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|“||Do you like scary movies?||„|
|~ Ghostface's most famous quote.|
Those who take on the name Ghostface are the main antagonists of the Scream horror franchise. It is a fictional persona and costume adopted by the villains of the Scream series as a disguise to conceal their identity. The character is voiced by Roger L. Jackson, regardless of who is behind the mask. At least seven people have used the Ghostface identity (twelve if the TV series is counted).
In Scream, the identity is temporarily adopted by the killers' target, Sidney Prescott, using it against them. In the Scream universe, the costume is not unique and is easily obtainable, allowing others to wear a similar outfit. Ghostface often calls its targets to taunt or threaten them while using a voice changer that hides its true identity. In Scream 3, this is taken further by Roman Bridger who uses a device that enables him to sound like several other characters in order to manipulate targets. The changing identity of the person beneath the mask means that Ghostface has no definite motivation, ranging from revenge and seeking fame to "peer pressure". However, each killer shares the common goal of killing Sidney due to a chain of events indirectly caused by her mother Maureen Prescott.
Initially, Billy Loomis created the identity with Stu Macher in order to kill Sidney because of her mother's affair with Billy's father which triggered his mother to leave, after a short killing spree in the fictional Northern California town of Woodsboro. The Ghostface persona remains the same throughout the Scream series, featuring a black hood and cloak with a jagged base and a white rubber mask resembling a ghost with a screaming expression. Though each iteration of Ghostface is human, they often exhibit extreme durability against physical harm, high levels of physical strength, and an almost supernatural stealth ability; able to appear and disappear in seemingly impossible situations. The character has often appeared in popular culture since its inception, referenced in film and television as well as spawning a series of action figures and merchandise.
The Ghostface mask itself was originally created by Fun World Div. Easter Unlimited, Inc. employee Brigitte Sleiertin for a series of masks titled "Fantastic Faces" released as Halloween masks in the early 1990s by Fun World. The mask was given the trademarked name of "GhostFace" by the Fun World licensing director R.J. Torbert in 1999-2000. The Ghostface mask also returned in The Face of Fear, a novel written by Torbert himself. Ghostface was also given the trademarked name "The Icon of Halloween" in 2010-2011 by Torbert as well for the Scream 4 hype.
Ghostface first appears in the opening scene of Scream (1996). The character, voiced by Roger L. Jackson, calls and taunts teenager Casey Becker with horror clichés and trivia questions, eventually murdering her boyfriend Steve Orth in front of her before she herself is killed. The identity has been adopted by the primary antagonists of each successive film to conceal their identity, prior to being revealed in each films' final act. Ghostface's first cinematic appearance was in Scream (1996) where the identity was used by a killer stalking the fictional town of Woodsboro. After the killing spree begins, Sidney Prescott begins receiving taunting and threatening phone calls from Ghostface who claims knowledge of her mother Maureen Prescott's brutal rape and murder, one year prior to the events of the film; a murder that was blamed on Cotton Weary. The Ghostface disguise allows suspicion to fall on many people, including Sidney's boyfriend, Billy Loomis; her father, Neil Prescott (Lawrence Hecht); her friend, Randy Meeks (Jamie Kennedy); and her schoolmate, Stu Macher. Ghostface is revealed in the finale as both Billy and Stu, who reveal that they murdered Sidney's mother and framed Cotton. Billy cites his motivation as abandonment by his mother (Laurie Metcalf), brought about by his father Hank's affair with Maureen, while Stu cites "peer pressure". Sidney is able to gain an advantage against Billy and Stu, temporarily adopting the Ghostface persona herself to taunt them before killing Stu. Gale Weathers shoots Billy to stop him from killing Sidney, who then finishes Billy off with a bullet to the head.
Ghostface's second appearance was in Scream 2 (1997) where it was again used as a disguise by the main antagonists. A series of murders occur at Windsor College, Sidney's current location, with the initial victims sharing names with Billy and Stu's victims from Scream. The killers again taunt Sidney and attempt to kill her and later kill Randy. The Ghostface disguise allows suspicion to fall on several characters, including Cotton, again, and Sidney's boyfriend Derek. However, Mickey, a friend of Derek, reveals himself as the killer, seeking fame for his prolific exploits. Mickey's accomplice is revealed to be Billy's mother, under the alias Debbie Salt, who is seeking revenge against Sidney for her son's death. Mrs. Loomis shoots Mickey, claiming to have indulged his desire for fame and carnage only to enlist his help in enacting her revenge, and tries to kill Sidney. With help from the exonerated Cotton, Sidney survives and Mrs. Loomis is killed. Seconds later, Mickey springs to his feet screaming, but is quickly shot to death by Gale and Sidney.
The story continues in Scream 3 (2000) where the identity of Ghostface is used to murder Cotton and his girlfriend Christine, in an attempt to discover the now-hidden Sidney's location. The killer leaves images of Maureen at the crime scenes to draw Sidney out of seclusion while murdering the cast of "Stab 3", the film within a film based on Sidney and her experiences with Ghostface. Ghostface is revealed as Sidney's half-brother Roman Bridger, born to their mother Maureen during a two-year period when she moved to Hollywood to become an actress under the name Rina Reynolds. After being gang-raped and impregnated at a party, she gave Roman up for adoption who, as an adult, sought her out, only to be rejected, denying she had ever been Rina. Roman began stalking Maureen and filming her adulterous liaisons with other men including Hank. He used this footage to reveal to Billy why his mother had "abandoned" him before convincing him to kill Maureen, sparking the chain of events in Scream and Scream 2. With Sidney's help, her friend Dewey Riley manages to kill Roman, ending the series of murders based on his revenge against Maureen.
In Scream 4 (2011), another Ghostface killer emerges in Woodsboro on the fifteen-year anniversary of the massacre conducted by Billy and Stu; the new killer recreating events from the incident but also filming the murders. Ghostface kills several teenagers and police officers before being unmasked as Sidney's cousin Jill Roberts (Emma Roberts) and her friend Charlie Walker who intend to kill Sidney, frame Jill's ex-boyfriend Trevor Shelton and become the current generation's "Sidney" and "Randy Meeks", with the accompanying fame of being the "survivors" of the massacre. Jill betrays Charlie and stabs him through the heart and stomach and then seemingly kills Sidney, before purposely injuring and stabbing herself to make herself appear a victim. After being taken to hospital, Dewey informs her that Sidney has survived. Jill attempts to end her life but is stalled by Dewey, Gale and Judy Hicks long enough for Sidney to shoot her through the heart, killing her.
Ghostface is set to return in Scream 5 (2022).
Scream (TV Series)
Ghostface is once again the main antagonist of this series, however, the mask and robe is different and they are never referred to as Ghostface onscreen, only behind the scenes. Ghostface is revealed to be Piper Shaw, who is assisted by Kieran Wilcox. In season 3, the new killers came back to the original Ghostface costumes. The killers revealed to be Beth and Jamal Elliot.
The Face of Fear
Ghostface returns in The Face of Fear, a novel written by Fun World licensing director R.J. Torbert himself. In the book, there are multiple killers who wear different versions of the mask. A group of criminals called the Winters brothers wear the "scarecrow", "zombie", and "mummy" versions of the mask, while another "vigilante" killer wears the classic white mask. The vigilante killer's mask has a distinctive blood splatter, which is featured on the cover of the book. As opposed to wearing a robe like in the Scream movies, the vigilante killer wears all black clothing, such as a black shirt, pants, and leather gloves.
The phenomenon starts in the novel when local resident of Long Island, New York Deborah Lance is kidnapped and held hostage by the Winters brothers.
- Maureen Prescott - Stabbed in groin/chest(twice)/head by Billy Loomis and Stu Macher
- Steven Orth - Bound to chair, gagged with tape, gutted with knife by Stu Macher
- Casey Becker - Stabbed in chest/stomach/neck, gutted, hung from tree by Billy Loomis
- Principal Arthur Himbry - Stabbed 3 times in chest/stomach, gutted, hung from high school football goal post by Billy Loomis
- Tatum Riley - Arm sliced with knife, lifted, head crushed by garage door after being stuck in cat flap by Stu Macher
- Kenny Jones - Throat slit with knife by Stu Macher
- Phil Stevens - Stabbed in ear through bathroom stall, hacked up (Stabbed 3 times in ear in director's cut) by Debbie Loomis
- Maureen Evans - Stabbed in stomach/back(6 times), hacked up by Mickey Altieri
- Cici Cooper - Thrown through a glass door, stabbed twice in the back, thrown off the 2nd balcony by Debbie Loomis
- Randy Meeks - Stabbed 4 times in chest, throat slit in news van by Debbie Loomis
- Officer Andrews - Throat slashed with knife by Mickey Altieri
- Officer Richards - Head bashed against car window 3 times, thrown, impaled in back of head through windshield by pipe while on moving car by Mickey Altieri
- Hallie McDaniel - Stabbed in chest 4 times by Mickey Altieri
- Derek Feldman - Bound to cross, shot in the chest with a handgun by Mickey Altieri
- Christine Hamilton - Stabbed in back by Roman Bridger
- Cotton Weary - Hit in head with golf club, arm slashed, stabbed in chest/head by Roman Bridger
- Sarah Darling - Head punched through glass door, stabbed in back by Roman Bridger
- Steven Stone - Stabbed in back, head bludgeoned 3 times with frying pan (final punch hit the knife in his back hitting major arteries) by Roman Bridger
- Tom Prinze - House filled with gas exploded by lighting lighter by Roman Bridger
- Angelina Tyler - Stabbed in chest by Roman Bridger
- Tyson Fox - Stabbed in stomach, rug pulled underneath, neck broken, slammed against glass case, thrown off second balcony by Roman Bridger
- Jennifer Jolie - Stabbed in back/stomach behind one-way mirror by Roman Bridger
- John Milton - Throat slit with the knife by Roman Bridger
- Trudie Harrold - Chest impaled with hunting knife by Ghostface (in the Stab movies)
- Sherrie Marconi - Throat slit with hunting knife by Ghostface (in the Stab movies)
- Rachel Milles - Stomach impaled with kitchen knife by Chloe (in the Stab movies)
- Marnie Cooper - Stabbed in stomach, thrown through glass door, stabbed several times, arm slashed, hung from ceiling fan by Charlie Walker
- Jenny Randall - Stabbed in back, back crushed by garage door, stabbed in chest, stabbed several times, bound to chair by Jill Roberts
- Olivia Morris - Stabbed in chest/through the hand, kicked/thrown, stabbed in the back/stomach 6 times, head bashed through the window, gutted by Charlie Walker
- Rebecca Walters - Stabbed in stomach, thrown off parking garage roof, lands on news van by Jill Roberts
- Deputy Ross Hoss - Stabbed in back, stabbed several times by Jill Roberts
- Deputy Anthony Perkins - Stabbed in forehead, stabbed several times by Jill Roberts
- Kate Roberts - Stabbed in back through letterbox by Jill Roberts
- Robbie Mercer - Stabbed in chest/back/stomach by Charlie Walker
- Kirby Reed - Stomach impaled twice with hunting knife by Charlie Walker
- Trevor Sheldon - Tied up with tape, shot in groin/forehead with handgun by Jill Roberts
- Charlie Walker - Stabbed in chest/stomach by Jill Roberts
- Tyler O'Neill - Head decapitated by Kieran Wilcox (Possibly)
- Nina Patterson - Back and throat slashed by Piper Shaw
- Rachel Murray - Hung by noose, appeared to look like a suicide by Kieran Wilcox
- Riley Marra - Stabbed in the back/side, artery slashed by Piper Shaw
- Will Belmont - Head split by tractor saw by Piper Shaw and Kieran Wilcox
- Clifton Roberts - Stabbed multiple times (Off screen) by Piper Shaw
- Clark Hudson - Stomach sliced open which drops his intestines by Kieran Wilcox
- Grayson Pfeiffer - Throat slashed (Off screen) by Piper Shaw
- Jake Fitzgerald - sliced open with a scythe by Kieran Wilcox
- Eddie Hayes - Glass smashed on the head; stabbed with a cork screw by Kieran Wilcox
- Seth Branson - Right hand cut off; stabbed in the torso; body carbonized by Kieran Wilcox
- Deputy Dwayne - Thrown through glass mirror; died of blood loss by Kieran Wilcox
- Haley Meyers - Stabbed eleven times repeatedly in the chest and abdomen by Kieran Wilcox
- Zoë Vaughn - Locked in a coffin and left to drown at Wren Lake by Kieran Wilcox
- Quinn Maddox - Impaled through the chest with a pitchfork; Bled out by Kieran Wilcox
- Deputy Stevens - Stabbed several times in the abdomen and back area by Kieran Wilcox
- Eli Hudson - Stabbed by Kieran Wilcox; shot several times, once by Emma Duval and thrice by Kieran Wilcox
- Prison Guard - Neck twisted in 180 degrees by the third killer
- Kieran Wilcox - Throat slit/back of neck impaled with hunting knife by the third killer
- Tommy Jenkins - Stabbed in the neck before having his head covered with a plastic bag which quickly fills up with his own blood by Jamal Elliot
- Avery Collins - thrown over the balcony at the silent disco rave and was impaled on a spike upon landing by Jamal Elliot
- Latavious - Throat slashed (off screen) by Beth
- Shane - A deadly dose of drugs was injected into his eye; A ladder dropped on his windpipe by Beth
- Luther Thompson - Stabbed in the stomach and crushed to death with a car crusher by Jamal Elliot
- Manny - Leg broken with a tire iron and burned to death in a car by Beth
- Amir Ayoub - Stabbed and split down the middle with a bone saw by Beth
- Officer B. Westbrook - Stabbed in the back of the head and burned to death by Beth
- Jamal Elliot - Stabbed with a trash picker multiple times and tortured; Blood loss by Beth
- The mask is based on The Scream painting by the late Edvard Munch and ghosts that appeared in a Betty Boop cartoon.
- As previously stated, no matter who dons the mantle of Ghostface (both in-universe and in-filming), the man behind the voice box in the films and season 3 is always Roger L. Jackson, who is known for voicing Mojo Jojo, Rowdyruff Boys member Butch, and Wizeman the Wicked.
- Interestingly, the character Tatum calls the killer "Mr. Ghostface" in Scream (1996), indicating that this could have been R.J. Torbert's inspiration for the name of the mask.
- Mike Vaughn voices Ghostface in the first two season of the TV series.
- Ghostface was featured along with other horror icons in the Halloween sale promotion for Vivziepop's Hazbin Hotel.
- It has been hinted that the Ghostface mask will be drastically different in the upcoming Scream 5.