Nerds Gets Spooky: Hang Out With ‘Casper’ the Friendly Ghost

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Nerds and Beyond is getting spooky for the month of October! Every day leading up to Halloween, we will be sharing our favorite spooky films! For this Family Friday, I will discuss everyone’s favorite friendly ghost in 1995 and 1998.

I love October. I love Halloween. I’m the kind of person that is in between loving horror films and absolutely hating them. Growing up, the Halloween Disney Channel Original Movies were my cup of tea. Not scary, but still enjoyable for anyone who loves Halloween and spooky things. Casper is along those lines. I mean, who doesn’t love a friendly ghost? I love the 1995 original with Christina Ricci (Now and Then and The Addam’s Family). Her character, Kat, is the daughter of a man who is a “ghost therapist. After moving to Maine, she becomes friends with a ghost and tries to figure out what to do. The 1998 sequel with Hilary Duff is an underrated movie about a little witch and her aunts who meet Casper and his uncles. Both are Halloween gems. Find out why I love one particular friendly ghost and why you should, too.

Casper (1995)

Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Although Casper was first introduced in 1945, his live-action debut was in the 1995 classic. Kat moves to Friendship, ME with her father, a ghost therapist, trying to make contact with his wife, who recently passed. They move into a creepy house, Whipstaff, and encounter Casper and his three uncles. The six of them try to work out being in the house together while a woman named Carrigan, whose late father owned Whipstaff, discovers the house has treasures. This movie is one of my favorites because of the whole concept. A friendly ghost, a girl who is new to town and is considered a “freak” because of where she lives and what her dad does. Kat makes friends with someone who understands her. When Casper has the chance to stay human, he gives it up because Kat’s dad is also a ghost, and he knows how much he means to her. Devon Sawa (Now and Then and Final Destination) plays the human version of Casper, and the dance scene between him and Kat is beyond adorable.

Casper Meets Wendy (1998)

Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

The direct-to-video sequel starred a little Hilary Duff, pre-Lizzie McGuire, as Wendy the Good Little Witch, who has to hide with her aunts as someone believes she will soon be the greatest witch ever and wants to get rid of her using a “Mystic Abyss.” Wendy and her aunts vacation at a resort hotel and run into Casper and his three uncles, which isn’t good since ghosts and witches don’t get along. Chaos ensues. Wendy gets taken and almost falls into the abyss but is saved. I’ve always been a fan of Hilary Duff since I was little. Seeing her so young in a cute movie about a little witch and a little ghost is incredible. I love it because it sends a message that it doesn’t matter what you are, what you do, or what your history is. You can be friends with whoever you want; it doesn’t matter what other people think.

I am 22, and I absolutely love watching the Casper films. It had been a while since I’d seen either of them, but rewatching both while writing this makes me realize why I fell in love with them in the first place and why the movies are so enjoyable. I love watching Halloween movies to get me into the holiday spirit. Casper is one of those films I can rewatch over and over again and not get tired of it. Despite it coming out in the 90s, the CGI makes it look real. The movie is available on Hulu and Amazon Prime with a STARZ subscription, but you can always do a seven-day free trial first to watch the film. If you want to get spooky but not too spooky, Casper and Casper Meets Wendy are suitable films for you!

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By Megan
Megan has been passionate about writing since she was little and has been passionate about all things pop culture and nerdy since almost as long. Joining Nerds and Beyond in 2019, she also graduated from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in Multimedia Journalism. Megan is constantly binge-watching shows and finding new things to obsess over. 9-1-1 and Marvel currently reign as the top obsessions. You can find her on Twitter @marvels911s if you ever want to discuss some certain firefighters.
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