Created By: Lawman592 on October 30, 2012 Last Edited By: Lawman592 on December 16, 2012
Troped

Murderous Mask

A mask that murders its wearer.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Do We Have This One?? Rolling Updates.

This is a mask that through magical or mundane means, kills the person wearing it. The mask does this by smothering, strangling, suffocating, crushing, or poisoning its victim.

Subtrope of Artifact of Death and possible Artifact of Doom. Related to Evil Mask. Contrast with Face Hugger which, unlike the Murderous Mask, is often sentient and able to apply to the unwilling victim's face all by itself.

See also Clingy Costume.

Comics
  • One Batman comic featured an African tribal mask that, when donned, would scratch the wearer with a needle coated with a drug. The drug would drive the wearer into a beserker rage that eventually caused their heart to explode.
  • Roman Sionis, the Batman villain better known as Black Mask, has been known to kill or disfigure his victims with toxic masks.
  • DC Comics' resident super-sorcerer, Doctor Fate, wears a helmet that forces its user to wear it for life, and then absorb their life force into it.
  • In Spawn, one bum almost got smothered when he donned Al's mask for a joke.

Film

Folklore
  • In Celtic Mythology and French folklore, Princess Dahut-Ahès of the legendary Breton city of Ys used to take a different lover to bed every night provided the lover wore a black mask during their intense evening of pleasure. However, at the first rays of dawn, the mask would tighten and strangle the unfortunate suitor.

Literature
  • In Diane Duane's Rihannsu Star Trek novels, Romulan starships are frequently named Rhea's Helm. The titular, legendary helm was the product of a sorcerer-smith who was asked to create a helmet that would make the wearer impervious to all harm. When the helm was donned, the demon she'd bound into it bit the wearer's head off--nothing can harm a dead person.
  • The Grahma Masterton horror novel Death Trance features a scene where one of the bad guys, a psychotic Vietnam vet, puts on a full-head demon-mask featuring a leyak, an Indonesian evil spirit. He writhes in agony, to the accompaniment of screams and crunching noises, as his buddies try to get the mask off, but when it finally comes free, the dead man has no head left. Something has eaten his head while he was wearing the mask...
  • Somewhat related is Yuuzhan Vong vonduun crab armor. If worn by a non-Yuuzhan Vong, it will repeatedly attempt to kill its wearer.
    • A notable example of the Vong armor is the one that the Sith lord Darth Krayt wears in the Legacy comic book series. The fact that it is eating Krayt alive is the source of much angst on his part and his frantic attempts to find a cure.

Manga
  • Inuyasha features a mask with a piece of the Mineral MacGuffin embedded in it. It latches onto people's faces to take over their bodies, which then quickly begin to rot.

Tabletop Games
  • An old Dungeons & Dragons monster invokes this: called the Executioner's Hood, it's a flat membrane that lives on the ceiling, dropping down on the heads of unsuspecting adventurers to suffocate them.

Television
  • In an episode of Relic Hunter a cursed mask causes its last wearer to have his/her face disfigured and then contract a wasting disease that will kill the victim if the curse is not passed to another person. The mask used to belong to a French executioner and the only way to permanently stop the curse is for Sidney to find the executioner's tomb and return the mask there.

Toys

Web Original
Community Feedback Replies: 30
  • October 30, 2012
    AgProv
    Literature: the Graham Masterton horror novel Death Trance features a scene where one of the bad guys, a psychotic Vietnam vet, puts on a full-head demon-mask featuring a leyak, an Indonesian evil spirit. He writhes in agony, to the accompaniment of screams and crunching noises, as his buddies try to get the mask off, but when it finally comes free, the dead man has no head left. Something has eaten his head while he was wearing the mask...
  • October 30, 2012
    Earnest
    Don't think we do, but I can't think of examples off the top of my head. However, I do remember an episode of Lost In Space where a mask used Demonic Possession on Dr. Robinson.

    Subtrope of Artifact Of Death and possible Artifact Of Doom.
  • October 31, 2012
    Mozgwsloiku
    In Spawn, one bum almost got smothered when he donned Al's mask for a joke.
  • October 31, 2012
    Shnakepup
    I believe there's an SCP that does this; it compels anyone nearby to put on the mask, which then kills them and possess their body. Can't remember the number though...
  • October 31, 2012
    Shnakepup
    Also, isn't it implied in The Mask that the wearer will eventually become corrupted by the mask and destroy themselves?
  • October 31, 2012
    MrRuano
    In a way, DC Comics' resident super-sorcerer, Doctor Fate, wears a helmet that forces its user to wear it for life, and then absorb their life force into it.
  • October 31, 2012
    KTera
    Is this the SCP you're thinking of? http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-035
  • October 31, 2012
    StarSword
    Could Yuuzhan Vong vonduun crab armor count? If worn by a non-Yuuzhan Vong, it will repeatedly attempt to kill its wearer.
  • November 1, 2012
    Omeganian
    An example from the Jackass Genie page:

    • In Diane Duane's Rihannsu Star Trek novels, Romulan starships are frequently named Rhea's Helm. The titular, legendary helm was the product of a sorcerer-smith who was asked to create a helmet that would make the wearer impervious to all harm. When the helm was donned, the demon she'd bound into it bit the wearer's head off--nothing can harm a dead person.
  • November 1, 2012
    nielas
    • In an episode of Relic Hunter a cursed mask causes its last wearer to have his/her face disfigured and then contract a wasting disease that will kill the victim if the curse is not passed to another person. The mask used to belong to a French executioner and the only way to permanently stop the curse is for Sidney to find the executioner's tomb and return the mask there.
  • November 1, 2012
    Shnakepup
    @K Tera - Yes, that's the one.
  • November 2, 2012
    Chabal2
    An old Dungeons And Dragons monster invokes this: called the Executioner's Hood, it's a flat membrane that lives on the ceiling, dropping down on the heads of unsuspecting adventurers to suffocate them.
  • November 2, 2012
    TrustBen
    Roman Sionis, the Batman villain better known as Black Mask, has been known to kill or disfigure his victims with toxic masks.
  • November 2, 2012
    JoieDeCombat
    Inuyasha features a mask with a piece of the Mineral Mac Guffin embedded in it. It latches onto people's faces to take over their bodies, which then quickly begin to rot.
  • November 2, 2012
    KZN02
    Compare Face Hugger?
  • November 3, 2012
    Cider
    I do not see why any of these examples besides the Vong one would not fit on artifact of death already and that should just go on Empathic Weapon or something.
  • November 6, 2012
    aurora369
    A notable example of the Vong armor is the one that the Sith lord Darth Krayt wears in the Legacy comic book series. The fact that it is eating Krayt alive is the source of much angst on his part and his frantic attempts to find a cure.
  • November 7, 2012
    foxley
    One Batman comic featured an African tribal mask that, when donned, would scratch the wearer with a needle coated with a drug. The drug would drive the wearer into a beserker rage that eventually caused their heart to explode.
  • November 10, 2012
    DracMonster
  • November 10, 2012
    Stratadrake
    ^ My sentiments exactly. Alternately, Murdering Mask or Mask Of Murder.
  • November 11, 2012
    Lawman592
    ^ Consideration taken. Title changed.
  • November 11, 2012
    KZN02
    See also Clingy Costume?
  • November 13, 2012
    KZN02
    BIONICLE: Played with the Ignika. As only destined beings can wear it, any other being that so much as touch it will get cursed. While none affected have directly died from the curses, they either suffer Fate Worse Than Death or get Cursed With Awesome or Blessed With Suck.
  • November 14, 2012
    Lawman592
    ^ Where do I categorize the BIONICLE example (e.g., under Toys or Comics)?
  • November 23, 2012
    moriwen
    Sorta-kinda example: there's a Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode with a mask that turns people into zombies and calls them to it. No one was actually wearing the mask at the time, though.
  • December 1, 2012
    lakingsif
    Would Doctor Who's Empty Child qualify?
  • December 1, 2012
    saintdane05
    ^Not really, the mask is the face itself, and it is the nano genes, not the mask, that put it in that condition.

    • The famous Haunted Mask from Goosebumps. It is a real face, causes teh owner to commit violent acts, and can only be remvoed by a "Symbol of true love".
  • December 1, 2012
    Lawman592
    ^ That's more of an Evil Mask.
  • December 16, 2012
    Lawman592
    Is there enough here to launch? I thought there would be more examples but I guess this trope isn't as common as I thought.
  • December 16, 2012
    Lawman592
    Two more hats--I'm ready to launch.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=8rlwanr7jeocxxznxq0q4t6c&trope=MurderousMask