Eyes Make Your Masks More Creepy

Otis Mask: Before

Otis Mask: Before

Here’s a quick and easy way to breathe new life into your haunted house or dark ride on the cheap, and give your mask-wearing props a whole new level of realism.

Most masks lack eyes, and when they do have them they are obviously fake, forcing away the viewers suspension of disbelief. A very simple way to solve this is to give your mask prop more realistic eyes. In this short tutorial I’ll show you how to achieve this simple effect that really gives you a bang for your buck.

For this how-to I’m using a pretty sweet Otis mask from House of 1000 Corpses that I picked up a few years ago. It’s fairly realistic already and will really show what I’m talking about.

Materials Required

Materials Required: Hot Glue Gun + Glue Sticks, Fake Eyes and Screws

Materials Required: Hot Glue Gun + Glue Sticks, Fake Eyes and Screws

  • Styrofoam Head Available at beauty supply stores. I’ve also had good luck at thrift stores like Savers. You can also buy a dozen in bulk on Amazon with a pretty decent discount (About $3.33 each)
  • Fake Half Eyes I usually buy these in bulk on eBay
  • Screws Whatever you have lying around will be fine
  • Hot Glue Gun + Sticks Crazy or gorilla glue also work, but hot glue is easiest to work with

The Process

Once you’ve gathered up your materials you simply shoot a little hot glue into the inside of the half eye, place the screw head into it, and then shoot some more glue over it, sealing the head of the screw in. In the past I have also used super glue, but hot glue is plenty strong enough for our purposes, sets much faster and is generally just easier to work with.

Drying Eyes

Drying Eyes

I also didn’t specify any specific type of screws, because as long as they have a flat head they’ll work fine. I usually just grab whatever is lying around.

Once the eyes have been glued let them sit for a few minutes to harden. I let them sit about 5 minutes or so, but I’m really impatient, so you may want to wait a bit longer just to make sure the glue is solid.

Styrofoam Head with Eyes

Styrofoam Head with Eyes

Once the glue has dried, take your eyes and screw them into the Styrofoam head. Leave them out about an inch or so, and pull the mask over the head. You may have to use a bit of trial and error to get the eyes to sit at the correct location, so if they don’t look right adjust where they are screwed into the head, and how deeply they are embedded.

The Result

Otis Mask: After

Otis Mask: After

From the before and after pictures you can really see what I mean when I say it adds a level of depth and realism to your creations.

I’d love to see how you utilize this tip with your own props, so drop me a comment and link me to your work!

The Legend of Stingy Jack

The Legend of Stingy Jack is the theme behind my yard haunt this year, and aims to tell the story of Stingy Jack and the origins of the jack-o-lantern. It originates from Ireland centuries ago, and as part of the haunt I wrote a poem that I posted on a sign to retell the story. Of course, of over the 150 people that came to the door, exactly 1 read it, but hey, such as life…

Stingy Jack went to the pub with the Devil for his last drink
When time came to close the tab ol’ Jack, he didn’t blink
“Turn yourself into a coin so I can pay the man”
And when the Devil did, Jack took the coin into his hand

Into his pocket he dropped the coin, next to a crucifix
The Devil became angry for losing this battle of the wits
“Spare my soul for ten more years, and I’ll set you free”
The Devil didn’t have a choice, and accepted ol’ Jack’s plea

Ten years later, to the day, on All Hallows Eve
The Devil came a calling to take payment on his fee
“Before we go, could you fetch me an apple from this tree?
If I’m to be damned I need some food inside of me”

The Devil scrambled up the tree to fetch the man his snack
Jack carved a cross into the trunk, and again the beast was trapped
“I’ll release you if you vow to never take my soul”
“Never shall I take it!”, the angry beast bellowed

Eventually Jack died from drinking to excess
He climbed the stairs to heaven for his eternal rest
Heaven didn’t want a scoundrel or a thief
So down to hell descended Jack, to try to make his peace

Standing at the gates of hell, the Devil turned him down
“I said I’d never take your soul, and I shall keep my vow”
“What am I supposed to do?!”; Jack fell to his knees
“You are damned to walk the earth, for all eternity”

Jack carved a pumpkin lantern, and asked the Devil for a light
“A burning ember of hellfire, to see you through the night”
As he roams the earth, his Jack O’Lantern lights the way
Beware the night of Samhain, you may see his pumpkin face