|Publisher||DC Comics (originally All-American Publications)|
|First appearance||Sensation Comics #1 (Jan. 1942)|
|Alter ego||Keith Everet|
|Notable aliases||Grim Ghost|
Possess a living host|
Incorporeality at will
The Gay Ghost (later renamed the Grim Ghost) is a fictional superhero in the DC Comics universe whose first appearance was in Sensation Comics #1 (Jan. 1942), published by one DC's predecessor companies, All-American Publications. He was created by writer Gardner Fox and artist Howard Purcell.
Fictional character biography
In 1700s Ireland, Keith Everet, the Earl of Strethmere, is killed by footpads as he is on his way to propose to his beloved Deborah Wallace. After his death, he encounters his ancestors, who return him to life in return for a vow to fight for justice. There is one catch: he has to wait for Deborah Wallace to return to Ireland (after emigrating to America) before he can return.
Everet's spirit haunts his castle until 1941, when the last remaining descendant of Deborah Wallace, who shares her name, returns to Ireland together with Charles Collins, her would-be fiance. Unfortunately, they come to the castle at the same time as some Nazi saboteurs and Collins is killed.
Seeing his beloved Deborah in danger, Everet takes over Collins' body, deals with the saboteurs, and returns with Deborah back to America.
Grant Morrison's run on Animal Man conjectures that all characters which were once published by DC comics but are no longer active are sent to a dimension called "Limbo", where they remain until they are revived by returning to active publication. Characters never remember being in limbo. In Animal Man #25, Animal Man becomes the first character to visit limbo while still "current" and encounters a large number of old Golden Age and Silver Age DC comic book characters. The Gay Ghost is among them, but he says that he does not want to be "brought back," since the colloquial meaning of the word gay has changed since the character was created in the 1940s, and he is not himself a homosexual. 
During Final Crisis he is 'brought back'; the inhabitants of Limbo are rescued by Superman and assist him in fighting a cosmic threat. Other inhabitants of Limbo include (but are not limited to) Merry-Man, Ace the Bat-Hound and Hardhat. 
Powers and abilities
The Gay Ghost is able to leave Collins' body at will and can also materialise/dematerialise at will. Apart from that, he is a keen sword- and hand-to-hand fighter.
Law & Order
Gay Ghost comic books were mentioned in Law & Order Season 20, Episode 22 "Love Eternal", which first aired on 5/17/2010. The phrase "he was cheerful" is a recurring line.
- "Animal Man" Vol. 1 #25 (July 1990)
- "Final Crisis Superman Beyond 3D" #1-2 (October 2008)
- Secret Origins Volume 2, #42, story and textpage