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[[quoteright:350:[[Film/BlackSunday http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/blacksunday11.png]]]]

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. Most of the time it is both a [[CruelAndUnusualDeath very cruel and very unusual death.]]

Subtrope of ArtifactOfDeath and possible ArtifactOfDoom. Related to EvilMask, which is both sentient and malevolent. Contrast with FaceHugger which, unlike the Murderous Mask, is often sentient and able to apply to the unwilling victim's face all by itself.

See also ClingyCostume.


[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* ''Manga/{{Inuyasha}}'' features a mask with a piece of the MineralMacGuffin embedded in it. It latches onto people's faces to take over their bodies, which then quickly begin to rot.
* In ''Manga/JojosBizarreAdventure'' Dio initially believed the Stone Mask was used for ritual sacrifices after seeing it sprout spikes when blood got splashed on it. It technically does kill people this way, but it also immediately revives them as superpowered vampires.
* In ''Manga/{{Judge}}'', a group of people were abducted and forced to wear animal masks with poison spikes on it. Whoever takes it off before the time allowed will get pricked and killed.


[[folder: Comics ]]

* ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'':
** One 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 villain better known as Black Mask, has been known to kill or disfigure his victims with toxic masks.
* ''Creator/DCComics''' resident super-sorcerer, ComicBook/DoctorFate, wears a helmet that forces its user to wear it for life, and then absorb their life force into it.
** The first volume of ''ComicBook/TheBooksOfMagic'' has a part where the young hero is taken into a possible future where the mask has gone full on evil, and it lives up to this trope far more. Especially when it forces a servant to attach the mask to his face, and then only a few minutes later take it off... which requires the poor guy to ''tear his own face off''.
* In ''ComicBook/{{Spawn}}'', one bum almost got smothered when he donned Al's mask for a joke.
* One ''Franchise/WonderWoman'' issue was about her being stuck in a mask that's rigged to explode.
* In ''ComicBook/TransformersMoreThanMeetsTheEye'', the Decepticon Vos has a removable ''face'' which is lined with retractable spikes and hooks on the inside. Being a sadist and TortureTechnician, he likes to force his victims to wear it.


[[folder: Film ]]

* ''Film/TheAbominableDrPhibes'' featured a constricting frog mask [[CruelAndUnusualDeath that gradually crushed the head of its wearer.]]
* The lethal masks from ''Film/HalloweenIIISeasonOfTheWitch'' are textbook examples; they are just like any other mask, but if its wearer sees a certain commercial, all hell breaks loose.
* The trope illustration is from ''Film/BlackSunday''; the mask is spiked on the inside and rather brutally ''hammered'' onto the victim's face.


[[folder: Literature ]]

* In Creator/DianeDuane's Literature/{{Rihannsu}} ''Franchise/StarTrek'' 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 Creator/GrahamMasterton horror novel ''Literature/DeathTrance'' 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 [[Literature/NewJediOrder 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.


[[folder: Live-Action Television ]]

* In an episode of ''Series/RelicHunter'' 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.


[[folder: Mythology and Folklore ]]

* In Myth/CelticMythology and French folklore, [[TheEvilPrincess 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 drawstrings of the mask would tighten and strangle the unfortunate suitor.

* ''Podcast/ThePenumbraPodcast'''s appropriately-titled episode "[[CharacterNameAndTheNounPhrase Juno Steel and the Case of the Murderous Mask]]" features an [[{{Precursors}} Ancient Martian]] death mask . . . that kills any human who puts it on by trying to mold their head to the shape of the {{Starfish Alien|s}} cranium it was built for.

[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]
* An old ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' 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.


[[folder: Toys ]]

* ''Toys/{{BIONICLE}}'': Played with the Ignika. As only [[OnlyTheChosenMayWield destined beings can wear it]], any other being that so much as touch it will [[ArtifactOfDoom get cursed]]. While none affected have directly died from the curses, they either suffer FateWorseThanDeath or get CursedWithAwesome or BlessedWithSuck.


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* The titular object from ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask''; in addition to possessing its wearer, it plans on killing a lot of people with ''[[ColonyDrop the moon]].''


[[folder: Web Original ]]

* ''Wiki/SCPFoundation'' [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-035 describes a mask]] that compels anyone nearby to put it on so it can kill them and possess their body. The mask has expressed interest in 682, since the beast's AdaptiveAbility and HealingFactor would provide it with an eternal and powerful host body.