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A cliche, but a scary one, is to bring in a character with no introduction who acts odd in some manner that can be later described (limps, can't talk, deaf, stacks up wood for a fire even though it is a hot day in August, or something like that) then later have another character tell us that it sounds like so-and-so, but it could not have been them because so-and-so has been dead for ___ years.