The Best Halloween Tattoos for Spooky People

When you’re fascinated with all things dark, macabre, and spooky, Halloween is more than just pumpkins and candy. It’s a lifestyle, and it’s not limited to October.

To honor that dark love, we dug into the history of Halloween and gathered up some of the best Halloween tattoos we could find.

Halloween Tattoos
Photo by Jessica Christian on Unsplash

A Brief History of Halloween

Halloweenย has its roots in an ancient Celtic tradition calledย Samhain. The festivals of Samhain were held in late October, ushering in the dark winter. Historians believe that the celebrations lasted three days and nights, with roaring bonfires, sacrifices of crops and animals, fortune-telling, and elaborate feasts.

Not participating in Samhain wasn’t an option (sorry, introverts), as the Celts believed that party poopers would receive their punishment from the gods, usually in the form of illness or even death.

Legend says that the barrier between the natural and spiritual worlds all but disappeared during Samhain, allowing spirits and other entities to move freely between the realms. Fires offered one level of protection, but revelers also dressed up as monsters and animals to ward off ill-intentioned spirits. Jack-o-lanterns were carved out of turnips first, then out of pumpkins, another modern tradition with an ancient history.

Over the years, the traditions of Samhain merged with the fall traditions of other cultures, starting with the Romans who invaded Celtic lands. Christians later built on the old pagan traditions, creating All Saint’s Day to honor their dead. Many of the original Celtic traditions like bonfires and costumes remained intact, regardless of the holiday’s new name or identity, with new customs added. Eventually, people began to go house to house asking for food and money, the earliest form of trick-or-treating.

In the late 19th century, Americans tried to remove witchcraft and spiritual conversations from Halloween, reimagining it as a community holiday. It’s this version of Halloween that we see most often today. However, the age-old traditions of Samhain lie not far under the surface for anyone who is looking.

Halloween Tattoos
Photo by Oleg Magni from Pexels

Creatures of the Night

Real or mythical, creepy creatures have been a part of Halloween tradition since ancient days. The details ofย these creatures vary from culture to culture, but one thing is always the same: they’re the reason you should be afraid of the dark.
Butterflies and moths both transform from caterpillars, but only moths have that creep factor. This moth-o-lantern is just perfect.
We admit that this ghost is more adorable than spooky. But who said that’s a bad thing.

 

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A post shared by Beth Glass (@bglass_tattoo)

Only coming out when it’s dark, bats are the epitome of a creature of the night. This incredible neotraditional piece is a beautiful representation of this mysterious winged animal.
Black cats are cloaked in superstition all year round, so they fit right into the whole Halloween vibe.

 

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A post shared by Jessica Hill (@hilltattoos)

Arachnophobes might want to scroll quickly past this delicate spider at the back of the neck.

 

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A post shared by Alejandro Better (@allegory_tattoo)

Spooky Characters of Life and Lore

During the plague, doctors would wear beak-like masks to protect themselves from disease. So imagine being sick, and THIS is what comes to visit you – no thanks!

 

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A post shared by Morgan Michelle (@_momo_michelle)

Wednesday Addams is an icon and role model for many strange and macabre little girls. She is memorialized perfectly in this tattoo.

 

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A post shared by Stefano Zambon (@zombye.tattooing)

Film freaks will flip for this tribute to some of the greatest and creepiest movie villains of all time.
How about this beautiful witch? The traditional style is perfect for a stunning Halloween tattoo honoring a woman – or type of woman – that exists in myth, legend, and real life too.

 

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Odd, Creepy, and Generally Fantastic Halloween Tattoos

One of the best things about Halloween is the freedom to be, well, anything you want. These tattoos embrace all of the oddities of the holiday.

Samhain or not, you can always communicate with the spiritual realm when you’ve got an Ouija board.

 

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A post shared by Cammy Deadleaves (@chainsawdarling)

Whether this bright concoction is an elixir or poison might depend on whether you’re pro- or anti-candy corn.

 

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A post shared by Phillippa M (@nekogirltattoos)

This tarot karma tattoo gets bonus points for being so meta: the tattooed hand has tattoos too.
Spooky things are often painted in shades of black, red, and orange. Done right, even typically happy colors can be creepy, as with this beautiful skull tattoo.
Vampires might belong in the “Creatures of the Night” category, but these vampire teeth are more like those plastic chompers that kids sometimes have than actual fangs. It’s a fun take on an old favorite.

 

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A post shared by Al (@alpoelee)

This cute collection of fall favorites includes a pumpkin, a scarecrow, and candy. It also has some serious vintage vibes, suggesting Halloweens past.
Another retro piece, these pumpkins have all the feelings of trick or treat.
There are Halloween tattoos. And then there are Halloween tattoos that GLOW IN THE DARK. Like many things, this little haunted house is just better at night.

 

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Just because you’re creepy doesn’t mean you don’t have a good heart, as with this sweet spiderweb.
We imagine that this jack-o-lantern leaf fell from a tree in some haunted woods.
The idea that our reflection might show just bones makes this otherwise innocent mirror fantastically creepy.
And how incredible is this Halloween half sleeve? The orange detailing is justโ€ฆ.* chef’s kiss*

 

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A post shared by Angelo Parente (@angeloparente)

Spooky and Sexy Halloween Tattoos

This cheeky collection proves that spooky and sexy are not mutually exclusive. They’re a perfect blend for the woman who loves both pin-ups and Halloween.

As the caption says on this traditional piece says, “This ghost town ain’t big enough for the two of us!”

 

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A post shared by Ginny Neumann (@ginnymarietattoos)

The sheer red dress detail is such a great touch on this devilish pin-up girl.

 

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A post shared by Alyssa Day (@alyssadaytattoos)

Yes, “If you’ve got them, flaunt them” does, in fact, apply to ghosts.

 

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A post shared by Sacramento Tattoos (@_lilgutz_)

Maybe you’re more into bats than ghosts. In that case, this shy bat-girl is perfect.

 

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A post shared by CultoftheSphynx (@cultofthesphynx)

And, finally, there’s this black-and-grey beauty, a cute little witch with a pumpkin, the moon, and a few bats.
With ink like this, you might be set for the rest of this life and beyond.
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