There are many different phantoms of all shapes and sizes, each one generally feed off the darkness in people and corrupt the 'good' in one's heart. They have a certain fondness for the smell of gods and shinki. It is unknown how the phantoms are able to exist on the Near Shore alongside humans, but they can be expelled and killed by shinki (either wielded by gods, or using borderlines). They cannot be seen by humans under normal circumstances, but animals, small children, and people who are especially perceptive to beings of the Far Shore can see them.
My name is [Ebisu]. Grasping thy true name, I bind thee to the mask. With borrowed name, I dub thee my servant. The tedious veneer of names that have gathered cannot defy my call. Bow down to the one visage. Yield, [Ryouki]!
(Official English translation)
All phantoms look different. Some have cute appearances whilst others appear scary. They can range from being small enough to fit in the palm on one's hand or large enough to tower over a city. They appear slightly transparent and are usually black, white, grey, or a mixture of fluorescent colors.
Some of the Phantoms resemble real animals or objects based on animals. Some notable examples are:
- Bunny Plushie
- Dinosaur Fossil
Some of the Phantoms resemble other objects. Some notable examples are:
- Coin Purse
Main article: Masked Phantoms
Masked phantoms are created using the Word. Visually, they are no different from regular phantoms, except for the presence of either a physical mask or a two-dimensional pattern of the mask. In terms of abilities, masked phantoms are capable of both understanding and using human speech, and are shown to mindlessly obey the orders or their creators.
- Hiyori is a Half-Phantom. This is because she was almost run over by an oncoming bus while trying to save Yato. This seems to be an extremely rare phenomenon, as neither Yato nor Tenjin are sure how it can be reversed.
- Yukine has nearly turned into a Phantom a total of three times, but was saved twice through an ablution ceremony and saved once using the Word.
- Nora is noted to have a second, phantom-like form, which is the reason why she doesn't get stung.