Sandman Wiki
Sandman Wiki
This article is about Edwin Payne from the Netflix adaptation. You may be looking for Edwin Paine from the comic series.

Edwin Payne is a ghost and the brains behind the Dead Boy Detectives agency, as well as best friends with Charles Rowland.


Early Life[]

Edwin was 16 when he died, with his birthdate landing somewhere between December 22, 1899, and January 19, 1900.[1][2]

Edwin attended St. Hilarion Boarding School from 1913 to 1916, where he was offered as a sacrifice in a ritual that some of his classmates performed with the intention of scaring him. Contrary to what the group of boys believed, the ritual worked; they summoned a demon, which killed them and dragged Edwin to Hell, where he would remain for the next 73 years until his escape in 1989.[3][4]

Shortly after his escape from hell, he comes across a boy in an attic, Charles Rowland. When Charles sees him and asks who he is, Edwin realizes that he's dying, and decides to stay with him in until his death, giving him a lantern and keeping him company. After Charles's death, Charles decides he'd rather stay on earth with Edwin, leading them to later start a detective agency together that they ran for 30 years before meeting Crystal Palace.[5]

Meeting Crystal Palace[]

Edwin and Charles were sought out by a young ghost girl named Emma and tasked with helping her friend Crystal, who was possessed by a demon. They tracked her down on a subway and expelled the demon from her body using runes. However, Crystal lost her memories during the process. And so, much to Edwin's dismay, Charles invited her to stay with them until she recovered her memories.[3]

Cursed by the Cat King[]

Netflix Dead Boy Detectives 102 The Case of the Dandelion Shrine 10 Edwin Thomas The Cat King

Edwin confronted by the Cat King

In an attempt to save a young missing girl, Edwin performed a binding spell on a local Port Townsend cat. However, in doing so, he found himself having to answer to the Cat King for his actions. As a consequence, the Cat King punishes him with a caging spell, preventing Edwin from leaving Port Townsend so long as the bracelet is around his wrist. Should Edwin count every cat in Port Townsend, the bracelet will come off.[4]

Befriending Monty[]

While at the library with Niko researching the Devlin family murder, Edwin met a teenage boy named Monty. He could see Edwin, revealing that he could see ghosts because he was in a short coma from a car accident. He claimed to be studying astrology and correctly guessed that Niko was an Aquarius and that Edwin was a Capricorn. Monty immediately expresses a romantic interest in Edwin, which Niko picks up on and explains to Edwin.[6]

While investigating a series of deaths at a local lighthouse, Edwin crossed paths with the Cat King again. Edwin guessed that there are 142 cats in town, but he was unfortunately incorrect. Hundreds of years older with more experience, the Cat King offered to be anything Edwin likes, transforming into Monty and then Charles. If he wasn't going to remove the bracelet, Edwin said that he would return to his investigation, leading the Cat King to question why Edwin cared so much about cases of strangers. He compelled Edwin to admit the real reason for the Dead Boy Detectives is that he was doing as much good as he could so that eventually if he went back to Hell, he could make his case for leniency. Cat King whispered to Edwin that he never had to pretend with him, and that he liked his secret parts, but Edwin pulled away, admitting that his true intentions were selfish.[7]

Ending his relationship with Monty[]

Edwin met with Monty at the park, where he told Monty that it would probably be best if they stopped seeing each other, as he'd been rather confused as of late. Feelings were never easy for him when he was alive, and now that he's dead, they seemed to bring even more baggage. Edwin was dealing with feelings he was not used to. He thought they were never to be spoken of, but now that he had them, it was hard to hold them back and that terrified him. Just as he was saying he didn't want things to be awkward, Monty unexpectedly kissed him. However, Edwin wasn't talking about Monty when he said he had unexpected feelings for someone.[8]

Netflix Dead Boy Detectives 106 The Case of the Creeping Forest 06 Crystal Charles Edwin Monty

Edwin helped Monty search for his friend

Edwin, Charles, and Crystal took on a case in search of Monty's ghost friend, Gladys, who went missing. They headed into the Tall Forest, where Gladys was supposedly last seen. Monty is clearly still upset with Edwin, who wants to clear the air about hurting his feelings, but Monty isn't interested in chatting. As they traveled further into the forest, Edwin discovered that they were dealing with a Forest Elemental. The Dead Boys decided to split up in search of Gladys. Alone with Monty, Edwin apologized for hurting him. He explained that Monty was his first kiss and that he mattered greatly, but things were a bit complicated for Edwin at the moment. They were then joined by the Cat King, who revealed that Monty was luring Edwin into a trap and that he was actually Esther's crow familiar. Edwin accused Monty of pretending to be his friend, which Monty admitted was true at first, but he then began to develop real feelings for Edwin.[1]

Dragged to Hell[]

Edwin was dragged back to Hell, where his punishment consisted of him being hunted and eaten by a large spider-like creature made of doll parts. In the library, seeking refuge, he crossed paths with Simon, one of his classmates who initially sacrificed him. He'd been in Hell the entire time as well. While trying to convince Simon to leave with him, Edwin met Despair of the Endless and briefly traveled to her realm before returning to Hell. To Edwin's surprise, Charles came to rescue him, throwing a bomb at the creature as a distraction so that they may escape through a portal opened by the Night Nurse. On their way back to the portal, Edwin confessed his love for Charles. Whilst Edwin was his best mate and the most important person in the world to him, Charles could not say he was in love with him.[5]

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. Whilst Charles was chained in her kitchen, Edwin had been restrained to a device that was draining him of all his energy. She explained to Edwin that his soul had been tempered by decades of torture in Hell. That suffering has made his soul tough enough to withstand the pain she was about to deliver with her device to gain power and youth. Fortunately, Crystal and Niko arrived to free them. Crystal fought Esther head on in hopes of buying Niko enough time to free Edwin from the device. However, Esther learned of Niko's presence and knocked her against the wall. Niko jumped back to her feet and jumped into front of Crystal, sacrificing herself as Esther shot a magical shard her way. Niko blocked Crystal from the attack but is impaled in the heart and died almost instantly. After Crystal called on Lilith for help, Charles killed Esther's snake with a single cut from his sword, thus depowering Esther, taking away her strength and youthfulness before she is dragged away by Lilith. 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.[9]

Physical Appearance[]

Edwin is a tall, thin, young white man with short, dark brown hair, thick eyebrows and green eyes.

Edwin wears a white long-sleeved button-up shirt with a blue sweater vest over it and a blue bowtie. He wears a pair of grayish-blue knickerbockers, which are a type of baggy trousers gathered just below the knee. He wears a pair of long blue stockings just below where his trousers end, likely over the long undergarments seen in episode 7. It is possible that his stockings are being held up by garters, as it was common for Edwardian men to wear them to prevent their stockings from falling down. As footwear, he uses a pair of black ankle-high lace-up boots. Over his vest, he wears a suit jacket that matches his trousers, and over it, a brown lounge jacket. He occasionally wears a pair of brown leather gloves, mostly when he is investigating a case.

Since Edwin is a ghost, he doesn't change his outfit; instead, he sometimes wears more or fewer layers depending on what he's doing. However, he is seen wearing brown trousers and a blue sweater in episode 6, implying that he can change clothes but simply chooses not to most of the time.

Powers and Abilities[]


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


  • Multilingualism: Edwin is able to speak and read in multiple languages, including dead tongues.


  • 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 burning feeling.


  • He is a Capricorn and his ruling planet is Saturn.


Season 1[]


Promotional Images[]

Episode Stills[]