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Ghosts season 5 ending explained: Do Alison and Mike leave Button House?

The season finale brings a big shock for Alison. (SPOILER ALERT)

Alison (Charlotte Ritchie) appears shocked and concerned as she looks straight ahead

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Ghosts season 5 is finally here, and some of the most passionate fans will already be racing to finish the brand new episodes, which are available as a full box set on BBC iPlayer.

As it turns out, this isn't a final goodbye to Alison ( Charlotte Ritchie ), Mike ( Kiell Smith-Bynoe ) and the ghosts of Button House - as the series will return for one last Christmas special later this year.

Nevertheless, this season finale has some high-stakes moments as a shocking secret is revealed, which reframes everything Alison thought she knew about her eccentric life.

If you want to know exactly what happens in the Ghosts season 5 ending, read on for our spoiler-filled breakdown.

*Warning: contains full spoilers for Ghosts season 5*

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Ghosts season 5 ending explained: What is Julian's dark secret?

Julian (Simon Farnaby) has a serious expression as he discusses something with his fellow ghosts

Ghosts season 5 opened with Alison and Mike learning they have a baby on the way, which placed added pressure on them to find a way of making money from their dilapidated countryside manor house.

One option they had been considering was turning their acres of green space into a golf course, but the would-be investors in that plan present them with a counter offer.

They float the possibility of buying the entirety of the grounds – house included – with the intention of turning it into a luxury resort. Funds from such a purchase would be an easy fix to the couple's financial woes.

However, Alison has become rather fond of her paranormal pals over the past few years, and the thought of leaving them brings much sadness. That is, until a shocking secret comes to light.

Alison finally learns that the near-death experience which gave her the ability to see ghosts was not the accident she assumed it to be, but rather Julian (Simon Farnaby) had pushed her from the high storey window from which she fell.

Alison wearing an orange top, black overalls and a neck brace

Viewers may have forgotten this important detail, given that it occurred way back in season 1 episode 1, but it caused quite a stir at the time – prompting Thomas (Mathew Baynton) to bellow his fan favourite insult "damn your eyes" for the first time.

The shocking crime, which was committed in an effort to drive the newly relocated Alison and Mike from Button House, hasn't been brought up since as the ghosts ended up taking an unexpected liking to the homeowners.

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So much so that when they consider selling up, they begin a charm offensive in an effort to convince them to stay, which prompts them to reflect on how far they've come.

"It only seems like yesterday that they arrived here and we couldn't wait to get them out," says The Captain.

Thomas responds: "Julian even pushed Alison out of the window!"

They don't realise that, at that moment, Alison had walked into the room behind them – and her entire outlook on life at Button House was shattered.

Do Alison and Mike leave Button House in Ghosts season 5?

Alison (Charlotte Ritchie) and Mike (Kiell Smith-Bynoe) stand at a night club bar, looking at someone to their right-hand side

After learning about the dark secret that the ghosts all kept under wraps, Alison becomes intent on accepting the offer of the property developers and moving away from Button House for good.

The ghosts struggle to convince Julian to apologise, with his lifetime spent as a corrupt politician making him too proud to take accountability for his actions.

Ultimately, they force him into stepping up, with the ghosts arriving in the kitchen just as Alison and Mike are about to accept the life-changing offer. She gives them one minute to make their case.

"I'm not sorry," begins Julian. "In fact, I'm glad. I'm glad I did what I did because were it not for that, you would never have met us and our lives would be poorer for it.

"I'm not proud of my actions, Alison. Of course I'm not. But I can't pretend to regret them when they brought with them this magic, this gift, that we could have waited a lifetime for – a thousand lifetimes!"

Fighting back tears, he adds: "I'm glad you found us, Alison. And I think, if you're honest with yourself, you're glad that we found you. But you do as you must. We won't stand in your way."

The speech is enough to change Alison's mind. She concludes that the ghosts are "awful", but they're "family". Mike concurs that he loves his life at Button House and has no desire to leave it behind.

As we leave the residents of the crumbling manor, they're crowded around the television and discussing names for the imminent new arrival.

All seems well ahead of the Christmas special – which is sure to be emotional as the true series finale. We're still not ready!

Ghosts seasons 1-5 are available to stream on BBC iPlayer. Check out more of our Comedy coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.

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BBC Ghosts stars talk movie idea after season 5 ending

"We'd certainly be excited about the idea of doing one in the future."

Headshot of Laurence Mozafari

Other famous BBC TV productions such as Peaky Blinders and Downton Abbey have created movie follow-ups, so could the same be possible for a short-form sitcom?

The hit comedy will sadly premiere its final outing on October 6, and after that, we only have that surprise Christmas special to look forward to.

It's no secret that the cast and writers love making the show, and although they want to go out on a high, they've been honest that it would be tempting to revisit the characters in the future somehow .

in a scene from ghosts series 5, a group of people dressed in clothes from different time periods stand outside the doorway of a stately home

Two of the show's writers and stars spoke exclusively to Digital Spy about the idea of a movie conclusion, including Laurence Rickard, who plays Humphrey and Robin, and Ben Willbond, who plays The Captain.

Laurence said: "It's always tricky with comedy, finding a format that works, that keeps the tone of the television comedy across the narrative of sort of 90 minutes. It's a tricky balancing act, which I think is why so few things have done it – or certainly done it successfully. It's in the easier translation with drama.

"But, you know, we've made films together in the past. We'd certainly be excited about the idea of doing one in the future. And there are various ideas that we've looked into. I think it's something that if we found the story that worked, and there was the financial means and the enthusiasm to do it, then it's something that we'd probably explore.

"But there's no immediate plans to do it. We had a real ball with the last film we made together, so I don't think it's something we'd discount."

ghosts s4,portrait,portrait,humphrey larry rickard,monumental,guido mandozzi

Meanwhile, Ben added: "Yeah. It's a thing that people try to do. Either they're a bit of a success, or they're people going: 'Oh, I wish it wasn't in a TV show.' Our world is a half-hour sitcom, and that's what it is.

"The minute you turn it into a film narrative, it becomes something else. Film narrative works very differently. And it might not feel right. I don't know. It's not come out. Let's put it that way. No one's asked us to do that."

Elsewhere, the creators have written an official companion book, Ghosts: The Button House Archives , which features letters, newspaper clippings and diaries delving into the Ghosts' backstories and using some ideas that couldn't make it into the show.

GHOSTS: The Button House Archives

GHOSTS: The Button House Archives

The book is available for pre-order now from both Amazon and Waterstones and is published on October 26, just in time for Halloween, or Black Friday early Christmas shopping time, depending on how you look at it.

Beyond that, the cast is working on other projects together beyond Ghosts , including a mixture of film and TV, Laurence explained: "There's a live-action thing that we're doing for TV. There's a potential feature, if we can pull all the elements together. There's an animation that we've been discussing for a while. There's fingers in pies."

As for their ideal projects to work on beyond BBC's Ghosts , Ben and Laurence were very clear: James Bond and Marvel .

Ben said: "My constant pursuit of trying to be in a Bond movie continues. But obviously the older I get… who knows? Never say never. I'm just going to put it out there. If they want me in one, I'm happy. I'm free.

.css-v4i29p:before{-webkit-transition:width .2s ease-in-out,background .2s ease-in-out;transition:width .2s ease-in-out,background .2s ease-in-out;content:'';background-color:#000000;color:#fff;position:relative;display:inline-block;height:0.25rem;width:3rem;} .css-zggbc2{font-family:Montserrat,Helvetica,Arial,Sans-serif;font-size:1.625rem;font-weight:900;line-height:1.2;margin:0rem;}@media(max-width: 64rem){.css-zggbc2{font-size:1.75rem;line-height:1.1;}}@media(min-width: 48rem){.css-zggbc2{font-size:2.25rem;line-height:1.2;}}@media(min-width: 64rem){.css-zggbc2{font-size:2.25rem;line-height:1.2;}}.css-zggbc2 b,.css-zggbc2 strong{font-family:inherit;font-weight:bold;}.css-zggbc2 em,.css-zggbc2 i{font-family:inherit;font-style:italic;} "My constant pursuit of trying to be in a Bond movie continues."

"What's most likely – it's for me just to be in a boiler suit, and to be shot at. It's the most likely. But I'd take it. I'd take it. Man in Boiler Suit 3 is probably the most likely."

Laurence added: "I mean, obviously, Marvel are never off the phone. I'm waiting for the right hero character to come along to really do justice to [ laughs ].

"Ben [Willbond] is the world's most handsome man, and with the name Bond actually in his name. How have the casting directors not found their way to that one? I don't know. I think he's resigned himself now to being either a sort of second-tier government official, or a kind of smarmy henchman."

The final series of Ghosts starts on Friday, October 6 at 8.30pm on BBC One and the full series will be available as a boxset on BBC iPlayer on the same day.

Ghosts: The Button House Archives is published by Bloomsbury on 26 October, and is available to pre-order now.

Headshot of Laurence Mozafari

Editor-in-Chief -Digital Spy  

Laurence Mozafari (he/him) is a multi-award winning journalist, editor, and presenter, currently Editor-in-Chief at Digital Spy , the UK's biggest TV and movies website. 

Before that, he held roles as Editor, Deputy Editor, and Associate Editor focusing on news, social, and video.Laurence hosted the BBC Sounds podcast Obsessed with Peaky Blinders in 2019, as well as his own podcast production, Time of My Life , where he interviews fascinating elders about their life lessons, including Only Fools and Horses ' Sir David Jason, Star Trek ’s George Takei and Bridgerton ’s Adjoa Andoh.   He was previously at Bauer Media working as Digital Editor of Heat magazine’s website, , and has worked at and written for Sky, NME, Q magazine, Grazia, Closer, FHM and dedicated careers website GoThinkBig .

He secured a first-class BA journalism degree at Staffordshire University, along with several NCTJ qualifications, and now has 14 years' experience in digital publishing covering TV, movies, music, gaming, tech, showbiz, and travel.  

Laurence has been a broadcasting contributor on television and radio, including KISS, Heat Radio, BBC Radio London, Radio 5 Live, and BBC Breakfast.  He is also a visiting lecturer at various universities teaching journalism, including City, University of London, Nottingham Trent, Staffordshire University and London Metropolitan.

Laurence has won numerous awards in his journalism career, including the BSME Talent Award’s Best Deputy Editor, the PPA's 30 Under 30, and the New Editor and Editor of the Year at the AOP and BSMEs. He led Digital Spy to win PPA's Digital Content Team of the Year twice, along with the British Media Awards’ Brand of the Year in 2021.  

Laurence joined the committee for the British Society of Magazine Editors in 2022. He has since hosted panels with CEOs of Immediate Media and the Media Trust at the PPA Festival, as well as presenting his own radio show on Green Man Radio at Green Man Festival in 2022.   Laurence is also a Brits voting academy member. Laurence has been lucky enough to interview numerous celebrities, actors, and musicians throughout his career. Arnold Schwarzenegger loved his hair, Jimmy Carr loved his coat and Antonio Banderas gave a shout-out to his mum.  Laurence has covered set visits for The Witcher on Netflix and Marvel’s Inhumans, he got Daisy Ridley to do a Chewbacca impression and loves Marvel, PlayStation, Glastonbury and craft beer. 


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Ghosts Wiki

Button House

  • View history

Button House (formerly Bone House and Higham House ) is the mansion that Alison and Mike inherit from Alison's "great-step-aunt" Heather Button . [2] It is haunted by various ghosts which have died in the house or its grounds over the centuries.

  • 6 References

History [ ]

Before the house was built, the grounds were originally a village during the Middle Ages. The village was a small community. One of the Villagers, Mick , was well-known in the community and also went traveling. He claimed to have met the King and had several items that were rare at the time when he returned to the village, including salt and pelts. Unfortunately, the salt and pelts were infected with plague. Though Mick eventually realized the salt and pelts were infected when it made him sneeze out blood, he had already shared the salt with his friends and didn’t tell them. His friends developed the plague, which passed around the whole village. Everyone in the village died of the plague, with their bodies being tossed in a plague pit.

Sometime before the reign of Henry VIII, the house was built. It was originally called Bone House, as it was owned by the Bone family. When Humphrey was a child, he met Henry VIII, who dined with him and his family. Humphrey’s wife, Sophie Bone , held meetings with assassins, discussing a plot to assassinate Queen Elizabeth I and replace her with Mary Queen of Scots. However, the plot was uncovered and the assassins were killed by guards of Elizabeth. Humphrey allowed Sophie to escape, and he hid from the guards. However, he was beheaded by two swords above the chimney that fell on him. One of the guards claimed he executed Humphrey. It can be presumed that Sophie was either executed by Elizabeth I or lost the house due to Humphrey being believed to have been the leader of the plot (as Sophie had escaped with Humphrey’s help and everyone assumed he had been the leader). Sophie and Humphrey were probably childless. As such, a new family were given the House.

During the 1600s, Mary appears to have been a servant at Button House. Mary was accused of witchcraft by two men in her village and burned at the stake.

Around 50 years later (assuming Mary can count), the house seems to have been owned by Puritans, including Annie and her husband. Annie died, either choking on a piece of bread or of an allergic reaction.

During the 1700s, the house belonged to Kitty and Eleanor ’s family.

During the 1820s Button House was known as Higham House and was owned by Lord Higham. Lord Higham's daughter, Isabelle Higham would go on to marry Francis Button . Their son would come to live at the house, as would his grandson George Button along with his wife, Lady Stephanie Button . George was a closeted homosexual, having a threesome affair with the Groundsman and Butler. Fanny caught them, and George subsequently murdered her by pushing her out of their bedroom window.

The house was evidently commandeered for use by the army during the Second World War, and given that the Captain 's medals imply he survived the war, only to die at Button House later, in uniform, it follows that the army must have continued to use the house for some time after the war. Its grounds were sometimes used by adventure scouts in the 1980s. Julian Fawcett used the house for a secret tryst in the early 1990s; he was apparently a regular visitor as he got to know Barclay Beg-Chetwynde who lives nearby and Heather Button who was in residence of the house at that time. [3]

The property was in disrepair from neglect over the years in various places around the mansion. The basement houses the hot water heater which gets repaired.

Property [ ]

There is a lake mentioned in the episode Who Do You Think You Are? .

  • The show is filmed at West Horsley Place, Surrey which offers tours.

Gallery [ ]

Button House seen during the theme song.

References [ ]

  • ↑ The Grey Lady
  • ↑ "Step-great-aunt" is the phrase Alison uses to make sense of her relationship to Heather Button, though it's actually a more distant relationship which her solicitor says "there isn't really a term for" ( Who Do You Think You Are? ).
  • ↑ A Lot to Take In
  • 1 The Captain
  • International edition
  • Australia edition
  • Europe edition

Charlotte Ritchie as Alison in the final series of Ghosts.

TV tonight: ghoulish goings-on in the final series of Ghosts

The gang find new ways to keep Button House going. Plus: cruel billionaires fight it out. Here’s what to watch this evening

8.30pm, BBC One

It is time to say goodbye to Kitty, Julian, Pat and the ghoulish gang, as the last season of the smash-hit sitcom begins. In the first of six episodes (all available on iPlayer now), Alison (Charlotte Ritchie) and Mike (Kiell Smith-Bynoe) need to find other ways to keep Button House going after the gatehouse fire. But – much to our entertainment – Alison is far too distracted by trying to pull an April Fools’ Day prank. Hollie Richardson

Gardeners’ World

9pm, bbc two.

It’s time for Monty Don to harvest apples this week (all thoughts immediately turn to crumble, pudding and pie). He also shares his tips on what to do with windfalls and how to plant a container for winter insects. Elsewhere, Adam Frost visits a garden designer who has overcome extreme weather conditions. HR

9pm, Sky Atlantic

As the final season of this drama set in the amoral world of the ultra-rich approaches the endgame, its political dimension has made it all the more chilling. Could the appalling Michael Prince (Corey Stoll) really become president? This week, Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti) shows how far he will go to stop that from happening. Meanwhile, Wendy spies an escape route. Phil Harrison

10pm, Sky Max

Wagons east! With their counterfeit dosh attracting too much heat on the streets of 1870s San Francisco, the Hop Wei gang plan to strike a deal with a rapacious German mining operation farther inland. But can heroic hatchet man Ah Sahm (Andrew Koji) turn a blind eye to the exploited Chinese workforce? Hell no. Graeme Virtue

Drift: Partners in Crime

10.10pm, sky atlantic.

It’s the finale of the German thriller about two reunited cop brothers who uncover a conspiracy and have to constantly evade bad guys, usually by driving quickly. As Ali (Ken Duken) and Leo (Fabian Busch) come under suspicion, an investigative journalist becomes the target of a mafia assassin and a grand showdown beckons. Jack Seale

The Graham Norton Show

10.40pm, bbc one.

Elton John’s partner in pop, Bernie Taupin, joins Norton for a rare interview to discuss his new memoir this week. Also squeezing on to the sofa are Top Boy’s Ashley Walters, comedian Bill Bailey and soon-to-be West End star Catherine Tate. French popster Christine and the Queens provides the music. HR

Film choice

Fair Play (Chloe Domont, 2023), Netflix

Alden Ehrenreich as Luke and Phoebe Dynevor as Emily in Fair Play.

A searing portrait of male entitlement, Chloe Domont’s drama starts out as a sweet workplace romance then shifts into increasingly traumatic territory. Phoebe Dynevor’s Emily is secretly in a relationship with Luke (Alden Ehrenreich), her less talented colleague at a high-pressure US financial firm. When she gets promoted to being his boss – a position he assumed was his for the taking – their bond begins to fray. The distance between them increases scene by scene, as Luke tries, and fails, to be more assertive at work and Emily struggles to prove she isn’t a token hire. Sexism and victim-shaming are dissected in an intense, thought-provoking film. Simon Wardell

The Fugitive (Andrew Davis, 1993), 10pm, Channel 5 One of Harrison Ford’s finest hours, this propulsive reworking of the 1960s TV series showcases his A-list ability to combine a believable character with a preposterous plot. He plays Dr Richard Kimble, wrongly accused of his wife’s murder at home, who flees a prison van and goes on the run to search for the one-armed man responsible – uncovering a wider conspiracy in the process. Tommy Lee Jones won an Oscar as the US marshal on his tail and proves a steady anchor for the action swirling around him. SW

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  1. George Button

    Ghosts (BBC series) George Button, Viscount or Baron Button, is the great grandson of Francis Button and his wife Isabelle Higham, and also the husband of Fanny, who is his father's cousin's wife's sister's daughter. Contents 1 Biography 2 Appearance 3 Personality 4 Trivia 5 References Biography

  2. Ghosts (American TV series)

    Ghosts is an American television sitcom. It was adapted to American television for CBS by Joe Port and Joe Wiseman from the British series of the same name. Port & Wiseman serve as showrunners. The American series premiered on October 7, 2021. [1] In October 2021, the series was picked up for a full season. [2]

  3. Ghosts season 5 ending explained: Do Alison and Mike leave

    Ghosts season 5 is finally here and all fans are wondering whether Alison (Charlotte Ritchie) and Mike (Kiell Smith-Bynoe) will leave Button House for good.

  4. BBC Ghosts stars talk movie idea after season 5 ending

    By Laurence Mozafari Published: 07 October 2023. BBC Ghosts season 5 stars have responded to the idea of following up the TV show finale with a movie in the future. Other famous BBC TV productions ...

  5. Button House

    Button House (formerly Bone House and Higham House) is the mansion that Alison and Mike inherit from Alison's "great-step-aunt" Heather Button. It is haunted by various ghosts which have died in the house or its grounds over the centuries. Before the house was built, the grounds were originally a village during the Middle Ages. The village was a small community. One of the Villagers, Mick, was ...

  6. TV tonight: ghoulish goings-on in the final series of Ghosts

    8.30pm, BBC One. It is time to say goodbye to Kitty, Julian, Pat and the ghoulish gang, as the last season of the smash-hit sitcom begins. In the first of six episodes (all available on iPlayer ...