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Characters / May Bird

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May Ellen Bird

The protagonist of the books. May Bird is an imaginative young girl that enjoys exploring the woods and Briery Swamp nearby her house, finding it more familiar and more comforting than around her classmates that constantly tease her. One night she falls into the lake in the woods and ends up trapped in the Ever After. Although at first panicked, suspicious of the other inhabitants, and only concerned about getting home, she gradually matures into a responsible and brave young girl who even eventually comes back to save the inhabitants of this afterlife.

  • Action Girl: In the third book she becomes this as she allows herself to become brave and becomes adept at shooting dark spirits with her silver arrows.
  • Cassandra Truth: In the third book it's explained that after she came back she tried to tell everybody about the Ever After, but she was just mocked and treated like a scared little girl.
  • Character Development: Initially she was timid, afraid to show her brazen side, and didn't know how to make friends. She also disliked Somber Kitty just because he wasn't her old cat and was paranoid of Pumpkin because of his nature as a ghost; in the first arc, all she wants to do is go home. Eventually she warms up to both of them and other friends along the way, and in the third book she decides to be brave and stop Bo Cleevil on her own.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: She struggles to make friends in the first two books. By the third she actually does have friends in the living world, but they aren't as close as she was with the denizens of the Ever After.
  • Perky Goth: While staying on the lower end of the scale, May's description in the first book—constantly dressed in black, fascinated with the supernatural, and an awkward but friendly loner among her peers—certainly fits the bill.

Somber Kitty

May Bird's cat, a hairless Rex, that May Bird's mother had bought as a replacement for her old cat Legume. Although the girl didn't take to the cat at first, Somber Kitty became completely devoted to her and the two end up close friends by the end of the first book.

  • Cats Are Superior: He's extremely intelligent, shows a human level of logical reasoning, and even knows the Lady of the North personally despite never having met her before.
  • Perpetual Frowner: As a result of their breed, Somber Kitty always looks like this.
  • Replacement Scrappy: In-universe, he was this to May Bird as he was bought to replace her old fluffy cat.
  • Undying Loyalty: To May Bird; he will trek anywhere if it means saving her.


May Bird's houseghost who has been haunting her home, White Moss Manor, since before it was even built. After saving May when she fell in the lake, he quickly becomes one of her best friends despite his rather disturbing appearance and he helps her to traverse the Ever After, even if acting a little goofy along the way.

  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: He has this as a serious problem. He will steal things if they look shiny even when it puts him and the rest of the party at risk.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In the final book, he wrestles Bo Cleevil onto the Bridge of Souls and they both become stars.
  • Hidden Depths: Despite his ditziness, he's actually really good at preparing meals and has the most beautiful singing voice that anyone's ever heard. He's also willing to put himself in danger if it means protecting his friends, despite his cowardice.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Being a houseghost, he was never alive and has existed since the beginning of time.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: He was occasionally selfish or rude in the first two books, but the third book has him being a complete drama queen after becoming an idol in the Ever After, such as giving May Bird the cold shoulder because of how she left him even though at the time he encouraged her to go home. He gets better after they make up, though.


A young girl who passed away of typhoid in an earlier era. Seeking her dead mother who passed away before her, she joins up with Captain Fabbio and begins searching the Ever After. Her search leads her to meet May Bird, and the two become close friends after helping each other read The Book of the Dead.

  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: She's got blonde hair and is very sweet.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: To match with her gold hair; the narrative makes a point of mentioning them.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Before meeting May Bird she developed this with Fabbio, the two bonding over trying to find someone that they had lost to death.
  • I Will Find You: Her quest is to reunite with her mother that died before she did, which she finally does by the end of the second book.
  • Nice Girl: She's a lot more friendly and sociable than even May Bird is, especially noticeable in the first book.

Captain Fabbio Fabbiani

A French captain that died after mistakenly leading his retinue into the Alps when they were supposed to be in Germany. Since then, he hasn't been able to find his retinue and is searching for them. Along the way, he joined up with Beatrice, who is looking for her mother, and the to join up with and become fast friends with May Bird.

  • A Father to His Men: He was not a very competent captain in terms of his sense of direction, but when he does reunite with his men we learn that he was well liked among his retinue and he spends a long time in the Ever After searching for them again.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: As well as with May Bird, he developed this earlier with Beatrice, helping her look for her mother while he looks for his men.
  • I Will Find You: He made it his quest to reunite with his unit after he found himself separated from them in the Ever After.
  • Papa Wolf: He has these tendencies towards Beatrice, chewing May out for refusing to help at first.


Young, mischievous, but sweet underneath, Lucius is one of the Luminous Boys that were killed by the Bogey. He aids May Bird through a portion of her quest in the first book, before being accidentally sent down into South Place. He makes a reappearance late in the second book and becomes a much more active member of the party in the third.

  • Break the Cutie: When May finally meets him in South Place, he's already given up hope of escape after a long time of being imprisoned and is absolutely miserable. He quickly gets better after seeing her, though.
  • Meaningful Name: His name is Lucius, meaning "light", as he himself proudly points out.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Because he died being sucked into the Ever After by the Bogey through his nightmares, he's a specific kind of ghost called a Luminous Boy, able to exude light at various levels of brightness.
  • Put on a Bus: He's accidentally splashed with water from the Dead Sea and as a result is taken down into South Place, where he's enslaved until May goes down and incidentally rescues him in the second book.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: He isn't afraid of anything...except the Bogeyman. It makes it all the more impressive when he is able to help May Bird find her way to The Bogey's bedroom.

    Other Characters 

John the Jibber

A knave ghost that helps May to get into the Eternal Edifice from Nine Knaves Grotto, based on an actual member of a group of smugglers of the same name. Although a wily and untrustworthy character, May and Pumpkin have no choice but to follow this advice to get to The Book of the Dead.

  • Deader Than Dead: His ultimate fate is that he's sucked into nothingness by The Bogey.
  • Dirty Coward: That's his main character trait, and the reason why he was killed— he's willing to sell out anyone in order to save his own skin. This includes selling May Bird out to The Bogey.
  • Disney Death: Initially, when he's supposedly dropped in the incinerator after failing to get through the sniffing phantoms guarding the Eternal Edifice.


The Bogey

Otherwise known as "The Bogeyman" or "The Boogieman," the Bogey is the right-hand man of Bo Cleevil and sees to it that his rule is carried out in the Ever After. He makes for the villain of the first book, hunting for humans that might topple his master's rule. He is very dangerous, having with him a pack of hell hounds.

  • The Dragon: To Bo Cleevil.
  • The Dreaded: He's feared by a lot of people in the Ever After, and for the Luminous Boys especially.
  • Killed Off for Real: Despite being an entity that lives in the afterlife and surviving being trampled by multiple Egyptians, he meets his end when Bo Cleevil punishes him for lying by turning him to ash.
  • Villains Out Shopping: When not going around terrorizing spirits, he enjoys hosting dance parties in South Place— including changing into a bell bottom disco outfit and dancing.
  • Would Hurt a Child: He killed the Luminous Boys by dragging them into the Ever After through their nightmares, and their worst fear is him finding them again. This isn't even to speak of the stuff he tries to do to May Bird.

Bo Cleevil

The illegitimate and evil ruler of the Ever After and the Big Bad, he's constantly expanding his rule while based in South Place, a veritable underworld where dark spirits live. He seeks to rule the entirety of the Ever After and then even move on to Earth, amassing as much wealth and power as he possibly can.

  • Big Brother Is Watching: For a long time the reader is only treated with May Bird seeing his eyes, as propaganda constantly reminds the spirits under his rule that he's always watching. The propaganda, as it happens, is horrifyingly true.
  • Lonely at the Top: He desperately wishes to fill up his emptiness and loneliness by taking over everything, but by the end of the third book he realizes that not even that is going to make him feel better.
    Bo Cleevil: Did you ever notice that you think something will make you feel different, but you end up feeling the same?
  • Nice Hat: He wears a wide-brimmed hat that casts shadows over his face. Hiding the fact that he doesn't have a face at all, just features floating in nothingness and shadow.
  • Not So Different: He gives this speech to May in the third book, saying that they are the same kind of lonely, singular spirit.
  • The Omnipresent: He reveals to May Bird that he was actually there every time when she thought he wasn't, including watching her even when she was in her home at White Moss Manor.
    Bo Cleevil: Poor thing. Don't you understand? I am everywhere. You hear something go bump in the night, that's me. When you feel the hair stand on the back of your neck, I'm there. I'm the thing that lurks in the shadows. I am the starless night.
  • We Can Rule Together: He offers this to May Bird in the final book, telling her that if she joined with him she would never feel small or lonely again. It's indicated that he wants her to heal his own loneliness, as while he's empty she's full of life and creativity.

Example of: