Introduction: Amnesia Pig Mask Prank

About: I just like to make things. I dabble in a lot of mediums and usually don't like to spend money on parts, so most of my work is made with leftover materials. I love different forms of storytelling, and have a g…

Immediately after its release a friend of mine organized a group play through of Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs. For those unfamiliar, the Amnesia series is a couple of survival horror games known for being terrifying as they are immersive. Our play through was a two night event where we reserved a room in the building with a projector and played as a group in the dark. One of early tension-building elements in the game is the sudden appearance and disappearance of these cultish looking pig masks throughout the player's surroundings. Even though they are completely harmless, they still cause people's hearts to skip a beat whenever they are discovered.

After the first night of playing we made it about half way through the game before people had to go to sleep (or at least try to without jumping at every sound in the dark). I always loved playing with video game immersion and bringing game elements into the real world, so when I saw how much people freaked out at the Amnesia pig masks I knew I had an opportunity to pull off an awesome prank. We still had a couple of days before the next game session was scheduled so I had time to construct a mask of my own while the terror is still fresh in people's minds.

This project was designed to be executed in one or two nights, so my methods here are not ideal for a prop, nor are they documented very closely. The aim was to create something as quickly as possible that is convincing and recognizable, and despite the fact that it was built mainly of cardboard and craft foam I believe it still functions as a decent prop.

The results of this prank are included on the last page of this Instructable.

This prop is made using crafting foam and cardboard, held together with tape and hot glue. It is decorated with red, white and yellow acrylic paint.

Step 1: Framework

I started off by digging a couple of cereal boxes out of the trash to hold the shape of the mask. I figured some basic geometry out in my head just to work out how the panels will fold into the general shape of the mask. Once i got the cardboard to bend the way I wanted to I started cutting out details on one half of the shape before folding it in half and transferring the outline to the other side. Eventually through trial and error I came up with a basic geometry for the mask.

Step 2: Basic Skin

I had recently found a roll of black craft foam in the house and thought it would be a great way to get a uniform black base color for the mask, while also smoothing out the harsh edges of the cardboard. I used the cardboard as a stencil and traced a few lines onto the foam to cut around. I cut the foam a bit outside of the cardboard edges to make sure that the cereal box doesn't poke out from under the black.

I reassembled the head with the foam panels on top of their corresponding cardboard parts. Then I worked out a cardboard stencil for ears and a cap of the snout, using them to trace and cut those parts out of foam. The ears include tabs that were glued on under the overlapping edge at the sides of the head, hiding their anchors where there was already a seam.

Step 3: A Little Color

Next I sketched out the patterns on the mask in pencil. The patterns were difficult to figure out because the game had just been released and there weren't many pictures of the mask available yet. When I had the patterns as figured out as I could get them, I began painting. I started with all the white lines, letting them dry before filling in the yellow and then red sections. I waited until the end when the white eyes were dried before adding irises mixed of yellow and red. After that dried I painted in black pupils and white spots of light to complete the mask's eerie gaze.

Step 4: Prank Time

By the time our second session of Amnesia rolled around my pig mask was complete and waiting to bring the horror out of the screen and into real life. Before we started I mentioned I had left something in my car and asked to borrow my friend (the host of the event)'s room key so I could get back into the building. I grabbed the pig mask out of the trunk and used the room key to get into his apartment, leaving the mask in the bathroom for him to find. I then nonchalantly returned to the game room so we could begin playing.

We played through to the end that night, and when we finished we all went back to the apartment to do something cheerful since we were all still jumpy from the game. As we were planning out the rest of the evening my friend decided to use his bathroom...

Since then the mask continues to terrorize the household. My friend left it in the bathroom of another roommate who was also playing through Amnesia, but was away at the time of the first prank. His reaction was repeatedly shouting "NOPE!" as he walked across the apartment to use the other bathroom on the opposite end. The mask still gets its use as people slip it into unexpected places to be discovered. I still like to sneak up beside people and place it as close as possible to them just to see how long it takes them to turn their head and notice. It still gets a good reaction.
Halloween Props Contest

Participated in the
Halloween Props Contest