The Sims 4: Ghosts

Removal, Resurrection, and Joining the Family

A Ghost in The Sims 4
A Ghost

Ghosts are a feature of the Sims 4 Base Game. They are the result of Sims who've passed away, and their behavior and abilities vary based upon the cause of death. We have a separate guide to individual ways Sims can die, and preventing death. This guide to Ghosts will teach you about their attributes, means of getting rid of ghosts, having ghosts join your household, and how to bring a ghost back from the dead.

Ghost Visits & Basics
While there is some variation in what ghosts can do and how they behave, they also share the same qualities. Ghosts will visit in the middle of the night (after 10) and depart in the morning (around 6am). The presence of their urn (indoors) or tombstone (outdoors) is what determines the lot they will spawn on. Ghosts tend to behave erratically, but also in ways tied to the type of death they experienced. Having a haunting can be predictably chaotic, given the damage they could cause overnight, but they're mostly a minor nuisance that sometimes leads to funny moments and overall has a negligible impact on gameplay.

A Ghost scares a Sim in The Sims 4
Ghosts get a few unique socials, namely 'Scare' and 'Pass Through'

Ghosts may cause a Tense +2 Moodlet on Sims whenever they possess a nearby object, and possess the spook and pass through socials in order to scare Sims. Often, their arrival is nothing special to a group of Sims unless they possess a nearby object, and you're able to easily socialize with them and even befriend them over time. The color of a ghost shifts based on their emotions, not on their death type. You can easily tell if a ghost is happy if they're green. Flirty if pink, red is angry, blue sad, and so on.

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Becoming friends with a ghost will let you add them to your household
Befriending ghosts lets you ask them to move in.

Given the odds are somewhat low for a visit from an individual ghost each night, the more urns on your lot the more likely you are to experience paranormal activity. Players of multi-generational families who keep their previous Sims around may have 2-3 ghosts running around at night, messing with the house. I'd say a ghost appears on average 1-2 nights a week, sometimes more, and you may experience long dry spells with no activity.

Cheat to Get a Ghost

The following cheats add or remove a specific type of death trait that is responsible for making a Sim into a ghost in the first place. Turning one of these on will immediately turn them into a ghost of the appropriate type. Equip the trait with traits.equip_trait X to turn them into a ghost or remove it with traits.remove_trait X to return the Sim back into a normal, living Sim. For this second part, you must use the exact type of death cheat to reverse it. Use the simology panel (hotkey Y) if you're unsure.

  • traits.equip_trait anger - Anger, and for example traits.remove_trait anger to remove it. This cheat may be temporarily broken due to a patch.
  • traits.equip_trait cowplant - Cow Plant
  • traits.equip_trait drown - Drowning
  • traits.equip_trait electrocution - Electrocution
  • traits.equip_trait embarrassment - Embarrassment
  • traits.equip_trait fire - Fire This cheat may be temporarily broken due to a patch
  • traits.equip_trait hunger - Hunger
  • traits.equip_trait laugh - Laughter
  • traits.equip_trait oldage - Old Age
  • traits.equip_trait exhaust - Overexertion (Old Age)
  • traits.equip_trait steam - Sauna

Removing Ghosts and Bringing Back the Dead

Return to the Netherworld sends a ghost off to the beyond, never to be seen again
Ghosts can be removed from the game by sending them to the netherworld. Afterward, the tombstone or urn they belonged to can be destroyed.

Return/Send to Netherworld
This is how you get rid of a ghost, forever. Do not use this option unless you are sure that you never want to see a ghost again and that you'll never want to play them. Click the ghost's urn or tombstone and you can release their spirit, permanently. Family tree aside, it will be as though that Sim never existed as far as the game is concerned and they cannot be recovered. Ghosts can decide to 'move on' this way, even once controlled by the player. Simply have the ghost select their own remains and return to netherworld.





Resurrecting Ghosts

Sims who complete the Bestselling Author Aspiration can earn the Poetic Reward Trait, which allows them to write the Book of Life. This book, which cannot be bound to the author, allows a Sim to be restored to life when they are a Ghost. If you want to protect the Author, you'll need to have another Sim do this Aspiration. Once it's written, simply bind the book to a Sim while still living, and then have them read the book themselves. You can make one for every member of your household. The Ghost must use the Restore feature to resurrect themselves. Any other Sim who reads it can only summon the Ghost.

Ghosts and the grim reaper
A group of ghosts gathers around, as the Reaper prepares to make another of the poor test family join their ranks.

If you did not get the Poetic Trait, then you need to make Ambrosia to bring the Ghost back to life. This requires a Death Flower, Potion of Youth, and Angelfish, along with mastery of both Cooking and Gourmet Cooking. Click to learn about Ambrosia and how you can get all its requirements in an efficient way. Ambrosia is one of the more challenging things to create in The Sims 4.

Warning: Culling
The game has a limit of 180 Sims, and ghosts are subject to deletion in multi-generational games. They are likely targets for the game to delete and make room for new Sims as others grow old. You can prevent this and remove the limit entirely with the No Culling Mod, available at modthesims.info.

Playing as Ghosts

Ghosts can walk through walls, sometimes.
Ghosts can sometimes take shortcuts to get from A to B faster. This is great, even better is that they're immortal and have all the time in the world.

Playable Ghosts
Even if a ghost was your Sim's husband, relationship will decay at the normal rate and thus levels may fall. In order to play as a ghost, you can simply befriend one each time it visits and then ask it to join your household. If you don't mind cheating, you can easily use testingcheats on and shift-click the ghost when it visits, click add to family. If you wait it out, you should be able to befriend them within 2-3 visits and get them to rejoin the family.

Ghosts are immortal as they have already died, and you can play as a single ghost without any living Sims in the household without issue. Sims can Woohoo with ghosts, but may not produce the ever-coveted Ghost Baby. Ghosts do not have any special abilities when it comes to need decay, their needs are exactly the same as those of living Sims.

They can, however, walk through walls (when you've clicked and automatic pathing decides it's a good idea) and get a few unique socials related to scaring Sims. Ghosts can do the 'Ghostly Repair' on certain objects (mainly plumbing, but not electronics), fixing them and saving Sims time. They'll actually gain handiness skill in the process. Other behaviors relate to how they died:

A ghost who was eaten by a cow plant can decay plants when angry
Sims' death type determines their abilities as a ghost. In this case, she was eaten by a cow plant and can now decay plants when angry - hence the red.

Ghost Behavior by Death Type
Here are the behaviors ghosts exhibit, based upon the type of death. Many of these effects are situational or only existent whenever the ghost is a non-player character:

  • Anger - May give nearby Sims a small angry Moodlet (+1) with +2 for the Ghost.
  • Cow Plant - When angry, they can Decay a plant and cause it to grow weeds and lose water, possibly killing a plant that was already in bad shape.
  • Drowning - May cause pools of water to appear.
  • Electrocution - When angry, they may break electronics by possessing them. They can also shock Sims for a laugh.
  • Embarrassment - May give nearby Sims a small embarrassed Moodlet, with +2 for the Ghost.
  • Fire - May set fires at times, in random places. When player controlled, click the ground while angry to start a fire (may only work on the home lot).
  • Hunger - Will often eat in the middle of the night
  • Laughter - May give nearby Sims a small playful Moodlet, +1 for others, +2 for the Ghost.
  • Old Age/Overexertion - They just tend to chill when acting autonomously.
  • Sauna - Like the death-by-hunger Sim, except they strongly desire a cool-off. Because of this, they can near-instantly absorb puddles from the ground as opposed to mopping them.

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Comments (97)

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New
Ravensays...
I wanna do that. Oh and kids can die of pools and fire if you get a mod they can die of every thing! I think the only way to get a ghost child back is to cheat using testing cheats
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New
Nykrotiksays...
There's a new Ghost type in City Living from Death by Pufferfish. Does anyone have info on that?
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Senior
Playalotsays...
Info here on this page of the guide
Death Guide
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New
wimpykid1010says...
1 of my sims died and i have the gravestone but they dont visit at night
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Admin
Playalotsays...
It can take up to 2 sim weeks for the ghost to first appear. Make sure you are actively on the same lot as the urn/grave between the sim hours of 11pm and 6am every day and have the urn/grave on the floor/ground, not in a sims inventory.
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Regular
Alexsays...
Okay, my problem is kind of odd. You see, the parents of a townie sim I made were elders. Townie meaning they were in a separate household from my own. My sim asked the son to move in with her, and apparently a few days prior the parents died, because they show up as ghosts on his friends list. Problem is, he didn't bring any urns or gravestones with him. Do those spawn on the lot itself or in the family inventory? It's kinda sad that he'll never see his parents again I feel bad :(
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Senior
Playalotsays...
Sims that are not on an active lot at the time of their death do not spawn an urn or a gravestone. So sorry to say, but there is nothing you can do to get one. Sometimes unplayed ghosts do turn up randomly around town so you might be able to ask the ghost to move in and then feed it ambrosia.
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New
Soysays...
Hi.. I got a notification while playing the Sims 4 where it says that and old friend of my sim has slowly lost connection to being a ghost and slowly by each day disappearing... It also says that I can help by visiting/communicate with them... but I can't seem to find their grave... Unsure
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Senior
Playalotsays...
So in this post (click here) down the end of the info post I explain how the new ghost mechanics work. The urn/gravestone should be on the lot they either died on or at their home lot. It can be a bit of a hunt but look around their home lot first. Then all you can do is literally visit all community lots. Generally though, it is save to assume that the urn/gravestone will be on their home lot if your sim was NOT on a community lot with them at the time of their death. You may need to move another sim into their home if it is now vacant. Save your game before doing so in case anything goes wrong.
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New
Danisays...
VERY important questsion:
If i use cheats to make ghost, they get a tombstone to go back to hell or what?

Thx for ansvers. Laugh

Dani
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Admin
Playalotsays...
No the cheats just turn an 'alive sim' instantly into a ghost. You'd need to kill a living sim to get a gravestone/urn.
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New
fredriksays...
my sim died from sunlight is there a cheat to remove the trait so i can revive her?
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Admin
Playlotsays...
The cheat to kill a camp by sunlight is: traits.equip_trait Vampire_Sun so maybe using traits.remove_trait Vampire_Sun would work. Haven't tried it though as I just use a Book of Life to revive dead sims or ambrosia.
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New
Dirksays...
So, I have the Cats and Dogs expansion pack and my sim's dog has died 3 nights ago and still hasn't returned as a ghost. (I had clicked "Strengthen connection to the real world" when it had happened) How long will it take for my dog to come back?
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Admin
Playlotsays...
There is no set time but it can take up to two sim weeks. Just keep being on the same lot as the pet died on between the hours of 11pm and 6am. The ghost will return eventually.
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New
Simsosays...
OK, so one of my my sims died in a fire (at her friend's house saving her friends dad. she was a childCrying) Can i somehow prevent her setting fire to the house?
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Senior
Playlotsays...
Ghosts that have died by fire don't really start fires all that often but if you're worried you could use cheats and revive the sim again or use Manage Worlds and move the ghost to another lot, or destroy the ghost by releasing it's spirit to the netherworld which you do by clicking on the urn/grave.
testingcheats on followed by
traits.remove_trait fire while the ghost sim is selected in live mode.
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New
Dawnsays...
This list needs an update. Where are the pufferfish, poison and rodent ghosts? What are their abilities?

I understand that the ones from seasons are still too soon, but the other ones have been up for months.

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Admin
Playlotsays...
As Carl has 162 odd pages of Guide to maintain he knows some pages just have to be at the bottom of the To-Do list.
Thank you for reminding us that Ghosts need attention. We'll get to these updates as soon as we can. Meantime you can always experiment in your own game and post your findings. Smile
We have a section on our forum designed especially for this: Sims 4 Guide Ideas and Corrections (click)
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New
Londonsays...
I always try to activate death cheats but they never work! I check my wifi, double check spelling, reload game, but nothing EVER works!!!! in other words- HELP MEEEEEE!!!! ScaredMad
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Admin
Playlotsays...
Try reading through our Cheats Guide and watching the video guide to cheats as this shows you exactly how to enable cheats.
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New
zarahsays...
mine have stopped working too!! i'm confused
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New
Londonsays...
I went to reddit and it kept saying "page not found no longer exists" I am so confused HELP!!!!
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Admin
Playlotsays...
There's no link to any reddit page on this guide... what reditt page are you talking about?
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New
Tsuki Rosesays...
If the ghost froze to death, it will shiver and tries to warm itself on fireplace.
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New
Crazyfoolsays...
also a sim that froze to death has an friendly option to cool down an sim to make that sim freeze aswell.... and something I learned the hard way those ghost use an shivering animation autonomusly that'll make all living sims around them freeze aswell which,if the ghost will use that multiple times, can cause an freezing death for the living sims
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New
Dansays...
So I have the Seasons expansion, and my alien sim died by overheating. I've added her back into my family, and made her eat ambrosia, and tried to remove the ghost trait, but it never works... help. Sad
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Admin
Playlotsays...
I'm not sure what the exact cheat is for removing the death by overheating is as it is new with Seasons...sorry! Despite that having the ghost eat ambrosia should work, there was a bug where eating ambrosia while sitting down caused it to not work (weird but true!) so try again but make sure the ghost eats while standing up. Remember to delete the localthumbcache.package file from your The Sims 4 folder too as this is important to do every now and then to clear out glitches.
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New
Tim Collinssays...
What happens if a ghost starves?
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Admin
Playlotsays...
They can't starve to death - if that's what you're asking - as they are already dead. But it can seem strange that they still have needs.
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New
Profoundly Aggravatedsays...
Well, my favorite and most developed sim died from anger and of course that's the one that's bugged and the remove trait cheat can't fix to resurrect them. Unbelievably frustrating that it had to be that sim that bit the dust.

Anyway, great guide as usual, very informative and helpful!
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Admin
Playlotsays...
Oh sorry that happened..how aggravating indeed! Did you try ambrosia? It's a little buggy too but usually works if the sim eating it is standing (remove all chairs).
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New
Andrewsays...
My sim can’t die after the cheat why is this happening
It’s a vampire and it’s in the sun and it has been for like 10sim hours
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Admin
Playlotsays...
I don't know what cheat you are referring to. A vampires energy needs to be empty and then they will start to perish from the sun. It can take a very long time if your vamps energy levels are not completely empty.
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New
Rosesays...
Hi i've never tried this cheat and im super exited to try i it out but here's a tip from reading if you don't want any fires or puddles any where down do the drown cheat or the fire cheat and i think the old age cheat will turn your sims into an elder.Im thinking about the laughter cheat because then my ghost sims will be happy all the time...Grin
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New
Sydniesays...
What do I do if my sim is a vampire that died from to much sunlight exposure? What’s the cheat for that?
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New
Xsays...
Sometimes there is an option "Summon Ghost" on a tombstone/urn. Does it depend on relationship status or what?
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Admin
Playalotsays...
Depends on time of day and also there is a cool down period on the action. Ghosts are around usually between 11pm and 6am. The action 'summon' will bring them into the game outside those hours but if you're having trouble try at night.
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New
DoomyDoomsays...

traits.remove_trait oldage

This will revive your ghostly sims if they died of old age. Just make sure you have selected the ghost sim, first.

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New
Colesays...

I have a question. I have a vampire ghost coming into my apartment every night who possesses the sink, tub, and shower and causes them to break. My household has next to no contact with her when she was alive, she was the neighbor. There is no urn or grave, how do I get rid of the vampire ghost? Any help is appreciated.

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Admin
Playalotsays...

Go into Manage Households and search for the sim ghost using Not in World and Unplayed as parameters. Once you have found the sim then just delete them.



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