Ghost: the definitive guide to every member of their crazy universe

From Papa Emeritus I to IV to Papa Nihil, Sister Imperator and beyond, here's everything you need to know about Ghost's colourful cast of characters

Various members of the Ghost clergy

Ghost have long been shrouded in mysterious shenanigans. As well as the largely anonymous Nameless Ghouls that make up the bulk of the band, with each passing album, Ghost mastermind Tobias Forge has introduced a ghastly lead character to front the fold, starting back in 2010 with Papa Emeritus I for debut album Opus Eponymous . After Papas II and III followed for Infestissumam and Meliora respectively, for 2018's Prequelle , there was no numbered Papa to be found – just a Cardinal and another, newly introduced ancient figure known as Papa Nihil. 

The plot has only thickened since then, with Cardinal Copia being upgraded to a Papa all of his own for the Impera era and even more strange and spooky characters being introduced into the Ghost canon. Here's our definitive guide to all of them so far. 

Papa Emeritus I

AKA: The first one. Years Of Service: 2010-2012. Notes: Papa Emeritus I was the OG Ghost frontman and could usually be found stalking back and forth on stages wielding his trusty thurible (that’s that big, swinging incense burner thingy he used to have). The original, certainly, but arguably not the best.

Papa Emeritus II

AKA: The scary one. Years Of Service: 2013-2015. Notes: With a far ghastlier looking visage than his predecessor, Papa Emeritus II was also the first Papa to ditch the makeup when he fronted a special, three-song Ghost set for an Australian website in 2014. Though we’re still not convinced that was his real face, either.

Papa Emeritus III

AKA: The dandy. Years Of Service: 2015-2017. Notes: Allegedly the younger brother of Papa Emeritus II, Papa Emeritus III brought a new energy to Ghost, shrugging off his Papal robes mid-set for a snazzy suited-and-booted look that came with a host of sexually-charged stage moves. Oooh, the cad. It set a a new precedent for the dynamics of how Ghost shows would usually operate (let's just say the costume change count has only gone up since then). Papa III was eventually and unceremoniously killed off, along with his two predecessors, his decapitated head appearing on the cover of Metal Hammer in 2018. Oh dear.

AKA: The old one. Years Of Service: 1969-2020 alive, 2020-2022 as a spooky spirit Notes: Making his live debut seconds after Papa III was dragged off stage in Sweden in late 2017, Papa 0 looked older than time itself (er, no offense). His role was seemingly to mentor younger Papas and Papas-in-waiting, not least a newly arrived Cardinal who seemed to have more than just professional connections to the old-timer. Papa 0 could also, it would appear, bust out a mean saxophone solo, but that sadly wasn't enough to save him when he was rudely offed live onstage in Mexico in 2020. Then resurrected in 2022 to play sax again. This band's health insurance renewal rates must be through the roof, quite frankly.

Cardinal Copia

AKA: The one that wasn't a Papa (but is now). Years Of Service: 2018-2020. Notes: Providing a combo breaker by eschewing the corpsepaint and having a decidedly less pope-y fashion sense, Cardinal Copia was the lovably daft Papa-in-waiting that brought an extra flash of sass to the Ghost camp. Tobias Forge once suggested to us that, unlike previous Ghost frontmen, Cardi C might actually stick around for a few records - and he was half-right. In March 2020, on stage in Mexico, The Cardinal was surrounded by The Clergy and transformed into Papa Emeritus IV. A new dawn beckoned...

Papa Emeritus IV

AKA: The grandest Papa yet Years Of Service: 2020-present Notes: The upgraded Cardinal is currently serving as the fourth Papa Emeritus, and if Ghost's latest live show is anything to go by, he may be the most extravagant one yet. Packing dazzling robes, a fancy new hat (or three) and a fine array of new stage costumes, he's perfectly set to lead what looks to be Ghost's most over the top and bombastic era ever. But what happens when The Clergy grow tired of him and decide it's time for a freshen-up? Could Ghost's current hero buck the trend and leave the fold with his head and body intact? Could a serving Papa IV become Papa V? Or is he doomed to join his predecessors in death? Only time will tell.

The Nameless Ghouls

AKA: The band. Years Of Service: 2010-Present. Notes: Less individuals and more a mass of souls represented onstage by mysterious, anonymous figures. They seem to grow in number with each passing album cycle, and get their own revamp to go alongside each newly introduced (or upgraded) frontman. Currently, The Nameless Ghouls are rocking a badass steampunk look. We approve.

Sister Imperator

AKA: The matriarch. Years Of Service: 1969-Present (at least) Notes: A figurehead behind the scenes, the mysterious Sister Imperator has appeared in a number of videos put out by Ghost in recent years, and she seems to have a particular (motherly) affinity for The Cardinal/Papa IV. We got to see both Sister Imperator and Papa Nihil in their younger incarnations during Ghost's Kiss The Go-Goat era.

Mr. Saltarian

First introduced in Chapter 10 of Ghost's ongoing video series, Mr. Saltarian is yet another mysterious religious figure with definite but somewhat murky connections to The Clergy. With poor Papa IV's future seemingly up in the air as of Ghost's most recent Chapters, it seems that Mr. Saltarian may have a part to play in the increasingly paranoid frontman's ultimate fate.

AKA: The main event. Years Of Service: 2010-Present. Notes: The mysterious cult from which these strange beings all stepped forth, The Clergy is the centre point for everything that Ghost is, was and shall be. They remain anonymous, omnipotent and powerful. Which is metal as fuck, to be fair.

Father Jim Defroque

AKA: The Bad Boy Priest Years Of Service: [unknown]-Present Notes: Introduced in a half-hour special on YouTube entitled "Jesus Talk With Father Jim Defroque" released on Easter Sunday 2023, at first it appeared the Pastor was the antithesis of our favourite Satanic Swedes and a true man of the cloth as he disapprovingly dissected lyrics from bands including Ministry, Soundgarden and Green Day (all Jesus themed, naturally). 

It wasn't long before Father Defroque's true colours came out, however: suspicious sniffs throughout his YouTube special turned into a full bender during the Jesus He Knows Me video featuring copious amounts of blow, guns and erm, a questionable haircare regimen. How does he fit in with the wider Ghost lore? Well, we guess we'll find out pretty soon... 

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Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He is also probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site. 

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Primo Emeritus

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Primo’s age varies but I like to play slightly younger versions of all the boys.

Age: late 40’s early 50’s

Sexuality: Bi

Height: 6’2”

Personality/background: Being the first born Primo often helped raise his siblings while his parents fought in the background.. he made sure the younger boys never had to see their parents fight even though it was quite frequent.. his favorite sibling has always been Terzo and they were incredibly close untill Copia came along and he and Terzo became best friends. He’s a bookworm, often he can be found in the library reading or writing poetry. He loves dark romance novels and finds that most of the time he’d prefer to read about love than experience it first had as he’s never had good luck with anyone on that spectrum. He’s very soft spoken and during his time as Papa he was very serious about the cause. He smokes occasionally but only occasionally.

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Every Member Of Ghost Explained

Tobias Forge green black

Ghost is not just a metal band — they are an entire phantasmagoria, haunted by the lore and rumors dreamed up by their lead singer and mastermind, Tobias Forge. 

Forge, who grew up in Linköping, Sweden, took on his brother's obsession with rock and amassed an enviable collection of metal magazines before he was 10 (via Los Angeles Times ). He got into the underground metal scene in his teens. He looks back at that time as having been deeply immersed in death metal and black metal, but those genres were hardly his only inspirations. As Total Guitar says, he was inspired by everything from Black Sabbath to Blue Oyster Cult and even ABBA (they are part of his Swedish heritage, after all).

Ghost started out with an inverse Pope who worshipped the devil and was often surrounded by his Nameless Ghouls. That Pope, Papa Emeritus I, was mysteriously killed off only to be replaced by his successor, Papa Emeritus II. The inevitable happened again: Forge (the only one behind those corpselike faces) buried the Papas for a while and performed as Cardinal Copia, who was eventually anointed as another Satanic Pope. But listen closely, because the lyrics are far from a musical black mass.

"The lyrics are not about God. They're about man," Forge told the Los Angeles Times. "We are, at the end of the day, an occult, pop, satanic sort of rock 'n' roll band meant to entertain a group of people who are already down with that stuff."

Papa Emeritus I (2010-2012)

Papa Emeritus I was the first demonic Pope character of Ghost who emerged with their premiere album "Opus Eponymous." It was the moment church went metal.

The skull-esque makeup, mitre, and robes adorned with upside-down crosses — which all the Papa iterations would wear in one form or another — were the brainchild of lead singer Tobias Forge. The Los Angeles Times observes that Forge had a different approach to occult metal as opposed to the expected chorus of screams and swears and explosive guitar riffs. He delivers the lyrics of a black sermon with a hypnotically melodic voice. Ghost first formed in 2006, and the release of "Opus Eponymous" in 2010 saw the emergence of the first of a line of anti-Popes blessing (or should it be damning?) the stage (via  Ghost Cult Magazine ).

The vestments of Papa Emeritus I are mostly black, crowned with a silver mitre and slashed with red panels glittering with the repeated Cross of Saint Peter. Watch Forge perform as Papa I singing "Death Knell"  at a 2011 concert, and it is clear he goes beyond just throwing on a costume to embodying the character — though the costume is a spectacle in itself. His hand motions appear to be leading a blasphemous mass as he walks solemnly across the stage.

Papa Emeritus II (2013-2015)

As "Opus Eponymous" gave way to the band's second album, "Infestissumam," Papa Emeritus I was overthrown by Papa Emeritus II. The successor to Emeritus I appeared with an even ghastlier face and more elaborate vestments that were almost completely black, with the only flashes of heavenly light coming from his silver mitre and ornamental inverted crosses. According to  Seattle Weekly , "Infestissumam" is an album devoted to the mythical birth of Satan. This disturbed some printers to the point that they actually refused to print the album art for the deluxe edition, which features — among other unholy things — a throwback to the 16th century in the form of a massive Renaissance orgy. It was because of this that the release ended up being delayed.

Forge was still anonymous at this point — as anonymous as the Nameless Ghouls who made up the rest of the band. In the middle of 2014, one of the Ghouls leaked the impending replacement of Papa Emeritus II to Louder  as the "Infestissumam" cycle came to a close and teased possible candidates for the Papacy. The Ghoul in question was referring only to the character and not Forge himself, but remember that Forge still cloaked himself in anonymity during this era. Deepening the mystery was the mention of the band considering candidates when the only ones to be considered were coming into being in Forge's imagination.  gave away that Papa Emeritus II was last seen, appropriately enough, holding up a coffin lid on the cover of Sweden Rock Magazine.

Papa Emeritus III (2015-2017)

Papa Emeritus III is actually supposed to be the younger brother of Emeritus II, born only three months later — how that works out biologically remains a mystery (via  Louder ). This Papa's skull face is more abstract, and his papal robes are slashed with purple, a slightly less nightmarish departure from his predecessor. Metal Insider announced the transformation in 2015 when Ghost supposedly recruited Papa III for their latest album, "Meliora." When Forge still went unidentified, the band wanted fans to believe that each Papa was a new singer rather than a different persona their only lead singer conjured up.

Another Nameless Ghoul told Loudwire that the succession of Papas was not unlike different actors playing the same role. That same Ghoul went on to say that the imagery and music of Ghost are inextricably linked. The band had no visuals when they put out their first EP, but their ghoulish image soon followed. In another Loudwire interview, Forge himself admitted that he had a reason for killing off previous Papas. While they all succeeded, and he never had a favorite, he needed to keep his audience (and himself) engaged somehow. "If we just continued with Papa to Papa to Papa to Papa, that would grow very boring," he said.

The Papa characters vanished temporarily after Papa III's "death" (though they are briefly seen as corpses in the "Chapter Three: Back on the Road" video). In a move that almost seems sacrilegious, the next frontman of the band was a mere cardinal.

Papa Nihil (2017-2020 and 2022-present)

Also known as Papa Emeritus Zero, Papa Nihil is the most ancient Papa character, and he first appeared at a Gothenburg concert and announced, "The Middle Ages begin now."

Papa Nihil has the sunken face of a mummy and the gilded robes of an archangel. He always seems to be on his last breath, shambling onstage with a walking stick in one hand and an oxygen mask over his mouth, according to Kerrang . This Papa is a central character in Ghost's promo videos from his wheezing entrance in "Chapter One: New Blood," where he insists his bloodline goes back generations upon generations, to his remembered '60s youth in "Chapter Eight: Kiss the Go-Goat".

The videos unravel Nihil's backstory, revealing that he was once a rocker in '60s Los Angeles. As Kerrang also remembers, the band supposedly played their first gig — to promote their new EP "Seven Inches of Satanic Panic" (released by Galaxy Recordings) — at the Whiskey-A-Go-Go Bar right on the Sunset Strip. "Seven Inches" was Ghost's actual 2019 vinyl record, which his aging fingers revealed at the end of "Chapter Eight," as he claimed it was time to rerelease the EP that gave his band their big break in 1969. He appears on the cover as a psychedelic nightmare.

Inevitably, Papa Nihil went on to die like the others, but unlike them, he was eventually resurrected. Planet Radio named him as the band's official anointer and saxophonist.

Cardinal Copia (2018-2020)

The poster ghoul for the album "Prequelle" wasn't an undead Pope but a cardinal sans white face paint, though still rocking the look of blackened eye sockets. Cardinal Copia has no relation to the exalted bloodline of the Papas. This is something Papa Nihil keeps endlessly complaining about starting in "Chapter One: New Blood."

As Loudwire observed, the video "Chapter Seven: New World Redro" is an homage to Stephen King's "The Shining." Papa Nihil repeatedly types, "All work and no play makes Papa a bad dad," while Cardinal Copia navigates the clergy headquarters — already a shadowy mausoleum — on a tricycle and runs into the same sorts of terrors Danny Torrance encounters in the movie. Notably, there is a pair of twin girls who walk on either side of Papa Nihil in some of the videos. They channel those creepy twins that beckoned Danny to come play with them by having them materialize in front of the Cardinal and try to get him to join in a ghostly game of Red Rover before they suddenly vanish.

Forge started rumors that Cardinal Copia could survive for more than one tour, as he told Australia's "The Music" podcast (via Loudwire ) in 2019. "Right now, if everything goes according to plan, we're hoping for Cardi to be strong enough and cool enough to possibly do something that none of the previous ones have done, and that's basically to do two cycles," he explained.

Papa Emeritus IV (2020-present)

Turned out Cardinal Copia escaped the fate of death to be reanointed as Papa Emeritus IV. No wonder he inherited Cardinal Copia's eye makeup.

Though Tobias Forge previously said he wasn't going to create any more Papas, he morphed Cardinal Copia into one. The unholy anointing happened during a 2020 concert in Mexico City, which also marked Forge's 40th birthday (via Revolver ). The transformation is captured in Ghost's "Life Eternal" video, in which a clip of Cardinal Copia somberly walking down the hall of the Clergy's mausoleum headquarters gives way to legions of adoring fans with and without makeup and masks (and sometimes mitres). The video ends in an explosion of smoke and confetti that makes way for the newly mitred Papa.

Papa Emeritus IV is the flashiest Papa character yet, with jewel-encrusted vestments decked out in gold thread. He went from Cardinal to Pope to usher in the era of Ghost's latest album, "Impera", according to Distorted Sound Magazine . Kerrang announced an epic crossover when Iron Maiden made this Papa a character on their "Legacy of the Beast" mobile game. Forge himself is a Maiden fan — something he focused on in a 2018 interview with Loudwire  — and has even toured with them. "There's a lot of cross-pollination between Iron Maiden and Ghost nowadays," he told the outlet. "They have been extremely important for my whole reason wanting to be here and the reason why I've gotten to the place where I am now."

Omega (Martin Persner, 2010-2016)

Ever wonder who those spooky masked figures behind Papa (or Cardinal Copia, depending on the era) are? The Nameless Ghouls of Ghost had their identities set aside for more emphasis on the music and the mythos that Forge created for the Ghost universe. Ghouls have come and gone — but at least some have been revealed.

Guitarist Martin Persner was one iteration of the Nameless Ghoul known as Omega, according to Metal Injection . The former bandmate of Forge's — who played alongside him in Magna Carta Cartel pre-Ghost — was also the first Nameless Ghoul to reveal his human form. Initially, there was skepticism surrounding whether he was telling the truth since his face always remained hidden behind some sort of mask. But the rings he wears in the video announcing his parting ways with the band in 2017 are the same as those Omega wore up until then.

"I wrote some songs [for Ghost], but mostly it was [Tobias's] own songs, and I would come along, maybe, and say, 'Oh, it should be like...' and we would fight — as always," he told GoetiaMedia . Why Persner gave up Ghost may always be a mystery. He gave a cryptic response when asked the question, telling GoetiaMedia that he would rather not talk about it because it was too personal and only let on that "something horrible happened."  Loudwire found out that Persner resurrected Magna Carta Cartel and has been with them since his exit from Ghost.

Aether (Chris Catalyst)

Chris Catalyst is the face behind the Nameless Ghoul, otherwise known as Aether. The former Sisters of Mercy guitarist, who has also played with bands such as Terrorvision, Ugly Kid Joe, and Ginger Wildheart, recently unmasked himself on Twitter after Ghost's European Imperatour (via  Planet Radio ). "Amazing tour with our wonderful Ghost family," he tweeted. "I supposed that's that particular cat out of the bag."

The entire band is unmasked in the group photo he tweeted (along with the members of supporting acts Twin Temple and Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats). If you really zoom in, you can see him flashing a peace sign over Tobias Forge's right shoulder. The face to the left of Forge is thought to be guitarist Per Eriksson, formerly of Katatonia and Bloodbath, whose Ghoul alias would be Fire if he really is one of these creatures. There has been no confession from him yet.

Some ex-Ghouls left the band with a lawsuit, as Blabbermouth reveals. In 2017, four of them sued Forge after being fired because they believed he was breaking a partnership agreement by withholding their share of the profits. It was this lawsuit that gave away Forge's identity after years of going incognito behind heavy stage makeup. Some of the Ghouls in question — Air and Water — eventually formed the cyberpunk band Priest.

When the Colorado Springs Independent (via Blabbermouth ) asked Forge whether he could have dodged that lawsuit by making the Ghouls' identities known, he said he believed so.

The Ghoulettes (2018-present)

The Nameless Ghouls were all male until 2016, when two Ghoulettes were introduced to the band. As MetalSucks remembers, the identity of the first Ghoulette slipped when a finger tattoo identified her as bassist Megan Thomas of all-female Led Zeppelin tribute band Lez Zeppelin, who had also been missing from concerts for no apparent reason. How long she stayed on with Ghost is unknown. As of 2018, the PRP noted that another Ghoulette had joined the lineup because of a telltale mask style.

The Ghouls started out as faceless and genderless beings in hooded black robes. When Papa Emeritus I swapped out his black vestments for ghastly white, the Ghouls did the same, with masks that covered their entire faces except for two eerie eye holes (via Planet Radio ). With the rise of Papa Emeritus II, they were back in black, with black leather masks covering all but their eyes. The Ghouls backing Papa Emeritus III wore mouthless horned demon face masks. It was the shinier versions of these chrome masks that appeared in 2018, which had female versions that featured longer molded "hair."

Ghoulettes now touring with Ghost are thought to be Cirrus and Sunshine — aka Laura Scarbourough of Diamond Kobra — and musical theatre performer Sophie Amelkin  (per  Planet Radio ). Their suspected identities haven't been officially confirmed or denied. Forge's inspiration for the current post-apocalyptic Ghoul masks were the (once again genderless) Tusken Raiders of "Star Wars," as he told Revolver . He was into the dead look.

Sister Imperator (2016-present)

Supposed nun Sister Imperator is the forbidden lover of Papa Nihil in Ghost lore — whatever vows these members of the clergy took evidently did not involve chastity. Sister is the only main character who does not play with the band. Her main role is to build mystery and anticipation in Ghost's music videos and series of promo videos, and according to Revolver , Forge uses her to do just that and still leave fans wondering at the end. She is first seen in "Chapter One: New Blood,"  when she announces to a curmudgeonly Papa Nihil that fresh blood is needed in the Clergy, and that fresh blood later turns out to be Cardinal Copia. Whether he actually belongs there is something they continue arguing about.

Nihil and Sister argue even through her lengthy stay in the hospital after nearly being crushed in a car accident in "Chapter Four: The Accident,"  in which the hearse she drives is sidetracked and goes up in flames. In "Chapter Five: The Call,"  a completely bandaged Sister makes her best attempt to dial him on a rotary phone, and they proceed to review the "Omen" movies. Alternative Press noticed that Sister was flaunting a stunningly new look after the bandages were removed.

The sexual tension between Nihil and Sister is obvious in the videos they appear in, coming to a climax in a Valentine's Day video clip . ( Metal Hammer  confirms suspicions that they are recreating the infamous "horny pottery" scene from the movie "Ghost.")

The Clergy (2010-present)

Shrouded in mystery, the Clergy are supposed to be the larger (fictional) cult from which Ghost spawned. They are never seen, but always heard on social media. Metal Hammer  describes them as beyond powerful but never actually appearing anywhere. While the Papas, Sister, and Cardinal Copia are regarded as clergy since they are supposed to be nuns and priests, they are still not the Clergy, who are supposedly some higher power. The Clergy surrounded Cardinal Copia when he was reanointed to become Papa Emeritus IV. They can also decide when it is time to kill off the latest Papa — or potentially morph him into something else.

The Clergy members are most visible through their announcements. Ghost's social media posts and YouTube videos often open with "[MESSAGE FROM THE CLERGY]" — and of course, an omnipotent power like them would use all caps to get the importance of the message across. This is always followed by "we wish to inform you" before the announcement is made (via  Twitter ). But who are they? What we do know is that Sister Imperator is the head, according to Revolver . So she is both clergy and Clergy.

Even after all the reveals, Ghost continues to be shrouded in mystery, and there are some things that may never crawl out of the inner sanctum.

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Characters / Ghost (Band)

Edit locked.

Ghost is unique in that they have a fairly extensive lore behind their music, which focuses on a number of unique characters.


Papa Emeritus

  • Papa III would often blow kisses to the crowd, and would hold female audience members' hands during "Cirice". He also would mimic some more...suggestive things involving male genitalia, and would get very touchy-feely with his Ghouls, all of them male, with the exception of a female water Ghoul in 2016.
  • Cardinal Copia/Papa IV would be even more touchy-feely with his Ghouls, calling Aether "death on two legs" while caressing said legs and continuing Papa 3's tradition in holding female fan's hand during "Cirice". He would also like to boast that he wished he could take all of the audience members and fuck them off-stage while declaring how he'd tickle their taints and wobble their asses.
  • Card-Carrying Villain : While they don't take it to an extreme, the Papas are fully aware the version of Satan in their religion is evil yet worship him anyway. (Obviously, this is referring only to the lore not Tobias in real life).
  • Costume Evolution : The Papas showed considerable improvements in the designs of their facepaint and their papal outfits with each one that came along.
  • Friend to All Children : Yes, even Papa II has been known to show his soft side to kids. It's not uncommon for them to scold any audience members for roughhousing during a concert—despite Ghost being a Satanic band, they do attract kid fans and the Papas (and Cardi C) have been known to be angered whenever there's a chance of the kids and their adult fans of being hurt.
  • Punny Name : One of the Nameless Ghouls mentioned in an interview that the name "Papa Emeritus" is a pun since "Emeritus" is a title that's given when someone retires, and the only way a pope retires is by dying.
  • Red Right Hand : A subtle instance: all the Papas have a left eye which is so light blue it's almost white, with the right eye being normal. This feature was induced in the man who would become Papa Nihil, and carried over to the Papas, and then to Cardinal Copia.
  • All of the Papas, including Papa Nihil and Copia after he became Papa IV, wear a miter with a prominent grucifix as part of their vestments.
  • Sinister Minister : All of the Papas are Satanic popes. Cardinal Copia was a Satanic Cardinal, but has taken the papal robes after becoming Papa Emeritus IV.
  • Skull for a Head : All the Papas have black and white facepaint which gives them this appearance. Papas I and II were very literally skull-like; Papa III started out this way, but his makeup changed to be more stylised. Papa IV's original makeup played with the concept by being reminiscent of a rat's skull, but has changed to be more like a human skull as of Impera 's release.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute : Each Papa became this for his previous version, as they are all pretty much the same character in a new outfit, although Papa III was much more charismatic and energetic than the previous two. Subverted for Era IV, where instead of a Papa, a cardinal was the front of Ghost, named Cardinal Copia. However, Copia has now become Papa Emeritus IV.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness : With Cardinal Copia as the band's new singer, the previous Papas were no longer needed, so they were killed and their embalmed bodies were turned into display pieces for the band's tours .

The original frontman and least known despite having the longest reign among his brothers. He made his live debut in 2010 and his era lasted until 2012 before he switched over to Papa II. However, most fans count his reign as starting around 2008 as that was when Opus Eponymous was written and recorded. His colour theme is red and white.

The successor of I. His colour theme is green and he's the only Papa to wield a ferula (a staff with a Grucifix on top). He reigned from 2013 to 2015. Technically he made his debut in 2012, but most fans mark his era as beginning in 2013 for simplicity's sake. He is the first Papa to make official appearances without donning the facepaint, as can be seen in the "Papaganda" videos, the video for "Year Zero", and in a series of studio performances which can be found on YouTube.

  • Bald of Evil : He resembles Anton Lavey, right down to his bald head. Interestingly, when in character his entire head is painted black except for the skull markings on his face.
  • Death Glare : Has a very impressive one as his default expression. Not for nothing was he considered the most terrifying and intimidating of all the Papas.
  • Dirty Old Man : One definite change from the previous Papa is his being quite a lech. His album has two explicitly sexual songs ("Jigolo Har Megiddo" and "Monstrance Clock"), and in the "Papaganda" videos, he brags about his prowess, is shown at a party dancing with several beautiful women, and is later shown driving around with two women before going back to his hotel room with them. He also has a dildo with his face on it and flashed his ass and dick onscreen.
  • Gag Penis : Claims he has this and is rather amused that all of the explicit fanarts of him tend to underestimate his size. That said , while the censored version of the video for "Year Zero" gives him a censor bar that backs up his claims when he lifts his robe, in the uncensored version he's not that gifted.
  • Gratuitous Italian : All the Papas speak with an Italian accent, but in the "Papaganda" videos, despite being heard singing in English, he only speaks in Italian to the interviewer.
  • Iconic Item : His grucifix-topped ferula, which was unique to him and as integral a part of his image as his facepaint.

Younger brother of II by three months. Much more energized and sexual than his older brothers, he sports a purple theme. His era went from 2015 to 2017. His signature song "Cirice" won the band their first Grammy in 2016. He is considered one of the more popular Papas and his reign saw the band reach a more mainstream audience. Unfortunately, his efforts was not considered good enough for Sister Imperator and he was dragged unceremoniously off-stage during his last public performance.

  • Cruel and Unusual Death : In a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment in "Chapter Three: Back On the Road", as the Papas are being embalmed, his foot twitches on the slab, implying that he was Not Quite Dead when he was embalmed.
  • Humiliation Conga : He is the only Papa who has the distinction of being forcibly dragged off stage as his final public performance. Soon after that he was poisoned, embalmed alive and had his head chopped off and used for a photo-shoot by Copia .
  • Iconic Item : In a humorous take, when Ghost did acoustic tours and performances during his tenure, he would sometimes play a kazoo which he dramatically called "The Kazoo of Destiny".
  • Mr. Fanservice : In direct contrast to his predecessors, he seemed to have been designed with this role in mind. His charming demeanor during live shows, rather form-fitting casual wear, and enthusiastic onstage speeches about the female orgasm certainly helped.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot : Self-lampshaded, especially if kids were in the audience. He would apologize for cursing, admit that he had a foul mouth, and then go right back to it.
  • Younger and Hipper : He was more charismatic and charming than Papa II, and despite his wrinkles, he had a full head of black hair which, combined with his makeup being limited to just his face, made him look much younger.

Cardinal Copia was brought on to take over from Papa III at Sister Imperator's urging. He would later become Papa Emeritus IV, taking on the role just after the on-stage "death" of Papa Nihil. He has the most costume changes among all the frontmen, donning not only a Cardinal's cassock, but tight tuxedo suits and now the papal vestments. He also had the most color variation; his cassocks were either red or black, his suits tended to be black or white, and his robes as Papa IV are prominently royal blue. The band was nominated for two Grammys during his tenure but he lost on both counts. He first debuted in 2018 and is still performing today.

  • Awesome Moment of Crowning : Right after Nihil died, Cardinal Copia arrived onstage nonplussed about his predecessor's sudden departure. Shortly afterward, he was surrounded by the Sisters of Sin, who anointed him Papa Emeritus IV onstage.
  • Chivalrous Pervert : Parodied. Despite his claims that he'd take the crowd to a parking lot and bang them, when the crowd actually takes him up on the offer, Copia would quickly backpedal, exasperatedly claiming that he was only "kidding". It still doesn't stop him from flirting audaciously to the crowd, however.
  • Costume Porn : Compared to the previous Papas, Copia has a more extensive and extravagant set of clothes, sporting not only one full Papal regalia but TWO: each being as intricately detailed as the other. Post- Impera , he also goes through several outfit changes during Rituals.
  • Iconic Item : His tricycle and bat-winged biretta.
  • Lantern Jaw of Justice : He had plastic surgery which gave him a much larger jawline prior to the release of Impera , as he believes a Papa should have a "strong jaw".
  • Manchild : Has shades of this, from his entering with a boombox playing a background track, trying to fist bump Papa Nihil, fooling around while Nihil argues with Imperator about his suitability, riding a tricycle around the Ministry and onstage, and much more.
  • Mr. Fanservice : He picked up where Papa III left off in terms of on-stage energy and fan interaction.

young primo ghost

  • Younger and Hipper : One of the reasons given by Imperator to Nihil as to why the Cardinal should be the next frontman of Ghost. While he does appear younger than all the previous Papas, Copia's age seem to still be in middle-age range.

Other Characters

The Nameless Ghouls are the anonymous musicians in the band, who conceal their identities behind masks and let their playing do the talking. In the lore videos, they're also shown to do the grunt work in the Church, up to and including assassination.

  • Ambiguously Bi : All of them to a certain degree, especially the Era III and IV Ghouls, as they play along with Papa III and Copia's touchy-feeliness and sometimes do the same with each other.
  • As Copia ascends as Papa Emeritus IV, the Ghouls had a massive revamp, moving from a sculpted metal mask to a full-on steampunk helmet with tubes, goggles, and short horns. They are also dressed more extravagantly with high leather boots, their own capes and epaulets.
  • Deadpan Snarker : "Special Ghoul", who handled all the interviews pre-Era IV, had quite the dry wit. He was actually Tobias in disguise, helping to preserve the band's anonymity. However, once Tobias was outed, he started doing interviews out of costume and Special was quietly retired.
  • The Faceless : This is the prime theme of the Nameless Ghouls. All you can see when they're in costume is their hands (usually with make up to hide tattoos), and even then some (like Earth) wear gloves.
  • In the Hood : They started out wearing black hooded cassocks and face masks, but abandoned this look when Papa III took over as singer.
  • No Name Given : In keeping with their anonymous status, the Ghouls are only referred to by their alchemical symbols.

Also known as Papa Emeritus Zero, he first appeared at Papa III's last performance, making an eerie proclamation that "the Dark Age has begun". He's later revealed to have been Ghost's original singer in the late '60s (his album being "Seven Inches of Satanic Panic"). He also appears onstage with Cardinal Copia, performing the saxophone solo for the song "Miasma". He died after performing on the final ritual of the aptly named "A Pale Tour Named Death". However, he still lingers around as a Ghost and is often resurrected during the Rituals for his sax solo.

  • Back from the Dead : Downplayed . Whenever "Miasma" is played in concerts set after his death, his sarcophagus is dragged out onstage , his corpse is resuscitated with a defibrillator , and he does his saxophone solo before returning to being dead and being taken back offstage.
  • Dislikes the New Guy : Nihil made it very clear that he is not fond of Cardinal Copia. He only reluctantly agreed to let him become the Ghost's frontman because of Sister Imperator. At one point, he declared that despite Copia's success, his sons did it better (which didn't stop him from having them killed, however ). He also harps on Copia's failure to win the Grammys and shows nothing but disdain whenever the man is in his presence.
  • Fatal Method Acting : invoked He "died" on stage during the last show of the 2020 tour, collapsing just after completing the saxophone solo in "Miasma" (although Copia's comments afterward imply that it wasn't an accident).
  • Iconic Item : His saxophone.
  • I Was Quite a Looker : Nihil was very handsome in his younger days, which not only attracted Sister Imperator to him but helped his on-stage presence. However, he's become very decrepit in his old age and is wistful about his golden years.
  • My Greatest Failure : He's haunted by having driven Imperator away with his lustful on-stage behavior and would like nothing more than to get her back, although she's made it clear that's not going to happen.
  • Offing the Offspring : He's the Papas' father, and based on what happened to them, he had to have been at least complicit in their deaths, if not actively involved in setting it up.
  • Senior Creep : He did not age well; his eyes are so filmed over that he looks like he's blind, he's visibly wrinkled (although his makeup may make this look worse than it is), and his hair is stringy and frizzy. Additionally, when he first appeared at the end of Papa III's last performance, he was using an oxygen mask and tottering on a cane, although this is very downplayed in the "Chapter" videos.
  • Vader Breath : Audibly does this during several video chapters.

Considered the second-most authority in the Ministry aside from the Papas, and also the only named member of the clergy, appearing even before Papa Nihil. She's known for her fiery speeches in the "Summoning" videos (which introduced Papa III) and also for cheerfully informing the Papas (in the "Chapter" videos) that they were returning back to the road before having them all killed. She suffered from a car accident sometime in "Chapter 4 - The Accident" but recovered albeit with some physical changes. After the death of Nihil, she, alongside Copia, decided to do some face surgery in preparation for the 'Imperatour' Tour.

  • Berserk Button : For the love of Satan, don't smoke around her when she's (implied) to be pregnant, as one poor fan learned. Also if you're Nihil don't fucking cheat on her.
  • The Corrupter : She was instrumental in creating Papa Nihil, by seducing a guy who showed up at a party and opening him up to the wonders of serving the Devil.
  • Dragon-in-Chief : While Papa Nihil is ostensibly the head of the Church, it's Imperator who is shown to be the real boss of the operation.
  • My Secret Pregnancy : The "Chapter" videos strongly hint that Cardinal Copia is her child by Papa Nihil, conceived at some point between the "Dance Macabre" and "Kiss the Go-Goat" videos but kept secret by Imperator due to her leaving him after seeing him kissing other women. This is all but confirmed in the Chapter Nine video, where she nearly called herself "Mother" in a conversation with Copia. However, it's implied that Copia might not have known about her being his biological mother.
  • Working with the Ex : While she does show that she may have hold some affection for Nihil (once trying to flirt with him only to be thwarted because he missed her cue), she could not trust him due to his past behaviour. She also makes it clear in "Chapter Eight" that, for all her anger at his betrayal, she still stayed on in the Ministry because her faith and duty was far stronger.

Mr. Saltarian is a member of the Ghost Clergy who made his debut in "Chapter 10". He arrived to assist Copia with his upcoming tours and also teaches him self-defense on the side.

  • Beleaguered Assistant : Has shades of this. After Imperator became the official leader of the Ministry, he can be seen trying to manage not only Copia but Nihil's ghost as well and is exasperated by their antics.

A pair of as-yet unnamed twins who are seen with Papa Nihil in two of the "Chapter" videos, one pulling the cart with his oxygen tank. They're played by Tobias Forge's twins.

  • Creepy Twins : Their stringy hair, pale skin, and the black circles around their eyes reflect the look of the guy at the door from the "Dance Macabre" video. They are known to speak backwards, and part of "Chapter Seven - New World Redro"'s The Shining references include them spooking Cardinal Copia by muttering "Come and play with us" like that film's twin girls.
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young primo ghost

Talking Maria Jigsaw Puzzle 4+

Youssef amri, designed for ipad, screenshots, description.

Calling all brave young adventurers! Are you ready to embark on a spine-tingling quest to become the ultimate Ghost Hunter? Step into a world filled with mysterious haunts and mischievous apparitions, as you take on the role of a fearless Ghost Hunter. Get ready for the most thrilling, action-packed car game designed especially for kids - Crazy Car Crashers! Buckle up and hit the turbo boost as you enter a world of insane stunts, daring jumps, and epic car crashes that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Version 1.1

-Enhanced stabilization -Compatibility updates -Performance optimization -Bug fixes -UX improvement

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What is Hamas, and why did it attack Israel now?

young primo ghost

An earlier version of this article incorrectly described Hamas’s aim as the creation of a Palestinian state along the borders that existed before the 1967 war. Hamas does not recognize the existence of Israel and is committed to replacing it through armed struggle with a Palestinian state stretching from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River. In addition, an earlier version of this article inaccurately characterized Qatar's relationship with Hamas. Qatar works with Hamas to provide humanitarian assistance to civilians in the Gaza Strip, but it does not directly support the group. The article has been corrected.

Israel declared war against Hamas on Sunday, following a surprise attack by the Palestinian militant group based in Gaza that included the taking of civilian hostages at a music festival, where at least 260 bodies have been recovered. Israeli security forces, caught off guard, have pounded the Gaza Strip with retaliatory strikes, and U.S. officials said they expect Israel to soon launch a ground incursion into the enclave as violence escalates in the conflict-ridden region.

Israel is searching for more than 100 hostages, including Americans, believed to have been taken to Gaza by Hamas. President Biden labeled the actions of Hamas as “beyond the pale” in a speech Wednesday.

Since winning legislative elections in 2006, Hamas has repeatedly attacked Israel with rockets and mortars, emerging as a defiant adversary. Israel has retaliated with its superior firepower and a punishing blockade, restricting imports and the movement of civilians in a strategy of collective punishment. The blockade and recurring Israeli strikes have contributed to Gaza’s poor infrastructure and living conditions. Israel declared a full siege of the enclave on Monday, with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant promising “no electricity, no food, no fuel” and calling Hamas militants “savages.”

The Gaza Strip and its history, explained

Here’s what to know about Hamas and the latest violence .

Israel-Gaza war

President Biden warned that a new Israeli occupation of Gaza would be a “big mistake” as food and water supplies run dangerously low for Palestinian residents. Follow the latest news and live updates .

Hostages: Israeli officials say Hamas militants abducted about 200 hostages in a highly organized attack on Israel . Among those abducted from their homes or seized from a music festival are a mother, her two young daughters , a restaurant manager and a DJ. Here’s what we know about the hostages taken from Israel .

Israeli-Palestinian conflict: Here is a timeline of the decades-old conflict and what to know about the more recent violence in Israel and Gaza . The Hamas -controlled Gaza Strip has a complicated history , and its rulers have long been at odds with the Palestinian Authority , the U.S.-backed government in the West Bank.

Americans killed: At least 30 U.S. citizens have been killed. Here’s what we know about how the United States is getting involved in the Israel-Gaza war and how other foreign nationals were affected .

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Halloween at Deadwood! - Haunted House and Ghost Train Rides

Sunday, Oct 22, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. EDT

Halloween at Deadwood! 2302 Eds Grocery Road Williamston, NC 27892

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Halloween Lite Halloween Lite is on Sunday hours are 2pm to 7pm. $10 for adults $7.50 for young souls under 12 years

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Papa Emeritus II

  • View history
  • 1 Appearance
  • 5 References

Appearance [ ]

Papa Emeritus II is the first Papa to have a mask custom-made for him, a process that would be repeated for all future Papas. Like the Papa before him , his mask depicts a bald elderly man with skull paint, although this time around both mask and skull paint are more realistic. On-stage, he wears a dark chasuble with green lining, with an accompanying Mitre. Both the chasuble and mitre have the Grucifix symbol embroidered onto it. Papa II also has a crozier with the Grucifix symbol on top.

He is the first Papa to have more than one outfit, although this second outfit is never seen on-stage, and only in Papaganda , live sessions, and some photoshoots. In this second outfit, Papa II wears a suit-jacket on top of a vest, alongside sunglasses (most likely to hide the eye holes of the mask). He is also bare-faced and, contradictory to his on-stage appearance, has a mustache.

History [ ]

Papa II made his live debut on December 15, 2012 at a special show in the band's hometown of Linköping, Sweden. [1] After Papa I passed the mic down to him, Papa II debuted a new song with the band called Secular Haze .

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Papa I passing the mic down to Papa II

Papa II is also the first papa to appear without facepaint. During the Year Zero video, the Papaganda videos, and the studio sessions at Music Feeds Studio he wore a version of the mask without facepaint. He wore sunglasses to hide the eye cuts.

Papa II has been described as "a miserable, wounded, and bitter old man". [2] Some ghouls described him in interviews as being a "narcissist" and an "asshole". He was fired from the clergy due to not performing his duties in overthrowing churches and governments. On June 3, 2015, at a special hometown show in Linköping, Sweden, he was replaced by his "younger brother of three months", Papa Emeritus III.

In March 2018, he along with his brothers Papa Emeritus I and Papa Emeritus III were killed by their father Papa Nihil , Sister Imperator , and the clergy. They were embalmed and put on display on the Prequelle tour cycle as part of the Veneration of Relics .

Gallery [ ]

Papa II, without facepaint

  • Like all Papas, he is played by frontman and founding member Tobias Forge.

References [ ]

  • ↑ Ghost - Secular Haze (Live in Linköping) - Youtube
  • ↑ Ghost's Papa Emeritus II Unmasked In 'Papaganda' Series - Loudwire
  • 1 Nameless Ghouls
  • 2 Papa Emeritus IV

Arizona Republic

Arizona Republic

When We Were Young 2023 in Las Vegas: Lineup, set times, tickets

When We Were Young 2023 returns to Las Vegas for two days of pop-punk with headlining sets by Green Day and Blink-182 .

It’s the same lineup both days with artists performing on four stages — Green, Pink, Ghost and Stripe.

Green Day will, of course, be headlining the Green Stage.

Start the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.

At last year's When We Were Young festival, My Chemical Romance and a reunited Paramore topped a bill that also featured two of Arizona's biggest bands you might expect to find in such company, Jimmy Eat World and the Maine .

The 2023 festival also features two great Arizona artists — folk-punk legends AJJ (formerly known as Andrew Jackson Jihad) and Michelle Branch, the Sedona native who named her double-platinum breakthrough, 2001's "The Spirit Room," after a corner saloon in a haunted historic hotel in Jerome.

Here’s everything you need to know if you’re going to When We Were Young 2023.

Review: Green Day made sure fans at Innings Fest had the time of their life at Tempe Beach Park

What are the dates of When We Were Young 2023?

When We Were Young will take place on Saturday, Oct. 21, and Sunday, Oct. 22.

Where is When We Were Young Festival in 2023?

When We Were Young is at the Las Vegas Festival Grounds, an open-air venue at the north end of the  Las Vegas Strip  in Winchester, Nevada.

It’s a 26-acre facility with a capacity of 85,000 people, north of  Circus Circus Las Vegas .

The address is 311 W.  Sahara Ave. , Winchester, Nevada.

Who is playing at When We Were Young 2023?

Green Day and Blink-182 are this year's headliners.

Other artists of note include the Offspring, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Rise Against, Good Charlotte, Set It Off, Bowling for Soup, Sum 41, All Time Low, 5 Seconds of Summer, Pierce the Veil, Joyce Manor, AJJ, Less Than Jake, Thrice, Beach Bunny, Citizen, the Front Bottoms, Turnover, Tigers Jaw, the Movelife, KennyHoopla, The Ataris, New Found Glory, Motion City Soundtrack and Michelle Branch.

When We Were Young 2023 schedule

The lineup is the same on Saturday and Sunday.

The Green Stage

11:45 a.m. — The Ataris

12:55 p.m. — Something Corporate

2:05 p.m. — Yellowcard

3:25 p.m. — 5 Seconds of Summer

4:45 p.m. — Sum 41

6:05 p.m. — Good Charlotte

7:35 p.m. — The Offspring

10 p.m. — Green Day

The Pink Stage

11:10 a.m. — Fenix TX

12:20 p.m. — Motion City Soundtrack

1:30 p.m. — New Found Glory

2:45 p.m. — Pierce the Veil

4 p.m. — All Time Low

5:25 p.m. — Rise Against

6:50 p.m. — Thirty Seconds to Mars

8:25 p.m. — Blink-182

Ghost Stage

11:35 a.m. — Magnolia Park

12:10 p.m. — Zebrahead

12:45 p.m. — Now More Than Ever

1:20 p.m. — Jaden Hossler

1:55 p.m. — No Pressure

2:30 p.m. — Citizen

3:05 p.m. — Finch

3:40 p.m. — The Academy Is…

4:15 p.m. — Hot Mulligan

4:50 p.m. — Beach Bunny

5:25 p.m. — Relient K

6:10 p.m. — Saves the Day

6:45 p.m. — Simple Plan

7:35 p.m. — Thrice

8:10 p.m. — Less Than Jake

8:45 p.m. — Set It Off

9:20 p.m. — Joyce Manor

9:55 p.m. — Lit

10:30 p.m. — Ekkstacy

Stripe Stage

11:15 a.m. — Games We Play

11:50 a.m. — Knuckle Puck

12:25 p.m. — The Movielife

1 p.m. — The Veronicas

1:35 p.m. — Michelle Branch

2:10 p.m. — Tigers Jaw

2:45 p.m. — The Wrecks

3:20 p.m. — Goldfinger

3:55 p.m. — Turnover

4:30 p.m. — Plain White T’s

5:05 p.m. — MXPX

5:40 p.m. — Gym Class Heroes

6:15 p.m. — The Front Bottoms

6:50 p.m. — Movements

7:25 p.m. — Say Anything

8 p.m. — Waterparks

8:35 p.m. — AJJ

9:10 p.m. — Bowling for Soup

9:45 p.m. — Jean Dawson

10:20 p.m. — KennyHoopla

When We Were Young 2023 tickets

There is a waitlist for tickets at .

  • General admission tickets start at $279.
  • General admission-plus tickets start at $439.
  • VIP tickets start at $539.
  • VIP cabana tickets start at $17,000.

If the tickets requested become available, you will be notified and charged automatically. Requested tickets are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Reach the reporter at  [email protected]  or 602-444-4495. Follow him on Twitter  @ EdMasley .

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: When We Were Young 2023 in Las Vegas: Lineup, set times, tickets

Green Day performed on the Space Zebra Stage the last night of Louder Than Life. Sept. 24, 2023

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Music festival revelers in the Israeli desert were massacred by Hamas militants

As thousands of people danced at a music festival in an Israeli desert area in the early hours of Saturday, Hamas militants from Gaza descended upon the revelry.

Videos show young Israelis dancing to trance music under a giant Buddha statue and prayer flags around dawn — right around when festivalgoer Eliav Klein said he saw rockets launched from Gaza, startling everyone.

A total of 260 people were killed at the event, according to a spokesperson for ZAKA, an Israeli nongovernmental rescue and recovery organization.

hamas attack Israel Palestinian conflict

Klein said, “There was a traffic jam of cars trying to escape.”

Then gunshots rang out. Amid the chaos, Klein and hundreds of young people began to run on the dry brown earth, out of breath and clutching bags, desperate to reach safety.

The Supernova festival, held in the Negev region, had been planned for weeks.

“Everyone just started running in all directions. Nobody knew where to go,” Klein said. He said he believed festivalgoers totaled in the thousands.

“My friend had to jump off a cliff that was 25 feet high as he was running away from terrorists to save his life,” he added, saying another friend witnessed victims on their knees at gunpoint.

Some people appeared to have been abducted, leaving loved ones unsure of their fates. American and British festivalgoers were also in the crowd, according to Israeli officials and the accounts of family members in the media.

The Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, told NBC News “a few” Americans were at the festival.

Noa Argamani, 25, was there with her boyfriend, Avinatan Or. The two appear to have been abducted by Hamas soldiers. She is seen in a video pleading for mercy as she’s taken hostage. In the same video, her boyfriend is restrained by another group of militants, helplessly looking at Argamani as she is dragged away.

Music festivals are common in Israel, drawing young people from around the country, as well as travelers from abroad.  

The pressures of Israeli life, including the constant tensions with Gaza and the West Bank and the mandatory military service, have marked the collective character of young Israelis since the founding of the state in 1948. The festivals often reflect the influence of destinations like India and Nepal, where many young Israelis visit after their military service. 

More from NBC News

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  • Israel reels from shock Hamas attack and warns of a long, difficult war

Blowing off steam and dancing all night with friends is a cultural right of passage in Israel, a tragic foil to the brutal hostage-taking and murder that took place Saturday. 

Klein said he took his friend who was injured from jumping off the cliff to a nearby hospital that was overwhelmed with casualties. As the trauma set in, Klein said, he was still distraught knowing that some of his fellow festivalgoers didn’t make it out. He said he’s still trying to find friends who are missing.

Shoam Gueta said he ran away from the barrage with a group of 20 people and hid in the bushes for nearly six hours as the onslaught unfolded around them. He used his mandatory military training experience to stay camouflaged and urged everyone in the group to remain silent and not to run away even when militants came within several feet.

He saw Israelis gunned down as they tried to take cover and watched as a woman was cut with a knife. One friend hid in a portable toilet.

"We saw terrorists killing people, burning cars, shouting everywhere," Gueta said. "If you just say something, if you make any noise, you’ll be murdered."

Quietly, he said, Gueta called his mother to reassure he was safe despite the surrounding carnage.

Gili Yoskovich, another attendee, told the BBC that he saw militants coming from several different directions and didn’t know where to go. He described getting shot at as he was driving until he left the car and began to run.

“I saw the place with many pomelo trees … and I was lying on the floor, so it was the second hiding [place] that I found, and they were just all around me,” he said. “They were going tree by tree and shooting — pha, pha, pha — everywhere from two sides. And I saw many people, like, people were dying, like, all around.”

Jake Marlowe, 26, a British man who was working as part of a security team, is among those believed to be missing, friends and family members said. His mother told The Jewish Chronicle that she hasn’t heard from her son since early Saturday, when he texted her to say that he had a bad signal and that he loves her.

Daniel Aboudy, a friend of Marlowe’s, told Sky News that his former friends and classmates in London, where he spent most of his life, are rallying around the family as officials work to confirm what became of potential hostages. 

“We are all just trying to show an immense amount of love and support and hope that he will return to us,” Aboudy said. “We miss you, Jakey.”

Jonathan Polin said Hersh Goldberg-Polin, his 23-year-old son, was at the festival and had been missing for 36 hours. The last messages he sent his family read “I love you” and “I’m sorry.” Polin has filed a police report and submitted DNA samples. 

supervova israel music fesitival victim missing

“The terrible irony in his case, and in the case of many of the others who were there, was they made it through their mandatory military service,” Polin said. “They served their country. They did what they were asked to do for the country, and they were simply enjoying a holiday in nature, listening to music, and terror ensued.”

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Anna Schecter is a senior producer in the NBC News Investigations Unit.

young primo ghost

Angela Yang is a culture and trends reporter for NBC News.

young primo ghost

Alicia Victoria Lozano is a California-based reporter for NBC News focusing on climate change, wildfires and the changing politics of drug laws.


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