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. You can go for cute, classic images such as 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 die-hard horror movie fan who wants to commemorate Freddy Krueger forever, there’s 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, here’s
what you should know before getting a tattoo. (Basically, research your artist and remember that there’s no such thing as a painless tattoo.) Also, don’t copy other people’s tattoo designs outright, just use them for inspiration when coming up with your own image. Otherwise, have a blast checking out these Halloween tattoos that celebrate the spooky holiday with some weird, wild, and jaw-dropping designs. 1 Cute Haunted House Tattoo
This adorable haunted house tattoo looks like it came straight from an episode of
Scooby Doo. The glowing windows, rolling fog, and crescent moon all add to the mood. Plus, the little ghost and bats make it feel like a perfect Halloween scene. 2 Cool Skull 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). Or add some extra Halloween symbols around it, such as black cats, cauldrons, and maybe even candy corn.
3 Jack-O’-Lantern & Candy
The Jack-O’-Lantern, candy apple, and assorted candies make one thing clear: this is a Halloween tattoo through and through. Also, there’s something so likeable about the pumpkin’s expression. I’m not sure
what it’s emoting, exactly, but I can totally relate. 4 Classic Movie Monster 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. 5 Adorable Gravestone Tattoo
Who knew a headstone could look so cute? With its emoji-like skull, this gravestone tattoo is a fun design. Really, combining a classic “scary” image with something adorable is a fantastic approach for a Halloween tattoo.
6 Halloween Tattoo For Halloween
Pay tribute to 1978’s film
Halloween, which introduced the world to Michael Myers and that haunting mask. Any fellow horror fans will recognize the image immediately, and everyone else will simply be a little unnerved. Really, any of the ‘70s slasher films would make a fun tattoo reference, including The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. 7 Sleepy Hollow Tattoo
I remembered Washington Irving’s
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow as a charming story, but this image is downright terrifying. Even the horse is intense. With the pumpkins and the Headless Horseman at play, the story is full of inspiration for a Halloween tattoo with roots in American history. 8 Spooky Sushi
You can add Halloween charm to just about anything, as this cute sushi tattoo proves. The happy little bats and pumpkin lend a definite October 31 vibe, but the sushi is clearly the subject. Here’s to Halloween-inspired tattoos that are more adorable than scary.
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.” 10 Halloween Sequel Tattoo
One of the best things about horror movies are the zillions of sequels. Fellow
Halloween franchise fans will recognize the Curse of Thorn, but it will just look like a random tattoo to everybody else. It’s a subtle way to add a little nod to horror cinema into your tattoo. 11 Halloween-Inspired Flash
Custom tattoo designs are understandably popular, but it’s still possible to choose from a selection of predesigned images known as tattoo flash. (It might be posted on the walls in some tattoo shops, for instance.) Some shops even offer special Halloween tattoo flash designs, such as this cool little rat. Follow your local shops on social media to see whether they offer any holiday specials.
12 Candy Corn In Costume
This piece of candy corn dressed up as a vampire is possibly the most Halloween-inspired tattoo ever. A controversial treat, candy corn is sometimes ranked as the
worst Halloween candy ever, even trailing behind Circus Peanuts. But all decked out in its costume, this tri-colored treat looks perfect. 13 Spooky Haunted House Tattoo
This haunted house looks sinister, and it only gets more interesting the longer you study the image. What’s going on in the one room with a light on? Why are so many bats circling the tower? It’s a beautiful and haunting tattoo.
14 Detailed Trick ‘R Treat Tattoo
Honoring the 2007 horror/comedy
Trick ‘r Treat, this tattoo combines almost every piece of Halloween imagery you can think of. The style is bright, colorful, and appealing, but still a little creepy at the same time. Anyone who’s a fan of the film will love this sendup. 15 Simple Trick R’ Treat Tattoo
This subtle pumpkin pop tattoo will be unmistakable to fellow horror fans. Also, check the Jason mask just below it. Incorporating symbols from a variety of your favorite horror flicks is a cool idea for a custom tattoo.
16 Spooky Ghost Tattoo
Sweet and simple tattoos are always in style. This *spooky* ghost is more adorable than scary, but it’s still an undeniably perfect Halloween tattoo. The tiny “boo” is everything.
17 Emotive Jack-O’-Lantern
This one’s cool because it’s a classic Jack-O’-Lantern with an *emotional* twist. The gourd is smiling through tears. What emotion would you convey in a custom Jack-O’-Lantern tattoo?
18 Witchy Tattoo
If you’re getting a witchy tattoo, then using Stevie Nicks for inspiration is basically the best idea possible. The portrait itself is stunning, and all the details, from the jewels to the crystal ball, are perfectly mysterious. When you find the right tattoo artist, they will get your idea and take it to the next level.
19 Jason Voorhees 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. (Also, that one staring eyeball is going to haunt my dreams.)
20 Tiny Candy Corn Tattoo
tiny, minimalist tattoos can make a big impact. This simple candy corn tattoo pays tribute to the (unfairly) maligned Halloween candy. A simple design on your wrist, arm, ankle, or neck can subtly show off your love for Halloween. 21 *Adorable* Movie Monsters
Nobody expected characters from
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and the Saw films could look so precious. Taking a legitimately scary character from 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 Vampy Teeth
Those silly plastic fangs turned up in almost every trick or treater’s haul. If you were lucky, they even glowed in the dark. This sweet but simple tattoo has definite connections to Halloween.
23 Creature Feature Tattoo
When it comes to classic monsters, the Creature from the Black Lagoon deserves more love. It’s one of the original movie monsters, after all. This cool creature feature tattoo shows the aquatic beast in all its glory.
24 Cute Halloween Tattoo
Consider a simple image with strong outlines. A purply cloud, crescent moon, and flock of bats are all that’s needed to convey a spooky, Halloween vibe. Plus,
simple tattoo designs can last a long time, and shapes such as moons and animal silhouettes are among the most durable. 25 Spooky Candy Apple Tattoo
This one is so creative, combining a sweet candy apple design with a spooky 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.
26 Ouija 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.
27 The Nightmare Before Christmas Tattoos
No list of Halloween tattoos would be complete without Jack Skellington and Sally. Really, any character from
The Nightmare Before Christmas is totally tattoo-worthy. In fact, a design of Zero the ghost dog with glow-in-the-dark ink would be amazing. 28 Black Cat 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.
29 Spooky (And Super Colorful) Skeleton
It’s such a happy design. In fact, this multicolored skeleton could be on the goth version of a Lisa Frank folder. Don’t be afraid to get colorful with your Halloween tattoo.
30 Hocus Pocus Inspired Tattoo
The Black Flame Candle 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. 31 Cute Witch Tattoo
With her broomstick, pointy hat, and black cat, this adorable witch is ready for anything. She looks like a wise character from a children’s book, to be honest. It’s a simple but super effective design for a tattoo.
Whether you’re a big fan of horror movies, black cats, pumpkins, or even candy corn, there’s so many ways to celebrate spooky season with some ink. As these Halloween inspired tattoos prove, this holiday is worth celebrating all year long.