*SPOILER WARNING* Ghost Jamie! What We Know and What We Don’t, Let’s Discuss Our Theories   58 comments

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***Ye be warned, there are spoilers from all the books in this post***

For years book readers have delved into the theory of “Ghost Jamie” and have been fascinated by it. I’m sure people who watch the series are intrigued as well. Who was the highlander looking up longingly at Claire through the window? Below we’ll discuss what we know and what we don’t know. If you haven’t read the books and don’t want to be spoiled, you’d best stay away from this post. We’d love to hear your theories about ghost Jamie in the comments as well. All screencaps and GIFs in this post were made by us.


For myself, as a book reader for the past 15 years, ghost Jamie has very much been an intrigue right from the start. Each time a new book comes out, I try to see if there’s anything that can be related to Jamie’s ghost. So much so, that when episode 1 of Outlander came out, one of the first GIF sets I made was the one at the top of this post. I even dedicated part of our early podcasts to Jamie’s ghost and my theory about him, which I’ll link at the bottom of this post. 

For Research purposes here are the UHQ screencaps, you can click on them to make them bigger. 

For those of you who watched the series first, it’s quite obvious that it’s Jamie. You can clearly see that the bonnet he’s wearing is the same as the one in other episodes, like episode 1×04 the Gathering (screencap below). For book readers, it wasn’t quite as obvious at first. We knew it might be Jamie, but never had official confirmation from Diana until a couple of years later.

Jamie wearing the same bonnet as ghost Jamie

For those who haven’t read the books, here are the three pages in Outlander that discuss Frank’s encounter with Jamie’s ghost (pages 18 to 20 depending on your version of the book). You can click to make them bigger. 

This brings us to one of our first facts, Frank has seen Jamie’s ghost. 

Over the past couple of years Diana has given us a bit of information on Jamie’s ghost. She’s told us that his ghost is 25 years old at the time he visits Claire. She’s also told us that the book series will have this scene in the ending. One of the major things we don’t know, when we read the books, is what actually happened on Culloden Moor. Jamie has severe PTSD, he has a few flashbacks, however there isn’t a clear image of what happened during the battle. We have no idea why Jamie woke up with Black Jack Randall lying on top of him. Jamie has completely blocked out what happened during the battle of Culloden. Therefore as readers, we still have no clue what occurred during the battle.

For filming purposes, they have already filmed parts of the battle in the series. However, the scenes had to be shot, as the actors will age and might look very different by the end of the series. Therefore, we don’t know how true to the books the battle scenes are. Diana has been very secretive about what happened during the battle of Culloden. I believe this is also something she is keeping for the final book. 

Claire picking forget-me-nots at the stones

*UPDATE* Diana also said that the forget-me-nots at the stones are very important. Diana told Ron he absolutely had to include them in the scene. That it was the one thing he could not leave out. 

What we know: 

  • It is in fact Jamie’s ghost. Diana has confirmed this;
  • Jamie can’t travel through the stones;
  • Frank has seen Jamie’s ghost;
  • Diana has confirmed that Jamie’s ghost is 25;
  • Jamie’s ghost is the same age Jamie would have been during the battle of Culloden;
  • The last book will contain the scene of Jamie’s ghost looking up at Claire through the window;
  • Jamie can see things through dreams;
  • The forget-me-nots that Claire picks at Craigh Na Dun are very important. 

What we don’t know: 

  • Why is Jamie at ghost at 25, we all know he lives longer than that; 
  • Why is ghost Jamie sad looking up at Claire;
  • What really happened at Culloden; 
  • How is the story going to end with this;
  • Will it go full loop to this scene and end that way? 


Here’s the podcast where I discuss what my ghost Jamie theory is. It starts at the 43:00 minute mark. 


What are your theories on ghost Jamie? We’d love to hear them. If you have anything to add as well, it would be great! Please leave your theories and additions in the comments. 

58 responses to “*SPOILER WARNING* Ghost Jamie! What We Know and What We Don’t, Let’s Discuss Our Theories

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  1. Maybe during the battle he was so close to death, that it was his soul that traveled during that time to see Claire. (thinking out loud) But, why it would of went back to that point in time is strange. They have technically not met yet. Maybe he was thinking at the moment he wanted to see Claire before they ever really did meet. Interesting question, i am curious of others thoughts as well. My other out there theory is that maybe, he did die. And maybe Claire somehow did die as well at the stones. And everything that we have read or see so far is them actually living their lives in the alternate reality. Since they were always meant to be together. (i know this is out there, haha)

    • That theory about them both having died and their reunion, etc. were not living events came to me as well as I was reading beginning of your article. She might have died when she returned thru the stones, altho that would also rule out Bree, Roger, etc. . Although there is a lot of trauma and heartache to come which I wouldn’t associate with the afterlife makes sense and is added to my strongest theories. As long as they are together forever. Always remember Ghost and Mrs. Muir when his ghost returns for her at her death.

    • That’s interesting and the first part is on par with the theory I talk about in the podcast.

  2. In my opinion Jamie is dead when hurted from his uncle during the return travel from France. His soul calls Claire back to the stones and she comes in the past before he dies. That’s the reason he is so connected with her and his family in the There are many elements about Claire soul in the books, and in the 7^ he defines Claire’s soul “old” and in danger. Jaimie has a secret that Diana hasn’t revealed jet……

  3. HUM! Very profound Jennifer!! I must admit, I have no clue whatsoever. I’ll have to think about that one.

    Danielle Levasseur
  4. I will be disappointed if the whole thing is like a St. Elsewhere snow-globe situation, with Jamie having died at Culloden all along. But I like your theory a lot!

  5. I think the ghost of Jamie is marking the end of the 200 year purgatory that he said he would endure for the life he had led. God shows him Claire — the beginning of the life he is to have with her.

  6. I don’t think she’ll be so cruel as to write him dead all this time cause too much story wise has happened and she wouldn’t want to lose sails if folks were to find out she did that. Maybe he died for a moment at Culloden at that is why he is 25 when we see him as a ghost. Granted I could be wrong we’ll see. Granted the we’ll see is probably quite a few years down he road cause of how long it takes her to write each book LOL. Don’t some claim when we die we look like how we would in our late 20s to 30s that could be a reason we see him at 25. Hasn’t it also been pointed out in a book not sure if side or big one that he’ die 9 times the 9th being the final time or something that could explain how we have him as a ghost at 25 also. I worry about how we see him as a ghost at 25 but at same time now there is no point to worrying now since finding out is still so far off.

    • I don’t think she’d do that either. That’s my theory that I talk about in the podcast there. That Jamie died for a moment at Culloden and went to see Claire. I don’t know about the part on how we look, however Diana is very specific about the age 25. Which has to mean something.

      I don’t recall that from the books, but it’s possible. Anyone else know?

      Of course we won’t know until a couple of years, however it’s still fun to speculate and see what everyone else thinks 🙂

      • It sounds feasible but whey does he go to the time before they met? Wouldn’t it be when she is pregnant? My thinking is maybe he has had dreams about her and can see her and when he is at Culloden and dies for a moment he goes to see her as a ghost and that starts the ball rolling.

  7. My theory: Jaime doesn’t time travel but does appear to have out of body experiences when he dreams. **Spoiler** He sees Brianna and Roger at the Reverend’s mansion and describes a telephone to Claire. When Claire time travels she goes 202 years. Maybe he is at Culloden , has an out of body experience and “travels” 202 years to see Claire. I think when he first sees her in his time he realizes he has dreamed of her. This puzzle occupies may too much of my time. 🙂

    • That’s plausible, but then how would Frank have felt and seen him if it was an out of body experience?

      • Right, now I’m spending the rest of my day trying to figure that out.

      • Dont forget though Frank does tie into all of this going on as well. He was Claires first love, and hi ancestor as we all know has caused a tremendous amount of pain for all of them. So maybe his soul (best way to explain) is also tied into it all, which means there could be a possibility of him being able to see Jaime.

  8. I think Jamie and Black Jack gravely wounded each other at Culloden. Jamie fell to the ground and his heart stopped. He was dead for a few moments during which time his soul left his body and traveled to the future because he knew that’s where he could see Claire again. He was heartbroken and grieving for the life they could have had together but was lost (or so the thought at the time). Back in the past Black Jack was dying from his wounds. Within a few moments he fell on top of Jamie and he died. The force of his body falling on Jamie started Jamie’s heart back up and that’s when Jamie’s ghost suddenly retreated and was gone. Jamie lived and the story continued. I will be glad when this mystery is finally solved, lol.

  9. When I read the books two years ago I have to admit I plowed through them without benefit of the years of re-reading and thought processes early readers had in the wait for new material. As such, I decided to take what the bed and breakfast owner said to Frank and Claire after they noticed the blood over doorways. So I took it to mean that in Sawain ghosts are released and are free to cross over into the physical world. Because I believe that when we cross over we do not stay the age we die at, rather we return in our prime.😕 That’s me. I not once had a thought beyond that, and so this discussion has peaked my interest. Like I said, I read like a bridegroom on his wedding night. Get the job done!😕 At 75 now, or will be in just a matter of weeks, I pray for life and a thinking mind when the book that explains it all is published.

  10. Jamie tells Claire when they part that he will find her. When ever Jamie dies he looks for her, as promised, and finds her in modern Scotland. He is there as a ghost (appearing as they parted he was 25) calling her back to him and she follows the next day. She travels back to a young Jamie and meets AGAIN for the first time. I believe this is a continuous life circle they live over and over again.

    • Like a loop? That’s pretty interesting. So their story would run over and over again?

    • This is my theory too (look above) !!! Claire returns
      before he dies. Maybe in a fight maybe in Culloden. Or because of the wound around his neck that she cares for.Jamie always tells about his uncle trying to kill him . And surely has a great secret which isn’t a second wife😂😂😂

  11. ***Spoiler*** We know from many of the books that Jamie dreams of the future, past and his now. I think it is part of his particular gift. We can surmise from Voyager that Jamie and Claire do share dreams. Often they would wake having dreamed of each other, during the 20 years apart. In those dreams they could feel each other as real. It did help keep the love alive for them, speared on the wings of desire to be with each other again. I think perhaps Jamie either while knocked out at Colleden or in dream state was able to visit Claire as a ghost especially at all Saints day. It would explain how he can see other things with their family, like Jem and the phone at the Manse and with Claire in the then time. Jamie I think just travels in a differing way. Perhaps he is an anchor point for all the other travelers in his and Claires life? They all do tend to be steered to where they are meant to be and what they are meant to do. It is part I think of why so many odd and strange things happen around them and to them. Perhaps Guillie was right, eh, they travel to effect Change. Just maybe not the changes on a larger scale. Like the uprising. They do get swept along in the American civil war. They set out intending to go to Scotland and poof they are swept up in the war in America. When they complete what was required they are assisted to go where they originally intended to all along. This kind of thing tends to happen often. When they stray from what ever they know to be true, they end up paying dear for it later. Like: Jamie marring Leg hair, Claire marrying LJG, or Claires agreement with Frank, or Jamies attempt to change when BJR is meant to die. It even happens for Breanna and Roger and for Furgus and Marsaili.

    • I really liked reading your theory. This is all very fascinating as I mentioned in the post.

    • Absolutely fascinating theory! Both Jamie and Claire are very sensitive to each other – their lives are so intermingled – it is “that is what is between us” quote between Jamie and Claire in Season 1- something so powerful and yet unexplainable. They have this unexplainable bond. I think Jamie is so spiritually aware and deeply connected to those he loves. I love the scene of his “Ghost” appearing in Season 1 – so full of mystery. It is that they never really die – but float between centuries, almost like the Twilight Zone. I like your theory though. Fascinating.

    • Claire marrying LJG??????

  12. Well I had a thought much different from those above, regarding a reunion with Master Raymond. We were told by Donner or Otter Tooth, I don’t remember which, that Raymond had the ability to walk thru time. Obviously the items in his shop in Paris showed skeletons from animals long extinct, or perhaps coming from the future. Remember Raymond telling Claire that blue was her color of her aura and then in the novella “The Space Between”, Raymond tells the living “mystery person” that only Raymond’s people have blue light/aura. So obviously when Claire’s hair turns white and she has her full power of healing thru the blue light. When this happens perhaps this is when Raymond re-enters their lives. And at the end of Jamie and Claire’s lives Raymond
    gives Jamie the gift of seeing Claire through the different stages of her life that he has missed. But he would see her at the same age that Claire was. In other words if Jamie saw her as a little girl, Jamie would appear as a young boy., etc. Well, this is just my theory, I could be completely wrong. Who knows the mind of Herself!

  13. If you read the books Jamie can travel in dreams he saw fiona and kissed Bree’s birthmark when she was in her own time . We know Jamie was close to death after Culloden maybe he travelled in his fever dream . Maybe he was un happy cause he figured hecwentbto wrong time and Bree was notvthere

  14. I always wondered if this was his way of making sure Claire comes to him at first. Wasn’t there a scene in one of the books where he tells her he “saw” her in that room when he was at Ardsmuir?

  15. We know time travellers can’t exist in the same time twice so I’m thinking that their ghosts can’t be in the same time line as their living person. So Jamie and Claire die sometime in early 1800s, fairly close together (cos I can’t bear for them to be apart) and their ghost are together happily haunting whoever they please until 1918 when Claire is born. Claire’s ghost can’t be around because Claire is now alive so Jamie’s ghost is wandering around the after life all sad and lonesome. Finally Beltane 1945 and he knows that Claire will go through the stones and he’ll be able to meet up with ghost Claire again. That’s why he is watching her through the window knowing he’ll be with her again soon

  16. I wonder if he was sad because he really just wanted to check that she had got back safely before Culloden but realised that he was 2 years early and she would not yet know him?

  17. Jamie and Clair return to Scotland in their old age with the rest of the family. Jamie passes away and is buried in the grave that Frank built for him when Clair had first returned during Culleden. Clair is still living on and she and the rest of the family plan to return to their lives 202 years later. They all go thru the stones but Clair is thinking of Frank and ends up returning to 1945. The rest of the family goes to 1965 where they finish their lives. They have no idea where Clair had gone.
    During Sanhwain when the “souls” of the dead can return to the living, Jamies soul is yearning for Clair and sees her in the window. Frank doesn’t physically feel Jamie but he feels spiritually the ghost. Clair goes back to 1774 and Jamie is still alive in that year and the story begins again. Life is a circle that goes around and around!

  18. Re Jamie’s Ghost…. I remember an article that Cat did that explained a part of Claire died when she went back to Frank. Perhaps the reason Jamie’s Ghost is 25 is his spirit his sole died at that age. His Ghost called to her. In MOBY he dreams of Brea and the 70’s. He dreams about the Mans and modern Lallybrook. He dreams of things that are happening with his Family. As to why Frank can see him. Not a clue except as a means to get the attention of Clare.

  19. I’ve thought about all this for years now and am no closer to guessing what might happen. I do think that the fact that Jamie doesn’t physically travel but does seem to travel in his dreams is significant. We need to remember that Diana has said that the forget-me-nots are very important (she told Ron that that was the one thing he absolutely could not leave out), and she also said that she doesn’t plan to kill Jamie & Claire off at the end of the story. Maybe we can kidnap Sam, tie him down, and tickle him until he tells us the answer, since he & Ron are the only ones who know.

    • I always wonder why the forget-me-nots are important. I’ll add that in the original post at the top.

    • Jennifer, the idea of tickling Sam has me now laughing for at least half an hour. This is the sweetest and most hilarious comment I’ve read. 🔝🔝😁😁👌👌

  20. Following your theory, maybe that is why Jamie saw Claire walking on Culloden field. He had died for a short period and went back to Claire. OR. Jamie’s ghost went back to see Claire after he dies. But he went back further to see her before the time he had known her, just to get to know her even more and then watch her life, which would include her time with him. So if Jamie’s ghost watched Claire from the time after the war, could he watch her during her time with him ?

  21. can someone explain his son Willie which was conceived after Culloden?

  22. I’ve always wondered if it was really a ghost. The clothes you see, his jacket could be modern for that time. Even though it has said so far Jamie can’t time travel there are too many people around him that can so we never know if eventually he finds a way. We don’t know if this is for sure a “ghost” because we know Frank doesn’t believe in anything Claire went through for quite some time and may have always held onto his doubts about it all. How then is he able to see and feel this person? In the book he says he saw someone in full Highland dress standing in the rain. It is described in the sense that he saw a physical person not a ghost. Due to the weather and late hour of night Frank is confused on what exactly he saw but there is thought that it could have been a real person. That seems quite intentional to someone who doesn’t believe in ghosts or time travel. If Jamie is a ghost then I think his visit could happen at several times, even outside Culloden. Ghosts are “ageless” so it could be any one of the 9 times he is near death. We know Claire travels back to him so it seems this could be a closing point where Jamie sees where the story began for himself. He sees how Claire’s life changed from what it could have been with a life with Frank and how he played a part in that. It’s interesting for sure.

  23. I don’t think it is really a ghost, but more like an Astral Projection. Like when Claire was dying from Malva’s poison, she left her body, and saw her body from above. When Jamie dreams, he can see the future, other places, and perhaps leave his body to travel. That doesn’t require being a ghost, but it may look like that to people who can see him. He was seen around All Hollows Eve, when ghosts can be seen in Scotland. That probably has something to do with it too.

    David AJ Wedell
  24. Jamie had a near death, out of body experience at Culloden. When his friends found him on the battlefield, he heard them and came back.

  25. The Flower Essence Society states: Forget me nots gives comfort through dreams by opening direct or indirect contact with these beings in another dimension. It comforts because we realize the true, immortal and spiritual human nature through these contacts.

    Besides favoring dreams and memory on a physical level, Forget me nots reinforces the remembrance of our true spiritual nature through the connection with our guides, and members of our human family, in another dimension.

    We’re all spiritual beings in a terrestrial journey.

  26. I have read all the interesting theories.I’m still asking confused as ever about Jamies’ “ghost” appearance in 1945! I just pray I’m not a “ghost” by the time DG decides to “reveal” the meaning behind Jamies’ “ghost”,and the for-get-me-not flowers’ significance.DG has a very diabolical mind! I wish she’d explain it now!

  27. Obviously we are all fanatical about Outlander! I think after they die, his ghost goes back to find Claire and their story begins again… and again so they are never ending (which would please me a great deal). I don’t have an explanation as to why Claire is there in the flesh in 1945. Even though I will be devastated when the 10th book is complete and there will be no more Jamie & Claire or Outlander, I look forward to knowing about Jamie’s ghost.

  28. Has anyone noticed a discrepancy with flowers at the base of the stone. In the opening sequence, durning song, at the end, there are very clear forget-me-nots. When frank and Claire visit the stone those are forget-me-nots as well. When she goes goes back alone, to pick them, the are purple asters. Look closely! She picks a segment of it and takes it with her as a sample. I rewound it and asked my husband to look too and we compared them flowers to a guide. I wonder if this was filmed at different times and the forget-me-nots we no longer in season. I was wondering if anyone has noticed this?

  29. I have jumped back into this one (I had commented back in June 15, 2018)- Jamie’s ghost in Season 1 episode 1 – is what started the whole beauty of this story of two incredible people who are so connected that – as the saying goes ” and the two shall become one”. Their love and that indefinable bond is what sustains them.

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