Silly Spook

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Ghosts are often portrayed as inherently somber beings, doomed to remain near the place of their death and mourn their own demise forever. These ghosts however, will have none of that. Silly Spooks are the clowns of the undead, causing laughter instead of, or sometimes in addition to, fear. They can be examples of any Character Alignment from Lawful Good to Chaotic Evil. In some cases, the characters will be scared of the ghost while the audience laughs. Other times, the Silly Spook will be funny In-Universe and out. But at the end of the day, SOMEONE will have the giggles.

The comedy inherent in this trope can be deliberate on the ghost's part or not. Silly Spooks that don't want to be funny tend to be portrayed as hilariously incompetent at scaring people, which is often their job.

Despite the name, this trope can apply not only to ghosts, but to any stereotypically scary supernatural being.

The Trope Namer is The Haunted Mansion ride at Disney Theme Parks and the assorted media directly based upon it. Compare Friendly Ghost, who is also a non-scary but not necessarily funny spirit, or the Reluctant Monster who isn't even aware of its role.


Examples:

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    Advertising 

    Anime and Manga 
  • The first ghost-types to appear on Pokémon turned out to be pretty funny. They're fond of Tex Avery-esque Eye Pops and Wild Takes and clearly see their hauntings as pranking Ash and Pikachu, not attacking them.
  • Elizabeth, the Cute Ghost Girl in Maburaho, takes a liking to Kuriko, because her large breasts remind Elizabeth of her mother. In fact, she mistakes Kuriko for her mother because of Kuriko's breasts. When Kazuki and the girls help Elizabeth out to escape from the house in which she's been bound, she opens up and becomes quite playful.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The 1944 film version of The Canterville Ghost has the ghost being a big coward, as are all his descendants. He can't pass on until a descendant does something brave.
  • In the Abbott and Costello film The Time of Their Lives (1946), Lou Costello plays a ghost wrongly accused of treason, just trying to clear his name (with the typical Costello bumbling, cowardly comedy).
  • The ghosts in Topper and its sequels are helpful but often mischievous.
  • The Title Character in Beetlejuice qualifies. Referring to him, the movie's tagline was "The name in laughter from the hereafter!"
    • While the film is a comedy, "Beetlejuice" himself is more of a Monster Clown.

    Literature 
  • The ghosts in Harry Potter are mainly there for comic relief, though they become relevant to the plot occasionally.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Big Bad Beetleborgs featured Flabber, a friendly ghost who grants Drew, Jo, and Roland their powers.
  • Supernatural. Ghosts and spirits can be very scary, but the episode Changing Channels featured a very silly bedsheet ghost during their opening credits.

    Poetry 

    Theme Parks 

    Video Games 
  • In Super Mario Bros. we have the Boos, known for nearly always sticking their tongues out at you like a kid making a silly face and hiding behind their hands when Mario looks at them as if they were playing Peek-A-Boo.
  • Kogasa from Touhou Project is a Karakasa whose main ambition in life is to Jump Scare people and surprise them. Unfortunately, she's a Cute Monster Girl, so all her attempts end in failure.
  • Undertale has Napstablook, who does funny things like leading you to believe that he's asleep when in fact he's awake and saying "ZZZ" out loud, as well as Mettaton, who has more of a Large Ham comedic style
  • Yo Kai Watch has Whisper, a Know-Nothing Know-It-All who's known to occasionally make cheesy puns and transform himself to go along with the jokes.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • Wanda from Baman Piderman giggles, plays pranks and does cutesy things like boop Piderman on the nose and make an origami crane kiss Pumkin.
  • Casper as portrayed by the Nostalgia Critic. The silliness comes from how Out of Character it is for Canon Casper to be malicious and from the fact that he's still not scary even with the meaner personality.

    Western Animation 
  • Hairy Scary, pictured above, more so than Casper in Casper and the Angels. Casper is supposed to be a "guardian ghost" to the Space Cop Angels along with Hairy, but the latter brings about most of the show's laughs.
  • The Funky Phantom, who is a scaredy-cat ghost.
  • Slimer, the team mascot/pet in The Real Ghostbusters. Instead of "busting" him, the team lets him hang around and be the Comic Relief.
  • The ghosts in the classic Disney short "Lonesome Ghosts". They call ghost exterminators Mickey, Donald and Goofy so they could have someone to scare, and are clearly having a ball while doing so.
  • Danny Phantom: Danny Phantom himself qualifies. Although he possesses the power to become a ghost (which tend to be the source of most misfortune in the Danny Phantom universe), he is generally a pretty outgoing, Book Dumb kid who can be a bit of a Butt-Monkey. There's also the Box Ghost ("BEWARE!"), whose job is to haunt...boxes. Absolutely no one is afraid of him, and his bothering the main characters is a recurring gag.
  • The Title Character of Beetlejuice (see Film above).
    • The animated character is far Lighter and Softer than the film version and fits the trope much better.
  • The Wacky Races episode "Creepy Trip to Lemon Twist'' features two mischievous ghosts in the abandoned saloon. They play pranks on some of the racers, until Big Gruesome turns the tables on them.
  • Regular Show's Hi-Five ghost doesn't have much in the way of a developed personality, but his design is definitely silly. He looks like a Bedsheet Ghost or a Pac-Man ghost with a single arm and hand growing out of the top of his head.
  • Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers: The Boo Brothers, who come across as a ghostly version of the Three Stooges.

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