Does the host or guest own a Familiar cast via a possessing ghost?

Grundy the Grumpy Ghost a (formerly) chaotic evil 1st level wizard makes use of the nearby ritual spell Find Familiar carved in a stone wall. As a ghost he cannot cast such spells, so he takes control of three (3) different lawful and good hosts at different times. Through them he summons three ‘celestial’ familiars for: Anna the Adamant (‘A’), Barnie the Brave (‘B’), and, Cynthia the Cleric (‘C’). There are plenty of material components nearby and somehow they all suck at saving throws.

He casts this spell from each host. After the first three casts, ‘A’ dies and is brought back via miraculous magicks (revivification, raised, resurrected &/or reincarnated probably cast by C, who is a cleric) – so G re-possesses and recasts Find Familiar on ‘A’ again. B’s familiar is slain, so G re-possesses and re-casts with that host, ‘B’, as well. C, not trusting G in the least, has her familiar magically Banished – so G re-possesses and re-casts Find Familiar with ‘C’ as well.


Question: Who Gets A Familiar Through A Host-Ghost?


  1. The caster gets it, and the caster is obviously the spirit or ghost. As such ALL of the summoned familiars are just the same poor celestial familiar returning-respawning each and every time. Each casting simply re-summons the same tired spirit over and over again.

  2. A ghost leaving the body no longer has claim to any familiar. As each ‘host’ comes complete with a body and soul – the celestial familiar must bond with the original body-soul combo, the one that did the physical ritual (with the physical material components). The physical aspects and components of the spell determine which physically living body the familiar binds to.

  3. When any ghost or spirit leaves a body, it is similar to a ‘death’ of sorts. The fact that there is still a spirit in there (the spirit of the original host-body) doesn’t matter – any claim or bond is LOST in the process of the ghost’s leaving the host-home. The familiar WAS bound to the ghost (with a living body) upon casting, sure – but when the ghost leaves the celestial-familiar is as FREE to do whatever it wants.

  4. Assume the familiar bonds with Target A. When ‘A’ dies, the familiar is just fine and a FREE agent. Resurrecting ‘A’ does NOT restore the familiar bond (‘not in spell description’)! On recasting the spell must find a brand-new familiar for A. A and the original A-familiar will recognize one another but never be bound ever again (short of a ‘Wish’ spell). Contrast this with ‘B’ when the B-familiar dies (or is slain) – the returning ghost-spirit is effectively an entirely new casting. A ‘new’, original and entirely different celestial familiar may show up, pending where the old one is now bound.

  5. Banishing a familiar logically breaks bonds! C may get an entirely new celestial familiar – or perhaps the original (now bitter & upset) C-familiar.

  6. Familiars are sentient spirits and independent creatures and therefore have choice and freewill. When effectively summoned by a combo ghost-host team, the familiar gets to CHOOSE who they want to serve. A celestial would therefore pick the hosts (‘lawful good’) and not the ghost (‘who is bad’). Or they may simply choose to be free. Or perhaps choose to ‘die’ and return to their plane of existence.

  7. The caster gets to choose the alignment of the familiar. As such, these familiars are all ‘celestial’ yet chaotic evil. Thus they would try to bond with or choose the ghost-caster. But since the caster has cast this through three different hosts, there are three different familiars all bound to the same ghost.


The above ‘rulings’ painfully contradict one another and do not qualify as ‘answers’. I must be wrong on many levels and would like to know what is really going on with the Find Familiar spell and G’s ritual casting six times on three hosts (A, B & C respectively).


Repeat of Question: A ghost possesses a number of persons and casts the ritual spell Find Familiar through them. To whom do the newly minted familiar(s?) ‘bond’ to &/or stay with – or not?

Thank you in advance.