Hetty

Hetty is Samantha’s great-great-great-grandmother who built Woodstone Mansion and will fiercely protect its honor. Hetty was a socialite in her lifetime and is intolerant of those that don’t display decorum worthy of the upper class. She often looks down upon the couple and other ghosts for their undistinguished behavior.

Played by: Rebecca Wisocky
Family members: Sam Arondekar (her great-great-great-granddaughter), Sophia Woodstone (her great-granddaughter), Elias Woodstone (her second cousin and husband), Jay Arondekar (by marriage), Margaret (her sister), David Woodstone (her great-great-great-grandson)
Abilities:
Ghostly Ability:
Occupation in life: Robber Baroness
Cause of death:

 

Personality

Hetty Woodstone has very outdated views on society. As a child her parents employed children in their factory and her husband did the same. She also doesn’t believe women should vote, use their voice in any way to disrespect their husband, and that their place is in the home. She also is not a fan of the Irish, believing them to be thieves and liars and often insulting them through demeaning stereotypes. She has a personality much like those who lived in the upper class during the last 19th century. Hetty would not consider herself a people person nor one to go with the flow.

She can be very materialistic, pretentious, and often looks down her nose at others who are not as rich as she was in life. She enjoys the finer things in life such as money, fancy dresses, and dinner parties, and takes a lot of pride in her home. She has very specific ideas of how things should be done and can be a bit stubborn in her stance. She can also be very critical, often pointing out all the things she does not understand or like about Sam or Jay’s life choices. She is also very judgemental as to the way Sam dresses. Hetty is a smidge xenophobic as evidenced by her disdain with people of Irish descent. Furthermore, she confesses that she wasn’t a good person in life as she stole from and exploited others, profiting for her own, or as she sees it, her husband’s wealth. We see a little of her living personality chip away over the course of the first season. In the episode “Viking Funeral”, Alberta convinces Hetty to vote for her as the ghost representative by telling her how hard it was for women to vote,how much harder it was for women of color, and how people had to sacrifice for that right. In “Possession”, we see a more regretful side to Hetty as she reminisces on years lost putting her husband’s needs before her own and not living the life she should’ve.

By “The Vault”, Hetty has grown less obedient as inspired by her observations of Sam. In this episode, she demonstrates growing confidence and strength as she states that she has changed for the better and that she has learned how to speak her mind and that everyone deserves respect, even the Irish.

As we see in ‘Thorapy‘, Hetty is not used to being romantically desired or wanted as her husband often engaged in affairs in other women. We also know she was neglected as a child. So when Issac tries to come on to her, she is excited by the possibility that she is being seduced and craves the romantic attention. She claims that she knew that there was a possibility that they had romantic tension and then begs for him to kiss her, exclaiming that she wants him. However, later that evening, Isaac comes to Hetty to apologize for his behavior. When she sees that he is having trouble with expressing himself, Hetty summons him to sit next to her and lets him know that they have been friends for 130 years and that he can tell her anything. He then admits that he has feelings for Nigel, not her. Hetty responds with love and acceptance stating that he has not been living a lie but that instead for the time that shes known him, he has been her dear friend. They then reminisce about a worker who was in the house and comment on his appearance and she regrets that they haven’t been doing this all along.

In “Attic Girl”, Hetty becomes more resolute in using her voice to stand up for what’s right. She is appalled when she learns of Stephanie, the teenage ghost’s betrayal of Pete’s trust and in tricking the others to play what she called a harmless prank on Sam. She takes great offense to Stephanie’s behavior toward her fourth great granddaughter and leads the others in agreeing to not attend the ghost prom at all.

History

Born into money, Hetty has a history common of most girls born in the 1800s. Her parents were emotionally distant and ran a factory that employed children at least 7 years of age. As a young child, Hetty could see Thorfinn whose name she was unable to pronounce so she called him Gordon and mistook him for one of the servants of the house. Thorfinn would sing Hetty to sleep every night which Hetty looks back on fondly.

As a young woman, Hetty was married to her second cousin Elias to whom she was offered by her father as a means of closing a land deal and she was deemed as the best choice as opposed to her sister Margaret who had a mustache. She remembers the occasion as a negative one commenting that he arrived “late, drunk, and smelling of the maid’s perfume.” The marriage turned out to be just as horrible if not more so than her wedding, as Elias could not keep it in his pants and affairs became the norm. This led Hetty to turn to various means of coping such as the use of cocaine and laudanum.

During the series premiere, Hetty is present at the bedside of her great great granddaughter Sophia’s death bed. She briefly gets to speak to her after her passing but Sophia ends up getting “sucked off”, instead of joining her in the perpetual purgatory known as Woodstone Mansion. Upon Sophia’s passing, her great niece, Samantha and her husband Jay inherit the large estate and promptly move in with plans to turn the house into a Bed and Breakfast.

Due to the era in which she lived, Hetty’s conservative and outdated views often conflict with Samantha’s more progressive personality. She is baffled by her style of dress, her makeup choices, and the fact that Samantha works while her husband cooks. She often gives Samanta advice based around the notion of keeping a man loyal, something she was unable to do in life. Over time, we learn that Hetty spent most of her life putting her needs second to that of her husband and deeply regrets it, imploring Sam to take advantage of every moment and live her life to the fullest.

In “Possession”, Hetty’s spirit becomes transfused with Jay’s body. While in it she loses her ability to see or hear her fellow spirits but gains the ability to eat to which she binges just about everything she can get her hands on including trying peanut butter, sour patch kids, and Cheetos for the first time. She also expresses a desire to go to France.

In “The Vault”, she expresses to her philandering husband Elias, who was trapped inside an impenetrable vault for the last 130 years, that she has changed much to his anger, and she is no longer afraid to speak her mind. She tried to convince him to change as well as he will be stuck there for eternity and that it would be a good time to use that time wisely. He refuses saying that he will never change to which Hetty tells him to go to hell. The floor opens up, red light radiates from the ground and down he goes. This causes Hetty to briefly suspect that she may possibly have the power to send ghosts to Hell. She later concludes that that cannot be true but still enjoys holding that possibility over the ghosts for fun.

Thereafter we see an evolution of Hetty‘s character. This woman who seemed haughty and pretentious seems to change in contact with the Livings and other ghosts, despite herself. In ‘Ghostwriter‘ she cares, “certainly regretting it afterwards” as she says, to see Flower who is sad installed in her room. (Indeed, Pete wants to watch basketball only with boys while Flower, is very knowledgeable on the subject) Against all odds, when she hasn’t lived like this in her whole life, Hetty tells her “Flower, I spent far too long forgiving the sins of men in my lifetime. I see no reason why we need to put up with it in the afterlife. Do not just sit there, and take being disrespected by a man. Do something about it.Flower asks her if she became a feminist and Hetty replies that if it’s not about supporting women who handle money or ride bikes then yes, she is a feminist.

In “Trevor’s Pants“, we meet David Woodstone, who is actually Hetty‘s great-great-great-grandson but also one of Trevor‘s old friends. In fact, the night Trevor died, he and his friends and co-workers (including David Woodstone), came into David‘s parents Woodstome Mansion to celebrate another colleague’s promotion.

Appearance

As a wife of a well-known robber baron of the late 1800s, Hetty spends the days of her afterlife, dressed like most well-to-do women of the gilded age in America. She wears a long sleeved layered teal green day dress with a basque bodice and a medium sized bustle. The top of her dress is buttoned up to her neck. The dress is accented by a tall neckline which consists of a white laced layer underneath. She also wears moderate heels which she has recently learned how to run in (from ‘Alberta’s Fan‘ episode). Hetty wears her curly auburn hair up in a high bun while two loose tendrils gracefully frame either side of her face. Her makeup is very conservative to nonexistent. She is a taller woman, about 5’8, with fair skin and blue eyes. She wears earring studs in either ear.

Trivia

  • Hetty is the American version of Lady Fanny Button from the original BBC ‘Ghosts‘.
  • Hetty is an ancestor of Samantha who inherits the property and moves in with her husband, Jay. She is Sam’s fifth great Aunt.
  • Hetty is the fourth ghost who died on the property, following Thorfinn, Sassipis, and Issac and the first woman ghost of the house.
  • Hetty’s marriage was arranged as she was offered to her second cousin Elias by her father in order to work out a land deal.
  • Hetty lived at a time when Cocaine was believed to be a wonder drug and used it during her lifetime quite frequently.
  • She is the second ghost to have possessed the body of a living, the first being Issac.
  • She could see Thorfinn as a young child (she was unable to pronounce his name so she called him Gordon and mistook him for one of the servants of the house).
  • Hetty was the only ghost who was a mother in life and who died a widow.

Quotes

  • “O’Malley!” (Season 1, Episode 1)
  • “This house was my pride and joy. Now it could get sold to God knows who… murderers, perverts, Irishmen.” (Season 1, Episode 1)
  • “Well I should hope not with those exposed knees and that saucy hairdo.” (Season 1, Episode 1)
  • “A moment of your time! You must repair my wall! I cannot spend another night listening to the Bohemian blabber away. I won’t do it!” (Season 1, Episode 2)
  • “This is not the solution, this is worst! I demand you remedy this post haste!” (Season 1, Episode 2)
  • “Well I do believe that women should have each other’s backs, but I don’t believe that women should be allowed to vote. I won’t get into the whos and whys but it has something to do with overtaxing the female brain.” (Season 1, Episode 3)
  • “Oh look at that! I used my female brain to exercise my rights and I don’t feel the vapors coming on at all. Wait, hold on… no I’m good!” (Season 1, Episode 3)
  • “Sneezing in public… so unlady like! I told her a nip of cocaine would wipe that Hay Fever right out but does she listen?… Everyone knows Cocaine’s excellent for allergies.” (Season 1, Episode 4)
  • “Oh I loathe the Farnsbys! They’ve been the Woodstone family rivals for generations…Yes but please don’t put us in the same category. The children that worked in our factories were far happier.” (Season 1, Episode 4)
  • “Well, Peter, in the 1880s, it was a medical wonder drug. From headache to hysteria, 4 out of 5 barbers prefer cocaine. (Season 1, Episode 4)
  • “It’s the parents who are at fault. Properly raised children would be at home, or working in a factory.” (Season 1, Episode 5)
  • “Without repercussions, these children will never learn…well for one thing, we were parents! We just have also been around for such a very long time we have observed what works and what doesn’t work with regard to disciplining children.” (Season 1, Episode 5)
  • “The tiny fiends approached with malice in their eyes, their torches held aloft… yes that’s the word I was look for, damn my female brain.” (Season 1, Episode 5)
  • “She’d have made a great lawyer had she not gone into journalism, or been born a woman.” (Season 1, Episode 5)
  • “Well, excuse me for dying in heels. Plus, I did not sleep… you know I suffer from nerves. At least when I was alive, I could take laudanum. It’s a simple mixture of alcohol and morphine. You should try it, Samantha.” (Season 1, Episode 9)
  • “Well, I didn’t always require such elixirs. When I was a little girl, an angel-voiced servant would sing me to sleep. Some footman or butler…. (to Thor) I think you’re right, it may have been Gordon. I don’t know, we paid them so we didn’t have to remember their names.” (Season 1, Episode 9)
  • “I’m gonna level with you, Thorfinn. You and I, we get along fine but we are not hang out alone together outside the group type of friends. And that’s okay.” (Season 1, Episode 9)
  • “It was you. You sang to me. All these years. Why didn’t you say something? You were so sweet to me and I have just been awful. You were there for me when no one else was. Thank you…. Oh yea that’s quite pungent.” (Season 1, Episode 9)
  • “Careful, you cad, those sconces are made of pure leaded crystal. They are worth more than Oklahoma.” (Season 1, Episode 10)
  • “Mmmm! Tasting food for the first time in 130 years. Ohhh! If women had orgasms, this is what it would feel like!” (Season 1, Episode 10)
  • “It was an exciting day. But it was strange not to be able to see you all. It has been my constant dream for the last century but then when it actually happened, I missed you guys.” (Season 1, Episode 10)
  • “Oh okay. Remember to keep your wits about you amongst those Buckeyes. Rutherford B Hayes was from Ohio so you get it.” (Season 1, Episode 10)
  • “The sanctity of my room will not be invaded once more!” (Season 1, Episode 11)
  • “No ‘aww’… you’ll never be successful in business if you let the help walk all over you.” (Season 1, Episode 10)
  • “Poppycock! He’s probably playing dice with the other roughnecks.” (Season 1, Episode 10)
  • “(Sigh)… he cooks! You work. Your dynamic is grotesque.” (Season 1, Episode 10)
  • “Don’t get fresh with me young lady! Straighten your back! You’re hunched over like a washer woman.”- (Hetty while possessing the body of Jay in Season 1, Episode 10)
  • “ (Gasp) Murphy! Before we let that Irishman in here we need to lock up the good china and count the spoons!” (Hetty, while possessing the body of Jay in Season 1, Episode 10)
  • “Excuse me, Sir! Yes, yes yes, you! Are you a member of a labor union? There is a wrong answer.” (Hetty while possessing the body of Jay in Season 1, Episode 10)
  • “I am a man and as such I will shake your hand.” (Hetty while possessing the body of Jay in Season 1, Episode 10)
  • “Can I trouble you for some cocaine? I’m all out.” (Hetty while possessing the body of Jay in Season 1, Episode 10)
  • “That’s just it…I’ve never thought of myself. My whole life I did everything for my husband and put my needs second. I didn’t live the life I should’ve. There’s so many things I didn’t get to do. I’ve never been to Paris.” (Hetty while possessing the body of Jay in Season 1, Episode 10)
  • “Young lady! You are aware that your luggage is languishing by the front door? … your choice of course. Not the choice I would make nor the right choice but it is a choice, nonetheless. What are you smiling about? … Well, don’t stay like that. You’ll get laugh lines and your husband will wander.” (Season 1, Episode 11)
  • “Elias! How are you not rotting in hell?” (Season 1, Episode 13)
  • “Well, modern women don’t just defer to their husbands, Elias, and I have learned from the living lady of the house that when she doesn’t like something, she says so.” (Season 1, Episode 13)
  • “She and Jay have simply opened my eyes. They have a respectful marriage and you were a terrible husband, Elias. And my least favorite cousin! (Season 1, Episode 13)
  • “Oh look, Elias. Another opinion, and nothing you can do about that…I haven’t been corrupted. I have changed, a little, for the better, I think. Let’s be honest, Elias, you and I were not good people. We stole, we exploited, we profited off others’ misery. But while you were trapped in that vault, I have been out here, learning from these people. Learning from Alberta to speak my mind and learning from Sam that the Irish are people, apparently. Yes I complain about being here, and yet I want to be sucked off more than anything. But these people have taught me how to be a better Hetty and I say there’s hope for you too, Elias. You’re here for eternity, why not use it to change?” (Season 1, Episode 13)
  • “Well then you can go to hell!” (Season 1, Episode 13)
  • “Did I? Did I just? Is that my power, you think? Banishing people to Hades?” (Season 1, Episode 13)
  • “Hello all. I’m feeling in a good mood so you may all remain on this Earthly plain tonight.” (Season 1, Episode 13)
  • “(Gasp) No! You can’t leave us! Just when I finally learned to look beyond the hideous pants and see the wonderful person inside the hideous pants.” (Season 1, Episode 13)
  • “Til death do us part. It’s right in the vows!” (Season 1, Episode 13)
  • “Oh I hope these nuptials go better than mine. Elias arrived late, drunk and smelling of the maid’s perfume. My father needed to close a land deal and I was deemed as most comely daughter. Damn Margaret and her mustache. She dodged a bullet.” (Season 1, Episode 13)
  • “Well this is mysterious” (Season 1, Episode 13)
  • Flower, I spent far too long forgiving the sins of men in my lifetime. I see no reason why we need to put up with it in the afterlife. Do not just sit there, and take being disrespected by a man. Do something about it. (Season 1, Episode 14)
  • “Well, so long as it doesn’t mean supporting women handling money or riding bicycles then, yea I think I am a feminist!” (Season 1, Episode 14)
  • “Well, now there’s an uneven number of men and women so I guess I’m on my own (shrugs).” (Season 1, Episode 15)
  • “It’s true. We are the similar elevated status and share a mutual appreciation for the finer things.” (Season 1, Episode 15)
  • “Goodnight, Issac. Sleep well…Oh what’s happening?…He does? Oh my! Is this… Is this seduction? Am I being seduced?… Of course, I’ve considered that romantic tensions could boil over between us! I just was surprised that it’s taken so very long. …. No! I was overcome at first but I want this, Issac, I want it badly and I want it now! My nape! Kiss it! Kiss my nape! Oh Issac!” (Season 1, Episode 15)
  • “What you have been these past two centuries is my dear friend and that could never be a lie.” (Season 1, Episode 15)
  • “I would not describe myself as a people person, no!” (Season 1, Episode 16)
  • “Am I willing to go with the flow? No.” (Season 1, Episode 16)
  • My great-great-great-grandson, who was actually kind of a lause.” (Season 1, Episode 16)
  • “Who would ever keep it around long enough to find out?” (Season 1, Episode 16)
  • “Not at all! I was merely trying to supervise, which requires me being near to the host body… I mean Jay.” (Season 1, Episode 17)
  • “Ooh ask it ‘who had the more comely ankles at Mamie Fisher’s cotillion?’ and we’ll settle this one once and for all.” (Season 1, Episode 17)
  • “Truth be told, we all love Sam and you will too! You guys are the same… except she can do things, is alive, and Trevor has a crush on her, but other than that, she’s just like you!” (Season 1, Episode 17)
  • “Are you planning on asking anyone special, Issac? Like a certain British officer you murdered, perhaps?” (Season 1, Episode 17)
  • “What is wrong with you, Stephanie! You’re 53 years old, you should know better!” (Season 1, Episode 17)
  • “Well, then I guess we are out of the prom! No one calls my descendent a jerkwad, which from context I take to be some sort of derision!” (Season 1, Episode 17)
  • Wait, wait, I’m sorry. So you thought he was coming all the way from Europe to go to a school dance in Ohio?” (Season 1, Episode 17)
  • “Sucked off at prom? I suppose anything’s possible.” (Season 1, Episode 17)
  • “They’re Irish… that’s lovely. Of all the bands in all the land. I can handle it! You should take it down. Take it down. TAKE IT DOWN!” (Season 1, Episode 17)
  • “So… have their been any updates on the Nigel front?” (Season 1, Episode 18)
  • “Don’t think like that! Issac! You’re letting fear lead you. You need to go for what you want. You only have one afterlife. Do not sacrifice your shot!… I am and I am deeply sorry, but it was just so inspirational!” (Season 1, Episode 18)
  • “This is a very important moment, Issac. I’m honored to be here bearing witness to it…in the room where things are happening.” (Season 1, Episode 18)
  • “Wait! Just in case. I too just want to say that it has been a true honor knowing you. You arrived here a stranger with harlot hair, but you’ve won my heart and become like a daughter with harlot hair.” (Season 1, Episode 18)
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