanor Vance of Shirley Jackson's ''Literature/TheHauntingOfHillHouse'', both the book and the 1963 movie.
* Angela in ''The Good House''. She moves into her grandmother's haunted house, but people don't believe her suspicions of supernatural activity until it's too late...
* Former governess, apparently a normal, sweet young woman, whose neuroses bubble up to the surface as uncanny events pop up -- Vera Claythorne from ''Literature/AndThenThereWereNone'' fits this trope to a T, but subverted in that [[spoiler: she ''did'' deliberately cause the death of her charge, and she ends up snapping completely in the end.]]
* The unnamed narrator of ''Literature/TheYellowWallpaper'' keeps seeing movement in the wallpaper -- and this is supposed to be the result of her medical treatment. There is also a baby in the house (the narrator's own; it's implied she may suffer from post-partum depression) but the narrator isn't allowed to have anything to do with her care or raising; that wouldn't be "restful."
* Sara Crowe in ''[[Literature/TheRedTree2009 The Red Tree]]'' takes a lot of emotional baggage (and a seizure-inducing neurological disorder) with her when she moves into a farmhouse near the eponymous tree. How much this affects the goings on in the book is left for the reader to divine
* ''Literature/{{Beloved}}'' by Creator/ToniMorrison: Sethe is haunted by the ghost of Beloved (the child she killed) and her tragic past, which is full of slavery, cruelty, murder, and rape.


[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* Lydia on ''Series/TeenWolf''. Initially it seems that she is only being influenced by Peter Hale. But lately it has become apparent that she can hear other ghosts as well, and that it is not a voluntary ability.
* The title character in ''The Haunting of Sarah Hardy'' has spent her life being haunted by the suicide of her mother. After she marries, the viewer learns that her husband and her supposed best friend have been {{gaslighting}} her in hopes that she'll kill herself and leave him to inherit her fortune. At some point, she figures out what's happening and turns the tables on him, but it still ends badly for her.


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* ''VideoGame/HauntingGround'' centers around Fiona Belli, the 18-year-old heiress of Belli Castle... who has never heard of it and wants no part of it. And with good reason: as the title implies, [[CaptainObvious it's haunted.]] On top of this, the MalevolentArchitecture and its inhabitants are all either [[EverythingTryingToKillYou trying to kill her]] or [[spoiler: rape her]], because of her Azoth. All Fiona wants is to go home. But to do so, she [[CanineCompanion and Hewie]] must survive the castle's dangers long enough to unravel its secrets and learn [[TheReveal the unsettling truth about her family.]]
* [[DistaffCounterpart A male example]] Link in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaBreathOfTheWild'' manages to be haunted by [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQ6jisr1Nlk&index=1&list=PLSQLREUw9vwlh8bzgvZCt_WS8615trN5H&t=3m32s The King of Hyrule]] as well as all his friends who died in the past, they seem remarkably understanding considering that it was Link's job to defeat Ganon, most vengeful spirits aren't so forgiving.