A Taxonomy of Ghosting

where did you go?

We have all heard of ghosting (or the fade away, as some call it), probably — that thing when a person you’re dating just disappears. But like real ghosts (which are real, as I just said), there are many different types of relationship phantoms. And fortunately for all of us, these types correspond to famous spooks. How lucky! Herewith, a breakdown.

Jacob Marley: A ghost from your past — someone who was pretty terrible the first time around — who shows back up to remind you of your own bad behavior and awful choices, before disappearing again.

The Phantom of the Opera: A ghost you only recall when you hear that one song he or she played for you. Sigh. Who knew thrash metal could be so wistful?

Casper: This is a friendly ghosting, or that thing when someone quietly removes only the romantic aspects of your relationship, and you’re like thank you for faving my tweet but didn’t we used to make out?

The Headless Horseman: A ghost who disappears before any third-base related sexual activity can take place.

Nearly Headless Nick: I mean, it was only one time.

The Canterville Ghost: Like the protagonist of Oscar Wilde’s short story, this spectre really wants you to know about their lack of presence. This might mean posting on your friends’ socials media, showing up at parties they know you will be at and ignoring you, or, if they’re a co-worker, hanging out at a cubicle near yours and loudly talking about their love life, which certainly something I’ve never done. Only jerks would do that.

Bloody Mary: This is a ghost you really believe will reappear if you just try hard enough. Stay chanting in front of that dark bathroom mirror all night if you have to, or send that fifth “heyyy” text. You never know.