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9 Least Scary Ghosts in Films (and Casper Isn't on the List)

09/13/2013 07:52 am ET | Updated Nov 13, 2013

Ghosts have many uses in movies besides just scaring people. They can be a mentor who helps the living avoid mistakes they made in the past. They can demonstrate the true meaning of Christmas, help solve murders, or teach people to use the Force. Yes, these things can now all be done using various apps, but in the days before smartphones ghosts were very useful.

You may recognize a lot of ghosts on this list, but you'll also notice one very deliberate omission: Casper the Friendly Ghost. I excluded the outgoing ghoul for a couple of reasons, the first of which is: I hate him. I hold a deep, bitter, and highly personal grudge that I would rather not discuss in such a public forum (and which has nothing to do with my rocky relationship with Christina Ricci). Secondly, I think Casper is terrifying, because nothing gives me more anxiety than being cornered by a lonely person. "Hi, will you be my friend? I have no friends and lived alone in a castle for a hundred years, so guess what? I'm going to talk to you for five hours and then go home an like every single photo on your Facebook page."

Anyhow, the next time you see a ghost in a movie I hope you'll appreciate how hard he's working. He could be sleeping in his comfortable coffin, but instead he's offering Kevin Costner advice about the best place to build a baseball field or telling Indiana Jones how to retrieve the Holy Grail. We should all hope our afterlives are half as helpful.

Doogie Horner is the author of the new book "100 Ghosts."

Least Scary Movie Ghosts