A boy who can see and talk to the dead. Due to this being common knowledge he is an outcast in the community and even among his family. Despite being bullied by nearly everyone he knows, Norman just tries to get on with his life. At first his only friend is the ghosts he talks to, but Neil quickly takes a liking to him. When he is suddenly warned that only he can stop the witches curse, everything goes swiftly downhill
Voiced by Kodi Smit-McPhee.
- Adorably Precocious Child
- All of the Other Reindeer: Norman tries to take the constant bullying with grace but often finds his heroics hampered by almost every living person's low opinion of him.
- Annoying Younger Sibling: Courtney sees him as this.
- Badass: He really stood his ground to Aggie's angry ghost.
- Berserk Button: As friendly as he is, even he got mad at the zombies for what they did to Aggie.
- Big Ol' Eyebrows: He gets this from Mr. Prenderghast and Aggie.
- The Cassandra: Norman has apparently told a lot of people about his ability, and they all think he's either insane or lying for attention, but worthy of ridicule either way. Makes it really difficult to get support when the dead actually rise.
- Chekhov's Gun: His ability to talk to the dead is what helps him learn the zombies intentions and reach through to Aggie.
- Cool Loser
- Creepy Child: Norman is considered one by the community.
- The ghost community, on the other hand, is quite friendly to him.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Norman has to fight a supernatural menace to protect a town that largely scorns him, only to find a growing number of the townspeople realize that his ability is to speak to the dead is real and they are ready to help him in the crisis, until by the end, he is hailed as a fearless hero with an extraordinary ability.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Norman fits the physical description, but he's actually a very nice person. He just happens to see ghosts.
- Exotic Eye Designs: Norman's irises and pupils are faceted. It appears to be a family trait as both Mr. Prenderghast and Aggie have faceted eyes as well.
- More specifically...the telltale trait of a seer.
- Heroic BSOD: Norman has a psychotic break when he learns that the witch was eleven years old when she died and the witchcraft she was accused of was the ability to talk to ghosts.
- Hero with Bad Publicity: Norman is not exactly Mr. Popular in town.
- He Who Fights Monsters: Averted, he doesn't even get tempted to fight back against everyone's judgement of him.
- Improbable Hair Style: Norman's hair is always sticking straight up. Even if he combs it or it gets all mussed up, it'll always pop back to its original stance.
- In the Blood: Norman's family has a ghost-seeing gene of some sort. Mr. Prenderghast and Aggie have it as well.
- I See Dead People
- Loners Are Freaks: Justified with Norman, since the whole town, including his father, tend to scorn him for being able to talk to the dead since no one believes it. It's more of a defense mechanism.
- Meaningful Name: Norman means "northerner" or "north-man". Even before the Norman conquest in the year 1066, it was used to describe outsiders or people who didn't belong or were not natives.
- Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold
- Not So Different: From Agatha.
- Occult Blue Eyes
- Restored My Faith In Humanity
- The Scapegoat: At first.
- Strong Family Resemblance: Norman looks a lot like the witch, Agatha Prenderghast, who's a distant relative on his mother's side.
- Take a Third Option: Initially believe that reading the fairy tale story to the ghost would sedate her, but over the course of the movie comes to realize it won't fix the problem, just prolong it. So he directly confronts Agatha and shows that he knows how she feels, ultimately calming her spirit down till she finally passes on peacefully.
- The Unfavourite: Norman seems to be for his parents, mostly his father, but it's implied not to be the case anymore at the end.
- Norman is the favourite to his grandmother, though. The whole reason she's still around is because she promised to protect Norman.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy
- Witch Species: Hinted at since he's a descendant of the Prenderghast bloodline.
- Zombie Advocate: When he realizes that the zombies have intelligence and are afraid too.
Norman's best and at first, only real friend. He thinks Norman is cool because he is different and is the first to recognize a good side to his gift. Even if he's not always the brightest, he's full of heart and surprisingly brave.
Voiced by Tucker Albrizzi.
Norman's older sister who like everyone else, frowns upon on his gift. Initially coming across as a rather typical self-absorbed teen, she of course finds herself caught up in the zombie invasion and even calls out the townspeople for trying to lynch Norman.
Voiced by Anna Kendrick
The jock, Courtney's crush and Neil's older brother. He of course is caught up in the zombie mess, and becomes a believer in Norman's ability.
Voiced by Casey Affleck.
The school bully and resident jerkass. He takes a particular interest in making Norman's day insufferable.
Voiced by Christopher Mintz-Plasse.
The Witch's Ghost/Agatha "Aggie" Prenderghast
Click here to see her true form (Warning: Spoilers)
Legendary Witch of Blithe Hollow. Her fame is what raised the town's economy and her curse is equally famous. Also she was an innocent girl who was put to death because the Puritans where afraid of her ability to talk to the dead. Her angry spirit can only be sedated by reading her a story from her mothers book of fairy tales.
Voiced by Jodelle Ferland
- All of the Other Reindeer: She died because of this.
- Anti-Villain: Type II.
- Berserk Button: Her execution caused the whole curse in the first place.
- Big Ol' Eyebrows
- Came Back Strong: She gained most of her powers after her death.
- Creepy Child: Averted. She turns out to be really, really cute. Though it's played straight when she's still in her "angered" state.
- Dark Is Not Evil
- Deranged Animation: When her ghost starts to get mad or lose control, her shape distorts into very disturbing shapes.
- Distaff Counterpart: To Norman.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette —> Raven Hair, Ivory Skin
- Evil Is Petty: Averted. Aggie wasn't cursing the town to be attacked by zombies, she was cursing the zombies to go through the same thing she went through.
- Exotic Eye Designs
- Family-Unfriendly Death: The thought of an innocent 11-year-old girl being sentenced to hanging is very unsettling.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: The witch's ghost used to be a sweet little girl whose only power was the ability to see ghosts. Her other more terrifying powers only emerged after the townsfolk sentenced her to death by hanging.
- The Heavy: Even with the revelation that she isn't a Big Bad character history made her out to be, she still had to be dealt with.
- Heel-Face Turn: Not that she was evil to begin with.
- I See Dead People: It's what got her hanged in the first place.
- Lightning Haired Ghost Girl
- Meaningful Name: Prenderghast literally means "ghost catcher" or "ghost holder".
- Mind over Matter
- Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold
- Not Evil, Just Misunderstood
- Not So Different: From Norman.
- Occult Blue Eyes
- Our Ghosts Are Different: Agatha Prenderghast has very interesting powers.
- Restored My Faith In Humanity
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge
- She Who Fights Monsters
- Shock and Awe
- Walking Spoiler
- Witch Curse: Cast upon the judges who had her hanged, dooming them to rise as the living dead. Eventually becomes a Deconstructed Trope: the curse results from the cruel execution of Agatha, who was just a misunderstood girl, and the curse isn't about terrorizing the town, but rather, about having the undead judges forced to suffer the same persecution she faced.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: The "witch" is an (extremely psychically powerful) little girl who lost it when she was accused and executed.
The Judge who sentenced the witch to death 300 years prior. He operates as the de-facto leader of the zombies, and is given most of the "speaking" lines ghoulish or otherwise
associated with the zombies.
Voiced by Bernard Hill.
Norman's father. He at first is ashamed of Norman's oddball behavior, and isn't afraid to criticize him. Though this is born from the fear of how society will treat him. He sees the error of his ways and mends his behavior.
Voiced by Jeff Garlin.
- Have You Tried Not Being Weird?: Feels his son needs to stop all this strange talking to the dead nonsense and start acting a bit more normal.
- Jerkass: At first, even his own mother's ghost called him a jackass.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: His wife is quick to point out his more harsh behavior is due to his fear of how people will perceive Norman. Considering the misery it causes his son in school and that later in the story an angry mob is literally moments from burning him at the stake it's not an unreasonable fear.
- So Proud of You: What he says at the end of the film.
- Tempting Fate: Asking where the police are... about a second later, one literally crashes into him.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: With Sandra.
Norman's mother. Whilst not exactly openly supportive of his gift, she does attempt to be more understanding than her husband. Which does cause some noticeable friction between them.
Voiced by Leslie Mann.
Norman's uncle and the town's local crazy man. But what the town doesn't know about the crazy man is he's the only one who's been keeping them safe for untold years...
Voiced by John Goodman.
Norman's ghost grandmother. Grandma Babcock's unfinished business in the mortal world is actually the promise she would look out for Norman.
Voiced by Elaine Stritch.
Neil's friend and the resident smart girl. She won't let you forget it. Doesn't participate much in the adventure, but does perform key research in a time of need.
Voiced by Hannah Noyes.