Beetlejuice Wiki

The Handbook for the Recently Deceased is a guidebook for spirits new to the afterlife. A copy appeared at the Maitland residence after they passed away.

Known contents[]

The handbook has been described as reading like "stereo instructions."


  • Live people ignore the strange and unusual.
  • Functional parameters vary from manifestation to manifestation (put more simply outside of the book, all deaths are personal, and the limitations between ghosts are based on how a person lived and died).


  • In case of an emergency, draw a door and knock three times.
  • There are also instructions for a seance that really works on ghosts, but unless the living being reading it is smart enough to change a car tire (let alone notice what part of the incantation is better left out) a side effect of it leads the summoned ghost(s) to exorcism, which is death for the dead! All that's needed is a personal object that the dead used in life, and to display them while using a chant that goes "Hands vermillion, start of five. Bright cotillion, raven's dive. Nightshade’s promise, spirits strive. To the living let now the dead come alive."

  • There is an intermediate interface chapter on haunting, which is apparently easy to understand.

Background Information and Notes[]

  • There were several identical handbook props made based on an unidentified psychology textbook. It's possible that it is Measurements of Human Behavior by Edward B. Greene, based on the Preface. The website about this handbook.
  • Aside from the cover and first couple pages, the book is unchanged.
  • An original handbook prop was sold on Heritage Auctions for $6,875.


Note that the prop images come from the Heritage Auctions website.