For the religious and the Santeros/Santeras, the Babalawos, their ancestors, the spirits of the deads are friendly allies. They don’t fear the spirits of the dead, they petitioned them for help and honore them with sacrifices, libations, offerings and gifts. Back in the Yoruba land (Ile Ife), families would bury their deceased loved ones in the floors of their homes. Their beloved ancestors were literally under their feet and still lived closer to the family. The dead are considered spiritually close to humanity and have a big interest in our lives.
The Lucumi (Lukumi) people have a very strong element of ancestral worship in their standard religious practice, but there was a marked lack of the worship of non-ancestral guide spirits. As the Lucumi people interacted with the Congo people who do have a strong non-ancestral spiritual tradition, and with Spiritualism (Espiritismo Cruzado), they began to incorporate more Spiritualist practices into the religion of Santeria to make room for non-ancestral spirits.