Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

Tor Johnson Monster Mask

Horror Movie Actor & Eternal Valley Resident

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Click to enlarge.

"Eternal" Santa Clarita Valley resident Tor Johnson's face — unadulterated but for the addition of a forehead scar — was sufficiently frightening to become the best-selling Halloween horror mask of the late 1960s-early 1970s.

Sculpted from life in the 1960s by Pat Newman, the mask was cast in latex by Don Post Studios. The example shown here, which has no neck split, is from 1977, shortly before the changeover to vinyl. Maker Don Post (1902-1979), the "Godfather of Halloween," was the original creator of over-the-head rubber masks.

Tor Johnson (1903-1971) starred in 1959's "Plan 9 from Outer Space," which was voted the worst movie of all time — and in 1961's "The Beast of Yucca Flats," which actually WAS the worst movie of all time. The latter was filmed almost exclusively in the (now) Canyon Country-Soledad Canyon area and uses the old 6-S Ranch Airpark, which became the North Oaks subdivision.

Johnson is interred in Eternal Valley Memorial Park and Cemetery, a few paces down the hill from the mausoleum.

LW3638: Digital images of mask in collection of Leon Worden (purchased 2011).
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