25 reasons why we still love Beetlejuice

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Screenshot of official Beetlejuice trailer via warnerbros.com.

16. Ghost Frustrations

Eager to scare the Deetzes so they can live a relatively peaceful non-existence, Barbara and Adam try everything to terrify them during the first part of Beetlejuice. On their first day, Barbara puts her neck in a noose hanging in the upstairs closet—but Delia just pushes her aside with some clothes, completely blind to what’s right in front of her.

“In the book, rule number two: the living won’t usually see the dead,” Barbara says.

“Can’t or won’t?” Adam responds.

“It just says ‘won’t.’”

So starts an amusing series of failed attempts by the Maitlands to be ghostly. In one particularly hilarious attempt, they put sheets over their heads and float around, their wholesome idea of the ghosts from the storybooks they read as kids. “Think of them as death shrouds,” Adam says. “The moaning is important. Really moan.”

But it doesn’t work. “Your mother’s going to kill you when she sees you cut holes in her $300 sheets,” Charles says when he sees them, thinking it’s his daughter playing tricks. Delia, dead asleep from Valium, simply points the remote at them and tries to turn them off.

Lydia, in her bedroom, thinks the moaning ghosts are her parents making the beast with two backs. “I’m a child, for god’s sake,” she says. “If you guys are going to do that weird sexual stuff, do it in your own bedroom.”

Maybe this is the real reason we don’t have more proof of ghosts in real life: it’s damn hard to haunt.