Frequently asked questions

Have a question about our products, services, history, or policies? You have come to the right place. We have tried to put as much as possible here and will be adding to this page as more questions are asked. If there is something missing or if you need more information just use the form at the bottom of this page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where did your Original Maltese Falcon come from?

What is the difference between Studio 303 and The Haunted Studios?

Is The Haunted Studios™ on the IMDb?

Are your products made in America?

What is your return policy?

What are your shipping options and policies?

What is a Life Mask?

Do you still sell life masks?

Can I wear a Life Mask?

Are your life masks life size?

Can I paint the masks myself to make them look life like?

Why do some Life Masks have hair and open eyes?

Where do your original Life Masks come from?

I have an original Life Mask I want to sell, are you interested?

How many copies of each mask are made?

Do the masks come with any Certificates?

Other people sell the same masks but they cost three times as much. Why?

Can I get one of your life masks cast in bronze or other metal?

What is the Conrad Brooks Collection™ and where did it come from?






Where did your Original Maltese Falcon™ Come From?

A long and interesting story. To start with we need to go back to the original 1941 Warner Brothers production of The Maltese Falcon starring Humphrey Bogart.

Surviving documents and published first person accounts confirm that director John Huston was far from pleased when presented with the first prop, a recasting of the stylized Falcon previously used in the 1931 Warner's production of The Maltese Falcon, by Art Director Robert Haas. The problem with the Falcon was that by 1941 its smooth Art Nuevo lines looked dated and too feminine as can be seen in the photo below. Moreover the prop looked new, and Huston felt this inappropriate for a piece that had been around the world many times in the hands of greedy men. More than 600 years travel should have taken their toll, but as presented the prop looked like it was literally made yesterday.

1931 Maltese Falcon

An Artist in his own right, Huston called upon fellow artist and friend Fred Sexton to sculpt a more "masculine, aggressive" prop. While impressive in its own right, the Falcon delivered to Houston still looked new, so the director produced a number of sketches depicting how the Sexton Falcon should be aged for its appearance on the screen. Following Huston's instructions the Warner Brothers Property Department produced a second, aged original that won the director's OK. This “smooth” Falcon was cast by the studio in hard plaster, while Associate Producer Henry Blanke arranged for an outside modeler to provide a light weight and durable resin casting as well as the infamous solid lead casting.

It is important to know that the resin falcon is actually quite different from the plaster and lead falcons; its head is flat and elongated, much like a real bird. The resin Falcon was used exclusively in publicity photos and compared to the screen used castings the difference is plain to see. At various times during and after production the Falcons were repainted and details added or removed from the Falcon as required for proper read on camera.

Alleged Sexton Falcon from recent auction
We all know what the Falcon looked like that made it to the screen, but what happened to the original, unaltered Maltese Falcon? That is a question that historians have been arguing over for years.

We do know that several plaster castings were made of the unaltered Falcon. Some immediately disappeared into private collections, in the early 1990s a claim was made that one had been found inside a sound stage wall at Warner Brothers, and at least one may have ended up in the hand prop room at Century Props on Santa Monica Blvd in Hollywood. That Falcon was rented in the summer of 1962 for use on The Steve Allen Show syndicated by Westinghouse TV and taped just down the street from Century Props in the old Vine Street Theater.

The Falcon was to have been used in a comedy sketch featuring Allen as Sam Spade, but for reasons unknown the bit was never performed and the Falcon sat backstage at The Steve Allen Playhouse on Vine Street in Hollywood, never returned to Century Props.

In the summer of 1963 a new Steve Allen Show set was installed and a general house cleaning took place. Ken Patterson, then a teenager, spent most of the summer hanging out at the studio, having been introduced to the crew by Talent Coordinator Jerry Hopkins. Over time Ken became an informal intern, or “gofer” helping out wherever he could. When the old set was coming down Ken was given a VW bus load of castoffs including scripts, photos, set elements and props. Stage Manager Johnny Wilson asked Ken if he wanted the dusty, unused Falcon and the rest, as they say, is history.

Steve Allen Playhouse photo by Ken Patterson Copyright 1963
With help from his friend, sculptor Vito Paulekas, Ken set about producing his first latex glove mold from The Falcon. Within days he had sold the several castings through a collector's book shop just off of Hollywood Blvd. Castings of our Original Maltese Falcon, The Real Maltese Falcon™, has been offered for sale by The Haunted Studios™ continuously since 1963.

In 2008 The Haunted Studios™, in association with Studio 303™, for the first time offered a screen accurate version of The Original Maltese Falcon to honor the 45th Anniversary of our offering of The Real Maltese Falcon™.

The 45th Anniversary Falcon was created by applying hand burnishing and aging techniques to a cast of The Real Maltese Falcon™ in order to achieve a Screen Accurate replica with an authenticated history. Our Falcon stands 12" tall is resin cast with a weighted bottom and has a standard shipping weight of 5 LBS as well as lead filled weight options up to 30 LBS.







What is the difference between Studio 303 and The Haunted Studios?

This is really a chicken or the egg question. Ken Patterson, the founder and Curator of The Haunted Studios Collection™ grew up in and around Hollywood California in the 1960s. This was a time of great change in the entertainment industry as well as society in general. Throughout the 1960s studios were bought and sold, consolidated, or closed and there was a great deal of cleaning house going on. Not only were they letting go of long time contract employees, they were cleaning out old storerooms and lofts. Decades worth of old effects prop molds, life masks, and sets were on their way to the landfills of Southern California.

Starting in 1963 Ken mined a sizeable collection of celebrity Life Masks. Whenever Ken would show the collection the immediate reaction was amazement and "I want one!” Life Masks were not well know as they are today. They were collected and traded, but only by entertainment insiders and were highly valued prizes.

Ken had been kicking around the name The Haunted Studios™ since hearing the story of an old sound stage on Santa Monica Blvd that was supposed to be haunted by the ghost of Rudolph Valentino. Ken began using the Haunted Studios™ name for a number of projects in 1963, including the sale of castings of Life Masks and The Real Maltese Falcon™.

Sculptor Vito Paulekas in 1963

Noted sculptor Vito Paulekas was both friend and mentor to Ken and helped with the very first molds made from the original life masks and of course the Falcon. The Haunted Studios™ production division, Studio 303™, is named in honor of Vito, the address of his Hollywood art studio was 303 North Laurel Avenue.

To make a long story short, Studio 303™ makes them and The Haunted Studios™ sells them!







Is The Haunted Studios™ on the IMDb? 

Yes, The Haunted Studios™ is represented on the IMDb by Ken Patterson's page featuring lots of history, trivia, as well as IMDb links to Ken's film and television credits.







Are your products made in America? 

Yes, all Haunted Studios™ products are made in America by Studio 303™.  In producing our resin castings we use only products made in America.  Our shipping boxes are also made in America.  Whenever possible we choose American made components for everything we make.







What is your return policy? 

Your purchase from The Haunted Studios™ collection comes with an unconditional satisfaction guarantee. If you are not happy with your purchase it may be returned for a full refund of your purchase price including original shipping charges. This no fault return policy does not require you to say why your item is unsatisfactory, the only requirement is that your purchase be returned in as new condition. Items returned with missing or damaged components may be subject to a restocking fee at our sole discretion.

Special order items as well as our lead filled heavyweight Falcons will be subject to a restocking fee. Insured return shipping is the responsibility of the buyer. Import duties, fees, and taxes collected by your country of residence may be refundable, you would need to contact your local agency directly.

In addition to our no fault guarantee, all shipments are full insured against loss or damage in transit and in the event of this damage or loss there is no restocking fee.  In the event of damage or loss in transit refunds may be paid directly by our carrier.







What are your shipping options and policies? 

Domestic Shipments
depending upon what is available you may choose any USPS or FedEx shipping option available to your delivery address upon checkout. Our shipping estimate system allows you to see all available shipping options, and make your final selection, prior to checkout. All shipping prices are provided by the USPS and FedEx online servers and are based upon combined weight and size of all items in your order.

You make the decision on shipping speed (USPS Parcel Post, Priority Mail, Express Mai, FedEx Home Delivery, 2nd Day Air, etc.) plus our products are all cast in lightweight resin that yields lower shipping costs than our previous stone casts. The faster the delivery the higher the shipping cost as you might expect.  All items are shipped fully insured again loss or damage.

International Shipments
depending upon your delivery address we offer both USPS and FedEx for international shipments, but we strongly recommend USPS. Always select a USPS option for the lowest cost and fast dependable delivery without additional customs agency charges associated with FedEx.

We include an invoice in the customs pouch for all international shipments as required by postal regulations. The lowest cost international shipping rate, First Class International, is limited to a total weight of 4 LBS. All international items are shipped fully insured again loss or damage.  Import duty in the country of delivery is additional and payable by buyer per the laws of country of delivery.

Processing Speed Options
Our production system allows you to select Standard, Rush, or Guaranteed Same Day processing. Standard processing orders typically ship within five business days of payment processing. Rush processing moves your order to the top of the queue and typically process for shipping within 48 hours of payment processing.







What is a Life Mask?

A life mask is a cast taken from the face of a living person. Also known as a life cast these living impressions have been used for centuries by artists working in all mediums to capture true to life images.

The Richard Boone Players with their Life Masks

Life masks have been used in motion picture and television industries to create special effects make up. Rather than tying up an actor to sit through make up tests, a cast is taken and used to produce the required make up appliances. In recent years the advent of 3D printers have made possible a kind of digital life mask by teaming a digital scan of a person’s head with the new 3D printing technology to produce a kind of “touch less” life mask.

David Duchovny with Haunted Studios™ life mask of himself

A variation is the death mask, again a centuries old technique, used to record the features of dead persons.


Death Mask in progress






Do you still sell life masks?

In 2015 we began the process of slowing our sales of life masks. There were a number of reasons for our decision; several of our license agreements were ending, over 100 of our life masks were due for new silicone molds, and, finally, we just grew weary of the shrill tone of other sellers.  We will, however, continue to offer a limited selection of our most requested masks.

We sold our first life masks in 1963 and were the leading source, worldwide, for museum quality life masks until we ended production in 2015. But time marches on and none of us are as young as we used to be, and 52 years of sales was long enough. We have now reduced from several hundred to just a few life masks at any one time to concentrate on production and sales of our Original Maltese Falcon™ and 1941 Screen Accurate Maltese Falcon™.

Special releases of life masks have taken place during the Halloween and Christmas holiday seasons and we hope to continue these seasonal releases in the future.

Works in progress in The Haunted Studios™






Can I wear a Life Mask?

No. Life Masks are made as display pieces.  Traditionally life masks are solid or hollow cast in plaster or stone.  Life Casts from The Haunted Studios Collection™ are exclusively cast in lightweight resin.







Are your life masks life size?

Yes, all Life Masks sold by The Haunted Studios™ are life size. It is often surprising just how small some actors are; a long standing tradition dating back to the stage. Smaller actors allowed for smaller (and cheaper) sets and costumes. Some life masks are cast from originals that are over 70 years old and may have one to two percent shrinkage due to age but remain essentially life size.







Can I paint the masks myself to make them look life like?

Yes, many of our customers paint the casts in flesh tones. For best results order your mask in white and use any good quality oil or acrylic paint. All of our life masks are available in White, Antique Gold, or Antique Silver.

A collection of three Haunted Studios life masks










Why do some Life Masks have hair and open eyes?

The Life Masks in The Haunted Studios Collection™ are all cast from studio originals; we do not "sculpt" or "enhance" the life masks in any way. Typically a studio will create a life mask to develop special effects make up. For that purpose the casting will not have hair or open eyes.

Richard Boone with Life Mask

Other times, as illustrated above with actor Richard Boone, the studio technicians will sculpt the eyes open or add hair. The only Haunted Studios™ Life Masks that have open eyes or hair are the ones sculpted by the original studios; we do NOT modify the life masks in any way.







Where do your original Life Masks come from?

Our collection began in 1963 when Ken Patterson saved a number of life masks and original molds being discarded by Revue, the then television production division of Universal Studios. Ken pulled nearly 100 masks and molds from the dumpsters at the time Universal was cleaning house. Over the years we have purchased or traded life masks to bring our collection to over 3,000 Life and Death Masks. Only a fraction have ever been offered for sale at any one time.

Revue Studios 1964







I have an original Life Mask I want to sell, are you interested?

No, sorry, as of 2015 we have stopped adding to our collection.







How many copies of each mask are made?

Generally we produce 50 pieces from each mold, then that mold is destroyed. Some editions may be as large as 100 pieces. Each mask is closed numbered. We use an IR ink to record the mask number on the back of each mask. Your purchase is registered with us and your number recorded. Often, for popular Life Masks, we will create a new mold when the initial run is sold out. Some masks, however, are limited to their initial production run and once sold out are never again offered.







Do the masks come with any Certificates?

Yes, each Life Mask from The Haunted Studios™ comes with a Certificate of Authenticity and your purchase is registered with us along with your mask’s production number.







Other people sell the same masks but they cost three times as much. Why?

The short answer is greed. Charge whatever the market will bear. That was not our way however. We have always offered a great product at a more than fair price.

We have been collecting, trading, and selling life masks since 1963. That's over 50 years. When we started, a hard to find cast might cost hundreds of dollars (remember those are 1960s dollars!).  When we began selling our collection on the internet we wanted to have fair, popular prices. Most of our "faces" are under $50 and most of our "heads" are under $100.







Can I get one of your life masks cast in bronze or other metal?

No, sorry, we discontinued foundry casting of life masks in 1999.







What is the Conrad Brooks Collection™ and where did it come from?

I met Conrad Brooks in 1996 at the time I was planning a relaunch party for Absolute Post, a Burbank California based television post production house. We had just completed a facility wide upgrade and had added two new digital graphics and effects suites.

Because our relaunch was happening in October I came up with the Haunted House Party idea. With assistance from my good friend Allen Skinner we were able to trace original Ed Wood stars and horror icons Maila Nurmi, aka Vampira, and Conrad Brooks, aka The Gielgund of bad films, and obtained their participation in our party. Guests had their pictures taken with Vampira and Brooks supplied many posters, lobby cards, and photos that were to have been used at the party.

Due to conflicts with other members of the management team we were unable to make use of Brooks’ memorabilia at the party but I did purchase several hundred vintage, original photographs and lobby cards from him. Many of the items had been given to Brooks by Bela Lugosi, a fellow Ed Wood star and friend.

In 2018 we began the process of digitizing the collection and will be offering the first items in 2019 exclusively here on our website.


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From our founder . . .

"These are our most asked questions.  If we have missed something please use the form above to submit a suggestion for this page.  Your suggestions are greatly appreciated and we look forward to adding your ideas here"


Our Founder, Ken Patterson


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