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"Hey freak! Maybe you missed the news: Batman's dead! That look don't scare us no more!"
—A couple of thugs taunting the "Ghost"[src]

Following his identity as Batman being exposed to the world, Bruce Wayne would activate the Knightfall Protocol and seemingly perished with Alfred Pennyworth in an explosion that also destroyed Wayne Manor. However, what the public nor the Bat Family knew was that both Bruce and Alfred had survived the explosion, with the real intention of the Knightfall Protocol being to allow Bruce to act as a full-time vigilante and continue to protect Gotham City in secret, utilising Scarecrow's Fear Toxin to aid him in his continuing campaign against crime. During this time Bruce didn't go by any name while fighting crime, however, the criminals he preyed on who were affected by the Fear Toxin only saw Bruce as a demonic and monstrous version of Batman. Because of the unknown vigilante's haunting resemblance to the allegedly deceased Dark Knight, Bruce's new persona would go on to be referred to by the criminals of Gotham as the "Ghost", with the public soon dubbing the "Ghost" the Demon-Bat. After an unknown amount of time operating as the "Ghost", Bruce would be contacted by Superman to join the Justice League, with Bruce accepting and ending his time as the "Ghost" by returning to the public eye as Batman.

Incident Reports[]

Post-Arkham Knight Incident[]

"Gotham needs something more, something worse... to defend her. She needs a new myth, a legend more powerful that I can be right now. A legend that can only rise from the ashes of the Batman."
—Bruce Wayne to Selina Kyle[src]

After Scarecrow revealed Batman's identity to the world at Arkham Asylum, Bruce Wayne and Alfred Pennyworth seemingly perished in an explosion that destroyed Wayne Manor as part of the Knightfall Protocol, with the world, nor even the Bat Family knowing the truth: that Bruce and Alfred were still alive, with the true purpose of the protocol being to allow Bruce to continue fighting crime without the need for a public identity anymore, and become a full time vigilante.

A year later, as a group of thugs attempted to rob a wealthy family in an alleyway (mirroring Batman's backstory), they stop when they notice a faraway shadowy figure resembling Batman on top of a building watching them. At first the thugs brushed off this Batman lookalike, as to the public eye Bruce Wayne had died, causing them not to be scared of Batman anymore, not knowing the figure in front of them was actually Bruce himself, who would then use the Fear Toxin on the thugs to make them perceive the figure as a demonic and monstrous version of the Dark Knight before flying straight towards them, beginning Bruce's new vigilantism as a being the criminals of Gotham City would refer to as the "Ghost".

Arkham Episode Incidents[]

When Catwoman sought out the Riddler and Robin arrested Two-Face, the master criminals' lackeys talked about a ghost that had been stopping crimes around Gotham, suggesting the "Ghost" was quickly gaining a reputation throughout Gotham despite his relatively recent emergence.

In-between Arkham Knight and Kill the Justice League[]

At some point in-between the five years following the Knightfall Protocol and during his time as the "Ghost", now also known to the public as the "Demon-Bat", Bruce was found and approached by the Daily Planet reporter Clark Kent, an alien from the planet Krypton by the name of Kal-El, most well known around the world as the superhero Superman. Superman offered Bruce the opportunity to join him and three other superheroes in forming a group that would protect the world from crime and evil. Seeing no reason to turn the offer down, and regretting how he had pushed away members of the Bat Family during Scarecrow's attack on Gotham, Bruce accepted, publicly revealing himself to the world as still being alive and once again becoming Batman and moving to Metropolis to form the Justice League, officially ending his time as the "Ghost".

Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League[]

After being brainwashed and put under the control of the alien invader known as Brainiac, Batman would once again use Scarecrow's Fear Toxin during his second encounter with Amanda Waller's Task Force X, known publicly in Metropolis as the Suicide Squad, in the Batcave to prey on each of the member's fears while attacking them one by one, during which time each member perceived Batman in the form of the "Ghost". After being exposed to a different strain of the Fear Toxin created during his stalking of the members by Harley Quinn that allowed herself and her teammates to fight Batman on even grounds, Bruce would be shown by the members taking on a gigantic form of the "Ghost" in order to take the team down for good, however he would be defeated by Task Force X, ending the Fear Toxin effects as well as the "Ghost".


  • Fear Toxin: During the first sighting of the "Ghost" by thugs in the middle of a robbery, the "Ghost" seems to bring about the effects of Scarecrow's toxin in order to terrify his victims before gliding in on them. At some point following the Knightfall Protocol, Bruce began utilising the Fear Toxin to aid him in his fight by psychologically preying on his victim's fear by presenting himself as a monstrous and demonic looking version of Batman. After coming back into the public eye as Batman Bruce seemingly stopped using the Fear Toxin, however he would use it again in his fight against the Suicide Squad following him becoming brainwashed by Brainiac.



  • The appearance of the "Ghost" was possibly foreshadowed in Arkham Origins during the Joker's POV sequences, though his version of a monstrously demonic Batman was noticeably different from what appeared in Arkham Knight.
  • Before it was officially confirmed, the identity of the Ghost was implied and speculated by many to be Bruce Wayne, and that he simply adapted another identity for himself by becoming a full-time vigilante; it's appearance perfectly matches the hallucination of Batman Scarecrow witnessed before his arrest.
    • In a Reddit AMA, Sefton Hill wrote in regards to Arkham Knight, "I liked the very end! When Batman is left with no other option, he still manages to find a way out. To become an even more badass version of Batman. How cool is that?" which suggests Batman did indeed fake his death and returned a stronger, darker Batman as the "Ghost".
    • If Penguin is turned in after Batman’s identity is revealed, during the Batmobile ride back to the GCPD Building, Bruce is questioned as to what costume he will wear next since everyone knows he is Batman, mockingly suggesting a squirrel; Bruce responds with “You’ll see.” This implies that despite the Knightfall Protocol, he still has some kind of persona-based plan for when his time as Batman comes to an end.
  • The "Ghost" remains unnamed but several thugs use this name to describe the nightmarish creature.
    • With Bruce being confirmed as the Ghost, the nickname is fitting as in some continuities he was a fan of and inspired by Simon Trent, the hero known as the Gray Ghost.
    • The "Ghost" is named Nightmare Batman in the concept art gallery, though it is never called this in the Arkham Episodes set after the events of Arkham Knight.
    • Another name given to the "Ghost" in universe is the Demon-Bat, with the name first being heard in Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League.
  • A mod for the PC version of the game allows a non filtered Nightmare Batman to become a playable skin based on it's appearance when Scarecrow was infected with the Fear Toxin, giving the clearest view at the time of what Arkham Knight's version of the fear gas-induced hallucination of Batman and the "Ghost" looked like.
  • One of the trailers for Kill the Justice League officially confirmed that Batman is the Ghost, as well as confirming the theory of him using Scarecrow's Fear Toxin to aid him in his fight against crime.
    • However, it's not known if Bruce had revealed to the public about him operating as the Ghost following his return as Batman.
  • The "Ghost" is possibly based on a similar hallucination called Demon Batman first seen in Batman Begins. Much like in Arkham Knight, Scarecrow is infected with his own Fear Gas by Batman in the film and perceives the Dark Knight as a demonic and nightmarish version of Batman, with the only main difference being the hallucination seen in Batman Begins retains some human features to it's face, while the "Ghost" is shown with a much more inhuman appearance.