Hollywood has had a long love affair with ghosts. From the silent days on, there have been genuinely scary ghosts, and comic ghosts terrifying everyone from Laurel & Hardy to BobHope. In screwball comedies, it was standard for dead mates to return to haunt their spouses, as well as ghosts who came back in different bodies, like Joe in Heaven Can Wait and uber-romantic ghosts like Jamie in Truly Madly Deeply, and of course Patrick Swayze’s poignant Sam in Ghost. Here’s a bakers’ dozen of ghosts with good names. By Linda Rosenkrantz
Of course we have to start with the friendliest, most familiar, and unscariest ghost of all. Casper the Friendly Ghost was created in the late 1930s for a children’s book, becoming an animated cartoon in 1945, and was still haunting away in 2012. Casper is the Dutch form of Jasper and was one of the Three Magi; he has not yet followed his cousin to popularity.