From scars and skull tattoos to a scary take on beloved cartoon characters, creepy tattoo designs have a way of drawing in both artists and clients. Here’s a few ideas to engage your spooky side.

Halloween Tattoos: When Spooky Meets Ink


Image from ShishirBindu

Forget Thanksgiving and Christmas. For spooky season fans across the country, October is the coolest month of all. It’s a month of chilling movies and fun horror rides that culminates in Halloween.

Horror, Halloween, and tattoos have blended together for a long time. It’s why so many horror conventions such as Spooky Empire bring in tattoo artists who specialize in scary ink.

But which Halloween tattoos are the best to show off your scary side? Keep reading to get some haunting inspiration!

Scary Scars

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Image from Gericsek Tattoos

Many people opt for conservative tattoos that can easily be hidden with clothes, gloves, or shoes. If you’re willing to openly sport a big tattoo, it’s tough to go wrong with scary scars.

Such a tattoo can make it look like your head or back was cut open (or perhaps just patched together like Frankenstein’s monster). These tattoos are loud and sure to command attention in a crowded room, so make sure you’re fully committed to the Halloween tattoo spirit before you get your ink done.

You can also blend the “bold and bloody” tats with our next idea: 3D ink.

Power of Perspective

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Image from Best Tattoos

While external monsters are scary, most of us are frightened by the idea of darkness inside ourselves. That’s what makes 3D perspective tattoos so effective if you want to get something shocking.

For example, these tattoos can make it look like the bones on your harm, hand, legs, or feet are practically popping out of your body. For extra scary points, you can have something scary peering from behind your bones as if they were prison bars.

Robot parts, alien exoskeleton…the sky is the limit on ways to make the inside of your body look downright creepy.

The Creepy Side of Normal

zombie disney tattoos

Image from Liverpool Echo

Speaking of creepy, there is a fine line between cheap scares and creeping horror, and you can use this fine line to your advantage!

For example, plenty of people have scary flash tattoos or realistic movie monster tattoos. If we’re being honest, that kind of ink is truly a dime a dozen.

To maximize scares, try to find a creepy version of something that is otherwise normal. Disney characters with haunting eyes or zombie versions of comic characters are just a couple of the ways that you can subvert expectations and get something seriously spooky on your skin.

In the right scenario, even children can be frightening. If you don’t believe us, go rewatch The Shining!

What That Mouth Do?


Image from Tattoo Ideas

Body horror makes for some of the most genuinely terrifying movies. When we see the body move or act in unnatural ways, it tickles the uncanny valley in our brains and makes us afraid.

You can use this to your advantage by getting tattoos of body parts in unexpected areas. A mouth (vampire or otherwise) on your arms or eyes on your hands may not seem scary by itself. However, these natural body parts in unnatural locations are sure to prompt some major gasps wherever you go.

Halloween Tattoos: When Ink Gets Scary

Now you know how to plan your Halloween tattoos before the big day rolls around. But do you know who will keep you in the tattoo loop long after you run out of candy from trick-or-treating?

Be sure to return to Tattooing 101 each week for the coolest (and spookiest) tattoo news. And we can’t wait to see what scary tats you boys and “ghouls” come up with this year!

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Nathan Molenaar

Nathan is a licensed professional tattoo artist with over 8 years’ experience working at studios across the globe, including Celebrity Ink, the world's largest tattoo studio chain.

When he's not tattooing, he spends his free time sharing his experience and knowledge with aspiring artists who dream of pursuing a career in the tattooing industry.

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