The Friendly Ghost is the first ever Casper the Friendly Ghost cartoon which was released to theaters on November 16, 1945.
The short opens with the narrator telling the viewers that the story they are about to be told, whether they believe in ghosts or not, is about one. Inside an old house, a bunch of ghosts awaken at the stroke of midnight, so they can scare people. Among these ghosts, is Casper, who does not want to scare people, but make friends with them instead. While his brothers and sisters go out to scare the daylights out of the living, Casper runs away from home. However, whenever he tries to make a friend, the person or animal he talks to gets scared and runs away. Casper, feeling sad, tries to commit suicide by having a train run over him, but forgets that he is a ghost, so he cannot be hurt.
After finding out that he's still around, he breaks down in tears. Until, a boy named Johnny and his sister Bonnie spot him, ask his name, and ask Casper to play with them. At last, Casper has found some friends. After playing ball and jumping rope, the two take Casper home so he may introduce him to their mom. However, the mother gets a fright when she sees the ghost and tells him to get out. Casper is about to leave when a banker barges in and tells Casper, who he thinks is one of the children, to tell the mother that her mortgage is due.
But when re realizes that he's talking to a ghost, he tears up the paper and leaves, since he knows he cannot have a haunted house on the market. A still sad Casper prepares to leave, but the mother stops him and carries him back inside in her arms. The short ends with Johnny, Bonnie, and Casper all going to school while the narrator tells the viewers that this is exactly what happens when a friendly ghost is around, whether they choose to believe or not.