What Does the Note at End of ‘A Ghost Story’ Say? Twitter Has Theories

DP Andrew Droz Palermo shared an unused still from David Lowery’s movie and asked for suggestions

Ghost Story

(Spoiler alert: Please do not read on if you haven’t watched a “A Ghost Story”)

In terms of ambiguous endings, the conclusion to David Lowery’s art house darling “A Ghost Story” is right up there with Bill Murray whispering unheard words into Scarlett Johansson’s ear in “Lost in Translation.”

Casey Affleck’s character, a ghost outfitted with a plain white bed sheet, spends much of the film trying to retrieve a tiny note left in the crack of a wall by his wife (Rooney Mara). When he finally finds it and reads it, he then vanishes. It’s a beautiful, profound, existential moment, sure, but we never get to see what the note says …

Thankfully, the director of photography on the film, Andrew Droz Palermo, provided a little clarity on Monday, revealing that the filmmakers never knew if the note would ever be seen in the film, but they had a Plan B just in case.

“We weren’t sure if we were ever going to show the note, so we shot an OTS with a blank note as a backup,” Palermo wrote on Twitter. “Here are my best guesses as to what it said, and the blank one for your own submissions.”


Palermo shared the blank image and encouraged the movie fans to go to work, and they didn’t disappoint. Some imagined it was the “Mister Police” line from “The Snowman,” a recent favorite meme of the Film Twitter community. Others recalled the infamous “Moonlight” and “La La Land” Best Picture debacle. And others recalled another meme-worthy scene from the film, in which Mara’s character spends an eternity sitting on the floor and eating an entire pie.

Lowery has clarified the significance of the note. He explained that hiding tiny mementos and time capsules is something he’s done since he was a kid. He had put a placeholder in the initial script, and Mara did write something down, but didn’t remember what it was, and neither Affleck nor the crew saw the note or were able to retrieve it after Mara put it in the wall of the house.

“We thought about whether or not we should show it, but it doesn’t matter as much as just knowing that he got it,” Lowery told The Hollywood Reporter. “Nothing written there would mean anything to the audience at that point, and it would just complicate that moment — you’d see something, process it, and then wonder what it means.”

Check out some of the best responses below: