Mrs. Helene Alving

Mrs. Alving is a wealthy widow whose husband, Captain Alving, died 10 years ago. A proper but surprisingly free-thinking woman, Mrs. Alving has decided to build an orphanage in her husband’s name. The day… (read full character analysis)

Oswald Alving

Oswald Alving is a young man in his twenties who has enjoyed success as a painter living in Paris. When the play begins, Oswald comes home to Norway for the first time in a long… (read full character analysis)

Pastor Manders

Pastor Manders is a deeply principled and judgmental man of God who has agreed to manage the financial aspects of the orphanage that Mrs. Alving is opening to honor her late husband, Captain Alving(read full character analysis)

Jacob Engstrand

Jacob Engstrand is the carpenter Mrs. Alving hires to build an orphanage commemorating her late husband, Captain Alving. Engstrand’s daughter, Regine, also works for the Alvings as a maid, and though Engstrand wants… (read full character analysis)


Regine is a maid who works in Mrs. Alving’s home. With grand aspirations to become a well-respected woman in society, Regine looks down on her father Engstrand because he is an alcoholic carpenter with… (read full character analysis)
Get the entire Ghosts LitChart as a printable PDF.

Captain Alving

Captain Alving never actually appears in Ghosts because he has been dead for 10 years when the play begins. Nevertheless, his presence hovers over the Alving household, especially when Mrs. Alving reveals that—despite his sterling… (read full character analysis)


Johanna never actually appears onstage in Ghosts. However, she was the Alvings’ maid when Captain Alving was still alive. Mrs. Alving tells Pastor Manders that she discovered many years ago that Captain Alving impregnated… (read full character analysis)