- This article discusses the whispers. For actual transcripts of the whispers, see: Whisper transcripts
When people die around the Island but cannot "move on" to the next stage, they remain as whispers, watching or trying to communicate with the living. Characters often hear them when in peril, or when the Others or the Monster are near. The deceased whisperers can appear in their physical form only to a select few. Hurley discovered their nature when the long-dead Michael appeared to him to guide him. ("Everybody Loves Hugo")
The whispers are heard the first time in "Solitary". In answering Sayid's question, Danielle Rousseau responded that she had never seen any other people on the Island, but has heard them whisper. Upon his release, Sayid was returning to the beach-camp alone at dusk when he heard voices whispering out in the jungle.
Sawyer hears the whispers in the jungle.
Chasing a boar, Sawyer was about to give up and return to camp when he heard the whispers. The whispers concluded with the phrase "It'll come back around." The phrase was Frank Duckett's last words after Sawyer shot him.
Later that day while out looking for his tarp, Sawyer heard the whispers again. Again it concluded with Frank Duckett's voice: "It'll come back around."
While searching the jungle for Vincent, Shannon and Sayid became separated. On her own momentarily, Shannon heard the whispers moments before Walt appeared nearby in the trees. Walt was dripping wet and speaking backwards: "Don't press the button, button bad." On rushing back, Sayid found Shannon on the ground, but Walt had vanished.
After making love, Shannon wanted to leave to get a drink of water, but Sayid left instead to get it for her. While he was gone, Walt appeared in the tent, dripping wet and speaking backwards. He said what appeared to be, "They're coming and they're close."
Sayid comforts Shannon before hearing the whispers.
Shannon was running through the jungle attempting to get Vincent to track Walt down when she slipped and fell in the mud. Sayid, close behind, attempted to help and comfort her, when the two of them started hearing the whispers. They looked up to see Walt nearby in the jungle who moved away. Shannon jumped up and attempted to follow him.
Meanwhile the tail section survivors with Michael and Jin were helping transport a wounded Sawyer up a steep slope. On reaching the top and taking a rest, they noticed that Cindy had disappeared and suddenly the whispers begin. Ana Lucia drew her gun and screamed at the others to run. About the same time Shannon burst out of the bushes and Ana Lucia, thinking the group was under attack, shot her.
Cindy listening to the forest's whispers just before she is "taken", and right before the shooting of Shannon by Ana Lucia. These are partly the same whispers heard in the previous episode by Sayid and Shannon.
In his dream, Charlie tried to save Aaron. Looking up he heard the whispers coming from the jungle and walked towards them. When he looked back, the piano had fallen and been swept out to sea with Aaron inside. Charlie screamed after Aaron, then abruptly woke up.
Jack, Kate, Michael, Hurley and Sawyer were heading to the Others' camp in an attempt to rescue Walt when they discovered the capsule dump. Seeing a pillar of smoke on the horizon, Jack accuseed Michael of having betrayed them again - when suddenly the entire group began hearing the whispers. Looking around wildly, Jack yelled at them to run. Sawyer was shot in the neck by what appeared to be an electric dart and fell. Michael remained still, shouting at them to wait, while Hurley took cover. Jack and Kate, running away, and firing wildly into the trees were both hit by darts. Throughout this time the whispers could be heard. The scene ends with the Others emerging from the trees to pull bags over the heads of the survivors.
At Jack's cell, static is heard coming from the "communication" panel on the wall, then whispers and the voice of Jack's father, saying "Let it go, Jack."
In Ben's flashback, he ran away from the Barracks. On arriving at the sonar fence he started hearing the whispers just before his dead mother emerged from the jungle on the far side of the fence cautioning him to stop. Ben cries out, but she tells him it's not time yet.
Richard meets Ben for the first time in the jungle. ("The Man Behind the Curtain")
Much later, Ben returns to the fence and deactivated it before proceeding into the jungle. A short time later he began hearing the whispers again. Looking around wildly, he screamed for his mother -- and the whispers suddenly ceased as he encountered Richard Alpert.
Believing he was dying at the bottom of the mass grave of DHARMA members killed in the Purge, Locke picked up a gun from one of the bodies and pointed it at his head. He closed his eyes and moments later the whispers are heard. Opening his eyes, Locke saw an older Walt standing above the grave. Walt instructed him to put the gun down and get up out of the ditch because he has work to do.
Juliet runs into the jungle in pursuit of Daniel and Charlotte, when she hears whispers. Harper Stanhope suddenly appears before her, and gives Juliet a message from Ben to kill Daniel and Charlotte. Jack catches up to Juliet, sees Harper, and asks who she is. She introduces herself as an old friend of Juliet's. More whispers are heard, which distract Jack and Juliet, and Harper disappears.
Libby appears to Michael.
On the freighter, Michael hears whispers and then sees Libby just before he is about to detonate the bomb. Libby tells Michael "don't do it" and then vanishes. On the ABC Lost website, this scene is shown in the Lost: Revelations 408 clip. In this clip, the whispers are incoherent. However, in the actual aired episode, the whispers begin with the Mama Cass song that played on the car radio when Michael tried to kill himself the first time.
When Hurley arrived home in a flashforward, he heard whispers after finding a coconut on the floor of his foyer, but these whispers were actually revealed to be those of party guests preparing to shout "Surprise!"
As it becomes apparent that the explosives on the freighter are going to detonate, Michael hears the whispers. He then looks up to see Christian Shephard, who tells him he "can go now." The freighter then explodes, presumably killing Michael.
In a flashforward, Kate awakes to noises in her room, then the phone rings. On the other end, there are whispers, in reverse. They may say "The Island needs you. You have to go back before it's too late", awaiting confirmation. Claire mysteriously appears in Aaron's bedroom, who tells her she cannot bring "him" back to the Island, presumably referring to Aaron, although the identity of "him" is never clarified. It's revealed after that this may have only been a dream.
Christian Shephard shows Sun and Frank the DHARMA photo.
Michael explains the nature of the Whispers. ("Everybody Loves Hugo")
Hurley hears whispers in the jungle while on his way to speak with "Locke" He follows them, understanding what they actually are. Here, he finds Michael, who explains that the whispers are people who have died and are stuck on The Island, unable to pass over.
On a number of occasions, the whispers seem to be associated with the Others:
- Danielle associates the whispers with the Others. ("Solitary")
- Danielle mentions she heard the whispers saying they were "coming for the boy." ("Exodus, Part 2")
- Whispers are heard immediately after Cindy's abduction. ("Abandoned") ("The Other 48 Days")
- Whispers are heard before the Others attack on Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Hurley and Michael. ("Live Together, Die Alone, Part 1")
- Young Ben hears whispers before encountering Richard Alpert. ("The Man Behind the Curtain")
- The whispers are heard before the mysterious arrival and departure of Harper. ("The Other Woman")
Harper appears to Juliet in the jungle. ("The Other Woman")
- Again, whispers are heard when Keamy's mercenary team is ambushed at the helicopter. ("There's No Place Like Home, Part 2")
- Ben makes the clearest link in telling Danielle: "If you ever hear whispers, you run the other way." ("Dead Is Dead")
The revelation that the whispers are dead people who have committed wrong-doing and can not leave changes the perception of the role of whispers in past scenes. While originally believed to be The Others, it is now presumed that it is the dead watching and trying to warn/communicate with either the people about to encounter The Others, or The Others themselves.
Relation to the Monster
On occasion the whispers also seem to be associated with the Monster:
- Eko heard whispers before encountering the Monster on both occasions. ("The 23rd Psalm") ("The Cost of Living")
Several times whispers have been heard before a character encountered a manifestation:
Hurley is the only character known to be able to see dead characters, yet several others have encountered some of these deceased (Walt excepted) after hearing whispers.
Walt appears before Shannon.
- Walt has appeared on two occasions, dripping wet and whispering backwards, after his abduction by the Others. ("Man of Science, Man of Faith") ("Abandoned") Much later, Bea Klugh asks Michael: "Did Walt ever appear in a place he wasn't supposed to be?" ("Three Minutes")
- Libby (deceased)
- Christian (deceased)
- A young Ben encounters a manifestation of his dead mother Emily Linus near the sonar fence. ("The Man Behind the Curtain")
- Harper Stanhope (this is first time we meet Harper so it is unknown whether she is alive or dead)
- Michael (deceased)
- The female voice depicted in the whisper transcripts seems to have empathy for the crash survivors. In Sayid's and Sawyer's jungle confrontations with the whispers, the female, in both cases, wants the whisperers to reveal themselves.
- The whispers in the forest are similar to the sounds heard by Peyton Farquhar in An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge shortly before his death. "The wood on either side was full of singular noises, among which - once, twice, and again - he distinctly heard whispers in an unknown tongue."
- The whispers were the subject of a Lostpedia 2008 April Fool's joke. It was said that obscene messages had been used in the whispers dialogue for two Season Four episodes, resulting in a record FCC fine for the ABC networks.
- The whispers are not random noises, but rather actual speech, and can be decoded using audio software. See the Whisper Transcripts for additional information.
- The majority of the whispers in the show are heard in the jungle. When they occur, the camera tends to rotate around the characters hearing them as they look about for the source, confused.
- If the decoding is correct, the Whispers may feature some of the deceased survivors, such as Nikki. See the transcripts for more details.