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Anyone's Ghost

  • The National

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Anyone's Ghost Lyrics as written by Bryce David Dessner Matthew Donald Berninger

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the national your ghost

I don't believe it's nearly as much of a relationship song as it is about somebody who -- and I'm sure we've all knownn somebody like this -- goes into a self-imposed exile from their friends, and becomes more or less a recluse, uninvolved and disconnected; floating in and out of their lives as a ghost would. I think the first and second verses make this point. This could come about as a result of a breakup, or of unrequited love I'm sure, which would explain the "I don't want anybody else" and "I had a hole in the middle where the lightning went through it, told my friends not to worry" lines, with the second of these lines possibly referring to the feeling in his heart, whether it be from his love, or his disconnect from his friends. The chorus could then be more of a vague statement, directed towards either his friends or his love. He doesn't want to continue to follow them/her about like a ghost, while remaining emotionally detatched.

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i don't think she is cheating on him, as summerteeth suggests, but just rather not emotionally capable of being with him. she goes out alone and walks through the valley of the dead. it's also possible that for some reason she isn't willing to believe that he loves her as suggested by "you said it was not inside my heart, it was. you said it should tear a kid apart, it does."

she's in love with him (you said i came close as anyone's come...) he's in love with her (you said it was not inside my heart, it was...). her love scares her so she avoids him, his loves scares him and he never wanted it but even in fear he accepts it (i didn't want to be your ghost, i didn't want to be anyone's ghost).

the love is driving him crazy; tearing him apart, worrying his friends.

it's a very mad, crazy, tug-of-war kind of love. such a beautiful song. such an amazing album.

i believe this song is about a guy who was in a relationship with a girl, but the girl began to distnace herself, avoiding his calls and him altogether. So he stalks her and follows her around obsessively holding on to the fact that he had gotten close and his motive is that he didnt want to be anyones ghost, he didnt want to be an ex, or just another lover. He has gotten attached so much so that he doesnt want anyone else

Live Version on the Expanded Edition is pure kick-ass

I'll take a stab. His girl is cheating or at least dodging him ("say you stay at home with the flu/ find out from friends/ that wasn't true"). Dares or hopes she goes out walking in the night again so he can follow/stalk/seek her whereabouts. So now he'll be her shadow or "ghost". Reminds me a bit of the "every breath you take" type obsession. Seems as though they had a relationship and she was really close to letting him in or get closer than anyone else had (the "live underwater" part...she mentally "drowned" other mates??) The rhythm section in this song is intoxicating.

Whoa. Connection. In "Wake Up Your Saints," the opening lines are

"I had a hole in the middle Where the lightning went through I told my friends not to worry My wife would know how to fix it"

But here there's no mention of a wife. Also in "Wake Up Your Saints,"

"I didn't have to explain to her That I wasn't dead"

Connection to the whole ghost thing? I don't know how to interpret any of this, I just noticed the connections.

this song is probably about divorce... after he was cheated.... or about not knowing what he wants.... one part wants her the other part says no...

"say you stay at home alone with the flu find out from friends that wasn't true go out at night with your headphones on, again and walk through the Manhattan valleys of, the dead"

she´s lying to him.... finds excuses not to meet him.... she goes with "headphones" out at night means she does not pick up his phone calls probably.

didn't want to be your ghost didn't want to be anyone's ghost didn't want to be your ghost didn't want to be anyone's ghost but I don't want anybody else I don't want anybody else

= i do not want to be just a ghost on your side, i want to be somebody... but i want to be with you.

you said I came close as anyone's come to live underwater for more than a month you said it was not inside my heart, it was you said it should tear a kid apart, it does

= she probably explained to him, that he was the man coming closest in her life, but in the and blames him, not to have loved her enough ("it was not inside my heart"). Maybe she even said that if they would be together and have a child, then after a divorce the kid would be torn apart. By stating that "it does" he means that the fact that they are not staying together tears the not existing kid apart.

I had a hole in the middle where the lightning went through it told my friends not to worry I had a hole in the middle someone's sideshow wouldn't do it I told my friends not to worry

The feeling one has, when a love from wich we think is meant for us, does not come true.... he found out, that she is going her on ways, and does not want to be in the sideshow...

This song is about Jason Voorhees. Jason lived under water for a long time, people think he doesn't have a heart cause he's a serial killer but they're wrong, he loves his mother. Every where Jason goes in Manhattan is a valley of death. Jason was resurrected by lightening traveling through a metal rod in the middle of his chest. He didn't ask for this curse and he often appears as a premonition or ghost like to his victims. Also he's a freak so he doesn't like side shows. And the line about staying home with the flu is most likely an extreme example of how straight edge Jason is, even if you lie you're going to die.

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@Themaybatatter Here's proof that it is about Friday the 13th<br /> youtube.com/watch

I'll give my two cents. So the way I see it, is that it's about a relationship that was once really great turning into sh*t as a result of the girl avoiding her man; making excuses ("said you stay at home alone with the flu/find out from friends that wasn't true") to do other things, not necessarily cheating but just distancing herself and thus, him feeling at a total loss - he didn't want to be "anyone's ghost" - forgotten about, left longing and wondering like this.

As far as this verse goes;

You said I came close As anyone has come To live underwater For more than a month You said it was not inside my heart, it was You said it should tear a kid apart, it does

the way I interpret this is the girl told him he'd been the most important lover she'd ever had and the one she'd been with the longest and uses 'living underwater' as an analogy for being in a relationship with her - she's saying, basically, you're the one who's come close to being with me for longer than a month! I'm kinda interpreting this girl as a bit of a free spirit haha. The last two (beautiful) lines of that verse to me relate to her perhaps misjudging how he feels about her/them and the situation. She's saying he should care and that it was not inside his heart, to which he replies "it was" and the second line is quite self explanatory in that it's tearing him apart, with the use of "a kid" adding to the fragile, needy person he is in this song. In fact the whole song proves that "you said it should tear a kid apart - it does" is absolutely true.

Ultimately, he doesn't want to let go ("I don't want anybody else")

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The Meaning Behind The Song: Anyone’s Ghost by The National

The National is an indie rock band known for their introspective and emotionally charged lyrics. One of their notable songs, “Anyone’s Ghost,” delves into themes of loneliness, isolation, and the struggle to connect with others. Released as part of their album, “High Violet,” in 2010, this haunting track explores the frailty of human relationships and the sense of being invisible in a crowded world.

Table of Contents

The lyrics of “Anyone’s Ghost” paint a vivid picture of someone who yearns for intimacy but continuously feels like they are fading into the background. The song explores the idea of feeling like a ghost, someone who is present but overlooked. It captures the sense of disconnection that many people experience, especially in today’s fast-paced and disconnected digital age.

Loneliness and Isolation

The theme of loneliness resonates strongly throughout “Anyone’s Ghost.” The protagonist expresses their longing for connection, singing, “I don’t have the drugs to sort it out” – a lyric that conveys the difficulty of finding solace in a world that often feels cold and unforgiving. The song taps into the universal human experience of desiring genuine connections but struggling to find them.

The haunting melodies and melancholic tone of the song further emphasize the emotional weight of these sentiments. The somber instrumentation creates an atmosphere that mirrors the feelings of isolation and longing expressed in the lyrics.

Struggling with Identity

Another layer in the meaning of “Anyone’s Ghost” is the struggle with identity. The protagonist feels like they are disappearing and being reduced to a mere ghost-like presence. This suggests a feeling of invisibility, as if they are fading into the background while other people move through life with purpose and recognition.

The lyrics also allude to the pressure to conform and fit into societal expectations. The line “I was a television version of a person with a broken heart” hints at the protagonist’s perception of themselves as an artificial and manufactured image of a person, lacking authenticity and genuine emotion.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. what inspired the national to write “anyone’s ghost”.

The National draws inspiration from various sources, including personal experiences, literary works, and introspection. While the band members have not specifically discussed the inspiration behind “Anyone’s Ghost,” their songs often explore themes of human connection, identity, and emotional vulnerability.

2. Is “Anyone’s Ghost” based on a true story?

As with many songs, it is difficult to determine whether “Anyone’s Ghost” is based on a specific, real-life event. The song’s power lies in its ability to resonate with individuals who have experienced feelings of loneliness, isolation, or the struggle to find genuine connections.

3. What is the significance of the album, “High Violet,” in relation to “Anyone’s Ghost”?

“Anyone’s Ghost” is featured on The National’s album “High Violet,” which was released in 2010. The album as a whole explores themes of anxiety, melancholy, and the complexities of human relationships. “Anyone’s Ghost” stands out as a powerful track that encapsulates these themes through its poignant lyrics and atmospheric composition.

4. How does “Anyone’s Ghost” compare to other songs by The National?

“Anyone’s Ghost” showcases The National’s signature introspective and emotive songwriting style. While each song by the band has its own unique qualities, “Anyone’s Ghost” resonates with fans due to its raw vulnerability and relatable exploration of human emotions.

5. What other songs by The National should I listen to if I enjoy “Anyone’s Ghost”?

If you enjoy the introspective and emotionally charged nature of “Anyone’s Ghost,” you might also appreciate songs like “Fake Empire,” “Bloodbuzz Ohio,” “About Today,” and “Trouble Will Find Me.” These songs delve into similar themes and showcase The National’s exceptional craftsmanship in creating evocative music.

6. How does the song’s instrumentation enhance its meaning?

The haunting melodies and somber instrumentation of “Anyone’s Ghost” contribute to the song’s emotional impact. The music reflects the poignant lyrics, capturing the sense of loneliness and isolation expressed throughout the song. The delicate interplay between instruments adds depth and intensity to the overall musical experience.

7. What emotions does “Anyone’s Ghost” evoke?

“Anyone’s Ghost” evokes a range of emotions, including melancholy, longing, and a bittersweet nostalgia. The lyrics and music combine to create an atmosphere that allows listeners to reflect on their own experiences of loneliness, identity struggles, and the desire for genuine connections.

8. How has “Anyone’s Ghost” been received by fans and critics?

“Anyone’s Ghost” has been highly regarded by fans and critics alike. Its introspective lyrics and haunting melodies have resonated with listeners, earning praise for The National’s ability to capture and convey complex emotions. The song has become a fan favorite and continues to be cherished as a poignant piece of music.

9. Are there any live performances of “Anyone’s Ghost” worth watching?

Yes, The National is known for their captivating live performances. There are several recorded live versions of “Anyone’s Ghost” available online, each showcasing the band’s dynamic stage presence and the raw emotion they bring to their performances.

10. Are there any covers of “Anyone’s Ghost” by other artists?

Yes, “Anyone’s Ghost” has inspired several talented artists to create their own interpretations. A quick search online will lead you to a variety of covers, each offering a unique spin on the song.

11. Does “Anyone’s Ghost” have any hidden meanings or symbolism?

The interpretation of hidden meanings and symbolism in music can vary among listeners. While specific hidden meanings or symbols in “Anyone’s Ghost” have not been explicitly discussed by the band, the song’s lyrics and overall atmosphere leave room for personal interpretation and reflection.

12. How has “Anyone’s Ghost” aged since its release in 2010?

Since its release, “Anyone’s Ghost” has maintained its impact and emotional resonance. The themes explored in the song continue to be relevant, and its haunting melodies and introspective lyrics stand the test of time. The song remains a beloved and introspective piece within The National’s discography.

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The National - Anyone's Ghost Lyrics

Artist: The National

Album: High Violet

Genre: Rock

the national your ghost

Say you stayed home Alone with the flu Find out from friends That wasn't true Go out at night With your headphones on again And walk through The Manhattan valleys of the dead Didn't want to be your ghost Didn't want to be anyone's ghost Didn't want to be your ghost Didn't want to be anyone's ghost But I don't want anybody else I don't want anybody else You said I came close As anyone's come To live underwater For more than a month You said it was not inside my heart, it was You said it should tear a kid apart, it does Didn't want to be your ghost Didn't want to be anyone's ghost Didn't want to be your ghost Didn't want to be anyone's ghost But I don't want anybody else I don't want anybody else I don't want anybody else I don't want anybody else I had a hole in the middle Where the lightning went through it Told my friends not to worry I had a hole in the middle Someone's sideshow wouldn't do it I told my friends not to worry Didn't want to be your ghost Didn't want to be anyone's ghost Didn't want to be your ghost Didn't want to be anyone's ghost

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the national your ghost

The National – Anyone’s Ghost

As evocative and as pithy as ever., reviewer: katherine rodgers.

There are very few band names that truly reflect said artist’s music – the childish cacophony of Lady GaGa hardly reflects the nuclear-powered, pin-point efficiency of Germanotta’s futuristic art-pop, and upon hearing Los Campesinos!, you’d be forgiven for expecting a lushly moustached Mexican samba band than a clatter of raucous, squawky British also-rans, brimming with joie de vivre and jagged guitar solos. But The National is something of an anomaly; The National sounds curiously straight-laced and authoritative, like the dusty name of a branch of some war-time secret police noted in some dog-eared History textbook; it pleasingly alludes to all the heavy-lidded mystery and soaring grandeur the band capture. ‘Anyone’s Ghost’ is taken from The National’s ‘High Violet’, and it’s as cagey a track as the band have ever released – the throbbing percussion and dull guitars lend the track a claustrophobic, nervy feel. And Matt sings like a man whose walls are closing in on him – The National constantly dwell on love lost, and as per usual, he sounds battered, eternally donning the tear-stained sleeves of the lovelorn suitor, eternally teetering on love’s precipice, never succumbing fully to its embrace. In a time of musical indulgence and ridiculous ambitions – it seems like every second singer is a bloody android – The National are as plain as porridge. ‘Anyone’s Ghost’ is meat and potatoes rock; there are no electronic glitches, no bobbing horn section, not even a handful of prettily draped strings, it’s all guitars, percussion and pain – just as it should be. And the lyrics are as evocative and as pithy as ever - Matt manages to make the elusiveness of love – a lyrical theme I thought the carcass of which had been fully picked – seem fresher than any kind of kitsch, robot from outer-space shtick. ‘Anyone’s Ghost’ holds so many lines destined to be inscribed, mantra-like, onto the textbooks and diaries of the lovelorn teens of tomorrow – from the piercing ‘You said it was not inside my heart, it was/ You said it should not tear a kid apart, it does’ to the wistful ‘Go out at night with your headphones on, again/ And walk through the Manhattan valleys of, the dead’ – the latter manages to evoke every tear-stained kid, gloomily treading through town, leaden-feet, Morrissey wailing sympathetically in their headphones. So are The National the new Smiths? Such a comparison would be lazy – heartache doesn’t necessarily intertwine artists. But Matt and Morrissey both console, both encapsulate the same dullness, the same ennui, the same dull fear that the low-key epic of aborted love brings.

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the national your ghost

Anyone's Ghost cover

Anyone's Ghost

The National

Say you stay at home

Alone with the flu

Find out from friends

That wasn't true

Go out at night with your headphones on, again

And walk through the Manhattan valleys of, the dead

Didn't want to be your ghost

Didn't want to be anyone's ghost

But I don't want anybody else

I don't want anybody else

You said I came close

As anyone has come

To live underwater

For more than a month

You said it was not inside my heart, it was

You said it should tear a kid apart, it does

I had a hole in the middle where the lightning went through it

Told my friends not to worry

I had a hole in the middle someone's sideshow to do

I told my friends not to worry

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the national your ghost

High Violet

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High Violet (Expanded Edition)

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If you love spooky stories by the campfire, look no further than your favorite national park. Unbeknownst to many, the U.S. National Park System is a hotbed of paranormal activity. Ranging from ghost stories to urban myths to weird otherworldly occurrences, some of the most famous national parks are home to spine-chilling tales that are sure to keep you awake at night. So grab your s’more stick and gather round the fire for the scariest ghost stories from U.S. national parks.

Mammoth Cave National Park

Photo by  Wangkun Jia

If climbing into a deep, dark cavern isn’t spooky enough, then Mammoth Cave National Park's many ghost stories are sure to give you the creeps. The Kentucky cave has 400 miles of subterranean passageways and a bizarre history — in 1839, the cave was turned into a tuberculosis sanatorium by Dr. John Croghan . As the unventilated, damp cavern wasn’t an ideal hospital, five of the patients died in Croghan’s care, and were laid out on a slab of stone called “Corpse Rock.” Visitors to this section of Mammoth Cave often hear phantom coughs echoing within the cavern.

With 150 recorded paranormal events, many by rangers themselves, the most frequent ghost sighting is believed to be Stephen Bishop, a slave of Dr. Croghan’s who was a tour guide, ranger, and skilled spelunker. It’s believed that Bishop likes to tag along on ranger tours, and when the lights go out for one minute during the Violet City Tour, strange incidents often occur, such as people being shoved or grabbed when no one is in close proximity.

Gettysburg National Military Park

Devil's Den. Photo by Geoffrey Kuchera

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the site of the bloodiest battle during the Civil War has its fair share of ghost stories. In essence, Gettysburg National Military Park is a type of graveyard — in 1863, 51,000 men died there over of course of the three-day battle.

The most brutal fighting was located in a section of the park called Devil’s Den , a hill strewn with large boulders that provided a defensive position for Union troops. A ghost nicknamed “The Hippie” is often encountered in this part of the park. Believed to be a member of the 1st Texas Infantry, the ghost is always described as a barefoot man in a floppy hat, with shoulder-length hair. Repeated reports from visitors claim that he points towards a stream called Plum Rum and says, “What you’re looking for is over there.” Although people have attempted to snap photos of the spirit, his image has never been captured, and this section of the park is notorious for causing cameras and electronic equipment to malfunction.

Grand Canyon National Park

El Tovar Hotel. Photo by Carmen Sorvillo.

Spanning nearly 2,000 square miles, Arizona’s Grand Canyon National Park covers a lot of ground, which is perhaps why the list of ghost stories within the park is so lengthy.

Built in 1905, guests and employees of the historic El Tovar Hotel have reported numerous chilling incidents, including seeing phantoms in the hallways, sensing odd presences in rooms, and, in one instance, witnessing a ghostly reflection of an old man in the television. El Tovar is also purported to be home to a gentlemanly spirit who has been witnessed greeting guests at hotel functions.

Elsewhere in the park, hikers repeatedly describe seeing eerie lights when they make the trek to Crash Canyon, the sight of a 1956 airplane crash that killed 128 people.

But by far, the “Wandering Woman” is the park’s most infamous permanent resident. As the story goes, a woman killed herself after discovering that her husband and son had perished in a hiking accident. Her lonesome spirit, dressed in a white dress with blue flowers, has repeatedly been spotted by park rangers and hikers on the North Rim’s Transept Trail .

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Photo by Lamar Sellers

There are 150 known cemeteries and 4,727 graves within the confines of Great Smoky Mountains National Park , which means many of the park’s hikes and campgrounds are within proximity to burial grounds.  Beginning along the shores of Lake Fontana, Norton Creek Trail has the highest concentration of graves in the park and is also fabled to contain two different spirits .

The first spirit is derived from Cherokee legend and tells of an old witch named Spearfinger, named for her knife-like finger made of stone. Spearfinger would disguise herself as a kindly, elderly woman as a way to lure children far from their village, at which point she would cut out their livers to eat.

The second spirit happens to be more benevolent: an old settler who was killed as he was searching for his lost daughter in the woods near Norton Creek Trail. It is claimed that his spirit still roams the trail to this day, providing light with his ghostly lantern for lost hikers who need to find their way.

Yosemite National Park

Photo by Kris Wiktor

Yosemite National Park has no shortage of legends and myths, and if you believe in such tales, you should beware. First, there’s the Legend of Po-ho-no , an evil wind spirit that traps victims in the water, and is said to lurk in Bridal Veil Falls, a park attraction that coincidentally is prone to accidents and deaths .

There’s also the Ghost of Grouse Lake, who was first reported in 1857 by Yosemite’s earliest park ranger, Galen Clark. Clark heard a distress call near the lake, which he believed to be a dog. The local Indigenous people warned him not to go towards the sound, as it was the spirit of a drowned boy who lures people to the lakeshore to drag them underwater.

There’s also the Ghost of Camp 6, where a man who hanged himself can be seen hanging from the rafters in the middle of the night. Although the camp has since been turned into a parking lot, believers have claimed his spirit can be seen in the hours between 11 pm and 3 am.

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Behind The Legend Of The 1970 Black Ghost Dodge Challenger Street Racer

Black Ghost Challenger on road

Street racing is as American as baseball or apple pie. Whether it was happening in the Bronx, on California's Van Nuys Boulevard, or on 107th in Chicago, the addiction so many drivers have with speed, customization, and winning has always been part of car culture. This is as evident today as it was in the '60s and '70s -– just look at the box office numbers for the "Fast & Furious" franchise, which has raked in over $7 billion worldwide over 11 films. People take this stuff seriously, and the stories from the past have become as legendary as Dom Toretto's exploits.

In Detroit, Michigan, there was a car that was as mysterious as it was quick off the line. It made an impact the second it pulled up for a race –- a black 1970 Dodge with a Hemi, a gator skin top, and a pair of Africa stickers with red, black, and green vertical stripes under the R/T badging on the fenders. This was the Black Ghost, and between 1970 and 1975, it was an undefeated monster. It was also a mystery, as few knew anything about the car, the driver, or what was going on under the hood of the "Ghost." Until recently, this mystery endured, with many folks feeling that it may just have been an urban legend.

That all changed in 2017 when the heir to the "Black Ghost" shared the car and its story with the world.

The legend of the Black Ghost

Any good drag racing story is filled with bombastic details and crazy police chases, but the Black Ghost's story is unique in the air of mystery that surrounded it for decades. As the legends go, the black Challenger would roll up on popular Detroit street racing locations like Woodward Avenue or Telegraph Road, taking down a number of challengers in illegal drag races before speeding off. Other racers would often gather at local burger joints to discuss cars and the night's races, but the driver of the Black Ghost remained an enigma, choosing to go his own way.

The mysterious status of the driver was heightened because the Black Ghost showed up to race so infrequently. According to the legend, the Challenger would disappear for weeks or months at a time, only to dominate a night of racing before vanishing into the darkness once again. It also never seemed to be there when police showed up to bust the groups of racers, adding to the mystique of the uncatchable, unbeatable Black Ghost.

Just as suddenly as it appeared on the Detroit racing scene in 1970, the Black Ghost disappeared after 1975. There was no fanfare, no retirement. The car that couldn't lose simply stopped showing up. After months had passed, it was clear that the run of the Black Ghost had come to an end.

The Black Ghost – A challenger like no other

In the 21st century, any 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T-SE is a collector's dream in its own right. After all, 1970 was the first model year of the Challenger , which was designed by Chrysler to compete against pony cars like the Mercury Cougar, Pontiac Firebird, and Ford Mustang.

The man who ordered this Dodge was very particular about what he wanted, making this Challenger even more special. The order sheet – which comes from Detroit's Raynal Brothers Dodge dealership — has survived to this day and is evidence of the many options the original owner envisioned for his dream car. A 426 cubic inch Hemi V-8 was chosen over the Magnum or Six-Pack engines that were also available, giving the stock Challenger 425 horsepower to work with. The Super Track Pack added a four-speed manual transmission with a pistol-grip shifter, along with several other upgrades. 

While the owner's son has mentioned that his dad didn't initially want it, the gator grain black roof option was accidentally added, and he eventually grew to like the unique look. Other aesthetic options included tinted glass, cotter pins for the hood, a locking gas cap, and a white bumble bee stripe that went across the rear deck and fenders. Overall, the combination of parts selected for this car –- already a rarity, as only 23 Challenger R/T-SE four-speeds were produced for that year -– made it a one-of-one vehicle.

Godfrey Qualls: The Man Behind the Wheel of the Black Ghost

It turns out there was a pretty good reason the driver of the "Black Ghost" had to remain incognito. Godfrey Qualls, known to his friends as GQ, was recognized in his neighborhood as many things, but street racing legend wasn't one of them. He was a veteran who served in the Army's 82nd Airborne Division, where he completed 300 jumps as a paratrooper and returned to the United States with a Purple Heart. He was also a part of the Detroit police force, where he was a motorcycle cop and, outside of his job, a motorcycle enthusiast who maintained a small collection of bikes.

Obviously, his position with the Detroit Police Department made anonymity a priority during Qualls's time spent street racing –- although it does provide an explanation as to why he was never caught by the cops while he was participating in the action. It also says a lot about the man that he chose to retire from his passion when his family began to grow.

Qualls's younger brother, Cleolous "Cle" Qualls, also served in the Army. When he got out, Cle went to the same Raynal Brothers Dodge that his brother would. There, he bought a 1968 Charger R/T, black with a bumble bee stripe and a 440 V-8. Their father was also a Mopar guy, the owner of a black and pink 1955 Dodge Custom Royal with a 270 Super Red Ram V8.

Growing up with the Black Ghost

In 2014, an aging GQ Qualls invited his son, Gregory, to his garage in Detroit. By this time, GQ had survived a 2008 battle with cancer. That was when he revealed the Challenger, which was buried in the garage under some boxes and blankets. 

Gregory remembered the car from his childhood and recounted eating dinner one evening when his dad started the car -– which had the mufflers removed –- and it shook the whole house. Another time, GQ put Gregory in the passenger seat of the car with a hundred-dollar bill taped on the dash. GQ told Gregory he could have the hundred if he could grab it and proceeded to hit the gas whenever the kid reached for the bill, throwing him back in his seat.

When cancer attacked GQ again, Qualls asked his son to get the title for his Challenger and signed it over. He either never wanted his son to know about his street racing life, or he never got the chance to tell him the stories. Godfrey Qualls passed away on Christmas Eve in 2015. Gregory Qualls knew the car was special to his dad, but it was never treated like a collector's item –- Gregory recounted several dents he'd made on the Challenger's door with his bike handles, and without any context, he just knew it as his dad's loud car.

This all changed once Gregory got the Black Ghost up and running.

A resurgence in popularity

The story of the Black Ghost was never forgotten, especially around Detroit, but the tale was brought to national attention in 2017 when Gregory Qualls showed the car in Rosemont, Illinois, at that year's Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals event. Gregory had shown the car at some smaller shows before that, in the process learning from Detroit locals who knew the car and the legends surrounding it. That's how Gregory learned about his old man's adventures building the street racing legend of that unique Challenger –- not from Godfrey himself, but from other racers who witnessed the Black Ghost in action.

Gregory went on to show the car several times at shows all over the country, gaining notoriety for the vehicle and, in the process, getting Godfrey "GQ" Qualls the recognition his son felt his dad deserved. Gregory even got to present the Black Ghost as part of the Woodward Dream Cruise, the nation's largest one-day automotive event –- which happens to take place on the same street on which GQ raced over sixty years ago.

An appearance at Detroit's Autorama show in 2018 led to more stories about GQ, as well as an invite to the Carlisle Chrysler Nationals later that year. A chance meeting at that event would lead to the Black Ghost becoming an official part of American automotive history.

Induction to the National Historic Vehicle Register

While showing the Black Ghost at the Carlisle Chrysler Nationals in Pennsylvania, Gregory Qualls met Casey Maxon, the historian for the Historic Vehicle Association. That group, now known as the Hagerty Drivers Foundation, helped to found the National Vehicle Registry, a collaboration between the United States Department of the Interior and the Hagerty Drivers Foundation that began in 2013. It is "... the only Federally recognized program that records the history of America's most significant automobiles, preserving their information in perpetuity at the Library of Congress," the Hagerty Drivers Foundation  explains.

In the 10 years since its inception, the Registry has inducted 34 vehicles. Those vehicles include the iconic pink 1964 Chevy Impala known as the Gypsy Rose, one of the most popular lowriders ever made, and the 1981 De Lorean DMC-12 made famous in the 1985 blockbuster "Back to the Future." In 2020, the Black Ghost became the 28th car to be added to the National Historic Vehicle Register. The induction coincided with the 50th anniversary of the Dodge Challenger, and the car was even displayed on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. as part of its addition to the Registry.

The auction of the Black Ghost

After traveling with the "Black Ghost" for six years and appearing at dozens of shows, Gregory Qualls made the decision to sell the car. As a single-family vehicle, a 1970 Challenger survivor car – basically an unrestored, unmodified collector car — with nearly every bit of paperwork that came with its purchase was going to get a great price at auction, regardless of its history. Of course, the storied drag racing history of the Black Ghost, its status as part of the National Historic Vehicle Register, and Godfrey's service to his nation and community helped to raise the value of this unique collector's vehicle.

The decision to sell couldn't have been an easy one. Gregory has presented conflicting retellings as to whether Godfrey Qualls told his son, "Don't give my f***ing car away," or, "Don't sell my f***ing car!" when he signed the Challenger's title over, but in the end, it was Gregory Qualls' property to do with as he wished. The promise of a potential million-dollar sale couldn't have hurt -– that's nearly 10 times the price tag of a comparable Charger . 

Money like that can be life-changing – as Gregory Qualls said in an interview with Hagerty , "The main reason is it's a chance to help my family, to give them opportunities they may not have otherwise." On May 19, 2023, the 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T-SE known as the Black Ghost was sold to a private collector for $975,000.

Controversy surrounding the Qualls Challenger

Several naysayers have come forward since the Black Ghost achieved mainstream attention following its 2017 Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals showing, growing even louder when it was announced that the car was going to be auctioned off. Some say the car couldn't possibly have contended with other street racers of the time, while others are angry that Gregory Qualls would have considered selling his dad's car at all.

Claims that this particular Challenger couldn't have terrorized the streets of Detroit over a half-century ago abound, with negative comments on nearly every article or video featuring the Black Ghost. Many point out that a stock 1970 Challenger, even one with the most powerful Hemi engine that was available for it at the time, wouldn't have stood a chance against some of the other well-known cars in Detroit's legendary street racing scene.

However, some new information may be forthcoming in that area. The new owner of the Black Ghost sent the car to Virginia, where it will be restored using only original parts to maintain its survivor car status. When he began working on it, shop owner Frank Badalson mentioned that there were indications that the 426 Hemi had been modified at some point with headers, fuel system upgrades, an aftermarket camshaft, aftermarket valve springs and lifters, and an aftermarket ignition system.

An observation like that, provided by a professional with hundreds of Mopar rebuilds under his belt, might be enough to make someone believe in ghosts.

Honoring the Legend: The 2023 Dodge Challenger Black Ghost Special Edition

As part of its Last Call series of Challengers -– SlashGear has reviewed the Dodge Challenger Swinger and the obscenely powerful Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 in that lineup –- Dodge created an appearance package based on the legendary "Black Ghost" for the 2023 model year.

A variation on the SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody, this Challenger sports over 800 horses under the hood along with special badging, a reimagining of the bumblebee deck lid stripe, and even the black "gator skin" vinyl roof of its namesake. It's loud, powerful, and looks great -– and with future Hellcats going electric, this line of Challengers definitely represents the end of an era. It features a 6.2-liter Hemi V8 that outputs 807 horsepower and 707 lb-ft of torque. 

Only 300 of these tribute vehicles were produced with an MSRP of $103,010; however, one should be prepared to pay over twice that amount on the aftermarket for the 2023 version of the Black Ghost. Whether that's worth the steep price tag or not is entirely subjective, but to us, the Last Call version of the "Black Ghost" is a fitting tribute to both Godfrey Qualls' legacy and his mythical car –- and a great send off to the celebrated Dodge Challenger.

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Anyone's Ghost

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The National is an indie rock band formed in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1999 and currently based in Brooklyn, New York. The band's lyrics, which have been described as "dark, melancholy and difficult to interpret", are written and sung by Matt Berninger, a baritone. The rest of the band is composed of two pairs of brothers: twins Aaron (guitar and keyboard) and Bryce Dessner (guitar) and Scott (bass) and Bryan Devendorf (drums). The National has been compared to Joy Division, Leonard Cohen, Wilco and Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds. The name of the band was chosen because it "didn't mean anything" and was "benign and meaningless". more »

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  • Next day timed entry reservations will be available at 7:00 pm Pacific Time (PT) for next-day entry starting on May 24, 2024, for the Paradise Corridor and July 3, 2024, for the Sunrise Corridor on a daily rolling basis.
  • Timed entry reservations can only be booked on Recreation.gov .

Time Entry Reservations

Get a timed entry reservation for the Paradise or Sunrise Corridors for summer 2024.

Simplified map of Mount Rainier National Park with two sets of roads highlighted: 1) Paradise Corridor from Nisqually to Stevens Canyon Entrances on the south side of the park and 2) Sunrise corridor in the northeast corner of the park off of SR410.

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Timed Entry Reservation Areas

In 2024, a timed entry reservation is required for two areas of the park: (1) Paradise Corridor coming from the southwest (near Ashford, WA) or southeast (near Packwood, WA), and (2) Sunrise Corridor coming from the northeast (via Enumclaw, WA) from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm. Each corridor requires a separate vehicle reservation. Please see the details of each area below.

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Paradise Corridor Timed Entry Reservations

The Paradise Corridor Timed Entry Reservation works for BOTH the Nisqually Entrance and the Stevens Canyon Entrance.

Reserve on Recreation.gov.

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Nisqually Entrance

Located in the southwest corner of Mount Rainier National Park near Ashford, WA, the Nisqually Entrance is the oldest and most popular entrance to the park. It is open year-round, providing access to Longmire and Paradise. The section of road between Longmire and Paradise closes nightly during the winter. Typically 24-hour summer access to Paradise starts in late April to early May, depending on weather. Check alerts and road status for current conditions of the Nisqually-Paradise Road.

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Stevens Canyon Entrance

Stevens Canyon Entrance is located along SR123 near Ohanapecosh and Packwood, WA, in the southeast corner of Mount Rainier National Park. Stevens Canyon Road is the only east-west road in the park, connecting from Ohanapecosh in the east to the Paradise Road in the west. Stevens Canyon Road is closed for the winter from SR123 to the junction with the Paradise Road. Typically, Stevens Canyon reopens for the summer in mid-May, depending on weather. Check road status for current conditions of the Stevens Canyon Road. Note that Stevens Canyon Road has two tunnels, height limit 12' 6".

Recreation along the Paradise Corridor

The Paradise Corridor offers many opportunities for adventure. Scenic destinations and amenities along the Nisqually-Paradise Road include:

Westside Road , including Gobblers Knob Fire Lookout

Kautz Creek

Longmire , including the Longmire Museum , Longmire Wilderness Information Center , and National Park Inn

Cougar Rock Campground

Christine Falls

Ricksecker Point

Narada Falls

Paradise , including the Jackson Visitor Center and Paradise Inn

Trailheads : Twin Firs , Indian Henry’s Hunting Ground , Eagle Peak , Trail of the Shadows , Rampart Ridge , Wonderland Trail , Carter Falls , Comet Falls , and Skyline Trail at Paradise.

Along Stevens Canyon Road , destinations include:

Reflection Lakes

Trailheads : Wonderland Trail to Indian Bar , Wonderland Trail from Lake Louise to Box Canyon, Bench & Snow Lake , Pinnacle Peak , Lakes Trail around Reflecton Lakes.

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Sunrise Corridor Timed Entry Reservations

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White River Entrance

In the northeast corner of Mount Rainier National Park, the White River Entrance is located along SR410 which connects from Enumclaw, WA, in the north to Yakima, WA, to the east. From the entrance, the White River Road travels west to the White River Campground. Branching off White River Road, the Sunrise Road climbs up the slopes of Mount Rainier to Sunrise at 6,400 feet. Both roads close for the winter, with the Sunrise Road typically reopening for the summer in early July, depending on weather. Check road status for current conditions of the White River and Sunrise Roads.

Recreation along the Sunrise Corridor

The White River and Sunrise Roads provide access to many opportunities for recreation from low elevation forests to subalpine meadows. Scenic destinations and amenities along the corridor include:

White River Wilderness Information Center

White River Campground

Sunrise Point

Sunrise , including the Sunrise Visitor Center and Sunrise Day Lodge

Trailheads : Owyhigh Lakes , Wonderland Trail to Summerland , Glacier Basin , Palisades Lakes , Sourdough Ridge , Mt Fremont Fire Lookout , and Burroughs Mountain .

Explore without a Timed Entry Reservation

ALL areas of the park require a park entrance fee or park pass to enter. Timed entry reservations are only required between 7:00 am and 3:00 pm to enter the Paradise and Sunrise Corridors. Outside of that period, visitors can enter without a timed entry reservation. Some areas of the park do not require a timed entry reservation at any time. These are:

SR410 and SR123 on the east side of the park.

Ohanapecosh , including the Ohanapecosh Visitor Center and Ohanapecosh Campground , in the southeast corner of the park.

Tipsoo Lake on the eastern border of the park along SR410.

Carbon River , including the Carbon River Ranger Station , at the northwest corner of the park.

Mowich Lake in the northwest corner of the park along SR165.

The Timed Entry Reservations FAQs page provides additional details about the reservation program.

Need directions to get to different park entrances? Also includes information on driving times to park locations.

Find out about entrance fees, passes, and special use permits.

Find the perfect spot for a night outdoors in one of Mount Rainier's three campgrounds.

Stay in one of the park's historic inns.

Last updated: January 17, 2024

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Regions & Countries

2. views on the importance of customs and traditions to national identity.

A bar chart showing that Customs and traditions are seen as important to national identities across surveyed countries

Majorities in all 23 countries surveyed say that sharing in their country’s customs and traditions is at least somewhat important to national identity. This includes seven countries where majorities say these national customs are very important to true belonging in their country.

Customs and traditions are seen as important to national identity by nine-in-ten or more in Hungary, Indonesia, Mexico and Poland. A notable 79% of Indonesian adults consider these practices a very important part of being Indonesian.

Israelis are some of the least likely to call shared traditions important to their national identity, along with Brazilians, Germans and Swedes. Roughly a third or more of each say such practices are not very or at all important.

A dot plot showing that Customs and traditions are considered more important to national identity by those on the ideological right

Who is most likely to see customs and traditions as important to national identity?

In over half of the countries surveyed, adults who are affiliated with the country’s primary religion are more likely than those who aren’t to place importance on partaking in national customs. For example, 85% of Italians who identify as Catholic see shared cultural practices as important to being truly Italian, compared with 65% of those who are not Catholic.

Political ideology is also tied to views of national identity. In many of the countries where we measure respondents’ ideology, those on the right are more likely than those on the left to place importance on shared customs and traditions. The difference is greatest in Israel, where about three-quarters of those on the right hold this view, compared with roughly a quarter of those on the left (74% vs. 24%).

Older adults – those ages 40 and older – are also more likely than their younger counterparts to call these practices important to their national identity in about half the countries surveyed. The largest age difference is in Japan, where 81% of older adults say sharing in traditions is important, compared with 60% of adults under 40.

Changes in views over time

A table showing that Customs and traditions are now considered less important to identity

In seven of the countries where this question was previously asked, the shares who say partaking in these practices is important have decreased significantly since 2016. These include Canada, Japan and several European countries.

Though the shares have decreased, shared customs and traditions remain an important component of national identity in each of these places.

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Table of contents, language and traditions are considered central to national identity, latinos’ views of and experiences with the spanish language, among asian americans, u.s.-born children of immigrants are most likely to have hidden part of their heritage, relatively few asian americans say they’re well-informed about asian history in the u.s., 5 facts about arabic speakers in the u.s., most popular.

About Pew Research Center Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. Pew Research Center does not take policy positions. It is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts .

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What's Making Us Happy: Recommendations From 'Pop Culture Happy Hour'

What's making us happy: a guide to your weekend viewing.

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Washington, DC - May 03, 2016: Stephen Thompson CREDIT: Matt Roth

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Niecy Nash-Betts accepts the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie for her performance in Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story. Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

Niecy Nash-Betts accepts the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie for her performance in Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.

This week, the BAFTA nominations weren't wild about Barbie, Richard Simmons still just wanted to be left alone , and it was hard to know exactly what to make of J.Lo.

Here's what the NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour crew was paying attention to — and what you should check out this weekend .

The Book of Clarence

I was pleasantly surprised by this movie. It's directed by Jeymes Samuel, who also directed the Western The Harder They Fall . This one is an epic biblical film that's inspired by movies like Ben-Hur and The Ten Commandments, but also has the humor of Mel Brooks and Monty Python. LaKeith Stanfield plays Clarence, who is a struggling hustler, the twin brother of one of Jesus Christ's apostles (also played by Stanfield.) Clarence is this non-believer who observes Jesus' influence and decides to proclaim himself a new messiah so he can collect money and pay off a debt. It's got a standout cast — David Oyelowo, Alfre Woodard, Teyana Taylor, Benedict Cumberbatch. The tonal balance doesn't always quite work, but it's fun, and dramatic, and stark — and it's worth seeing. — Aisha Harris

Lego Masters, on Fox and Hulu

Lego Masters is a fun, competition-based reality show in which teams of two are tasked by Will Arnett (who's very game game show host) to build Lego projects. You get this nice mix of art and science, and I'm already weirdly, emotionally invested in it, even though the stakes are not terribly high. If you are snowed in and looking for something to binge that will not tax your emotions, I cannot recommend Lego Masters highly enough. There are four seasons. — Stephen Thompson

Niecy Nash-Betts' Emmy acceptance speech

Niecy Nash-Betts winning the Emmy earlier this week and what resulted from it – like her backstage conversation where she was asked about that moment where she thanked herself:

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Niecy Nash (@niecynash1)

I saw on Instagram the next morning she had gotten up and was like skinny dipping with the Emmy with her wife. I really appreciated what Niecy did in that moment. It was great to hear her say: No one believed in me like I did. — jarrett hill

The Historically Black Phrases live show

Historically Black Phrases Live

I've decided to go the shameless self-promotion route and say that the thing that is making me happy this week is that jarett hill and I have turned our book Historically Black Phrases, into a touring live game show that we are hosting. We are going to D.C., Atlanta, New York and LA throughout Black History Month. It's a lot of fun. We're planning it. We're writing original questions. You want to be there. Trust me. — Tre'vell Anderson

More recommendations from the Pop Culture Happy Hour newsletter

by Linda Holmes

I mentioned it in last week's newsletter, but I thought American Nightmare on Netflix was really good . It's a sensational and weird story, but there's absolutely a serious point to the series when it comes to the operation of law enforcement. The Criminal podcast (which you should be listening to) has a great two-parter about the same case.

The soundtrack album from the Mean Girls movie (of the musical) is out now. While not all of the songs work, the ones that do are a treat, and the orchestrations are very interesting, particularly compared to how they were done on stage.

I loved reading Andrew Limbong's piece about Christina Applegate 's appearance at the Emmys. She's great and funny, and she handled a potentially challenging situation so well.

Beth Novey adapted the Pop Culture Happy Hour segment "What's Making Us Happy" for the Web. If you like these suggestions, consider signing up for our newsletter to get recommendations every week. And listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour on Apple Podcasts and Spotify .

'All of Us Strangers' movie review: A beautiful ghost story you won't soon forget

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What if you could have one more conversation with a lost loved one? What would you say? Would it help you move on or just entrench you more in the past?

Writer/director Andrew Haigh’s brilliant “All of Us Strangers” (★★★★ out of four; rated R; in select theaters now, nationwide Friday) is both lyrical fantasy romance and masterfully told ghost story. To call it haunting might be trite but also spot on: With a terrific performance from Andrew Scott as a queer screenwriter at a crossroads, “Strangers” is the sort of cinematic balm that not only touches your soul but takes up prime real estate.

Adam (Scott) lives an isolated life in his weirdly empty London high-rise apartment complex, noshing cookies on the couch rather than working. He decides to travel to his childhood home in the suburbs, a trip where he runs into his dad (Jamie Bell) and mom (Claire Foy). Mind you, they died in a 1987 holiday car accident just before Adam turned 12, but he finds them again – at around the same age he is now – full of questions for their now grown-up boy.

Adam visits often and engages in the heartfelt conversations they would have had if his parents lived. He comes out to his mom, who’s stuck in a 1980s mindset and worries about AIDS, and has an emotional and honest conversation with his father about childhood traumas that leave both of them in tears.

At the same time he’s opening up to them, Adam finds the creative juices flowing again and also begins a relationship with his downstairs neighbor Harry (Paul Mescal). At first, Harry shows up at Adam’s door with booze, with Adam rebuffing his advances (and almost immediately reconsidering), but he begins to lean on Harry for comfort, support and the occasional ketamine-fueled night out. But what throws Adam is when these two different relationship journeys begin to tie together and unravel in delirious fashion.

Haigh, whose film is an adaptation of Taichi Yamada’s novel “Strangers,” fills the screen with warm, colorful textures, and many of the characters are seen in reflections, be it on a metro train or in a home, which adds to the film’s fanciful reverie. (It also uses Frankie Goes to Hollywood's "The Power of Love" to interesting narrative effect.) Adam and his mother even have a conversation about whether what they’re experiencing is real and how long it will last. “I don’t suppose we get to decide when it’s over,” she says, one of the film’s most touching lines.

“Strangers” isn’t the first to mine similar metaphysical ground – “Field of Dreams” did it magnificently as well, though this movie goes further in reconnecting a son with the mom and dad who suddenly weren’t in his life anymore. They ask Adam about the circumstances of their demise, and he’s extremely caring in those moments, though he's more open with Harry about how their deaths led to his solitude. The film tackles the way people relate to their parents, face loneliness, come to grips with their sexuality but also struggle with thinking that the future doesn’t matter.

Scott is the perfect conduit for such a thoughtful exploration of feelings, and it’s a star-making role for an actor who should already be one after his deliciously demented Moriarty on TV’s “Sherlock” and delightful Hot Priest on “Fleabag.” As Adam, Scott captures the boyish glee and wonder of seeing his parents again around a Christmas tree yet also the panic and worry that only comes when you truly care for somebody.

While examining love, grief and the phantoms we carry with us, Haigh leaves much of his sweetly elegiac character study to a viewer’s interpretation. Everyone will read different things into what it really means from beginning to quietly stellar end, and in that sense, we might be “Strangers” but we’re all human.

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Julia Fox’s New Home Came With A Free Ghost

Portrait of Alejandra Gularte

We’re back at Sundance in the Vulture Spot, where we’re interviewing the casts and creators of the year’s buzziest films. Check out all our coverage from the film fest here .

Presence star Julia Fox’s new home came with a free ghost and a shrine dedicated to the spirit who lives there. Ironically, the same thing happens to the family in Steven Soderbergh’s new movie Presence, giving Fox a lot of inspiration to work with. “She’s the matriarch of the home. She watches over us,” Fox explained on her friendly ghost experience. “Her name is Beauty.” The cast was split about fifty-fifty on why they were drawn to the project— some intrigued by the star power in the directing and writing team of Soderbergh and David Koepp, others by the ghoulish topic alone. See what else haunted the cast in the video above, along with:

➼ Eddy Maday immediately outing Callina Liang’s supernatural experiences on set. ➼ Liang was kept wide awake by an elderly spirit that had her alarm buzzing all night. ➼ Host Jay Jurden pretending that Fox didn’t arrive with plenty of ghost stories.

Directed by Soderbergh, Presence follows a family who realizes their new home came with something more spiritual attached. It also stars Lucy Liu, Chris Sullivan, and West Mulholland, with the spirit’s energy channeled through cinematographer Peter Andrews (a pseudonym for Soderbergh). It premiered on January 19 at Sundance.

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Fani Willis, Trump Georgia case prosecutor, ends silence on misconduct accusations

She didn’t directly address the most salacious allegations but suggested racism is at the heart of claims against her.

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ATLANTA — Nearly one week after Fulton County District Attorney Fani T. Willis (D) was accused of hiring a romantic partner to lead a sprawling election-interference case against former president Donald Trump and then financially benefiting from his salary, Willis broke her silence in a Sunday speech before the congregation of a historic Black church in Atlanta, suggesting racism was at the heart of the allegations.

Willis did not deny or directly address the most salacious allegations, but she pushed back on claims that she had done anything improper in hiring outside attorney Nathan Wade to lead the case. In a 35-minute speech before the Big Bethel AME Church that was at turns emotional and fiery, Willis suggested race had played a role in criticism of her, a Black woman and the first female district attorney in Fulton County, and Wade, a Black man.

Willis criticized those who had seized on the allegations — offered without proof in a court filing by one of Trump’s co-defendants — calling out by name Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), who has pushed for a criminal investigation into Willis and Wade.

“They are going to be mad when I call them out on this nonsense,” Willis said. “First thing they say, ‘Oh, she’s going to play the race card.’ But … isn’t it them playing the race card when they think I need someone in some other jurisdiction in some other state to tell me how to do a job I’ve been doing almost 30 years?”

Fani Willis accused of misconduct by Trump co-defendant in Georgia case

Without naming Wade, Willis strongly defended him, describing him as a lawyer of “impeccable credentials” with decades of experience who helped assemble the prosecution team and bring the case against Trump and more than a dozen of his allies .

Willis did not address the claim that she had a romantic relationship with Wade, an allegation leveled in a filing by Mike Roman, one of Trump’s remaining 14 co-defendants in the criminal case and a high-ranking campaign aide during the 2020 election. She repeatedly referred to herself as a “flawed” and “imperfect” public servant — pointing to how Martin Luther King Jr. was also an imperfect human being called to public service and changing the world. The only perfect person was Jesus, Willis told the congregation.

“Today, what he has brought you is his very flawed, hardheaded and imperfect servant,” she said.

Throughout her remarks, Willis seemed to nod at some of the allegations. Roman alleged in his filing that Wade used money he earned as a special prosecutor — his firm has been paid more than $650,000 by the district attorney’s office since he was tapped as an outside prosecutor on the case in November 2021 — to fund lavish vacations with Willis. Motioning to her clothing, Willis pointedly said she had put on her most “lavish” outfit for the occasion — a $29.99 black dress from the discount retailer Ross.

Subscribe to The Trump Trials, our weekly email newsletter on Donald Trump's four criminal cases

Willis repeatedly declared that it was her “right” as district attorney to appoint a special prosecutor — and pointed out that she had hired three outside attorneys, not just Wade, to work on the election interference case.

In addition to Wade, Willis retained John Floyd, a nationally known expert on racketeering laws , and Anna Cross, a former prosecutor who has assisted the district attorney’s office in recent federal court arguments. She described all three lawyers as legal “superstars” and, she pointedly added, were longtime personal friends. She questioned why critics weren’t attacking her hiring of Cross and Floyd, and she suggested it was because they are White.

“I am a little confused. I appointed three special counsel, which is my right to do. Paid them all the same hourly rate. They only attack one,” Willis said of her critics. “Why are they surprised that a diverse team that I have assembled … can accomplish an extraordinary thing?”

Willis acknowledged the personal toll the allegations against her have taken — describing the past several days as a “low point” in her time as district attorney, in which she has already faced threats , including racially motivated attacks, tied to her handling of the Trump case and other high-profile indictments she has pursued.

Willis spoke of the unexpected “loneliness” and ugliness that had come with the job, and called out her critics, mentioning Green specifically.

“Dear God, I do not want to be like those that attacked me,” Willis said. “I never want to be a Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has never met me but has allowed her spirit to be filled with hate. How does this woman, who has the honor of being a leader in my state, how is it that she has not reached out to me?

“She can tell me, ‘I don’t agree with anything you’re doing, but I do not agree with people threatening your life or the life of your family,’” Willis added. “How did such a woman come to think that it was normal and normalized that another woman was worthy of such cruelty? I would never wish for her to have the experiences or the threats that I receive, the derogatory name calling, the being doxed multiple times.”

Fani Willis, the Georgia prosecutor investigating Trump, has taken on seemingly untouchable targets

The filing from Roman last week provided no evidence to back up the allegations. Ashleigh Merchant, a prominent Cobb County defense attorney who represents Roman, later told The Washington Post that the claims were based on sources that she did not name, as well as records she said had been disclosed as part of Wade’s ongoing divorce proceedings but were filed under seal.

On Friday, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee said he planned to schedule a hearing next month to address the allegations — but was first waiting to see a response from Willis. A spokesman for Willis said last week that the district attorney would formally respond to the allegations in a court filing, which has yet to be submitted.

Willis’s remarks Sunday, while not fully addressing the allegations, marked the end of days of silence on an issue that has proved to be both legally and politically fraught in a high-profile case that has already drawn intense public scrutiny and attacks from Trump and his supporters. Green and others have seized on the allegations, urging Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) and other state officials to investigate. On Friday, Kemp, a key witness in the case against Trump, called the claims “deeply troubling.”

“Evidence should be presented quickly in order for Judge McAfee to rule and the public to have confidence in this trial moving forward,” Kemp told reporters, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Sunday was the first time Willis had been seen in public since Roman’s motion. Her appearance at Big Bethel AME as part of a special Sunday service honoring King ahead of the holiday that honors him Monday had been previously scheduled, and though her office suggested she intended to honor the invitation as the church’s keynote speaker, it was not clear Willis would talk about the controversy.

News of her impending appearance was the leading news story on local television Sunday, and as Willis entered the church sanctuary to the soaring soundtrack of a choir and an archival audio of a sermon from King urging followers to keep strong in their faith, her every move was trailed by a bank of local news cameras set up in the church balcony.

Willis was introduced by Bishop Reginald T. Jackson, the presiding bishop of the AME Sixth Episcopal District of Georgia, who praised her as a “purposeful and principled” prosecutor who has been dedicated to her job and seeking justice. “She has been faithful to her oath and to the people of Fulton County,” Jackson said.

Taking the pulpit, Willis appeared almost immediately emotional, asking the congregation to give her a moment. “I hope for y’all this week I don’t look like what I’ve been through,” she said.

Willis spoke at length at the toll that the job as district attorney had taken on her personal life — speaking about a swatting incident that had taken place at her home outside Atlanta on Christmas where a caller had reported that someone had been shot. Willis, who said she has not been living at her home because of threats, said at first she had feared that one of her adult children who might have been there had been injured or killed. She eventually learned it was all a hoax.

Violent political threats surge as 2024 begins, haunting American democracy

Willis said she had leaned heavily on her Christian faith as district attorney — especially in recent days. She spoke of speaking to God about the trials she faced and how being Fulton County’s top prosecutor had brought more pressure than she ever expected.

“Seven of the highest-profile cases in the United States going to land right here?” Willis said. “No, please make it stop. God, you forgot to mention that my life and the life of my family would be threatened so regularly, I now think it’s not normal if I don’t have two death threats a week. God, you did not tell me that people would call me the n-word more than they call me Fani.”

More on the Trump Georgia case

The latest: Four of Trump’s co-defendants have pleaded guilty in the Georgia election case. Trump previously entered a plea of not guilty . The Washington Post published details of recorded statements given to prosecutors by the co-defendants who accepted plea deals in the case, offering previously undisclosed information about the effort by Trump and his allies to reverse his defeat.

The charges: Trump was charged with 13 counts, including violating the state’s racketeering act . Read the full text of the Georgia indictment . Here’s a breakdown of the charges against Trump and a list of everyone else who was charged in the Georgia case . Trump now faces 91 total charges in four criminal cases .

The case: Fulton County District Attorney Fani T. Willis (D) has been investigating whether Trump and his associates broke the law when they sought to overturn Trump’s 2020 election loss in Georgia . Here’s what happens next in the Georgia case .

Historic mug shot: Trump surrendered at the Fulton County Jail on charges that he illegally conspired to overturn his 2020 election loss . Authorities released his booking record — including his height and weight — and mug shot .

  • Ga. prosecutor in Trump case paid for flights with Fani Willis, filing shows January 19, 2024 Ga. prosecutor in Trump case paid for flights with Fani Willis, filing shows January 19, 2024
  • Judge in Trump Georgia case orders hearing on Fani Willis misconduct claims January 18, 2024 Judge in Trump Georgia case orders hearing on Fani Willis misconduct claims January 18, 2024
  • Nathan Wade, embattled prosecutor in Georgia Trump case, has little prosecution experience January 14, 2024 Nathan Wade, embattled prosecutor in Georgia Trump case, has little prosecution experience January 14, 2024

IMAGES

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VIDEO

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COMMENTS

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  22. Timed Entry Reservations

    Mount Rainier National Park has experienced an approximate 40% increase in visitation over the last 10 years, leading to overcrowding during the summer and damage to fragile ecosystems. In 2024, Mount Rainier National Park will implement a pilot timed entry reservation system to improve the visitor experience to the park by reducing wait times ...

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  24. What's Making Us Happy: A guide to your weekend viewing

    This one is an epic biblical film that's inspired by movies like Ben-Hur and The Ten Commandments, but also has the humor of Mel Brooks and Monty Python. LaKeith Stanfield plays Clarence, who is a ...

  25. 'All of Us Strangers' review: This is one ghost story you won't forget

    They ask Adam about the circumstances of their demise, and he's extremely caring in those moments, though he's more open with Harry about how their deaths led to his solitude. The film tackles ...

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  29. Fani Willis, Trump Georgia case prosecutor, accuses critics of racism

    January 14, 2024 at 5:18 p.m. EST. Fulton County District Attorney Fani T. Willis, who is overseeing former president Donald Trump's case, accused her critics of playing the "race card." (Video ...