I’m sorry, but you probably know the drill by now. Like the vampire post and the witch post, I’m going to ask you to consider religion… or at the very least, the afterlife. A ghost—at least, the kind I’m talking about—is the spirit of someone who’s died. This implies that there is something to life beyond the body and brain chemistry. In other words, spiritual stuff is even more important for ghosts, in my opinion.

Will you use the afterlife of a specific religion or belief system, or have that depend on the belief system of the individual who dies, or make up one of your own? What typically happens to people in your story when they die? Do they wander the earth looking for a decent coffee, or do they move on to some kind of afterlife? If they move on to an afterlife, why didn’t this spirit go? If there isn’t an afterlife, why aren’t we flooded with generations upon generations of ghosts? Are we, or do they fade over time? What causes them to fade?

Can a ghost be trapped in an object or a place? Ghosts in Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series are tethered to their bodies and fall apart along with their bodies… but only manifest if they contain an excess of “spirit.” Ghosts in other books seem to be immortal—because they’re already dead.

How do ghosts feel about the living? Are they seeking revenge for wrongs done to them? Are they malevolent and envious of the living? Are they basically the person they were when they were alive, but incorporeal? If they have a choice about whether they go to the afterlife, reincarnate, etc., why haven’t they made that choice? Are they only here to complete a specific task before moving on?

How do ghosts interact with the physical world? Can they be seen by everyone, or only certain people? Do they have a choice in whether they’re seen? Ghosts can usually walk through walls; why don’t they sink through the floor? Can they interact with items like cups, furniture, etc.? Can they sit in chairs?

Do ghosts have any special abilities? That might sound like an odd question, but Sims 4 ghosts have abilities or quirks based on how they died: ghosts who died by fire can start fires when angry, ghosts who drowned leave puddles behind them, ghosts who froze to death can sap warmth from the living, etc. Can they levitate objects or even people, like in Beetlejuice? Do they eat or drink or shower (Sims 4 ghosts do)?

What needs does a ghost have? Do they get lonely?

If you have other magical creatures in your story—witches and wizards, vampires, werewolves, etc.—can they become ghosts? Why or why not?

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