In order to summon Betelgeuse, his name must be repeated three times. In the movie, we see Barbara trying to summon him, but repeatedly interrupted during her attempts.

Clearly, his name does not need to be repeated in rapid succession, but how quickly must the name be repeated for the summon to work?

  • 6
    It's Beetlejuice isn't it? Or is this a different name in different territories
    – user46509
    Aug 5, 2015 at 20:43
  • 4
    Some sources claim is can be at least once a year Aug 5, 2015 at 20:50
  • 5
    At least he's not like Candle Jack, whose name y...
    – SQB
    Aug 5, 2015 at 20:51
  • 2
    Maybe it isn't about how much time passes, but whether you say anything else in between the Beetlejuices.
    – Wad Cheber
    Aug 5, 2015 at 20:55
  • 3
    @Yasskier - The movie's name is spelled "Beetlejuice", but the character's name is spelled "Betelgeuse".
    – Wad Cheber
    Oct 28, 2015 at 20:17

3 Answers 3


While I'm not aware of any canon rule regarding the succession, it's apparent that the three times must be within some measure of proximity. Here are some examples to support that:

  • When the Maitlands first find Betelgeuse's business card, Adam (reading the card) says his name out loud twice but the third one is torn away. Days later, after they've met Betelgeuse in person and decided not to use him, Adam says the name again but nothing happens.

  • Juno says the name at three different times throughout the film, but only twice in the same scene. Nothing happens the third time she says it.

  • Barbara Maitland also says the name several times throughout the film, but it only has an effect when she says it three times in succession.


I have no canon source for this (I tried finding one), but I suspect it doesn't matter how much time passes between utterances of his name, so long as there is genuine intent to summon him.

Being a ghost, time probably flows differently for Betelgeuse when he is outside of the world of the living. Once the summoning spell is genuinely initiated, it can probably be completed at any time (within the summoner's lifetime).


Since it is a spell, I would think that any interjected words or unclear noises would stop the act.

No canon.

  • It seemed unfair that with two equally speculative answers, one should have a downvote and the other should have two upvotes, so I upvoted this and downvoted InlandEmperor's to try to balance them.
    – Hypnosifl
    Aug 9, 2015 at 22:35
  • Barbara mumbles incoherently when she has her mouth sealed shut while trying to summon him, and she doesn't have to restart, so this isn't quite right.
    – phantom42
    Aug 9, 2015 at 22:59

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