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Friendly Ghost

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"If you want to have friends, be one."

We're not here to freak you out.
We just came to shake it down.
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh, flip up your hands.
The ghosts just wanna dance!
Only want to haunt your igloo,
Give you chills, and party with you.
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh, flip up your hands.
The ghosts just wanna dance!
— "Ghosts Just Wanna Dance" from Club Penguin

As You Know, ghosts are scary. Perhaps it is the thought of the soul of the dead that doesn't stay dead, perhaps it's because nonliving things aren't supposed to move on their own, or perhaps the afterlife doesn't like them. Whatever the case, we think ghosts are out to harm us, and thus they tend to be portrayed as actively hostile. Not to mention how we attribute our bad luck or strange things happening in a place to mischievous ghosts, and how ghosts have a reputation of being vengeful or liking to possess someone.

Friendly Ghosts ain't any of those. They're friendly, helpful, and will talk to anyone. They may or may not be frightening in looks, which may strain their friendly nature. This can show that ghosts are Not Always Evil or that particular ghost Was Actually Friendly when others are mean/tricksters.


The Trope Namer is Casper the Friendly Ghost, who is also the Trope Codifier.

Subtrope of Our Ghosts Are Different. Compare Friendly Neighborhood Vampire, Friendly Skeleton, Friendly Zombie, Don't Fear the Reaper, Guardian Entity, Silly Spook, and Cute Ghost Girl. Contrast Ghastly Ghost.


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    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • In Silverblade, the ghost of Brian Vane joins the group to assist them in unravelling the supernatural events that are happening. An old friend to most of the group before he died, he continues to act that way towards them. At the end of the story, he works with Bobby Milestone on writing a book about their accumulated knowledge on the supernatural and metaphysics.
  • Suske en Wiske: Sus Antigoon is a sympathethic ghost and an ally of Suske and Wiske, because he is the ghost of Suske's dead grandfather.
  • Secret from Young Justice is sweet, innocent, and friendly to everyone. She's so personable that she even makes friends with Darkseid! That friendship, however, allows Darkseid to corrupt her, at which point she becomes very, very, ''very'' unfriendly.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers has the eponymous Boo Brothers, a trio of friendly ghosts who provide most of the comic relief, and help out Shaggy and Scooby several times.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Beetlejuice plays with the trope. The recently deceased couple are quite nice and friendly and only act spookily and scarily to get the weirdo yuppie family to leave. In the end, once Beetlejuice is defeated, the family and ghosts all get along happily with several other ghosts joining in.
  • Dead Lands: The ghost of Hongi's grandmother continues to aid him after her murder.
  • The Frighteners: The ghosts who hang out with Frank Bannister are friendly. They even help him with his fake ghost eliminating service and give their ... er, afterlives to protect him from the unfriendly ghosts who haunt the town.
  • Murdoch Glourie in the film The Ghost Goes West is a benign ghost, unless you're a McLaggen descendant.
  • In Ghostbusters (1984), Ray dreams about meeting a friendly yet seductive ghost of a woman who gives him a blowjob. Aren't blowjobs friendly?
  • Khushi in Golmaal Again. She was the childhood friend of the main characters who is revealed to be Dead All Along, but is still nice and friendly to the group. She was killed by her boyfriend when she witnessed him murder someone and he wanted to destroy the orphanage to build a construction site. The group decides to stop him and get justice for their friend.
  • High Spirits. Wacky comedy where the ghosts aren't just friendly, but amorous.
  • Just Like Heaven. Played with. The girl ghost in this movie is kinda cutesy adversarial with the guy, but it's a Rom Com, so she ends up having been only mostly dead, and stops being a ghost shortly after they fall in love.
  • Melissa Ann Montgomery and her mother in Lady in White. Melissa doesn't look spookily.
  • The staircase ghost from Poltergeist as well as the other ghosts who break glass, bend utensils like forks and spoons and stack chairs.
  • This was a major plot point in The Sixth Sense. Cole realizes that the ghosts aren't so menacing once he lends them his ear.
  • The ghosts in Thir13en Ghosts are pretty hostile (with one notable exception), but they were specifically chosen for their violent lives and deaths. Dennis, the team psychic, informs the protagonist that most ghosts "can't hurt us, they don't want to hurt us". Even the mad, violent ghosts of the Black Zodiac just wander away and leave the protagonists alone once their prison is opened and their tormenter is dealt with.
  • After Cary Grant and Constance Bennett are killed in a car wreck in Topper, they become Manic Pixie Dream Ghosts who dedicate themselves to livening up their old friend Cosmo Topper's previously stuffy existence.

  • Aunt Dimity from the book series of the same name is another ghost who kindly looks out for the surviving niece who inherits her home.
  • In the Deptford Mouselets book Fleabee's Fortune, the ghost of a Token Pacifist Rat named 'Orace Baldmony appears to Fleabee to give her hope that she doesn't have to become an evil rat and serve Jupiter.
  • Bianca Oliver becomes this after her death in the third book in the Evernight series becoming a wraith. She still cares about the friends and boyfriend she had when alive and is genuinely friendly and helpful to others.
  • Forest Kingdom: Book 2 (Blood and Honor) features ghost boy "Wee Geordie", who calls Jordan for help in order to save the castle steward, and the ghost of a bloodhound that also helps out.
  • A Played With example. The ghost in Ghost Story is friendly to his friends from life. Harry Dresden himself is the ghost in question here.
  • In the Goosebumps book "The Ghost Next Door", the main character suspects that her neighbor is a ghost, due to the fact that he's lived next door for a while and yet she and her family don't remember anybody moving into that house, the fact that they've both been going to the same school for a while and are in the same grade yet neither knows any of the others friends and the fact that the neighbor seems to keep randomly disappearing. While he does cause trouble when he's around his friends (who pretty much coerce him into causing trouble), he is a generally good kid. But at the end, it turns out that he's not a ghost, but the main character is, having been unaware that she and her family had been dead for awhile, and they are rather friendly for ghosts.
  • A children's book called Gus Was A Friendly Ghost played with this. It told the story of a family haunted by an extremely friendly and helpful ghost named Gus. One day, the family went on vacation, and Gus took in a small mouse who was out in the rain. Things were fine and dandy until the mouse proved to be a nuisance, and Gus very quickly took a Beware the Nice Ones turn on his errant houseguest. Even friendly ghosts have their limits.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Nearly Headless Nick is polite, nice, and likes to tell stories of the past. Notably, he doesn't hesitate to show why he's "nearly headless" when he's asked and he treats it well.
    • Also Hufflepuff's ghost, the Fat Friar. Ravenclaw's ghost, the Grey Lady, is a bit standoffish but can also be helpful. In contrast, Slytherin has the Bloody Baron, who is at least rumored to be dangerous, but it's not entirely clear how true that is. We do find out that he killed the Grey Lady, but killed himself in grief and became The Atoner in the afterlife.
    • Moaning Myrtle is a Jerk with a Heart of Gold version.
  • Oreg in the Hurog duology. Despite being something of a slave to the head of the family, he has quite some freedom in being nice or mean to other members of the family. He seems to have Big Brother Instinct towards the daughter of the family, and makes life difficult for relatives who mistreat her.
  • Mo Dao Zu Shi has A-Qing, a somewhat Vengeful Ghost who stuck around to protect unsuspecting visitors from the Serial Killer who murdered her, her Parental Substitute, and his best friend, and to make sure he was brought to justice. While she's rather unsettling in appearance (especially when she reveals the Tongue Trauma that prevents her from verbal communication), she uses her ghostly knocking to scare people out of the Ghost City where the killer resides, and later uses it to aid his pursuers in locating and defeating him.
  • The overwhelming majority of spirits in the Necroscope series are not only friendly but delighted to have someone to talk to in Harry Keogh.
  • Nina Tanleven: The Ghost in the Third Row features the Woman in White, who never causes trouble for anyone in all her years of haunting the Grand Theater (despite what Lydia Crane would have everyone believe) and goes out of her way to help Nine and Chris find information that, together with some other discoveries, leads to the downfall of the real villain.
  • In the short story "Old Applejoy's Ghost" by Frank R. Stockton, the title character befriends his great-granddaughter and, with her help, teaches her uncle (his grandson) to be less miserly.
  • Please Tell Aunt Tillie She's Dead features the ghost of the main character's aunt. She's not gentle or nice once her niece inherits the home, but she is acting to protect her niece from a great evil, so she can't really be nice about it.
  • King Verence and King Champot in Wyrd Sisters. Verence seeks vengeance on his murderer, but when he's not doing that is very polite and charming. Champot is the oldest ghost in the castle and helpfully explains to Verence what the rules are.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Angel: Cordelia moves into an apartment in the "Rm w/a Vu" episode that is haunted by Dennis Pearson and his psychotic mother. Once Dennis's body is uncovered and he banishes the mother's ghost, he remains as Cordelia's friendly roommate.
  • Being Human(UK) had several of these but primarily Annie Sawyer and Alex Millar, two friendly and helpful young women who just happen to be undead specters.
  • Big Bad Beetleborgs featured Flabber, a friendly ghost who grants Drew, Jo, and Roland their powers.
  • Pretty much all of the ghosts from Ghosts are friendly, sometimes too much so for the lead character Alison - as they're usually Invisible to Normals, even the random ones that she encounters away from the haunted house are generally just thrilled to be acknowledged for once.
  • The Ghost and Mrs. Muir: The ghost of Captain Gregg pretended at being fearsome and blustery, but he was really rather sweet and in love with Mrs. Muir.
  • Ghostwriter is pretty friendly and helpful to those he chooses to interact with. Otherwise, he's Invisible to Normals.
  • Jennifer Slept Here. The ghost of actress Jennifer Farrell haunts her former mansion. When a yuppie couple moves in (her former lawyer and his family), she's friendly with the son (the only person who can see her), and tries to help him become cool.
  • Nearly Departed: All the ghosts in this short-lived series were friendly, if occasionally antagonistic with the people living in the home with them.
  • Supernatural: Most of the ghosts on the show are malevolent, given the heroes are ghost hunters. That said, they do meet some friendly ghosts.
    • In Season 1, the Winchesters return to their childhood home, which is haunted. It turns out that there are two ghosts, one is a violent poltergeist and the other is a more protective spirit, who turns out to be their mother Mary.
    • In Season 2, the Winchesters meet a woman being haunted by an angry spirit and assist her in putting the spirit to rest. However, what the woman doesn't know is that she is also a spirit, and they help her go into the light at the end.
    • In Season 4, the Winchesters briefly become ghosts themselves and are assisted in how to move objects by the ghost of a twelve-year-old boy.
    • In Season 7, the Winchesters start working with the ghost of their surrogate father Bobby.
    • In Season 15, Sam meets and works with the ghost of fellow hunter Eileen, who he eventually manages to restore to her body.

  • Eels has a song called "Friendly Ghost" from their album Souljacker, in which the protagonist wants to meet a friendly ghost to help him.
  • Daniel Johnston also wrote a song called "Casper the Friendly Ghost", available on his album Yip/Jump Music.

  • Sorcerer's Lair has Whisper, a friend of the two siblings who investigate the lair.

  • Evelyn from Less Is Morgue is a wholesome, early-2000s ghost who wants to be friends with pretty much everyone she meets. Partly on account of the fact she can only talk to a handful of people.
  • Podcast: The Ride features the Sector Keeper, the ghost of a child who died of a staff infection in Universal Studios Hollywood's City Walk fountain.

  • Hui-Buh. Hui-Buh is a friendly ghost that "lives" in an old castle somewhere in Germany. He was a knight until he was caught cheating while playing cards and thus was cursed to be a ghost. He is fairly unlucky in his attempts at being spooky, which makes him a tragicomedic figure. He often helps or is helped by the current owners of the castle, and he is also the only "officially licensed ghost" in the country.

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 
  • D from Another Code is a nice enough kid who really just wants his memories back so he can pass on. Kelly in the second game ain't so bad.
  • The protagonist of Avenging Spirit is an adorable little ghost, who is on a rescue mission to save his (former) girlfriend from gangsters, who also shot him.
  • Battle Princess Madelyn features Fritzy, the ghost of the protagonist's deceased pet dog. He is your constant companion and helps you out by attacking monsters.
  • Candies N Curses takes place in a mansion full of ghosts. Most of them are hostile, but a few are willing to help Molli. This includes Bunber, the mansion's butler, Goober, a ghost puppy, and Churra, a ghost bat.
  • Dark Fall The Journal has a few of these in and around the Dowerton train station and Hotel.
    • Timothy Pike, a ghost child who likes to play in the train tunnels and the station footbridge, whom mysteriously died at the age of 11 in 1947. He is the first ghost you meet in the game, who helps you get started with the game, and also can give you hints for puzzles later on.
    • Edith Penfold, the station's landlady also counts. She leaves you a message for how to find her piece of the Dismantled Macguffin, and feels sorry for your brother's death that brought you here in the first place.
  • In Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates, the mournful ghost of a young girl appears to protagonists Yuri and Chelinka several times when they are young. Chelinka is terrified of her, while Yuri doesn't even notice she's a ghost, but the girl simply watches over them. Later, she offers her cloak to heal Yuri after he overclocks his crystal power at which point it is revealed that she is Princess Tilika, who was killed by the Crystal Temple a number of years prior to the game.
  • In Ghostbusters: The Video Game, the Ghostbusters contend with harmless echoes when they return to the Sedgewick Hotel. They look just like normal, everyday people milling about. Considering what they normally have to deal with, these "ghosts of ghosts" are the closest thing to "friendly" they've ever seen.
  • Zigzagged in Haunting Starring Polterguy: Poltergeist Polterguy is this towards the player (he speaks towards the audience a lot between levels), but not towards the Sardinis (he scares them out of their houses).
  • Moshi Monsters:
    • The Marooned Five are a pirate crew of ghosts. They can be quite mischievous (as expected of pirates), but they're actually benevolent.
    • Zoinks and his little cousin are two ghosts that haunt Goosebump Manor, who are pranksters but not cruel and are actually friendly.
    • Baby Ghosts are a species of small, spectral creatures. They aren't scary at all, they're just shy and cute.
    • Fancy Banshees are a species that resemble ghosts and, while they do have some creepy superpowers, they're actually very friendly.
  • Ghosts in The Sims 3 and The Sims 4 can be made friends with like any other Sim, and made playable. They can even have WooHoo with normal Sims, and in The Sims 3, produce "ghost babies", which look like ghosts and have some special abilities.
  • Super Mario Bros. franchise:
    • Super Mario series:
    • The Three Musty Fears of Super Mario RPG. They run the inn at Monstro Town, but since they're always out, Mario is allowed to rest for free. While he sleeps, Greaper Guy, Big Boo, and Dry Bones appear. They give cryptic clues as to where they're going to hide their flags, and if Mario can find the items, he'll get an accessory for free.
      • Cappy in Super Mario Odyssey. He and his fellow ghostly Bonneters are eager to help Mario rescue Peach and Cappy's sister Tiara from Bowser, with Cappy himself letting Mario "Capture" NPCs and perform various platforming techniques.
    • Paper Mario series:
    • Luigi's Mansion series:
      • Madame Clairvoya from Luigi's Mansion is the only portrait ghost who is friendly with Luigi. She helps him find out more about Mario's plight using the latter's dropped belongings, and once finished with this role she allows Luigi to vacuum her up with the Poltergust without a fight.
      • Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon has Polterpup. While all the other ghosts in Evershade Valley were friendly until the Dark Moon was shattered, Polterpup remains a Big Friendly Dog even afterward, reviving Luigi if he has a Gold Bone. Luigi even adopts him at the end.
      • In Luigi's Mansion 3, Polterpup is now officially Luigi's pet and helps him out in various ways. Also in this game is Morty, a film director who is pretty much the only non-hostile ghost in the hotel. He makes Luigi into the star of his latest feature film and even pays him some pretty flattering compliments.
    • Donkey Kong Franchise
  • Undertale has Napstablook, who is friendly and considerate, though they do seem to suffer from depression as well. The other ghost you meet is... less than friendly. And the other other ghost is Mettaton.

    Web Animation 
  • Google's 2017 Halloween Doodle centers around a Friendly Ghost named Jinx. He just wants to go trick-or-treating and make friends with the kids of the neighborhood.

    Web Comics 
  • The Fox Sister: Yun Hee is possessed by her dead sister's spirit, who saves her life.
  • Gunnerkrigg Court: Mort is a cheerful ghost whose job is to scare people (It's very important, I assure you.) with his Shapeshifting powers. Chapter 47 reveals he was a young boy who was killed in The Blitz and also sees him move on to the afterlife.
  • Homestuck's "dream bubbles" are full of ghosts, who can visit players in their sleep, or physically if players physically pass through the bubbles. They tend to be pretty kind, sometimes due to being AU versions of players' friends, and sometimes because they still act by their pre-death nature.
  • My Life as a Background Slytherin: In stark contrast to his canon portrayal, the Bloody Baron is depicted as a rather amicable (and eloquent) ghost, at least with Slytherin students. However, he puts on a Monster Façade, complete with Nightmare Face, towards the other students.
  • Scandinavia and the World. Denmark flips out upon meeting a tiny, adorable ghost, but Greenland reminds him that many ghosts are helpful, and asks the ghost for its purpose. Turns out it's actually terrifying after all, it drinks your beer!
  • Undead Friend is full of these, as all ghosts are allowed to make friends with a human in order to be seen.
  • Wilde Life: Sylvia the ghost has been unfriendly in the past when she didn't like the tenants. When she likes them, she is not only friendly but helpful: finding lost items, making sure the porch light was on when it was dark, making sure they never woke up late for work or school. She is friendly to the current tenant of the house, who reciprocated once he realized she was amicable.
  • In El Goonish Shive, the pirate ghost haunting the library turns out to be one of these as he is mollified simply by being offered orange juice to treat his scurvy.

    Web Video 
  • BlastphamousHD: From his BHD Storytime series, Maurice recounts the time he used to live in a haunted house as a child. He recalls the sensation of being watched from within the kitchen when he slept on the couch every night, and he comes across an old picture of a young Amish girl inside the crawl-in attic. This seems to border on Stalker with a Crush territory, which is further emphasized by the fact that once the effects of NyQuil are beaten by the ghost girl, her stalking presence allows Maurice to notice the next-door House Fire only five feet away and get his family out of the house. The firefighter says he's unsure as to how Maurice woke up, but his family would've died of smoke inhalation if he had gotten up a mere 5-10 minutes later, meaning that the ghost girl helped saved his family's life.
  • The Cry of Mann: Ghost Lady is a friendly, well-meaning ghost that has no ill-intentions towards the Mann family.

    Western Animation 
  • Carrie in The Amazing World of Gumball is "Emo" (although she's really more of a goth) but she's still one of the more friendly characters.
  • Beetlejuice becomes this in the animated adaptation Beetlejuice, in contrast to his villainous movie self. Here, instead of terrorizing the Deetzes, he's Lydia's best friend, and while he's mischievous and likes to play tricks on her family, he also protects them from any real danger.
  • Warner Bros. created a Casper rip-off in the form of Spooky, a one-shot character in the Cool Cat cartoon "Big Game Haunt."
  • Casper the Friendly Ghost has this trope as its premise: Where the other ghosts are spooky and really mischievous, Casper just want friends, and is very polite and kind. Somewhat deconstructed (comically) in that most people are still terrified at a mere sight of ghosts like him even if he tried his darnedest not to be frightening, and so he only makes a few friends, but they all love Casper very much.
  • Danny Phantom:
    • This show has The Dairy King. The Dairy King outright says not all ghosts are evil and helps the protagonist. All he wants is to be left alone in peace.
    • Hell, 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. Being a growing up teenager, though, he still can sometimes be a prankster.
  • Dude, That's My Ghost!: The "ghost" Billy Joe Cobra was a famous pop star when he was alive, died of unknown reasons, and as the ghost he is right now, he's a chatty, friendly, humourous guy that gets along very well with his closest friend Spencer. His only flaws are his ego and vanity but those are mostly Played for Laughs.
  • Jonathan "Mudsy" Muddlemore from The Funky Phantom by Hanna-Barbera died a coward while hiding in a standing clock from British soldiers during the American Revolution. Augie, Skip and April awaken Mudsy's ghost from the clock when they cause it to chime. Mudsy is still cowardly, but affable and polite while visible.
  • Johnny B. Dead from Monster by Mistake is a wise-cracking trumpet-playing ally to the human heroes.
  • Several friendly ghosts appear in the Monster High franchise, one movie has an entire school of friendly ghosts.
  • As part of their Adaptational Heroism, the four members of the Ghost Gang from Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures are Pac-Man's friends who serve as moles who warn Pac of many of Betrayus' schemes.
  • The Real Ghostbusters: Slimer is one of these, acting as their Team Pet and Plucky Comic Relief.
  • Phantasma, a friendly Cute Ghost Girl, is one of the students in Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School.
  • Nugget Nose, the Galloping Ghost from Yogi's Space Race, was generally friendly unless overtaken with gold fever.


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