i’m in the early stages of working on a little novella that follows a character who can see ghosts. for the most part, ghosts in this story contain very little of who they used to be as living humans—they are these warped, perverted manifestations of the pain and fear the individual felt at their death.
it’s dark, but i don’t want the story to be all bleak. i’m trying to think of logically consistent ways for the main character to be able to “help” or “release” the spirits, but i’m drawing blanks here! my current working idea is that by showing them artifacts of their past selves and reminding them a bit of who they used to be and what they lived for, it can loosen up that pain/fear and send them on their way, or perhaps introducing some sort of magic/ritual element that releases them, but i’m not sure and open to ideas or suggestions.
Ever see the anime or manga called Tactics? It’s about a demon and a demon hunter who team up to exorcise ghosts and other monsters from the trauma that holds them to earth so they can return to where they belong. Maybe your story needs an exorcist with a ritual like that? ¯\_(ﭢ)_/¯
If the ghost become twisted versions of themselves in their last moments and lose their sense of self, I really like the idea if them remembering their past selves and who they used ro be when they were alive as a way to release them from that torment and help them move on. It makes logical sense and it is poetic. Perhaps the longer they are stuck unable to move on, the more difficult it is to remind them who they were. But finding an object that was significant to them and their history and/or goals in life might help.