Know Your Ghosts: A Helpful Guide to the Best Hauntings

OooOOoo! It's Halloween, the spoooOoooOokiest holiday of them all! The 31st of October, as we all know, is the day that all of the ghosts come out to celebrate how fun/sad/infuriating it is to be dead and to play pranks — deadly, deadly pranks — on the living.

There's a nearly 100% chance that you will encounter a ghost tonight and, as the old, well-worn, universally popular saying goes, some ghosts are better to run into than others.

So who is the best ghost? What does being the "best ghost" even mean? Like all of the best art, the question is open to interpretation! Read on and decide for yourself.


Friendly Ghosts

Who wouldn't want to run into a friendly ghost on Halloween night? They're helpful and nice and are usually just looking for a peaceful way off this mortal coil, right? WRONG. They might seem like they're the kind-hearted misty shells of little boys who died of tragically of pneumonia; they might SEEM like your only true friend in the small New England town where you've just relocated with your father, the country's leading paranormal therapist Bill Pullman, and while all those things might be true, friendly ghosts are also total drips who usually don't remember what killed them/don't understand how inappropriate it is to mack on a tween Christina Ricci. They're also always getting in the way of their fun uncles' pranks with their boring do-gooding. SNORESVILLE. (The plus side is that friendly ghost will occasionally morph into Devon Sawa, which is very exciting if you're me in 5th grade.)

And, YES, since you asked, I did get all my information on friendly ghosts from the 1995 live action film version of Casper. Deal with it.


Child Ghosts

Like friendly ghosts, child ghosts can be unassuming and sometimes downright sweet-seeming. DO NOT BE FOOLED. Child ghosts are the most frightening of them all. They're always climbing out of TVs and climbing out of wells, throwing up all over themselves and haunting the first floor girl's bathroom at Hogwarts.

The scariest of child ghosts are the ones that come dressed in historical garb like Victorian play clothes, but regardless of what they're wearing, these specters are terrifying and meeting one means that you and your loved ones probably won't make it out alive. Instead, you'll be doomed to ghost-nanny to that evil ghost baby for eternity.


Residual Hauntings

A residual haunting is when a ghost appears on multiple occasions, but always at the same time of the day (or year) and always repeating the same actions. Perhaps you hear a door slam in your very haunted house at 4pm every afternoon. Well, then that's a residual haunting, son.

Here's another example:

You're driving down a misty road on Halloween night and pick up a beautiful girl who's hitchhiking to the local high school's Halloween dance. She says she's cold, so you give her your jacket. The next day, you ask the locals in town about her and everybody's breath catches in their throats.

"Brown hair and brown eyes?" they ask. "A pretty pink dress?"

You nod, because, yes, the girl you picked up had brown hair and brown eyes and a pretty pink dress. It has to be the same person.

"Why, that's Mary MacDonald," the general store owner says in his thick Maine accent (you are in Maine, presumably for business). "She was struck and killed by a car on Halloween night...in 1958."

"No," you say. "No, it can't be true. It has to be someone else."

She was so alive last night, though, when you think about it, her lips were tinged blue and your car radio — which had previously been broken — switched on to play "All I Have To Do Is Dream" by the Everly Brothers the second she got into the car.

"Somebody claims to see her on Halloween night nigh on every year," says the general store owner. "But go to the cemetery and see the grave for yourself if ya don't believe me."

You go to find the grave of Mary MacDonald and draped over the top of the grave stone is your jacket, neatly folded as if she knew you were coming to pick it up.

BOOM. YOU'VE BEEN RESIDUAL HAUNTED.


Murder Ghosts

Murder ghosts include spooks like Bloody Mary, the Headless Horseman, Rubber Man and the ghost of pretty much any serial killer. They are crazed with blood lust and hellbent on destruction.

You don't have to worry about them.


The ghost who attempted to rob the ABC Liquor Store in Anniston, Alabama.

WINNER.