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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 friends are the ghosts he talks to, but Neil quickly takes a liking to him. When he is suddenly warned that only he can stop the witch's curse, everything goes swiftly downhill.
Voiced by Kodi Smit McPhee
- Adorkable: A socially awkward kid who likes zombies.
- All-Loving Hero: He turns into this once he understands the true nature of the witch's curse and the zombies. He gets the townspeople to understand the zombies won't hurt them and instead of just putting Aggie's spirit to sleep for another year, he talks to her to make her remember the good things about her life so she can let go and find peace to put an end to the curse once and for all.
- 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.
- Ambiguous Disorder: Norman shows symptoms of depression, such as apathy, self-isolation and lack of interest in social activities. It is absolutely not played for laughs.
- Annoying Younger Sibling: Courtney sees him as this.
- Badass Adorable: He is easily the cutest and most kind-hearted character in the film.
- Badass Pacifist: He defeats the Big Bad by telling a story!
- 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.
- Black Sheep: See The Unfavorite below.
- Butt-Monkey: Treated like crap by everyone, including his own family, for being able to talk to ghosts. The thing is, he can see the ghosts, while normal people can't, and thus is depicted as a schizophrenic Creepy Child by the townsfolk.
- 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. In keeping with this trope, Norman even has a prophetic vision in public... That earns him even more ire from his father and more taunting from his schoolmates.
- Chekhov's Gun: His ability to talk to the dead is what helps him learn the zombies' intentions and reach through to Aggie.
- Children Are Innocent: Well, for the most part. He does enjoy scary zombie movies and knows what sex is. ("What are you watching in there?" "Sex and violence.") Other than that, he's a gentle soul who's misunderstood by everyone.
- Cool Loser: Norman happens to be able to speak to the dead, but is considered an outsider in the community. However, this is somewhat justified when you really consider from everyone else's perspective how this is a kid who is going around claiming he speaks with dead people.
- Creepy Child: Norman is considered one by the community. The ghost community, on the other hand, is quite friendly to him.
- The Cutie: Very innocent, kindhearted and cute; even though he's treated badly by everyone, he doesn't even give it a second thought to be mean back. Much unlike his villainous Distaff Counterpart Agatha Prenderghast.
- Deadpan Snarker: At times, often towards Neil. Then there's this gem with Alvin.Alvin: I think it's trying to eat our brains!
Norman: I think you'll be safe.
- Deconstructed Character Archetype: Norman's openness about his abilities leaves him ostracized from the rest of the town, who think he's either lying for attention or genuinely crazy for talking to ghosts that no one else can see.
- 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 Agatha have faceted eyes as well. More specifically... The telltale trait of a seer.
- Friendless Background: He seems to have never had any real friend that wasn't a ghost until he meets and befriends Neil.
- The Hero: The good guy who is determined to fulfill his duty to stop the curse and save the day.
- Hero with Bad Publicity: Norman is not exactly Mr. Popular in town.
- 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.
- Identical Grandson: While not exactly her grandson, Norman is a distant relative of Agatha and he looks like a male version of her.
- Improbable Hair Style: Norman's hair is always sticking straight up. Even if he combs it or it gets all messed up, it'll always pop back to its original stance.
- I See Dead People: And it's a whole lot more prosaic to him than to the Trope Namer.
- It Runs in the Family: Norman's family has a ghost-seeing gene of some sort. Mr. Prenderghast and Aggie have it as well.
- Kid Hero: He's only a kid and it's up to him to save the town from the witch's curse.
- 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.
- Made of Iron: He's unusually durable for an eleven-year-old, being able to withstand lightning bolts to the chest and surviving a fall from the Town Hall's tower with scarcely any ill effects.
- 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: Pretty much everyone, other than Neil, sees Norman as a freak who is always talking to himself and making up nonsense about ghosts when the truth is he really can see and talk to ghosts.
- Nerves of Steel: He really stood his ground to Agatha's angry ghost.
- Nice Guy: Doesn't harbor ill towards anyone and is willing to forgive even those who bully him.
- Not So Above It All: He freaks out and becomes more terrified of the zombies on learning they executed an eleven-year-old girl for seeing ghosts, just like he can. When the flashback ends and they're surrounding him, Norman cringes away, expecting them to hurt him. Understandably, he calls them out for what they did and for leaving him with the responsibility to save Agatha with a storybook.
- Not So Different: Heroic example, where Norman points out that he and Agatha are the same.
- Occult Blue Eyes: Just like Mr. Prenderghast and Agatha Prenderghast, his eyes are pale blue with faceted irises to highlight his power to see ghosts.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: The only time Norman gets angry at someone in the film is when he learns that the zombies killed an eleven-year-old girl for seeing ghosts, and they expect him to clean up their mess. It says something that he tosses a book on the ground while calling them out.
- Protagonist Title: A unique example. His name is part of the movie's title and it's also playing with the term "paranormal."
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
- When he learns what Judge Hopkins and the other judges did, Norman calls them out for executing a little girl just because they were scared of her mysterious powers, and leaving him to try and pacify her with fairy tales. The judge completely agrees with everything Norman says.
- When he confronts Agatha, he calls her out for becoming as bad as the judges who killed her in the first place.
- Red Is Heroic: He's The Hero and wears a red jacket and the sleeves of his shirt are red.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The introverted and reserved Blue Oni to Neil's extroverted and cheerful Red Oni.
- Refusal of the Call: He didn't want to get caught up in the events of the story, but he realizes how important it is after speaking with his grandmother.
- Superpowerful Genetics: The ability to see and talk to ghosts seems to run in the Prenderghast bloodline. His uncle has it too and their ancestor Agatha had it too.
- 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. Besides which, she's beyond the point where fairy tales can soothe her. Taking the offensive won't work either, however, because she is a ghost and more powerful than anyone in the town. So he directly confronts Agatha and shows that he knows how she feels, ultimately calming her spirit down till she finally passes on peacefully.
- Talking the Monster to Death: Instead of putting Agatha's spirit to sleep one more year, Norman talks to her to make her realize what she's doing is wrong and she must remember the people who loved her when she was alive instead of only resenting those who made her suffer. It works and Aggie's spirit is able to finally find peace and pass on.
- Uncanny Family Resemblance: Norman looks a lot like the witch, Agatha Prenderghast, who's a distant relative on his mother's side.
- The Un-Favourite: 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 favorite to his grandmother, though. The whole reason she's still around is that she promised to protect Norman.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: His dad literally saying "well-done son." near the end of the movie.
- Wise Beyond His Years: What he says to Aggie regarding revenge doesn't sound like something that would come out of an eleven-year old's mouth.Agatha: This story you were telling... How does it end?
Norman: I think that's up to you.
- 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.
- All of the Other Reindeer: Similar to Norman, other kids make fun of him because he's fat, which is why he tries to become friends with Norman.
- Badass Adorable: When Judge Hopkins rips through the roof of Mitch's van, Neil immediately holds him in a headlock.
- Badass Boast: An incredibly funny one too.Neil: Don't make me throw this hummus, it's spicy!
- Best Friend: He becomes Norman's closest friend.
- Big Fun: A very fun and friendly fat kid.
- Book Dumb: Expresses triumph at reading a 27-page booklet on asbestos. Ironically, his best friend other than Norman is Child Prodigy Salma.
- Cheerful Child: Perhaps because his Lovable Jock older brother clearly cares for and looks after him. Also, their home has a very colorfully decorated yard as compared to other homes shown in Blithe Hollow, so it may be a family thing generally.
- Dirty Kid: He watches his mom's exercise tapes and he likes to freeze frame the parts with the aerobics instructor.
- Fan of Underdog: Everyone in the town thinks Norman is just a freak and a complete loser. Neil, on the other hand, thinks Norman is cool and his power to see ghosts is amazing.
- Fat Best Friend: He's Norman's chubby and goofy best friend.
- Freaky Is Cool: The first and only person to think Norman seeing and talking with ghosts is pretty cool.
- Genre Savvy: To the point of being the least flustered character when it comes to the supernatural, even compared to Norman!
- The Lancer: He's Norman's closest friend and his more cheerful and playful personality makes him a good Foil.
- Muggle Best Friend: He has no supernatural powers, but he thinks Norman's power to see ghosts is cool and he shows to be a true friend to Norman.
- Nice Guy: Seriously. He never gets angry with Norman.
- Odd Friendship: He and Salma are implied to be, at least before the former takes interest in Norman.
- Only Friend: He's Norman's first and only living friend.
- Playing a Tree: He's quite happy about it."I'm a tree!"
- Punny Name
- Quirky Curls: Fitting of his odd personality
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The extroverted and cheerful Red Oni to Norman's introverted and reserved Blue Oni.
- The Smart Guy: Not so much smart as Genre Savvy and reasonable.
- Youthful Freckles:
Norman's older sister who like everyone else frowns upon on his gift. Initially coming across as your typical self-absorbed teenaged girl, 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.
- Aloof Big Sister: At the beginning of the movie, Courtney is at first uncaring and aloof to her brother Norman and is not above mocking him and trying to prove he's a liar. She still tries to search for him when he is missing and shows genuine concern when it looks like he is in danger. She finally drops being aloof when she realizes his ability to see the dead is real and realizes how much pain he is in for being a outcast, becoming kinder and more supporting to him.
- Bare Your Midriff: Courtney is usually in a tight pink sports outfit that hugs her curves and shows her belly.
- Big Sister Instinct: She's pretty careless and minds her own business. But do anything to her little brother and you will regret it.
- Bratty Teenage Daughter: She acts as a typical self-centered teenage girl most of the time. She does show a good side later.
- The Cheerleader: Courtney is the 'bitchy' version (with shades of the 'stupid' version) but she turns out to be not so bad in the end.
- The Chick: The emotional girl of the group who is there mostly to support her brother and flirt with the hunky guy.
- Deadpan Snarker: She is a teenage girl.Courtney: Perfect. Now the geeks are in charge.
- Dumb Blonde: Though she doesn't seem that dumb on closer inspection, just self-absorbed.
- Eating the Eye Candy: Takes a very long look at Mitch whilst he's just in a towel. Not a lot of time looking at his face either.
- Hartman Hips: And Alvin noticed.
- Incompatible Orientation: At the end of the movie Courtney decides to stop flirting with Mitch and invites him to a movie. Mitch happily (and completely unaware that she had been flirting with him all the time) mentions that his boyfriend is a Chick Flick nut.
- Jerkass Realization: Implied when Norman lashes out and yells at his friends (out of frustration) to get out when searching for Agatha's records. He rants about how Courtney never listens to him and no one else listens to him, and how everyone thinks he's a freak. While she did leave, after seeing him endanger himself she becomes more kind and supporting to Norman, implying she realizes how much pain he is in when he was a outcast and now she wants to help him.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Courtney starts out as a typical self-centered teenaged girl, but she's not a bad person at heart. She steps up her game later on and she's the first one to stand up to the townsfolk to give her little brother a break.
- Lovable Alpha Bitch: She's a cheerleader, she's very self-centered and she treats her younger brother as an annoyance. However, she later shows she's not a bad person deep down and she does care a lot about her brother.
- Ms. Fanservice: Is quite pretty, with a shapely figure.
- Pink Means Feminine: Wears a pink tracksuit.
- Popular Is Dumb: Randomly babbles to Mitch about how she wants to eventually work on a variety of entirely unrelated humanitarian and environmental causes.
- Shaming the Mob: Courtney does this to defend Norman and the Zombies from the angry mob.
- Strong Family Resemblance: Courtney looks like a younger version of her mother.
- Took a Level in Kindness: At the beginning of the movie, Courtney is a bratty teenage girl who is aloof and uncaring to her brother Norman, and is not above mocking him and trying to prove he's a liar. In the middle the film, when she notices his ability to see the dead, and realizes how much pain he is in for being a outcast, and sees his life in danger, she becomes kinder, more supporting and protective of him, willing to put herself between her little brother and the mob that wants to kill him.
- You Leave Him Alone!: She says this when she finally stands up for her brother and defends him from the townspeople who don't want to listen to him.
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.
- All Guys Want Cheerleaders: Subverted—Mitch turns out to be gay (and is already in a relationship) and he apparently had no idea that Courtney was flirting with him.
- Big Brother Instinct: To Neil—when Neil first brings Norman over to their house, Mitch tries advising him not to hang out with Norman because of his reputation.
- The Big Guy: The huge, muscled guy who is helpful, but really not smart.
- Buffy Speak: Frequently. It has a lot to do with his limited awareness of a situation.
- Comically Missing the Point: He kicked a zombie's head away; while everyone was scared of the zombie, he was excited about how far he managed to kick the head.
- Deconstructed Character Archetype: He is your standard popular Dumb Jock, but his popularity seems to come in part from being actually a nice person. And rarely for the trope, he expresses fear and distrust of socially outcast groups, despite being a member of one such group himself, showing that even members of socially discriminated groups can still be fearful and prejudiced.
- Dumb Jock: Comically self-aware about it too. Although he seems to be very good at auto mechanic stuff.
- Dumb Muscle: His physique is great, but he isn't the smartest guy around.
- Everyone Has Standards: Disapproves of his brother Neil's friendship with Norman, but still helps search for him with his sister Courtney when Norman goes missing.
- Literal-Minded: When Courtney said she knew something "like this" was going to happen, he exclaims with total sincerity, "Wow, really? 'Cuz that zombie bit really threw me!"
- Lovable Jock: He's not mean—in fact, the only real "mean" thing he does is simply advise Neil not to hang out with Norman, and even then, that was just Big Brother Instinct kicking in.
- Manly Gay: Mitch is the typical teenaged Dumb Muscle, causing Norman's sister, Courtney, to be Distracted by the Sexy throughout the movie. He replies to her asking him out to see a movie that "You're gonna love my boyfriend. He's a total chick-flick nut."
- Mr. Fanservice: The Spear Counterpart to Courtney.
- Nice Guy: He is not only loving and protective of his younger brother, but he is not the typical Jerk Jock. He actually is very friendly and never mean. Playing With, as he disapproves of his brother's friendship with Norman and advises him not to hang out with Norman because of his reputation. However, he was never mean to Norman directly, went to search for him when he was missing, became a believer of his gift to see ghosts, and finally stands up to the townsfolk when they want to hurt Norman.
- Oblivious to Love: Mitch seems to have absolutely no clue Courtney is constantly trying to flirt with him. Turns out he's gay, but he still clearly has a case of this in that he only mentioned it incidentally after failing to notice Courtney's advances for most of the movie.
- One of the Kids: He knows.Neil: You're the oldest!
Mitch: Not mentally!
- Popular Is Dumb: Downplayed — he's dense and emotionally immature, but he's also a genuinely agreeable guy and surprisingly capable at fixing cars.
- Shirtless Scene: When he first appears to Courtney, he has just come out of the shower wearing nothing but a towel, and Courtney audibly pouts when he goes to get dressed.
- Sorry, I'm Gay: Invokes this without even realizing he's doing it when he responds to Courtney's flirtatious suggestion that they go on a (non-horror) movie date by telling her that she's going to love his boyfriend, who's apparently really into chick flicks.
- Straight Gay: Turns out he's gay, despite possessing no other indicators of such.
- Top-Heavy Guy: His upper-body is extremely muscular, but tapers down to a waist smaller than Courtney's and his legs are shorter than the distance from his waist to his neck.
- Youthful Freckles: He has freckles, which highlight his cheerful personality.
The school bully and resident jerkass. He takes a particular interest in making Norman's day insufferable.
Voiced by Christopher Mintz Plasse.
- Book Dumb: The guy couldn't even spell his own name for crying out loud!
- The Bully: A classic type.
- Casanova Wannabe: Repeatedly tries to impress a couple of girls, and also hits on Courtney. Emphasis on "tries".
- Deconstructed Character Archetype: While Alvin is a pretty stereotypical example of The Bully, everyone sees him as a complete loser who's not much higher on the social ladder than Norman. Even his victims think he's pathetic.
- Dumb Muscle: And unlike Mitch...
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Invoked with his appearance
- Enemy Mine: The moment evil spirits and zombies turn up, his grudge against Norman is immediately set aside.
- Everyone Has Standards: Alvin is a prick and a bully, but he's still horrified when the town tries to kill Norman.Alvin: How dare you?!
- HeelFace Turn: Well, sort of zigzagged. He stops bullying Norman by the end of the movie, and even protects him (along with Courtney, Neil and Mitch) from being slaughtered by the whole town. Although, most likely, he was acting this way in order to impress people, especially Courtney.
- Hypocrite: Picks on Neil for being fat, whilst being far from a beacon of physical health himself.
- Jerkass: At first. Though he only mellows slightly.
- Precocious Crush: On Courtney, who is not exactly impressed.
- Screams Like a Little Girl: When he opens the front door of Mr. Prenderghast's place only to see a zombie.
- The Sixth Ranger: Although not willingly, at first
- Totally Radical: Talks somewhat like this
Voiced by Jodelle Ferland.
- Alas, Poor Villain: When she is finally able to find peace with the help of Norman, Agatha Disappears into Light to move on to the afterlife upon realizing that the only thing she really wanted was to see her mother again.
- All of the Other Reindeer: She died because of this. The people of her town shunned and feared her for her ability to see dead people until they ultimately accused her of witchcraft and hanged her for it.
- Anti-Villain: Ultimately, she's not as much malicious per se as she is a bitter little girl who was mercilessly executed, and is basically lashing out after centuries of pain. She is barely a villain especially compared with the citizens of Blithe Hollow.
- Badass Adorable: Even the zombies fear her!
- Big Bad: The primary antagonist of the movie, and the source of all the problems, though not because she's evil.
- Big Ol' Eyebrows: Her real form has notably thick eyebrows, just like Norman.
- Broken Bird: Her real self is just an angry, bitter and very sad little girl who lost it after she was being accused of witchcraft and executed by the townspeople.
- Came Back Strong: She gained most of her powers after her death.
- Creepy Child: When she's still in her "angered" state. When she's calm, she's really cute.
- Cute Ghost Girl: In her "calmed" state.
- Dark Is Not Evil: The terrifying witch face in the storm clouds is actually based on the popular depictions of the legendary "witch" of Blithe Hollow. In reality, she's just a little girl who is so lost in the rage over her unjust execution that she has forgotten most of her life and even her name.
- Dark Magical Girl: A rare Big Bad example. She is The Hero Norman's Evil Counterpart and Shadow Archetype, who became a Vengeful Ghost due to her bitterness and pain upon the Dark and Troubled Past (where she was killed by the townspeople who feared her powers even though she did nothing evil). As with most Dark Magical Girl, she's eventually saved by her heroic Foil.
- Deconstructed Character Archetype: Of the Wicked Witch archetype. She was not an evil old crone practicing black magic, but a scared little girl with abilities she didn't understand who was executed by the townspeople for something she had no control over, which is much closer to what the Salem Witch Trials actually were in real life.
- 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: Her real form, which we see once she recalls her original self, has long black hair and pale skin. It's Played With as in these moments she isn't being dangerous or scary, but she's still a ghost.
- Evil Counterpart: To Norman. Both are discriminated against by the townspeople because of having the ability to speak to the dead. But whereas Norman seeks to save them and learns to value the people who care about him, Agatha sought to make them suffer and completely forgot about the people who loved her in the process.
- Evil Is Petty: Subverted. She 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: In her real form, her irises and pupils are faceted. Much like her descendants Norman and Mr. Prenderghast.
- Family-Unfriendly Death: The thought of an innocent eleven-year-old girl being sentenced to hanging is very unsettling.
- Freudian Excuse: Deconstructed. Even though she was an innocent eleven-year-old girl, Agatha was executed by the townspeople for talking to the dead. But as Norman points out, it's still only an excuse — she's a scared, angry child lashing out in the only way she knows how, and Norman forces her to understand that her violent cursing of the town and its people is understandable, but still not justified or the right thing to do.
- Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: Norman calls her out on her behavior when they confront each other. She excuses her own actions by remembering what the zombies did to her in life, but Norman says she has done just as much, if not even worse than they ever had, and that her behavior has turned her from a victim to a bully.The Witch: They hurt me!
Norman: So you hurt them back?!
The Witch: I wanted everyone to see how rotten they were!
Norman You're just like them, Agatha!
The Witch: No, I'm not!
Norman: You're a bully!
The Witch: No I'm NOT!
- 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's still the source of all of the problems, such as the terrible weather and the seeming Zombie Apocalypse.
- HeelFace Turn: After Norman talks her down she lets go of her anger.
- I See Dead People: Like Norman, she had the ability to see ghosts when alive. It's what got her hanged in the first place.
- I Want My Mommy!: Agatha realizes the only thing she really wanted was to see her mother again after the townspeople separated them.
- It Only Works Once: A variant; the storybook was the reliable standby to keep her spirit calm every year. By the time Norman tries it, however, Agatha is unwilling to listen and he has to try something else.
- Knight of Cerebus: Once she appears, the film becomes darker and more serious.
- Little Miss Badass: She's a young, sweet girl who can do Shock and Awe attacks and can cause other chaos.
- Meaningful Name: Agatha means 'good'. Too bad the townspeople didn't take the hint.
- Mind over Matter: To the extent of controlling the weather. She also creates ghostly hands that lift the bronze witch statue in front of town hall high into the air and drops it to shatter it, as well as smashing witch-themed structures all over town. She even hurls cars around!
- Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold: Very much like Norman. When she was alive, she was apparently closest to the ghosts she could see and speak to. She also greatly loved her mother, who she tragically never saw again after they arrested her for witchcraft.
- Not Evil, Just Misunderstood: She's not an evil spirit of a malevolent witch. Just a VERY angry little girl.
- Not So Different: From Norman. One has to wonder about Norman's reaction were he to become another victim of the town's evil.
- Not So Similar: With Norman, as she points out, he's a boy and unlike her, he is alive. While she is roaming around as a vengeful spirit who never saw her mother again just because people were scared of her. And by this point, she doesn't care how much time has passed or how long the judges have suffered, while Norman as highly empathetic and kind.
- Occult Blue Eyes: Blue eyes to reference her abilities.
- Our Ghosts Are Different: Agatha has very interesting powers.
- Pay Evil unto Evil: Deconstruction. She punishes her executioners by killing them and make them walk like zombies to be attacked by the townsfolk in revenge of what they did to her. As stated above, Norman points out this still makes her no better than them, especially since the Puritans already felt great remorse for what they did to her and they have already been punished enough.
- Reality Warper: In the final confrontation with Norman she first animates all the trees in the forest, and causes spiky roots to burst from the ground to try to impale him. Then she seemingly blasts the entire forest into a barren wasteland. Then she shatters the landscape entirely, reducing it to shards of Earth floating in some kind of ethereal plane. Finally, when Norman manages to reach her, the forest reverts to how it appeared during her lifetime. Once she passes on it resumes its real appearance.
- Restored My Faith in Humanity: Norman did this for her. At the climax of the film, Norman talks down Agatha, in part, by reminding her that there are good people in the world who cared about her and that her personal crusade for vengeance is keeping her apart from them.
- Revenge Before Reason: She became so obsessed with making the townspeople pay for what they did to her that she completely forgot about the people who loved her and she almost completely lost herself in her rage. It's until Norman helps her remember the good things about her life and makes her realize she has to find peace to see her mother again that Agatha finally lets go of her revenge.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Once she wakes up, the destruction she wreaks is subsequently explained as having been a tornado hitting the town!
- Shadow Archetype: To Norman. See Evil Counterpart above.
- She Who Fights Monsters: Norman calls her out for wanting to hurt people just because she's scared and angry, just like the townspeople did to her.
- Shock and Awe: When she's angry her spirit looks to be made of lightning.
- Tortured Monster: The witch's ghost is actually a terrified little girl named Agatha "Aggie" Pendergast who could see ghosts just like Norman. Several centuries ago, she was hanged because the other townsfolk feared her powers, and now she's lashing out in anger and fear.
- Tragic Villain: The witch's ghost is actually a terrified little girl named Agatha "Aggie" Pendergast who could see ghosts just like Norman. Several centuries ago, she was hanged because the other townsfolk feared her powers, and now she's lashing out in anger and fear.
- Unfinished Business: She is a superpowered ghost and an echo of her living self warped by the trauma of being unfairly tried, sentenced, and hung. Her unfinished business is that she's still lashing out from the trauma. Norman manages to talk her down by reminding her of her mother, whom has since passed on, and she agrees to lie down and sleep, to head to the afterlife.
- Unstoppable Rage: She ain't happy about her lot in life, not one bit. It becomes Norman's mission to stop it.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Long ago, she was just a sweet little girl who loved her mother. After the townspeople had accused her of witchcraft and executed her, Agatha came back as a Vengeful Ghost that could only think about forcing those who killed her to suffer like they made her suffer.
- Vengeful Ghost: As a ghost, she's seeking revenge on the townspeople as well as the zombies that killed her in the past.
- Villain Has a Point: When Norman appears to talk her down and says they're Not So Different, she points out that unlike her he's alive, and a boy. Not to mention that she says it wasn't fair that she was killed, and that the judges may have had pretty faces but they were ugly on the inside.
- Villainous Breakdown: Twice.
- When Norman and the group shame the mob into sparing the zombies, Agatha goes berserk and destroys her supposed witch statue and other witch-related props at random. It's because she was infuriated that Norman succeeded where she failed all those centuries ago: convincing the scared townsfolk to leave her alone. Aside from that, he also broke one aspect of the curse by saving the zombies.
- When Norman tells her her story, Agatha says she doesn't like it, attacks him again and again, and screams in pain as Norman finishes telling her her story.
- Walking Spoiler: Talking about her at length is extremely difficult to do without bringing up The Reveal that she's actually not your typical witch at all and was just a young girl who was capable of talking to the dead just like Norman, as well as the fact that her attack on the people of Blithe Hollow is due to centuries of pent-up anger at her unfair execution and the people who sentenced her to death in the first place.
- Wham Line: "Aggie... My name was Aggie..."
- Wicked Witch: Was executed for being one. Eventually becomes Deconstructed Trope: the judges only thought her to be one while she just had the ability to talking to the dead.
- 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.
- Alas, Poor Villain: He (as well as the other zombies) have come to regret their actions over the hundreds of years they've been dead. When Aggie is finally at rest, they Disappear into Light to move on to the afterlife as they look scared and regretful.
- And I Must Scream: Try to imagine being trapped in your corpse for centuries, being aware but unable to move. Being revived as a zombie isn't much better.
- Anti-Villain: While his actions were rather merciless, he did genuinely think it was for the best. Currently, he's a miserable zombie completely overwhelmed by his guilt, and only seeks to atone for his sins.
- Asshole Victim: He and the townspeople deserved their fates, and he fully acknowledges this.
- The Atoner: He seeks to redeem the harm he's caused when he ordered Agatha's execution.
- Back from the Dead: Well he is a zombie.
- Break the Haughty: What his Karmic Transformation did to him; a Knight Templar was damned to walk the earth as the undead that could only beg for release.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Ironically when they were actively evil, they were not dark but actually mundane-looking.]
- Deadpan Snarker: He apparently cracked wise about Courtney at one point, but we don't hear what he said because of his zombified state.
- Deconstructed Character Archetype:
- Of the Hanging Judge archetype. He legitimately did what he thought was best and his decision wasn't motivated by sadism or cruelty, but by a values system that all the people of Blithe Hollow agreed with.
- Of the stereotypical zombie characters. He and his fellow zombies have come to regret their actions over the hundreds of years they've been dead, and in the climax, it's the zombies who flee in terror from the hordes of bloodthirsty townspeople.
- Died Happily Ever After: Subverted. While the zombies prefer moving on to the afterlife than staying in the town in their bodies, he's not happy about what awaits him.
- Dissonant Serenity: He was eerily calm when he told an eleven-year old girl how she was to be hanged by the neck until she dies as she was crying.
- Evil Is Petty: Subverted. He sentenced an innocent girl to death for talking to the dead not because he does not like her being different from others, but because he thought it would be good for the townspeople.
- The Extremist Was Right: Averted horrifically. See Self-Fulfilling Prophecy below.
- Fatal Flaw: Fear-induced Horrible Judge of Character was his downfall.
- Fish out of Temporal Water: He and the other zombies are way more frightened of the modern world than the humans of the present time are of them.
- Greater-Scope Villain: In his past life, he sentenced a little girl to death, thus starting this whole mess. Kind of Averted by his Heel Realization in his now Zombified state.
- Hanging Judge: He was this when alive. He was so ruthless and cruel that he didn't hesitate to sentence a little girl to death by hanging when he found her guilty of witchcraft.
- Heel Realization: Now that he and the other zombies are being punished for their sins in life, Judge Hopkins has realized what a monster he was when alive and what they did to Agatha was unforgivable.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: By sentencing Aggie to death, he made her the monster that the townsfolk feared.
- Horrible Judge of Character: Visual Pun aside, the Puritans sentenced Aggie to death because they mistook her ability to talk to the dead for evidence that she was an evil witch who would curse the town. Justified in that they were too scared and self-righteous to see Aggie as the innocent girl as she was.
- Karmic Transformation: Enforced by Agatha. The founders killed her for speaking to the dead, and she cursed them to return as zombies that were feared, hated, and attacked by society the same way they feared, hated and attacked her. The only way for them to return to normal is by acquiring the help of a little boy with the same power that they killed Agatha for possessing. Agatha herself defends her choice to curse them by telling Norman "Now everyone can see how ugly they are."
- Knight Templar: Big time. An example of the worst things that a person can do by being led by his own self-righteousness.
- Lack of Empathy: The seven Puritans took a young girl away from her mother, and as Judge Hopkins told her how she was to be hanged by the neck until she dies, they were eerily calm when the girl was crying out of fear. They later subvert this after they had a Heel Realization.
- Meaningless Villain Victory: He does execute the witch, only to find that it has made everyone suffer.
- My God, What Have I Done?: He and the others are genuinely remorseful for their crimes.
- Named After Somebody Famous: His last name "Hopkins" probably comes from Matthew Hopkins, the real-life witch-hunter. This also overlaps with Names to Run Away from Really Fast.
- Never My Fault: Surprisingly averted. Despite his former belief that the witch will cause the town's doom, he admits that it was his sentencing of Aggie to be hanged for talking to the dead that caused that.
- Not Evil, Just Misunderstood: Zigzagged. He did hang an eleven-year old girl because he was scared of her, when she wasn't harming anyone, but he's realized how monstrous that was now that her curse is making him and the others suffer the same fate. He and the other zombies are not menacing anymore and they don't mean to harm anyone. He's only trying to find a way to break the curse so he and the other zombies can be free and he can atone for what he did to Agatha.
- Our Zombies Are Different: The Judge and the other zombies are a very rare Type R: Revenant. They have intelligence, and they aren't hungry for brains, but like any Type R, they are driven by a single, burning purpose. In their case, they only want to break Agatha's cycle so they may finally rest in peace.
- Perpetual Frowner: He never smiles when he was alive.
- Predecessor Villain: He is a judge who sentenced Agatha to death for the alleged crime of witchcraft, making him responsible for the conflict in the film.
- Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: By sentencing Aggie to death, he made her the monster that the townsfolk feared.
- Tempting Fate: "I'll not risk damnation on these good people!". Cue him and the other judges being damned to walk the earth as the undead.
- To the Pain: He told the witch how she was to be hanged by the neck until she dies.
- Too Dumb to Live: It's a very stupid thing to sentence the accused to death without proper evidence that she was really guilty of witchcraft.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: He started the whole mess but he is trying to redeem himself and the other Zombies.
- Villain of Another Story: He was the monster who murdered a little girl along with the other puritans and ironically as a zombie poses no threat to anyone and actually wants to help Norman. What every bullying citizen was for Norman he and the Puritans were for Agatha.
- Visual Pun: The Puritans sentenced Aggie to death because they mistook her ability to talk to the dead for evidence that she was an evil witch who would curse the town. By this, they proved themselves to be Horrible Judges of Character in their past lives since they were too scared and self-righteous to see Aggie as the innocent girl as she was.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: He thought he was doing the right thing and protecting the townsfolk by killing Aggie. The traditional Christian belief that all witches and warlocks have made a Deal with the Devil doesn't help.
- Would Hurt a Child: The Judge's sentencing of a young girl to be hanged for talking to the dead.
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.
- Fantasy-Forbidding Father: He views Norman's ability to talk to the deceased as disgraceful and full of nonsense and views Norman as the Black Sheep of the family for it. However, by the end, he shakes it off.
- Have You Tried Not Being a Monster?: Feels his son needs to stop all this strange talking to the dead nonsense and start acting a bit more normal.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Even his own mother's ghost called him a jackass once. 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; he really is a normal, well-meaning dad who really loves his family.
- So Proud of You: What he says at the end of the film.
- Supernatural-Proof Father: Finds his son's ability to communicate with the dead odd, but that's because only Norman can see, not Perry and others around him. By the end, he becomes Skeptic No Longer.
- Tempting Fate: Asking where the police are... About a second later, one literally crashes into him.
- Why Couldn't You Be Different?: He wishes Norman would stop talking about ghosts and act like a normal kid.
Norman's mother. Whilst not exactly openly supportive of her son's gift, she at least attempts to be more understanding of it than her husband does, which does cause some noticeable friction between them.
Voiced by Leslie Mann.
- Captain Obvious: Upon seeing the huge, unnatural green-and-purple storm cloud in the sky over the spot where the witch was buried, she asks: "Ooh, do you think this is the place?"
- Dissonant Serenity: Played for laughs; while driving through crowds of townsfolk in the midst of a violent, supernaturally-fuelled riot, she casually remarks that the traffic's really awful tonight.
- Granola Girl: A very downplayed version—some of Sandra's dialogue suggests that she believes in things like auras and astrology. In fact, at one point in the movie, she tells her husband, "Not believing in the supernatural is like not believing in astrology."
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: She's definitely the nicest of Norman's family after his grandma.
- Meaningful Name: Sandra means "defender."
- Open-Minded Parent: She tries to be at least—Sandra's at least more open-minded compared to Perry.
- Supernatural-Proof Father: A mother example. Much like her husband, her being not exactly supportive of Norman's gift is stemmed from the fact only he can see the dead, not her. Along with her husband, she becomes firmly on Norman's side and completely accepts his gift when Norman uses it to save the town.
- Tempting Fate: "Do you think this has anything to do with Norman?"
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.
- Big Ol' Eyebrows: He has thick eyebrows, much like Norman and Agatha.
- Black Sheep: Viewed as this along with Norman in the eyes of the rest of his family.
- Creepy Uncle: Subverted. His brother-in-law and much of the town likely think of him like this, but he's really not a bad guy, even if he is rather weird.
- Crusty Caretaker: According to the novelization, Mr. Prenderghast is the caretaker to the Blithe Hollow Cemetery.
- Exotic Eye Designs: Just like Norman and Agatha, his irises and pupils are faceted.
- I See Dead People: Just like Norman. Runs in the family.
- Killed Off for Real: He dies about twenty minutes into the movie and passes on to the other side.
- Large Ham: Alive and dead.
- Madden Into Misanthropy: Years of isolation and deteriorating health fostered in him a heavy contempt for the residents of Blithe Hollow, who he frequently belittles for not taking him seriously. Probably the only reason he even protected them for as long as he did was that it was all he had left, and he's more than happy to pass the buck to Norman the first chance he gets.
- Meaningful Name: Prenderghast literally means "ghost catcher" or "ghost holder."
- Occult Blue Eyes: Just like Norman and Agatha, his blue eyes to reference his ability to see ghosts.
- Shadow Archetype: He's what Norman would be if he had completely (and bitterly) resigned to everyone's expectations about him being weird.
- Superpowerful Genetics: The ability to see and talk to ghosts seems to run in the Prenderghast bloodline.
- Take Up My Sword: To Norman, as he knows he's dying and wants someone to hold off the witch's curse.
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.
- Deadpan Snarker: It seems to run in the family.Norman: Dad doesn't want me to talk to you anymore.
- Doting Grandparent: Ghosts only stay around in the world of the living because they have unfinished business. Grandma Babcock's unfinished business? She promised she would always look out for Norman.
- Friendly Ghost: One of the kindest ghosts seen in the movie and she explicitly stayed in the mortal world to watch over her grandson.
- Granny Classic: She's a very sweet and caring grandmother who is usually seeing knitting. She also has some attitude and great wisdom to share with her dear grandson.
- Spirit Advisor: To Norman. The reason she's still in the mortal world is to watch over him and advise him.
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.
- Big Ol' Unibrow: Her most notable feature is her big unibrow.
- Black and Nerdy: Visibly of African-American descent and has an above-average IQ.
- Child Prodigy: IQ 192 and enough awards and certificates to cover a top-tier college physics professor's office walls. Apparently specializes in nuclear fusion.
- The Comically Serious: When she's forced to be the witch in a play; she seems pretty bored when she has her lines.
- Expy: On the audio commentary, it is brought up that Salma's role in the movie is basically Velma of Scooby-Doo fame in a more modern setting, meaning that she isn't part of the adventure and is only contacted for information. Although they lampshade this themselves in the movie:Salma: So, Norman, let me get this straight. You guys all go on this big supernatural adventure, and you're calling me in the middle of the night because you need someone to help you do your homework?
- Foreshadowing: She is the witch on the school play, and she complains about the witch being a stereotypical ugly old woman. And she's right, Aggie is nothing like that.
- Insufferable Genius: Norman even lampshades it.
- Odd Friendship: With Neil.
- Smart People Wear Glasses: Just to make more obvious she's the resident smart girl, she wears glasses.