When you think of a horse head, the first image that may come to mind is the infamous scene in The Godfather when Jack Woltz woke up to find the head of his Triple-Crown winning horse, Khartoum in his bed! In the movie, he paid over $600 000 for the horse, which was quite a bit of dough at that time. The horse was killed to teach Woltz a lesson for going against the Godfather’s wishes. That scene may very well be the reason behind the creation of the latex Horse Head mask.
In recent years, the creepy horse head mask has popped up all over the internet. Some people like it because it’s weird, while others like the surreal feeling they get when they wear one. And some people wear it to hide their identity. With the rise in CCTV cameras on every street corner, many citizens have decided that they don’t like to be filmed every three seconds of their lives, and want to hide their faces from the cameras.
The Horse Head mask first hit the web in 2002. It was made available by the Seattle-based novelty seller, Archie McPhee & Co. The store is owned by Mark Pahlow. It originally began as a mail order business in Los Angeles during the 1970s, selling all sorts of kitsch like rubber chickens, glow in the dark aliens, hula girl swizzle sticks, bacon scented air fresheners and just about every other type of novelty item imaginable.
Who actually started producing the Horse Head mask in the first place is unknown, but it is believed that Pahlow came up the concept and ordered its production from a foreign manufacturer. Today, you can buy one just about anywhere. The internet is filled with them! Prices vary, depending on the quality of the materials and the workmanship.
Rise in Popularity
Sales for the Horse Head mask began slowly. Real interest wasn’t shown until about 2008, around Halloween time and right after Darling Darling, a short film starring Michael Cera featured the mask. By 2013, the mask was a big hit. People started to not just wear it for Halloween, but for all sorts of occasions, including just as a gimmick to freak out other people.
YouTube videos began to pop up all over the internet with some person dancing or performing while wearing the mask. On the Japanese video sharing website, Nico Nico Douga, the use of a Horse Head mask is extremely popular. The main reason is that the performers wish to remain anonymous, and there is no better disguise than a latex mask that covers your entire head!
In Aberdeen, Scotland, a young man, Dobbin Horsome just happened to have a Horse Head mask with him when the Google street map car drove by. Strange coincidence? He was on his way to the pub when he noticed the car coming his way. Quickly, Horsome popped on the mask just before the Goggle team snapped a picture of him. He has become known all over the internet as “Horse Boy.”
As part of a Halloween costume, or just for fun, get a laugh out of your very own weird and wacky Horse Head mask!