That which imitates humanity also imitates having a ghost. When a crash-test dummy suffers damage that would have killed a passenger in its place, this false spirit is said to exit its body. Though it is not a conscious being, it still believes that it feels pain, and remembers every injury that it suffered while pretending to be alive. Because of this, it can haunt and make mischief like any other poltergeist.

There exists a ritual to banish these beings, but it is not commonly performed. In order to do so, the exorcist must possess whatever remains of the dummy after its collision test. Any shrapnel and foreign bodies must be removed from its vinyl skin so that the wounds beneath can be properly mended. Once this is complete, every fracture, crease, and dimple along its exterior must be smoothed over and sealed with molten gold. This kintsugi-like process transmutes their most cruel memories into matter, easing spiritual restlessness.

Next, a scalpel is used to produce a new opening along the length of its torso, and a single apple is placed inside, approximately where the heart would be (any variety of apple will do, as long as it is fresh). This serves a dual role: having a heart validates the emotions of the being, and also allows it to experience decay like any other organic lifeform. This incision is then sealed in the same fashion as those previously treated, forming a line of pure gold from the throat to the base of the ribs.

Two steps remain before the final burial: the exorcist gives the dummy a human name, then presses their lips to its own, granting it the breath of life.

This completes the ritual, sealing the entity inside the dummy once more, and allowing it to experience true death for the first time. There’s just one problem- this makes the ghost fully real, and by extension, fully human. By their nature, however, they are damned to never find an afterlife, and instead remain wherever they are buried. They simply wait in darkness, feeling what they now know to be their heart rotting away, anchored in place by titanium bones.

Most refuse to impose such a fate upon a being that is recognizable as human. While it is possible to set them free again, it can only be done by taking away their heart, rendering them a false spirit once more.