I’ve been a super fan of the original Silent Hill games since I discovered them in high school. My friend and I went into a used game store when I was 14 or 15 and I bought a copy of Silent Hill 2 completely by impulse. I went home to play it and got sucked in immediately. It’s still my favorite game of all time. I’ve played practically all of the other games in the series (1-4 and Origins are terrific, Homecoming and Downpour are hot garbage) and seen the movies (the first of which is one half-step above hot garbage, and the second which is maybe the worst movie I’ve ever seen), but the characters and story in SH2 are unmatched. I have yet to find anything that affects me quite the same way.
For years I thought about making a Halloween costume based off of one of the series’ most frightening monsters, Silent Hill 2’s red pyramid thing (stylized as “Pyramid Head” by fans). I took the plunge this year, and not being particularly crafty I wasn’t sure how successful I’d be. It actually turned out better than I planned:
I started out by doing some research online. A few kind souls had built this costume and made painstaking step-by-step instructions on how to recreate it. I decided to take some liberties with what I found, partially so I could make it my own and partially because I wanted to see if I could improve on the formula with my own creativity.
I took the measurements for the head verbatim from a cosplayer’s instructional diagrams. The pyramid itself is constructed of four separate panels which I carved out of heavy cardboard. Most of the instructions I saw online recommended spray-painting the panels, but I decided to hand paint everything to try and make it look as close to metal as possible. The photo above is early in the process after I painted each panel black, cut out the initial eye-holes and covered them from the interior in a rubber kitchen mesh (also painted black), and hot-glued the panels together. The isosceles triangular panels in the back are measured out to be taller than the front panels, making the whole helmet rest comfortably over my shoulders.
This photo shows the process a little further along. By this point I had measured out a second layer of mesh to go on the outside of the helmet and over the eye-holes, both to further hide my head inside the helmet and also to work on making the helmet seem as industrial as possible. You can also see the beginnings of the “rivets” and “pipes” which were hot-glued around the mesh area (those details were made from wooden crafting supplies). I also added the sill to the bottom of the helmet with more cardboard and by using my own custom measurements. I went completely nuts with the hot glue; as you can see with the paint applied to it, the over-glued areas started to look like welds.
Rather than copying the red pyramid thing‘s helmet from either SH2 or the films, I combined aspects of the two to make my own interpretation.
Here are the completed pieces. The helmet’s finishing touch was the rust-colored paint which I applied carefully with a coarse sponge. This was actually one of the more nerve-wracking parts of the build because I was concerned I wouldn’t get the perfect shade; I wanted the coloration to resemble the red pyramid thing‘s helmet from the game, which looks like an amalgamation of deep rust and caked red blood. It took me a good half-hour or more to mix the proper combinations of red, orange, yellow and brown paints until I was happy with the outcome. The first photo shows how much this layer made the other accessory pieces pop (the “rivets” and “pipes” specifically) which I was really happy with.
I didn’t take any photos of the Great Knife while it was in progress, but it was a relatively simple build. I actually decided not to look up a tutorial on the Knife and created it completely from scratch, basing it primarily on the game’s version. I cut out two identical pieces of heavy cardboard into the shape I wanted and glued them together. The two pieces combined with the hot-glue made the Knife quite sturdy. I used a primer on the cardboard before painting it a metallic gray, which I created by mixing a little black paint with tons of white paint. After that dried I painted the Knife’s edge white to resemble a sharpened blade. I then used some costume blood on each side of the blade to create the drip effect. Lastly I used a fine paintbrush and black paint to give the Knife its accents, scrapes and scratches. I used electrical tape for the blade’s hilt.
During the build I made notes as I went and tried my best to keep a checklist of what still needed to be done so I didn’t have to constantly repaint and re-glue things. Organization of my thoughts kept me from going crazy trying to complete everything on the fly.
While I was building the helmet and blade, I also worked on the other pieces of my costume which were much, much easier. I purchased a white butcher’s apron, butcher’s meat cutting gloves, and a white painter’s jumpsuit. Because I live in Colorado and it’s a universal law that Halloween falls on a week when it snows, I wanted the jumpsuit so I could wear heavier clothing underneath to keep warm. My girlfriend had the brilliant idea to tea-stain the apron and jumpsuit (we simply boiled up a handful of tea bags, let the clothes sit in the tea overnight, and let them dry outside afterward), and the final touch was using costume blood to splatter on the clothing to complete the red pyramid thing‘s grisly appearance. I already had a pair of chunky work boots to complete the ensemble.
Everything came together well. My extremely patient, extremely artistic partner took plenty of nice photos of my creation when it was finished (more of them are on my personal Instagram). The weekend before Halloween, when all the best parties were taking place this year, there was plenty of snow in the forecast as always which added to the Silent Hill effect. My buddy also dressed up as James Sunderland so I had someone to terrorize.
I had a total blast putting this thing together and the reaction from others made it even more fun. It’s definitely inspired me to craft some other ideas in the future. It also helped me take first prize at a costume contest this year!
I’d like to thank the Academy.