The Other Side is a mysterious dimension where the spirits of dead supernatural beings reside. It was created by the powerful witch Qetsiyah, with the intention that should Silas die a mortal death, he would be forced to spend an eternity with her on the Other Side. It is first mentioned by Anna when she appears as a ghost and talks to Jeremy, telling him she's alone on the Other Side. Anna admits that she does not know what it is officially called. However, other residents such Sheila Bennett and Esther and every other character refer to it as "The Other Side" as well. This place is ruled by the Spirits.
So far, Jeremy has been the only one in the series consistently able to see ghosts; Matt Donovan briefly had this ability after he talked to Vicki in an in-between place, while Bonnie tried to revive him from drowning. Typically, in order to summon a ghost from the Other Side, a living person must be thinking about the person in question.
- Non-witch species, such as vampires, are unable to see or interact with the spirits on the Other Side.
- Through magic, witches can see and communicate with each other across the barrier separating this world from the Other Side.
- A human who dies, gets resurrected, and remains human can become a medium, allowing them to see and communicate with residents of the Other Side.
- Witches on the Other Side can still use their magic to affect both sides of the veil.
- A dead witch can appear to a living descendant in dreams, as well as possess her.
- A living witch can channel the power of many dead witches if they were massacred in one place; such a mass killing marks the earth with mystical energy, and a witch can harness it once she finds its location. However, these spirits can also refuse the channeler this power.
- A powerful dead witch can allow supernatural beings on the Other Side to gain a foothold on the world of the living, giving them the power to interact with the physical plane of the living. In turn, a living witch can perform a spell that will reveal them to everyone on this plane, not just mediums.
- If her body is preserved, a witch can return to it from the Other Side, though only by channeling a great amount of magical power; for instance, the power of an entire bloodline of witches.
- The Veil is an invisible wall that separates earth's physical plane from the Other Side, or the plane of all dead supernatural creatures. It can be lowered using Expression magic, though this spell also requires the power provided by an Expression Triangle and another magical source, like a celestial event or magical object.
Seasons One and TwoEdit
Although the Other Side is not mentioned by name until Season Three, Bonnie has had contact with dead witches several times in the past. In Season One, Emily Bennett, Bonnie's ancestor who lived in the 19th century, contacts Bonnie in her dreams and eventually possesses her after Bonnie, Elena and Caroline summon her in a séance. In Season Two, Bonnie channels the power of a hundred dead witches, first in order to kill Klaus and later to bring Jeremy back to life. The consequences of resurrecting Jeremy is that he acquires the ability to see ghosts and Bonnie loses access to the dead witches' power.
In Smells Like Teen Spirit, Vicki reveals to Matt that she has been getting help from a powerful witch on the Other Side. She claims that the witch will help her to be able to come and go as she pleases, though still only as a ghost.
When Bonnie performs a spell to send Vicki back to the Other Side for good, she inadvertantly helps the powerful witch to open the passage between the world and the Other Side. The breach allows ghosts of supernatural beings to return and fully interact with the living. In Ghost World, Sheila helps Bonnie close this passage by destroying the talisman of the Original witch in order to break her hold on the world of the living.
After Abby and Bonnie perform a spell to open Klaus' magically sealed coffin, Esther is revealed to be the Original witch and returns to her body from the Other Side. She reveals to Elena that her witch friend, Ayana, had preserved her body with a spell. With Bonnie and Abby's help, as well as the help of the entire Bennett line on the Other Side, she was able to return to her body.
In Heart of Darkness, Damon and Elena travel to Denver to see Jeremy because they need him to contact a dead vampire, Rose. Since Jeremy had never met her, Damon, who knew her best, thinks about her in order to summon her to them. She reveals that she enjoys being on the Other Side and the freedom it grants her after spending most of her life running from Klaus.
In Do Not Go Gentle, Esther explains to Elena that every time Alaric died while wearing the Gilbert ring, she spoke to him from the Other Side and encouraged his inner darkness to develop and kill vampires. This is the first time the Other Side is mentioned in connection with a human's (in this case, Alaric's) death; Esther describes it as "his journey into death". She also assures Elena that Jenna is not on the Other Side, but had instead found peace.
In Growing Pains, Bonnie attempts to save Elena from becoming a vampire by traveling to The Other Side to retrieve her soul, which she suspects might be on both sides while she is in transition. With Jeremy's help, Bonnie stops her own heart and is able to travel to Elena, who is locked up at the Young farm. Invisible, Bonnie tries to lead Elena "home", but is interrupted by her grams, who warns her against using such dark magic. Later, after she has transferred Klaus's essence out of Tyler's body and back into his own, her grams returns again to repeat her warning, but the spirits retaliate and appear to be torturing her grams in punishment.
In Memorial, Alaric's ghost, unseen by Damon, sits near him at his grave while Damon is thinking about him and "talking" to him.
According to Atticus Shane, part of the legend of Qetsiyah and Silas, two powerful ancient witches, is that Qetsiyah created a cure for immortality, intending for Silas to take it and be with her on the Other Side for all eternity.
In Stand By Me, Silas, disguised as Shane, reveals to Bonnie that the Other Side was created by Qetsiyah, who sought to prevent Silas from ever finding peace with his true love. By ensuring that all supernatural beings went to this purgatory after death, instead of finding peace and moving on, she ensured that if Silas chose to die, he would end up with her on the Other Side. Silas convinces Bonnie that she will be able to "drop the veil" between this side and the Other Side, thereby destroying it and allowing all the dead there to return to this world.
In Because the Night, Silas persuades Bonnie to complete an Expression Triangle by sacrificing the lives of 12 witches. He explains that the triangle is necessary to harness enough power to perform the spell that will drop the veil to the Other Side.
In She's Come Undone, Bonnie explains to Katherine that Silas wants her to channel the power of the full moon to perform the spell to drop the veil to the Other Side. Katherine figures out that Bonnie wants her to hand over Silas' tombstone so that she can use its power instead of that of the full moon for the spell. Bonnie bribes her with the promise that once the veil is dropped, she will speak to Qetsiyah to find out how she made Silas invulnerable to any weapon, and then share the secret with Katherine.
In The Walking Dead, after harnessing the mystical energy left by the 3 massacres of the Expression triangle, Bonnie uses the power of Qetsiyah's blood in Silas' tombstone to drop the veil, and Alaric, Kol, Jeremy, Lexi, Alexander, Connor, and Vaughn return. They are limited by the bounds of the triangle; only within the triangle can they interact with this plane. Bonnie tries to contact Qetsiyah on the Other Side, but is interrupted when Elena stabs Katherine, which injures Bonnie as she had linked herself to Katherine earlier. Silas further delays Bonnie's efforts with psychic manipulation. Later, after Damon has helped Bonnie subdue and petrify Silas, she attempts to perform a spell that would allow Jeremy to stay before putting the veil back up, but she overextends herself and apparently dies; she awakens to see her own body lying on the ground.
Note: It is presumed that every supernatural creature that has perished in the last 2000 years is now stuck on The Other Side. Therefore some on the list do not need concrete evidence.
- It is intended as a purgatory for supernatural beings; unable to find peace and move on, they can only observe the life they left behind.
- Rose is the only known vampire so far who enjoys being on the Other Side.
- Jenna is the only known vampire so far who moved on and found peace. This was confirmed by Esther in Do Not Go Gentle.
- In the novels, there are other species that are trapped in the Dark Dimension, which is similar to the Other Side. These include kitsune, phantoms, and guardians.