Here’s a run-down of the options, starting with my least favourite – the zombie, at number 10.
How would you like to be a mindless, rotting corpse that eats brains and hangs out in garden sheds? No, me neither. The only place to be when the zombie apocalypse happens is blasting your way out with a pump action shotgun. Let’s move on.
One step up from the mindless zombie is the semi-intelligent ghoul, a kind of re-animated corpse that lurks in graveyards in search of human flesh to devour. Not known for their discernment, ghouls will take pretty much anything that comes their way.
If you’re the kind of person who likes to play silly pranks on unsuspecting strangers, perhaps you’d enjoy being a poltergeist. You’d have no physical presence to speak of, but you could make scary noises and practice levitating small household objects. I suppose it’s better than nothing.
A shadow is a kind of half-hearted ghost, or a shy spirit. They don’t seem to do very much, just absorb light in a slightly worrying fashion. I can’t really see the attraction.
Here’s one that’s strictly for the ladies, and you’d need a good singing voice if you’re going to cut it in this job. It’s not a barrel of laughs, haunting desolate moors and wailing whenever someone’s about to die, but I suppose someone’s got to do it.
Much better than the mindless corpse crew, you’d at least have the fun of floating through walls to scare people. But ghosts are usually restricted to the place they died and are often the victims of some violent and terrible end. Not really a recipe for happy ever after.
A variation of a ghost. A revenant is a ghost with a mission – namely to right some injustice, which does give a purpose to the afterlife, and the possibility of extracting a horrible revenge on someone who truly deserves it.
Now we’re getting somewhere. Want to spend eternity in a hot, sunny climate with plenty of time to enjoy to all the treasures you managed to hoard while you were alive? Let’s hope no greedy tomb robbers or curious archaeologists disturb you, or they’d surely invoke your wrath.
Not the silly sparkly things that Stephenie Meyer’s feeble imagination conjured up. I’m talking about evil monsters that fear garlic and holy symbols, and simply detest beach holidays. You’d have to spend the hours of daylight in a dirt-filled coffin, but when night comes it’d be payback time, with beautiful young virgins and blood-sucking orgies to get the party started.
In fantasy fiction, a lich is a great wizard who achieves a status of eternal non-death through the use of magic. The lich is powerful, intelligent and often rules over lesser undead creatures. Now that would be awesome. Liches are often depicted as skeletal creatures dressed in rotting robes, but I don’t think that’s a hard and fast rule. You could probably wear Gucci if you wanted to.
What about you? Do you have a favourite undead fiend that you’re secretly hoping to become when you die? Or would you prefer to lie quietly in the ground, resolutely refusing to bother the living?