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This article is about Charles Rowland from the Netflix adaptation. You may be looking for Charles Rowland from the comic series.

Charles Rowland is a ghost and the brawn behind the Dead Boy Detectives agency and best friends with Edwin Payne.


Early Life[]

According to the Night Nurse's book, Charles was 16 when he died, making his birthday sometime in 1973.[1] His father was often abusive towards him, while his mother played as a bystander.[2]

Charles attended St. Hilarion Boarding School before he died. When a boy was being beat up for being Pakistani by his friends, he decided to stand up to the bullies. Because of this, in the middle of the night the bullies brought him to a lake, and pelted him with stones UNTIL he found a chance to run away. He found himself in an attic where he first meets Edwin Payne, who brought him a lantern, and kept him company. He would succumb to his wounds and die of hypothermia and internal bleeding that night. After his death, he chose to stay on earth as a ghost with Edwin instead of going with Death. They later start a detective agency together that they run for 30 years before meeting Crystal Palace.[3]

Meeting Crystal Palace[]

Netflix Dead Boy Detectives 101 The Case of Crystal Palace 12 Charles Edwin

Charles and Edwin expelled the demon in Crystal

Charles and Edwin were employed by a young ghost girl to save Crystal, who had been possessed by a demon. They tracked her down on a subway and expelled the demon from her body, though in doing so, Crystal lost her memories. And so, Charles invited her to stay with him and Edwin for the time being.[4]

The Devlin house murders[]

Charles found himself unable to control his rage when the Dead Boys were handed a new case surrounding the murder-suicide of a local family in Port Townsend, in which an abusive father slaughtered his entire family, before killing himself, trapping them in an eternal loop of their deaths. This particularly hit close to home for Charles, as his father was also abusive. After having watched their demise numerous times, Charles attempts to interfere, causing him to get trapped in the loop as well. Fortunately, Edwin and Crystal manage to free him and destroy the loop.[2]

Kissing Crystal[]

Netflix Dead Boy Detectives 104 The Case of the Lighthouse Leapers 08 Night Nurse Charles Edwin Niko

Charles confronted the Night Nurse

The Dead Boys had a close encounter with the Night Nurse while solving the case of the mysterious lighthouse deaths. When she expressed her plans to put them in their rightful places and then forced them to relive their deaths, which consisted of Charles dying from hypothermia and internal bleeding, he became enraged and battered her with his paddle, before sending her over the cliff to be eaten by the sea monster below. Afterward, he and Crystal return home, where they kiss.[5] However, Crystal ultimately decided it would be better if they remained friends while she focused on keeping David out of her head.[6]

Saving Edwin from Hell[]

Netflix Dead Boy Detectives 107 The Case of the Very Long Stairway 04 Charles Crystal Niko Edwin

Charles returned with Edwin

After Edwin is taken back to Hell, Charles made a deal with Night Nurse that should she open a portal for him to save Edwin, when he returned, the two of them would willingly leave with her. After seeing how Charles gave up a potentially tranquil eternity for Edwin, Night Nurse agrees to the deal and opens a portal to Hell. Using a hand drawn map from Edwin's journal, Charles passed through Limbo, the room of Lust, and finally, Gluttony, before making his way into the Dollhouse, where he was reunited with Edwin, whose Hell consisted of him being hunted down and eaten by a spider-like creature made of doll parts. Charles threw a bomb at the creature, which allowed for him and Edwin to make their escape. However, on their way back to the portal, Edwin confessed his love for Charles. Charles replied that Edwin was his best mate and that he was the most important person in the world to him. While he wasn't in love with him, there was no one else he would go to Hell for. The two of them then returned to earth via the portal opened by the Night Nurse.[3]

Captured by Esther[]

Netflix Dead Boy Detectives 108 The Case of the Hungry Snake 09 Charles Edwin

Charles and Edwin confronted by the Night Nurse and her boss

Charles and Edwin were both captured by Esther. Charles was left chained in her kitchen while she had Edwin restrained to a device that was draining him of all his energy. Fortunately, Crystal and Niko arrived with his bag, however, they tossed it slightly out of reach, and every time he extended, the iron choker burned him. Much to Charles surprise, Monty, now as a crow instead of a human boy, helped him and slid his bag towards him. Inside his bag, Charles grabbed his lock pick and broke free before heading down into the cupboard, where he killed Esther's snake with a single cut, thus depowering Esther, taking away her strength and youthfulness before she is dragged away by Lilith for misusing her gift. After defeating Esther, the boys returned home to London, where the Night Nurse's boss allowed them to continue doing their work by helping ghosts cross over.[7]

Physical Appearance[]

Charles is a tall, thin young man with short, curly dark hair and brown eyes. He is half-Indian.

Powers and Abilities[]


  • Ghost physiology: As a ghost, Charles has special abilities.
    • Intangibility: Charles can pass through anything and everything.
    • Invisibility: Charles cannot be visibly perceived by other human beings.
    • Catoptric teleportation: Charles is able to move between the mirrors.


  • Iron: Iron can burn ghosts and force them to be solid and vulnerable while in contact with them.
  • Magic: Ghosts are vulnerable to the effects of magic, they can be repelled, banished and even destroyed through rituals and spells.
  • Cat Scratches: Cat scratches are one of the few things that can harm a ghost, with it being described as a bruning feeling.


Season 1[]


Promotional Images[]

Episode Stills[]