Ghostface (alternatively stylized as Ghost Face or GhostFace) is a fictional identity adopted by several characters in the Scream series. The figure was originally created by Kevin Williamson, and is primarily mute in person but voiced over the phone by Roger L. Jackson, regardless of who is behind the mask. Ghostface first appeared in Scream (1996) as a disguise used by teenagers Billy Loomis (Skeet Ulrich) and Stu Macher (Matthew Lillard), during their killing spree in the fictional town of Woodsboro. Ghostface was created by screenwriter Kevin Williamson. The mask was created and designed by Fun World costume company employee Brigitte Sleiertin as a Halloween costume, prior to being discovered by Marianne Maddalena and Craven for the film. The identity is used primarily as a disguise for the antagonists of each film to conceal their identities while conducting serial murders, and as such has been portrayed by several actors.
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 (Scott Foley) 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 Prescott (Neve Campbell) due to a chain of events indirectly caused by her mother Maureen Prescott (Lynn McRee); Billy and Stu created the identity in the first place to exact revenge on Sidney because of her mother's affair with Billy's father.
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, it often exhibits 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.
In the 2015–2016 television series Scream, two different characters are similar to Ghostface, named the Lakewood Slasher, who appeared in the series for the first two seasons and the Shallow Grove Slasher, who appeared in the Halloween special episodes of the second season; both are voiced by Mike Vaughn. Ghostface returned in Scream: Resurrection, once again voiced by Roger L. Jackson, replacing Vaughn. Ghostface will return in Scream (2022), with Jackson reprising his role.
Ghostface first appears in the opening scene of Scream (1996). The character, voiced by Roger L. Jackson, calls and taunts teenager Casey Becker (Drew Barrymore) with horror clichés and trivia questions, eventually murdering her boyfriend Steve Orth (Kevin Patrick Walls) 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 identities, prior to being revealed in each film's final act.
In the original Scream, the identity is used by a killer stalking the fictional town of Woodsboro, California. After the murder spree begins, Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) begins receiving taunting and threatening phone calls from Ghostface, who claims knowledge of her mother Maureen Prescott's (Lynn McRee) brutal murder, one year prior to the events of the film, a murder that was blamed on Cotton Weary (Liev Schreiber). The Ghostface disguise allows suspicion to fall on many people, including Sidney's boyfriend, Billy Loomis (Skeet Ulrich); her father, Neil Prescott (Lawrence Hecht); her friend, Randy Meeks (Jamie Kennedy); and her schoolmate, Stu Macher (Matthew Lillard). 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, brought about by his father'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 (Courteney Cox) shoots Billy to stop him from killing Sidney, who then finishes Billy off with a bullet to the head, citing the fact that "They ALWAYS come back," a common horror cliche, and now her catchphrase. This is most likely one of the many tropes taught to her by Randy Meeks, who is obsessed with horror and openly lists these clichés earlier in the film during a party.
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 Feldman (Jerry O'Connell). However, Mickey Altieri (Timothy Olyphant), 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 (Laurie Metcalf), 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 only to enlist his help in enacting her revenge, and tries to kill Sidney. Cotton comes to Sidney's aid, shooting Mrs. Loomis in the chest. Seconds later, Mickey springs to his feet screaming but is quickly shot to death by Gale and Sidney. Sidney then shoots Mrs. Loomis in the head.
In Scream 3 (2000), a new Ghostface killer murders 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 (Scott Foley), 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 sought her out years later, only to be rejected, telling him that he's Rina's child. Roman began stalking Maureen and filming her relationships with other men, including Hank Loomis. 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 Deputy Dewey Riley (David Arquette) 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 15th anniversary of the massacre conducted by Billy and Stu; the new killer recreates events from the incident but also films the murders to create a snuff film. Ghostface kills several teenagers and police officers before being unmasked as Sidney's cousin Jill Roberts (Emma Roberts) and her friend Charlie Walker, (Rory Culkin) who intend to kill Sidney, frame Jill's ex-boyfriend Trevor Shelton (Nico Tortorella), 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 then seemingly kills Sidney before purposely injuring and stabbing herself to make herself appear a victim of Ghostface. After being taken to the hospital, Dewey informs her that Sidney has survived. Jill attempts to end her life but is stalled by Dewey, Gale, and Judy Hicks (Marley Shelton) long enough for Sidney to shoot her through the heart, killing her.
Ghostface will be making an appearance in the fifth installment of the Scream franchise.
- Maureen Prescott - Stabbed in groin/chest twice/head by Ghostface
- Steven Orth - Bound to chair, gagged with tape, gutted with knife by Ghostface
- Casey Becker - Stabbed in chest/stomach/neck, gutted, hung from tree by Ghostface
- Principal Arthur Himbry - Stabbed 3 times in chest/stomach, gutted, hung from high school football goal post by Ghostface
- Tatum Riley - Arm sliced with knife, lifted, head crushed by garage door after being stuck in cat flap by Ghostface
- Kenny Jones - Throat slit with knife by Ghostface
- Phil Stevens - Stabbed in ear through bathroom stall, hacked up. by Ghostface (Stabbed 3 times in ear in director's cut)
- Maureen Evans - Stabbed in stomach/back 3 times/3 more times, hacked up by Ghostface
- Cici Cooper - Thrown through glass door, stabbed twice in back, thrown off 2nd balcony by Ghostace
- Randy Meeks - Stabbed 4 times in chest, throat slit in news van by Ghostface
- Officer Andrews - Throat slashed with knife by Ghostface
- Officer Richards - Head bashed against car window 3 times, thrown, impaled in back of head through windshield by pipe while on moving car by Ghostface
- Hallie McDaniel - Stabbed in chest 4 times by Ghostface
- Derek Feldman - Bound to cross, shot in chest with handgun by Ghostface
- Christine Hamilton - Stabbed in back by Ghostface
- Cotton Weary - Hit in head with golf club, arm slashed, stabbed in chest/head by Ghostface
- Sarah Darling - Head punched through glass door, stabbed in back by Ghostface
- Steven Stone - Stabbed in back, head bludgeoned 3 times with frying pan by Ghostface (final punch hit the knife in his back hitting major arteries)
- Tom Prinze - House filled with gas exploded by lighting lighter by Ghostface
- Angelina Tyler - Stabbed in chest by Ghostface
- Tyson Fox - Stabbed in stomach, rug pulled underneath, neck broken, slammed against glass case, thrown off second balcony by Ghostface
- Jennifer Jolie - Stabbed in bac/stomach behind one-way mirror by Ghostface
- John Milton - Throat slit with knife by Ghostface
- Trudie Harrold - Chest impaled with hunting knife by Ghostface
- Sherrie Marconi - Throat slit with hunting knife by Ghostface
- Rachel Milles - Stomach impaled with kitchen knife by Ghostface
- Marnie Cooper - Stabbed in stomach, thrown through glass door, stabbed several times, arm slashed, hung from ceiling fan by Ghostface
- Jenny Randall - Stabbed in back, back crushed by garage door, stabbed in chest, stabbed several times, bound to chair by Ghostface
- Olivia Morris - Stabbd in chest/through hand, kicked/thrown, stabbed in back/stomach 6 times, head bashed through window, gutted by Ghostface
- Rebecca Walters - Stabbed in stomach, thrown off parking garage roof, lands on news van by Ghostface
- Deputy Ross Hoss - Stabbed in back, stabbed several times by Ghostface
- Deputy Anthony Perkins - Stabbed in forehead, stabbed several times by Ghostface
- Kate Roberts - Stabbed in back through letterbox by Ghostface
- Robbie Mercer - Stabbed in chest/back/stomach by Ghostface
- Kirby Reed - Stomach impaled twice with hunting knife by Ghostface
- Trevor Sheldon - Tied up with tape, shot in groin/forehead with handgun by Ghostface
- Charlie Walker - Stabbed in chest/stomach by Ghostface
Scream Television Series
- Tyler O'Neill - Head decapitated by Piper Shaw
- 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
- 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
- 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 Jamal Elliot
- 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