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Dead Person Conversation

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"Pity me not, but lend thy serious hearing
To what I shall unfold."

Jack Hardemeyer: Wait! Uh... Now, I'm sure there's another way.
Mayor: Jack, I spent an hour last night in my bedroom talking to Fiorello La Guardia, and he's been dead for forty years. Now get me the Ghostbusters!

Alice, my daughter, listen to me. Alive, I may not be any longer, but it is still in my power to converse with you. Today, I come to remind you your path is not at an end, but tomorrow I might plead to you not to share my one-of-a-kind strawberry-frosted macaroon nibblers recipe with anybody. Whatever I come for, let your heart be sponge and absorb my precautions.

For information on your informative, dearly departed uncle Phil, guide yourself to Spirit Advisor. For that nut job cousin of yours who has the ability to speak to all the dead ones 24/7, toggle to I See Dead People. If you wish to seek knowledge on the manner in which you summoned me, Spooky Séance will have you covered.

For that simpleton who futilely talks to the deceased (and thereby knows their discussion is one-sided), seek the advice of Talking to the Dead. Meanwhile, for the wayward crackpot who views a long-gone person as if they are still in function, direct yourself unto Mummies at the Dinner Table.

Floating Advice Reminder and Magic Realism may also be subjects you wish to uncover. And one more thing, dear daughter: please do not associate our conversation with the trope known as Dead Man Writing, I beg of you!

As a Death Trope, all Spoilers will be unmarked ahead. Beware.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Strangely, for a series that contains so many dead characters, this has only happened once in Bleach, when Orihime made up with her brother before he was sent to Soul Society.
  • Blue Ramun: An apparition of Dr. Zai Gristen appears before Jessie as she searches the Lezak Disctrict Blue Doctor's research lab for his notes on the Scarlet Thief poison. His ghost guides her to the formula for the antidote and makes her to swear that she'll continue their shared work as Blue Doctors (rather than abandoning it out of despair as he had). Jessie had watched him fall in the battle against the Garicalege hours previously — she's remarkably calm for someone speaking to the ghost of a man who had, in his last hours, bragged about holding her captive and infecting her love interest with a supposedly incurable poison, only to repent his actions after being fatally wounded himself.
  • Bokura no Hentai has Ryousuke often talking to the ghost of his dead older sister, Yui. It turns out it's likely not a ghost and instead a hallucination. Ryousuke's mental health is questionable and her remarks become increasingly more aggressive.
  • In Cardcaptor Sakura, Touya can see ghosts, and in particular, his deceased mother. They share their stories with him, and he can talk back to them. He later gives up this power to save his boyfriend's life.
  • This occurs between the Queen of France and Marie — a skull — in the anime of Le Chevalier d'Eon.
  • This happens in Chrono Crusade with Mary Magdalene.
    • In the manga, Rosette Christopher converses with her after she dies, and Mary convinces her to return to life.
    • In the anime, Mary talks to Chrono during his Heroic BSoD. He admits that he's grown to love Rosette even more than Mary, and she tells him it's okay and saves him so he can try to fix his mistakes.
  • Code Geass:
    • C.C. often chats with Marianne... Oh wait...
    • And depending on whether or not you prescribe to Death of the Author, she has one with Lelouch in the finale.
  • The penultimate episode of Digimon Adventure 02 makes good use of this trope: Ken, The Atoner of the series after his Heel–Face Turn, ends up in an illusion created by the Big Bad. After the first part of this sequence, he sees his dead brother Osamu, who tells him that his atonement is over. This, of course, is not true - and a ploy that fails when he realizes that there are still things he must do in order to redeem himself, and he needs to fight to save the world with his True Companions.
    • This also occurs with Iori around the same time. He sees his dead father, who was killed in his line of work as a policeman. Both characters' scenes are serious tear-jerkers.
    • There's also an episode where Wizardmon's ghost speaks to the Digidestined.
  • Gundam:
  • In one part of Hetalia: Axis Powers, Germany finds himself unexpectedly meeting the late Roman Empire in the middle of the night. He came to visit Italy (who sleeps through the whole thing), but ends up giving a rather poorly-planned lesson on his life, while Germany is incredibly annoyed. While it initially is treated as if Roman Empire just went elsewhere, the end of the scene has him saying that he's glad God allowed him that one trip to see Italy, proving that he was in fact dead.
  • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's, Fate managed to have a chat with Alicia in her Lotus Eater Dream. It helps her come to terms with her nature as a clone.
  • My Hero Academia: Izuku Midoriya becomes the first user of One For All to truly manifest this ability. He can interact with the spirits of deceased users of One For All which grants him bonus abilities like manifesting their Quirks and accessing their memories.
  • Naruto got one with the Fourth Hokage when he was about to release too much of the Kyuubi's power. Turns out, the Fourth put a bit of himself into the seal so he could keep an eye on Naruto. After all, he is Naruto's father.
    • He later has another one with his dead mother Kushina, who also had a bit of herself put into his seal.
    • Same with Kakashi. After being taken down by Pain, spend some time talking to his dead father.
    • This happens a lot in Naruto. After dying, Naruto and Sasuke have one with the Sage of Six Paths as they're being revived.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: End of Evangelion has the conversation between Asuka and Shinji after Asuka]] is killed by the Mass Production EVAs. This conversation ends up being the deciding factor in Third Impact when Asuka rejects Shinji.
  • Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon: In the episode "Memories in the Mist!", Tapu Fini's mist lets the living and the dead reunite. Ash's Torracat learns Fire Blast from the Stoutland that mentored it, and Mallow's mother forgives her for saying she hated her.
  • In the final episode of Puella Magi Madoka Magica Madoka has one last conversation with the deceased Mami, Kyoko, and Sayaka before becoming a concept after making her wish to erase witches from existence.
  • For most of the final season of Sailor Moon, the usual prologue spoken by Usagi is changed to her reading out loud a letter to Mamoru who was killed by Galaxia, on his way to study in the United States. In the final episode after Chaos is defeated and order and hope are restored to the universe, Mamoru returns.
  • In Sound of the Sky a flashback shows Filicia having a conversation with a dead soldier from the war a couple of hundred years earlier.
  • In The Story of Cinderella, Cinderella has a conversation with her late mother after she successfully passes the bravery test given to her by the forest spirit.
  • Summer Time Rendering begins with Shinpei talking to his childhood friend Ushio in a dream. When he wakes up, it's revealed that he's headed to her funeral.
  • Happens in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann towards the end when everyone gets trapped in the Anti-Spiral's illusionary dream world. Kamina appears to all of them in turn and gives them the will to escape. Simon gets a longer inspirational speech and even sees all the other dead members of the Gurren Brigade.
  • Since Subaru Sumeragi is a psychic whose powers include contacting the spirits of the dead, this happens often in Tokyo Babylon.
  • Tokyo Ghoul: Kaneki gets this in re: with Hide who restores his will to continue to fight Arima. Subverted late in the story, as Hide is revealed to be alive.
  • Vampire Knight: In chapter 59, Ichiru "appears" to talk to Zero (it isn't made clear whether Zero imagines the whole thing or Ichiru really is there as a ghost/spirit.)

    Comic Books 
  • Batgirl (2000): Cassandra Cain had a few run-ins with her dead best friend Stephanie Brown during near death experiences. Inconveniently, Stephanie was later revealed to have been alive all along, but Cassandra's apparition was a bit too knowledgeable to explain away as a hallucination.
  • The ghost of Captain America, dead for a year in Comic-Book Time, was summoned by Thor. It is sad.
  • Chassis: While under the effects of a hallucinogenic perfume, Chassis hallucinates a conversation with 'Rocketman' Rodriguez: the driver who died during a collision with Chassis during her first race. Chassis sees Rodriguez as a rotting corpse still dressed in his racing gear.
  • Bill Willingham's Fables has Snow White receiving warnings of doom from beyond the grave courtesy of Colin, one of The Three Little Pigs.
  • This is pivotal in the Marvel 1602 comic miniseries. A character gains vital information, but only by promising not to reveal it as long as he lives. Since he's already on death row and both he and his wife are powerful sorcerers, he's able to use the Exact Words escape and tell the other characters what he's learned — after he's dead.
  • Mister Miracle (2017) has a really jarring version of this in the first issue, where Scott Free shares some small talk with his mentor and father figure Oberon. Once Barda comes in and Scott explains who he was talking to, Barda points out that Oberon's been dead for a month from lung cancer, to which "Oberon" promptly disappears despite Scott's protests, indicating that he isn't fully operating on all cylinders. By the end of the comic, Scott is having conversations with several characters who had died in the story (including Highfather, Granny Goodness, and Oberon), but given the strong implication that the "world" the series takes place in is really some kind of projected mental delusion, it's likely that they're just his own subconscious attempting to make peace with him.
  • Pierre Tombal: The titular gravedigger often talks with the dead on his cemetery, helping them out or telling them to follow the rules.
  • Jesse Custer of Preacher has several conversations with the ghost of John Wayne. According to Custer, the first one happened several years before John Wayne died.
  • Scooby Apocalypse: In Issue #25, Daphne spends the whole episode talking to Fred, who at the end of the issue is revealed to have been killed while fighting the monsters inside one of the mall stores. It appears to be a hallucination, but the last panel suggests it was actually his ghost.
  • In Shade, the Changing Man, Kathy's murdered boyfriend Roger returns as a ghost for awhile. He couldn't talk at first but eventually starts communicating.
  • In the Sin City story The Big, Fat Kill, Dwight has a prolonged conversation with Jackie Boy, who was killed earlier in the story, while disposing of Jackie Boy's and several other bodies. Unlike most examples, Dwight is aware he's just hallucinating and Jackie Boy is dead and not really talking to him.
  • Starman: The James Robinson series had yearly issues where David Knight, Jack Knight's dead brother, came back to talk to him; these were some of the deepest and most emotional of the series.
  • In The New 52 Supergirl story arc Last Daughter of Krypton, the titular heroine has a conversation with her dead parents during a near death experience.
  • Transformers: More than Meets the Eye: Ore died in the first issue, after he was fused with a generator. He comes back in the annual and strikes up a conversation with Swerve, confusing him for Pipes. They talk about the afterlife and what the ending of the war heralds. Ore's talk also helps Swerve forgive himself for shooting Rung. At the end of the issue, he may have ascended to a higher plane of existence, or simply just been teleported off the ship.

    Comic Strips 
  • Tia Carmen in Baldo occasionally has conversations with her dead husband.
  • The Family Circus occasionally has the angelic visage of the children's late grandfather visiting their still-living grandma.
  • In Funky Winkerbean, Les has the occasional conversation with his late wife, Lisa. The comic tends to go back and forth on whether or not it's actually Lisa's spirit or Les' imagination (or both).
  • Pearls Before Swine once featured a seance scene where Goat, Zebra, and Pig were all visited by deceased relatives. However, the seance was cut short when Rat ate Pig's Uncle George, who had returned as a sausage link.
  • In Safe Havens, Samantha's late grandmother leaves her a magic ring. Whenever Samantha (or anyone else) wears it, Grandma appears in place of her reflection, allowing them to talk to each other.

    Fan Works 
  • Ace Combat: Equestria Chronicles: The Equestrian War: In the epilogue, Firefly speaks with the spirits of her parents.
  • Afterglow (Unfaithful): Walker with Lugo and Adams. Walker initially believes that Adams is still alive and in need of rescue and is proven to be extremely wrong. When Lugo shows up, he doesn't bother pretending he's still alive.
  • All Guardsmen Party has lots of them when the Occurrence Border's questionable Gellar Field network starts to fail, including with the deceased Crisp, Heavy, and a few chaos cultists playing poker.
  • Autumn's Children: Kurapika has several of these with Ubo after she kills him and his ghost is somehow bound to her.
  • The Beast Of Gusu: Lan Yi, a long since dead Lan ancestor, speaks to Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji shortly after they discuss marrying each other, mostly because she was curious about a wolf being in Gusu, and she blesses their union. Years earlier, she acted as a Spirit Advisor to Lan Xichen during his punishment.
  • Boldores And Boomsticks: Like in the Pokémon anime, Tapu Fini is able to give people a last conversation with deceased loved ones. Weiss gets to meet her grandfather, who advises her to pursue her own destiny outside the SDC. Ruby and Yang get an offscreen one with their mother at Weiss' request.
  • Child of the Storm:
    • Arthur Weasley appears in the final battle of the first book to give Bucky Barnes a much needed bucking up, and the Howling Commandos also appear for one last hurrah in the same segment.
    • Lily Potter, on several occasions, though it's not initially clear that it's her, since she's mostly doing so through intermediaries. It's also a little ambiguous how dead she actually is, given that in exchange for the protection on Harry, she became the White Phoenix of the Crown.
  • Contraptionology!: Applejack speaks to her deceased father, Cortland, twice, first during a dream and then during a near-death experience, who gives her guidance and advice for dealing with the ongoing crisis. However, this is revealed to not be her father at all, but rather the Nightmare in disguise, come to trick and mislead her.
  • Double Agent Vader: Leia has Recurring Dreams of her dead mother, Padme (who she instinctively recognises as her mother, but not beyond that). However, Padme never speaks. Leia does talk to her, and gets non-verbal responses that she doesn't always understand.
  • A Force of Four: Power Girl hears her late cousin's voice encouraging her to fight on when she's being trounced by another Kryptonian.
    Power Girl: I don't know. I can't say for sure. I was too near death myself. But... something was definitely there. Something, or someone, who gave me just what I needed when I needed it. I probably would have died if I hadn't gotten that bit of inspiration, just when I needed it.
  • In Graduate Meeting of Mutual Killing, Akane Ogata starts seeing and talking with the dead graduates. Subverted in a sense, as it's strongly implied they're fragments of her mind, due to her head trauma.
  • In Harry Tano, Ahsoka has one with Lily Potter. After the Togruta defeats the Horcrux left inside Harry, Lily gives Ahsoka permission to raise her son.
  • The Danganronpa fic I Will Follow You Into Your Dreams has Makoto returning to Hope's Peak after the events of the anime, specifically to Sayaka's dorm room, where he reflects on his failure to prevent her from setting off the Killing Game. Sayaka appears before him and urges him to let go of his guilt.
    Sayaka: We all make mistakes… This one isn't even your burden – it's mine. I was weak. Couldn't stand the possibility that everything I worked for crumbled to ruins, that my best friends were in danger. I didn’t even understand all the rules, and I risked your life. Everyone's life. I betrayed you in the worst way possible… and still, you shoulder my guilt. My sins. You've been running away from this truth for a long time, because it's easier for you to hate yourself than a friend that frankly didn't deserve you. A friend that was too selfish. A friend that… wanted to use you, your promises, to escape. To salvage my own shattered, pitiful life. [...] I know you want to cherish me, that you don't want to resent anyone… But just this once, hold a grudge. Because if my plan had gone any differently… you would have died. I gambled with all of your lives, and I rightfully died for it. … At least hate me for that?
  • In Jonathan Joestar, The First JoJo, Jonathan, after being seemingly killed by Heaven Ascension Dio, has a dream where he converses with George Joestar, his deceased father.
  • In the Arc 3 finale of Mega Man Reawakened, Robert converses with his dead father.
  • In A Minor Miscalculation, Tsumugu starts seeing and talking to the spirit of Kinue, who strangely urges him to break into the Matoi household and kill Senketsu. Subverted; the end of the chapter reveals that it was Nui shape-shifting and manipulating Tsumugu's grief so she could be led to the Matoi household.
  • In Recoil, Lisa dies, but ends up in Taylor's head, where she continues to give useful information and insights.
  • In the RWBY/The Hobbit crossover Rise of a Star Knight, Jaune often talks with a mental version of Pyrrha, implied to be his guilt over letting her die, though it turns out to be somewhat more complex. First, Pyrrha is actually alive. Second, it's actually a manifestation of part of her soul that was left with him (long story), and it saves him twice, once helping him overcome the influence of Felix and the Arkenstone, and the other time sacrificing itself to heal him at the end of the story. It also talks to the original Pyrrha right before the sacrifice, revealing both what it is and that it has a mind of its own
  • In The Second Try, Asuka talks with her Ret Goned daughter Aki as a sort of mental buffering to protect her from Arael's Mind Rape beam. Though it's ultimately subverted when it turns out that Aki is alive (though she wasn't at the time of the conversation).

    Films — Animation 
  • In The Lion King (1994), Mufasa's spirit appears to remind Simba he's the true king.
  • In Moana, the ghost of Gramma Tala appears late in the film to give Moana a pep talk.
  • In Ratatouille, the spirit of Auguste Gusteau gives Remy advice. He freely admits, however, that he's just in Remy's head.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Always: Pete, who dies early on when his plane explodes, does this several times, most notably at the end when he finally tells Dorinda he loves her, and releases her.
  • An American Werewolf in London. David's dead best friend Jack, who was killed in the same attack that turned David into a werewolf, keeps appearing and telling David to commit suicide, else he'll keep transforming and killing people (who'll Walk the Earth in Limbo). Each time he turns up, he looks more and more decayed and rotted... and he starts being joined by all the people David kills along the way.
  • In The Angel Levine, Levine talks first on the phone and later in person with his girlfriend Sally, who doesn't know he's dead, in order to tell her he loves her, but their conversations just devolve into fights.
  • Angels In America:
    • Roy Cohn starts talking to Ethel Rosenberg (in whose execution he had a direct hand) after he is diagnosed with AIDS.
    • Prior Walter also meets with the ghosts of two of his ancestors. He's not particularly happy about it.
  • In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Clark begins to recover from his Heroic BSoD when he has a conversation with the ghost of Jonathan Kent.
  • Bicentennial Man: Late in the film, Andrew imagines Sir consulting him on what it means to be human, remembering one of the conversations they had together.
    Sir: Andrew, people grow through time, but then, of course, for you time is a completely different proposition. For you, time is endless.
    Andrew: (to self, determined) There's only one thing to do.
  • In Big Driver, Tess has conversations with each of the people she kills in her Rape and Revenge spree where they speak back to her. However, Tess acknowledges that these conversations aren't really happening but are her subconscious telling her things she needs to hear (just like the manifestation of her fictional creation Doreen as an Imaginary Friend).
  • The Boondock Saints: Connor and Murphy MacManus, after losing a friend while taking down a murderer, begin to question whether their Mission from God is worth it. Cue Dead person conversation as their late buddy Rocco visits them in a dream and delivers an awesome pep talk on what it takes to be REAL MEN and do what needs to be done.
  • The Brown Bunny. This is the twist at the end. Daisy is actually dead. Bud has been imagining her throughout their night together.
  • In Cake, Claire does this with Nina, a woman from her support group who killed herself shortly before the movie begins (and thus represents Claire's desire to do the same). In this case it all just seems to be in her head.
  • The Dark Knight Rises. While at his lowest, Bruce Wayne hallucinates a conversation with Ra's al Ghul, who died way back in Batman Begins. Ra's mocks Bruce, which gives Bruce the extra bit of motivation he needs to get back on his feet.
  • In Deadly Advice, Jodie is advised by a Historical Domain Crossover of Britain's most infamous (deceased) murderers. This is less help for a budding murderer than one might suspect.
  • The Ghost and Mrs. Muir is pretty much this regarding the title characters for the entire movie.
  • In The Ghost Goes West, Peggy talks to Murdoch, a Scottish ghost, thinking it’s Donald (Murdoch's Identical Grandson) making a joke.
  • Ghost Lab (2021): Dr. Wee sets up a message file on Dr. Gla's laptop so Dr. Gla's ghost can communicate with him by typing answers to his questions about what it's like to be a ghost.
  • Ghost Town: Bertram Pincus is a man whose people skills leave much to be desired. When Pincus dies unexpectedly, but is miraculously revived after seven minutes, he wakes up to discover that he now has the annoying ability to see ghosts.
  • Gravity. Ryan Stone's anoxia induced conversation with her dead mission partner Matt Kowalski. Having resigned herself to being stuck in a broken space capsule, the discussion inspires her to try one last idea to make it work.
  • Heart and Souls: An unhappy businessman finds a new sense of purpose after he's tasked with helping a quartet of ghosts fulfill their last wishes before moving on to the afterlife.
  • I Dream In Another Language:
    • A little while after Isauro dies, his former pal Evaristo manages to get in touch with him. An interesting example, since Isauro's spirit doesn't show up on screen, but he can still converse with Evaristo nonetheless.
    • Much earlier in the movie, Flaviana attempts to have this conversation with the now-dead Jacinta; it fails since one, Flaviana doesn't speak Zikril and two, Martín (Who doesn't have any Zikril in his blood whatsoever) is nearby when she makes her attempt.
  • Tina frequently has these with her dead twin sister in I Miss You, I Miss You.
  • Jonah Hex has magic powers he didn't have in his comic series. A Crow medicine man resurrected Jonah when he was Only Mostly Dead, giving him the ability to talk to the dead if he can make physical contact with their corpse. Turns out the dead continue to see what the people they were connected with in life are doing, even after they died. However they burn up if Jonah does this for too long (though pouring soil on their head slows the process).
  • In Napoléon, Napoléon Bonaparte visits the National Convention the night before leaving Paris for the Italian Campaign. There, he sees the spirits of dead revolutionaries including Danton, Robespierre, Saint-Just, and Marat. They urge him to lead the Revolution and spread it beyond the borders of France. He agrees to do so.
  • Over Her Dead Body: A ghost tries to sabotage her former boyfriend's current relationship with a psychic.
  • In The Phantom, Kit has several conversations with his dead father, who acts as his Spirit Advisor. At least one of the conversations includes the ghost telling him something he didn't already know, suggesting it's a real ghost and not just his imagination. In another Guran walks in on Kit claiming he heard voices — plural. Al only hears the Phantom's side of the conversation in the cab, though.
  • Done on a large scale in Rashomon, in which a dead man is used as a witness for a case and gives his testimonial in front of multiple people.
  • Rhymes for Young Ghouls: Aila has a spiritual connection with her mother, where she practically prays to her and feels in return a supernatural guidance. This usually involves conversations with her ghost (or perhaps only Alia's imagination, though the effect is the same).
  • A Score to Settle: Frankie's son Joey meets him when he is released from prison. It is only when Frankie visits his wife's grave that the audience sees Joey's grave next to hers and learns that Joey has been Dead All Along, and Frankie's interactions with him have been a hallucination caused by his terminal illness.
  • Shutter Island. Teddy spoke with his dead wife during his sleep and his wife offered hints to aid his investigation.
  • In Sin City, Dwight has a prolonged conversation with Jackie Boy, who was killed earlier in the story, while disposing of Jackie Boy's and several other bodies. Unlike most examples, Dwight is aware he's just hallucinating and Jackie Boy is dead and not really talking to him.
    This time I can't bring myself to tell him to shut up. Sure he's an asshole... Sure he's dead... Sure I'm just imagining that he's talking. None of that stops the bastard from being absolutely right.
  • The Sixth Sense famously shows an ongoing Dead Person Conversation from the perspective of the dead person.
  • Star Wars:
  • In Thor: Ragnarok, Odin appears to Thor in a vision during the Final Battle to share his wisdom.
  • In War for the Planet of the Apes, Caesar hallucinates two visits from Koba, whom he killed at the end of the last movie.
  • Logan has several of these with hallucinations and dream versions of Jean Grey in The Wolverine.

  • In W.F. Miksch's The Addams Family Strikes Back, the local bookshop owner congratulates Morticia on Grandmama's success as one of the witches in the PTA production of Macbeth, and Morticia replies that they held a seance the previous evening to tell Shakespeare all about it. When he expresses skepticism, house guest Abby Shipton comments that it's absolutely true.
    Abby: Shakespeare was wearing a kelly-green doublet and checkered tights and...
  • Amelia Peabody, the detective archeologist, has had at least one dream-conversation with her deceased friend Abdullah since his death. They are cryptic enough that they do not interfere with fair play in the detection, but she believes them to be genuine.
  • In Neil Gaiman's American Gods, Mad Sweeney the leprechaun attends his own wake, where he debates the interpretation of his life story provided by one of the other characters and tosses back a few glasses of whiskey. By the next morning, he seems to have shifted from Only Mostly Dead to Killed Off for Real.
  • Jacob Marley visiting Ebeneezer Scrooge to give his warning in A Christmas Carol is a classic example. It's very rare for any adaptation not to have Marley or an Expy of him, and any that don't have him usually end up being a very condensed adaptation.
  • In The City of Dreaming Books, Optimus either has a conversation with his dead mentor Dancelot, or hallucinates one as a result of losing his mind. Either way, he gets the advice he needs to avoid going insane.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • Main character Harry Dresden has had conversations with both of his deceased parents.
      • His conversation with his mother was in Blood Rites as a magical sentient recording stored in Thomas's mind meant to prove that he was Harry's brother.
      • His father appears both in a dream and when Harry is conscious, during the book Dead Beat. He gives Harry much-needed pep talks both times. The explanation given for him doing this only at this time is that he's balancing the scales, as the Fallen Angel inside Harry's mind was cheating by breaking the rules ensuring she couldn't communicate with him at that point.
    • Mort Lindquist is an ectomancer, one who specializes in talking with the shades of the fallen. He helps those he can to find peace and move on to What-Comes-Next. Those he cannot, he takes them into his protection and guard because either their stalwart determination and fortitude towards duty will make them excellent sentry spirits to his home, or he will keep them from going any further insane and become a danger to mortals, like a pair of innocent-looking ghost kids who love to "play" with children by the river before Mort came along.
    • Fitz in Ghost Story can hear ghosts but not see them. He ends up talking to at least one.
      • Harry becomes the dead-side of the conversation in Ghost Story.
  • A Drowned Maiden's Hair:
    • Victoria tells Maud how the family business of staging fake séances got started. She used to have dreams in which she talked to dead people in Heaven. One day a wealthy man asked her to talk to his dead son. Victoria saw the boy in Heaven, but he didn't say anything, so Victoria lied that he wanted his father to care for and educate his child laborers. Victoria thought she'd done a good thing, but afterwards her dreams stopped. Afterwards people kept asking Victoria for help that she couldn't give, so Hyacinth started claiming to have psychic powers and charging money for her to use them.
    • Maud has dreams in which she talks to the eight-year-old drowning victim Caroline Lambert, who gives her information that she uses to swindle Caroline's mother in the séance.
  • Played with the Investigator in The Expanse. Essentially a Virtual Ghost that only appears to Holden, it is based on the appearance and memories of the recently-deceased Detective Joe Miller. While originally created to manipulate Holden into reactivating the Ring network and determining what happened to its creators, its original persona manages to reassert control, more or less playing this trope straight.
  • In Jim Lehrer's The Franklin Affair, R, a (present-day) historian specializing in Franklin, goes to the house where Ben Franklin lived in London, and has an imaginary conversation with him, asking for advice on dealing with a dilemma involving Franklin's life. (He knows the conversation is all in his imagination.) What Franklin says is witty, sarcastic, and sardonic.
  • Mad Larkin of Dan Abnett's Warhammer 40,000: Gaunt's Ghosts is known to occasionally hallucinate conversations with people, including a certain dead Ghost. Some of this may be due to Soric's influence.
  • The Locked Tomb: The penultimate chapter before the epilogue of Gideon the Ninth has Gideon comforting, guiding, and teasing Harrow after the former's Heroic Suicide. It's left unclear whether Harrow is hallucinating her as a coping mechanism or if it's the remnants of Gideon's soul saying goodbye to her somehow.
    Gideon: Now we kick her ass until candy comes out. Oh, damn, Nonagesimus, don't cry, we can't fight her if you're crying.
    Harrow: I cannot conceive of a universe without you in it.
    Gideon: Yes you can, it's just less great and less hot.
    Harrow: Fuck you, Nav—
  • In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, one of the eponymous Hallows is the Resurrection Stone, which is a Summoning Artifact that can bring the spirits of the dead to the living world to converse with the user, in a form more solid than ghosts, yet less than flesh.
    • A Dead Person conversation between Harry and Dumbledore takes up an entire chapter.
    • And in the chapter before that, Harry meets up with the ghosts of his parents, Sirius, and Remus Lupin, who give him final advice and escort him to his apparent doom.
    • And one major plot-point resolution is that Snape is killed by Voldemort in the presence of Harry, but doesn't die immediately; he lives just long enough to urge Harry to extract certain memories to later view in the Pensieve, which Harry does. These finally settle the "whose side is Snape really on?" question.
    • The characters also frequently interact with portraits of dead people, who seem to possess all the knowledge of the person, as well as with ghosts.
  • His Dark Materials: Lyra and Will go into the land of the dead specifically so Lyra can apologize to Roger for getting him killed when she thought she was saving him. She also talks to Lee while Will finally gets a chance to talk with his father.
  • In the H.I.V.E. Series book seven, Aftershock, we find out a lot about the backstory of Natalya/Raven, whose close friends Dimitri and Tolya died more or less at the hands of Anastasia Furan. The problem was, Dimitri was her Living Emotional Crutch and young Natalya lost it, still seeing Dimitri at least two years later. There's no indication as of yet that Raven doesn't still see and talk to Dimitri umpteen years later.
    Natalya: Leave me alone. You're dead. Don't talk to me.
    Dimitri: Well, who else are you going to talk to?
  • In Graham McNeill's Warhammer 40,000 Horus Heresy novel False Gods, Horus is tempted by Chaos during a Dead person conversations apparently with the long dead Sejanus, actually with the just murdered Erebus.
  • Roxanne in Inkheart tells Dustfinger that she searched for someone that would let her talk to their dead daughter, but that they were all charlatans.
  • In the I, Richard Plantagenet Series, the ghost of Anne Neville visits Richard the night before the Battle of Bosworth Field, telling him that it is his time to join her. He doesn't believe her.
  • This happens in The Lovely Bones when Ray realizes he's talking to Susie who's possessed Ruth's body.
  • In Devon Monk's Magic in the Blood, Allie's father appears to talk to her.
  • The entire Necroscope Saga is built on this, and the various ways the dead can be talked to, or forced to talk.
  • Shaun from the Newsflesh trilogy ends up talking to Georgia after she dies. He's fully aware that the fact he hears her answer back means that he's insane, but doesn't care.
  • In Chris Bohjalian's The Night Strangers, pilot Chip Linton receives multiple visits from three people who died in his plane after an emergency landing went haywire. All in all, Chip is unfazed by their appearances.
  • Older Than Feudalism: In Homer's epic The Odyssey, Odysseus ventures into Hades' kingdom to ask for guidance from Tiresias, and subsequently ends up talking to the ghosts of Achilles, Heracles, Agamemnon, and his own dead mother.
  • In the short story "Paladin of the Lost Hour" by Harlan Ellison, Billy, a small store manager, is selected by Gaspar to safeguard a magical watch which holds the last hour of the Universe. When it tolls, the Universe ends. Gaspar uses one minute so Billy can heal and have a conversation with someone who saved his life and who died in the process. The conversation benefits Billy and the dead person (who never knew his dying act saved someone's life).
  • Oliver Twisted: It is Oliver's conversation with a briefly reanimated cadaver that gives him the idea to find his destiny in London.
  • Oleg's drowned sister Lyudmila appears frequently and counsels him in Palimpsest.
  • In Robert E. Howard's "The Phoenix on the Sword", Conan the Barbarian has a dream conversation with Epemitreus "dead for fifteen hundred years" — and comes back with a gift.
  • Presumed Dead by Rick Kennett. Super-Soldier Cy de Gerch crash lands on an alien planet and plans to stay there, but she's haunted by hallucinations of her previous lovers (one male, one female) who try to talk her into activating a rescue beacon.
  • The final The Queen's Thief book has Eugenides get into a conversation with one of his many deceased cousins. In this case, it's Lader, the first man Eugenides killed after Lader took a fight too far. Lader states that the dead don't lie, then gives Eugenides a warning about "an Erondites" and "the tongueless one" that seems to point at Pheris, the book's narrator. Eugenides is duly skeptical because it's clear that the cousin still hates him, and subsequent events prove him correct for not taking the obvious meaning from the warning.
  • Ben from Save the Enemy fills notebooks with things his murdered mom tells him in dreams which turns out to be information relating to assassinations she's committed. He doesn't actually see her, since his eyes are closed.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
  • In The Stand, Nick talks to Tom in his dreams, and he even shows up in person at one point to help Tom find some antibiotics for Stu. Particularly interesting because in life, Nick was mute.
  • A running theme for the Takeshi Kovacs series. Kovacs will remember a long-dead comrade and imagine them giving him tough-love advice.
  • In Theatrica Arthur has a sudden reunion with his recently deceased brother Sam while on a drug trip. It's more of a hallucinogenic experience than actually a ghost, yet it nonetheless persists as everyone Arthur kills returns as a vision of some kind later on in the novel.
  • These Broken Stars: Tarver speaks to his dead brother Alec twice. The first time, it's when he's dying of an infected cut and hallucinating. The second time, it's when he's damaged enough of the shielding at the research station for the whispers to communicate properly (instead of throwing images at people and hoping they get the idea), and use Alec's form to do so.
  • Also occurs in the other lost epics of The Trojan Cycle. Achilles dies in the Aethiopis, then appears to Neoptolemus in the Little Iliad. He appears a second time in the next epic, the Sack of Ilion, and then appears again in the following epic, the Returns.
  • In Graham McNeill's Warhammer 40,000 Ultramarines novel Dead Sky Black Sun, Uriel retreats from Cold-Blooded Torture to memories of his childhood home, but is met there by his old mentor, Captain Idaeus, who reminds him that he would not have appointed a coward as his successor, and urges him to go back to the pain. Uriel assures him that he will not forsake his comrades.
  • In the Back Story of Steve Parker's Warhammer 40,000 novel Gunheads, Wulfe was helped by a dead man, whose voice came over the vox just after he died and no one else could hear. At one point, his squad admit that they figured it out, and were hurt that he didn't tell them.
  • Warrior Cats is FULL of this trope, thanks to the setting of "StarClan" which is the collective name of all dead Clan cats (except the worst ones). Spottedleaf's constant prophecy-giving to Firestar is the best example. Another, particularly weird one is Jayfeather's arguments with Yellowfang. He once walked into her as she stood in his path (he's blind), after she had been dead for a good twenty volumes.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Soaps will often do this if the character has died but not their actor/actress, in either benign or menacing fashion.
  • The 4400:
    • In "Blink", Tom is slipped with a 4400 ability derived drug called Blink and begins to see visions of his father Mitch, who died in 1997. Mitch won't go away until the two of them have sorted out their unresolved issues.
    • In "One of Us", Byron Lillibridge, who disappeared in 1966, has the ability to enter a person's mind and create realistic hallucinations of a deceased loved one. In order to locate Isabelle, Kyle has Byron create a vision of Lily for Richard. These hallucinations can't generally hold or move objects but Byron is able to tap into Richard's telekinesis and make it appear as though Lily is solid.
    • In "Ghost in the Machine", Lindsey Hammond, Maia's friend and fellow 4400, asks Byron to create visions of Maia's late parents Victor and Mary as a present for her 13th birthday. He does the same thing for numerous other people in Promise City.
  • Ally McBeal had many conversations with her dead ex-boyfriend Billy. Ally was often shown to have an active fantasy life, however, and it's likely she was just imagining it.
  • Caleb of American Gothic (1995) has these with his sister Merlyn all the time.
  • Angel:
    • In "Salvage", Wesley has a Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane version when he has to cut up Lilah Morgan's body under the (mistaken) belief that she'd been killed by a vampire. He has a conversation with Lilah (either a ghost or his grief-stricken imagination) about their Dating Catwoman relationship, which is cut short by Wesley cutting off her head with an axe.
    • That season of Angel had a few incidents like that, especially as Connor began to break down. It could all be explained as The First Evil, who was active in Sunnydale at the time, trying to stop the rise of Jasmine: a fallen god showing up to unite humanity wouldn't mix well with the First's plans for an army of demons.
    • Lilah also came back in the Season 4 Finale "Home", to offer the Angel team Wolfram and Hart. She had a scarf tied around her neck, concealing the mark where Wesley decapitated her, and repeated a comment she made at the time, implying it was her ghost Wes was talking to. Similarly, Holland Manners made a brief reappearance after his death. It is made known that Wolfram and Hart contracts extend beyond death.
  • Arrow. Oliver Queen has this happen several times, largely due to his ongoing guilt issues.
    • In the Season One flashbacks, Oliver is trapped in a cave on Lian Yu, starving to death and contemplating suicide, and sees a hallucination of his father who shot himself so Oliver could survive, reproving him for being so weak.
    • In "Three Ghosts", Oliver is injected with Mirakuru and sees hallucinations of three dead people—his Love Interest and Sexy Mentor Shado (who encourages him to give up his struggle), Fire-Forged Friend-turned antagonist Slade Wilson (who tells Oliver he deserves to die for his sins), and his best friend Tommy Merlyn (who gives him a Heroic Second Wind by reminding Oliver he's still The Hero). Ironically Slade turns out to be Not Quite Dead in the same episode.
    • In the Season 4 flashbacks, Shado appears as a Spirit Advisor while Oliver is being tortured.
    • In "Living Proof", Oliver Queen is trapped under rubble where he has a Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane conversation with Tommy Merlyn again.
  • An episode of Babylon 5 concerns a never-explained alien ritual that conjures spirits of the dead. Londo and Garibaldi are visited by deceased Love Interests, while Lennier talks to Morden. The first two conversations turn out well for everyone involved; the third one... not so much.
  • This is pretty standard for Being Human, seeing as ghosts are fairly common to that universe. Werewolves, vampires, and other supernatural beings can see and interact with ghosts just fine, but earlier seasons also had Annie being able to talk with and be seen by regular people, even holding a job and dating a living guy at one point. There also was a medium who could talk to ghosts, though he couldn't see them.
  • Between: In episode 1 of season 2, Ronnie speaks with the visage of his brother Pat who died in the last episode of the previous season. This may be a result of head trauma he suffered after being hit in the head with a shovel after he attacked Wiley as Pat does not appear to anyone else and seems to remain in the background when Ronnie speaks to others.
  • Bones:
    • "The Hero in the Hold": Booth talks to his dead army buddy Parker, who helps him escape. It is later revealed that this is because he had a brain tumor. Though it's never clear if he was hallucinating or not: Bones remarks at the end of the episode that Booth couldn't have managed that escape by himself.
    • Bones also converses with the dead guy in the cemetery.
    • Bones has her own Near-Death Experience and talks to her mother.
  • In Boy Meets World, Shawn talks to his father a few times after he dies. It seems to be all in Shawn's head, though it's not made clear, since in the Grand Finale he's shown proudly watching over his boys before grabbing Rachel's ass, which causes her to look around in confusion since no-one was there to do it.
    • Chet makes a return appearance in Girl Meets World, coaxing Shawn to ask Maya's mother Katy out to dinner.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer used this trope somewhat differently in its seventh season with The First Evil, who can take the form of any person who has died. An entire episode, "Conversations with Dead People" was devoted to this, with some of the dead people being vampires.
    • An interesting subversion occurs in "Same Time, Same Place", where Willow has accidentally magicked herself invisible to most people. At one point, she talks to Spike, who can see her, and she thinks he's crazy when he starts spouting off nonsense. Then, later, we see the same scene from Buffy's point of view, and he seems similarly crazy because Buffy can't see Willow. It's very much played as a crazy conversation/conversation with dead people.
  • Charmed:
    • Phoebe, when she has jury duty, calls the ghost of the victim before a good dozen or so people to provide the perpetrator for the case. After experiencing the ghostly visit, the jury instantly turns in her favor. However, the conclusion is somewhat loose as she did erase their memories afterwards.
    • The "Calling the Dead" spell has been used throughout the entire series, mostly to talk with the sisters' dead grandmother.
  • Several delusional unsubs on Criminal Minds have spent most of an episode conversing with relatives or other associates. These conversations often continue even after the profilers have determined that the person being "talked to" died some time before.
  • A later episode of CSI had a group of corpses talking to each other in the morgue, telling the stories of their death. It might not count, for this trope, but it bears mentioning.
  • CSI: Miami: Eric Delko thinks he's seeing Speedle again; "Speedle" begins offering hints and advice about crime scenes that put Delko on the right track. It gets even more complicated when transactions show up on Speedle's bank account well after his official death. It turns out someone stole Speedle's personal effects and was spending his money. Delko's hallucinations of Speedle were his brain's way of trying to get him to figure out a particular crime scene.
  • CSI: NY played it more straight with Mac. He got shot, had a Near-Death Experience, and talked to Claire.
    • In an earlier episode, a schizophrenic serial killer talked to his dead wife while the cops had him surrounded in an intersection. Mac realized what was going on and used it to his advantage by relating to the man's grief in order to apprehend him.
  • In the second season, Dexter has one of these conversations with his brother, the Ice Truck Killer.
    • The writers must like this trope—from Season 3 onward, the "ghost" of Harry regularly pops up to give Dexter advice. And as Dexter learns, ignoring Harry's advice will usually lead to ... unfortunate outcomes. In one episode, Debra implies that she has conversations with Harry's "ghost" as well.
    • The big plot twist of Season 6 is that the "Professor Gellar" who appeared to be the mastermind behind the killings, bullying the meek and unwilling Travis into following his orders, was in fact a hallucination of Travis representing his own Dark Passenger. The real Gellar was Dead All Along, having been killed by Travis after rightfully telling him that he was nuts.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Several people in "Silence in the Library" talk through their suits after being killed by the Vashta Nerada.
    • In "The Time of Angels", Bob mentions over the comm that the Angels ripped out his throat.
    • "The Name of the Doctor": Clara speaks via psychic connection to a long-dead River Song, who she doesn't know is dead until halfway through the episode. River thinks the link was only between the two of them; turns out the Doctor knew River was there all along.
    • "Arachnids in the UK": Graham has several imaginary conversations with his late wife, Grace, while in his empty house.
  • Both Fraser and Ray talk to their dead fathers in Due South, though neither lets on to the other that it happens. While Fraser reconciles with his father (who he had been distant with in life) and their relationship warms considerably, Ray meanwhile, simply seems to come to terms with the fact that his dad simply wasn't a good father, such as the numerous times his dad tries to convince him to ditch Fraser to save his own skin in North.
  • Elementary:
    • In "No Lack of Void", Sherlock learns that a friend who helped him get clean died of an overdose having relapsed after many years of sobriety. For the rest of the episode Sherlock imagines himself conversing with a vision of the friend as he processes his grief and considers what it might mean for his own sobriety.
    • In the last two episodes of the fifth season, Sherlock keeps being confronted by a mysterious woman who he first met at a twelve-step meeting, and increasingly begins to interfere with his cases. It's finally revealed that he is suffering from post-concussion syndrome, and the woman is a hallucination of his dead mother, speaking for the part of him that knows that he's ill and needs to seek treatment.
  • Dr. Brown talks to his dead wife, Julia, in the first season of Everwood.
  • Rochelle on Everybody Hates Chris has a conversation with her recently-deceased father (played by Jimmy Walker) concerning the tension between herself, her mother, and the rest of the relatives who are staying with her for the funeral.
  • In Flight Attendant, Cassie is guided by the corpse of her one-night stand throughout the first season.
  • In Fringe, John Scott, who is dead, occasionally appears to Agent Dunham because his memories are trapped in her brain.
  • Pretty much the entire shtick to Ghost Whisperer. A newlywed with the ability to communicate with the earthbound spirits of the recently deceased overcomes skepticism and doubt to help send their important messages to the living and allow the dead to pass on to the other side.
  • The Golden Girls did this with Sophia's late husband, Salvadore, in at least one episode.
  • Poor Chuck Bass... His dead daddy manages to berate him even from beyond the grave in an episode of Gossip Girl. Subverted though in that it's not actually Bart Bass' ghost, it's Chuck projecting his own issues.
  • An episode of Grey's Anatomy in which the titular character, Meredith Grey, temporarily died revolved around her being in a purgatory-type setting, having conversations with multiple deceased former characters from the show.
    • Now in a season 5 subplot, Izzie Stevens is seeing/talking to/making out/having "mindblowing" sex with the apparition of her dead fiancé/patient Denny.
  • Hannah Montana: When some Loca Hot Coca leads to Miley having a Cinderella dream where she's lost her voice and is no better than a house slave, her mother comes back from the dead to talk her through it.
  • Season 3 of Heroes begins with Nathan Petrelli having conversations and chess games with Mr. Linderman, who was quite decisively killed onscreen by D.L..
    • Later subverted when it was revealed that Linderman is indeed dead; Maury Parkman was just using his image to advise Nathan and Daphne.
    • Usutu, however, has been appearing to Matt in visions even after he had his head chopped off by Arthur Petrelli.
    • And now Sylar's talking to his mother — who he happened to kill. Does it count if he actually takes on her form?
  • Hold The Sunset: In "If I Were a Wise Man", Phil finds himself talking to the ghost of his dead wife Celia, who only appears as a black and white image reflected in a mirror. It's never confirmed if this actually happened or whether Phil imagined it, not helped by the fact that only he can see her.
  • House had a couple of similar conversations with Amber before she was technically dead. Near the end of season 5 he starts seeing her again, after Kutner's suicide.
    • Then Kutner shows up with Amber in the season finale, and House winds up committed...
  • Nina from House of Anubis can do this as part of her abilities as The Chosen One. Typically she talks to them in dreams, but occasionally they can talk to her in the real world. She was also the only one who could see Senkhara at all times, but her friends had the ability to talk to her too when she appeared to them.
  • Innocent: Tarık converses with hallucinations of his dead wife Emel — in this case, another symptom of his mental disorder.
  • On The Jeffersons, Florence is rocked when a seemingly good-hearted new preacher at her church runs off with the money the choir was using for a trip. She goes on a rant in the church only to have the kindly Reverend Taylor pop up to give her a talk on never losing her faith. Florence heads home to tell the Jeffersons about how Taylor helped her and now feels much better. She heads to her room, missing the totally baffled looks George and Louise share.
    George: How could Florence have just talked to Reverend Taylor when his sister said he died in his sleep four hours ago?
  • Joan of Arcadia: Joan talks to her dead friend Judith.
  • Miles on Lost apparently speaks to the dead, but they do not appear and the audience does not hear them. This adds an element of doubt, but we do know the information he gets from them is legit, so he seems to be for real.
    • It's also used a few other times during the 4th season: Charlie shows up to talk to Hurley at the mental institution, during a flash-forward, and another patient sees him so Hurley is not hallucinating. And Locke talks to Christian Sheppard, who may or not be dead. The writers like to keep it unclear...
    • Christian constantly does this: he's spoken with Locke, Sun and Frank, Jack...
    • Miles is unique, since he doesn't really converse with dead people: he just gets impressions of their last thoughts.
  • Mad Men has one in the episode "Lost Horizons". Don has a brief conversation with Bert Cooper as he takes a cross country drive.
  • In the Masters of Horror episode "Cigarette Burns", Kirby's dead girlfriend Annie appears before him to remind him what he's lost. Subverted when Kirby sees through the illusion and realizes she's not real.
  • In Merlin this happens thrice.
  • In a series 3 episode of The Mighty Boosh, "The Chokes", the ghost of acting coach Montgomery Flange appears to Howard Moon while he is frozen onstage.
  • Million Yen Women: The Talking in Your Dreams variant happens between Shin and Nanaka after the latter's death.
  • Adrian Monk's deceased wife Trudy has shown up a number of times on Monk, at one point while Monk was suffering a psychotic break after being buried alive.
  • My Left Nut: After the surgery to fix his testicle, the comatose Mick has a dreamlike conversation with his deceased father.
  • Maxwell on The Nanny has a conversation with his dead wife about whether him marrying Fran would upset her. She reveals that not only does she approve, she actually sent Fran to him.
  • The third season premiere of NCIS had each of the main cast members conversing with their murdered colleague Caitlin Todd. How the dead character appears in each person's imagination says something about each of them; compare Tony's Sexy Schoolwoman fantasy to Gibbs's visions of her berating him with the bullet hole still visible in her head.
    • Ducky does this quite often.
    • Happens in Season 8 when Gibbs and Mike Franks talk about the Port to Port Killer case.
  • In a season 12 episode of NYPD Blue, Sipowicz is experiencing a crisis after being forcefully reminded of his mortality (in the previous episode, he's shot in the shoulder, and then he narrowly escapes being shot by a perp whose gun misfires). In his agitated state he first thinks he sees his late ex-partner Simone lying in a hospital bed that then turns out to be empty; a bit later Simone again appears to Sipowitz, and now carries out a whole conversation, talking about life and death and encouraging him to be a father figure to his new partner.
  • In Providence, Sydney's mother dies in the pilot, and Sydney ends up talking to her ghost every episode.
  • In Jeff Goldblum's short-lived TV series Raines, the protagonist talks to hallucinations of dead people. He knows it's all his mind, but it disturbs him anyway. Also, he did this even before the hallucinations, according to his partner, it was pretty much part of his investigation method.
  • Jeff has a lot of these in Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased). Given that his partner is a ghost, this isn't too surprising.
  • Tommy Gavin from Rescue Me regularly talks to dead people, most notably people he failed to save and his cousin Jimmy Keefe, a firefighter who died during 9/11. It's left ambiguous whether it's in Tommy's head, or whether the ghosts are actually present. Jimmy gives Tommy beatings on several occasions, only for people to walk in on it and wonder whether Tommy has lost his mind. He also talks with his son Connor after he dies, but before Tommy is aware of it.
  • The Sandman: In "The Doll's House", Lyta dreams that she's having a conversation with her recently-deceased husband Hector about how she's been holding up. Over the course of the following episode, "Playing House", he shows up several more times in her dreams, and it becomes apparent that he's the actual ghost of Hector and not just a figment of her imagination.
  • In the episode of Scrubs when Ben succumbs to his leukemia in "My Screw Up", he spends the time between the point of his death and his funeral at the end of the episode trying to convince Dr. Cox to forgive J.D. for allowing him to die, although the audience at this point is not aware that Ben is dead. The writers cleverly manage to misdirect the audience into believing an old man we saw earlier has died, and they carefully make sure that Ben has no more interactions with any character other than Dr Cox. The Reveal that it was Ben who died occurs only at the end of the episode, when they go to his funeral. Right up until they arrive at the graveside, the audience is led to believe (as Cox seems to) that they are going to Cox's son's birthday party.
  • Shtisel frequently shows Posthumous Characters like Shulem's wife Dvora, or ones who died in the show, like Libbi appearing to their loved ones, though it's ambiguous whether it's all in their head. The Season 3 finale includes a scene where Shulem, Nuchem, and Akiva share a drink and are surrounded by the ghosts of several generations of relatives.
  • Sisters. The ghost of second-oldest sister Teddy's husband comes to converse with her and warn her that his killer is now after her. In the series finale, after family matriarch Beatrice dies, she comes to speak with everyone of the girls.
  • Slings & Arrows prominently features the ghost of a dead Shakespearean director, visible only to his replacement, in productions first of Hamlet and then of Macbeth. For good measure, the ghost in question actually appears in both plays.
  • Stargate:
    • Stargate SG-1:
      • In season six episode "Abyss", in which Daniel Jackson was ascended. O'Neill had been captured and was between torture sessions when Jackson would visit him and try to get him to ascend as a means of escape, only to disappear whenever a guard came by.
      • Later in the same season, Daniel infiltrates Teal'C's human-fireman hallucination as a psychiatrist to give him something of a mental lifeline while Teal'c is keeping himself and an injured Bra'tac alive with only his own symbiote. An alternate interpretation (it's not explicitly the real Daniel) is that Daniel in the dream was actually the dying symbiote trying to help Teal'c survive.
    • In Stargate Atlantis, McKay talks to the late Dr. Beckett after the latter dies of stupidity: carrying an explosive tumor to the bomb squad. He apologizes for not going fishing with Beckett, feeling that if they had done so, Beckett would still be alive. (Realistically, after the first explosion, Beckett would probably have been called back from the mainland to help deal with the crisis.)
  • St. Elsewhere: In "After Life", Wayne Fiscus is shot in the emergency room and experiences a vision of the afterlife. He meets Ralph and Murray Robbin in Purgatory, Eve Leighton and the hospital's namesake St. Eligius in Heaven and Peter White in Hell.
  • Supernatural gives us the episode "Death's Door", where Bobby is in a coma, running from a Reaper. He is reunited with the memory (or possibly more) of Rufus Turner, a hunter who was killed in the previous season, who manages to help him figure out how to escape his coma and temporarily evade the Reaper.
  • Taken: In "John", Mary Crawford sees an image of her grandfather Owen in the alien ship that Allie manifested from the collective thoughts of everyone involved in the Army operation. They discuss Allie and the aliens' overall plan. She then asks him what he saw when Jacob showed him all of his memories and all of his fears in "Jacob and Jesse". Lt. Pierce also sees an image of his late mother, who invites him to eat the toll house cookies that she made for him. Pierce later thanks Allie for allowing him to see his mother again, describing it as an act of pure kindness.
  • Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles: Sarah spends most of one episode talking to the ghost of Kyle Reese. It's implied that this may be a hallucination, resulting from the injuries and blood loss she suffered.
  • The Tudors:
    • In season four, Charles Brandon also has a chat with one of the leaders of the pilgrimage of grace who had been executed.
    • In the series finale, a dying Henry VIII has conversations with three of his deceased wives. Whether they're just in his head, or actually ghosts, is left undecided. But none of them go his way. Catherine rebukes him for not treating their daughter Mary well enough. Anne once again reinforces that she was innocent of the crimes laid against her, which he allowed to be used to condemn her to death. And Jane, who it would be thought would be on his side, tells him in no uncertain terms that his coddling of their son Edward has in fact killed him, as it's left him vulnerable to a wide array of illnesses. Each one leaves him more shaken than the last.
  • Ugly Betty:
    • After Santos died in the first season finale, it was kept ambiguous for the first episode of season 2 whether he survived or not. It was eventually revealed that Hilda's conversations with him were All Just a Dream.
    • After Bradford dies, Betty hallucinates him (sometimes just his head) speaking to her and encouraging her to return to working at Mode.
  • Veronica Mars spends much of the first season conversing with her murdered best friend Lilly Kane. Duncan, Lilly's brother, also speaks with her. In the second season episode "I Am God" Veronica dreams she's speaking to the victims of a bus-crash.
  • The West Wing featured this in its second season finale, "Two Cathedrals". One hopes that, coming as it did just after President Bartlet disclosed that he had a degenerative illness, he didn't tell anyone that it was his dead secretary who persuaded him to run for a second term.
  • In Wiseguy, Sonny Steelgrave died in the first season. The protagonist, Vinnie Terranova, felt guilty about his death. This was resolved in a second season episode where Vinnie was confronted by Sonny's ghost.
  • The live-action Witchblade show had Sara do this regularly, usually with her deceased partner. A couple times she tried to solve a murder by speaking with ghost of the victim. They weren't as informative as she might have hoped.
  • In the fifth episode of Wolf Hall, Henry VIII makes it clear, in so many words, that he wants a new wife and it's Cromwell's job to make it possible. Afterwards, Cromwell has a brief vision of his old mentor Cardinal Wolsey, framed in shadow. Wolsey warns him that he'd better succeed in getting rid of Anne or he'll die, just like Wolsey.note  (This is also foreshadowing for the fall that Cromwell couldn't escape when the King's marriage to another Anne proved unsatisfying.)
  • The X-Files: Deep Throat appears to Mulder in two separate episodes after his death. On the first occasion both him and Mulder's father appear to persuade Mulder not to give up his life — Mulder only speaks to his father, asking him if his sister is there (in the afterlife). His negative reply undoubtedly motivates Mulder to return to the land of the living and continue his search.

  • Afro Celt Sound System's "Release" is from the perspective of a deceased person, telling the living that "I haven't gone anywhere / but out of my body", and that they should "Be happy for me".
  • Of Monsters and Men's "Little Talks" might be this. Maybe.

  • It's basically the entire premise of Less is Morgue. Evelyn, one of the two main characters, is a Cute Ghost Girl, and they often summon other ghosts onto the show to interview them.
    Magical Erik: And I presupposed, who better than I, the nexus of noumena and pneumonia, to communicate with these entities of the beyond? That’s why, for the first time in podcast history, I am going to summon up my glorious power, and contact the dead, live on air!
    Riley: Wow. That'll be a first.


  • The Bible: Much older than Hamlet or Macbeth: Saul, desperate for advice now that God will no longer send him signs, consults a medium to conjure up the spirit of the prophet Samuel for advice. Samuel appears, chews Saul out for consulting with mediums, and foresees his death in the upcoming battle. Whoops.
    • Interestingly, the Medium seemed shocked that Samuel actually appeared; she was probably a fraud and God bent the rules to let Samuel speak to Saul.

  • In The Gamer's Alliance, the heroes talk to the spirits of the dead in the crystal catacombs of Tes Pellaria and get valuable advice from them.
  • In V4 of Survival of the Fittest, Albert Lions comes across the body of his friend Augustus MacDougal, and then right away he sees his ghost. Augustus follows Albert around, the pair conversing like normal (Dougal even has to remind Albert that only he can see him). Whether Dougal's ghost is real or just a figment of Albert's imagination is unknown.
  • There is no GATE; we did not fight there: In the final interlude of the Sons of the Storm storyline, Rennea finds herself in a vision and has one final conversation face to face with the dead spirit of Kryton, and finally finds the strength to move on from his death and live on for herself — just as Kryton wished.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Pretty explicitly the purpose of the speak with dead spell in Dungeons & Dragons. However, it has several limitations, including how frequently it can be used, how long it's been since the target in question died, and that answers can be hard to understand even if the target knew the information in question and is friendly.
  • There are a few ways to pull this off in Old World of Darkness - there are a couple of Disciplines that can allow it in Vampire: The Masquerade, heading to the Umbra and just talking to one in Werewolf: The Apocalypse, proper use of the Spirit sphere in Mage: The Awakening, as well as several Arcanoi (most easily via Puppetry or Embody) that can be used to initiate this from the dead half of the conversation in Wraith: The Oblivion.

  • Hamlet of William Shakespeare's eponymous Hamlet is visited by a ghost who claims to be his dead father, the king of Denmark; he also claims that Hamlet's uncle Claudius murdered him so that he could succeed him in taking the throne.
  • In Heathers, Veronica has multiple conversations with Heather Chandler, whom she accidentally killed, along with Kurt and Ram. Unlike the movie, where it's very clearly a dream sequence, the show never makes it clear if the ghosts are really there or if Veronica's losing it.
  • The Inheritance - Part One ends on Eric meeting the ghosts of gay men lost to AIDS in Walter and Henry's old house.
  • Likewise in Macbeth where the ghost of the murdered Banquo shows up to take his seat at the banquet. Naturally only his murderer, Macbeth, can see him.
  • This is a plot point in the 1919 play Smilin' Through, which has several film versions (probably the best known is from 1932 with Norma Shearer). Moonyeen was murdered on her wedding day and spends her afterlife near her husband John, who can often hear her when she speaks to him.
  • Proof: Cathy has conversations with her deceased father throughout the play. He comes off as stern but loving, smart, fatherly, and a little eccentric. These conversations are in stark contrast to the flashbacks where all of the above traits are completely overshadowed by his blatant insanity. They also serve as a way to showcase Cathy's slowly declining mental health.

    Video Games 
  • Arkantos in Age of Mythology fights his slain enemies in his dreams at the start of the campaign. Athena comments on this before giving him a warning.
  • In Atomic Heart, Agent P-3 is able to hold conversations with dead bodies wearing a Thought communication device, since said device is able to tap into the user's neuropolymers which preserve their memories and state of mind just before being killed. These memories become more corrupt the longer they've been dead, however, as demonstrated by certain corpses only being able to spout nonsense when interacted with.
  • Sgt.Baker in Brothers in Arms talks to the ghost (or hallucination) of Private Leggett.
  • Doctor Kyne from Dead Space holds conversations with his late wife. Isaac doesn't have too much to say, but as it turns out, his conversations with Nicole also turn out to be this.
  • In Disco Elysium, having enough points in the Inland Empire skill will allow you to have conversations with the corpse of the victim whose murder you are investigating. Although it's zig-zagged since it's all into your imagination... maybe.
  • Dragon Age gives us a few of these.
    • In Dragon Age: Origins, the Warden will have one during the events of the Gauntlet at the Temple of Sacred Ashes. The identity of the dead person will be someone important that the Warden lost during their origin story. The nature of the setting makes it a little ambiguous as to whether they're talking to the real ghost of that individual or if it's some kind of sympathetic magic, but it provides some catharsis for the Warden regardless, and the ghost presents the Warden with an amulet as a memento of the encounter.
    • At the end of the Dragon Age II DLC Legacy, Hawke has one with their mother, Leandra, if the player started the DLC after her death in the main story. Varric, the narrator and Hawke's longtime best friend, admits to his audience that this is a "liberty" he's taking - the whole Framing Device is meta like that - because Varric, knowing that Hawke never really came to terms with the death of their mother, wants to give his friend some closure that he feels they honestly deserved, even if it's only in his own mind.
    • In the Dragon Age: Inquisition DLC Jaws of Hakkon, the Inquisitor and companions meet a spirit which has assumed the memories and voice of Telana, a mage who has been dead for 800 years, in order to pass on some vital information. It's not actually her ghost, but since the spirit is acting on Telana's long-ago request to do this, it amounts to the same thing.
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • In Morrowind, there are several occasions where you must communicate with ghosts or spirits in order to gain quest-relevant information. One of the most prominent takes place at the Cavern of the Incarnate, where you are officially recognized by Azura as the Nerevarine. Afterward, you can speak to the spirits of those who thought they were the Nerevarine, but died before they could fulfill the prophecy.
    • As revealed in Skyrim, this is part of the agreement the Nightingales make with Nocturnal, the Daedric Prince of Darkness and the Night who is also associated with Thieves and Luck. In life, Nocturnal grants the Nightingales immense power and freedom to do with it as they wish, on the condition that they always protect the Ebonmere, the conduit between her realm of Oblivion, Evergloam, and Mundus, the mortal plane. Deceased Nightingales then serve a "term" as the "spectral guardians" of the Ebonmere and Twilight Sepulcher, allowing them to communicate with the still-living Nightingales.
    • Also in Skyrim, the Dragonborn will have one of these as part of the Companions storyline, talking to the deceased Harbinger Kodlak about curing his lycanthropy posthumously.
    • And in the main plotline of Skyrim, the Dragonborn can optionally have these with any number of characters encountered in Sovngarde, as they are all dead.
  • Both subverted and played straight in Eternal Darkness: Sanity's requiem: at several points, characters have conversations with the ghosts of other characters. The main protagonist Alex is regularly visited by the ghost of her deceased grandfather Edward. Turns out it's the main antagonist Pious Augustus in disguise.
  • A major plot point of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children is Cloud having conversations with Aerith. Then again, Final Fantasy VII and its related spin-offs tend to run on the Trope of Only Mostly Dead, to the point where there is a Japanese novella written entirely from the point of view of the dead characters in the The Lifestream.
    • Even though he was heard in several scenes in the original cut of Advent Children, Zack now has a new major scene where, during the fight with Sephiroth, he is encouraging Cloud in a conversation as a Spirit Advisor in Advent Children Complete.
    • In a similar manner, Final Fantasy X raises this trope from Dead Person Conversations to Dead Person Plans.
    • After being killed by Kuja in Final Fantasy IX,Garland starts talking to Zidane and the others, providing some much-needed information about Memoria before his soul passes on.
  • In Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War, if Seliph waits by the water on Chapter 10 after Arvis has been killed, he will have a conversation with the ghosts of his deceased parents, Sigurd and Deirdre... who tell him that nothing was accomplished by the Emperor's death, and the war is not over before giving him a Life Ring.
  • An ambiguous example happens in Fire Emblem: Three Houses. On the Silver Snow route, Dimitri is reported to have been killed at the battle of Gronder Field, but he appears before Byleth in the monastery, much to the latter's shock. Dimitri expresses his regret for the deaths of those serving him, says he can no longer retake the Kingdom capital or defeat the Empire, and starts to tell Byleth about his "decision." At this point, the scene cuts to black and Seteth arrives, acting as though Byleth is asleep outside. When asked if he saw someone, Seteth claims that Byleth is alone.
  • In Ghost Trick, after Sissel meets with a person's spirit and saves them from death, he can continue to interact with them after they return to life. The same goes for poor Missile, and while Yomiel is more frozen in an endless cycle of life and death, he still was presumed dead and held a conversation with several clearly-living people.
  • Tearjerkingly averted in Iji. She talks to Dan as if he's still alive after his death.
  • Life Is Strange series:
    • In Life Is Strange: Before the Storm, Chloe receives advice from her late father William in several different dream sequences, all of which allude one way or another to how he died in a car accident. Her final conversation with him, however, notably takes place while she's wide awake instead.
    • Life Is Strange 2 has something similar in episode 4, which sees Sean dreaming that he's going on a road trip with his father Esteban that would have happened had Esteban not been killed in the first episode. The two of them discuss Jenn, Sean's crush back in Seattle, as well as the actual road trip Sean is going on with Daniel and how that's gone for him so far.
    • In the epilogue of Life Is Strange: True Colors, Alex has a conversation with her dead brother Gabe on the roof of the Black Lantern about what path she should take with her future.
  • New Legends have the Otherworld stage where you encounter the spirit of your deceased father. Who gives you a Rousing Speech before sending you back to the world of mortals.
  • In Pirate101, this is the undead witch doctor Ol' Scratch's specialty. With either a corpse or a few keepsakes, he can summon the ghost of someone to learn more information.
  • An explicit power of the protagonist in Planescape: Torment.
  • Near the end of Resident Evil Village, Eveline appears to Ethan to tell him that he's been dead since his first encounter with Jack in Dulvey, and is only still existing now due to his infection with the Mold.
  • Sam & Max: Freelance Police: the ghost of Momma Bosco is plain for everyone to see and talk with, likewise the specter of Mr. Spatula — but Mr. Spatula is a speechless fish whom only Sam seems to understand.
  • In the hospital level of Silent Hill: Homecoming, Alex spots his brother Joshua who asks him to find his stuffed teddy bear. Turns out the reason Alex was in the hospital was because Josh drowned after Alex accidentally knocked him out of a boat.
  • When Andross attempts to take Fox down with him at the end of Star Fox 64, Fox's father James appears to lead him out of the exploding base.
  • In The Suffering, this happens a lot, whether the dead person is a Projected Man, a talkative corpse, or a real ghost. Torque's family appears to be the most common example.
  • Paxton Fettel already talks to the Point Man through hallucinations a few times. A bullet to the head not only doesn't stop him from doing so, but if you take the expansions into account, he talks to more people when he's dead than when he was alive.
    • In the DLC F.E.A.R. 2: Reborn, Fettel is quite talkative (at least to Foxtrot 813) even though he (Fettel) is dead.
  • After beating the Final Boss in the Super Robot Wars Z series, the living Sphere Reactors get to chat with the ghosts of the Sidereal Sphere Reactors. Aim and Uther show up during this chat.
  • Tales of Monkey Island: Happens in the living world in Chapter 5 from the time that Guybrush (as a ghost) has opened up the rips in the Crossroads up to the time that he manages to repossess his own corpse.
  • In Episode 5 of The Walking Dead: Season Two, Clementine converses with Lee in a dream after she is shot by Arvo. The dream is set in the RV, after Lilly shoots Carley/Doug, where Clem asks Lee for assurance. She has another one with Lee in Episode 3 of The Final Season, where Lee gives her a pep talk on the train from Season 1.
  • The World Ends with You The characters are Dead All Along however shops have special marks to allow the characters to bypass their usual Invisible to Normals problem for dead person transactions. Never really taken advantage of in the plot because only one shopkeeper actually knows this and he's been dead who knows how long.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Ace Attorney, Phoenix can communicate with his late mentor Mia Fey through spirit channeling performed by Maya or Pearl Fey.
  • During the first part of The Eden of Grisaia Yuuji is calmly or even eagerly awaiting his likely upcoming death. However, when he's drugged to sleep with a nasty hint that the drugs will give him nightmares, he actually has his first halfway decent dream in years. His master and former lover Asako appears to ask him if he's really okay with dying at a time like this just because he managed to fulfill his goal of saving five people before joining her in death.
  • Towards the end of Kirari's normal route in Kira☆Kira, Kirari appears out of nowhere and follows Shika around, forcing him to deal with his pent-up grief and allowing him to write a song about her. There's a heavy amount of Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane and All Just a Dream, as Shika psychoanalyzes himself constantly and decides he's probably going crazy, but considering the whole incident with Guitar-kun that occurred previously in the route, it's not hard to believe at all.
  • Played with in Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors. The teenage Akane who participates in the Nonary Game is technically dead and interacts with all of the other participants, but then it turns out that while Junpei was unknowingly communicating with her the entire time, it was her still-living child self, who was trying to get him to help her stay alive.
  • Tohno Shiki of Tsukihime, in the fundisc Kagetsu Tohya, there's an extra movie, Drinking Dreaming Moon, where Shiki talks with his adoptive brother, the real Tohno SHIKI (the other was at first a Nanaya). In the talk, SHIKI says it may be a Dead person conversations or All Just a Dream, depending on what Shiki believes. In he end, though, it's revealed to the player/reader that it WAS Dead person conversations, complete with Demoted to Extra-Satsuki complaining he couldn't see her and barely heard one sentence she said.


    Web Original 
  • How to Hero has a whole entry on summoning ghosts and, in an earlier entry, recommends calling up ghosts to bypass any moral quandaries that might arise from taking cool magical artifacts from caves.

    Web Videos 
  • The climax of Aaron features Adam delivering a speech to his dead son.
    "This's pretty nice. I wish that you could see it. I hope that you can."
  • Mario And Luigi Do A Little Trolling has Luigi talking to (and trolling) a deceased Mario in most of the series' short episodes.

    Western Animation 
  • Throughout Avatar: The Last Airbender and the first half of The Legend of Korra, the Avatar is able to converse with his or her past lives.
  • In Futurama's "The Sting," Fry is apparently dead after a mission gone wrong, but Leela has recurring dreams in which he speaks to her and becomes convinced that he's alive and able to communicate with her somehow. It turns out that she's been in a coma the entire time, and Fry, who survived the mission, has been trying to revive her by talking to her for two weeks.
  • Molly of Denali: In "Wise Raven and Old Crow," Molly has a dream where her deceased Grandma Catherine tells her that she has something for her, and she needs to come get it. The "thing" in question turns out to be her old hide-tanning tools.
  • Steven Universe: "Rose's Scabbard" has a simulated example. Pearl projects a holographic image of her lost love, Rose Quartz. She proceeds to hold a "conversation" with her, but it's clearly a re-enactment of a conversation the two had millennia earlier when Rose was still alive.
  • Through most of season 4 of The Venture Brothers, Henchman 21 is seen conversing with the skull of his best friend Henchman 24. Initially, the audience only hears one side of the conversation, but eventually it's shown that 21 is apparently speaking with 24's ghost. Despite implications that the skull occasionally moves under its own power, it's kept ambiguous whether the haunting is real. Even 21 himself is unsure that he's not just going nuts. The truth is revealed at the end of the season.
    • Dr. Venture has also conversed with his dead father on one or two occasions. He's generally fully aware that it's a hallucination.
  • The Simpsons: In "Old Money", Grampa blames Homer for preventing him from being with his girlfriend Beatrice before she died and disowns him. After he inherits her fortune, but remains unhappy while trying to live the high life, Bea's ghost appears before him while he rides a roller coaster going up a hill, advising him to use the money for good and reconcile with his son.
    Abe: Hey, Bea, I've got to ask you. What was death like?
    Bea: Not as scary as THIS! (the coaster goes down the hill)


Video Example(s):


Him At Peace

While wandering through Davy Jones Locker, Elizabeth finds her father among the lost souls.

How well does it match the trope?

4.17 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / DeadPersonConversation

Media sources: