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 is 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 a 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.