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The Headless Priests consist of four hostile ghosts that are fought in Fatal Frame.
The priests were members of the Himuro family that acted as assistants to the Himuro Family Master. Their primary duty was to look after the Rope Shrine Maiden during her 10 years of isolation and ensure that she remained true to her cause. If they thought someone threatened the Rope Shrine Maiden's willingness to die they would inform the Himuro Family Master, who would decide the proper course of action to take. While they were in the presence of the Rope Shrine Maiden they wore masks at all times, to prevent her from growing too close to them.
The priests would also take part in the Blinding Ritual and Strangling Ritual. During the Blinding Ritual, they would restrain the maiden that was to become the Blind Demon from moving while the Himuro Family Master applied the Blinding Mask to her.
During the Strangling Ritual they would act as rope pullers, along with the Himuro Family Master. Each priest was assigned a certain symbol, and each symbol represented one of the four limbs of the Rope Maiden, determining which rope the priest pulled.
Events of Fatal Frame
Sometime during the last year of Kirie's confinement, the Himuro Family had a young male about Kirie's age visit the mansion. One day, Kirie and the visitor got a glimpse of each other while he was walking out in the Cherry Atrium. He waved to her and she ducked down from the window of her cell in a fluster. When she told the chief priest what had happened, he was terribly surprised and told her not to look out the window again for a while.
Some time in the same week, during Kirie's day to take a stroll out in the atrium, Kirie ran into the young guest and the two began to talk. This had been the first time she had talked to an outsider in 9 years. She began to fall in love with him after this meeting and the two of them tried to visit each other everyday.
The priests didn't seem to think much of their daily meetings at first, as they didn't try very hard to prevent them. The only thing the chief priest asked them to do at first was not to go out into the garden together. The priests may have been trying to prevent the pair's meetings from being known to everyone in the mansion. The young guest disregarded the priests' wishes and sneaked her out into the courtyard anyway. The priests' outlook on the situation turned at this point. After a few days of these meetings they noticed Kirie's outlook on life began to change for the better; she seemed to be enjoying life, something a viable Rope Shrine Maiden shouldn't feel. They decided that they needed to take action.
At first, they only tried to deter the young guest from seeing Kirie. The day after the guest sneaked Kirie out into the courtyard, the chief priest told the young guest that he could no longer visit Kirie. She was too sick to have visitors and he would say nothing more on the issue. The chief priest also told Kirie that the young guest went home. She didn't believe them, but she couldn't figure out why they would lie to her. The guest refused to give up on seeing his love. He tried repeatedly to see Kirie but never was successful. Eventually his persistence came to a point where the priests told him that if he tried to see Kirie again he would be putting his life in danger.
The priests grew increasingly concerned about the situation on their hands. The young guest had grown too fond of Kirie and refused to give up on seeing her. They also knew that the young guest had affected Kirie's attitude towards living, so they decided to tell the Himuro Family Master what had been going on. He told them to eliminate him and dispose of his body.
The Himuro Family Priests obeyed their master’s orders. The next time the young guest approached Kirie's room, they led him to the Abyss and murdered him there. They dumped his body there so that Kirie would never be able to find it. They regretted having to do it, but knew that it was their duty.
A short time later, Kirie was visited by her lover's ghost in a dream. After this visitation, she figured out that the priests killed her young lover and she became hopelessly depressed. The priests may have killed her love, but they were unable to kill her will to live. The priests came to realize this and began to think that the Himuro Family Master's decision was a poor one.
On the day of the Strangling Ritual, Kirie was still hopelessly depressed and the priests feared the ritual would be a failure. Unfortunately for them, and everyone else in the mansion, they were right. Kirie's sacrifice was a failure; her ropes were not strong enough to hold back the Hell Gate from opening. The Malice began filling the mansion and the Himuro Family Master went insane. He began roaming the mansion, decapitating anyone he came across with his katana. All four of the Himuro Family Priests fell prey to the Family Master's blade. One was killed in the Cherry Atrium, another in the Abyss, another in the Backyard, and the final one in the Square Garden.
After their deaths, the Himuro Family Priests' spirits returned to the mansion, without heads. They endlessly searched the mansion in vain for their missing heads. Miku Hinasaki encountered them during her quest to find her missing brother. She managed to defeat all of them and move on with her quest. Their spirits are finally put to rest when Miku breaks the curse over the mansion.
- Lord Himuro can be seen decapitating one of the Himuro Family Priests in a cut scene prior to fighting him for the first time.
- One of the priests was considered the chief priest, and led the others. Which of the Headless Priests this was is unknown.
- Kirie mentions in her last diary that one of the priests, prior to the Strangling Ritual, kept glancing at her with a look of sadness on his face. Which of the four priests this was is unknown.
- The Himuro Family Priests likely wore the four masks found in the Mask Room. Amongst these were the Angry, Sad, Joyful, and Happy masks.
- The only time you can damage them while fighting them is when their heads are visible.
- For other members of the Himuro family, see Himuro Family.
- For other rituals in Fatal Frame, see Fatal Frame Rituals.
- For other hostile ghosts, see Hostile Ghosts.
- For articles related to Headless Priests, see Related Articles:Headless Priests.