Ghosts and Zombies are two very popular undead creatures in science-fiction and fantasy works. They both occur once their living host has died, however, they work in opposite ways...

A Ghost is generally the soul/essence of a person carrying on after the death of the body. While a Zombie is generally the body carrying on after the death of the soul/essence. So, I will make a claim that a ghost and zombie could technically be created from the same living dead person.

What is the first occurrence of a story having this element of two undead entities (specifically a ghost and zombie) being created from the same person?

  • 1
    Nadia the vampire met her ghost in tv series "What we do in the Shadows". This is actually more interesting than the zombie case since vampires typically retain their personality and memories Apr 9 at 3:08
  • @lucasbachmann Interesting case, but I don't think vampires are considered "undead", the living host is turned.
    – Skooba
    Apr 9 at 13:44
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    @Skooba Depending on your flavor of vampire, becoming one can indeed involve death - an alternative title for Bram Stoker's Dracula was The Un-Dead, and he describes the process of a vampire's victims dying and becoming vampires themselves. Additionally, the theme song to WWDITS is aptly titled "You're Dead", and the vampire characters do reference their own deaths. Apr 9 at 16:52
  • @Skooba It will of course, depend on the particular vampire mythology, but most vampire mythologies I am familiar with consider vampires to be undead.
    – Lexible
    Apr 9 at 17:43
  • Undead was used in the 1931 Bela Lugosi Dracula film and basically put the term into the English language. Your notion of zombies didn't exist until 1968 with Night of the Living Dead. Apr 9 at 19:09

In the Monkey Island video game series, LeChuck is first seen as a ghost in The Secret of Monkey Island (1990).

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After his spirit form is destroyed by Guybrush, he is resurrected as a zombie in Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge (1991).

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Note that the Ghost Pirate LeChuck and the Zombie Pirate LeChuck don't exist concurrently, though, and both seem to retain LeChuck's consciousness.


In The Order of the Stick (webcomic)

Character Roy dies. His spirit returns as a ghost. His bones are turned into a Golem. Not quite the same as a zombie, but near enough.

Strip #576, linked above, was published circa 19 July 2008

He gets better.

  • Good answer. Since this is a "first appearance" question could you add when the comic was published?
    – Skooba
    Apr 9 at 13:33
  • -1 Roy did not return as a ghost in-universe. His soul was doing afterlife-related things, and sometimes had occasion to spy on the living, but he was never undead. A ghost is a dangerous vengeful undead spirit in D&D, one which can interact with the living: Roy was not undead, and could not interact with the living. Props to another OotS fan, though.
    – Lexible
    Apr 9 at 17:40
  • I beg to differ. Roy's spirit would be colloquially called a ghost in OOTS-world, even if that's not an official D&D description. The OOTS Wiki frequently calls him a ghost. The Oracle calls him Caspar. He refers to his father as a ghost. Soon Kim calls himself a ghost. giantitp.com/comics/oots0449.html
    – Pete
    Apr 9 at 20:42

Not sure if this counts, but something at least similar happens in the game Planescape: Torment (1999). At the beginning of the game The Nameless One:

wakes up in a mortuary, with no memories. He's technically not a zombie, but he has woken up from death (multiple times). At the end of the game he meets The Transcendant One. The Transcendant One is not a ghost, but rather the embodiment of The Nameless One's mortality.

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