‘I See Dead People’: Pop Culture Mediums, Ranked From Seer To Clueless

It’s pretty common, these days, for entertainment to revolve around the dead. More specifically, people seeing the dead. But a good medium is rare, as we’ll see in this list of people who talk to the dead.

11. Miles, LOST

Miles is the worst medium because he doesn’t even speak to the dead. He just gathers “impressions” from their bodies. He reads the last Post-Its of the dead. He’s not even the best medium on his own show. You don’t get lower than that in the psychic food chain.

10. Ned, Pushing Daisies


It kills us to do this. It does. But the facts are these: Ned’s not a medium. He’s a guy who makes zombies. He’s the anchor to a delightful show, but he doesn’t speak to the dead so much as poke them awake for a few brief moments. That’s still better than Miles, though, so we can at least put him at second to last.

9. Jonah, Jonah Hex

One of the many, many inexplicable changes this movie made to the comic book character it was based on is the fact that Jonah Hex can now talk to the dead. Admittedly, it does lead to a great scene where he gets his butt kicked by a mummy, but… well, actually we guess that’s the only justification we really need. Even so, we’re still ranking him low because, did you see that movie? Maybe he could have used his powers to fix the plot instead.

8. Melinda Gordon, The Ghost Whisperer

Melinda is actually an effective medium, in the sense that she can find a ghost, although only one at a time. The main problem is that she makes piercing the veil between our world and the great beyond pretty freakin’ boring. Really, the show should be titled The Ghost Therapist, or The Ghost Errand-Runner, it’s pretty much all she does. Come on! Do something fun! You can talk to ghosts, maybe see if Jim Morrison is around or something!

7. Oda Mae, Ghost

Let’s be fair to Oda Mae, here: She’s been running a scam for years where she fakes being psychic. One day, a ghost comes along and proves to her she actually is psychic, and that will knock you off your game. But even so, she’s pretty much useless throughout the movie except as a can for Patrick Swayze to walk around in, and can’t even use her experience as a con artist to help him out. Sorry, Oda, but you need to be a little more effectual to rank higher on this list.

6. Hurley, LOST

Where Miles is lame, Hurley is actually a pretty effective medium who not only sees dead people, but can even make other people see dead people. But we’ve got to knock him down pretty far for not using his leverage over Jacob more effectively. At least clear up the plot, Hurley.

5. Cole Sear, The Sixth Sense

Cole doesn’t just rank highly here for his classic line. If you think about it, despite the fact that he’s constantly being attacked by ghosts, he not only manages to find a therapist on his own, he actually manages to treat his therapist and help the guy move on from a severe trauma. And he’s 10. That’s pretty slick for a fourth grader. Melinda should take notes.

4. Lydia Deetz, Beetlejuice

True, if Lydia had just thought before she spoke, most of this movie wouldn’t have happened. On the other hand, she’s also the only person who actually respects the dead couple and doesn’t want to trash their house. Being a good roommate goes a long way.

3. Allison Dubois, Medium

Allison pulls number three on this list because she actually puts her gifts to good use. She figures out an in with the police, and gets to work. Furthermore, her job isn’t just being nice to people: Ghosts lie, her predictions of the future are vague and cryptic, and none of it would actually hold up in court, so even if she figures everything out, she’s still got a job to do.

2. Pac, Deadbeat

Pac of Hulu’s Deadbeat gets a high ranking because he’s getting all the cases those network mediums won’t touch. They hog all the murders and the easy jobs where you just have to find somebody’s wallet, and he’s the guy stuck trying to convince a Jewish man to eat pork, or getting kidnapped by Swedes, or mediating a ghost divorce. Pac’s the working stiff of mediums, and deserves at least a little recognition.

1. Frank Bannister, The Frighteners

Frank is the top of our list for one simple reason: When a ghost screws with him, Frank doesn’t chant a ritual or light a candle. He becomes a ghost, takes some guns off another ghost and shoots the ghost who made him angry, then drags the spirit of the ghost’s accomplice out of her body and packs them both off to hell. He doesn’t even need a proton pack to bust ghosts, that’s how badass Frank is, and why he tops our list.