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the occasions lady and

Mask Creepers
by Audrey Poff, illustration by Brittney Guest

There’s something unsettling about meeting someone on the street or in a store who is wearing a disturbing face mask. I’m not referring to traditional Halloween masks that are part of a costume. I am talking about masks worn to prevent the spread of COVID-19 that are designed to be creepy.

Recently, we visited two restaurants where guests were wearing skeleton face masks. Personally, I think life in a global pandemic is scary enough. Regardless, with Halloween only a few weeks away, I predict mask creepers will be lurking around every corner during the month of October.

A recent online search provided no shortage of creepy face coverings now available for purchase. Here’s a look at the ones at the top of my creep factor list.

Pennywise: The creepy clown from Stephen King’s novel and the movie, “IT,” Pennywise is now available as a face mask. The thought of unexpectedly bumping into Pennywise, the ancient alien creature with the red balloon that feeds on townsfolk, gives me nightmares.

The Joker: No matter which version of the Joker you consider to be the creepiest, you can now purchase a face mask that transforms the lower half of your face into the iconic Batman villain. Those oversized red clown lips set against pasty white skin send a chill down my spine.

Alien Face Hugger: With its sci-fi twist, the Alien Face Hugger mask is designed to look like there is an alien devouring the bottom half of your face as you walk around protecting yourself from COVID-19.

Jason: Straight out of Camp Crystal Lake, this face mask resembles the iconic hockey mask worn by the machete-wielding killer in “Friday the 13th,” Jason Voorhees.

Scream: Ghostface, the fictional character in the “Scream” series, concealed its identity while conducting serial murders. You can now protect yourself from the coronavirus with a face mask that resembles the iconic ghost face with a screaming expression.

In a year of unprecedented events, I feel certain that Halloween 2020 will be like none other. I may not be a fan of the face mask creepers, but if it helps stop the spread of the coronavirus during the month of October, bring on the ghouls and goblins.