How Did Death Become the Ghosts From CBS's 'Ghosts'? Let's Dig up What Killed Them

It's the 'Real World' of the after life — a house filled with ghosts. So, how did the ghosts in 'Ghosts' die? Here's what we know about their demise.

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

Dec. 27 2021, Published 3:56 p.m. ET

If MTV's The Real World had an afterlife edition, CBS's Ghosts would fit the bill perfectly! Adapted from a British show of the same name, it follows eight ghosts all trapped inside a house together. When new owners move in, one has a near-death experience that allows her to see the ghosts. If we could see them, our first question would be, how did you die? Let's unearth that secret.

1. Thorfinn

Thorfinn (Devan Chandler Long) was a Viking in the early 1000's, a pretty treacherous time to be anything. While he and his men were sailing down the coast of Canada on the hunt for furs, he was accidentally left there. We have no idea if he was able to successfully fashion a friend out of a volleyball before his helmet was struck by lightning, killing him. According to the National Weather Service , from 1989-2018 there were 43 lighting-related fatalities in the U.S., so Thorfinn died a rare and noble death!

2. Alberta Haynes

If you're a jazz singer during prohibition, there is truly only one way to die, and that's from accidentally drinking poisoned moonshine. This is precisely what happened to Alberta Haynes (Danielle Pinnock), the singer of the bunch. In all likelihood, this particular batch was made from methanol, which can be converted to formaldehyde then formic acid in the human body, says Live Science . Believe it or not, the thing used to embalm dead bodies is bad for the living!

We love a hard partier, unless you party yourself to death, literally. Trevor (Asher Grodman) is the most recent ghost in the group, and possibly because of that, has more of a connection to the living. He is able to move objects with great effort — except for a pair of pants, apparently. Trevor is without trousers, which could indicate how he died. His British counterpart in the original show, died of a heart attack because of a sex scandal, presumably doing the no pants dance.

4. Pete Martino

Dying by way of an arrow though the neck could be a dramatic story ripped from the time of war, unless it was 1985 and the killer was a member of the Boy Scout troop you were leading. Sadly, that's how Peter Martino (Richie Moriarty) went. At least the Boy Scout hit something?

5. Captain Isaac Higgintoot

Imagine going to war, to fight for the freedom of your fledgling country, only to die of dysentery. Dysentery is an infection in your intestines that causes bloody diarrhea and can lead to death, of course. Poor Captain Isaac Higgintoot (Brandon Scott Jonas), quite literally shat himself to death during the American Revolution. To make matters worse, he was a closeted gay man, who never had the chance to be his authentic self. Perhaps in death he will find what he could not in life!

6. Susan Montero a.k.a Flower

The 60's were a radical time, full of peace, love, and hippies. Susan Montero (Sheila Carrasco) was riding the love train a little too hard, when she was mauled to death by a bear while attempting to befriend him. Guess the bear didn't get the "make love not war" memo. Susan, like Trevor, has a special power. When people move through her, they go into a trance. Sounds groovy, baby!

7. Sasappis

Sasappis (Roman Zaragoza) was member of the Lenape Tribe, an indigenous who occupied much of the Northeastern part of the U.S. He is the second oldgest ghost, after Thorafinn, and his cause of death is unknown. Many of this tribe were driven west, under threat of violence, it's possible Sasappis stayed to fight. Something he loves to do to pass the neverending time is remind the other ghosts how they died.

8. Hetty Woodstone

Technically, Hetty (Rebecca Wisocky) is the lady of the house, depending on one's definition of ownership. While her cause of death remains a mystery, we do know that the character she was based on in the British show was murdered by her husband when she discovered him in a threesome with the butler and the groundsman.

Thorfinn the Viking's Backstory on 'Ghosts' Will Tug At Your Heartstrings

'Ghosts' Star Asher Grodman Discusses His Character's Lack of Pants, Season 1 Spoilers, and More (EXCLUSIVE)

Where's Rebecca Wisocky? Hetty Woodstone's Absence Raises Concern in Season 1 of 'Ghosts'

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Sasappis is a cynical Lenape Native American. He is the second oldest ghost and has witnessed and kept secret many of the circumstances from the other ghosts’ lives and deaths.


Sasappis , as the second oldest ghost residing in the Woodstone Mansion , is the very old and wise soul of a young man who died far too young. A member of the Lenape tribe, Sasappis is first and foremost a storyteller, a position handed down to him from his father Naxasis (‘ Ghostwriter ’). As such, Sasappis is deeply gifted with the spoken word; not only can he captivate an audience with his wondrous tales, but he is gifted in communicating one-on-one with others in amusing and often powerful ways. He is known for joking with Samantha in terms she thinks is truth when it is only a dry joke served with a heaping side of sarcasm, as well as delivering wisdom in the form of often brutally honest truths to his fellow ghosts (‘ Halloween ,’ ‘ Ghostwriter ’).

Despite having died 500 years ago, Sasappis also seems to be one of the few ghosts who seems to most understand the current state of affairs, at least the modern world he occupies at the Woodstone. He is highly observant and sophisticated (‘ Pete’s Wife ,’ ‘ Sam’s Mom ’). He enjoys spending time with one of his closest friends in the mansion, Thorfinn , but was hurt when Thorfinn chose to watch a program without Sasappis present (‘ Pete’s Wife ’). When the opportunity to reconnect with an old flame occurred, Sasappis listened to the hip dating advice of Jay to send word to her (‘ Flower’s Article ’).

Given Sasappis ’ verbal strengths, he is tenacious in ensuring his voice and inputs are heard. He enlisted Trevor ’s help to alter Sam ’s B&B website in order to showcase the idea of his tree, ‘ Woody ’ (‘ Ghostwriter ’).

Despite the fact he and the other ghosts cannot eat, being a ghost of a young man makes Sasappis one who constantly craves the smell of food, with pizza being among his favorite odors (‘ D&D ).

Sasappis ’ final strength is his generous and giving heart for others, both in remembering his tribe long after his passing, his lost love, and for his current Woodstone family.

Sasappis , sometimes called ‘ Sass ,’ is the second oldest ghost to inhabit the Woodstone Mansion , and much of his story is cloaked in mystery. He is a member of the Lenape tribe, which was, and still is, a part of the Hudson Valley region of New York as well as nearby states.

Prior to his death in 1515, Sasappis visited with his father Naxasis and sought his guidance in pursuing his dream of becoming a storyteller, a very important and powerful role within the Lenape tribe. While concerned Sasappis did not have this gift, Naxasis saw the dream within his son but also his fear as well. Naxasis gifted him with an eagle feather, which represented bravery and courage, in order to give him the strength he needed for his new role within the tribe. Sadly, Sasappis died, of unknown causes, before he was able to fulfill his dream (‘ Ghostwriter ’).

As a ghost, Sasappis has the unique perspective of not only knowing significant history of the area but also in having a powerful insight into the lives and deaths of those individuals who inhabit the mansion as ghosts themselves, of which he does not hesitate to bring up. He was aware of Isaac ’s surrender of Fort Ticonderoga and his death two weeks later from dysentery, as well as Elias Woodstone ’s love affairs while married to Hetty (‘ Hello ,’ ‘ The Vault ’).

In addition to his memories of his Woodstone family, Sasappis likes to share tidbits of his own life as a young man. He knew a woman named Shiki , whom he called the ‘love of his life,’ and for her, he killed a deer and brought to her family (‘ Flower’s Article ’). He is also one of the few ghosts who has experience with ‘ghost sex,’ as he wished to let Jay know they could have relations but said, ‘ We can’t finish. It’s very frustrating ’ (‘ Flower’s Article ’).

Sasappis enjoys spending his days watching television with his friend and fellow ghost Thorfinn , and making observations of life in and around the mansion (‘ Pete’s Wife ’). He is also prone to mischief, as he was unable to keep Pete ’s secret about his crush on Alberta (‘ Sam’s Mom ’) and he enlisted Trevor ’s help to alter Sam ’s website for her B&B (‘ Ghostwriter ’). However, he has tremendous wisdom and extraordinary insight befitting one who has seen a great deal. Like his father before him, he passed his eagle feather on to Sam , albeit symbolically, to help give her the same courage and strength he needed himself from his loving father, so many centuries ago.

In ‘ Trevor’s Pants ,’ Sasappis makes the startling revelation of the secret he has been carrying for over 20 years. This secret involves not only how his fellow ghost Trevor lost his pants but also how Trevor ’s colleagues, to include Ari Cantor, who visits the mansion in order to consider buying Elias Woodstone ’s pocket watch, covered up their involvement in Trevor ’s death and their disposal of his body. Sasappis reveals that prior to Trevor ’s death, Sasappis secretly witnessed Trevor giving bullied Lehman Brothers associate Pinkus his pants, boxer shorts and cash. Shortly thereafter, Trevor collapses and dies, and once again, inquisitive Sasappis was the only one to see and overhear what Trevor ’s colleagues were planning. With Trevor being distraught over this revelation, Sasappis comes up with a way to exact revenge on Ari , and to put Trevor at peace over his life and death. With the collective help of Sam , Sasappis and the other ghosts, Trevor finally sees what a valued member of the Woodstone family he really is.

As viewers rolled into Season 2 of ‘ Ghosts ,’ they were treated to more of Sasappis ’ antics, his development as a character and also his insight as one of the oldest ghosts residing in the mansion. In ‘ Spies ,’ he, along with Hetty , implored Isaac to apologize to a rejected Thorfinn , as well as spied on guests to the newly open bed and breakfast, feeding information to Sam about their guests. ( Sasappis also spied on Todd as he sought to learn more about Alberta through reading her diary in ‘ Alberta’s Podcast .’ In that episode, Sasappis also described a woman who could be significant to Alberta ’s death) .

In ‘ Jay’s Friends ,’ Pete and Sasappis ’ relationship as roommates takes a turn when Sass expressed his annoyance with Pete ’s constant joyful actions around him, and Pete changed his personality in a negative regard, Sass encourages him to return to his old self.

‘ The Tree ’ was one of the most pivotal episodes for Sasappis in Season 2. When it is revealed that a tree considered to be important to Sasappis on the edge of the property will be cut down, he tells Sam that the cuts on the tree are ancient Lenape markings, when in fact they are simply markings Sasappis made on the tree when Shiki , the girl he has had his eye on, said hello to him. The revelation of Sasappis ’ real story creates complications for Sam and Jay , but later allows the ghosts, especially Thorfinn , to bond in a greater way with Sasappis as he shares of his culture and history to his Woodstone family.

Slight of build, handsome, mid 20s, long black hair. Wearing the clothes of his Lenape tribe, made of buckskin. His distinguishing characteristic is the eagle feather given to him by his father. As a ghost, he will always wear it, even though he sought to pass it on to Sam in order to grant her strength and encouragement in her own endeavors.

  • Román ’s real-life father Gregory Zaragoza played his father Naxasis in the ‘ Ghostwriter ’ episode.

Expand Sasappis' Quotes Section

  • ”This plan of Trevor’s fills me with discomfort. The line between the living and ourselves is one we should respect. Who are we to — (cries out after being walked through, twice) All right, let’s haunt these bastards out of here!” Season 1, Episode 1)
  • ‘’You know what’s scarier? Eternity. So I find ways to break it up, create some drama.” (Season 1, Episode 2)
  • ‘’I’d like the entire Hudson Valley returned to the Lenape. Barring that, maybe keep the radio on in the afternoons?’’ (Season 1, Episode 2)
  • ‘’Actually, indigenous governments were the model for American federalism, so….we also invented popcorn. You’re welcome.” (Season 1, Episode 3)
  • ‘’If anyone has a water power they’re sitting on, now would be a good time to use it.” (Season 1, Episode 5)
  • “Storyteller. It’s a gift.” (Season 1, Episode 5)
  • ‘’But the fun isn’t just watching the show — it’s watching the show together. At least it was for me.” (Season 1, Episode 6)
  • “I promise I’ll try not to say anything! But this is a tasty morsel!” (Season 1, Episode 11)
  • “Sleep mode, Sam. Sleep mode happened.” (Season 1, Episode 11)
  • “And the important thing is, I’ve now passed this feather onto you, symbolically, which we’ve already established, so go, make it work for you.” (Season 1, Episode 14)
  • ‘So sad for me. I take Pete.’ (Season 1, Episode 15)
  • ‘After I died, the two of us shared a wigwam. It was torture.’ (Season 1, Episode 15)
  • ‘Because there’s something you don’t know about that night. None of you do. Ari betrayed you, Trevor… He’s the one who broke the bro code.’ (Season 1, Episode 16)
  • ‘… I know the story of how you really lost your pants.’ (Season 1, Episode 16)
  • ‘Thank you for everything, Sam. For helping me tell my story. Oh, and also for making all those pepperoni pizzas. Please keep doing that.’ (Season 1, Episode 18)


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Cbs' ghosts: every ghost time period & backstory explained.

The CBS sitcom Ghosts features eight characters who died during different historical periods. Here's a guide to each one's backstory and death.

  • Ghosts on CBS' Ghosts come from various time periods, forming a unique family. Their deaths range from lightning strikes to diseases.
  • Thorfinn, the oldest ghost, is a Viking who died around the 1020s. Sasappis, a Lenape man, died in the 1520s and loves discussing deaths.
  • Alberta, a jazz singer from the 1920s, was poisoned by her bootlegger boyfriend. Pete, who died in 1985, is a chipper ghost with no unique powers.

CBS' Ghosts features a cast full of spectral characters that each hail from a distinct time period, making fans wonder what order did the ghosts die in Ghosts ? Each ghost comes with its own unique backstory and death. Though each of the eight ghosts has a wildly different perspective based on their experiences throughout history, they nonetheless form a sort of family, which is one of the show's greatest charms. After all, being stuck with the same people for all eternity allows for plenty of time to get to know each other. Ghosts stars Utkarsh Ambudkar and Rose McIver as Jay and Sam, a young couple who inherit a mansion in upstate New York.

In an adaptation of a BBC show of the same name, the couple discovers the house also comes with several ghostly inhabitants, who Sam is able to see after a near-death experience. These are Thorfinn (Devan Long), Sasappis (Román Zaragoza), Isaac (Brandon Scott Jones), Hetty (Rebecca Wisocky), Alberta (Danielle Pinnock), Flower (Sheila Carrasco), Pete (Richie Moriarty), and Trevor (Asher Grodman). Although other ghosts feature in the show, such as those in the basement " cholera pit ," the British soldiers from the shed outside, and even Hetty's nefarious husband Elias, the main eight are the most fully fleshed-out and will continue to be in Ghosts season 3 .

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Unlike Marvel's Thor from the MCU , with whom he shares a name, Thorfinn is not a god, although he does have some pseudo-lightning powers. The oldest ghost in the show, Thorfinn is a Viking who traveled to North America but was accidentally left behind by his compatriots. The Vikings' historical voyage was about 1000 years ago, meaning Thorfinn died around the 1020s. He died on the land that would one day hold Sam and Jay's house after being struck by lightning, which leaves him with the ghostly ability to make lights flicker. Never one to pass up a good discussion about fishing or fighting wild animals, Thorfinn is a Viking through and through.

When it comes to what order the ghosts died in Ghosts , Sasappis is about 500 years younger than Thorfinn, dying in the 1520s. He's a Lenape man, an indigenous group from the Hudson Valley in New York as well as parts of present-day Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Unlike most of the other specters in Ghosts , Sasappis has yet to reveal how he died, but one of his favorite pastimes is reminding all the others of how they met their ends, most of which he was there for.

While this ghost's backstory remains unknown, it is revealed in Ghosts season 1, episode 7 that a woman Sass loved in life, Shiki, is also a ghost, and he tries to get in touch with her. Sasappis is also a big fan of watching TV and often asks Sam and Jay to cook junk food, so he can smell it.

A Revolutionary War captain who knew the likes of real-life figures Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr , Isaac Higgentoot unfortunately died of dysentery before he could make any lasting historical mark of his own. Killed by the disease sometime between 1775 and 1783, when the American Revolutionary War was taking place, Isaac now has the ghost power to make people smell sewage any time they walk through him.

Despite these circumstances, however, Isaac always maintains his pride, as evidenced when he has to negotiate with the Redcoats who also died on the property back in the day, including British officer Nigel, who Isaac has an obvious crush on despite having accidentally shot him.

Sam and Jay's house, Woodstone Manor, was built in the late 1800s by a family of robber barons, and it's this lineage and time period that Hetty hails from. But Hetty has started to gradually let go of her antiquated notions and bigotries as Ghosts goes on. As with Sasappis, Hetty's death is also still a mystery, but given the corruption she was a part of during her life and the vile nature of her husband Elias, she certainly had no shortage of enemies who might have wanted to off her.

There was only one thing known about her death. Hetty was wearing dry clothes and died in heels. As for ghost powers, Hetty hasn't displayed any unique abilities yet but does manage to possess Jay in season 1, episode 10, which is something all ghosts seem capable of.

A jazz singer from the 1920s, Alberta finally confirms her suspicions in Ghosts episode 9 that she was poisoned by her no-good bootlegger boyfriend. But while Alberta has an unfortunate Great Gatsby -style death, she also embodies a lot of what made the 20s roaring, as well. From her tasseled flapper attire to her lively vocabulary, and from her confident singing voice to her fiery passion for women's rights, Alberta is one of Ghosts ' most engaging and fun characters.

Fittingly, her special ghostly ability is that she can be heard humming by the living when she so chooses. And although Alberta offers constant reminders of all the low lives and two-timers she's dated, she may have a romance arc with Pete in store later on.

As her name suggests, Flower is a hippie from the 1960s who was killed by a bear on the Woodstone property after leaving a nearby music festival. If she looks familiar to some viewers, it's because Sheila Carrasco, who plays her, has had brief appearances on other shows like The Good Place and Jane the Virgin . Flower's ghost power is that people who walk through her get high for about an hour, and she herself is often forgetful and off chasing butterflies. But Flower has interesting depth to her character as well, as she was involved in multiple cults and cult-like organizations in her life, and even helped one such group rob a bank.

Of all the eponymous characters in Ghosts , Pete's death is the most apparent. Shot in the neck by one of the Scouts from the troop he was leading, Pete met his untimely demise in 1985 and still has the arrow in his neck to prove it. Despite the tragedy of his passing, however, and the later revelation in Ghosts episode 6 that his wife was cheating on him in life, Pete is perpetually chipper in Ghosts . What is Pete's ghost power? While he doesn't possess a unique ghostly ability, Pete's affinity for compromise and teambuilding makes him a crucial member of the ghosts' de facto family and could earn him a shot at romance with Alberta later on.

Trevor is the youngest of the ghosts, whose special power is touching or moving solid objects (with great effort). A spoiled yuppie party boy who died in the late 1990s, Trevor is all about popularity and scoring attractive women. Trevor died when he and his colleagues went to stay in the Woodstone Mansion, and he took some pills with some alcohol while partying. This caused him to overdose, and he died of a heart attack. His friends just dumped his body in the lake and never talked about it again. Only Sasappis originally knew the truth of his death, but Jake fished his head out of the late in "Trevor's Body."

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Most of the ghosts in Ghosts are kind, funny, and often helpful. However, there is one ghost who was mostly only had a short stint on the show and is none of those things. Elias Woodstone is Hetty's husband (and cousin). While he was alive, his marriage was not good because he was controlling and had several mistresses. His death came when he ended up locked in his vault by its designer after Elias slept with his wife. He died in the vault and his ghost reminded bound to the house. He was trapped in there for a century until Sam and Jay found the vault and opened it, freeing him.

However, something terrifying happened to Elias. He was the only ghost in this house that ever ended up sent to Hell . Hetty gave her dead husband a chance to redeem himself from his past sins, and he refused, saying there is no such thing as good and evil. As a result, she told him to "go to Hell" and he did. Humorously, she made the other ghosts think that was her special power after that.

There are also some recurring ghosts on the show, and when it comes to Crash and the answer to what order did the ghosts die in Ghosts , it is hard to tell here. From his look, he appears to be from the 1950s, but he could also be younger and just dressed the part. Crash wears a black leather jacket, white t-shirt, and blue jeans, and looks like a James Dean-styled character, which explains the possible era where he died. It is unknown how Crash died, but he was decapitated, so it is possible he was in a vehicular accident. He only appeared in the pilot and later in the episode "Ghost Father of the Bride" in season 2.

Like Crash, Stephanie is another ghost from Ghosts who only appeared a few times as a recurring specter. She died in the 1980s, and while she was born in the same year as Trevor, she still looks like a teenager since he died a decade later. She was an '80s mean girl who died on Prom Night. Stephanie was the victim of a slasher killer. She and her boyfriend were parking at Woodstone Mansion and were about to hook up when an escaped chainsaw murderer showed up and attacked and killed her. She also has a nickname from the other ghosts, who refer to her as "Attic Girl." She ends up dating one of the Chlorea ghosts.

The Cholera Ghosts

In the original British version of Ghosts , there were ghosts who lived off by themselves in the mansion known as the Plague Ghosts. The U.S. version of the comedy series has a similar group, known collectively as the Cholera Ghosts. As their name mentions, they died of cholera, and they all live in the basement of the mansion. There is no telling how many of them there are, but there are three named on the show (Stuart, Nancy, and Creepy Dirk) and three more named in the credits (Nigel, Catherine, and Cody).

These were all people infected with cholera who were placed in the pest house, where they were supposed to get treated, but were left to die by starvation, illness, or suffocation from living in the basement. While not trapped in the basement as ghosts, that is still where they live as it is where they feel most comfortable. These ghosts died sometime between 1832 and 1870, which puts their deaths between Isaac and Hetty.

The British Ghosts

Finally, the British Ghosts don't live in the house. Instead, they live in a shed on the property based on an agreement made after they died in the Revolutionary War. Since they died then, they know Isaac, but they mostly keep in the shed and to themselves. Every few years, they come back up to the main house to redraw the boundary lines, although some ghosts feel it is because British Ghost Nigel does it to flirt with Isaac. Outside of Nigel, the other two known British Ghosts are Baxter and Jenkins.

Nigel is a lieutenant colonel while Baxter and Jenkins are his two officers. As for how these ghosts died in Ghosts , Nigel's death was a terrible accident. Isaac was admiring Nigel from the telescope on his rifle when he accidentally sneezed, pulled the trigger, and killed Nigel, who was reading a book at the time. Isaac later apologized as a ghost 133 years later, and Nigel accepted the apology. In season 2, the two start a romantic ghostly relationship. As for Baxter and Jenkins, they led the fight against the Americans after Nigel's death and died when their army fell in battle.

in ghosts how did sass die

‘Ghosts’ Star Román Zaragoza on Sharing Sasappis’ Story & Working With His Dad

Ghosts Season 1 Roman Zaragoza

Spoiler Alert

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[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 1, Episode 14 of Ghosts , “Ghostwriter.”]

Ghosts is back and digging into Sasappis’ ( Román Zaragoza ) past in the latest episode, “Ghostwriter.”

As with each passing episode of CBS ‘s hit comedy, the series continues to peel back layers of the spirits haunting Woodstone. While Sam ( Rose McIver ) and Jay ( Utkarsh Ambudkar ) prepare to launch their B&B website, she learns that Sas has a past as a Lenape storyteller. In an effort to help boost future business, Sas tries sharing some stories and perspectives that Sam might be able to utilize on the site. When she is reluctant to take in his ideas though, Sas takes things into his own hands, with the help of Trevor ( Asher Grodman ) and his touch-sensitive gifts.

Roman Zaragoza

(Credit: Kim Newmoney)

When their plan goes awry, Sam is annoyed to learn the boys have accidentally deleted the file on her computer, but not mad as she’s been putting off the website for her own reasons. Ultimately, it leads to a sweet and moving final sequence in which Sam and the other ghosts give Sasappis a stage to share some stories like he used to with his dad (who is also played by real-life father Gregory Zaragoza).

Below, Zaragoza opens up about sharing Sasappis’ stories, working with his father, and the importance of Indigenous representation on the show.

Ghosts Season 1 cast

(Credit: CBS)

Most of the ghosts have had a great backstory episode this season, what was the collaborative process like behind yours?

Román Zaragoza: It was an incredibly collaborative process. I’m very grateful for the Joes — Joe Port and Joe Wiseman. Ever since we shot the pilot they’ve been so open to having discussions on where they wanted Sasappis to go and what I was thinking. We also brought in an amazing Lenape consultant by the name of Joe Baker, who is in rural Delaware tribes and he’s the executive director of the Lenape Center. So having him was really helpful because the Joes started pitching [ideas and] they didn’t want him to be just this stereotypical native warrior. He wanted to really stay away from that stereotype.

Joe Baker talked about how, in Lenape culture, storytelling is very powerful and is an interesting profession. [When] the Joes decided that he was going to be a storyteller, I was just really excited about seeing a native character be a storyteller.

Ghosts Season 1 Gregory Zaragoza

You’ve worked on other projects with your real-life dad Gregory Zaragoza and this episode is just your latest collaboration. Are you hoping to make it a tradition? How did it come about?

It’s been such a fun experience. I really became an actor because of my father and I really look up to him. We haven’t really worked together too much. The only times we’ve worked together professionally was on Stumptown in 2019, which was such a blast, and I played his nephew. But we never played father/son before so this was the first time. And the Joes were like, “Hey, we know your dad’s an amazing actor, can we talk to him about potentially bringing him in?” And my dad was so excited and we had a great time. He came to Montreal where we were shooting and it was surreal. The set that they created, the costumes, seeing my dad in there, it was so incredible. And we got some amazing photos and videos that we’ll definitely cherish forever.

Considering that you’ve followed in your father’s footsteps, was it purposeful irony that Sasappis’ dad makes a comment about how you have the storytelling gift, but he doesn’t?

Yeah, I think it was just stars aligning. It was funny and it was really special because I feel like a lot of the conversations that we had in the scene were some conversations my dad and I have had before of, “This is a hard profession, are you sure you want to do this? You can go be a professional soccer player, you can go do something else.” And I’m like, “No, I want to do this.” It’s been nice to have my dad’s guidance through all this. And it’s a little bit different from our characters in the show, but we definitely can relate.

Ghosts Season 1 Roman Zaragoza and Asher Grodman

The storyteller aspect also feels a bit like a metaphor for representation in sharing stories. As a Native American performer, is that something that resonates with you?

It is. What was really cool was I harnessed my dear friend, Brent Florendo, who lives in Ashland, Oregon, and is one of the best storytellers I’ve ever seen. He’s Wasco and he’s from Warm Springs Reservation out there. And so I called him up when I got the script, and I honestly don’t know what is in the final cut, but I wanted to introduce the storytelling techniques that he does, and so we had this really good conversation.

And every Native person is different, but it’s really respectful to always check-in and be like, “Hey, I would love to potentially use this technique, would that be all right with you?” And we had a nice discussion about how that works with storytelling and passing down stories, because once a storyteller tells you a story it’s yours, and you have to pass it down to someone else. It’s the oral tradition. But it was nice to check in with him and I was able to really bring his energy to the screen, which was fun.

Ghosts Season 1 Roman Zaragoza

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen people from Sasappis’ past, are there more on the horizon? What should viewer anticipate for the rest of the season?

Well, we’ll see Sasappis be a good friend to some of the other ghosts and to Sam and Jay, even though sometimes he doesn’t want to be. I think he has a good heart, he really does, but he’s easily jaded. He’s easily annoyed at his current situation, but he’s learning to really love it. And I think that’s been a really fun arc to play through this first season of going from being over everything to embracing this family that he has. Even though this family doesn’t look like the one that he grew up with, it’s one that he’s embracing now.

[And in the] second season, it’d be fun to see potentially someone who’s my descendant. That would be really cool. I think it’d be really fun to get more contemporary Native representation in the show. We actually have some Native actors coming into this season that are not just playing Native characters, which is really exciting. But we’d love to see that, some more contemporary Native characters.

'Ghosts': 8 of the Show's Most Emotional Episodes So Far, Ranked

'Ghosts': 8 of the Show's Most Emotional Episodes So Far, Ranked

The fans of Ghosts are so supportive, have you felt that on social media? What is it like getting to see their reactions each week?

It’s been incredible to see. The fan art — oh my gosh — is so incredible. I’m floored by it. It’s such a dream to have that and have such talented people drawing and painting you. And there’s just so much love on Twitter and Instagram, it’s almost hard to keep up. Before this show, I wasn’t really on social media as much, but now I understand the draw because you are able to really connect with people that otherwise you wouldn’t be able to connect with. And it’s really nice to be able to interact with people that are fans of the show, it’s just amazing.

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Ghosts' Román Zaragoza Details Embracing Sas' Sarcasm & Representation

Román Zaragoza breaks down Ghosts' popularity, his character Sas' unique voice, and fleshing out the backstory of a 500-year-old ghost.

Adapted from the BBC One series of the same name, Ghosts scared up big ratings in 2021 and emerged as one of the year's breakout hits. The sitcom follows Sam and Jay, a couple who inherit a beautiful country estate and decided to convert it into a bed and breakfast. However, after a near-death experience, Sam discovers she can see and communicate with ghosts, including the deceased residents that previously inhabited their home.

Among the eclectic spectral group is Sasappis, or Sas for short, portrayed by Román Zaragoza . A young spirit with an old soul, the Lenape Native American serves as the local gossip and gifted storyteller. His cheeky remarks, love for reality TV, and bond with fellow ghost Thor have cemented Sas as a fan-favorite character, something Zaragoza is extremely grateful for. Zaragoza recently spoke with CBR about the silver-tongued Sasappis, his trickster side, what being one of the oldest ghosts affords him, and the bromance with Thor.

RELATED: Ghosts Season 2 Plays Off of Rose McIver's Christmas Rom-Com Résumé

CBR: How does it feel for Ghosts to have emerged as one of the breakout hits of 2021/2022?

Román Zaragoza: It's incredible. Thinking about where we started with shooting a pilot during the pandemic in 2020, two years ago, to where we are now is surreal. I am so honored. I am happy people like the show. I am happy we have a big following. It means the world. I really dreamed of being on a show like this, and for it to happen is amazing.

The creators and writers have crafted such distinct voices for each character. How would you describe Sasappis' voice?

The cool thing about Sasappis is that he is really growing. From Season 1 to Season 2, we were learning a lot more about him, about his voice, and about who he is. In my head, when I play him now, where we are finishing Season 2, he has these two combating personalities. Who he was when he was alive was this hopeless romantic. He was a storyteller. He was passionate about things, and then he died. For 500 years, Sas became this grumpy old man who uses sarcasm and blunt-honest remarks to people. This is how he has coped and survived in this afterlife. He is kind of these two personalities coming out all the time.

Every ghost appears to excel at a different type of humor. Thor is loud and boisterous. Trevor represents the frat faction. What do you love about Sas' wit?

I love how Sas is very observant. He doesn't have to be the loudest one in the room, but he's like, "I am the smartest. Ugh. Idiots." I love the soft and subtle remarks. He pokes at everybody a little bit, but he doesn't have to be the loudest. He's like, "I am here. I guess we are just going to do another day." I love that he finds his space in all of this. There are a lot of very larger-than-life personalities in the house. He's like, "I'm not. I am going to go this route."

RELATED: Ghosts' Second Season Settles Into Pure Relationship Comedy

How impossible is it keeping a straight face because Sas emotes this deadpan expression?

This season, I have been breaking more. Maybe I feel more comfortable. In Season 1, I was so afraid to break because I didn't want to mess anybody up. I didn't want to mess up the coverage. This season, I feel a bit more loose, so I have been breaking a lot more, especially when Richie Moriarty or Brandon Scott Jones is doing something funny. I will hold it, hold it, and when they yell "Cut," I will lose it so hard. At least with my own lines, I try to deliver it as honest as possible. If I am in the moment and being honest, it's not funny to me. After the fact, it's funny.

Sas might have died at one of the youngest ages, but he is one of the oldest ghosts . What kind of perspective does that allow him to offer?

Part of it is that he is the youngest. He has some immature qualities to him. He is also very impressionable, so he takes on things. This is a big explanation of why his accent is very modern and colloquial. He has adapted with the times versus this older part of him, which is so jaded. It's interesting to have died the youngest [and] to now have been there the longest. It's fun to play that.

This season, Episode 4, "The Tree," thrust Sas into the spotlight. What did you enjoy about exploring his deceitful side since he spun a tall tale?

I love seeing this deceitful side of him. He's mischievous. When Sas starts to care about something, when he gets passionate about something, he doesn't necessarily mind someone getting in trouble for it. It's not that he doesn't care about Sam. It's, "Well, I'm sorry. This is more important. This tree is a big part of my whole life and my people. I am going to do what it takes to keep it around." It is fun for him to have flaws. That is a big part of representation. We are going to have these characters, and there's a tendency now not to give them flaws, not have them make mistakes. I'm like, "No, no, no. If you are going to have a character that is Native American, and he's Lenape, have him be a full-rounded person." He's a good guy, sure, but he also makes awful mistakes and makes decisions that can hurt people. I really loved that episode.

RELATED: CBS' Ghosts Is Mastering the Comedy of Drama

Audiences were treated to a romantic , pining side of Sas. What did that say about who he is in that episode?

It showed about who he was when he was alive. He was a little bit more romantic, passionate, and shy. I loved seeing that side of him. I was excited when I read that script. I was like, "Cool, let him be this immature romantic guy." I think it was so exciting to see that because of who he is now. How did he get to where he is now? It's been really fun to have that evolution in that character. He's such a funny guy. We are going to see in these episodes coming up where there is a car ghost that comes to Woodstone. Sas is kind of interested, so we shall see.

How aware were you of land acknowledgment before that episode? It was very touching when Sas performed that tribute.

Land acknowledgment has been a big part of my work. I have worked with a Native American theater company, Native Voices, since I was 15. We started doing land acknowledgments a long time ago and were trying to get other theater companies to do them and trying to show them the power of land acknowledgments and not just saying, "We are in the land of the Chumash. Move on." No, there's more than that.

I really loved what the writers did for Ghosts . We don't have too much time to dive in and have a huge land acknowledgment. I even liked the moment of Bob saying, "I am not going to give the land acknowledgment. I know my people. I know my history. You have to give the land acknowledgment." That was so important. I think a lot of people think it's about having native people come in and have them acknowledge the land. Well, maybe bring them in. Maybe we can talk about a blessing. We can talk about [how] these are the descendants of the original caretakers to the land. This is the community that we are working with now, but let's acknowledge the history. Let's acknowledge the land and acknowledge the original caretakers. I am very passionate about it. To have that episode is so cool.

Representation and authenticity are big words that get thrown around a lot these days. What does that mean to you on a show like Ghosts ?

Representation is one of the main drivers for why I do what I do. I didn't have a lot of people to look up to representation-wise when I was a kid. The people I looked up to were my dad [Gregory Zaragoza] or Graham Greene. I really looked up to Bruce Lee for my Asian side. Usually, we were not written by the same race, community, or culture as the actors who played these characters.

For Ghosts , it's been an amazing journey because creators Joe Port and Joe Wiseman have included me in conversations. They have included me in talking about this character, but then they didn't just rely on me. They brought in Joe Baker, who is our Lenape consultant. They brought in writer John Timothy because having that Native voice in the writer's room was so important. I didn't have to speak up. All of that stuff is taken care of before it gets to me. I am very grateful for that. Representation is not just in front of the camera. It's also behind the camera, behind the scenes, the writing, and the consulting. It has been an awesome experience with Ghosts .

RELATED: The Midnight Club's Ghosts Have an Explanation - And It's Surprisingly Romantic

Sas is half a century old, which means there is tons of backstory to mine. What would you like the writers to delve into?

I would love to see some childhood stuff with Sas, maybe some more stuff with my real father, who plays Sas' dad. Maybe see who his people were before all this happened, [and] have Thor in the background. I have been talking to the writers, and the writers have been talking to me, about doing some kind of montage sequence of Thor and Sas over the years... of us hanging out or getting into a fight and not talking to each other for a while. Then, some other ghost comes in, and we are hanging out with them, and they get sucked up. That would be so much fun. I love Devan Chandler Long so much. He is one of my brothers. Anytime I work with him is a good day.

Time for lightning-round questions. One revelation was that the ghosts barter using back rubs. What would be a suitable alternative currency?

Oh, man. That's hard. Maybe the TV privileges. Trading TV privileges is a big one.

Trevor plots to make the ghosts watch The Cutting Edge all month long. What would be Sas' guilty pleasure?

He loves reality TV. Too Hot to Handle . I just started watching that because Sas got me into reality TV. It's great.

Ghosts just aired a mid-season Christmas episode. What other themed-episode would you wish for in the future?

We have Halloween. We have Christmas. A musical episode, hands down, has to happen. We have so many musical people on the show. Get them rapping. C'mon. It's a no-brainer. Let's make it happen -- musical episode.

Ghosts Season 2 returns with new episodes in January.

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Román Zaragoza talks Sasappis and native representation in CBS’s ‘Ghosts’

in ghosts how did sass die

Román Zaragoza has quickly become “one to watch” in the entertainment industry, bringing diverse stories to life on stage and screen. This year, Román can be seen starring in CBS’ highly anticipated, upcoming comedy series “Ghosts.”  

“Ghosts” focuses on Samantha (played by Rose McIver) and Jay (played by Utkarsh Ambudkar), a New York City couple that inherits a country home in upstate New York. The pair plans to turn it into a bed and breakfast and have to put a lot of work into the home, and when Samantha has a bad fall, she becomes able to see and communicate with the nine ghosts that have taken up residence in the home

Check out my interview with Román!

What can you tell us about your character?

Román: I play Sasappis. He is a Lenape man that died around 1520 and has been dead for around 500 years. He is a sarcastic troublemaker sometimes. He’s this old soul, young spirit that is really just trying to navigate this purgatory that he’s currently living in.

in ghosts how did sass die

What sold you on playing him?

Román: Well, I think the biggest thing that sold me on playing him was- when I first auditioned for the show and, you know, when you read a script like that and you see 1520’s Lenape Native American, you’re constantly thinking, ‘oh man, they want it to be some like accent or something or they want it to be some stereotype.’ But right away, the note from the casting said, ‘please use your normal voice. Play it as you would play yourself. Do not try to play it as someone from that time period.’ He’s been dead for so long and I’m like, ‘amazing! I’m already sold.’ If you have creators that are trying to make a character that is just a contemporary person, or at least appears to be a contemporary person, but is trapped in this antiquated body, kind of, that was one thing that really sold me. For so much of my career, I’ve been working with native characters, native storylines, I work with a Native American Theatre Company, and a lot of the stuff we do, we also do a lot of contemporary stuff, but some of the stuff we do is talking about history, which is great because we’re trying to shed light on native history. If I do auditions for native films or native TV shows or native characters that are written by non native people, a lot of the time it’s in the past, it’s during the Western era and so you’re constantly trying to appease these writers and play these old stereotyped, almost, John Wayne feeling kind of characters. However, for this show, it was the opposite and I got to be just myself. I get to just speak how I speak. It’s been really amazing.

What is it like for you to play a native character?

Román: Yeah, so first identify as mixed race. I am of Akimel O’otham , Mexican, Japanese and Taiwanese descent. I come from a diverse background, I grew up in New York City, so kind of disenfranchised from all of my cultures. But my family has been doing a really great job with just trying to create ties and connect back to communities that we descended from. And so for me, this character means a lot because I relate to him. He’s been disenfranchised from his people, you know, he’s been displaced from his people, he’s been living with non native people for the last 500 years, and trying to navigate what that means. And so for me, it’s been interesting to kind of navigate that world and that part of the character. And then also trying to bring native representation to primetime TV, it’s been really exciting. I get to be that representation that I didn’t see that much growing up. For me, representation is such a big part of why I do what I do, so that young brown kids everywhere can see someone on TV that looks like them. And I want to make sure that I can be that. I know it’s complicated because I’m mixed race and I know how that can be a little tricky, but I also want to talk about what it means to be mixed race more. We don’t talk about that enough, especially as actors, most of the characters we play our uniracial or monoracial, the new term that people have been talking about where it’s just Native American or just Asian and nowadays in America, a lot of our country’s appearing to be mixed and I think it’s something we need to talk about more.

in ghosts how did sass die

This show is based on a BBC One show with the same title, were you familiar with that show going into this one?

Román: I actually wasn’t. I had heard of it, but never watched it, until I auditioned for the show. I was like, ‘oh, I should do some research,’ and I fell in love with the show. The show is hilarious. It’s so beautifully shot, and the characters, the actors are just absolutely incredible. But I got to a point, before we were shooting, where I couldn’t watch this anymore because it makes you nervous, like there’s so much to live up to. The show is so good. So, I had to kind of turn it off for a little bit and just focus on our show, because I was getting too much in my head, you know, with comparing and contrasting.

Did you feel any pressure at all?

Román: Tons! So much pressure, so much pressure on so many different fronts. I feel pressure about the BBC show because it’s such an amazing show. I have such respect and admiration for that show. And now with the American adaptation, yeah, it was definitely nerve wracking, I also feel pressure as the native representation. I feel pressure on that front as well. I also tend to just put a lot of pressure on myself. 

For fans of the original BBC show, what can they expect from this one?

Román: I feel like one thing to expect is that we’re different, we’re like cousins. I feel like we’re the BBC show’s cousin where we’re similar, we look similar, but we have a different background, we have a different history, different upbringing. I think it’s interesting to just note that because English history is different than American history and we’re talking about different stuff and I think we dive into a lot of race issues and and talk about, like for me and my character, we talked about land a lot, we talk about who were the original people on this land that we’re on right now and so I think it’s definitely different. I hope BBC fans get to watch ours.

in ghosts how did sass die

In looking forward to the rest of the season, what can we expect? What exciting things are you allowed to talk about?

Román: That is a tricky question. Expect to dive into more backstories, you know, as we saw from episode three. We get to dive into characters’ backstories and some of the ghosts’ inner struggles and why they’re there and that’s been such a fun part of our show. It’s getting to shed light on these characters a little bit more. And, yeah, more on jokes, more laughs, and I think more heart. I think that’s what I love about our show so much is the heart that you feel. Like in watching episode three, you just feel for Thorfinn and feel that visceral feeling that I don’t feel a lot of men talk about, you know, this insecurity and this vulnerability and seeing a big guy get vulnerable like that. 

What is something that you are very excited for people to see?

Román: I’m excited for people to see our guest stars. We have some incredible guest stars. But also the representation of having our own storylines that we get to dive into and I hope that people fall in love with all the characters. Every character has their own past, their own journey and I’m excited for fans to see that.

Thank you so much for chatting with me, is there anything else that you would like to say about “Ghosts?”

Román: I am just grateful to be a part of this production. I’m grateful that we have a native writer in the writers room, by the name of John Timothy, who is Mvskoke Creek, and he’s a native writer and comedian. We also have an amazing Lenape consultant by the name of Joe Baker. It just means a lot that our creators, Joe Wiseman and Joe Port, made sure that the writers room was as diverse as the cast because a lot of the time that’s not how it is. And I hope viewers know about that too, you know, know the people that are behind the scenes, know the people that are writing these projects because it’s easy to just see the actors and congratulate them, but there’s a lot of behind the scenes work and I just want to make sure we shout out to those people as well.

in ghosts how did sass die

“Ghosts” airs on CBS on Thursdays at 9 p.m. You can follow Zaragoza @romanzaragoza

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Ghosts Executive Producer Reveals The Secrets Behind The CBS Series' Scariest Spirits

There's more to the basement ghosts than just cholera!

ghosts samantha surrounded by basement cholera ghosts

Spoilers ahead for the one-hour series premiere of Ghosts on CBS . 

Ghosts has officially debuted as the newest addition to CBS’ comedy lineup , and there’s no more ideal show to hit the airwaves in the spookiest season of the year . The October premiere of the new show is packed full of characters who have been dead for decades and even centuries in some cases, while an accident leaves Rose McIver ’s Samantha able to see them and her dubious husband Jay (played by Utkarsh Ambudkar ) going along for the ride as they try to turn a derelict mansion into a hotel. Not all the spirits are fun to look at, however, and executive producer Joe Port has revealed the secrets behind the basement ghosts.

The series premiere revealed that the creepy basement ghosts were once people who died from cholera, and even the other ghosts of the household are scared of them and don't like to venture down into the basement. When the property’s dead Viking warrior describes some ghosts as “terrifying,” you have to know they’re scary! Of course, Ghosts is a comedy, so the creepy-looking cholera spirits actually just want to have the light on and help Samantha stop Jay from blowing up the house. Still, they definitely didn’t get to die in snazzy clothes or battle gear or even a Boy Scout uniform, and seem to be stuck down in that basement. 

So what’s their story? Why are a bunch of cholera ghosts in the basement of a mansion that was clearly a beautiful and ornate home in its day? After all, Rebecca Wisocky ’s Hetty , who owned the mansion with her husband back when she was living, doesn’t seem the type to welcome people dying from a horrible and contagious disease into her home, even the basement. Ghosts executive producer Joe Port opened up about the cholera ghosts during CBS’ TCA Summer Press Tour, saying:

The ghosts in the basement, they all died of cholera. And become in like – there were different times that they had different outbreaks. But in the 1800s, in New York State, they had several cholera outbreaks, and they would put them in a pesthouse, people that had cholera. And, so, our theory is that the house – this house is built above, you know, on the same grounds that the pesthouse was.

So the story goes not that Hetty welcomed a bunch of people dying from cholera into her fancy home, but rather the pesthouse for cholera patients was on the grounds where the house that Samantha has since inherited was built. And the cholera ghosts evidently don’t go back as far as some of the other ghosts, like Thor . Executive producer Joe Port did go on to confirm that the scariest (and grossest) ghosts of Ghosts aren’t actually stuck down in the dark basement: 

They're not forced to stay down there. I think they choose to stay down there. They like each other and they kind of prefer it.

Well, it’s certainly true that nobody would be able to relate to their experiences of dying from cholera in a 19th century pesthouse as much as their fellow basement ghosts! It does seem that even though they prefer the basement, they would be happy if Samantha would leave the light on for them from time to time. Rebecca Wisocky, who didn’t know the whole backstory of the cholera ghosts until Joe Port revealed the secrets at TCA, humorously commented on her character’s decision (along with Hetty’s philandering husband) to build the house on those grounds:

Which was just really poor planning by my character. Because the husband and myself built the house. I'm just now learning for the first time. How cruel and horrible to just be sharing this with me now. I have to change my entire characterization. I'm an evil horrible person, and rather stupid.

Unfortunately for the cholera ghosts, they weren’t on hand when Samantha was taking the requests of all the other ghosts, so they may not have their desires fulfilled any time soon. Still, if all they want is for the lightbulb to stay on, maybe Jay can just not turn it off whenever he leaves the basement from messing around with the gas in the future! Whatever happens, there’s some fun backstory to the show’s scariest ghosts, and undoubtedly much more about the spirits of the mansion will be revealed in the coming weeks of the fall season .

Catch new episodes of Ghosts on CBS on Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET in the fall TV lineup, with Rose McIver proving that she knows what she’s doing when it comes to dead characters, even if these ghosts aren’t exactly the undead that she dealt with on iZombie . It’s just the latest of the new shows to hit the Eye Network this fall, but certainly delivering more laughs than shows like FBI: International (which expanded the hit FBI lineup ) and CSI : Vegas , which brought the CSI franchise back to television with a shocking premiere . 


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Laura Hurley

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).

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How did all the Ghosts die in the BBC series?

The puzzle is finally complete.

The cast of Ghosts season 4 gathered together for a photo, with a phone in the foreground

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Fans of the BBC's smash-hit sitcom Ghosts love nothing more than uncovering nuggets of information about the former lives of Button House's paranormal inhabitants.

Some of the most famous episodes of the series reveal the often poignant (occasionally daft) death stories that flung them into the purgatorial plane, with some being more surprising than others.

For example, characters like Pat (Jim Howick) and Sir Humphrey (Laurence Rickard) have obvious visual answers to what killed them, although the exact circumstances can still prove unexpected.

Meanwhile, other fan favourites like The Captain (Ben Willbond) and Kitty (Lolly Adefope) have no costume clues, with the answers to their fates being withheld until season 5 – the final entry, now streaming on BBC iPlayer.

With all the answers now before us, we thought this would be a good time to round up the details on how all the Ghosts died in BBC One's acclaimed sitcom. Read on for the gory details.

How did Robin die in Ghosts?

Laurence Rickard as caveman Robin in Ghosts, looking shocked at something happening in front of him

Death year: unknown

Robin's death was finally unveiled in the chaotic season 4 finale, with the Ghosts writers rolling out one of their trademark misdirects to throw fans off the scent.

Indeed, all through the episode, it appears that Robin is doomed to meet his fate at the sharp claws of an enormous bear, but he avoids that grisly fate by hiding in a tree until the predator passes.

Alas, when he descends, the tree is struck by lightning, which kills Robin by electrocution, bringing a long-awaited answer to why he's able to manipulate electric bulbs.

Although the bear didn't catch him, Robin has retained a fear of the animals, as shown when Mike unwisely brings a taxidermy one home.

How did Sir Humphrey Bone die in Ghosts?

Laurence Rickard as Sir Humphrey Bone, wearing full Tudor-era attire and standing in front of a doorway

Death year: 1575

The Tudor era is infamous for its regular beheadings, with vile monarch King Henry VIII having a particular interest in the gruesome method of execution.

You might expect headless Sir Humphrey Bone to have been led grimly to the chopping block in a public event, as was the tendency at the time, but the nobleman actually met a far more unexpected fate.

His origin episode chronicles his marriage to a French woman and devout Catholic named Sophie, who was secretly plotting against the Protestant Queen Elizabeth I.

Humphrey was oblivious to this, as Sophie rarely spoke to him in English and displayed little interest in getting to know him, although privately to her conspirators she referred to him as a decent enough man.

He stepped up to the plate when the royal guard came to Button House to arrest Sophie for treason, staying behind to stall the soldiers and give her ample time to escape.

It looks for a moment as if Humphrey too would evade justice, as he tucks himself away in an empty fireplace, going undetected in an initial search of the room.

However, after emerging from his hiding place, two swords mounted above the fireplace come off the wall and behead him in a freak accident. One of the guards on the scene takes credit for the killing.

As a ghost, his head regularly detaches from his body, which never fails to amuse the other Button House spooks.

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How did Mary die in Ghosts?

A close-up shot of Mary (Katy Wix) in Ghosts

Death year: 1612

Mary was burned at the stake after being deemed a witch in the 1600s, hence why her skin is covered in ash and she emits a smell of smoke when walked through.

Shortly before she was "sucked off" – the laughable term Mary coins for being transported to the next stage of the afterlife – we learned more about what led Mary's village to suspect her of witchcraft.

She reveals that she was married in life, but her husband passed away a mere three years after they wed following a catastrophic farming accident.

The loss clearly left her shaken and lonely as Mary developed a habit of talking to herself, which the other villagers found annoying. When the crops failed, that irritation evolved into suspicion that she could be casting spells.

Of course, Mary was completely innocent, with her accusers simply using her to avoid accountability for their own failings.

In season 4, it was revealed that she had a close friend in the afterlife called Annie (Bridget Christie), who died after choking on food and spent about a century teaching Mary how to express her opinions, before moving on.

Mary was "sucked off" herself many decades later, in a moment that left Button House in a state of grief .

How did Kitty die in Ghosts?

Lolly Adefope as Kitty in Ghosts, wearing a purple dress and smiling as she holds a pineapple for the first time

Death year: 1780

Kitty's death was kept under wraps until late in the series, with no visible wounds pointing fans in the right direction – or at least, that's what we thought.

In season 5 episode 3, we're taken back to Georgian era to witness Kitty's final day as a living human.

There are no shortage of suspects in what is assumed to be foul play, with her cruel sister Eleanor (Emma Sidi) seeming to want her out of the way, while Kitty also overheard a dangerous plot that may have put her in peril.

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The truth is far stranger! Kitty recalled that her death day was the first (and only) time she ate pineapple, which at that time was hard to come by as it was grown on the other side of the world.

She picked up the unusual-looking fruit and felt a sharp sting, which the dinner party guests assumed was caused by one of the spikes on the outer skin.

As it turned out, an exotic, venomous spider had hitched a ride to the UK on the pineapple and bit Kitty in that moment, which caused her to perish mere hours later.

Robin gave the crucial witness testimony, noting that the spider had also killed an animal roaming the Button House grounds later that same day. A small bite mark was subsequently found on Kitty's hand.

As Kitty laid unconscious on her death bed, Eleanor expressed great regret that she hadn't been kinder to her in life.

How did Thomas die in Ghosts?

Mathew Baynton as Thomas Thorne in Ghosts, dramatically falling to his knees and throwing his arms up, as if in great distress about something

Death year: 1824

Fans were given an early clue as to what befell failed poet Thomas Thorne by the ominous bloodstain on his waistcoat, but the specific details were plotted out in his very own self-titled episode in season 2.

We learn that the ever-soppy Thomas was hopelessly in love with a woman named Isabelle Higham, whose family owned the manor that would eventually become known as Button House.

He was cautious of revealing his true feelings, giving treacherous cousin Francis – who desired Isabelle only for her wealth – a chance to wreak havoc.

A romantic poem Thomas wrote for Isabelle never made it to her, with Francis swapping it out for a forged note claiming there was no love between them. He gave Thomas the same, under Isabelle's name, driving a wedge between the would-be couple.

As if that isn't bad enough, Francis goes on to tell more lies, claiming that a soldier on the grounds had insulted Isabelle's honour in a bid to delay Thomas confronting her about the forged letter.

Thomas challenged the alleged perpetrator to a duel, but was placed at a lethal disadvantage when his cousin told him he should walk 20 paces before turning to fire his pistol – the agreement with his opponent was 10.

As a result, Thomas was shot in the back on the grounds of Button House, with Isabelle never knowing his true feelings as Francis denied him the chance of a farewell.

How did Fanny die in Ghosts?

Martha Howe-Douglas as Lady Button in Ghosts, standing with her hands together and frowning at the camera

Death year: 1912

Lady Fanny Button has one of the darkest death stories of the Ghosts characters, having been murdered by her husband in a moment of panic.

The Edwardian woman was shocked to discover her uncaring spouse in bed with both the groundskeeper and butler of their vast manor, Button House.

Lord Button was terrified that she would reveal his sexuality to the world, which at that time would destroy his reputation and most likely lead to a radical loss of status.

Therefore, he pushed his wife from a high-storey window to prevent her from breathing a word to anyone.

The traumatic incident clearly left a mark on Fanny for centuries to come, as when Alison and Mike moved to Button House in 2019, she was still re-enacting the terrible crime every morning at 3am.

Since befriending Alison, it's possible this routine has been retired as Fanny has softened somewhat – although, of course, she still has a fiery temper.

How did the Captain die in Ghosts?

Ben Willbond as The Captain in Ghosts, wearing military uniform and surrounded by fellow soldiers

Death year: 1945

The Captain's death story was one of the most frequently demanded by fans across the entire run of Ghosts, with answers finally arriving in the penultimate episode of season 5.

It had previously been hinted that the Second World War-era military strategist was secretly homosexual, with a season 2 episode introducing his brief flirtation with second-in-command Lieutenant Havers (Peter Sandys-Clarke).

The storyline sent fans into a frenzy, and was finally revisited in the final season, with a flashback set in the days after World War II ended, when soldiers were called back to Button House for a celebratory reunion.

The Captain was desperate to go as he hoped that he would find Havers there, but was disappointed to discover the event was only open to soldiers who had served on the frontlines.

He snuck in, taking the stripes from another soldier's uniform as a disguise, but was soon confronted by former colleague Gerald Hatch (Neil Edmond), who saw through the deception almost immediately.

As Hatch proceeded to grill The Captain on why he was lying, Havers saw him from the other side of the room.

Of course, due again to the attitudes of the time, The Captain could not be honest about his reason for being there, with the intense pressure of the situation causing him to have a heart attack.

Havers rushed over, demanding the onlookers seek a medic, but it was too late. The Captain did at least get to hold the hand of his lost love one last time as he passed, in a heartbreaking moment which acknowledged their feelings for each other.

How did Pat die in Ghosts?

Jim Howick as Pat in Ghosts, smiling for a photo in a generic studio setting – an arrow protrudes from his neck, reflecting how the character died

Death year: 1984

No prizes for guessing what killed Pat, we're afraid.

The former scout leader took his group of hyperactive kids to Button House for an archery session, making the mistake of wandering out into the line of fire as he gave some important health and safety tips.

One child, named Keith Darren Dean, wasn't listening closely enough and accidentally sent an arrow right into Pat's neck, causing him to die moments later outside the grand home after nobly attempting to drive himself to hospital.

Although the scene itself is rather farcical, the tragic consequences of Pat's death hit home in the 2022 Christmas special , which offers a glimpse of how dearly his wife, Carol, and son, Daley, missed him over later years.

How did Julian die in Ghosts?

The cast of Ghosts stand around Julian (Simon Farnaby), who is seated in the middle and reading something off the palm of his hand

Death year: 1993

The exact circumstances of Julian's death are open to interpretation, with his own account being unreliable due to a long history of compulsive lying.

What we know is that Julian was a corrupt MP, who regularly cheated on his wife. News reports of his 1993 death note that he died in the midst of a sex scandal, which explains why he wasn't wearing any trousers at the time.

He claimed to have died from a heart attack during an intimate moment with a mistress, although in a telling moment in season 5, he makes reference to having been killed by his secretary.

There's a sense that we don't have all the details on what exactly happened, probably because the nature of his death isn't befitting of a family-friendly show like Ghosts. Still, one look at Julian is enough to get the gist.

Ghosts is available to stream on BBC iPlayer. Check out more of our Comedy coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.

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Ghosts : 5 Things We Want to See in Season 3 (and 1 Thing We DON’T)

Vlada gelman, west coast editor.

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It’s more than just a resolution to last season’s big “Who got ‘sucked off’?” cliffhanger that has us eager for the return of Ghosts .

Season 3 of the hit CBS comedy may not premiere for a long while given the current WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, but that’s not stopping us from putting together a wish list for the forthcoming episodes. Of course, we have a preferred way that we’d like to see that aforementioned cliffhanger scenario play out. But more than that, we’re looking ahead to some other unresolved mysteries involving two spirits that are due for answers.

Meanwhile, a dead-in-the-water romance has us begging for mercy on behalf of a ghost. And then there’s our livings: Jay and Sam’s previous possession adventures have us dreaming up crazy ideas that would shake things up for the married couple.

Plus, we’re putting in a special guest star request for some of Rose McIver’s former TV castmates to drop by the comedy and stage a mini reunion.

What do we hope to see happen in Season 3? Read on for our 5 WANTS, and the 1 thing we DO NOT WANT. (And just a reminder that while the Season 3 premiere date is TBD, you can watch UK’s Ghosts on CBS this fall .)

WANT: Answers about two deaths

Ghosts Season 3

Thus far, the show has shared the circumstances under which most of the ghosts died, even detailing how Trevor lost his pants that fateful night and revealing who murdered Alberta after a season-long whodunnit. But much remains unknown about how exactly Sas and Hetty lost their lives. Were their deaths humorous mistakes, tragic accidents or tragically intentional? (We don’t trust that Elias Woodstone!) All we know is we can’t wait to find out.

WANT: Pete to move on from his crush

Ghosts Season 3

Pete’s feelings for Alberta were cute at first, if slightly out of nowhere, but the jazz singer doesn’t seem to have any romantic interest in the troop leader. Not only has she never returned his feelings, but many times, she’s tried to dismiss them, leading the rest of the ghosts to make fun of constantly rejected Pete. And he’s far too sweet and good to perpetually be crushing on someone who’s just not that into him. (Plus, all the main ghosts hooking up with each other is getting to be a bit too much.)

WANT: Jay to (temporarily) see ghosts

Ghosts Season 3

One of the best episodes featured Jay being possessed by Hetty, so let’s take things one step further and let him see the ghosts for just one installment, while his wife Sam loses her ability. Not only would it be loads of fun — just imagine D&D buds Jay and Pete seeing each other for the first time! — but swapping places would also allow Jay and Sam to truly experience and understand the other’s unique situation.

WANT: iZombie guest stars

iZombie Cast

The CBS comedy has done a stellar job with its guest casting, employing the likes of Veep vet Matt Walsh as Hetty’s husband, Superstore standout Nichole Sakura as Sas’ love interest and Brandon Scott Jones’ The Other Two costar Drew Tarver as a cult leader. But we’d like to put in a special request for one (or more) of leading lady Rose McIver’s iZombie castmates to pop by. We can picture any of the talented and funny actors from the CW dramedy — Robert Buckley, David Anders, Aly Michalka, Rahul Kohli or Malcolm Goodwin — easily fitting into the ensemble, be it as a living or a spirit.

WANT: Sam possessed by Flower

Ghosts Season 3

Yes, Sam has already been possessed by Thorfinn. But the brief yet brilliant snippet of her playing Flower during a reenactment on Dumb Deaths , not to mention the instances when she’s walked through the high hippie, have us wishing for an entire episode of Sam-as-Flower. We have no doubt that McIver could pull it off to hilarious effect.

DO NOT WANT: To lose any series regulars

Ghosts Season 3

We hope the Season 2 finale’s cliffhanger ending — who, if anyone, got “sucked off” into the great beyond? — has a satisfying and dramatic conclusion that more than makes the long wait for Season 3 worth it. But at the same time, we would hate to see any of the main ghosts that we’ve come to know and love depart the earthly plane for good. It’s just too soon in the show’s life to lose a series regular and to mess with the ensemble’s chemistry. So while it might feel like somewhat of a cheat for a “lesser” character to go, we’d be OK with it if it was done in a fun, inventive way that still had repercussions for our beloved ghosts and/or Sam and Jay.

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I want Jay and Sam to have a kid that can see ghosts.

Kids see ghosts up to a certain age. If you want their kid to continue to seeing ghosts then they will need a NED just like what Sam had.

NDE you mean.

Yeah that’s what I meant 😅

Hypotheses-kids grow out of seeing ghosts because everyone tells them ghosts aren’t real. If Jay and Sam tell their kid that the ghosts are real and the kid sees his mother talking to them, the child might not grow out of it.

Little Pete (Arrow’d Pete’s grandson) must already be past that age. Otherwise he would have seen and heard his grandpa and perhaps tried to overrule his control freak grandmother.

Please, no kid! I feel this would be the kiss of…well…death to the series!

yup, kids out of nowhere tend to be in the “Jump The Shark” category. . .

Can’t wait for the return of Season 3!

Maybe we will see another secret passage with more ghosts?

If iZombie folks ever guest star, I’d love one of Utkarsh’s Freestyle buddies to show up (like Lin Manuel Miranda).

Just finished S2 and I second Jay getting to actually see the ghosts for an episode. That would be fun and help his character “grow”.

Alberta would make sense to be the one to leave, but it would be sad to lose anyone at this point.

I agree Alberta makes sense given her murderer has been exposed and she forgives Hetty for not telling her it was her son.

I also see possibly Nigel being one to go as he has not only forgiven his killer but also declared his love and accepted a proposal.

While I see these as possibilities I would hate to lose anyone as well. The BBC version of Ghosts had a favorite of mine “sucked off” because she grew as a person finally. I hate to see her go but it made sense for her to do so. This American versions should do the same.

Love the series can’t wait to find out who it was hopefully not one of the couples I would also like to see Jay see ghost so he can connect more with the family!!!

the only way they would consider having one of the 8 leave would be if the actor decided to move on, and from what I have heard, all signed for the new season and of the recurring ghosts, the only one I wouldn’t miss is the prom girl from the attic

No kids.. I agree- it’s the kiss of death to good show. Also, my vote goes towards writing out & Get rid the dirty basement female ghost. So sorry but She’s Not good entertainment.

Or the headless guy, Crash I believe. Altho it was hilarious when Hetty tossed his head in the bushes, then Flower tossed it, lol. Hetty is Hoot!

Your list is spot on! I would add if the Ghosts themselves could switch “bodies”?? This is the #1 show I am going to miss waiting for the strikes to end.

Would love to see Colin O’Donoghue make a guest appearance as he and Rose gave great performances as Hook and Tinkerbell on OUAT.

Jay to fall down the stairs and see ghosts because he died. He doesn’t realize and nobody will tell him. Play it off with him not knowing for years.

Am I alone in thinking that Nigel is the one that got sucked off?

No, that was the most popular idea when the show aired. It seems like they’ve milked all the possible humor/story out of that relationship.

I think there’s still plenty more they can do with those two. We have 250 years’ worth of their history as rivals that could be fun to explore, especially in the context of how their interactions affected other parts of their afterlives, there’s the possibility of a ghost wedding and all the leadup to that and they’re living together now, so that alone can bring plenty of funny story material. And depending on what happens with the success or lack thereof of Isaac’s book, maybe that has some kind of effect on their relationship as well? Stuff like that. . Plus, they’re a same-sex couple on a TV show, and one that’s on CBS at that. Unless one of the actors chose to leave for whatever reason, I can’t imagine the show wanting to mess with that if they can help it. . I’m in the camp of either some really minor ghost got sucked off, or nobody did and that light was signaling something else. The ghost rules are always changing, after all, they can easily find an alternate explanation for that light. Even if a character did leave, who’s to say they can’t return? The show could find some kind of fun loophole for that setup, too, if they wanted to do so. As Elias showed us last season, characters can make weekend visits from hell, after all, so… . But yeah, I too wouldn’t want to lose any of the main ghosts, or Nigel, or Nancy, for that matter. I feel like everyone’s become so conditioned to expect shows to write characters off nowadays for drama/shock value. I don’t care if they find some kind of “cop out” solution that keeps all the main ghosts here, I’m fine with that. Like the article says, even if it is some minor ghost who left, they can still find a way to mine some good humor/drama from that if need be.

I feel the same way. I’ve been watching the Nisaac relationship bloom since the D&D episode, I’ve cheered with joy as I saw them kiss, and I squealed with joy as Isaac got down on one knee. I cannot bear to see Nigel get sucked off before they get married!

I think it makes more sense for Albert to be the one… her murder if finally resolved and she forgave Hetty. There’s nothing left unresolved for her (that we know about wink).

Too close to the “bury your gays” trope. I’m guessing it’s either going to be Crash or cholera victim Nancy.

I thought Crash too or Attic Girl, hope it’s not Nancy. But who got sucked off must have had some conclusion to their story. They might have to do some backstory on how whoever got sucked off had a resolution that we as viewers were not aware of.

Absolutely agree it’s Nigel who got sucked off. There’s a spare in the shed!

Loved the UK series but loving this too and can’t wait for season 3.

My favourite quote is season 2: “let me ride you while you get sucked off”.

Great ideas, TV Line!

This an pretty popular fan theory about Hetty’s death and I agree with it. She fell down the stairs just like Sam did and I know she mentioned in passing that she died wearing high heels which is conclusive in making someone lose their footing especially heels are known to be slippery and uncomfortable. Also when she saw the EMTs take Sam she immediately turned to Trevor and called him a murderer since she was so appalled that he accidentally hurt her descendant. In the UK series Franny Hetty’s counterpart died from being pushed out of a window and when Alison was pushed by Julian. She told the ghosts that came after her more specifically The Captain her cause of death being murdered by her husband. But in Hetty’s case Elias predeceased her by having a vengeful vault maker lock him inside his secret vault so he couldn’t done it since he was trapped inside for a century. Fingers crossed that confirm that’s truly the case with Hetty. As for Sass anything could had happened with his death, but it doesn’t appear that it was an accident it could been an undiagnosed health issue that creeped up on him like an severe asthma attack, blood clout, sudden unexpected death in epilepsy, brain hemorrhage things his tribe medicine people couldn’t prevent because he did die very unexpectedly for an person his age and I estimate that to be early to mid 20s (I know Roman Zaragoza is 27 so I’m putting Sass in the same age range as him for clarification reasons). Hope this has been helpful for you TVLINE and all my fellow Ghosts fans who just have to tap into their inner detective to solve one or many of life well rather TV’s mysteries.

I don’t want Jay to ever see the ghosts! That would ruin the charm of the show.

I think having him see them just ONCE would be great.

I don’t think that they should enable Jay to actually see the ghosts. That would feel forced and / or contrived. . . especially if they had some scenario where he (Jay) somehow died and like Sam survived and could magically – and coincidentally – be able to see them. I will suggest a couple of alternatives where poor Jay wouldn’t be so marooned in rthe B & B The first would be that somehing could happen and he could at least hear and talk to the ghosts. Of 2nd, that either Sam or Jay’s sister could somehow get a sketch artist to draw rhe ghosts as they are so Jay at least has a mental vision of what they look like

Hope “Ghosts” is luckier than “Bob Hearts Abishola”, which reduced all it’s regulars to recurring except the 2 leads after it’s 4th season. Would hate for all the ghosts to just recur with us just seeing 2 or 3 ghosts each episode.

Haven’t binge S2 yet but a Ghost investigation team comes to the B&B

I said after S2 ended and still believe – It’s a trick and nobody got sucked off, the light was someone new arriving. Similar to how the maid appeared in the Halloween episode. If anyone did leave I don’t think it was any of the main ghosts, it will be one of the cholera pit people instead, maybe it could be Nancy and how is told in flashbacks. But I’m still leaning toward a fake out of an arrival instead of a departure. As for Hetty and Sas I agree I’d like to hear their stories too. It seems like they’ve hinted a lot at drugs for Hetty with all her comments on why would it be around long enough to go bad or telling Sam to just take this and that combination. Sas though, no idea, wonder if they’ll either make it very bizarre or build it up then have it turn out to be really mundane.

That’s what I’m hoping for, a new arrival

Totally agree about wanting to know how Hetty and Sas died. I would also like for them (and Pete) to discover their ghost powers. If I’m not mistaken, for the main eight ghosts, we know everyone else’s cause of death and their power. I like that we didn’t learn all of them in season one, but by season three I think we’re ready to know them all.

Great fun program,

I am fully with you on not wanting to lose any regulars, but also on wanting Jay to see ghosts too. In fact, I was disappointed when the season 1 finale set up a scenario where maybe he could see them all of the time, and they didn’t follow through on that. I think it would open up way more story possibilities if Sam doesn’t always have to fill him in on what’s going on. Eventually that’s going to paint them into a corner

With all the strikes going on in Hollywood, will we even have new episodes in 2023-2024? Or will we have to wait until 2024-2025?

A guest appearance by Lizzy Caplan (Masters of Sex), She could be anything with her range.

When the show returns in 2025.

For sure, I hope it’s just an incidental character who got sucked off at the end of last season

Thorfinn gets entirely too bloodthirsty sometimes, bragging about evisceration, torture and cannibalism. Please tone down some of his stories. And Jay saw the ghosts already, while Hetty possessed him. He should remember the incident and who he saw then, perhaps in a dream?

In that episode, when Hetty possessed Jay, he/she could not see or interact with the other ghosts.

Would love to see more of the BBC “Ghosts” cast appear whether as their BBC characters Charlotte Ritchie as Allison and Kiell Smith-Bynoe as Mike visiting Sam and Jay’s bed and breakfast or the BBC Ghost actors as new characters. . Hopefully after the BBC episodes air on CBS there will be more people asking for this.

“the BBC Ghost actors as new characters.” Wasn’t that the “Dumb Deaths” actor, the British guy who was gonna play Pete/ended up playing Flower’s boyfriend when the show decided to tell her story instead?

Would anybody be curious to see anymore cast members from the U.K. version of Ghosts guest star on the American series? What about a cross over between the two shows?

Like to see sam go out more and see other ghosts, like at a store or something. Seeing the types of ghosts and abilities is the best part.

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Charlotte Ritchie (far left) and Kiell Smith-Bynoe (far right) with the ghosts of Button Hall.

Ghosts review – a silly sitcom that will make you die laughing

The new show from Horrible Histories may be the most unlikely comedy spinoff since Frasier, but what a glorious romp

The Greek playwright Aeschylus died when an eagle dropped a tortoise on his head. The Roman hunchback Diodorus expired when a doctor tried to straighten his spine. These are two of my favourite exits from Stupid Deaths, a recurring sketch in Horrible Histories . For a decade, it has skewed British children’s (and their parents’) sense of the past so much that we can’t list the kings and queens of England, but we all know that the boxer Theagenes of Thasos was giving his rival’s statue a good thumping when it toppled over and did him in.

And now, in Ghosts (BBC One), there is a country house called Button Hall filled with ancestral spirits who died stupid deaths. There is a scoutmaster (Jim Howick) with an arrow through the neck. There is a caveman who speaks better English than Donald Tusk . We don’t know how he died, but the safe money says it was glue poisoning from his appliquéd facial hair.

The dead are mostly played by Horrible Histories veterans, who also wrote the sitcom, as well as Lolly Adefope , fresh from her hilarious turn as Alan Partridge’s nemesis in This Time . In a sense, it is the most unlikely comedy spinoff since Cheers spawned Frasier .

As in Horrible Histories, Marx’s dictum that history repeats itself first as tragedy then as farce gets scotched here: history was farcical from the start. There is a running gag about a beheaded Tudor (Laurence Rickard) whose head shouts “Come back!” as his body wanders off.

One of Ghosts’ pleasures is seeing Horrible Histories veterans in fancy dress once more, notably Matthew Baynton, who once repurposed Eminem’s My Name Is to rap his way through Charles II’s biography (“ I love the people and the people love me / So much they restored the English monarchy .”) Here, he plays a romantic poet who can clear a room with an orated ode, a self-involved sensibility in an oversized shirt.

Ghosts isn’t Ibsen, but it does raise thorny existential questions. The ghost of a fictional 90s MP called Julian (Simon Farnaby) wanders Button Hall without trousers, caught forever with his pants down. Will we have to live out all eternity as we were when we died? Lady Button (Martha Howe-Douglas) is doomed to scream nightly as she falls from a window to her death.

Then there is the question of what ghosts are made of. How can a first world war army captain (Ben Willbond) walk through the bedroom door, then lie on his bed? What is the point of the 17th-century witch ( Katy Wix ) teaching fellow ghosts the rudiments of basketry if their fingers pass through the raw material? Only one of them, Julian, can overcome this shortcoming: if he concentrates really hard, he can sometimes knock a cup off a table.

Into this haunted house stumble a couple of modern-day herberts, Alison and Mike ( Charlotte Ritchie and Kiell Smith-Bynoe). They have inherited Button Hall after the last of the Button family died. When they arrive to take stock of the place, the unseen ghosts mill around the couple in the great hall – and some don’t like what they see. “She’s exposing her knees! And she’s got a tattoo!” exclaims the buttoned-up Edwardian Lady Button.

Caveman and poet, though, are bewitched by Alison. Both mistake her for the 80s pop sensation Kim Wilde , even though it is hard to believe that a 19th-century versifier and the unacceptably hirsute missing link between apes and humans would be familiar with Kids in America.

But their fondness curdles into fury when the ghosts find out Alison and Mike are planning to turn their ancestral home into a hotel, which promises to end the eternal peace. “Kill them!” snaps the caveman, understandably.

Julian goes rogue. He uses his kinetic powers to push Alison from a window, but she survives. After a few weeks in an induced coma, she returns to Button Hall sporting a neck brace and a new superpower – she can see ghosts.

It is a treat to have Ritchie in this role: after dying from sepsis in Call the Midwife, it is as if she has been reincarnated in Ghosts as Oregon from the student sitcom Fresh Meat to deploy her formidable armoury of comedy reactions. In Fresh Meat, she had to get used to a lot of unsavoury house mates (libidinous posho Jack Whitehall, libidinous non-posho Zawe Ashton, not to mention that troubled Scottish troll who rarely left his room), so dealing with ghosts with Kim Wilde fixations shouldn’t be a stretch.

In making us giggle at the supernatural, Ghosts is very British – a mashup of Noël Coward’s Blithe Spirit and Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased), not to mention the manifold sillinesses of Hammer horrors. But it is American in the sense of having a gag-to-airtime ratio much higher than British sitcoms normally manage these days.

If there is a history lesson to be taken from Ghosts – and there probably isn’t – it is that, if we want to get in touch with the spirit world, we should emulate Alison and fall from a first-floor window. Maybe not: most likely, that would be a really stupid way to die. I would rather have an eagle drop a tortoise on my head any day.

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'Ghosts': Why the CBS Sitcom Needs More Sasappis

Sasappis is criminally underutilized on 'Ghosts' and deserves more stories particularly tailored to his strengths.

Welcome to Woodstone Bed and Breakfast on Ghosts , a CBS adaptation of the popular UK series of the same name, where a number of ghostly residents aim to haunt you and living owners Sam ( Rose McIver ) and Jay ( Utkarsh Ambudkar ) seek to make your stay a pleasant one. Since Sam and Jay moved in, they have befriended the ghostly inhabitants on the main floor of the Woodstone — namely, Hetty ( Rebecca Wisocky ), Trevor ( Asher Grodman ), Alberta ( Danielle Pinnock ), Isaac ( Brandon Scott Jones ), Flower ( Sheila Carrasco ), Thorfinn ( Devan Long ), Pete ( Richie Moriarty ), and Sasappis ( Román Zaragoza ) — and kept their distance from the cholera ghosts in the basement or the teenage attic girl who wakes up once a year to cause mischief.

Now well into the second season, we’ve learned quite a bit about each of the ghosts through some hilarious and touching stories. We’ve discovered how Trevor died with no pants on, how Thorfinn was left behind by his fellow Vikings, and we've even uncovered some clues in the ongoing mystery of who murdered Alberta in her heyday. The ghosts’ personalities have been well-developed, like Alberta’s enchanting sass and Pete’s genuine kindness, to bring us further into this world and help us lose ourselves in the story of the Woodstone crew. Everyone has received stories to highlight their personalities and strengths, but it sometimes feels that some of the ghosts are allowed to shine brighter than the others. For instance, though he has been just as much a part of the ensemble as the others, there is one character that we find ourselves wishing the series would shine the spotlight on and explore a little more: Sasappis.

Sasappis Has A Lot to Offer on ‘Ghosts’

Since the beginning of the series, Sasappis has been the realist of the bunch. He’s blunt, yet not mean about it as he’ll often look for a nice way to tell you something you aren’t going to like. He’s got a wonderful sense of humor with the perfect sarcastic bite. And, frankly, he’s the most innocent of the bunch — not innocent in the same way Pete is where it’s part of his nice guy charm, though. I mean, Sasappis made a tally mark on a tree every time Shiki ( Crystle Lightning ) said hi to him. That’s incredibly sweet and pure, and also shows Sasappis to be a hopeless romantic, which is rare considering his brutally realistic view of the world as a whole. Ultimately, Sasappis has probably the deepest personality and biggest heart of all the Woodstone ghosts, but it doesn’t feel like the series takes advantage of that and what a fantastic character he is enough.

RELATED: Why the Newest 'Ghosts' Holiday Special Hookup Weirdly Works

Something the series confirmed early on but hasn’t revisited much is Sasappis’ passion for storytelling. It’s a gift, as he shows the audience and his fellow Woodstone inhabitants, and a tool that the series could be using either to shake up the narrative in an episode or to explore Sasappis’ relatively unexplored life as a member of the Lenape tribe. It’s a great method to teach, to explore a topic, or to get to know Sasappis and his view of the world a little better. We still haven’t even learned how he died. Sure, keeping an air of mystery can be fun, but that doesn’t seem to be what’s going on. It feels like the series is holding back with Sasappis’ stories, and it’s time for that to stop. Too often, it feels like Sasappis is wasted in the stories where he does play a leading role because they aren’t personalized enough. (The exceptions being the episodes about Shiki and his storytelling.) They don’t do enough to capture who Sasappis is like they always do with the other ghosts, which is frankly quite disappointing considering what a scene stealer Zaragoza has proven himself to be. While the series needs more of Sasappis in general, we also need to see the same thoughtful content they consistently give to everyone else that allows for personal growth, even when it’s just about what show is playing on the television.

Sasappis Has Something Nobody Else Does

As he died centuries prior to many of the current Woodstone ghosts, excluding Thorfinn, Sasappis has had a front-row seat for much of what happened with the others. His firsthand knowledge has come in handy on a few occasions and given him a leg up, like being privy to the real story about Trevor’s pants. (Which also goes to show what a fantastic person Sasappis is, as he didn’t try to catch Trevor in the lie he knew about.) Being around the longest next to Thorfinn, Sasappis uses his knowledge to truly understand and empathize with his ghostly friends — unlike Thorfinn who is standoffish, and while he does care about everyone else too, empathy is not something he concerns himself with very often. In short, Sasappis takes every opportunity to get to know the other ghosts better and actually pays attention to what they do, what they say, and what kind of person they are. He’s unmatched in that regard, but much quieter about it than Pete, so it often goes unnoticed.

All in all, Sasappis has been criminally underutilized on Ghosts . He is arguably the funniest of all, and his playfully sarcastic lines are consistently the highlight of the show. There’s so much potential for what to do with the character, particularly stories that showcase his best qualities, and this is something that needs to be changed now rather than later. Unfortunately, that’s not the content we are getting with Sasappis on a regular basis right now. The coming episodes tease a romance with the ghost trapped in a car, something that once again doesn’t feel very personal to him, a story where he could be replaced by Pete or Trevor if the writers wanted to go that direction. We want more Sasappis and stories that are tailored to showcase his best attributes from here on out. Is that too much to ask?

Ghosts continues Thursdays on CBS. Every episode is now streaming on Paramount+.

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Christian Oliver, ‘Speed Racer’ Actor, Dies in Plane Crash

Mr. Oliver’s two young daughters and a pilot were also killed in the crash, the police in the Caribbean nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines said on Thursday.

A bearded man in a black suit and tie smiles at a camera.

By Christine Hauser

The film and television actor Christian Oliver, his two children and a pilot were killed on Thursday when the small plane they were traveling in crashed during a flight to the Caribbean island of St. Lucia, the police said.

Mr. Oliver, 51, who appeared in “The Good German,” “Speed Racer” and the TV series “Saved by The Bell: The New Class,” and his daughters were the only passengers in the single engine plane traveling from Bequia, an island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, when it crashed into the sea at midday, the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force said in a statement on Thursday.

In addition to Mr. Oliver and his daughters, Annik Klepser, 10, and Madita Klepser, 12, the pilot, Robert Sachs, was also killed, the police said. Fishermen and divers recovered the bodies and turned them over to the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Coast Guard, the police said in a statement on Friday.

The aircraft “experienced difficulties and plummeted into the ocean” shortly after taking off from J.F. Mitchell Airport in Bequia, the police said. There was no further information about the cause of the crash, which is under investigation, they said.

Mr. Oliver was born in Germany and had dual citizenship there and in the United States, his agent in Berlin, Caprice Crawford, said in an email on Friday. He used the name Christian Oliver in his professional work rather than his full name, Christian Oliver Klepser, and divided his time between Los Angeles and his home country, she said.

Mr. Oliver worked with Steven Soderbergh in the 2006 film “The Good German,” with a cast that included George Clooney and Cate Blanchett. His other projects included a role in “Valkyrie” with Tom Cruise in 2008 and “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny,” in 2023, for which he provided voices.

He had just finished shooting a new movie, “Forever Hold Your Peace,” and posted a photograph from the set on social media about a week ago.

Earlier this week, Mr. Oliver posted his last photograph “from somewhere in paradise.”

Mr. Oliver was co-producing “Forever Hold Your Peace,” a story about marriage fraud, with the director Nick Lyon. Mr. Lyon said in an interview on Friday that Mr. Oliver had texted him on Thursday morning about his plan to return to the United States to work on a scene on Friday.

“It was a big project for us,” said Mr. Lyon, who had also worked with Mr. Oliver on “Hercules Reborn” in 2014. “We had talked about it for years.”

An earlier version of this article. relying on information from the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force, misstated the ages of Christian Oliver’s daughters. Annik Klepser was 10, and Madita Klepser was 12.

How we handle corrections

Christine Hauser is a reporter, covering national and foreign news. Her previous jobs in the newsroom include stints in Business covering financial markets and on the Metro desk in the police bureau. More about Christine Hauser

Aliens at a Miami mall? Police say ‘lol’

Police respond at the Bayside Marketplace in Miami on Jan. 1, 2024.

Teens running, police converging and a grey splotch that appears to be moving: Videos from an outdoor mall in Miami stoked wild claims this week on social media that aliens had landed on Earth. But the truth is far more terrestrial.

On Monday, a group of roughly 50 teenagers caused a riot at Bayside Marketplace, an outdoor mall roughly 5 miles from South Beach, according to the Miami Police Department.

The teens were setting off fireworks, which led to a panic as some assumed there was a shooting, said Miami Police Department public information officer Michael Vega. Four teens were arrested.

Police were dispatched “for crowd control due to the juveniles refusing to leave,” Vega said in an email to NBC News. “Some businesses were temporarily closed to allow us to clear the area.”

In the days after the incident, users on social media launched a speculation frenzy, homing in on what they described as “Miami Mall Aliens.” Some suggested police were responding to aliens, not teenagers. Several people reviewed video of the incident circulating online and claimed they could see an alien figure in the grainy footage. Others quickly posted memes.

While many of the responses online appeared lighthearted, the posts show just how quickly and easily misinformation can spread on social media. The response also underscores an uptick in interest in extraterrestrial activity, from hearings in Congress last summer about “unidentified aerial phenomena” or “UAPs” to Mexico’s Congress showing off what it claimed were “nonhuman” aliens. Both of those events also became prime meme fodder.

However, Vega said aliens had nothing to do with Monday’s incident.

“There were no aliens,” he wrote in the email. “No airports were closed. Nothing is being withheld from the public. LOL.”

Still, by Friday afternoon, “Miami Mall Alien” was trending on the social media site X.

“10ft Aliens/Creatures (caught on camera?) fired at inside and outside Miami Mall, media silent, cops are covering it up saying kids were fighting with fireworks, yet all these cop cars, & air traffic stopped that night except for black military choppers…and no media coverage,” claimed one post on X, which on Friday appeared to trigger a slew of conspiracy theories and memes.

One person posted what appeared to be an AI image of a generic alien holding shopping bags, and joked it was “The Miami Mall Alien.”

Another person shared an image of golfer Tiger Woods holding out his hand, as if to shake another person’s hand, with the caption: “Me to the aliens if I’d been at the Miami mall.”

Others remarked that the new year was bound to be wild if aliens had been spotted mere days into January.

“5th day into the New Year now people spotting Aliens in the Miami Mall 2024 is in for one hell of a ride,” the person wrote.

There were, of course, some who wondered: If there was an alien sighting, where’s the proof?

“Everybody have cell phones, but nobody have an up close video of the 8-10 foot alien by the Miami mall?” wrote one X user .

in ghosts how did sass die

Kalhan Rosenblatt is a reporter covering youth and internet culture for NBC News, based in New York.

  • International

January 9, 2024 - Winter storm slams central and eastern US

By Antoinette Radford, Adrienne Vogt , Aditi Sangal , Maureen Chowdhury and Emma Tucker , CNN

There is "significant damage" in Panama City Beach area after tornadoes sweep through, local officials say

From CNN’s Chris Boyette

A house is seen teetering on its side in the Grand Lagoon area of Panama City, Florida, as severe weather, including tornadoes, passed through the Florida panhandle on Tuesday morning.

Bay County, Florida, Emergency Management Services reported “significant damage” as severe weather, including tornadoes, pass through the Florida Panhandle.

“We are receiving reports of significant damage in some parts of Bay County, including Thomas Drive at Panama City Beach, St. Andrews, and Resota Beach Road in Southport,” the county  posted on Facebook . “Another cell is making its way this direction, so please stay inside if possible.”

The county said the Grand Lagoon Bridge is closed due to debris in the roadway and Bayway transit services were suspended.

Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford urged people to take cover.

Storm damage is seen in Panama City Beach on Tuesday.

“We’ve had multiple tornadoes on the ground, primarily in the county … numerous reports of damage; we’ve rescued people out of structures,” Ford said in a  video posted online , encouraging residents to shelter in a safe space inside their homes.

Photos shared by the Panama City Police Department showed trees fallen across roads and onto driveways, plus collapsed fences in the St. Andrews area.

More power outages in Southeast as intense line of thunderstorms moves through region

From CNN Meteorologist Monica Garrett


A widespread winter storm has knocked out power to nearly 300,000 customers across the eastern half of the US as of 8:45 a.m. ET Tuesday morning, according to  poweroutage.us .

The winter storm is bringing blinding snow, tornadoes and winds gusting over 50 mph from the Plains to the East Coast. The South has the most power outages on Tuesday morning,   where a strong line of thunderstorms is moving through. 

This storm will continue to push eastward and is likely to cause more power outages as it reaches the high population areas of the East Coast, where the ground is also saturated and high winds are expected.

These are some of the top outages by state:

  • Alabama: 60,000+
  • Florida: 57,000+
  • Georgia: 46,000+
  • Kansas: 42,000+
  • Texas: 23,000+
  • Louisiana: 20,000+
  • Mississippi: 13,000+

An additional 50,000-plus customers are without power across the Pacific Northwest, where a second winter storm is impacting the region. Washington has about 42,000 customers without power and Oregon has about 10,000 customers out.

Over 160 million people face wind threats Tuesday. Here's what's behind the strong, prolonged winds

From CNN Meteorologist Mary Gilbert

Widespread wind gusts of 40 to 60 mph are likely across much of the central and eastern US as a massive, multi-faceted storm reaches its full strength Tuesday.

More than 160 million people across the US are under wind alerts, and the Weather Prediction Center warned them to "prepare for power outages."

Severe storms aren't driving these strong, prolonged winds — it's the impressive strength of the storm, which is an area of low pressure, and how it interacts with a strong area of high pressure located off the northeastern coast of the US.

The atmosphere is exerting pressure on all of us. The force of that pressure is lower under areas of low pressure and higher under areas of high pressure, hence the names.

As the storm gets stronger, its pressure drops and it creates a stronger gap in pressure between it and the high pressure, known as a pressure gradient.

The speed of the wind is related directly to the strength of the pressure gradient because it squeezes the air that moves through it, forcing it to pick up speed. Think of it like popping bubble wrap: Once it’s squeezed hard enough, the plastic pops and the air quickly rushes out.

The strength, duration and widespread nature of winds on Tuesday and Tuesday night in this pressure gradient are likely to bring down trees and cause power outages.

Multiple tornadoes reported in Florida Panhandle, including near Panama City

From CNN Meteorologists Mary Gilbert and Brandon Miller

Tornado damage is seen a screengrab taken from video shared by storm chaser Jay Lesyk. Lesyk said he was in Grand Lagoon, Florida when he observed a tornado hit the area early Tuesday morning.

Several tornadoes have been reported this morning in the Florida Panhandle as a strong line of thunderstorms moves through the area.

National Weather Service meteorologists reported a “large and extremely dangerous tornado” near Panama City just after 5:30 a.m. CT (6:30 a.m. ET).

"This is a PARTICULARLY DANGEROUS SITUATION," the weather service added.

The tornado continued to track northeast, passing near Lynn Haven, Florida, shortly before 7 a.m. ET.

"To repeat, a tornado is on the ground . TAKE COVER NOW!" the weather service warned.

Social media videos from the area at that time appear to show a strong waterspout moving onshore as well as damage after the storm passed.

NWS meteorologists continue to track the storm, which is confirmed to still be producing a dangerous tornado near the town of Marianna, passing Interstate 10.

At least five tornadoes have been reported in the last couple of hours, according to data from the Storm Prediction Center.

Tornado watch issued for portions of Florida, Alabama and Georgia

From CNN's Monica Garrett

A new tornado watch is in effect until 2 p.m. ET for portions of southeastern Alabama, the eastern Florida Panhandle to northern Florida, and southern Georgia, according to the Storm Prediction Center.

This watch covers over 2 million people and includes Tallahassee, Panama City and Lake City in Florida, Dothan in Alabama, and Albany and Valdosta in Georgia.

A strong line of storms, with potentially tornadic circulations and damaging straight line winds up to 75 mph, will sweep eastward across the watch area through the remainder of the morning into early afternoon.

“A few supercells also are possible ahead of the line with a threat for tornadoes (some strong), severe gusts and isolated hail,” the SPC said.

Over 40 million people across the Southeast are at risk of severe storms today. A Level 3 of 5 risk of severe storms covers much of Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas on Tuesday, where tornadoes and damaging winds are possible.

Power outages across southern and central US affect more than 240,000 customers

High winds continue to impact much of the central and southern US, which has increased power outages to over 244,000 customers, according to  poweroutage.us . 

Here the states with the highest power outages as of 7:15 a.m. ET:

  • Alabama: 64,000+
  • Washington: 61,000+
  • Georgia: 37,000+
  • Kansas: 34,000+
  • Texas: 29,000+
  • Louisiana: 19,000+

More than half the US population is currently under wind alerts that cover almost all of the South and extend into the Northeast. The bulk of the high wind alerts across the Southern Plains will begin to expire through the day on Tuesday but will largely last into Wednesday for much of the eastern US. 

How to stay safe indoors (and outdoors, if you must) during a winter storm

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

A local resident clears overnight snow from a driveway on Tuesday in Urbandale, Iowa.

A powerful storm packing nearly every winter weather threat is making its way across the central and eastern US today.

When staying indoors during cold temperatures or a winter storm, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers these  tips :

  • Make sure any infants younger than 1 year old are not sleeping in cold rooms and have adequate warm clothing, such as footed pajamas, one-piece wearable blankets or sleep sacks. Remove any pillows or other soft bedding from a baby’s crib, since they pose the risk of smothering or sudden infant death syndrome.
  • If you have friends or neighbors older than 65, check on them frequently to ensure that their homes are adequately heated.
  • Leave water taps slightly open to prevent freezing pipes.
  • Eat well-balanced meals to stay warm.
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine, because they can cause your body to lose heat more rapidly.

And if you must go outside, the CDC and National Weather Service have some recommendations for staying safe while venturing outdoors during a winter storm,

  • Dress warmly with hats, scarves and mittens and by wearing layers.
  • Avoid walking on ice and avoid getting wet.
  • If you have to shovel snow or do other outdoor work, take your time and work slowly. If you have older neighbors, offer to help shovel their walkways or driveways.
  • Avoid traveling on ice-covered roads if possible.
  • If you are stranded outdoors, it is safest to stay in your vehicle.
  • Try to  keep pets indoors  during cold weather, but if they go outside, thoroughly wipe their legs and underbelly free of snow when returning indoors. Never let your dog off leash on snow or ice.

Read more about how to stay safe during winter weather.

Dangerous storms capable of producing tornadoes are tracking along the Gulf Coast

Radar snapshot as of 6:30 a.m. ET.

Intense storms are moving through portions of Florida and Alabama early Tuesday morning, unleashing torrential rainfall, strong winds and even a few tornadoes. Multiple tornado warnings were issued in each state during the predawn hours Tuesday.

Downtown Mobile, Alabama, was under at least two separate tornado warnings early Tuesday. But the threat has since shifted east into the Florida Panhandle, where at least one confirmed tornado moved through Freeport, Florida, on Tuesday morning, according to the National Weather Service in Tallahassee, Florida.

The damaging storms capable of producing tornadoes will continue to develop and form into a cohesive line of dangerous storms throughout Tuesday morning. This formidable line of storms will track east and unload severe weather across other portions of the Southeast Tuesday afternoon and evening.

North Carolina governor declares state of emergency

From CNN’s Joe Sutton

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper is pictured during a rally at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina, on October 10, 2023.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency on Monday ahead of the severe weather that is expected to impact the state today.

"This storm system has the potential to bring high winds and other dangerous storm conditions to North Carolina, and people should be aware and take precautions,” Cooper said in a news release.

The storm threat is expected to increase into Tuesday afternoon.

“The severe weather threat has increased with numerous severe storms capable of producing damaging wind gusts and tornadoes possible Tuesday afternoon through Tuesday night, especially in the eastern half of the state,” the  news release  noted.

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TB Joshua: Megachurch leader raped and tortured worshippers, BBC finds

  • Published 2 days ago

TB Joshua

Evidence of widespread abuse and torture by the founder of one of the world's biggest Christian evangelical churches has been uncovered by the BBC.

Dozens of ex-Synagogue Church of all Nations members - five British - allege atrocities, including rape and forced abortions, by Nigeria's late TB Joshua.

The allegations of abuse in a secretive Lagos compound span almost 20 years.

The Synagogue Church of All Nations did not respond to the allegations but said previous claims have been unfounded.

TB Joshua, who died in 2021, was a charismatic and hugely successful preacher and televangelist who had an immense global following.

The BBC's findings over a two-year investigation include:

  • Dozens of eyewitness accounts of physical violence or torture carried out by Joshua, including instances of child abuse and people being whipped and chained
  • Numerous women who say they were sexually assaulted by Joshua, with a number claiming they were repeatedly raped for years inside the compound
  • Multiple allegations of forced abortions inside the church following the alleged rapes by Joshua, including one woman who says she had five terminations
  • Multiple first-hand accounts detailing how Joshua faked his "miracle healings", which were broadcast to millions of people around the world

One of the victims, a British woman, called Rae, was 21 years old when she abandoned her degree at Brighton University in 2002 and was recruited into the church. She spent the next 12 years as one of Joshua's so-called "disciples" inside his maze-like concrete compound in Lagos.

BBC iPlayer

Disciples: The Cult of TB Joshua

A shocking journey into a maze of manipulation and terrifying abuse perpetrated by one of the most powerful religious figures of the 21st Century

Watch now on BBC iPlayer (UK only) or on the BBC Africa YouTube channel (outside UK)

BBC iPlayer

"We all thought we were in heaven, but we were in hell, and in hell terrible things happen," she told the BBC.

Rae says she was sexually assaulted by Joshua and subjected to a form of solitary confinement for two years. The abuse was so severe, she says she attempted suicide multiple times inside the compound.

The Synagogue Church of All Nations [Scoan] has a global following, operating a Christian TV channel called Emmanuel TV and social media networks with millions of viewers. Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, tens of thousands of pilgrims from Europe, the Americas, South East Asia and Africa travelled to the church in Nigeria to witness Joshua performing "healing miracles". At least 150 visitors lived with him as disciples inside his compound in Lagos, sometimes for decades.


More than 25 former "disciples" spoke to the BBC - from the UK, Nigeria, US, South Africa, Ghana, Namibia and Germany - giving powerful corroborating testimony about their experiences within the church, with the most recent experiences in 2019. Many victims were in their teens when they first joined. In some of the British cases, their transport to Lagos was paid for by Joshua, in co-ordination with other UK churches.

Rae and multiple other interviewees compared their experiences to being in a cult.

Jessica Kaimu, from Namibia, says her ordeal lasted more than five years. She says she was 17 when Joshua first raped her, and that subsequent instances of rape by TB Joshua led to her having five forced abortions while there.

"These were backdoor type… medical treatments that we were going through… it could have killed us," she told the BBC.

Other interviewees say they were stripped and beaten with electrical cables and horse whips, and routinely denied sleep.

On his death in June 2021, TB Joshua was hailed as one of the most influential pastors in African history. Rising from poverty, he built an evangelical empire that counted dozens of political leaders, celebrities and international footballers among his associates.

He did, however, attract some controversy during his lifetime when a guesthouse for church pilgrims collapsed in 2014, killing at least 116 people.


More on TB Joshua and allegations

  • Long read: 'Terrible things happened' - inside TB Joshua's church of horrors
  • Profile: Nigeria's disgraced televangelist

The BBC's investigation, which was carried out with international media platform openDemocracy, is the first time multiple former church insiders have come forward to speak on the record. They say they've spent years trying to raise the alarm, but have effectively been silenced.

A number of our witnesses in Nigeria claim they were physically attacked, and in one case shot at, after previously speaking out against the abuse and posting videos containing allegations on YouTube.

A BBC crew that attempted to record footage of the church's Lagos compound from a public street in March 2022 was also fired at by the church's security, and was detained for a number of hours.

The BBC contacted Scoan with the allegations in our investigation. It did not respond to them, but denied previous claims against TB Joshua.

"Making unfounded allegations against Prophet TB Joshua is not a new occurrence… None of the allegations was ever substantiated," it wrote.

Four of the British citizens who spoke to the BBC say they reported the abuse to the UK authorities after escaping the church. They say no further action was taken.

Anneka now

In addition, a British man and his wife emailed eyewitness accounts of their ordeal and video evidence - including recordings of being held at gunpoint by men describing themselves as police who are also members of Scoan - to the British High Commission in Nigeria in March 2010 after fleeing the church. In his email, the man said his wife had been repeatedly sexually assaulted and raped by Joshua. He warned the commission that other British nationals were still inside the compound facing atrocities.

He also says no action was taken.

The UK Foreign Office did not respond to these claims, but told the BBC that it takes all reports of crime, including sexual assault and violence against British nationals overseas, very seriously.

Scoan continues to thrive today, under the leadership of Joshua's widow, Evelyn. In July 2023, she led a tour of Spain.

Anneka, who left Derby in the UK to join Scoan at the age of 17, told the BBC she believes there are many other victims who have yet to speak out. She hopes further steps will be taken to uncover Joshua's actions.

"I believe the Synagogue Church of All Nations needs a thorough investigation into why this man was able to function for so long the way he did," she said.

Additional reporting by Maggie Andresen, Yemisi Adegoke and Ines Ward

For support and information on sexual abuse, please consult this BBC Actionline within the UK. And for more information on cults, please see The Family Survival Trust

BBC Sounds

World of Secrets - The Disciples

A nine-episode season - a shocking journey into a maze of manipulation and terrifying abuse

Listen now on BBC Sounds

BBC Sounds

Are you personally affected by the issues raised in this story? Share your experiences by emailing [email protected] .

Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also get in touch in the following ways:

  • WhatsApp: +44 7756 165803
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If you are reading this page and can't see the form you will need to visit the mobile version of the BBC website to submit your question or comment or you can email us at [email protected] . Please include your name, age and location with any submission.

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More on this story.

‘Terrible things happened’ - inside TB Joshua’s church of horrors

Rae superimposed on image of the Synagogue Church of All Nations building in Lagos

Nigeria's disgraced televangelist TB Joshua

Nigerian pastor TB Joshua speaks during a New Year's memorial service for the South African relatives of those killed in a building collapse at his Lagos megachurch on December 31, 2014


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    Published Dec 27, 2022 Román Zaragoza breaks down Ghosts' popularity, his character Sas' unique voice, and fleshing out the backstory of a 500-year-old ghost. Adapted from the BBC One series of the same name, Ghosts scared up big ratings in 2021 and emerged as one of the year's breakout hits.

  11. 'Ghosts' Spoilers: Season 1, Episode 14

    This Thursday's Ghosts ( CBS, 9/8c) shines the spotlight on the show's resident deadpan spirit, who opens up about his desire to be a storyteller while he was alive. That love of weaving a ...

  12. How do you guys think Sas and Hetty died? : r/GhostsCBS

    31 40 comments Add a Comment ThisPaige Hetty • 5 mo. ago Someone pitched that Sas died from starvation and I think it's plausible, since he has no visible marks. Hetty probably died from a stroke or heart attack. hfjsjsksjv • 5 mo. ago It would make sense why he always wants to smell the food rehtulx • 5 mo. ago

  13. 'Ghosts' Recap: Season 1 Finale, Episode 18

    The opening of Sam and Jay's B&B got off to a precarious start during Ghosts' Season 1 finale, when termites (caused by Thor's Norse curse?) did a number on the structure. Just as the couple ...

  14. Ghosts News on CBS

    One-time bank robber. Ghostly Ability: Flower can make someone feel high when she walks through them. Cause of Death: While high on hallucinogenic mushrooms at a local music festival, Flower stumbled onto the Woodstone Manor grounds and mistook an angry bear with its paws raised high for an invitation to hug. Instead, the bear malled her to death.

  15. Román Zaragoza talks Sasappis and native representation in CBS's 'Ghosts'

    This year, Román can be seen starring in CBS' highly anticipated, upcoming comedy series "Ghosts.". "Ghosts" focuses on Samantha (played by Rose McIver) and Jay (played by Utkarsh Ambudkar), a New York City couple that inherits a country home in upstate New York. The pair plans to turn it into a bed and breakfast and have to put a ...

  16. Ghosts Executive Producer Reveals The Secrets Behind The CBS Series

    Ghosts executive producer Joe Port opened up about the cholera ghosts during CBS' TCA Summer Press Tour, saying: The ghosts in the basement, they all died of cholera. And become in like ...

  17. How did all the Ghosts die in the BBC series?

    Death year: 1575 The Tudor era is infamous for its regular beheadings, with vile monarch King Henry VIII having a particular interest in the gruesome method of execution.

  18. Román Zaragoza on 'Ghosts' and Native Representation On TV

    In this week's episode of Ghosts, Sasappis (Román Zaragoza) — a young Lenape man who died over 500 years ago — rediscovers his passion for storytelling while helping Sam (Rose McIver) complete...

  19. 'Ghosts' Season 3: Episode Spoilers, Cast, Release Date

    Totally agree about wanting to know how Hetty and Sas died. I would also like for them (and Pete) to discover their ghost powers. If I'm not mistaken, for the main eight ghosts, we know everyone ...

  20. Can we discuss Sasappis and his inconsistency? : r/GhostsCBS

    Thorfinn had no one at all to talk to for 500 years, and seems kind of fixed in his ways. Maybe ghosts become less adaptable if left alone for too long. Also, Sasappis had to learn to deal with the other ghosts as they came along- perhaps he put more work into learning about the world as it evolved. 19. DaZ910.

  21. Ghosts review

    Here, he plays a romantic poet who can clear a room with an orated ode, a self-involved sensibility in an oversized shirt. Ghosts isn't Ibsen, but it does raise thorny existential questions. The ...

  22. 'Ghosts' Season 2 Ending Explained: Do Sam and Jay Lose the ...

    A new relative threatens the life Sam and Jay have created at the Woodstone in the 'Ghosts' Season 2 finale. Editor's note: The below contains major spoilers for the Ghosts Season 2 finale. Ghosts ...

  23. Ghosts: Why the CBS Sitcom Needs More Sasappis

    Image via CBS. Since the beginning of the series, Sasappis has been the realist of the bunch. He's blunt, yet not mean about it as he'll often look for a nice way to tell you something you ...

  24. Christian Oliver, 'Speed Racer' Actor, Dies in Plane Crash

    By Christine Hauser. Jan. 5, 2024. The film and television actor Christian Oliver, his two children and a pilot were killed on Thursday when the small plane they were traveling in crashed during a ...

  25. Aliens at a Miami mall? Police say 'lol'

    Teens running, police converging and a grey splotch that appears to be moving: Videos from an outdoor mall in Miami stoked wild claims this week on social media that aliens had landed on Earth.

  26. There is "significant damage" in Panama City Beach area after ...

    A fast-moving storm is unloading strong winds, possible strong tornadoes, serious flooding, snow and blizzard conditions across the central and eastern US. Follow here for the latest.

  27. TB Joshua: Megachurch leader raped and tortured worshippers, BBC finds

    TB Joshua, who died in 2021, was a charismatic and hugely successful preacher and televangelist who had an immense global following. ... He did, however, attract some controversy during his ...