Responsa (Frequently Asked Questions)

- Are Ghost serious about Satanism?
- Why Ghost "B.C."?
- What are the lyrics at the beginning of "I'm A Marionette"? / - And what does that mean?!
- What do the symbols on their robes mean?
- 'Year Zero' lyrics: "Hell Satan" or "Hail Satan" ?
- What does "Ghuleh" mean and what is the song about?
- What member of Ghost usually does most of the interviews? Is he Papa?
- What are the true identities of Ghost members?





- Are Ghost serious about Satanism?


Aren't we all? But maybe not in the way one might think. Here are a few answers by the Nameless Ghouls themselves  that explain this topic very well:

"If you’re speaking philosophically, I think that the themes and what is actually in question and what is being brought to light, or into darkness if you will, are very current and very serious things.  However, we present them, admittedly, in a very over the top, tongue in cheek, manner.  But then again, but what we’re saying is very blasphemous, and we play rock and roll, which is very blasphemous.  We promote disobedience, we promote sex, we promote a lot of things that, from a church point of view, are extremely blasphemous.  And we promote laughter, which is highly highly highly blasphemous.  So regardless, we are still sort of the antithesis of what could be regarded the norm according to Christian dogma."
 [Q&A on Thephoenix.com, 01/19/12]

"What we're singing about is oppression and the small man's relationship to God and Satan—the superstition and feeblemindedness. We're trying to paint a picture of the very futile attempt of mankind to understand what actually is divine."
[Artist on Artist on chicagoreader.com, 01/19/2012]

And here's an ultimate quote that sums up everything pretty well :
"Do we believe in Satan? The only thing that matters is that he believes in us."
[A Nameless Ghoul, interview w/ Noisey.com]




- Why Ghost "B.C."?


Papa Emeritus II and the Nameless Ghouls had to change their name in the U.S.A. for not further specified legal reasons, presumably because someone else already registered the same name in the U.S. territory. Here is how the Nameless Ghouls have commented about the name change:
" 'B.C.' is obviously a pun on 'Before Christ', but it's just an amendment. In our world, we're just gonna be called GHOST, and when we refer to our records, it's gonna be the Scandinavian version, saying GHOST only, and we are never ever ever ever ever ever gonna call ourselves GHOST B.C. in any way. It's like saying 'I'm going out and buy a Ferrari STE' — you don't do that, you just say, 'I'm gonna buy a Ferrari.' The 'B.C.' is silent, and as soon as we can, it's gonna be taken away forever." [Interview on SoundsBlog.it, April 2013]

"The "B.C." is for "Because of Copyright" or "Before Coachella," if you want. No, it's just an amendment. We don't call ourselves that. The name of the band is still Ghost. We are still referred to as Ghost. That's what we are. We just put on the B.C. when we need to do that. It's like saying, "Let's go to the 'Jack in the Box, LLC.'" You don't do that."[Interview on Denver's Westword, April 2013]




- What are the lyrics at the beginning of "I'm A Marionette"?


 It's : "Iak - Iak - Iak - Iak - Iak - Iak - Sakkak"

- And what does that mean?!

Here's an excerpt that can give you some context.
"In the time before time, in the age before the heaven and the earth were put in their places, in the age when the Ancient Ones were rulers of all that existed and did not exist, there was nought but darkness. There was no Moon. There was no Sun. No planets were they, and no stars. No grain, No tree, no plant grew. The Ancient Ones were Masters of Spaces now unknown or forgotten, and all was CHAOS.
MARDUK was chosen of the Elders to fight KUR and wrest power from the Great Sleeping Serpent who dwells beneath the Mountains of the Scorpion. MARDUK was given a weapon, and a Sign, and Fifty Powers were given to him to fight the awful TIAMAT, and each Power has its weapon and its Sign and these are the mightiest possessions of the Elder Gods against the Ancient One who threatens Without, who threatens from the Abyss, the Lord of Darkness, the Master of CHAOS, the Unborn, the Uncreated, who still wishes ill upon the Race of Men, and upon the Elder Gods who reside in the Stars.
The Gods forget. They are distant. They must be reminded. If they are not watchful, if the gatekeepers do not watch the gates, if the gates are not kept always locked, bolted and barred, then the One who is always ready, the Guardian of the Other side, IAK SAKKAK, will enter and bring with him the hordes of the armies of the Ancient Ones, IAK KINGU, IAK AZAG, IAK AZABUA, IAK HUWAWA, ISHNIGGARAB, IAK XASTUR, and IAK KUTULU, the Dog Gods and the Dragon Gods, and the Sea Monsters, and the Gods of the Deep."
[From "The Book Of Fifty Names", The Simon Necronomicon]





- What do the symbols on their robes mean?


They are the symbols of the five elements, the same ones you can see at the top of this website, and they are respectively assigned to:
Earth
(Ghoul Drummer)
Water
(Ghoul Bassist)
Quintessence
(Ghoul Rhythm Guitarist)
Fire
(Ghoul Lead Guitarist)
Air
(Ghoul Keyboardist)

On every robe there are all five symbols and for each Ghoul a different one is highlighted in white (these are the current robes, as of 2013; on the older ones each Ghoul had only his own symbol, in black). One of the Nameless Ghouls has explained in an interview that they have been given these glyphs by The Elders of their sect.
{Thanks to our fellow Ghost devotee Itzel for the hint about the quintessence symbol.}




- 'Year Zero' lyrics: "Hell Satan" or "Hail Satan" ?


It is "Hell Satan", as reported in the official lyrics printed in the booklet. This is because the word "Hell" is archaic swedish for "Hail", so basically the meaning is the same.
{Thanks to the fellow Ghost devotee who explained this in our message boards.}




- What does 'Ghuleh' mean and what is the song about?



The word 'Ghuleh' (arabic: غولة ) is the female term for 'Ghoul'. In Arabian folklore, they are demonlike, undead figures who usually feed on human flesh. {To learn more about ghouls in mythology and folklore, you can rad this note: "Thousand Nights and a Night notes: Ghuls" and also move your astral body to this article for even more detailed info: "The Mythical Ghoul in Arabic Culture".}
In the song by Ghost, Ghuleh/Zombie Queen is a fictional character in the literal interpretation of the lyrics, but symbolizes the concept of nostalgia in the underlying meaning of the song.This is how the Nameless Ghoul has explained it:

"Who or what exactly is Ghuleh?
She is the romanticized idea of either a being or a time being lost. It is about nostalgia. The absence of time or a person or a being or something has a tendency to fog up the idea of what the actual nature of that thing or person is. I have been out on the road for a month, I’m longing to go home. Right now, my home is more and more dreamlike. Not that I don’t remember how it looks, but it has this ‘Bold and the Beautiful’ filter on it. It makes it look a little bit more shiny, it has a golden filter on it. Nostalgia is a very interesting thing, it can create wonders and destroy minds."
(Interview on Loudwire, May 2013)

Hear more about "Ghuleh/Zombie Queen" directly from the Nameless Ghoul.




- What member of Ghost usually does most of the interviews? Is he Papa?


To answer this question, we will need to step a little bit out of the 'black bubble' for a moment. The answer is no, as it can be clearly seen in videos and/or pictures from various interviews, it is a Nameless Ghoul who speaks most of the times with magazines, radios and so on. We never see Papa doing an interview, because he never does them, except answering a few questions from time to time, exclusively through email. Also as you may probably know, Papa Emeritus speaks in a fake italian accent while in interviews the Nameless Ghoul talks in a well-spoken anglophone accent. What we should consider in order to understand the concept of Ghost though, is that the members of the band are acting as characters. Therefore, just like it happens in movies, the same person behind the mask can actually impersonate more than one character. So in video and audio interviews, the person who speaks may be the same who acts on stage as Papa Emeritus II, but in these occasions he is acting as a Nameless Ghoul.
Back to our comfortable and more interesting black bubble, the most common belief among us devotees is that there is a Ghoul who has the ability to appear in two forms, that of Papa Emeritus II, and that of a Nameless Ghoul...




- What are the true identities of Ghost members?


 You didn't really think we were going to have an answer to this one, did you? ;) Here is what we are allowed to know: they are all from Linköping, come from metal and/or hardcore backgrounds (but have also played other genres of music), some of them have played in the same band for about 10 years and their ages range from mid-twenties to mid-fifties. As for the rest, teir identities have to remain unknown if you want to live the Ghost experience in the best way possibile. Over the internet there are rumors, but as long as they want to keep it secret it's our duty to leave it like that. If  knowing who they really are seems important to you, then you are completely missing the point of the whole thing.






Published on XVI.II.MMXIII - Last update on XXVII.VII.MMXIII