Saturday, October 24, 2015

Top 10 Friendly Ghosts

Ah Halloween, one of my most favorite times of the year, thus the return of the Halloween special. There is just something about this holiday that always puts me into good spirits…….and that was the entire inspiration for doing this special in a nutshell. There are, of course a boatload of evil ghost stories out there, some of them even are "haunted boat stories", but I’ve always enjoyed the spooks that fight for the side of good. Before we get started I as per usual have a small list of runner-ups:

-Adam and Barbara (Beetlejuice)
-Dampé the Gravekeeper (Legend of Zelda)
-Grams Halliwell (Charmed)

And now I present my personal Top 10 Friendly Ghosts:

10 -Slimer (Ghostbusters)

What started off as the first catch of the newly formed Ghostbusters organization; would eventually end up becoming a bizarre pet for the team in the majority of expansive material. Slimer isn’t really a bad ghost just…..hungry. The spectre’s tongue is rarely kept within its mouth as it spends most of its un-living days devouring all food in sight. Despite some animosity at the beginning the Ghostbusters eventually took him in as a loyal ally in their fight against the occult.   

9 -Nearly Headless Nick (Harry Potter)

“Nearly headless, how can you be nearly headless?”

The resident ghost of Gryffindor Tower, Nearly Headless Nick was once Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington, a member of Henry VII’s royal court. Nick would meet his grim end when he decided to try and fix Lady Grieve’s crooked teeth as she was in waiting for Henry. Unfortunately instead of fixing her teeth he ended up causing her to grow tusks.  Nick was sentenced to death but even more regrettable his executioner’s axe was dull and it took over 45 hacks to end his life. Deciding to remain on as a spirit, Nick now helps out the students of Hogwarts by any means he can.

8 -Haunter (Pokémon)

One of the great mysteries of the Pokémon series is whether or not Haunter actually counts as one of Ash’s Pokémon or if he was acting entirely of his own accord. Either way, Ash received some advice from Gym Leader Sabrina’s father that he might be able to defeat her if he acquired a ghost type Pokémon. Instead of doing that he died…and made friends with 3 ghost Pokémon that haunted a shady looking house, then came back to life and had one of the ghost sort of follow him back to the gym but not really. Regardless of the events that got him there, it was Haunter’s good nature that ended up curing Sabrina of her psychic madness and save the day.

7 -Deadman (DC comics)

Boston Brand use to be a circus daredevil, under the alias of Deadman, who would perform extreme stunts to entertain the audience but during one of his acts he is tragically murdered by an unknown assassin. Instead of leaving our world, his ghost was granted the ability to possess any living being by a Hindu goddess named Rama Kushna in order to solve his own murder. Deadman of course resolved his case ages ago but decided not to move on and become one of the many defenders of the DC universe.

6 -Amidamaru (Shaman King)

The ghost of a 600 year old samurai, who suffers from a tragic past and even more tragic death, haunts the top of a hill waiting for his friend to someday arrive…which his friend never would have come because he was waaaaaaaay too embarrassed after having put it off for 600 years. Luckily a new shaman by the name of Yoh strolled into down and decided to resolve the unfinished business of many of the spirits that still haunt the area. After putting to bed a 600 year old issue, Amidamaru decided to become Yoh’s yojimbo and continues to guard his family to this day.

5 -Izabel (Saga)

A good babysitter is so hard to find these days, it’s almost as if they have all died out and Izabel is here to prove that theory right. Izabel is a Horror from the planet Cleave. The indigenous species of Cleave was wiped out but they continued on as the spiritual guardians of the planet. Izabel sought to leave her planet by attaching to the soul of the infant Hazel and now acts as her babysitter and advisor to the child’s parents. Despite appearing as a teenager Izabel is far wiser than most characters in the series, often giving almost sage like advice to the protagonists.

4 -Lobster Johnson (Hellboy)

“Beware my claw…”

The Lobster was a pulp action hero of the 1930’s who operated in New York City, spending his years fighting off mobsters and paranormal entities. He was well known for leaving his signature lobster claw emblem burnt into the faces of his many criminal victims. The Lobster eventually perished during 1939 when he was attempting to stop Nazi’s from launching a space probe, but death would not be the end for this hero…it only made him stronger. The Lobster is the most powerful ghost in the Hellboy universe and comes to the aid of the BPRD when the world needs his help once more.

3 -Casper the Friendly Ghost

I know, heresy you say, how dare I not put Casper at the number one slot on this list much less give him the number 3 slot. Look I love Casper as much as the next person, the 1995 film was a favorite of mine as a child, but in all honesty there isn’t terribly much substance to his character, which is hilarious considering he is a ghost. Casper is the day to day adventures of a young boy ghost who goes about being happy go lucky and friendly to all around him, which is just about it for him. He is a great character but his title is about all there is to him.

2 -Obi-Wan Kenobi (Star Wars)

“The Force with be with you…always”

Despite not actually being a living mentor for very long, Obi-Wan continued his duties as Luke Skywalker’s master many years after his death in the form of a glowing apparition. Obi-Wan had been trained with the ability to maintain his consciousness within the force after his death by Master Yoda who saw the ability as a means for the Jedi order to survive should the two pass on before being able to find a new suitable pupil to take on the teachings of the Jedi order. Thus Obi-Wan was a faint guiding hand to Luke, teaching him the last will of the almost forgotten Jedi.

1 –The Ghosts of Christmas (A Christmas Carol)

“Tonight, you will be visited by three spirits”

I know what you’re thinking, why would I end my Halloween special with a reference to Christmas? It is entirely because A Christmas Carol is my all time favorite ghost story. You can argue that the three spirits aren’t really that friendly at all and actually bully a man into becoming a better person, yet I would say that it is these 3 spirits that represent the greatest aspects of the holiday itself, the gift of giving. These spirits owe nothing to Scrooge and could just as well let him rot like his former partner Jacob Marley but they have chosen to use their gifts towards the effort of making Scrooge a better man before he does end up sharing the fate of his departed friend.

Thank you for reading and have a Happy Halloween.