- Played By: Michael J. Fox
A former architect who, six years earlier, lost his wife, Debra, in a car accident and gained the ability to see and communicate with spirits which he uses to con unsuspecting townsfolk by having two of his ghostly cohorts, Cyrus and Stuart, enter their homes and cause havoc. When a handful of Fairwater's residents begin dying of mysterious heart attacks and he eventually becomes the main suspect, he must clear his name and put a stop to the true culprit.
- The Alleged Car: His yellow Volvo, which Cyrus doesn't seem all too impressed with.
- Back from the Dead: This happens to him twice in the film.
- Character Development: Frank starts out using his psychic gift to con people out of their money; he even gets told by The Judge at one in the film that "Death is no way to make a living." Gradually, as he works to put a stop to the Soul Collector/Bartlett, he finds himself trying to protecting lives and, by the end, starts living his life again.
- Con Man: How he makes a living at the start of the film.
- Drives Like Crazy: He doesn't stay on the road when driving and, at one point, takes his eyes off the road to look at his business cards. In the Director's Cut, he cuts through a funeral procession.
- Empowered Badass Normal: Frank can see and talk to spirits, and he fights to stop a malevolent spirit posing as The Grim Reaper. This gets averted whenever he becomes a spirit himself.
- Go into the Light: In the final act, he, as a spirit, rips Patricia's own spirit out of her body and drags her into the portal to Heaven, drawing Bartlett along with him.
- Heroic BSoD: Undergoes this halfway through the film after failing to save Magda from the Soul Collector.
- I Have Your Wife: Pulls Patricia's spirit out of her body and holds her hostage to draw Bartlett into the portal to Heaven.
- Not Too Dead to Save the Day: In the final act, he's strangled to death by Patricia, but his spirit comes back moments later to save Lucy from being mutilated by Patricia.
- Red Is Heroic: He's often seen wearing a red shirt, even if he's in a suit.
- Relationship Upgrade: By the end of the film, he ends up with Lucy.
- Your Soul Is Mine: After he dies a second time at Patricia's hands, Frank, once again a spirit, grabs her and tears her own spirit out of her body.
- Played By: Trini Alvarado
A doctor who moved to Fairwater with her husband, Ray, three months prior to the film's events and works at the local medical center. She becomes a widow after Ray dies of a suspicious heart attack and, not long after, finds herself a target of the Soul Collector.
- Awful Wedded Life: She admits this to Frank during their seance at the restaurant.
- Hospital Hottie: She's an attractive doctor.
- Nice Girl: Lucy is, by all accounts, a kind and caring woman.
- Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: She has black hair and light skin.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives a short but harsh one to Frank when trying to convince him that he's innocent.Lucy: [to Frank] Do you think you're the only person who's ever lost somebody. You walk around like you don't have any feelings, but the truth is, you're scared!
- Relationship Upgrade: She ends up with Frank by the end.
- Played By: Peter Dobson
Lucy's husband who immediately develops a grudge against Frank after the latter crashes into his yard (and runs over one of his lawn gnomes). He is later killed by the Soul Collector and is forced to rely on Frank.
- Hate at First Sight: He almost immediately hates Frank after the latter crashes into his yard.
- Heroic Sacrifice: In the novelization, when he sees the Soul Collector coming for Lucy, Ray attempts a You Shall Not Pass! on the apparition who, in turn, draws his scythe and slices Ray up something fierce. Though he ultimately doesn't survive, it's a lot better than his death in the film, in which he's rather unceremoniously Killed Off for Real by the Soul Collector.
- Played By: Julianna McCarthy
Patricia's mother who keeps her daughter locked in their house.
- Played By: Elizabeth Hawthorne
The editor-in-chief of the Fairwater Gazette who has it out for Frank.
- Played By: Troy Evans
The police chief of Fairwater.
- I Should Write a Book About This: Suggests that he and Frank team up to write a book about the film's events, though Frank politely declines.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He recognizes that Frank is a Con Man, but also knows that Frank may have some idea of what's going on around town. He's certainly more sensible than Dammers, if anything.
- Played By: Chi McBride
- Afro Asskicker: Takes on the Reaper after Stuart is killed.
- All There in the Manual: The novelization gives his surname as "Parks."
- Cigar Chomper: He complains to Frank about not being able to smoke cigars since he's dead. When he's seen in Heaven, he's smoking a cigar.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Takes on the Soul Collector to buy Frank and Lucy time to flee.
- Played By: Jim Fyfe
- Played By: John Astin
- Dual Wielding: Wields his six-shooters this way.
- Played By: R. Lee Ermey
The spirit of a drill sergeant who rules over the spirits of the Fairwater Cemetery with an iron fist.
- Asshole Victim: Hiles spends his screentime insulting everyone he comes across, so its hard to feel sorry for him when the Soul Collector gets him.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: It is R. Lee Ermey, after all. What did you expect?
- Half the Man He Used to Be: The Soul Collector cuts him in half vertically.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Delivers one to Frank:Hiles: I am not one of your shitty little emanations, Bannister. You cannot push spirits around! You are scum, using spooks to put the frighteners on people! That makes me physically ill!
- Title Drop: Does this during his "Reason You Suck" Speech to Frank.
- Played By: Jake Busey
- The Grim Reaper: His general appearance.
- In the Hood: Which makes him all the more menacing and creepy.
- Knight of Cerebus: The already darkly comical film shifts to a much more dire tone when the Soul Collector directly appears.
- Nightmare Face: A Freeze-Frame Bonus when he goes right through Frank's car shows this.
- Sinister Scythe: To go hand-in-hand with his look.
- The Voiceless: Save for a couple of unearthly howls and screeches, it doesn't have a single word of dialogue. At least, until it defaults to Bartlett's form.
- Played By: Jake Busey
An orderly who went on a rampage at Fairwater Sanatorium in 1964. He was executed for his crimes. He comes back from hell to claim the largest body-count of any serial killer yet.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: Along with Patricia, Johnny is one of the main antagonists of the film.
- Body-Count Competition: After the shooting, Bartlett brags he had killed more people than Starkweather. After returning from the grave, his main goal is to get the largest body count of all serial killers because he feels that honor belongs to an ''American'' instead of some Russian.
- Eagleland: He's dismayed that a Russian serial killer (implied to be Andrei Chikatilo) holds the biggest body count and tells Patricia that that record should be held by an American.
- Serial Killer
- Slasher Smile: Practically all the freaking time he appears. It's especially prominent in a black-and-white photo shown during a documentary detailing his crime.
- Played By: Dee Wallace Stone
Bartlett's lover and Psycho Supporter who participated in the 1964 slayings at Fairwater Sanatorium but was spared the death penalty due to being underage at the time. Lives at home with her strict mother.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: She and Johnny serve as the main antagonists of the film.
- MayDecember Romance: An odd example, this. She was 15 years old when she became romantically involved with Bartlett, but while Bartlett was executed and became a spirit that still looks young, she was spared the death sentence and grew to be in her forties or fifties.
- Serial Killer
- Self-Made Orphan: Murders her own mother near the end.
- Teens Are Monsters: She aided her boyfriend in his massacre at the Fairwater Sanatorium.
- Played By: Jeffrey Combs
A FBI agent called in to investigate the mysterious deaths occurring around Fairwater. He immediately suspects Frank is the culprit.
- Agent Mulder: He believes in some... bizarre things. Deconstructed, since he believes Frank to be the killer based on circumstantial evidence and nearly ruins the investigation with his dogged pursuit of Frank and refusal to listen to the far more reasonable Sheriff.
- Big-Bad Ensemble: Shares main-antagonist duties with The Soul Collector/Bartlett and Patricia.
- Black Eyes of Evil: The schlera are still white, but Dammers is a nasty guy with very dark eyes.
- Covered with Scars: His entire torso is covered with scars, tattoos, and other ritual markings.
- Boom, Headshot!: He dies when Patricia blows his head off with a shotgun.
- Inspector Javert: He accuses Frank for the recent slew of murders in Fairwater.
- Occult Detective: He had infiltrated the worst cults imaginable. All for his Country.
- Defective Detective: He's not right in the head, though.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Dammers' years of infiltrating cults have left him with a lot of personality quirks and a fairly tenuous grasp on sanity. Word of God is that he's received basically no deprogramming or support after his missions.