As holiday season draws closer and Christmas Carol is played on repeat, it’s the time of the year when children often start quizzing about ghosts and if they exist in real life!
This speculation and thrill around ghosts has been around for centuries and there ain’t a child who has not felt intrigued about the whole mystery surrounding the paranormal.
What Are Ghosts, Really?
Well! Ghosts refer to the spirit of the dead – people or animals – that chooses to become visible or make their presence felt to living people. Now, not many of us expect to see dead people moving in the living world, making ghosts feared.
Ghosts are said to appear in different forms. Sometimes, they take the shape of a dead person (which is scary!) and other times they may appear like a glowing light figure (remember Casper!).
The word ghost originates from the Old English word gāst, which is associated with the animating principle of the mind. It was during medieval times, the word got associated with the spirit of dead and demons.
But in this world of logic and reasoning, what does science have to say about ghosts?
What is the Science Behind Ghosts?
Nobody knows for real if ghosts really do exist. Science has refuted such claims, time and again. Much like Scooby-Doo, there are other reasons for these unusual sightings.
The belief in ghosts is mostly a part of human supernatural belief and fascination with the paranormal. Every religion and culture has some mention of spirits and that’s where, perhaps, the entire mystery stems from.
Another explanation that science offers to the existence of ghosts is hallucinations – the animating ability of the mind to see things that otherwise do not exist!
Are Ghosts Scary?
Now, that’s a tough one to answer! Depending upon the kind one encounters, ghosts can range anywhere from being scary to cute. Taking cue from friendly ghosts of Casper, Chamatkaar to Bhootnath, there is a fair chance that ghosts are not so scary after all!
Here are a few famous friendly ghosts that kids would like to know:
This glowing ghost tops the list of famous friendly ghosts of all times. This popular ghost has been around various media channels – movies, comics, TV series and even cartoons!
This beloved ghost has its fans across age groups and is one of the longest running ghost characters!
One of the most adored ghosts of Indian cinema, bhoothnath has delighted kids and adults equally. Seemingly unfriendly at first, bhoothnath is the perfect ghostly companion any kid can dream of.
The ghost from Ghostbusters cartoon – Slimer is one ghost who captivated everyone in the 90’s. This silly, witty ghost has entertained a generation and remains one of the most popular ghost characters.
4. The Ghosts of Harry Potter
Though there is not much story about the ghosts of Harry Potter, they still pop-up in the mind when we talk about popular ghosts. From Moaning Myrtle, Nearly Headless Nick to The Grey Lady, these ghosts from Harry Potter have made memories with their adult audiences and children alike.
Ghost Festivals Around the World
The festival of Halloween tops this list. It is believed that spirits descend on this day and visit the living world. There are many traditions and fun activities associated with Halloween — carving pumpkins, trick-or-treat to dressing up — all of which are immensely interesting!
2. Hungry Ghost Festival
This traditional festival of Buddhists and Taoits is dedicated to paying tribute to deceased family ancestors. Celebrated in the seventh Chinese lunar month, Hungry Ghost festival, also called Zhong Yuan Jie, entails ceremonies to avoid the wrath of ghosts.
Tablets of family’s ancestors, along with food and their photograph is placed on a table and incense sticks are burned to welcome the spirits, who are believed to roam the living world on this day.
3. Day of the Dead
Day of the Dead is celebrated in Mexico and is similar to the Hungry Ghost festival in ideology. Known as Día de Muertos in Spanish, it is the day when Mexicans believe their deceased pay a visit to them.
Special offerings in terms of food are made to the spirits to please them and elaborately decorated altars are setup at homes to welcome the spirits.
Indians honour the spirits of their dead by celebrating Shradh. Shradh is a 16 day period in the month of Pitru Paksha (according to Hindu Calendar). Rituals are performed to appease the ancestors and seek their blessings.
A priest is invited at home for a holy ritual and offered food, gifts, sweet treats and dakshina (donation) to honour the ancestors.
These traditions have stood the test of time and have been around for centuries. Similar traditions and rituals are prevalent all around the world, celebrating the world of spirits and making a place for them in the living world.
Perhaps, this explains our fascination with ghosts as such! While, there is no certain way and no one version of the truth (behind the spirit stories), it is always a good idea to have some silly, fun around the theme.
Funny Ghost Riddles for Kids
Talking about ghosts need not be scary, especially with kids. Add elements of fun and thrill with ghost riddles. These funny ghost riddles will certainly make your little problem solvers scratch their heads and grow their comprehension skills.
2. A zombie, a mummy, and a ghost bought a house. It has all of the usual rooms except for one. Which room you won’t find?
Answer: Living room
Answer: You are the GHOST!
4. What types of roads do ghosts like to drive on?
Answer: Dead ends
6. I have no feet to dance, I have no eyes to see, I have no life to live or die but yet I do all three. What am I?
8. If you see one flying around, you’d better be careful at night, as some turn into vampires and will give your neck a big bite. What are they?
Answer: A bat
Answer: A funny bone
10. Some people believe in me and others don’t. At night I roam around and sometimes I float. If you hear a troubled noise coming from the ground, go run and hide from my creepy sound. Who am I?
12. This place has hardly any lights, but a lot of creaking floors. There are all kinds of strange noises and some random slamming doors. What is it?
Answer: A haunted house
Looking for more fun riddles? Check out Fun Riddles for Kids
Ghost Books for Kids
Nobody really minds friendly or thrilling ghost stories over a cup of hot chocolate on a cold, breezy night. Yes! We are talking about ghost stories for kids. And believe it or not, when it comes to ghost stories for kids, children’s literature is brimming with options.
Here are a few we absolutely adore!
This is a delightful story of a cute little cottage – Clarissa who wants to be haunted! What will it take Clarissa to be haunted and not be boring and cute. Perfect haunted house story for young kids aged between 3-6 years.
This modern classic is a perfect (and unusual!) tale of friendship between a ghost – Leo and a child- Jane. Jane is imaginative, curious and open-minded and Leo is adorable – together they are certain to enchant every reader. Suitable for kids 3years and above.
Another funny tale of friendship between a ghost and a child, this is high on our recommendations. Sir Simon is a professional scarer and is assigned the perfect house to haunt. But the kid in the house has a surprise for him – he isn’t scared of the ghosts!
This is a quirky tale about a pet goldfish who is – haunted! Coming from bestselling author Lemony Snicket and illustrator Lisa Brown, this book is a pure joy.
This is a tale of a ghost who dared to be different – at least in dressing up! Tired of wearing white sheets, Roderic is off on a quest to find a perfect ghostly costume.
This is a clever, witty story about a haunted house and its occupant – a witch! Not only she is not scared but knows exactly what to do with the ghosts haunting her house. Beautiful illustrations and a clever plot makes this book charming and a must read.
How do you help a skeleton who has hiccups? Poor skeleton has terrible hiccups, which are refusing to go away. This silly, funny tale just about skeleton hiccups is surely going to delight your little ones.
This is a classic ghost story for kids. First published in 1944, this one continues to enchant and amuse its readers till date. Makes the perfect Halloween gift for kids.
This enthralling ghost story for kids comes from celebrated author William Alexander. Suitable for kids 8years and above, this book packs a punch.
One of the best in the category, this book is for everyone! The ghost narrator of the story claims it is the scariest book you will ever read, so be prepared to be thrilled and spooked!
The second book in the Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol series, this one is about the bike riding adventures of Desmond and Andres. Perfect for children starting with chapter books, this one is a thrilling read.
This funny, tongue-in-cheek book is a welcome edition in How-to series by Jean Reagan. Children are surely going to find it amusing to learn what goes into scaring a ghost. Makes for a perfect Halloween book for kids as well.
This beautifully illustrated picture book is a real treasure in the category of ghost stories for kids. Follow the advice in the book and you never know when you might befriend a ghost for life!
14. Ten Timid Ghost
What happens when ten ghosts and a witch form the plot of a children’s story? You get one hell of a tale! Perfect for little kids who are just warming up to ghost stories.
This is a delightful story of a thirteen-year-old girl whose work is sabotaged by none other than a ghost! This beautifully illustrated graphic novel is story of forgiveness and a very unlikely friendship. It is suitable for kids 9 years and above.
This horror book for kids is intriguing and thrilling at the same time. This is a great crossover – Perfect for kids who like both mysteries and scary stories. Apt for kids 10years and above.
The Vampire Bunny is the first book in the classic Bunnicula series. Adapted for young readers, this is a perfect book for kids who like all things spooky!
18. My Favourite Spooky Stories
This set of 5 funny, spooky stories is just right for little children who have a taste for horror stories. Apt for kids 5years and above.
Delve into the world of spooky stories from around the globe – Germany, Czechoslovakia, Russia, Africa, Brazil, Japan, Australia, India, UK, Canada, France, China, Ireland, Syria, Korea, Sweden, Egypt, Iceland, New Zealand, Arabia, Spain, Tibet, Iran, Greece. Complete family read.
Who doesn’t like spooky, scary stories around a campfire? This book is just that! Packed with 21 tales that are perfect for campfire and making timeless memories.
Ghost Jokes for Kids
1. The skeleton canceled the gallery showing of his skull-ptures because his heart wasn’t in it.
2. The skeleton knew what would happen next—he could just feel it in his bones.
3. The skeleton literally didn’t mind that everyone called him a bonehead.
4. The skeleton cried his eyes out because he didn’t have ANY BODY to love.
5. The skeleton couldn’t keep anything tidy because of his lazy bones.
6. What does the skeleton chef say when he serves you a meal? “Bone Appetit!”
7. The favored historical ruler of skeletons is none other than Napoleon Bone-a-part.
8. Why didn’t the skeleton dance at the Halloween party? A: He had NO BODY to dance with!
9. Why are skeletons so calm? Because nothing gets under their skin!
10. What’s a ghost’s favorite dessert? An I-scream!
11. Why are ghosts so bad at lying? Because you can see right through them!
12. What do ghosts use to wash their hair? A Sham-boo!
13. Why did the skeleton climb a tree? Because a dog was after his bones!
14. Why don’t skeletons play music in church? Because they have no organs!
15. Why do they have a fence around the graveyard? Because everyone is dying to get in!
16. What game do young ghosts love? Hide and shriek!
17. Why did the policeman let the ghost go? Because he couldn’t pin anything on him.
18. What do Italian ghosts have for dinner? Spook-hetti!
19. What do female ghosts use to do their makeup? Vanishing Cream!
20. What is a skeleton’s favorite musical instrument? A Trombone!
21. What does a ghost call his mom and dad? His trans-parents.
22. What does a panda ghost eat? Bam-BOO!
23. Where do ghosts like to travel on vacation? The Dead Sea!
24. What does the ghost call his true love? My ghoul-friend.
Ghost Movies For Kids
These not-so-scary movies are perfect horror flicks to watch with family. They won’t necessarily send you scrambling under the covers but will definitely make your heart skip a beat.
This classic ghost movie for kids is a perfect start to warm up kids to ghoulish cinema. Based on a popular cartoon character, Capser, this movie will make you laugh and maybe even fall in love with the friendly ghost.
2. The Nightmare Before Christmas
This movie marries two popular themes – Halloween and Christmas to give you a visual treat that will delight and amuse you. An absolute treat, this movie is a must watch in its category of scary movies for kids.
This funny-scary movie is another classic ghost movie for kids. We would recommend it for older kids owing to the language (quite a lot of F* and S* words here) and the plot, which is slightly complicated for younger audiences. But, nonetheless, it is a must watch.
This relatively new addition is our personal favourite. Perfect for kids 5years and above, this movie explores the underworld on the eve of Day of the Dead – a Mexican festival. High on animation and music, this is a heartwarming scary movie every kid must watch.
5. Scooby – Doo on Zombie Island
Fed up of busting fake ghosts – people dressed in ghost costumes, Scooby-Doo embarks on a journey to find real ghosts. This leads them to Zombie Island – where the spooky and funny adventure begins. Simply, a great family movie!
6. A Christmas Carol
A beautiful, heart-warming movie about a man and three ghosts. This movie is more than simply entertainment…it imparts valuable life lessons. Adapted from the works of Charles Dickens, this is a complete family movie.
7. The Spiderwick Chronicles
Based on children’s books by the same name, the plot revolves around three children who discover a world of magical creatures. This movie features all sorts of magical creatures imaginable through a series, making it a delight for kids.
8. The Addams Family
Welcome to the spooky, ghoulish world of Addams Family – the first Halloween family! Kooky characters, dark humour make it a captivating watch. The animations are world class backed with the best voice-overs. A movie with a message on acceptance, this one is quite a watch!
9. Hotel Transylvania
An entertaining series, Hotel Transylvania is about a Dracula and all creatures non-human! Certain to bewitch your kids, this is a complete family night movie.
Here comes another spooky gem from Tim Burton. This movie is about a boy and his pet who comes back as a ghost! Funny, scary and sweet – it is a complete package.
11. Corpse Bride
What happens when you get married to a corpse? That’s what corpse bride is all about, Bizarre and scintillating. This movie has a perfect blend of humour and horror! Based on a Russian folktale in which the broom accidentally marries a dead bride, this movie promises quite a fright!
Get ready to be scared (and entertained) with this kiddie version of Sixth Sense minus the twist. Norman, the protagonist, has a gift – he can talk with the dead!
If spooky movies are too much for your kid, we suggest you binge on these funny and inspiring science-y movies, which are certain to get your kid (and the entire family!) excited.