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Couple Moves Into Victorian-Era Home and Finds “Death Mask” in the Floors

A Victorian home (left) is pictured next to a “death mask” plaster cast (right).
Source: Wikipedia

What do you expect to see when you renovate a home? Likely not a Victorian-era death mask. This homeowner, choosing to go on record anonymously, reported her finding to the New York Post — detailing her encounter with the plaster-cast mask as she was converting her Victorian home to a more modern-day setup. Here’s what we know.

Death mask, in this case, is used to describe a mask or a cast that was taken of someone who was already deceased at the time of the casting. In her summary that she had posted on Reddit, a community forum site, the anonymous interviewee confirmed that her husband was the first to spot the finding:

“My husband was pulling out the floorboards and found this death mask. It’s very much a death mask…it’s a plaster cast and I’m sure the person must have been dead, or at least unconscious…one of the eyelids was very slightly open when the imprint…was made.”

The Post quoted her account. She went on to hypothesize the image that she believed was behind the mask, attempting to put the pieces together behind this mysterious finding. Her assumption? Per the Post, the homeowner believes that the plaster was taken from a middle-aged female suspect, possibly one who didn’t have eyebrows. This conclusion was considered, since there were no feathered eyebrow-level indentations in the plaster cast.

There were few further details reported by the Post or by the homeowner. “Nothing is written on the cast,” she told the Post: “There’s only a little hook at the back that looks like the mask could be mounted on a wall.”

As the story went viral, many were wondering if the woman lived in a haunted house of sorts, as the finding is admittedly beyond the norm that you’d expect to see. She acknowledged this herself, as the New York Post quoted her stating that the whole situation was “very mysterious.”

The home that the homeowner had been renovating was a Victorian-era home that had originally been transformed into a set of flats. She encountered the mask when she was pulling up the floor for further renovation.

Reportedly, there was nothing buried alongside the cast. The homeowner reported that the cast was buried alone next to gravel and soil, and was free from damage. In her Reddit post, she asked fellow Redditors what to do with the mask; as she didn’t simply want to throw it away.

“Would it be bad luck to sell it?” the Post reports her asking. “I don’t know how else to dispose of it [and] I’m not too keen on keeping it in the flat.”

Users quickly responded, per the New York Post, with many of them recommending that she take it to a local oddities shop or a historical society. Others advised that it wasn’t a death mask at all, instead hypothesizing that it was a simple cast, possibly for artistic purposes.



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