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Jean Kriticos, also known, according to the Black Zodiac, as The Withered Lover, was the late wife of Arthur Kriticos and the fourth ghost to be featured in The Black Zodiac.


Jean was the loving wife of Arthur Kriticos and the mother of their children, Bobby and Kathy Kriticos. Jean loved her family deeply, but they tragically lost her one night when, while she and Arthur were sleeping in front of the fireplace, a stray log rolled out and set the Christmas tree alight; quickly starting a house fire. Arthur unintentionally abandoned Jean to save Bobby and Kathy (wrongly assuming that Jean would go outside and wait for them) and the left side of her face and body was horribly burnt by the fire. The burnt Jean was taken to St. Luke's Hospital, where she died of her burns.

After Death[]

Six months following her death, Jean's spirit remained bound to earth and was captured by Cyrus Kriticos to become The Withered Lover. She was then moved to the basement of Basileus's Machine with the other eleven ghosts and was the third ghost to be released.

In spite of being burned alive, Jean was, quite possibly, the only ghost out of the twelve captured that was purely innocent and kind, as she wasn't prone to aggression or causing any kind of harm to the living or dead.

Withered Lover

The symbol of the Withered Lover.

Right after her release, Jean tries to warn her son, Bobby, not to follow The Bound Woman into the basement, but fails. Later, Jean communicates with Bobby through his toy microphone, instructing him to put on a pair of spectral viewers to see her, and begging him to return upstairs.

However, while Bobby is struck with shock and awe at the sight of his dead mother, Cyrus attacks and kidnaps him from behind. Later, a Latin chant causes Jean, along with the other eleven ghosts, to go to the center of the machine and power it up. However, Jean is able to resist the spell long enough to visit her husband.


Jean's ghost as The Withered Lover.

When Jean and the other ghosts are freed from Cyrus's trance, she is one of a few (along with the First Born Son, the Torso, and the Dire Mother) who doesn't participate in the ghosts' vengeance on Cyrus from trapping them. This is especially interesting, considering how Cyrus had put her family in extreme danger. This may be due to her not being a vengeful spirit. The house then explodes, destroying its walls, and a peaceful-looking Jean visits her family one last time before vanishing from the house.


05 Withered Lover 02

The Artifact of The Withered Lover

  • The Latin inscription beneath The Withered Lover's symbol in The Arcanum, "Amator Marcidus", translates to "Withered Lover".
  • Unlike the other ghosts that perform some form of violence towards people (with maybe the Torso being an exception), she's the only one seen that elects to help her family whenever possible.
  • She is the second female ghost in the Black Zodiac.
  • The Withered Lover is the equivalent to Cancer, which is the fourth house in the Black and Traditional Zodiacs. They tend to be motherly, emotional, intuitive, caring, and sensitive.
  • Her ghost file is represented by a damaged photo of herself.
  • Cyrus had expressed in her ghost file that she was his easiest choice.
  • Based on what Kalina said to Arthur, Jean was an earthbound spirit for six months after she died at St. Luke's Hospital.
  • Her ghost is the last to disappear from the house, staying behind to see her family one more time.
  • In the soundtrack her name is spelled "Gene" in the track called "Gene Returns".