The Spirits of the Years Past are a group of ghosts that represent every year in living history. They live in a barren, rocky world filled with giant clocks. A key landmark in their world is the Time Stream, a portal which new spirits must enter on every New Year's Eve. If an older spirit attempts to re-enter, the Time Waster is created and attacks the spirits. Should the wrong spirit actually manage to achieve their goal, history will fold in on itself and time will cease to exist.
Despite time being measured differently on every planet (and even within certain planets), each spirit represents an individual year on Planet Earth/Mobius time. To identify which one represents each year, they all wear a banner that states their year. Furthermore, the overall look of each spirit is stereotypical of the era they come from. Spirits may change over the years, as ones close to the current date are much younger in appearance.
Ones seen in Sonic the Comic are:
- 32000 BC - a prehistoric human
- 1099 - an English knight
- 1868 - a long-winded gentleman
- 1930 - an elderly Northern man and an accidental antagonist
- 1950 - a suited man
- 1977 - a young punk
- 1998 - a pigtailed girl and previous Time Stream entrant
- 1999 - a baby and next in line to enter the Time Stream