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Boy Meets Ghoul

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'Til death do us part' sort of loses all meaning now...

"My girlfriend is smart, beautiful, and totally in love with me. The only problem is that she really enjoys the taste of human blood. Should I be at all concerned about this?"
Ask That Guy, "Episode 7"

The Undead are usually scary, but sometimes they're sexy or even cute as well, and sometimes, a guy or a gal falls in love with one. A little bit of stalking-the-night and feasting-off-the-bodies-of-the-living is no impediment to true romance, after all. When Boy Meets Ghoul, or girl meets vampire, or, in general, when a living person meets an attractive member of the opposite side of the border between life and death, love can flourish. They say that love conquers all. Maybe it can even conquer undeath?

Traditionally, vampires, mummies, and ghosts are the go-to undead creatures for romance, with zombies having joined their ranks in the late 2000s. Romance with actual ghouls of the undead variety is fairly rare and has taken a hit since the 1970s, but it makes for a good pun.

If the love comes first and the (un)death comes later, that's Resurrected Romance.

A subtrope of Interspecies Romance. May be a case of Mayfly–December Romance. Sister Trope to Muggle–Mage Romance. See also: Kiss of the Vampire, Lesbian Vampire, Romantic Vampire Boy, Cute Ghost Girl, I Love the Dead and Nightmare Fetishist. May invoke the Hemo Erotic.

Contrast with Robosexual, Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex and Did You Just Romance Cthulhu?.


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  • An advertisement for Canal+ and their "unpredictable programs" showed a man being chased by a zombie woman. When she finally tackles him, they look at each other and instantaneously fall in love, the rest of the ad turning into a romance movie until they got crushed by a meteor.
  • A 2017 advert for Wrigley's gum* has a romantic encounter between a teenage boy and a zombie girl.
    Boy: I don't really know if we should kiss. I mean... you're a zombie.
    Zombie Girl: (chews gum, grins to display two rows of perfect pearly whites, complete with an audible glint) But I'm kinda hot.
    Boy: ...Yeah. (they kiss, her hand falls off)

    Anime & Manga 
  • 3×3 Eyes: Boy meets immortal, boy killed by immortal's pet, immortal absorbs his soul to resurrect him as a zombie—ahem—Wu.
  • Ayakashi Triangle: Shirogane is animal example—a regular cat turned ayakashi, who can still talk to regular cats and be attracted to them. To his disappointment, this is first shown on a human who was turned into an animal.
  • Bleach: Shinigami dwell within the Soul Society, the world of spirits and ghosts. When humans die, Shinigami help their ghosts travel to the Soul Society. Those ghosts with spiritual power can then become Shinigami, although aristocratic Shinigami are born directly into Soul Society as spirits. Ichigo and his sisters are the offspring of a Shinigami father who went AWOL from Soul Society to save the life of their human mother (he's one of the aristocrats born in Soul Society as well, so he's not a former human ghost). Although their mother has been dead for many years, their Shinigami father remains within the human world, masquerading as a doctor and raising his three children. Ginjou claims that Ichigo is not the first person to have been born from a Shinigami/Human pairing and, as a substitute Shinigami just like Ichigo, he might have been talking about himself. However, he leaves the identity of Ichigo's predecessor a mystery.
  • Call of the Night: The plot is kicked off the night Yamori meets Nazuna while wandering the streets at night, though it somewhat zigzags this trope as its particular brand of vampires aren't considered to be undead.
  • Daimos is Romeo and Juliet with Super Robots and aliens. Boy meets girl, girl turns out to be the Alien Princess of the planet warring with Earth, girl runs away out of shame and tries to hide her heritage, boy finds out and tells her he loves her anyway, and both work together to put an end to the war. Also, girl's brother finds out and gets super SUPER mad, and the boy is branded a traitor by his fellow Earthlings and maltreated by his racist superior because of it.
  • Dance in the Vampire Bund:
    • Boy meets vampire, boy falls in love with her, boy finds out that he's actually a werewolf.
    • Also, boy meets babysitter/older sister stand in, she gets turned into vampire, boy eventually decides he'd rather become a vampire than live without her.
  • Dusk Maiden of Amnesia: Boy meets girl. Girl turns out to be amnesiac ghost of a 50-year-old corpse in the school basement. Mysteries ensue.
  • A typical Franken Fran story usually doesn't start with this as a premise, but that may be how it ends up.note 
  • Hellsing: Grizzled mercenary man meets vampire girl.
  • Karin: A classic girl-meets-boy story where the girl is a cute, shy, vampire (actually, a rare type of what you might call a backwards vampire).
  • Living Dead!: Boy meets girl and develops a crush, but can't work up the nerve to tell her. Girl dies, becomes a zombie, and moves into boy's home.
  • Monster Musume: Downplayed- Zombina-Chan the zombie is, like most named female characters, attracted to main character Kimiheto. She winds up roping him into taking her out on dates a few times, but never actually makes it into being part of his Unwanted Harem.
  • My Lovely Ghost Kana: Boy meets Cute Ghost Girl haunting his new apartment. Boy drowns his sorrows. Boy has long conversation with ghost about life and death. Boy accidentally gropes ghost, somehow. Ghost is surprised, then excited at the implications of a living boy being able to touch her. Boy and ghost make sweet love, then begin a bizarre, surprisingly tender romance in the apartment where the girl brutally killed herself many years ago.
  • Necromance: Shibuki (undead) and Safina (saintess) are engaged. Although, they fell in love before Shibuki died and both are looking for a way to break the curse that made him an undead because Safina's holy power makes it impossible for him to touch her in his current state.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi:
    • Fifteen years ago, the undebatably undead vampire Evangeline stalked Nagi, who got sick of it and cursed her to remain on the Mahora school grounds for a few years, but forgot to let her out before eventually disappearing ten years ago. In the present, she attacks his son Negi out of irritation, but eventually ends up getting treated somewhere between his primary teacher and a potential love interest. Later on, Negi learns a Dangerous Forbidden Technique created by Evangeline, which only undying beings like her should be able to use because normal humans become corrupted. As a result, Negi becomes an immortal demon of the same kind as Evangeline and he says he's happy to be the same as her now. In one Alternate Timeline shown in the Sequel Series, Negi and Evangeline do develop a romantic relationship in the future.
    • Minor character Sayo, a ghost haunting the school, also seems to have feelings Negi in her first chapters. However, in her case absolutely nothing comes of it, not even real Ship Tease or a pactio.
  • Gosunkugi from Ranma ½ developed a crush on Kogane while they spent time together during an episode. But at the end, he gets over it and continues to stalk Akane.
  • RIN-NE has a girl meet a half-shinigami and they eventually start seeing each other in romantic lights.
  • Rosario + Vampire:
  • Sankarea: Boy obsessed with the undead meets girl, girl falls off cliff and dies, girl becomes zombie, zombie-girl becomes freeloader in boy's house.
  • Gender-inverted in Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun. The story starts off when Nene, a human girl, summons Hanako, a ghost.
  • Tokyo Ghoul plays with this trope. The Ghouls in question aren't undead, but have many of the hallmarks with a Horror Hunger and regenerative abilities.
    • The entire series begins when Cute Bookworm Kaneki meets a sweet girl named Rize Kamishiro, and asks her on a date. Unfortunately, their date ends with her trying to eat him. He ends up as a Half-Human Hybrid, after both are mortally wounded and her organs are transplanted into him. Seducing and eating attractive young men turns out to have been Rize's preferred hunting method.
    • Later, human-turned-half-Ghoul Kaneki and born-Ghoul Touka are mutually attracted and wind up together. Similarly human woman Mado Akira and Koutarou Amon, captured and turned into a half-Ghoul.
    • Kimi falls in love with Nishiki, and later learns that he's a Ghoul after he almost attacks her. Their relationship seems to have only been strengthened by this incident.
    • A human woman named Ukina met a handsome man named Kuzen, that happened to be a Ghoul. She turned out to be okay with this. Unfortunately, he was forced to kill her to protect their Half-Human Hybrid child and went on to become Big Good Yoshimura while their child became the Big Bad.
  • UQ Holder!:
    • This happened in Santa's backstory. Boy meets Necromancer ghost girl, boy gets murdered by petty bullies, ghost girl revives the boy as a Revenant Zombie.
    • Technically, this applies to the human girls in the Unwanted Harem of the main hero Touta, an immortal Artificial Human turned into a (pseudo) vampire by Evangeline from Negima! Magister Negi Magi mentioned above. However, nothing comes out of the human girls' crushes since Touta only shows real attraction towards the fellow immortal girls that are in love with him.
  • The Voynich Hotel has two separate relationships: Professor and Tenebraum, the Revenant Zombie living in the hotel's basement, and the manga artist Haraki and Mercelo, the ghost in his hotel room.
  • Wirbelwind: Girl meets ordinary boy (initially), who then turns into undead, but it's all to the better because she's a Dark Elf and now they don't need to Wangst about their lifespans and incompatible alignments and just adventure together. And fuck, of course, because that's an ecchi adventure manga by the famous H-artist Makoto Fujisaki.
  • Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs: Spirit medium Kogarashi meets Cute Ghost Girl Yuuna. The two fall in love and it's revealed they can have children because spirit genes are all that's needed in cases of those with godlike spiritual power like Kogarashi.

    Comic Books 
  • The framing device of the Neil Gaiman story "The Hunt" is an old man telling his granddaughter a story. Turns out, the story is meant to educate her about why it is a bad idea for her, a werewolf, to continue her relationship with her human boyfriend. Or at least, that's what she thinks is the point of the story. It's hinted that her mind was too preoccupied with her own situation to catch the other possible messages in her grandfather's story.
  • Judge Dredd: Defied when a pair of Bonnie and Clyde wannabes run into Judge Death in the Cursed Earth. They're so high on drugs during their killing spree that they don't even seem to notice that their companion is a bit on the lifeless side. The girl actually offers herself to their new friend after her boyfriend goes to sleep, but he just shoves his claw through her chest, pointing out that he's long past that particular stage.
  • In Lori Lovecraft, the Inn Between the Worlds known as Voodoo Mansion is run (if a word like 'run' can be applied to location like Voodoo Mansion) by lovers Zelda and Horatio who act as hosts and caretakers. Zelda is a human parapsychologist, and her boyfriend/test subject Horatio is a particularly self-aware and independently minded zombie.
  • Madman has a normal girl in love with a dead guy who looks weird enough in the costume he almost always wears, but beneath that mask is a person who looks very much like a corpse.
  • In the Cherry Comics parody of Anne Rice, Cherry and Ellie have sex with a vampire, a mummy and a ghost.
  • The basic plot of every My Boyfriend Is a Monster graphic novel goes like this: Girl meets guy (usually one or both of them are new students). Girl and guy fall in love. Guy turns out to be a supernatural creature of some kind (whether it be a vampire, a ghost, or a modern-day Jekyll & Hyde).
  • The main plot of Tokyopop's OEL Manga My Dead Girlfriend.
  • Robin (1993): Darla Aquista, who was already a Stalker with a Crush with heavy shades of Entitled to Have You for Tim before her death, is brought back as a superpowered undead magic using assassin who thinks she's dating Tim after he agrees to have a meal with her because she refuses to take no for an answer when he makes it clear that he still has no interest in dating her.
  • In X-Force/X-Statix, Revenant Zombie superheroine Dead Girl has a casual sexual relationship with her living human team-mate Anarchist.
  • Black Hammer: Golden Gail was in a relationship with the undead former supervillain Sherlock Frankenstein before she became trapped on the Farm. She misses him dearly. They get to reunite and be happy together at the end of the series.

    Fan Works 
  • In The Amazing World of Gumball fan art, Gumball/Carrie is a popular pairing.
  • Novembersmith's RPS fan-novel The Anatomy of a Fall is based on a boy meets ghost scenario.
  • In At Gate's Edge, Roy meets Edward Elric, a poltergeist that lives in his office. They become good friends and Roy manages to invite the ghost to live with him as a roommate.
  • Ghost, Ghost, I Know You Live Within Me: Turian meets human girl. Girl dies, becomes a ghost and stays with Turian. They fall in love. Girl comes back to life and forgets their time together, somewhat...
  • Hivefled: Gamzee has exchanged flirtatious comments with Laneen, the ghost of a troll who is probably his half-sister. Trolls lack an incest taboo, which doesn't help much, especially since both of them were sexually abused by the troll who turned out to be their mother (or as close as one can get to one with troll reproduction) and said mother killed Laneen.
  • Horde Champion: Anevay, a living elf, enters a romantic relationship with Sylvanas, an undead elf.
  • Not Completely, Altogether Here is themed around the romance between Elphaba and Glinda, the girl that would have been her university roomie if she hadn't died a semester before Elphaba transferred. Glinda is a ghost but Elphaba can touch her and, after a few chapters, see her as well.
  • In the Pony POV Series Dark World Arc (taking place in an alternate timeline were Discord won), Discord inflicted Apple Bloom with the same curse as Sunny Town and is thus basically a zombie. Despite this, she somehow married a stallion named Lance and the Apple Pies are her descendants. Exactly how this worked is unknown as the curse was not broken until her death by Rapid Aging when it was finally broken, but they were Happily Married and the Power of Love was involved.
  • Touhou Project:
    • Fanworks focusing on the relationship between Seiga Kaku and her jiangshi, Yoshika Miyako, tend to lean heavily into this trope. In some works the two are depicted as having known each other since before Yoshika's demise, with Seiga keeping her reanimated corpse due to being unable to let go. In others they're depicted as never having met prior to Yoshika's resurrection but Seiga loving her "cute puppet" for the brainless, decaying, hollowed mockery of life that she is anyway.
    • Due to one of Seiga's spell cards being named "Yang Xiaogui," a Chinese necromancy which enslaves vengeful spirits by using them to reanimate fetus corpses — which is quite a lot of evil squeezed into one single spell — as well as her already established fan characterization as a necrophiliac, the introduction of Eika Ebisu, the spirit of a miscarried child, almost instantly started featuring fan art of Seiga preying on the kid, thus adding another layer of depravity to Gensoukyou's Wicked Hermit.
  • The Contractually Obligated Chaos series takes this beyond the source material's limitations. It's played with, however, since by the end of the first story, Lydia is partially a ghoul in her own right, and BJ is partly alive again.
  • Vow of Nudity: While fighting Kay’la in the beachside cave, a black dragon gripes that her combative attitude makes him less interested in killing and resurrecting her as his undead trophy wife. Sometime later, after she beats him, he tracks her down and humiliates her in front of the whole city as revenge for “embarrassing him in front of his husbands and wives” (implied to be the skeletons and zombies Kay’la encountered in the cave with him).

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Tim Burton must like it a lot — Beetlejuice tries to marry the 16-year-old Lydia in the movie. (The Animated Adaptation handles it a bit differently.)
  • Bit: Laurel meets Izzy and they hit it off. Then it turns out Izzy is a vampire, biting Laurel and transforming her. Laurel doesn't mind after the initial shock wears off, joining the lesbian vampire group which Izzy's a part of.
  • Byzantium has Frank meet and subsequently fall for vampire Eleanor.
  • Casper has a Puppy Love version of girl meets ghost.
  • A Chinese Ghost Story revolves around the human protagonist, Nip, who is forced to spend a night in a derelict old temple, where he inevitably falls in love with a mysterious young woman who turns out to be a ghost.
  • Der Philosoph: Georg the writer has fallen in with three, count 'em, three gorgeous ladies, roommates who all want to have sex with him. He puzzles about his mysterious luck for a while until Franziska, the one he's actually having sex with, tells him the truth. After telling Georg that it's perfectly OK for him to have sex with all three of them, she reveals that the three ladies are "agents in time", immortal beings that flit back and forth from one time to another time. Later, another of the women describes them as "goddesses". They may be Muses, or they may be the three Graces, but in any event they have taken Georg under their wing and they're going to nurture his talents.
  • The Enchantress, where a warrior rescues a Damsel in Distress, resulting in the two of them inevitably falling in love. Unfortunately for him, the damsel's mother turns out to be a ghost who died while pregnant with her, and gave birth to her as a spirit.
  • Endless: Riley and Chris, who had a relationship while he was alive, continue their romance when he's dead as a ghost (as much as possible).
  • Ghost (1990) features a romance between a living woman and her dead boyfriend.
  • The classic 1947 film The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (not so much the TV show) does indeed involve a love triangle and the ghost leaving his beloved to the other man ... who A) is already married and B) is a Handsome Lech who has had numerous affairs already. All ends happily, though.
  • Ghostbusters (1984) has a (mostly) deleted scene where Ray finds a ghost of a woman wearing a white dress who has been dead for 150 years (we say "mostly" because a piece of the scene still made it through: it's the part in the "business is booming" montage in which Ray is lying in a bed and something invisible opens his fly).
  • Innocent Blood: Undercover detective meets... vampire (no points for guessing that).
    "I take lives."
    "Ya, well, if you were perfect, you wouldn't still be single."
  • In I Married a Witch, an ordinary guy falls in love with a nearly 300,000-year-old witch.
  • Let Me In shows a sweet love story. Owen and Abby fall in love, but Abby is a vampire. At the end of the film, they both leave the city where Owen lived because they want to be together.
  • Let the Right One In: Another Puppy Love version, though a very dark one. Boy meets a strange young girl who turns out to be a vampire. Childhood love/violent deaths ensue.
  • The Lost Boys: Boy meets (half) vampire and the gang of goth biker punk vampires who turned her. Hilarity — and carnage — ensues.
  • My Boyfriend's Back is about a boy who is killed, and just before he dies the girl he's in love with tells him that she'd go on a date with him if he recovered. So he comes back as a zombie in order to get that date.
  • Near Dark: Boy meets vampire and her family of psychotic hillbilly bloodsuckers. Carnage ensues.
  • Nightbreed by Clive Barker has the main character Boone/Cabal returning from the dead after being shot repeatedly by police and later continuing his romance with his girlfriend.
  • Prom Night III: The Last Kiss. The fact that Mary Lou is a ghost doesn't turn Alex off, it's her... antisocial behavior.
  • Return of the Living Dead 3: There's a romance between a boy and his zombified girlfriend, whom he resurrected with the Trioxin after she died in a motorcycle accident.
  • Scary Movie 2: Shorty encounters a corporal ghost with an overly tongue who's a real butterface. He immediately jumps into bed with her by solving the problem with a paper bag.
  • Ugetsu: Genjuro's lover, Lady Wakasa, turns out to be a ghost seeking the love that she never found in her short mortal life.
    Genjuro: I never knew such pleasure existed!
  • Underworld (2003): Boy meets vampire and turns into a werewolf himself.
  • Warm Bodies: R, a zombie, becomes attracted to living woman Julie as a result of him eating her boyfriend's brain. This results in him slowly regaining his humanity, and she eventually reciprocates his attraction.
  • We Are the Night: Lena becomes a vampire, after she falls for Tom, the human police detective after her. The couple get together and run away at the end.
  • Z-O-M-B-I-E-S (2018): Zombie football player Zed and human cheerleader Addison fall in love.

  • An old joke about a man who married an undead girl and is very deeply in love with her. Not because of her beauty (she's a rotten corpse) or kindness (she's still a flesh-eating ghoul), but because of the worms that he plucks out of her body. Although, of course, only a fellow fisherman would ever understand him.

  • Durarara!!:
    • Boy meets Headless Horsewoman and other boy meets Headless Horsewoman's head.
    • Boy meets buxom girl symbiotically joined to a demon sword and controlling a pseudo-zombie horde.
  • Is This A Zombie?: Boy meets Necromancer, boy gets murdered by a Serial Killer, boy gets revived by said Necromancer, then boy meets Magical Girl and Vampire Ninjas and accidentally marries one of them. And another one and a Magical Girl with multiple lives who turns out to be the Serial Killer and yet takes a liking to him.
  • Maburaho: Being killed doesn't stop Kazuki from coming back as a ghost and still having a harem of love interests.
  • Overlord (2012): Albedo is passionately in love with her master, Lord Momonga, and wants to bear his children. The fact that he's a lich, which means that he very definitely lack the parts required to accomplish such a thing, is something she tends to disregard. Justified in that she's a former MMO NPC who was written that way (and he only intended it to be a cute and fun thing, since the original MMO had limitations on NPC behavior anyway). His other servant, the vampire Shalltear, also lusts for him (and she wasn't programmed for it, so it's apparently a trait of her own).
  • Ancient Chinese literature quite often features stories of men falling in love with fox spirits or ghosts (or, in one case, living quite happily in a three-way marriage with a fox spirit and a ghost). At least one story features a man having sex with the spirit of a butterfly (although she was in human form at the time).
  • Anna Dressed in Blood: A ghost-hunting teenage boy travels to a new town to dispatch a particularly troublesome ghost. They fall in love instead.
  • In Maggie Furey's Aurian books, Aurian's lover dies, but spends the rest of the series jumping in and out of death trying to protect and help her, despite the fact that she's found a new love by then. Death is understandably not very happy about this, and tries to claim all three of them.
  • Inverted in Bearing an Hourglass: Orlene, a beautiful and intelligent woman, is technically married to a ghost named Gawain, who needs to carry on his family line. So the ghost tries constantly to set her up with suitors, to produce the heir he needs so he can pass on. However, she has never seen and cannot see Gawain.
  • Bloodsucking Fiends: Boy meets freshly turned vampire on the rebound.
  • Bone Song features some steamy sex scenes between the human protagonist and a beautiful zombie woman. When he learns that she's undead, he's a bit shocked that he's just had sex with a zombie (she lampshades it herself: "Haven't you ever fucked a zombie before?"); however, he gets over it very quickly, and right after that they spend an even more passionate night of love.
  • Cabal by Clive Barker, the book that the film Nightbreed was based on. The book features a graphic scene between the corpse of the protagonist Boone/Cabal and his girlfriend.
  • Carmilla: Laura is captivated by Carmilla, who unbeknownst to her is a vampire. While Laura thinks of Carmilla as a friend, without any apparent erotic component, Carmilla declares several times that she is in love with Laura.
  • Chronicles of a Reluctant Necromancer: Protagonist necromancer raises dead girl back to life, who happens to be an assassin too, girl tries to seduce necromancer but eventually falls in love with him.
  • Demon in My View by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes features girl-meets-vampire.
    • Somewhat different, as well, in that it is also boy-meets-something. Aubrey's fascination with her arises from his inability to understand what exactly she is, since she appears to have some level of psychic abilities and intimate knowledge of a world she has never personally experienced, as evident through the accuracy of the novel she has had published about Aubrey himself.
  • The title story of John Bennett's collection of Charleston, South Carolina folklore The Doctor to the Dead features a young doctor named Heinrich Karl Ryngo who decides he is going to treat the dead rather than the living. During one of his trips to a local cemetery, he encounters the beautiful ghost of a young woman named Helen. He falls in love with her and, despite her protests that their romance could go nowhere, visits with her every night until finally he keeps her from her grave until after the sun comes up and the cock crows. As the dead are forbidden to be out at that time, she then disintegrates into dust, causing Ryngo to become totally unhinged. He spends the rest of his life trying to bring her back.
  • The mortal form that the protagonist of Dogsbody is cast down into is the product of a Cŵn Annwn mating with a Labrador, though the exact status of said Hellhounds is unclear, as they can breed amongst themselves and apparently die.
  • Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser: Fafhrd's ghoulfriend Kreeshka. Minor twist in that Leiber's ghouls are a race, not undead humans. Still, they look like skeletons with organs over them and they eat human flesh.
  • An attempt at this kicks off the plot of The Ghost Bride by Malaysian author Yangsze Choo. A recently dead young man wants to marry the protagonist, so he haunts his mother into proposing a ghost bride deal. (This is an actual tradition that was once observed, though not often. The basic idea was that marriage would put a troublesome ghost to rest.) The protagonist, however, is vehemently opposed to marrying him, both because he's dead and because he's kind of a Jerkass, so while he tries to court her and sets up an engagement dinner, they don't actually get married.
  • "The Ghost of Philinnion": Philinnion, a girl who has been dead for several months, visits Machates, a young man who stays in her father's house because she loves him, and the two have an affair without Machates realizing that Philinnion is an undead.
  • Played with in Ghost Roads. Rose does sometimes have sex with the living, but only when she's wearing a coat, which makes her functionally alive until sunrise (or she takes off the coat). The only boy she ever truly loved was Gary, her boyfriend before she died, and after he dies they're Together in Death.
  • Goosebumps: In "The Ghost Next Door" book, girl meets boy, boy accidentally passes through girl, and girl is actually a ghost.
  • The Gravesavers by Canadian author Sheree Fitch had a girl met a boy, who turned out to be a ghost from the wreck of the RMS Atlantic.
  • The Haunted Bookshop Mysteries by Alice Kimberly features this on the side. Penelope owns a bookshop haunted by Jack, a 1940's detective, who was killed on the premises way back when. Together, they solve murders and have... something going on between them.
  • The Immortal Rules has as its protagonist a newly turned vampire struggling with her new life in a post-apocalyptic world. This trope comes to the fore when she meets and eventually falls in love with the adopted son of a priest leading a small group of survivors to find a legendary city. Unfortunately both the priest and his son believe that vampires are unholy demons that must be destroyed without hesitation, so it makes the reveal a little awkward to say the least. though by the end, he has at least accepted her vampirism once he knows the story behind it.
  • Gender inverted and played with in InCryptid. Martin Baker is a revenant and Friendly Zombie who's Happily Married to Angela, a psychic wasp who outwardly looks completely human. They got married 9 years after he was revived, and have three Happily Adopted children: one human, one bogeyman, and one the same species as Angela.
  • In Labyrinths of Echo, The Ace of the series once mentioned that for most people the touch of a ghost is very unpleasant, but he must disagree and offhandedly adds, "if I'll ever want to vary my life with a dalliance, living lasses have no chance". That's from a wizard who once enchanted a deck of cards so that ghosts can handle it without problems and non-enspelled humans can't touch it. Just to see if he can turn into a "ghost" a thing that never lived to begin with.
  • Let the Right One In: Young boy meets apparently-young vampire, and, as with the movie version, puppy love + carnage ensues.
  • This happens with the main character and a ghost named Jesse in The Mediator series.
  • The Peony Lantern: Boy meets ghost. She takes him with her. Although it may have just been an elaborate hoax made up by his servant so he can steal a solid gold talisman from the local temple.
  • C. J. Cherryh's Russian trilogy:
    • In Rusalka, Pyetr, one of the two main characters, falls in love with Eveshka, a Rusalka and the title character. A rusalka is the ghost of a drowned woman that devours human life to remain in the world. And it's mutual. She is brought back from the dead at the end of the book.
    • In Yvgenie, Pyetr's daughter Ilyanna (her mother is Eveshka) is caught in a love triangle between a ghost she grew up knowing and who also happens to be the man who murdered her mother, having been redeemed during the second book, and a boy she rescues from drowning. In the end she gets both of them due to Kavi (the ghost) possessing the boy to save his life, and then due to complicated magical circumstances becoming unable to leave him. They manage well enough and are both so smitten with her that everyone comes out happy in the end. It's got to be one of the strangest resolutions to a love triangle ever.
  • In Skulduggery Pleasant, it is more a case of Girl Meets Living But Is Rejected Then Proceeds To Assist In The Murder Of Him And His Family Without Him Knowing, He Then Returns From The Dead And Girl Still Loves Him And Is Rejected Even After Her Heel-Face Turn.
  • The short story "Tomorrows Ghost" by R. Chetwynd-Hayes is based around a romance between a Regency-era woman and a modern-day (1980s) man, each of whom believes the other to be a ghost. It turns out that in a time paradox, back in the woman's own day, she killed herself because she could not be with the man from the future and was being forced into a marriage with someone else - thus is a ghost in the present.
  • The Twilight Saga: Girl meets vampire and werewolf and love triangle ensues.
  • The Vampires Beautiful Daughter: Rebecca is a half-vampire, and has to choose between undeath with her father and vampire friends or a human life with her human boyfriend Johnny. The story is told from Johnny's point of view.
  • Warm Bodies: Zombie eats boy, gains his memories, falls for his girlfriend. Then it gets weird.
  • Zombie Lover in the Xanth series has the titular zombie in love with a living man.

    Live-Action TV 
  • American Horror Story: Murder House: Tate is a ghost, and Violet is alive... until she commits suicide, and ends up a ghost as well.
  • Banjun Drama: "When She Opens Her Eyes." The main character in that one encounters the wandering spirit of a girl in a coma that only he can see. He ends up falling for her - even after he realizes he's the one who put her in that situation. Of course, when she finds out, their relationship stops going so well.
  • Being Human (US): Sally is a beautiful young woman who's also a ghost. More than a few mortal men are into her. She's unable to interact with them physically though until she possesses the body of a living woman, having sex that way. This is bad actually since she doesn't tell anyone, but the show doesn't seem to realize this.
  • Bewitched focused on a man who was not only married to a witch, but attracted many supernatural women (including a nymph, a Vain Sorceress, and a demon Cat Girl).
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Buffy (living person, Slayer of Vampires) and Angel (Vampire).
    • Pretty much every single girl Xander's ever dated besides Cordelia and Willow has been some form of supernatural/undead. It was even lampshaded at times. Hilarious in Hindsight is that even Cordelia and Willow turned into that (a half-demon turned higher power and a witch, respectively).
  • Charmed (1998): In one of the first episodes, Piper crosses passed with a recently deceased man named Mark who asks for her help to stop his spirit being consumed by a demon. As they work together there's a definite spark between them, but Mark ultimately has to pass on to the afterlife and leave Piper behind.
  • The ABC/BBC co-production Dead Gorgeous plays with this by having "Living Ghost" Rebecca fall for living boy David. However, he seems to not be particularly interested.
  • In The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, the ghostly Captain Gregg falls in love with the lovely Carolyn Muir, and the feeling seems to be reciprocated on her part.
  • Interview with the Vampire (2022):
  • Philip from In the Flesh has managed to become enamored with a zombie, despite he himself harbouring anti-zombie views. It's gotten so bad he visits a zombie brothel and has one of the women dress up as her and spend the night watching Chick Flicks with her.
  • Kamen Rider
    • Since the Orphnochs of Kamen Rider 555 are basically Revenant Zombies, this was bound to happen. For one couple, Keitarou and Yuka, the two are basically in a pen pal relationship, never having met each other in person, and the times they do encounter each other, they don't realize they are their chatmates. When they do, the girl had already become an Orphnoch in her first appearance early in the show, albeit an anti-heroic one, and the boy himself has come to terms that not all Orphnochs are bad by nature. Unfortunately, they never get to enjoy their proper romance as she's gunned down by an unscrupulous private squad meant to exterminate all Orphnochs. The other is Mari and Takumi, moreso in the Non-Serial Movie. In the show, the two are close, but not as explicitly romantically involved.
    • Also written by the same writer as 555, Kamen Rider Kiva also has this, replacing zombies with stained glass-based vampires called Fangires. In the 1986 setting, the Fangire Queen's role is specifically to execute any Fangire that attempts this. We don't see her do this many times before she finds herself in one with the Deuteragonist, Otoya Kurenai. Their short-lived romance, ending due to Otoya dying from using the not-safe-for-human-use Dark Kiva powers to save people produces the show's titular hero in the present-day setting. Other than that, an early Monster of the Week herself fell in love with Otoya and his music.
    • While it wasn't handled that well or given much focus due to the actress' busy schedule, Koyomi and Haruto, the titular Kamen Rider Wizard, are largely this. Koyomi is basically a Revenant Zombie fueled by constant mana supplied by Haruto. Their bond is not explicitly romantic, due to the age demographic, but they are undeniably close, physically so, and she definitely serves as his Living Emotional Crutch, that much is absolutely made clear all throughout the show and beyond.
  • Masters of Horror: In "Jenifer", Frank Spivey warms to Jenifer first out of pity for her trauma and facial disfigurement, then becomes sexually obsessed with her. Jenifer, a being whose humanity is doubtful, pretends to love Frank so that he'll provide for her while she keeps her murder spree up.
  • The vampire detective show Moonlight (2007) features the romance between the main character and his human love interest.
  • My Dead Ex:
    • The show's basic premise is Ben, Charley's would-be boyfriend, accidentally dying and coming back undead while he continues attempting to win her over. In the finale, Charley decides to date him.
    • Madame Fortuna is also undead, it's revealed, and has been involved with a living man for decades now.
  • The Rising: Neve becomes attracted to Alex, her boyfriend's cousin, after she dies and becomes a ghost. They start a relationship despite Alex being a living woman (she's among those able to see Neve). Despite being dead, Neve can touch living people, so they're able to kiss or have sex.
  • Santa Clarita Diet: Real-estate mogul couple Joel and Sheila have a pretty good thing going, until Sheila eats some bad clams and turns undead. Yet that's no reason to throw away over a decade of marriage.
  • School Spirits: Maddie, who is a spirit and a living person whose body was possessed and stolen by another ghost, romances Wally, the handsome ghost of a Lovable Jock who died from a broken neck after a "misplaced tackle" during a football game in 1983. Wally also develops romantic feelings for Maddie.
  • Supernatural: Happens quite a bit to the Winchesters and their allies, often undead or sometimes just monstrous or supernatural.
    • Sam meets Madison, and she turns out to be a werewolf. He also meets Ruby, and she turns out to be a demon. In a flashback, young Sam meets Amy, who is a kitsune. His exasperated brother even lampshades this, ironically after Sam has sex with a woman Dean is sure is a Siren but turns out to be human.
    Dean: What is it with you and banging monster chicks?
    • Dean has had a few of these himself. He meets and briefly romances Anna, who turns out to be a Fallen Angel and later has an ONS with an Amazon.
    • Castiel meets a kind woman named April, who turns out to be a Reaper sent to kill him.
  • In The Vampire Diaries, Stefan and Damon both meet Katherine. A few hundred years later, Stefan meets Elena. Then, Jeremy and Vicki, after she becomes a vampire. And then Jeremy meets Anna, though initially she was just using him.

  • "Date With A Vampire" by the Screaming Tribesmen.
  • "Little Ghost" by The White Stripes.
  • "I Walked with a Zombie" by Wednesday 13 and "She was the Teenage Zombie" by Murder Dolls. A lot of their other stuff qualifies, too.
  • "A Boy, A Girl, And a Graveyard" by Jeremy Messersmith, though the ghost in this case is male.
  • "The Zombie Song" by Stephanie Mabey. "I'd never eat your brain, I just want your heart."
  • "A Romance with the Grave" by The Vision Bleak. Literal example. 'Ruthless lust without disgust, dirt and dust, a romance with the grave'
  • Alice Cooper loves this trope. "Cold Ethyl" is a more "subtle" example, while "I Love the Dead" drops any pretense.
  • Alex Day also uses this in his song "She Walks Right Through Me".
  • Escape Club had a song called "I'll Be There" about a ghost who was haunting the one he loved.
    Don't be afraid, oh my love
    I'll be watching you from above
    And I'd give all the world tonight,
    to be with you
    Because I'm on your side,
    And I still care
    I may have died,
    but I've gone nowhere
    Just think of me,
    And I'll be there.
  • The song "Mi novio es un zombi" ("My boyfriend is a zombie") by Alaska y Dinarama.
  • Emilie Autumn's "Ghost" is about a woman who is in a courtly romance with a ghost, and ponders the full effects and consequences of their relationship.
  • Blue Öyster Cult's I Love The Night is about a vampire meeting a human, and explaining she'd quite like a boyfriend who shares her interests and hobbies.
  • Frehley's Comet's New Kind of Lover is about a guy who falls in love with a ghost.
  • Seanan McGuire's Filk Song "On Dead Man's Hill" is from the point of view of a guy who deliberately seeks out a Cute Ghost Girl to love. It's tangentially related to her Ghost Roads novel series, though Rose would probably be weirded out by someone who wanted to be with her because she's a ghost.
  • Possibly "Watching Over You" by King Dude, a song in which he sings to someone he loves (probably a woman and a romantic interest, given the phrase "inside your pretty head"), reassuring her that no matter how difficult things are for her, "there's a demon watching over you". King Dude has sung from the point of view of demonic beings in several songs.

  • In The Adventure Zone Taako falls in love with Kravitz the Grim Reaper, who shifts between looking like an extremely handsome living man and a skeleton depending on the situation. The "skeleton" part does not put Taako off in the slightest. It works out pretty well for them in the end.
  • Less is Morgue: Evelyn, a recently deceased human, gets paired up with Riley, the ghoul who ate her corpse.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Ghosts in Feng Shui are based on the seductive ghosts of Hong Kong cinema. They're quite prone to falling in love with mortals.
  • A possibility for characters in Promethean: The Created, especially Galateids. On some occasions, it might help with a Promethean's Pilgrimage, but more than likely it will end very badly, thanks to their Disquiet.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • 3.5th Edition has a third-party book (The Book of Erotic Fantasy) about including sex in your games that has a few different mentions about sex with the undead, and even includes a magic item for those who aspire to be undead to preserve their bodies, so as to not be so... unappealing.
    • Another 3.5 book, Libris Mortis, presents a goddess named Evening Glory, who represents eternal love so strong that even having died and turned undead is to be only a minor inconvenience at most.


    Video Games 
  • Happens with Mia/Godot (and to a lesser extent other dead/alive pairings) in Ace Attorney. The justification is that spirit mediums like Maya and Pearl can channel the souls of the dead, to the point of taking on their physical forms. And then just about anything could happen.
  • In City of Heroes some of the later content established that Positron was in a relationship with Numina, a hero whose body had been destroyed in the 60's but had survived as a ghost.
  • Taiga in Duel Savior Destiny is initially thrilled to receive the confession of love from the cute Nanashi, but this turns sour when her arm falls off and she invites him back into her crypt. Despite the bad beginning, they actually get along decently well. She also has a route, where it seems that half the reason Taiga isn't willing to sleep with her like he would anyone else isn't just because she's cold and dead, but rather because she lacks much in the way of a sense of touch and wouldn't enjoy it. But hey, that can be fixed. And it turns out she's not a zombie, she's a homunculus.
  • Divinity: Original Sin II: Fane the skeleton is fair game for a Romance Sidequest (or a unique tryst) as an NPC companion or as a player character. His lack of a sense of touch is a hurdle that can eventually be overcome with shapeshifting magic or a Mental Affair.
  • One minor sidequest in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has you searching for the journals of the necromancer Arondil. As you search the barrow he is currently squatting in, it's impossible to ignore the fact that it's populated entirely by female Draugr and ghosts. As you read his journals, it becomes clear that Arondil's interest in the female undead wasn't entirely scholarly. Apparently he finds the feel of ghostly ectoplasm arousing. Eventually you get to the end of the dungeon and find a double bed... with a female ghost "sleeping" in it.
  • Fahrenheit: Lucas and Carla fall in love, but only after the former has been killed and brought back as a living corpse. Carla even becomes pregnant with the undead Lucas's child.
  • In the Fallout 'verse, Ghouls are actually post-necrotic humans who have suffered extensive radiation burn damage and therefore have the appearance and smell of rotting flesh. They are therefore subject to a lot of Fantastic Racism and are usually ostracized. But there are a very small number of people who actually fetishize ghouls. In New Reno, hookers will demand extra for sleeping with your ghoul companion, but won’t outright refuse the encounter. In Fallout: New Vegas, a casino owner asks you to specifically recruit a ghoul prostitute; whose services you can engage if you wish, and another casino named Gomorrah has a few ghoul sex workers. In Fallout 4, you can romance Hancock, the "cool" ghoul.
  • In Final Fantasy X's setting, ghosts who don't realize they're dead (or don't want to pass on yet) can retain the physical form they had when they were alive. Which makes it a bit awkward when the player remembers that Tidus and Yuna did...something back before they learned the former wasn't (technically) alive.
  • Franken includes a wedding between its protagonist and its Post-Final Boss, Frankenstein, at the very end, which winds up defusing the tension between the Big Bad, who happens to be Frankenstein's creator, and the living people of Earth and neatly resolving the main conflict.
  • In Gal*Gun Double Peace, there's a Cute Ghost Girl who shows up in multiple hidden locations. If you find her all ten times in a single playthrough of the True Love route, she becomes available as a potential girlfriend.
  • An odd one appears in the internet flash game Guardian Rock in which the titular rock is said to hook up with a hot spirit rock chick and they live together with numerous flower filled baths and occasional quarreling for the rest of their eternal lives.
  • I Saw Her Standing There has this as its premise. You have to lure a zombie girl to a cage in each level, with each "act" introducing a new gameplay twist. All the while, there is narrative text describing the love between the main characters. At the end of the game, she zombifies him, and the two sequels follow the lovebirds in this condition until they find a safe haven to live out the rest of their lives. Or unlives.
  • A possibility in one of the endings of Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis, in which Vayne walks the earth with Pamela as a travelling doctor.
  • Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater: The Joy/The Sorrow. Canonically lovers. Eventually Together in Death.
  • Neverwinter Nights has Boy meets Ghost Paladin. Somehow, none of the issues that would create ever come up in the game, though it is implied that she gets a new body after you return to the world of the living.
  • In The Sims 3, ghosts can be interacted with, invited to live with a family, and, yes, can produce ghost children with living Sims.
  • Probably the only reason the Konpaku family in Touhou Project can consist of half-human-half-ghosts.
  • In The Wayhaven Chronicles, this is true of all of the romantic subplots. The protagonist, a human detective, can enter a relationship any of their vampiric teammates. Arguably a bit of a subversion, as the vampires featured in the series are not truly undead.

    Visual Novels 
  • Hatoful Boyfriend:
    • Pursuing Nageki Fujishiro ends with Nageki recovering from his Ghost Amnesia and departing for the afterlife, with a heartrending apology to the heroine.
    • In the "Bad Boys Love" route of the full version, the heroine is killed and her brain transplanted into a robot; the route ends with Ryouta choosing to remain with her until she can be restored.
  • Havenfall Is for Lovers: Diego and Antonio's routes are "human meets vampire".
  • In Heart of the Woods, the main couple is Madison Raines, a young woman, and Abigail, a Cute Ghost Girl who died 200 years ago. Madison meets Abigail in the woods outside Eysenfeld and bonds with her despite Abigail being unable to speak with her. The two grow closer after Madison dies in a snowstorm and Abigail is able to save her spirit. In the good ending and one of the bad endings, both Madison and Abigail are restored to life. In the other bad ending, both Madison and Abigail disappear forever, but Tara believes that they're still together.
  • In the aptly-titled Visual Novel Romance Is Dead, lucky Madeline gets not just one undead love interest but three: a zombie who's magically compelled to stay close to her, a very French vampire, and a friendly ghost.
  • Sex Advice Succubus is about a Cute Ghost Girl named Chloe. She is planning a visit with her online girlfriend for the first time, but because she is a ghost and therefore intangible, she needs Qmin's help to figure out how they will be able to have sex.
  • Tsukihime features boy meets vampire princess among its many flavors of Interspecies Romance.
  • Wicked Lawless Love features a living heroine whose choice of love interests include two traditionally undead creatures, a ghost and a vampire, though in this case the vampire is also living.

  • Kev of Alice And Kev encounters a woman who doesn't seem to mind that he's a deranged, lecherous old hobo, and even responds favourably to his flirting. She vanishes when the sun comes up.
  • Two examples in Erma:
    • A Puppy Love example is hinted at between Erma the Half-Human Hybrid Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl and Conner, her human classmate through several comics.
    • Erma's parents, the human father Sam and onryo youkai Sadako-expy mother Emiko are Happily Married together. Their romantic journey from first meet to falling in love to marriage and the trials Emiko's human-hating Disapproving Dad put them through including kidnapping Emiko before she managed to escape is detailed in the "Spirit's Bloom" side story.
  • The webcomic Ghost Friend was based on having a living and undead character in a relationship.
  • In Gunnerkrigg Court, Mort (a ghost) has a barely-concealed crush on Antimony (still alive). She does not reciprocate.
  • Homestuck: After Kanaya comes back as a Rainbow Drinker, she ends up starting a relationship with a human.
  • In Negamaki Chief Buffalo Jerky's friend Maize spends a lot of time dwelling on this. Despite both of them being dead, she's interested in pairing the Chief off with Negamaki and asks Tamago to call her if he survives being attacked by the hell-moose.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    "I'm not one of those disgusting biophiliacs!"
    • A bonus strip features a mummy queen who has a brief tryst with Julio Scoundrél. Unlike most examples, this isn't shown to be a pleasant experience, as it turns out she isn't a Seductive Mummy under those wrappings, and she's also riddled with at least one infectious disease.
  • In The Repository Of Dangerous Things Davis meets Wanderin' Laurie, the Pirate Girl Ghost.
    Davis: [thinks] She was hot. But dead. But hot.
  • In Rusty and Co., the Princess's knight and lover is a wight.
  • Sluggy Freelance: Torg doesn't initially know that Valerie is a vampire, and even after finding out, he initially thinks that un-living with her forever wouldn't be that bad. But by the best guess, it isn't real love in either direction, and in any case he chooses to destroy her rather than turn against his friends.
  • Too Much Information (2005). Ace (who is also The Ace) has a lot of girls gunning for him, but the first one who actually gets with him is noncorporeal. The details of how, exactly, it works, is left mostly to imagination, with only the comment of "It's... messy."
  • Undead Friend: One of the more bizarre examples, as the only reason for meeting said boy is for an Inevitable Tournament, and they can switch places at the cost of his life for Superpowers.
  • Unlife Is Unfair is about the other way around, a nice zombie meets a girl and falls in love with her. She only wants to be his friend though. Later on she discovers feelings for him, which can be kind of harrowing.
  • In Wilde Life, there's some low-key but pretty obvious romance going on between Oscar and Sylvia, the ghostly 1940s mathematician who haunts the house that he's renting.
  • xkcd has this little comic, where the boy's love interest seems to be a bit deader than most.
  • Lydia and Betelgeuse in Cobweb and Stripes are inching toward this. They started out not particularly liking one another, but have gradually developed a friendship and, as of the end of chapter 14, there is a definite attraction between them.

    Web Original 
  • Looming Gaia: Evan, a living human lycanthrope, and Zeffer, a vampiric elf, get together in the first story, bonding over both having a magical affliction that causes them to be shunned by society. Though it doesn't last very long, as Zeffer runs away from Evan.
  • A lesbian version occurs in Seanan McGuire's Patreon short story "Inflatable Angel", in which a Cute Ghost Girl meets and falls in love with a living woman.
  • Until My Color Fades Away has two examples. Generation 4 has Firefly meet vampberry princess Emerald Mist Amulet. Their daughter is also a vampberry, and meets a mortal boy.

    Western Animation 
  • The Amazing World of Gumball:
  • While Beetlejuice avoids actual romance between a dead guy and a 12-year-old, the level to which he is obsessed with her shows exactly what Tim Burton had in mind for the two of them during the movie. In one early episode, we see Beetlejuice has a huge shrine devoted to Lydia in his head. In another, he gets split in two and starts fighting himself to impress her - he only stops when he realises he's upsetting her. In another he gives Prince Vince excellent advice on how to court her, and then becomes incredibly jealous when it works very well.
  • Bob's Burgers has Tina's 'erotic friend fiction,' which as often as not involves zombies.
  • Danny Phantom: Danny is a half-ghost and he's had two full-human girls into him because and regardless of that. Paulina likes Danny's ghost superhero self, but has no interest whatsoever in his human self. Danny has a major crush on her, but doesn't like how she treats him. Sam is Danny's longterm friend and while they may have been attracted to each other before he became a half-ghost, their relationship only properly develops after Danny becomes a ghost-fighting half-ghost.
  • Futurama: In "Proposition Infinity", one of the couples used to demonstrate how accepting 31st century society is are a ghost and a horse.
  • Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures: Pinky is a ghost who has a major crush on Pac-Man.