One of my favorite films is "Spirited Away." When I saw Kitzie's icon in this comments section, I got to thinking about the elegant spirit No-Face, a character I adore, and my admiration for Hayao Miyazaki, one of my storytelling idols. The movie is a bold work brimming with daring and sweetness and scares. Love.

With fall nearly upon us, at least in the hemisphere where I currently sit, I've been considering ghosts in popular culture. I like ghost stories, but I prefer ghosts that surprise over the traditional chain-rattlers and bringers of warnings.

Put me down as a fan of nontraditional monsters. The Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man from "Ghostbusters"? I am MAD for that over-sized walking confection. He probably has the most "what the?" movie-monster entrance in cinema history. His soft, marshmallow-y scowl, too! Ha ha ha ha ha. (I know, he isn't really a ghost, per se, but I couldn't not give my main man a shout-out.)

As for books? I've talked about my affection for Marley in this space. Though I suppose Marley is the quintessential bringer-of-warnings chain-rattler, but he was doin' his thing in "A Christmas Carol" long before movies were around. So he is a proud standard-bearer of the chain-rattling, moan-groan form.

"Wilfair" has a non-ghost in the Lady in Sequins. Fair Finley has never seen her, only the spirit's alleged orange sequins, which are actually dropped by Fair's little brothers so that guests may find the supernatural souvenirs. Except now there are wrong-colored sequins showing up. Is a real ghost muscling out The Wilfair's fake ghost? And do ghosts have muscles?

Who is your favorite cinematic or literary ghost and why? Do you prefer traditional or offbeat?

Photo: Chandelier at the said-to-be-haunted Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.


wealhtheow said...

Well, Totoro's not exactly a ghost, but he's my favorite forest spirit, hands down. And the Cat Bus. I LOVE the Cat Bus. Miyazaki is just one of my all-time favorites, and one of the most fun parts of motherhood has been sharing and exploring these wonderful stories with my son.

I also always loved Cathy and Heathcliff wandering the moors together.

myrandaroyann said...

I've been wanting to see Spirited Away! My favorite Miyazaki film (that I've seen) is Howl's Moving Castle. I don't know about a favorite ghost. My favorite spooky place is the Winchester Mystery House.

Wilfair Book said...

Totoro! Howl's Moving Castle! Yes and yes.

Me too, wealhtheow, re: Cathy and Heathcliff. Me. Too. (PS What other animation does your son like?)

myrandaroyann: Agree on the Winchester. I've been writing about it quite a bit with Halloween ahead. My dream is to take a flashlight tour. Though I would likely be scolded by my companions for holding the light up to my face while making spooooky voice noises. So I would need to keep that urge firmly in check.

Chiara said...

It's a ghost from a TV show but I can't think of anybody else than George in Dead Like Me, well her and the whole crew but George is my favorite. And Rube.

As we are on the topic of ghosts, Margaret Atwood has been publishing some new poetry on Wattpad, all sort of in the supernatural sphere, here's the one called Ghost Cat, the other poems already published can be found in the drop down menu.

wealhtheow said...

@Chiara, I love that show. I wish they had made more. And Rube. YES. I need a Rube in my life.

Chiara said...

Wealhteow, awesome!! There aren't nearly enough people around that watched that show :( I wish there was more as well, I'm glad that they at least made the movie a couple of years ago. And Rube *sighs*

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