When I was a young boy, I believed in ghosts sometimes and sometimes not. Timing and environment mattered. Ghost stories around the campfire were a rite of passage. I can still recall how talented some story tellers were. I don’t recall ever thinking of ghosts as spirits from another realm. To a degree, I envisioned them as unseen earthbound beings, sometimes spirits of dead people, at other times I considered them independent beings.
When I was alone and frightened by noises or shadows and the like, that was always monsters or some form of ghoulish creature, not a ghost. All that ghosts of Christmas past stuff was for Scrooge, and they all seemed to be trying to help (and did).
The whole point of being scared was because it was fun, reality never played into it. Maybe that is why I was never fearful while tramping through cemeteries during all times of day or night. Half the fun of that for me was the fear others acted out or tried to cover up.
While I no longer believe in any form of a real spiritual world inhabited by disembodied spirits or any of the associated trappings of such beliefs, I have no problem with ghosts. They make great stories, movies (both serious and funny), Halloween is a favorite of mine, why not haunted houses?
Every time my wife and I hear an odd noise in the house that we have no ready answer for, she will say that we have a poltergeist, which is a noisy ghost or spirit. I will explain that he or she is loading the dishwasher, moving the car, leaving through the garage, wants us to call an electrician, or is getting ice for a drink.
I may be a skeptic. Maybe I don’t believe in ghosts. But I like them, and I always have.