News that Cady McClain is returning as an angelic version of Dixie on AMC reminded me of how many other times a popular character's "ghost" or "angel" has unfortunately appeared only for said character to one day return on the flesh.
When the deranged Orpheus caused the plane carrying beloved Days of Our Lives heroine Dr. Marlena Evans Brady (Deidre Hall) to crash in 1987, the character "died" instantly. Her ghost appeared to John (Drake Hogestyn) (whom she then believed to be her husband Roman) and encouraged him to let her go and get on with his life. Eventually, he did just that, with socialite Diana Colville (Genie Francis), Yvette and later Victor Kiriakis' illegitimate daughter Isabella Toscano (Staci Greason), only for Marlena to return to Salem alive and well, fresh from a coma with a rocking new hairdo in '91.
Josh Lewis (Robert Newman) was devastated when the love of his life (and his brother's life and his father's life) Reva Shayne (Kim Zimmer) drove off that fateful Florida bridge in the throes of post partum psychosis in 1990. The sassy blonde's body wasn't recovered and she was declared water logged, I mean dead.
Fast forward five years later, Josh is interested in then perfectly sane nurse Annie Dutton (Cynthia Watros). Just as things are starting to heat up for the couple, the vengeful spirit of Josh's ex-wife Reva shows up to torment Bud's new lady friend! The stint proved so popular that TPTB decided to bring Zimmer back full time, explaining that Reva had actually been sick in a coma in Amish country where she lived as amnesiac Rebecca. While she was unconscious, Reva's spirit had traveled home to Springfield to visit her loved ones. Good things to know spirits don't suffer from memory loss!
During the Writers' Strike of 1988 scab writers made the brilliant decision to kill off Jesse Hubbard (Darnell Willams) one half All My Children's groundbreaking, hugely popular supercouple-Angie and Jesse. Angie and Jesse's best friend Tad Martin were both devastated. So much so that old Tad's mind must have been playing tricks on him when Jesse's ghost visited him in 1994 after a tornado ripped through Pine Valley, because as we all know by now, Jesse was alive and well all along. Well, Tad had bumped his head. But how does that explain Jesse being one of the friendly spirits who helped Ryan Lavery's wife Gillian make her transition from Pine Valley to the Pearlie Gates in 2001? Sounds like these stories don't stand a ghost of a chance when it comes to being credible! Can any of you name any other instances of ghostly returns that later became the real thing?