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Silly Spook

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"We spectres are a jollier crew than you, perhaps, suppose!"
Sir Roderick Murgatroyd, Bart (deceased), Ruddigore

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. 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. This is one of the polar opposites to Ghastly Ghost. Can be a Ridiculously Alive Undead.


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    Anime and Manga 

    Fan Works 
  • Since the fanfics Haunted Mansion and the Hatbox Ghost are based on the Trope Namer, Disney's "Haunted Mansion" ride, they keep this important aspect of the characters.
  • Lucy's Secret: Discussed when, while using the Ouija board, Luan hopes they won't summon any prankster ghosts who like to give "ou-edgies".

    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 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.
  • Beetlejuice of Beetlejuice is an interesting situation — referring to him, the movie's tagline was "The name in laughter from the hereafter!", but the movie itself is more intentionally comedic than Betelgeuse himself, who is more of a Monster Clown.
  • Stuart and Cyrus from The Frighteners.
  • Elements of this can be found in Brad Greenquist's performance as the mutilated ghost of Victor Pascow in Pet Sematary (1989). Although he's presented solely as a Ghastly Ghost in the novel, in the film he can be seen cheerfully settling into his seat when Rachel returns to Maine from Chicago (even though he's still quite ghastly).
  • In Poltergay, the five ghosts of gay partyogers have been partying in the house where they perished for 27 years. Those with Camp Gay mannerisms still affect them. The worst they do is playing mischievous pranks on protagonist Marc and teasing him about his butt since they're, well, gay ghosts.

  • The ghosts in Harry Potter are mainly there for comic relief, though they become relevant to the plot occasionally.
  • Family Skeleton Mysteries: Sid the ambulatory skeleton, who's generally cheerful and loves to make bad jokes.
  • 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.
  • In The Traveling Triple-C Incorporeal Circus, ghosts Chelsea and Carmen must become this in order to put on a circus show and distract some poltergeists.

    Live-Action TV 



    Puppet Shows 


    Theme Parks 

    Video Games 
  • Moshi Monsters:
    • Zoinks the ghost and his cousin are mischievous pranksters.
    • McScruff the ghost is a practical joker.
  • Yu from Puyo Puyo is a punny Genki Girl of a ghost. With that said, she does outright try to kill others, but it's actually because she loves being a ghost so much that she wants others to feel the good effects of being one as well (apparently not realizing what she's doing is murder), and she's quite friendly otherwise.
  • 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 they're asleep when in fact they're 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 
  • Carol "Ghost Pupper" Walters, a character created by artist Stedilnik, is an adorable young woman who was gruesomely stabbed to death in 1986. She's still as adorable as a poltergeist as she was when she was alive, although she can get genuinely terrifying if she wants to.
  • Wanda from Baman Piderman giggles, plays pranks and does cutesy things like boop Piderman on the nose and make an origami crane kiss Pumkin.
  • FilmCow has the Ghost House (2014) series of videos, which are about a man stuck in a house full of silly ghosts.
  • 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, whose job is to haunt...boxes. Absolutely no one is afraid of him, and his bothering the main characters is a recurring gag.
  • Beetlejuice 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.
  • The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo has Bogel and Weerd, two ghosts who originally tricked Scooby and Shaggy into opening the Chest of Demons, and in subsequent episodes would frequently act as bumbling minions to the Monster of the Week.
  • OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes: Spanky and Crudde from the episode "Parents' Day" are two mischievous ghosts who live in the basement of Enid's house. Much to the annoyance of Enid's mom, Wilhamena, they like to possess house guests and make them do embarrassing or destructive things.
  • Spooky, the little spook in the Cool Cat cartoon "Big Game Haunt", is a hybrid of Casper and Elmer Fudd.
  • Popeye encounters one in the 1960 short "Popeye and the Phantom".