My first daughter, as any five year old kid, would keep asking many questions. Some of those questions started with the characters she saw on TV. She saw monsters and goblins in some of the shows, and she was quite frightened, and asked me if they were for real, to which I responded that they were not real. When Shrek scared off the villagers carrying pitchforks, she asked me the same question, and once again my answer was the same – that he was not real.
After few more questions in the same vein, I formalized my answer. I told her that certain characters exist only in stories, in books and on TV, and that they don’t exist in real world. I extended this notion to tell her that ghosts, ghouls, zombies, and all other threatening and menacing characters do not exist in reality. [I came to an understanding with my wife that she will not scare our kids with any reference to monsters to make them eat up their supper.]