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Monochrome Apparition

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Whether they appear wispy or solid, often a full-bodied, non-Bedsheet apparition is depicted in values of only one color, often white/grey or blue. If there is an exception, however, it will be for the eyes.

This refers to a disembodied apparition of some kind that appears in a full-color work and is monochrome for the purpose of showing that it isn't a physical presence. They somehow glow any color of vapor such as ghostly white or blue.

Compare Monochrome Past, Deliberately Monochrome, Undeathly Pallor and Hologram Projection Imperfection. Contrast Living Shadow.


Anime & Manga

  • In the Pokémon episode "The Tower of Terror", after Ash & Pikachu are (temporarily) killed by a chandelier falling on them, their spirits are a bluish-white.
  • Variable Geo: Miranda Jahana's spirit is only seen twice during the OVA: first, when her visage takes the place of Satomi's irises, and once she's been expelled from Satomi's body. In both instances, she appears as a greyish-white apparition.


  • In a couple of DC comics stories (Animal Man, Suicide Squad) the authors wrote themselves into the story and appeared as black & white images.


  • Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey: When B&T are dead, they're grayish-blue.
  • All the ghosts in Casper are ghostly white.
  • Coraline: The ghost children are of pale blueish color.
  • In Ghostbusters, most of the human-esque ghosts are depicted in semi-transparent shades of blue/grey.
  • The ghosts in Disney's The Haunted Mansion film are whitish-blue, as are many of the ghosts in the actual ride.
  • In the British comedy How I Won The War, the soldiers of a platoon keep marching even after they are killed. The Stock Footage of each battle is tinted a different color, so each ghost soldier is the color of the battle they died in.
  • The albino twins in "The Matrix Reloaded" sport white dreadlocks, pale skin and wear white suits in their normal form, but become gray/greenish translucent when in ghostly forms, as this is the default color of the matrix

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  • Raiders of the Lost Ark has a white specter appear near the ending.
  • The Frighteners has those when ghosts are in shades of blue.
  • Goosebumps has Hannah as a ghost who is in shades of blue like the ghosts in The Frighteners and The Haunted Mansion are.
  • Force ghosts in Star Wars are generally blue-tinted. They're distinguished from holograms, which also glow blue, because holograms are messy and covered in scan lines and static, while Force ghosts are not.
  • In Ju On, Kayako and Toshio have a bit of a blue-ish hue to them. The latter more then the former.


  • The ghosts in the Harry Potter books are described as 'pearly white', with the exception of Peeves. In the movies they are merely desaturated, however.

Live-Action TV

  • In Supernatural, the ghost of a silent film star in the episode "Hollywood Babylon" was rendered in black and white, as well as the ghost of company founder P. T. Sandover in "It's A Terrible Life". Some other ghosts or death echoes in the series are static-y black and white as well, but often there is some color, particularly red blood to highlight various wounds they suffered when they died.
  • The X-Files:
    • "Elegy": People reported seeing injured pale women trying to convey a message. It was found out that at those moments, the women were already killed and they were seeing their ghosts, all in pale blue colour.
    • In "Tithonus", Alfred Fellig can recognize who is about to die. He sees the people going black and white when they are dying, while the background stays fully coloured. (Inverse of Splash of Colour.)
  • Saturday Night Live: In a filmed sketch parodying tween comedies, a commercial for the Disney Channel's "Aw Nuts! Mom's a Ghost!", mom had gone to South Korea and had an affair with a Korean official. He's worried she'll talk so he drowns her in a river and now she's a Mool-Gwishin - a Korean water ghost. She appears in monochrome gray while having wacky hijinks.
  • In the 2006 Marple adaptation of The Sittaford Mystery, the ghost of murder victim Clive Trevelyan (played by Timothy Dalton) appears in shades of bluish grey at the end of the episode.
  • In the episode "The Ghost of Queen's Park" of Murdoch Mysteries, there are several mysterious deaths in a building near Queen's Park that look like murders. People report seeing a ghost that is blue and glows. It turns out the ghost was a woman who wanted a revenge for her mother's death. She looked exactly like her mother and her adoptive father was a scientist who experimented with radium. She rubbed herself with it, and radium is luminescent, glowing a faint blue.
  • Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide has Moze as a green Cute Ghost Girl in Vampires, Ghosts, Werewolves, and Zombies.
  • In The Pretender episode "Indy Show", Sydney dreams he's having a conversation with his twin brother Jacob, who has been in a coma for decades following a car accident. Jacob appears as he did before the accident, as seen in Monochrome Past flashbacks in earlier episodes — exactly as seen in the flashbacks, meaning he's monochrome in the midst of a scene that's otherwise in full color.
  • The Lady of the Lake in Kaamelott is pale blue with a wave texture when she appears to King Arthur.


  • The numerous ghosts in Haunted House are all in various shades of pale blue.


  • Most productions of Blithe Spirit have the deceased wife Elvira and later the second deceased wife Ruth in monochrome dress and makeup (the stage directions say grey, but pale blue has also been done).

Video Games

  • BioShock and sequel Bioshock 2, as a Spiritual Successor to the System Shock games also feature ghosts, explained as memories being recycled through reused Bio-Augmentation material sold in vending machines. They're transparent with a blue or grey glow to them and a static Interface Screw effect occurs while the player is near them.
  • The free-floating viral apparitions of Sigma and Zero in the Mega Man X series are violet-hued and glitchy.
  • In the Mystery Case Files games, Emma, Rose, and the twins are ghost-white. The ghost pirate in 13th Skull is blue.
  • Pikmin: Dead Pikmin will evaporate into a colored ghost, the color depending on their color in life.
  • The Sims:
    • The Sims 2 and 3: Ghosts are color coded based on how they died. For example, Sims that died due to drowning become blue ghosts, and Sims that died due to fire become red ghosts.
    • The original Sims averted this; the ghosts were the same colors as the living Sims, but transparent.
  • In Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light, party members who fall in battle will be shown as opaque grey ghosts.
  • Ghostly hallucinations in BioShock are grainy and blue.
  • The ghosts of the murdered children in Five Nights at Freddy's 3 are only ever represented in monochrome 8-bit, even in scenes where they should be by all rights have defining colors.
  • All ghosts in Ghost Master appear in greenish tint when they are in their normal mode. Some of them can materialize in mortal world and show themselves to people in their normal color pattern, scaring them and averting this trope.
  • RuneScape Ghost monsters are monochromatic white, while their Wights are variations of green (and surprisingly opaque). Other non-hostile ghosts are usually some variation on bluish-green, almost teal. Revenants are largely gray. The Shades are Color-Coded for Your Convenience but are always a variation of a single color on any given example.
  • System Shock 2: The apparitions, which are explained in universe as the psychic remnants of the recently deceased interfering with your cybernetic Diegetic Interface HUD glow a pale blue-grey light.


  • Gunnerkrigg Court has a number of ghosts, including a Bedsheet Ghost and full-color varieties. The ghost of the woman by the Annan waters, however, is just a white figure.
  • The Phoenix Requiem: The ghosts of regular, non-Shade human beings are depicted as wispy white figures. The Spirits also start off this way as pale gold, but more color begins to show as they gain strength.
  • A Girl and Her Fed ghosts are a very distinct bright blue when interacting with the world of the living.
  • In Wilde Life, Word of God notes that she had a few ideas of how to draw Sylvia, but opted for this trope so that she would look like a black and white photograph.
  • In Undead Friend, All ghosts are pure white and glow slightly. They can however become full color physical beings through a process called reversing.
Western Animation
  • The Flying Dutchman in SpongeBob SquarePants is sickly green.
  • Marley and the Ghost of Christmas Past in Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol are blue and orange respectively.
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender episode "The Spirit World", when Aang accidentally transfers himself into the Spirit World, he's shown as completely blue and translucent.
  • In Casper the Friendly Ghost, the ghosts are transparent, pale and white-ish and not detailed.
  • High-Five Ghost from Regular Show is white and transparent.
  • Teen Titans Go!:
    • The Teen Titans turn light blue after they die.
    • In "Hot Garbage", the ghosts of the Titans except Beast-boy are blue-ish green.
    • The ghostly grandma from "Grandma Voice" is light blue.
  • The Backyardigans has Uniqua, Tyrone, and Pablo are blue ghosts in It's Great To Be A Ghost.
  • Mr Krbec and his Animals: The spirit of Duke Ruprecht who used to be the lord and owner of Castle Kulikov and now haunts the place is designed as a white ghost. In one episode, he uses a spell that allows him temporarily gain "body and colour".
  • Phantasma from Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School is pale light blue.
  • A kinda sorta example in Nate Is Late "The Flash" episode. No one dies but when hit by the flash of a magic camera, it makes a monochrome version of that character which carries an exaggerated trait of their original. For example, Terry is a bully so his monochrome self is kind to a fault. Malika is a nice person while her monochrome self is blunt and condescending. Once the film to the camera is destroyed, the apparitions disappear and return back to their hosts.


Video Example(s):


Spirit of Duke Ruprecht

Duke Ruprecht haunting Kulikov Castle

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