Ever wish it were Halloween all the time? Getting ink is one way to make
spooky season last, because Halloween tattoos are a fun and frightening reminder of the holiday that don’t disappear after October 31. It’s like a little Halloween costume you never have to take off.
Best of all, there’s no end to the sources of inspiration for Halloween tattoos. Not to mention, goth and punk aesthetics are very trendy these days. You can go for cute, classic images such as pieces of Halloween candy, smiling
jack-o-lanterns, or black cats. Or choose your favorite movie monster and get a lifelike portrait. Whether you like the folklore and history of Halloween, or you’re a diehard horror movie fan who wants to commemorate Freddy Krueger forever, there are a zillion different ways to reference Halloween with your tattoos. Oh, and don’t forget about haunted houses, ghosts, Ouija boards, fairy tale witches, skeletons, and everything else that goes bump in the night.
If it’s your first time
going under the needle, there are definitely some things you should know before getting a tattoo. Namely, do your research to find a reputable artist, follow all of their instructions, and remember that there’s no such thing as a painless tattoo. Also, note that it’s not cool to copy other people’s tattoo designs outright, but using them for inspiration when coming up with your own image is perfectly fine. Otherwise, have a blast checking out these Halloween tattoos that celebrate the spooky holiday with some weird, wild, and jaw-dropping designs. 1 Haunted house Halloween tattoo
This adorable haunted house tattoo looks like it came straight from a colorful cartoon. The glowing windows, bats, and crescent moon all add to the mood. Plus, the little ghost and jack-o-lantern make it feel like a perfect Halloween scene.
2 Jack-o-lantern Halloween tattoo
Though it also features artful roses and leaves, this is a Halloween tattoo through and through. The centered jack-o-lantern with its spooky grin gives major October 31 vibes without being over the top.
3 Gravestone Halloween tattoo
Who knew a headstone could look so cute? With its funny “bad vibes” lettering, this gravestone tattoo is a fun design. Combining a classic “scary” image with something lighthearted is a fantastic approach for a Halloween tattoo.
4 Ghost cat Halloween tattoo
If you’re both a Halloween and cat lover, this ultra cute tattoo is the answer for you. Somehow both eerie and adorable, this black and white ghost cat tattoo is a clear nod to the Halloween season without being in your face.
5 Dancing skeleton Halloween tattoo
Anything skulls, bones, or skeleton-related is instantly a Halloween tattoo. Not to mention, skeleton tattoos are super on trend all year-round right now.
6 Colorful skull Halloween tattoo ullstein bild/ullstein bild/Getty Images
A popular choice for tattoos, skull designs can be as whimsical, realistic, or spooky as you like. To make your tattoo feel especially Halloween-y, consider designs with lots of orange and black (and some purple accents) such as this Día de los Muertos inspired design. Or add some extra Halloween symbols, such as black cats, cauldrons, and maybe even candy corn.
7 Halloween candy tattoo
You can add Halloween charm to just about anything, as this cute jack-o-lantern lollipop tattoo proves. With a big bite out of the candy and the black and orange swirly stem, it’s a definite October 31 vibe. Here’s to Halloween-inspired tattoos that are more adorable than scary.
8 Ghostface Halloween tattoo
Let’s hear it for that absolute classic of ‘90s horror films,
Scream. The iconic open-mouthed mask has frightened generations of movie fans, so why not give it a place of honor in your tattoo collection? It’s an easy way to remember that “they always come back.” 9 Movie monster Halloween tattoo MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images/MediaNews Group/Getty Images
If you’re a fan of classic movie monsters such as Dracula, Frankenstein, the Invisible Man, the Wolf Man, and the Mummy, consider getting one of their likenesses inked. As this gorgeous tattoo of Lon Chaney Jr. as the Wolf Man shows, movie monsters make amazing subjects. Also, I want someone to get a “portrait” of the Invisible Man that’s just a shirt.
10 It Halloween tattoo
One of the best things about horror movies is that there are a ton of them, and they are sources of endless inspiration. This
It tattoo is just another example, featuring a Pennywise silhouette, Georgie’s iconic red balloon, and the phrase “we all float.” 11 Tiny Halloween tattoo
Not every Halloween tattoo has to be a big, bold, maximalist design. If you’re into more subtle tattoo imagery, check out this one-inch tattoo design featuring a skeleton and a spooky ghost side by side. Very minimal, very cool.
12 Cute Halloween tattoo
This iconic Sanrio character, Cinna, in ghost form popping out of a giddy jack-o-lantern has got to be one of the cutest Halloween tattoo designs out there. In fact, Halloween-inspired tattoos can be a fun way to reimagine any of your favorite franchise characters in a unique way.
13 Spooky haunted house tattoo
This haunted house looks sinister, and it only gets more interesting the longer you study the image. Plus, the circular framing makes it all the more artistic. It’s a beautiful and haunting tattoo.
14 Trick ‘R Treat Halloween tattoo
Honoring the 2007 horror comedy
Trick ‘r Treat, this tattoo showcases a beautifully done black ink Sam image. It’s both minimal and detailed at the same time, and anyone who’s a fan of the film will love this sendup. 15 Squishmallows Halloween tattoo
Featuring bats, candy corn, and cutely vampiric cow
Squishmallows, this tattoo combines lots of different Halloween iconography for one perfect design. Incorporating a variety of your favorite Halloween symbols is a cool idea for a custom tattoo. 16 Cute ghost Halloween tattoo
Sweet and simple tattoos are always in style. This little ghost is more adorable than scary, but it’s still an undeniably perfect Halloween tattoo. The tiny flower crown is everything.
17 Emotive jack-o-lantern Halloween tattoo
This one’s cool because it’s a classic jack-o-lantern with an emotional twist. The gourd is smiling through tears — candy corn tears, that is. What emotion would you convey in a custom jack-o-lantern tattoo?
18 Witchy Halloween tattoo
If you’re getting a witchy tattoo, then using Kiki from
Kiki’s Delivery Service for inspiration is such a cute idea, especially if you’re a major Studio Ghibli fan. The portrait itself is a stunning example of a well-executed line tattoo. When you find the right tattoo artist, they will get your idea and take it to the next level. 19 Jason Halloween tattoo
Take a classic Halloween symbol and make it your own. Jason Voorhees’ mask is a dull white shade in the movies, but this colorful interpretation puts a fun spin on the image.
20 Simple pumpkin Halloween tattoo
tiny, minimalist tattoos can make a big impact. This simple pumpkin tattoo pays tribute to the autumnal icon. A simple design on your wrist, arm, ankle, or neck can subtly show off your love for Halloween and the fall season in general. 21 Adorable movie villain Halloween tattoo
Who would expect the character from the
Saw films could look so small and adorable (yet also still creepy)? Taking a legitimately scary character from horror movies or folklore and making it cute is one way to create a totally original scary tattoo. Now I want to see a cute and cartoony version of the Babadook. 22 Vampire teeth Halloween tattoo
Those silly plastic fangs turned up in almost every trick or treater’s haul as a kid. If you were lucky, they even glowed in the dark. This sweet but simple tattoo has definite connections to Halloween.
23 Spooky black Halloween tattoo
Consider a simple image with strong outlines. This eerie ghost and space void are all that’s needed to convey an eerie vibe. Plus, simple tattoo designs can last a long time, and solid shaded pieces are among the most durable.
24 Candy apple Halloween tattoo
This one is so creative, combining a sweet candy apple design with a poison skull. Maybe give your artist a list of scary images for your tattoo idea and see how they combine them. You’ll get something uniquely clever and fun like this one.
25 Ouija Halloween tattoo
Ouija boards open up all sorts of design possibilities. A tattoo of the planchette (aka pointer), like the one pictured here, is classic. Plus, the distinct curved alphabet and phrases such as “yes,” “no,” and “goodbye” are all cool possibilities, too.
26 The Nightmare Before Christmas Halloween tattoo
No list of Halloween tattoos would be complete without Jack Skellington or his trusty best friend, Zero. In fact, a design of Zero the ghost dog with his glow-in-the-dark jack-o-lantern nose is amazing. Really, any character from
The Nightmare Before Christmas is totally tattoo-worthy. 27 Black cat Halloween tattoo
Few images say October 31 quite like a black cat. If you’re lucky enough to live with one of these magnificent creatures, then your tattoo artist can create an image based on your favorite photo of your pet. Otherwise, ask your tattooist to draw up a totally original black cat from their imagination.
28 Hocus Pocus Halloween tattoo
This spell book tattoo is a gorgeous and subtle tribute to one of the best Halloween movies ever,
Hocus Pocus. Any (or all) of the Sanderson sisters would also make amazing tattoo subjects. Basically, any scene or character from this classic film is well worth the ink. 29 Trick-or-treat Halloween tattoo
This is such a happy, cute, and festive design. Don’t be afraid to get colorful with your Halloween tattoo!
30 Witch’s hat Halloween tattoo
What’s more Halloween-themed than a witch’s pointy hat? With its adorable bow, cobweb, and dangling moon, this could be the hat of a character from a children’s book, to be honest.
Whether you’re a big fan of horror movies, black cats, pumpkins, or even candy corn, there are so many ways to celebrate spooky season with some ink. As these Halloween inspired tattoos prove, this holiday is worth celebrating all year long.
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This article was originally published on
Aug. 12, 2021