Alistair Gilliam
Species: Ghost

Human (Formerly)

Gender: Male
Hair color: Bleached Blonde
Status: Undead
Appearances: The Name of the Star

The Madness Underneath The Shadow Cabinet

Alistair Gilliam was the first ghost that Aurora ‘Rory’ Deveaux encountered. Born in either 1970 or 1971, Alistair was a student at Wexford and lived in the Aldshot boys’ dormitory at the time of his death on Thursday evening, March 16th of 1989. An article publicising his death was published the next day in the Wexford student newsletter.


The eighties look he was rocking- that was no look. That was his actual hairstyle from the actual eighties.
~ Rory, from The Name of the Star

Alistair’s bleached blonde hair is gelled up into elaborate spikes. He wears Doc Martin combat boots and a large trench coat over the Wexford boys’ uniform. Before realising Alistair’s true nature as a ghost, Rory described him as the palest person she had ever seen.


Human Life Edit

Although Alistair's history is predominately unknown, he has shared small amounts of information with Rory and Boo:

  • He was the editor of Wexford's literary magazine.
  • He loved poetry.
  • He was a big fan of The Smiths (especially vocalist Morrissey), and also listened to the likes of The Cure and The Clash.
  • He has a very dry sense of humour.
  • He was a vegetarian.

Alistair was also asthmatic, which was the cause of his death. At eighteen years of age and during his final year at Wexford, Alistair had an asthma attack in his sleep and passed away. All Alistair claims to remember about dying is having a really strange dream before ‘waking up’ and looking down upon his body in his bed.

Prior To The Series

Alistair recalls looking down upon his body on the morning after his death. After realising that he had died, Alistair eventually left the Aldshot building and made his way over to the Wexford library. In over two decades between the shelves, Alistair became quite accustomed to invisibility and the lack of interaction does not seem to bother him. Over the years he encountered a couple of people who actually had the Sight, but he questioned their mental stability. He has often had to put up with high schoolers coming up to vacated parts of the library stacks to make out. This continually irritates him, and in the present day Alistair is therefore unhappy with Jerome from The Name of the Star onwards.

The Name of the Star

Alistair now dedicates the majority of his time to reading all the books within Wexford’s two-storey library. During Rory's first visit to the Wexford library, she roams the upstairs stacks in search of a criticism book. While searching, she comes across Alistair lounging on the floor and singing the lyrics to 'Panic' by The Smiths. She is irritated by this, and tries to get him to move out of the way. However, Alistair barely even responds; he is completely accustomed to being invisible. When Alistair realises that there is no-one else around and that Rory must be talking to him, he is visibly surprised. Despite his reservations over talking to someone (presumably after years of isolation), Alistair gets up and helps her find some appropriate study material. However, Rory is unnerved by his stare and quickly leaves. She is unaware that Alistair is a ghost.

During one of Rory's next visits to the library, she seeks him out for his company and sits beside him to read. Alistair is unresponsive, and Rory notices that he always sits alone and in the dark. She also concludes that he has a weird sense of humour when he merely smirks at the prospect of giving himself 'eye strain'.

At one point, Rory brings Boo to the library for a joint study session. Alistair dryly congratulates Rory on hanging around with another person who has the Sight, but Rory misunderstands him. Boo is quietly surprised to find that Rory unknowingly has a ghost as an acquaintance. She encourages Rory to leave them alone for a few minutes, much to Rory's confusion. Boo presumably sits with Alistair to discuss Rory's Sight, her ignorance, and the possibility of keeping it a secret from her.

After Rory discovers she has the Sight and is struggling to cope, Boo takes her to the library specifically to see Alistair. At first it does not register with Rory that Alistair has been a ghost all this time. As this sinks in, Rory doesn't know what to think and begins a nervous laugh that escalates until she is borderline hysterical. After she calms, Alistair jumps down from the windowsill and directs her to a newspaper archive containing an article on his passing. Moving on, Boo explains to Alistair that Rory is helping the Shades' investigation in the copy-cat killer case. Alistair agrees to write Rory's assignment for her in exchange for some albums.

Later, Rory is distressed and wanders up to the library to sit with Alistair. When Rory expresses her general fear of death, Alistair is initially dismissive and reluctant to discuss the topic. However, he realises the severity of the threat when Rory divulges that the killer is after her personally and that her imminent death has become a possibility. Alistair becomes sympathetic, and he finally opens up to her by discussing his memory and personal experience of death. Alistair confides that, given the choice, he would leave "in a second". Rory grasps her terminus, but backs down when she ultimately realises that she considers Alistair to be her classmate. Alistair is obviously unaware that such a device exists, and Rory chooses not to offer him that information. This is the last time that Rory sees Alistair before her hospitalisation and eventual departure from London.

At some point, Boo seeks out Alistair to inform him about Newman's attack and Rory's 'permanent' relocation to Bristol with her parents.

The Madness Underneath

In The Madness Underneath, Rory chooses to go to the library to find Alistair because she is in need of someone to talk to. Alistair is surprised when Rory approaches him as he had not expected to ever see her again. Rory notes that Alistair "isn't the hugging type", but takes it as a good sign that he has not immediately recommenced reading. Rory considers Alistair to be a friend, and is reluctant to get too physically close to him now that she has absorbed the power of the terminus. She realises that she could destroy him with a single touch, and tries to warn Alistair against approaching her without explicitly disclosing her new-found ability. They discuss the closing of the copy-cat killer case, and Alistair expresses his mistrust of public authority figures. Before long, Rory's 'make out buddy' and friend Jerome finds Rory ostensibly alone on the library floor. Jerome is unaware of Alistair's presence, and moves to kiss Rory. This annoys Alistair. Alistair gets up and asks that they leave, standing only a few inches from Rory in the process. Rory realises how close Alistair is getting to her leg and immediately recoils from him, shrieking for him to stay back.

Alistair is left confused by Rory's eccentric behaviour, unaware that she had only been worried about his safety. To this aim, Rory resolves that she should avoid contact with Alistair until she knows her terminus ability is under control.

The Shadow Cabinet

Alistair makes a very brief appearance towards the end of The Shadow Cabinet. When Rory sneaks into the Wexford library after hours, she hands him a slip of paper with Boo's spare cellphone number. Rory tells Alistair to send her a text if he ever finds himself in trouble. Alistair questions why he would ever need help, but agrees to keep the number.

As Rory leaves, Alistair calls out to her and says that he is glad that she is okay.


Alistair is a variation of the Greek name "Alastor", which means "Avenging spirit, " or "The avenger."