- “Seems like some poor blighters have started seeing ghosts. Ghosts! Ryan tells me it's a side effect of this Plasmid business. One poor sod's memories getting passed on to another through genetic sampling. Leaks. Lunatics. Rebellion. And now bleeding ghosts. Ain't life in Rapture grand?”
- ― Bill McDonagh[src]
Ghosts are the leftover memories caused by a crossover of genes during genetic sampling, caused by the use of recycled ADAM harvested from corpses by Little Sisters. Ghosts feature prominently in the story of BioShock, and are sometimes equally as important as Audio Diaries. They are also a way of displaying to the player the exact repercussions caused by excessive use of ADAM.
- Main article: BioShock
When Jack encounters ghosts, the screen dims and fills with static noise. The ghosts then subsequently appear, recount the memory, and then the screen returns to normal.
- “I'm too spliced up, I'm too spliced up! Now nobody's gonna want me!”
- ― Female ghost, ladies' room in the Kashmir Restaurant.
- “You promised me pretty, Steinman. You promised me pretty. Now look at me! LOOK AT ME!”
- ― Female ghost, shrieking in the Medical Pavilion Foyer.
- “Ghost #1: You can't quit, Fontaine will find you.
Ghost #2: Hey, fuck Fontaine.
Ghost #1: You don't fuck Fontaine, Fontaine fucks you!”
- ― Two male ghosts, coming from Smuggler's Hideout.
- “Angelina: *Giggles*, What are you waiting for silly? It's beautiful.”
- ― Angelina's ghost, entering Arcadia's Tea Garden.
- “Angelina: Oh sugar, I'm spliced up in ways you've never dreamed of.
Dieter: Get over here.
- ― Angelina and Dieter Sonnekalb's ghosts, on a bench in the Tea Garden.
- “Well, if it isn't long lost Andrew Ryan. Mm mm mm... come here, tiger.”
- ― Jasmine Jolene, in Eve's Garden.
- “I thought you had forgotten about poor Jasmine, but I am so glad you didn't.”
- ― Jasmine Jolene, backstage in Eve's Garden.
- “I'm sorry Mr. Ryan, I didn't know.... I didn't know Fontaine had something to do with it, I- what? What are you doing?! No, no don't plea-! I loved you, don't, don't please, no! NO! *Screams*.”
- ― Jasmine Jolene, in a room at Eve's Garden.
- “Ghost #1: The circuit breaker's over there, yeah.
Ghost #2: Why can't Ryan take care of this crap himself?
Ghost #1: Because Mr. Ryan's got more important things to do than to enforce loyalty in the ranks. Say hello to Fontaine, you back-stabbing son of a bitch!
Ghost #2: *Screams*.”
- ― Two male ghosts, fixing machinery in Hephaestus Heat Loss Monitoring.
- “You think Ryan's gonna be there for ya when you're down n' out? No... Fontaine, Fontaine's the man with the helping hand!”
- ― Male ghost, speaking out in Apollo Square.
- “Please, papa Suchong! I don't wanna go on the table!”
- ― Little Sister test subject, in the surgery room of Optimized Eugenics.
- Main article: BioShock 2
They are characterized by a visual overlay of retinal blood vessels (Purkinje tree) and a distinct "blood pumping in the ears" sound effect. They are not stored in the Radio Messages in the player's inventory. However, once closer in proximity to Eleanor in Persephone, her messages will be transmitted over the radio.
- ― Approaching the Gatherer's Garden in Plasmid Therapy.
- “Father, it's me, Eleanor. I know you're awake in there, I can feel it. Mother won't be able to...to toy with you like that. Ever again. This Plasmid is for you. If I'm right, you can use it now. Please, find me!”
- ― Finding Telekinesis in the Jet-Postal mail room.
- “Until you arrive, Father, I'm trapped here. Smuggling these gifts out is the most I can do to help.”
- ― Finding Drill Power and the Audio Diary, Eat Dog, on the way to the El Dorado Lounge.
- “Here, Father. It's yours. You are evolving quickly, but your heart is getting weaker. I can keep you alive, but you must find me!”
- ― Finding Hypnotize when entering The Limbo Room in Skid Row.
- “I think Mother knows I'm helping you like this. She's accelerating my treatments. Don't give up on me!”
- ― Finding Security Command in the Maintenance Area from Little Eden Plaza to Plaza Hedone.
- “You're not alone, Father - the girls you rescued are on your side. Check the Gatherer's Garden for a package.”
- ― First Little Sister Gift containing Proud Parent if player rescued the Little Sisters.
- “Take this, Father, and hurry...Mother can't hear this but she's...she's looking right at me. And her face...”
- ― Finding the Launcher.
- “Father, this ADAM you've found contains memories from all the bodies here. Normally, only a Little Sister can see them… but I can show you what Stanley's trying to hide… When mother was taken away, Stanley was left in charge of Dionysus Park… he spent all her money, threw these mad parties — it was like he was trying to ruin her…”
- ― First round of ADAM corpses.
- “The girls you've saved from Mother want to thank you, Father. Check the Gatherer's Garden.”
- ― Second Little Sister Gift containing Demanding Father if player rescued the Little Sisters.
- “That's me, there… I confronted Stanley — said I'd tell mother what he had done. He panicked — took me away and sold me to an orphanage. I tried to fight back… I remember biting his hand, but… Father, he's the reason I was turned into a Little Sister…”
- ― Second round of ADAM corpses.
- “With me gone, Father… Stanley just let mother's followers turn into animals. When word came that she was returning, he knew they would blame him — so he found a way to silence them all… And now he's trying to cover it up…”
- ― Third round of ADAM corpses.
- “Mother's not lying this time, Father...he really did it...to both of us.”
- ― Meeting Stanley Poole in the unlocked control booth.
- “This is where they bound us together, Father… playing God… you were the only good thing Rapture ever gave me…”
- ― Approaching Alpha Series Candidate Induction in the ADAM Research Laboratory.
- “The girls are whispering, Father...they've left you a present at the Gatherer's Garden...take it...”
- ― Third Little Sister Gift containing if player rescued the Little Sisters.
- “Father, come quickly. I'm trapped in a cage...something's wrong...”
- ― Approaching the Examination Rooms.
Behind the ScenesEdit
- Although BioShock 2 does not feature ghosts as portrayed in BioShock, the launch trailer for BioShock 2 does contain a scene featuring a large assortment of ghosts dancing. As revealed by BioShock 2 Creative Director Jordan Thomas in an interview with GamesRadar, the idea of ghosts and genetic memories would have originally played a larger role in BioShock 2 as more than just cutscenes: "There were a number of playable flashbacks, which had a prequel-like flavor, but were much more subjective, like memories that you were uncovering. But they were terrible. What Rapture was like in its heyday appeals on paper, but it meant you really couldn’t play the game. Players sleepwalked through each scene, which was pretty, but not particularly convincing."
- A removed "Eleanor vision" that is still present in the game files reveals that the developers at one point intended Subject Delta to be Eleanor's actual biological father. It would have stated that Sofia Lamb bought Delta's DNA while he was imprisoned in Persephone. Sofia did not explicitly choose Delta; she simply needed the seed by which she could make Eleanor.
- However, another unused file shows they also planned to make it clear she was not Delta's daughter. 
- The second memory seen after dealing with the second Little Sister in Dionysus Park is flawed. It starts showing a regular Little Sister, supposed to be Eleanor, and ends using Eleanor's actual child model.
- BioShock shares similar ghost apparitions with System Shock 2, Irrational Games' first game and the spiritual predecessor of BioShock. The reason for their apparitions aboard the Von Braun starship are however due to the protagonist's cybernetic implants, which like Plasmids upgrade his abilities. Also on the Medical Deck, a ghost is seen banging at a locked door, begging to be let in, just like at the Medical Pavilion in BioShock.