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"...his face which was a paper-white mask of evil — sang us this song"

Masks are spooky: they dehumanise, they make a dangerous inhuman inner being visible. White masks occupy a special place. They have a long history in several cultures. Being white, they are blanker and scarier, offering nothing for the eye to hold on to. And look like skulls.

Sometimes our imagination will dwell on what is under the snow-pure mask: ghastly disfigurement? Nothing at all?

Bonus points if the rest of the character is dark to accentuate the mask. Being white it'll show bloodstains starkly.

Note that the mask doesn't have to be pure white; any mask that is paler in color than most human skin tones and relatively featureless fits this trope.

Anime and manga have Noh masks to draw inspiration from. Western tradition has Greek drama masks, plague doctors, scary clowns, The Klan, and Venetian Carnival masks. Mexicans have the calavera masks of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead).

Compare Cool Mask. Sometimes doubles as a Mask of Power. Sub-Trope of Malevolent Masked Men.

See also: The Blank.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Go down to "Real Life". Look at the plague doctor mask. One of Cardinal Mozgus's lackeys in Berserk wears it. He's actually a decent guy but is he ever on the wrong side...
  • Bleach: Hollows are monsters born from human souls that don't cross over to Soul Society and remain in the human world for too long. They are corrupt spirits with supernatural powers which devour the souls of both living and deceased Humans. All Hollows wear white, skull-like masks formed from the hearts they lost as humans.
  • Bloody Monday: Last Season has terrorists in white masks crashing an international gathering of dignitaries. Fortunately the masks help the counter-terrorists infiltrate the group; unfortunately the counter-terrorists don't know about the special paint that could be seen with the masks' lenses.
  • In Code Geass, Shirley's nightmares are plagued with these in an episode of R2, when she regains her memories and realizes that a lot of people are lying to her. In addition, the metaphysical mask found in C's World can be considered a case of this, as it represents the masks that people wear (read: lies) caused by being individuals. It resembles the masks that Shirley had nightmares of, although this was coincidental; the masks were simply a recurring theme.
  • Hei from Darker than Black: see the page picture. Unusually, he's the hero, if one prone to being rather scary.
  • Kurei from Flame of Recca always wears a mask when going into battle, and has worn three different ones over the course of the series. What's under his mask? Nothing really, just a badass-looking scar.
  • In From the New World, Shun dons one after he transforms into a Karmic Demon.
  • Herschel from Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos wears one to conceal the skin that was peeled off his face.
  • Played with with Kuze in Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. Though the face of his white-skinned cybernetic body has been custom sculpted by a famous artist, it has no facial muscles and Kuze doesn't even move his mouth when speaking, so its perfect beauty is always maintained and never twisted.
  • In the latest Golgo 13 anime, a cult leader named Gabriel wears one of these. Beneath the mask... well
  • The main villains of High-Rise Invasion wear white masks that brainwash them into attacking innocents and driving them to commit suicide.
  • Death 13 from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is a dream-haunting clown-themed Grim Reaper-like Stand that appears to wear an incessantly smiling clown mask, but it is more than likely its face.
  • Liar Game: The dealers and most attendants are Malevolent Masked Men with white masks.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's: The villainous Mysterious Protector is another mask with no mouth and thin slits for eyes.
  • The Pawn rank Chess Pieces in MÄR.
  • Rau le Creuset from Mobile Suit Gundam SEED.
    • A majority of Char Clones in Gundam sport a white mask in reference to the original.
  • The villain Gargoyle in Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water wears a white mask all throughout the series, making an already terrifying character even creepier. We never see his face until the end of the series.
  • Naruto:
    • Haku's mask in the Land of Waves arc has no mouth and thin slits for eyes.
    • The ANBU members wear similar animal-shaped ceramic masks.
    • Then there's Naruto's six-tailed form, in which a fox skull engulfs his head.
    • After Konan destroyed his old mask, Tobi began wearing a dull gray mask carved with the pattern of a Sharingan.
  • Several of the Angels in Neon Genesis Evangelion have what look like white, flattened plague doctor masks.
  • In Pokémon Adventures, the villainous Masked Man (aka The Mask of Ice) wears one of these, as do his underlings.
  • Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei had a Magical Girl parody, and Sensei's villain mask and costume seen here happen to be a dead-ringer for Hei's outfit, emphasizing how "evil looking" Hei's costume is.
  • Soul Eater: Lord Death had a simple skull-shaped mask he made to deliberately avoid looking scary to the small children he wanted to recruit to his school. He added a sillier personality to match, which he took to very well in the long run. His older, much more skull-like mask is doomier. Kid occasionally copies his father's appearance with a cloak and mask of his own. But in his case, it just looks cute.
    • Which makes it even more of a Tear Jerker when he officially replaces his late father, mask and all.
    • The members of Arachnophobia should also count as they have similar white masks, but are decidedly much more villainous.
  • Noh-Face from Spirited Away. Noh-Face is first encountered as a partial black cloak and a white mask. Later his body grows a horrible maw, jarring with the lost-child-in-pain expression of the mask.
  • Tenchi Muyo!: Kain in the first movie has one of these which is also an Expressive Mask since it turns out to be his real face. It becomes more creepy as he becomes more desperate in the final battle.
  • Yamori from Tokyo Ghoul wears a hockey mask, in fitting with his alias "Jason". He primarily wears it while engaging in his favorite hobby, as opposed to using it to conceal his identity.
  • Nerabu from Tweeny Witches wears a white mask that looks like skulls.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds: Aki Izayoi/Akiza Izinski in her Black Rose Witch/Black Rose persona.

    Comic Books 
  • The Elf King from Amulet wears a white mask, devoid of features outside a carving reminiscent of his stone. For some extra Body Horror, the mask is held on by spikes that penetrate his flesh. It serves a practical purpose too. It hides the fact that he's dead.
  • The Court of Owls from the Batman storyline Night of the Owls and onwards, a secret society that manipulates Gotham City from the shadows. The 2012 San Diego Comic-Con Batman panel where they handed out Owl masks to the audience proves that it's just as creepy in real life.
  • The Beauty: The first batch of hitmen sent to kill Detectives Vaughn and Foster can be seen wearing white masks.
  • Wild Dog, a vigilante in The DCU, conceals his identity beneath a white hockey mask.
  • Fantômas — at least the Mexican version.
  • This girl in Formera. She doesn't seem to be evil, just unwilling to give information. Her completely flat mask seems to hint that she has no face.
  • Lady Death: The Death Queen is an Ax-Crazy tyrant who wears a white mask with a creepy-looking grin. It is revealed she is actually Lady Death's mother who has been driven mad after being tortured and raped by demons.
  • Mr. A, a vigilante hero created by Steve Ditko who believes in Black-and-White Morality, wears a somewhat dehumanizing white mask.
  • Elite from The Punisher: Welcome Back, Frank, a rich Vigilante Man inspired by The Punisher who wears a white suit and mask and kills the "undesirables" in his neighborhood. Frank is not flattered.
  • Simon Dark wears a creepy white mask with uneven stitching to hide his frequently shifting head. He's also a bit unhinged and has decapitated multiple violent criminals who made the mistake of attacking people in his neighborhood.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animated 
  • The Adventures of Mark Twain: In the ever-popular (and creepy) "Mysterious Stranger" sequence, Satan's face is a Greek drama mask that morphs into various faces, including an exceptionally disturbing skull.
  • Yokai in Big Hero 6 wears a white kabuki mask with red details and a Microbot controller inside it.
  • The evil aunts in Kubo and the Two Strings wear Noh masks.
  • The Princess and the Frog has Dr. Facilier wear a Baron Samedi half-mask, but only during the climactic moments of his Villain Song. note 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Alice in Wonderland (2010), the Red Queen's oversized head looks like this.
  • The final scene of Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) has Riggins waking up in a hospital room after having just attempted suicide by a gunshot to the face, wearing a white plaster mask hiding the scars on his face where the bullet entered. Because Riggins had gained fame by portraying an avian superhero, it is fitting that his bandaged face has a prominently pointed nose and looks a bit like a plague doctor mask.
  • Blood Widow: The killer wears one of these. The rest of her outfit is black.
  • In the first Bloody Murder, the killer wears a white hockey mask, but upgrades to something kabuki-like in the sequel.
  • The George Romero film Bruiser is about a man whose face turns into a white mask overnight.
  • Similarly in Bunni, where the killer dresses like a playboy bunny with a porcelain mask.
  • The Cabin in the Woods has a few killers wearing these show up among the many other monsters let loose during the film's climax.
  • Dragon from Russia, inspired by the Crying Freeman anime, has its protagonist wearing a white mask during his assassinations.
  • Christiane's mask in Eyes Without a Face. Also a subversion because the mask scares her, too.
  • Franklyn: Jonathan Preest (who is essentially an Expy of Rorschach).
  • Jason Voorhees from the Friday the 13th series wears a white hockey mask. Prior to that, though, he wore a white flour sack over his head.
  • Michael Myers, the killer from the Halloween series, wears a mask that resembles an eyeless human face. The original was an altered Captain Kirk mask; the film's creators chose it over an Emmett Kelly clown mask because its emotionless stare was more frightening.
  • These appear throughout the Halloween mockbuster Halloween Night, but the villain only wears one once, to disguise himself while escaping the asylum he was placed in.
  • The Death Eaters from Harry Potter, in their secret society / magical terrorist mode.
  • John Singleton's Higher Learning (1995) has a scene in which some young neo-Nazis assault a pair of interracial lovers on Halloween Night. They are wearing grotesque skull masks.
  • Babyface from The Hills Run Red wears a mask made from a white doll's face and a human jawbone.
  • The killer in Hush.
  • In John Doe: Vigilante, John Doe's followers, the S4D movement, wear white expressionless masks, that frequently end up spattered with blood during their vigilante activities.
  • "Killer" from Midnight Movie.
  • Mortuary (1983): The killer is revealed to wear a white latex mask with black eyes and lips when Christie pulls it off, revealing that the killer is Paul.
  • The Stan Laurel mask that Evil dons near the end of New Year's Evil.
  • The serial killer in Nightbreed wore a full-head white mask with button eyes, made even more chilling by his soothing and reasonable voice.
  • A Page of Madness is a thoroughly creepy film about a man who gets a job as a custodian in an insane asylum, to stay close to his wife, who was committed to that asylum after drowning their infant child. (Maybe.) In the most unsettling scene in this unsettling movie, the custodian gets ahold of a bunch of Noh masks and distributes them to the frenzied, maniacal inmates, all of whom immediately calm down and seem to take on the placid attitudes of their masks. The man gives a mask to his wife and then dons one himself, and they all seem to nod at the camera.
  • The Phantom of the Opera (1925) and Phantom of the Opera (1943) are the source of the Phantom's iconic white half- and three-quarter masks. Presumably this is because the mask would show up better in contrast to the black of his costume.
  • The skull-masked maniac from the 2001 German horror film The Pool. The fact that he wears nothing other than black and the entire movie takes place inside a darkly lit pool building at night accentuates the white rubber mask.
  • The title character in Queen of Outer Space wears a white mask that is assumed to be the Venusian version of a Mysterious Veil. It hides a face that has been disfigured by radiation burns, fueling her obsessive hatred of all Men and desire to destroy the Earth!
  • Ripper: Letter from Hell, the man who silently has sex with Marissa at the party is wearing a plain white mask.
  • The serial killer in the horror parody Scary Movie wears the Ghostface mask.
  • The mask worn by Ghostface in the Scream series, paired with a Black Cloak. It was based on the iconic image of the Edvard Munch painting "The Scream", and was originally designed by an employee at the holiday supply company Fun World before the makers of the film discovered it.
  • Used symbolically in Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal. Two of the characters (ironically, the only major characters to survive the film's ending) are a husband-and-wife team of actors who perform shows in the streets of the towns they visit while wearing stark white face paint so glaring it shows up even on the film's black-and-white palette. We get to see one of their performances, which consists largely of them singing and playing Bawdy Songs while wearing the whiteface. Their songs, while ostensibly entertaining, are quite crude and sound a, suggesting that something dire is about to happen. And in fact something dire does happen — namely, the show is interrupted by a procession of flagellating penitents wreathed in incense, loudly moaning Dies irae, dies illa, solvet saeclum in favilla... (which in English is "Day of wrath, day of mourning, Earth in smoldering ashes falling...").
  • Star Wars series:
    • The face-concealing Stormtrooper helmets. It's interesting that the visually similar good-guy Clone Troopers of Star Wars: The Clone Wars have color added to their helmets, and are forever getting the mask off to show a human face.
    • General Grievous sports a white mask in the form of a stylized, elongated skull. According to the EU, Grievous' mask is ACTUALLY a skull, just not one of a sentient creature (It belongs to a Kaleesh predator).
    • Early concept art for Darth Maul featured one of these.
  • The Masked man, Pin-Up Girl and Dollface, the three titular villains in a The Strangers, sport white masks when they terrorize a couple For the Evulz.
  • In 13 Sins, the bus that transports Elliot to the motel is driven by a mysterious clown wearing a featureless white mask.
  • The Phantom from The Town That Dreaded Sundown wears a potato sack with holes for eyes.
  • In V for Vendetta, the aforementioned "V" habitually wears a Guy Fawkes mask. Members of the public start putting them on as a show of support, eventually numbering in the hundreds of thousands after he sends copies of his outfit all over England.
  • No Time to Die. When Safin turns up at Madeleine's home to kill everyone there, he's wearing white clothing to blend in with the snow and a white Kabuki mask to hide his face. Years later he reveals his identity to an adult Madeleine by giving her a box containing the same mask.
  • Emily: The Brontës have a parlor game in which one person puts on a plain white mask and acts out a character; the others then have to guess who it is. When it's weirdo middle sister Emily's turn, however, she claims to be possessed by the spirit of their deceased mother — and the way she is framed, alone in the shot surrounded by the dark, adds to the creepiness of this choice. Everyone is horrified and the mask is buried shortly afterward.


    Live-Action TV 
  • Batwoman (2019): In "Initiate Self-Destruct", Kate Kane is hypnotized into believing she is Black Mask's daughter. She wears a white mask in her new evil identity.
  • The Greendale Human Being in Community. In a misguided attempt to be overly politically correct, the school mascot was designed to avoid all ethnic traits whatsoever: Uncanny Valley ensues.
  • In the Ian Doyle arc of Criminal Minds, his hit squad wear these.
  • The kidnappers in Crisis wear white masks that cover their whole faces whenever they're dealing with the kids they've kidnapped.
  • Doctor Who:
  • Ghost Adventures had the team visit Poveglia Island and don the plague masks mentioned below.
  • Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers villain Madam Woe sports one. Or it may just be her face.
  • The Serial Killer known as The Carver from Nip/Tuck wears a white porcelain mask to hide his identity during his assaults.

  • Buckethead is famous for wearing an expressionless white mask and KFC bucket (or plain white plastic bucket) on his head during all performances, as well as just about any public appearance. This is because Brian Carroll happens to be extremely shy and eccentric in spite of his talent, and creating the fictional persona of Buckethead lets him remain semi-anonymous and unrecognized without the pressures of fame.
  • One of the few publicity photos that David Bowie has done for The Next Day shows him in an ominous white mask.
  • In the third verse of "Turn Around" by They Might Be Giants, a person turns around to reveal a "face which was a paper-white mask of evil".
  • Venezuelan Industrial Metal act Zardonic always performs wearing a white mask with a black stripe running through the centre. The only other features are the eyeholes that are made to look like an angry scowl and the cables hanging from the back to made to look like dreadlocks. The mask is easily his most recognisable feature, with some artwork equating the mask to his real face.

    Music Videos 
  • The Surreal Music Video to Project Pitchfork's "Lament" features a cocktail masquerade with patrons wearing white carnival masks.
  • Laura Branigan's video for "SelfControl" has her stalker/love interest wearing one.
  • In Clan of Xymox's "She" video, the titular protagonist, played by Niamh Hogan of Demon Hunter (2016) fame, wears a Michael Myers-esque mask with a stitched mouth and Xed-out eyes.
  • In the video for Nation of Language's "Sole Obsession" and the cover art of its parent album Strange Disciple, the titular Disciple wears a black cloak and Venetian clown mask.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • The Destroyer would have been the most obvious example ever if not for the fact his mask had a red(sometimes blue) line on it.
  • The Original Mr. Wrestling had nothing but a plain white mask. The stuff legacies are made of, though many of his successors discard the mask entirely.
  • In Mexico, the premier example of the 1970s and '80s was Dr. Wagner. His son started out the same way but eventually switched to a black mask and his son wore a half-white half-black mask.
  • Jason The Terrible, Jason El Terrible, Jason X, El Hijo de Jason, Novia de Jason, and every other wrestler who took to a white hockey mask, before or after Friday the 13th (as you call tell by the names, mostly after unless the gimmick was evil Canadian/evil hockey player like AAA's Ice Killer).
  • Mid-1990s professional wrestler Phantasio was notorious for wearing a black trench coat and stark white mask that he pulled off to reveal an equally immobile white painted-on face. But despite his warped appearance, he was a good guy. He delighted children by performing magic tricks that enabled him to pick up victories over his opponents.
  • Kazunari Murakami as a member of New Japan's Makai Club.
  • Allison Danger's pre-match mask, though it has pink lips. Cat Power later got one too, hers being unsurprisingly feline themed.
  • Sting, disguising himself by wearing a mask...of his own face to "sneak attack" Rob Van Dam.
  • Leva Bates as the masked biker. It and a white masked Red Shirt Army became a regular visage in her campaign to cleanse SHINE.
  • Kana wears a noh mask.
  • Marty Scurll had a jagged white mask with a curved beak for his "reign of wickedness"(his finishing move is a chicken wing).


    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons
  • Legend of the Five Rings
    • Several followers of the Lying Darkness wear such masks to denote their status as one of The Blank.
    • Fu Leng used to wear a white porcelain mask when he had a corporeal form. In some artwork so does his most faithful disciple Daigotsu.
    • Similar masks are used by Bloodspeakers to animate zombies from the bodies of the dead.
    • White porcelain masks are also quite in fashion with necromancers such as Iuchiban and Kuni Yori.
  • In Magic: The Gathering:
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • Space Marine Chaplains wear a white skull helmet.
    • Death Jester Eldar Aspect Warriors wear skull-masked armour. The twist is, the bones on their armour come from its previous owners.
    • The assassins of the Eversor temple wear a similar white skull helmet. Whereas the other temples of Officio Assassinorum rely on stealth, accuracy, misdirection, and soul-crushing power, Eversor Assassins will crash through a wall and kill everyone in the building. An Eversor's mask looks like a giant skull. It pumps a stupendous amount of combat drugs directly into the brain; the wearer becomes a screaming ball of death and terror. The assassin will kill until he is killed or there is no one left. At which point he explodes.
    • Culexus Temple assassins are also shown with skull-like helmets, although they usually have a bunch of additional high-tech detailing to contrast with the Eversor and draw attention to their less direct combat style. Culexus assassins are the ones who leverage soullessness as a weapon on the battlefield — their job is to eliminate psykers.

  • This is a common trope in Chinese opera, where white masks are usually associated with villains.
  • The Phantom of The Phantom of the Opera, though, unusually, the Phantom's mask covers less than half of his face. Even though the iconic white half-mask is famous from a thousand theatre posters, in the original novel his mask was black. The mask originally covered the Phantom's entire face but was changed after a preview performance because it muffled his voice too much.
  • The opening number and the final testimony scene in the Takarazuka Revue productions of Elisabeth feature a group of beings in featureless white masks. Their presence and costumes are never explained.

    Video Games 
  • A Recurring Boss of Musha Aleste is a gunship with the face of a Noh mask.
  • Doctors in Assassin's Creed II wear the below-mentioned plague masks, and the Doctor multiplayer character from Brotherhood has Sinister Shades over one.
  • Worn by Anarky in Batman: Arkham Origins, likely to hide the fact that he's pretty young, if his voice didn't already give it away.
  • White rabbit masks add to the menace of splicers in BioShock, hiding their cancerous disfigurement.
  • Arakune from BlazBlue made himself a creepy expressionless white mask, purportedly to help him communicate. It doesn't. Hakumen, although a Lawful Good-ish Hero Antagonist, has a distinctly Zero-esque one.
  • In Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate the Lost Soul wears one as he silently observes the Belmonts in the castle.
  • The Manikins from the trailer of Dark Souls II wore really cool ones, with a design much appreciated by fans... except copyright issues with Naruto led to a (plain) restyle to just make them headless, much to fans' delusion.
  • Worn by the Jester from Darkest Dungeon, putting him somewhere in-between Villainous Harlequin and Monster Clown, though he is nonetheless on the side of the heroes. Beyond appearances, he wields two sickles that he uses to bleed enemies to death. This bloodthirst combined with the mask creates a rather frightening visage.
  • Death from Darksiders wears a bone-white mouthless mask at all times, which he first donned when he led the genocide of the nephilim and never took off in public since, likely as a reminder of what he had to do. The only time he takes it off is before his Heroic Sacrifice in II to revive humanity.
  • Victor Donovan in the cutscenes of Dead or Alive Dimensions.
  • Elden Ring: White Mask Varré is probably the first NPC you'll meet, and as the name suggests he wears a white mask (and white everything else). His outfit marks him as a war surgeon, but the descriptions on it note they were more like mercy killers than doctors. Initially he offers you condescending advice on how to proceed, but if you check back with him regularly, he gives you an item that lets you invade and kill other players and reveals himself to be a member of the murderous cult of Mohg, the Lord of Blood, and tries to recruit you into the same. He's not even the only White Mask in this cult; Mohg originally kidnapped them to try to control his cursed blood, but they all ended up as his loyal minions.
  • The White Glove Society of Fallout: New Vegas all wear White Masks (seen here) since it makes them mysterious in the eyes of their leader Marjorie. However, everyone else thinks that it just makes them creepy. Granted, they don't exactly have a clean record, but that's in the past.
  • The Flame Emperor from Fire Emblem: Three Houses wears one of these, though with splashes of red included as well. When the mask comes off, it's revealed that it also altered its wearer's voice, to keep people from knowing it was Edelgard.
  • The Puppet from Five Nights at Freddy's 2 (and by extension its non-canon counterpart Nightmarionne in Five Nights at Freddy's 4) has one as its face, covered in clown-like markings and cast in a permanent menacing smile.
  • New ghosts you encounter in Ghost Tales will have a white mask. Once you help out the ghost, their faces are revealed on their sprites.
  • In the adventure game Gray Matter, Dr. David Styles, reclusive scientist and resident of an Old, Dark House, wears a white mask that covers half his face, reminiscent of the one the Phantom wears, to hide the horrible burn scars that he sustained in the car accident that killed his wife.
  • Guild Wars 2: End of Dragons: The Purists are a xenophobic Canthan organization and one of the antagonist groups in the expansion. They wear featureless masks, partly because they're an illegal organization but mainly because they're the last remnant of the Ministry of Purity (from the original game) and the masks copy the white helmets worn by the Ministry. Some Purists are shown wearing colored masks, but most of them wear white.
  • The Combine Elites from the Half-Life series wear white helmets and are the most dangerous of the Combine's Mooks.
  • All the Trigram members in Hidden Dragon: Legend wears white masks with slits for eyes, and they're a ruthless cult seeking an immortality-granting artifact while having entire villages and towns slaughtered to impose their dominance.
  • Mörkö (Finnish for "bogeyman") from INFRA is a shadow creature with a white mask reminiscent of Munch's The Scream, who appears as a hidden Jump Scare in the Bergmann Water Tunnels, and as a Slender Man-style graffiti mural in a bathroom of the Power Plant.
  • Darth Nihilus in Knights Of The Old Republic II. In fact, it is of such doom that he has concealed his essence in it, and it canonically survives centuries after you destroy him.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • Curiously for a game that is all about masks, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask only features one. The Couple's Mask also subverts the usual creepiness by being a symbol of marriage and loving union; the lines it has in lieu of a face are a simplified image of an embracing couple.
    • The Yiga Clan from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild wear white masks with an inverted Sheikah eye emblem painted on them.
  • The Lady in Little Nightmares is an evil sorceress with ghostlike grace who wears a white mask that is bright even in the dark. She wears the mask because her reflection, if not her actual face, is hideous, and the player character, Six, can get a copy of the Lady's mask by finding and breaking all of the Lady's porcelain statues.
  • In Overwatch, Reaper's default outfit includes an off-white mask designed to resemble a barn owl's face. Barn owls are a symbol of death in Mexican culture, which fits his bloodthirsty character.
  • Members of the Masquerade wear these in Persona 2. Generals in particular have theirs styled after the Zodiac sign that doubles as their codename.
  • In Psychosis for the TurboGrafx-16, an enemy found in the second stage is a floating white mask that splits in half to reveal a different white mask underneath.
  • The Butcher from Purgatory (RPG Maker) wears one of these, and he's an Ax-Crazy Serial Killer.
  • As their name implies, the White Masks of Rainbow Six Siege all wear blank white ballistic masks. While their masks are meant to protect their faces, they are as vulnerable to headshots as anyone else.
  • The appropriately-monikered Masked Man in Rune Factory Oceans wears a creepy white mask with a black robe to conceal his appearance. He keeps the mask even after removing the robe and making his identity obvious to the player, only ditching it once he thinks the fight is won.
  • Sal Fisher from SallyFace wears a white prosthetic mask with one chunk of it being pink. It is hinted throughout the game that a dog mauled Sal's face in the woods as a child, only for it to be revealed in the final episode that the leader of The Devourers of God shot Sal's face with a shotgun while wearing a ceremonial dog mask.
  • In Shinobi X, the Stage 1 boss is a disembodied white mask.
  • Vega from Street Fighter always wears one of those during a fight; not to conceal his identity, but to prevent his beautiful face from being touched.
  • In Sundered, every enemy in the Eschaton faction wears a white mask. Some even wear several, having multiple faces. Given that all Eschaton enemies, with the exception of the boss Dominion — who is “merely” a giant human sitting on a living throne — are hideous tentacle monsters, the masks they wear serve to make them creepier by highlighting their inhumanity.
  • Shy Guys in Super Mario Bros. are a cute example.
  • The Medic in Team Fortress 2 can wear a Plague Doctor mask called the Blighted Beak.
  • Tekken:
    • Up until Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Yoshimitsu has at least one costume in which he dons a skull mask, although the color varies from pure white to greenish.
    • Yoshimitsu's female counterpart, Kunimitsu, is nearly always seen wearing a white fox mask.
  • In Timecrest, a reoccurring adversary is a woman in a bone mask who seems to always pop up whenever Ignis is around. If the Player chooses to go along the Altered Past route in Timecrest 3: Luthor, they may ask her about it. Scarlet then tells the Player that her mask is actually a collectible from one of her favorite stories where a beautiful woman curses herself to make their lover appear gorgeous by comparison. Considering her relationship to Sol, this becomes quite dark by comparison seeing as the later is already pretty monstrous.
  • Worn by Dollface in the Twisted Metal games. In Twisted Metal: Black, the mask is sealed onto her by her Bad Boss, as punishment for spilling coffee over his files, while in the 2012 reboot, Krista Sparks was told to wear the mask to heal a scar she received from a car crash. In both cases, it ties with Clingy Costume, with the Black Dollface getting the mask locked on by special key her boss constructed, while the 2012 Dollface had her mask magically sealed by the man who gave it to her, and she couldn't find him again when she went to have it removed.
  • Tunon the Adjudicator in Tyranny has several white masks which he seems able to change without actually removing them. Not only does this play into his no-longer-human traits, but being the Archon of Justice and chief judge of Kyros' empire adds an extra layer of appropriateness to the trope namenote .
  • In Yandere Simulator, if Yandere-chan joins the Drama club, she has access to masks she can use to conceal her identity. All but one of them are white, some with red markings, but the one that exemplifies this trope the most is based on a Noh mask. However, Yandere-chan only gets one shot at murder while wearing a mask, as the Headmaster will ban them afterward.

    Visual Novels 
  • Assassin apparel in visual novel Phantom of Inferno.
  • Ace Attorney:
    • Averted with Mask☆DeMasque in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Trials and Tribulations. He wears a white mask but is generally gleeful and makes himself publicly popular despite being a criminal. Except for when he murders people. But he wasn't wearing the mask at the time and he wasn't the real Mask☆DeMasque, so it's still an aversion.
    • In Dual Destinies, the phantom is first "seen" by anyone while wearing a Noh mask, which has much the same effect. It gives the phantom a suitably creepy air.
  • BAD END THEATER prominently features a white theater mask in its logo. It is worn by TRAGEDY, the theater's owner and the one responsible for all the bad endings.

    Web Animation 
  • Autodale features blank white masks as a core element, with children receiving their masks when they reach adulthood. All adults wear identical, smiling masks, and are designated either 'pretty' or 'ugly'. And you definitely don't want to be called 'ugly'.
  • The White Fang of RWBY all wear four-slotted white masks that cover their upper face; higher ranking members such as Adam and the unnamed Lieutenant have customized theirs by adding red markings to them or having them cover the entire face. According to a renegade member, they chose to wear them because humanity saw them as monsters, so they evoke the image of Creatures of Grimm, who really are monsters.


    Web Originals 

    Web Videos 
  • The SWAG members who beat up Tacoma and try to scare Rebecca in Demo Reel wear them.
  • Dream is often depicted as having one of those.
  • The GREYLOCK Tapes:
    • The most frequently-seen thoughtform takes the form of a humanoid figure with an expressionless white mask.
    • trojan technology shows footage of an entire group of white-masked figures, though it's unclear if they're all thoughtforms, or just your regular garden-variety cultists.
  • The masked man (Tim, maybe totheark) from Marble Hornets wears a rather unsettling white mask. Entry 26 shows someone wearing a skull mask. Yup. There is more than one. This seems to be a distressingly common feature of humans under the Slender Man's influence (called Proxies) in blogs set in the Slenderverse.
  • The Nostalgia Critic has repeatedly featured the sinister "Lord Shyamalan," a fictionalized version of M. Night Shyamalan dressed like Amon from The Legend of Korra, complete with a white mask inscribed with twist endings and other spoilers from Shyamalan's movies. Just like Amon can "equalize" people by taking away their Elemental Powers, Lord Shyamalan can "shyamalize" performers by taking away their talent.

    Western Animation 
  • In the Adventure Time episode "What Have You Done?", Princess Bubblegum briefly wears an old-fashioned Plague Doctor's mask.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender
    • Many Fire Nation war helmets have removable white face coverings that look like skulls.
    • Koh, whose most memorable face is a female Noh mask.note 
    • The mask Huu wears with his swamp monster disguise. It's more light brown, apparently made of bark, but same difference.
  • In the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Mean Seasons", Calendar Girl wears a white mask to hide her face and freaks out at the end of the episode when the mask is removed. It turns out that she has a perfectly normal, even beautiful, appearance — but the psychological scars of being cast aside by the modeling industry for being "too old" cause her to see herself as a hideous old crone.
  • The Legend of Korra: Amon wears an awesome white mask with a red circle on the forehead, which features prominently in both official and fanmade propaganda posters.
  • Hexadecimal of ReBoot has a whole bunch that she can switch freely between at a moment's notice.
  • Sealab 2021 references plague doctors' white masks (see below) when Sealab is hit with a plague.
  • Young Justice (2010): The assassin Cheshire wears a white mask in the shape of a grinning cat.

    Real Life 
  • Standard-bearers in Roman legions wore full-face, expressionless, armoured masks, often in gilded metal. This is thought to have been symbolic: the mask, like the standard, represented the soul of the unit and symbolised the idea that the bearer was no individual soldier, but an Avatar for the unit. If the standard bearer was killed, another soldier would take up both the standard and the mask, and lose his identity with the role.
  • Plague doctors during the Black Death wore white bird masks as part of their plague outfits to prevent from getting the plague. These masks also had the effect of being terrifying. Being scary was intentional — the doctors had to be fearsome and barely-trusted, half-mythical figures, or else they'd get mobbed by the sick every time they went out. They also went armed with clubs. The "beak" was stuffed with sweet-smelling herbs to mask the sickening smell of dying plague victims. The masks became one of the traditional masks in the Carnival of Venice, which is where you typically see these masks nowadays, as well as in references to the Carnival, like Eyes Wide Shut.
  • Guitarist Brian "Buckethead" Carroll.
  • Hip-hop dance crew the Jabbawockeez, (with bonus Shaq!) spelt doom for their competition.
  • The Phantom Killer, the still unidentified perpetrator of the Texarkana Moonlight Murders, wore a crude, creepy white mask during at least a few of his attacks.
  • The Ku Klux Klan, although their leaders often wear red robes and masks, just like the medieval penitents they eerily resemble.
  • The Guy Fawkes masks worn by Anonymous members and some Occupy Wall Street protesters.
  • Serbian noise musician Dead Body Collection adopts this as part of his stage act.
  • YouTube gamer Cryaotic is often depicted in fan art as wearing a rather nondescript white mask, as he has never shown his face on camera. Some fans have taken to giving the mask a horror twist with cracks, sharpened-toothlike features, and blood splatters.
  • In the First World War, German soldiers making night raids across the trench lines wore their gas masks, sometimes because they were needed but usually as a deliberate psychological thing, to make themselves impersonal or un-human to the people they were attacking.


Video Example(s):


Darth Nihilus, Lord of Hunger

Visas Marr tells her master, Darth Nihilus, about a disturbance in the Force. Darth Nihilus is a being with the ability to consume the Force itself. It makes him an embodiment of the Dark Side, but it leaves him with a constant, unending hunger to feed on the Force. This has turned Nihilus into something that is more presence than flesh. And Visas is forced to serve as his pawn.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / EvilMentor

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