Philip Sykes is the old farmer who befriends David. At first, Philip preferred not to talk to the Piersons, and just tipped his hat. This changes one day when David finds Philip praying near the chapel. Philip warns David to convince his family to leave the farmhouse at Beak's End at once. When David tells him that will not happen he says that all he can do is pray for them. He tells David to see Alice Grayson at Afterlife Antiques. Over time, Philip and his wife, Angela, continue to open up to David.

Philip is a character throughout the first three books. He is a descendant of the Sykes family who has always lived next to Beak's End. His grandfather, Harold, was a close friend of Nathaniel Ley.