Mental Floss

The Stories Behind 6 Famous Masks

Kara Kovalchik
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Just in time for Halloween, here are a few behind-the-scenes tidbits about some famous masks (of both the scary and not-so-spooky variety).

1. Leatherface

Portions of the classic horror film The Texas Chainsaw Massacre were based on the crimes of serial killer Ed Gein, but the trademark Leatherface mask was inspired by a far more personal (and equally grisly) experience. Writer/director Tobe Hooper had a doctor friend who'd once confided to him that, while a pre-med student, he'd sneaked into the morgue and harvested the skin from the face of a cadaver to make a Halloween mask. Bob Burns, the movie's art director, took several of Leatherface's props home with him after filming wrapped, including one of the three original "killing" masks, which he mounted on a Styrofoam head and sprayed with a transparent sealant. He kept the head in a shoebox in his closet for many years before selling it to a friend, who then auctioned it on eBay for an undisclosed sum. The successful bidder was a horror film fanatic who now proudly displays the mask in his home in a specially built air-tight case.

2. Guy Fawkes

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3. Robin

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4. Ghostface

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5. Darth Vader

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6. Halloween

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