20 Must-See Horror Tattoos To Get You Into the Halloween Spirit [Gallery]

horror tattoos
L to R: Colt Obst (https://www.instagram.com/coltobst); Hans Deslauriers (https://www.instagram.com/p/CfaCg9rr6MZ/?igshid=NDc0ODY0MjQ=); Dom Brown (https://instagram.com/dombrowntattoo?igshid=NDc0ODY0MjQ=)

What qualifies as a horror movie worth getting a tattoo for? How meaningful does it have to be to you? The answer to that can vary, even if there are tried-and-true genre staples that are clearly the most popular choices. The classic Universal Monsters are still incredibly ubiquitous in the horror tattoo world, which is actually surprising considering the 100th anniversary of Dracula, Frankenstein, The Wolfman, and The Invisible Man are fast approaching. For fans to permanently decorate their bodies with their favorite horror character means that those movie roles have reached true icon status.

Every Halloween, famous tattoo artists from all over the world are completely booked for October as genre lovers flock to their studios to add another piece of horror ink that shows their undying passion and love for these movies. Dread Central wanted to put the spotlight on the artists and the fandom that wear their ink proudly.

Below, we’ve picked out 20 works of body art that represent classic horror icons, new faces like Art the Clown from the Terrifier series, exciting examples of queer representation, and the women in horror who are really starting to show up on the skin of more and more horror aficionados.

You Can’t Get Rid of The Babadook

Artist @ryanmrray from @blackveiltattoo is responsible for this fantastic piece of The Babadook popping out from the book he was conjured out of by Amelia Vanek (Essie Davis) in Jennifer Kent’s astounding film of the same name. Seeing how the Babadook character has been transformed from a symbol of grief into a LGBTQ icon has been inspirational. Watching so many people embrace the character and immortalize the Babadook with fresh ink has also been a joy to watch. Kent and Davis have re-teamed for an episode called Murmuring in Guillermo Del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities, so be sure to tune in to Netflix on October 25th!

Suspiria Will Never Die

Actress Jessica Harper is starting to pop up on more arms and legs, as well. This work by Toronto artist Yuzu isn’t as colorful as you might expect from a tattoo showcasing Argento’s blue-red masterpiece Suspiria. But this is undeniably Harper’s most classic pose from the film.

Blair Witch Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop

True Rise Tattoo posted this insanely detailed Blair Witch image. Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez’s found footage smash is still a phenomenon today. Actress Heather Donahue has been outspoken about being somewhat plagued by her performance over the years. Hopefully, fans showing their love for her character in this way is somewhat comforting for her. She’s a true horror icon.

Nancy Downs in The Craft

Fairuza Balk in The Craft is starting to gain an ever bigger following as of late, and tattoos of her character Nancy Downs are turning up everywhere. Her famous line, “We are the weirdos, mister” is also becoming a popular tattoo. That quick quip she gives to a scared bus driver in the film has become a slogan for horror freaks everywhere.

Get carded with The Craft tarot

I had to include this tarot tattoo artwork from Australian artist Ebony Tyack, mostly as a dare to anyone willing to get all four done in one sitting. Maybe if we encourage her on Twitter, our own staff writer Sharai Bohannon would be up for the task? (I’m tempted myself actually.)

Never do a horror tattoo list that doesn’t include Elvira

Megan Tremarco is the artist of this in-depth piece taken from Elvira: Mistress of the Dark. There are so many Elvira tattoos out there, proving that so many horror fans have no problem having her on their skin. I love this one, in particular, because it captures her sense of humor and not just her attributes. Also, be sure to listen to her Halloween music single from Jack White’s Third Man Records when you’re getting your first (or next) Elvira tat. Two Big Pumpkins should be played loud at every Halloween party.

Chucky and Queen Bride Jennifer Tilly

This Bride of Chucky ink is by evxtattoo from the United Kingdom. It perfectly encapsulates Ronny Yu’s horror comedy that helped to bring Chucky back onto the tattoo roster of all-time horror idols. There may not even be a Syfy Chucky series without it. Watch season two of the surprisingly addictive show now before Thanksgiving comes and depresses all of us.

The OG Munsters Will Always Be Remembered

Austin’s oldest family owned and operated tattoo shop, Atomic Tattoo, posted this video of one of the best Munsters tattoos I’ve seen (and I’ve seen A LOT). Rob Zombie’s reinvention of the characters arrived recently on Netflix to try and recapture some of the magic. Unfortunately, the original cast just can’t be topped and fans are keeping the sixties series in their hearts (and on their legs, apparently).

Pennywise and Jason

Done by artist Vitto Sure, it doesn’t make logical sense that Jason would be personified as one of Pennywise’s balloons. Regardless, this is such a great example of the fandom combining two things they love and making an original art piece. Bravo.

You’re Getting Tattooed, Michael

This image of David (Kiefer Sutherland) is truly incredible work that jumps right off of the flesh. It almost looks three-dimensional. Kevin Becvar, the owner of Dark Helmet Tattoo, even got to tattoo the one and only Bruce Campbell once.

Boulet Brothers representing

Drag Queen tattoos are growing in popularity, and the Boulet Brothers are a big reason why. Their Shudder reality show Dragula has emerged as the horror equivalent to Ru Paul’s Drag Race. It’s truly wonderful to see more queer representation in the tattoo scene. Icons are changing and evolving; it’s not just about Dracula anymore.

Don’t Sleep on Rose the Hat in Doctor Sleep

I love the new generation coming out and representing Rebecca Ferguson from Doctor Sleep. Somehow, a sequel to The Shining directed by Mike Flanagan (Midnight Mass) didn’t light up the box office. That doesn’t mean King fans don’t hold it in high regard. Judging by this mind blowing tattoo, that should be pretty obvious.

Happy Happy Halloween, Halloween, Halloween

Angelo Parente from Black Casket Tattoo is doing some truly amazing work. Join the waitlist for next year on her Instagram. That should give you plenty of time to make sure you really want a tattoo in the first place.

A Witch’s Treehouse

The books are closed until January 21st, 2023 for 2024 appointments at Tenderfoot Studios for a good reason. Artist @freeorgy is making the imaginations of witch obsessed fans come to life. And they should be insanely proud of that fact.

Halloween Flash Tats Are Cool, Too!

Walk-ins welcome! You don’t have to have your entire sleeve planned out to be worthy. Stumbling in with tipsy friends and being spontaneous is all part of the fun during Halloween. In fact, a lot of tattoo shops wouldn’t stay in business without it. These flash designs from Silent Hill Tattoo cover every horror icon imaginable.

It’s Not Halloween Without Michael

London shop Evil From the Needle has been around since 1986. This tattoo is by a mysterious man named Greg. Find his work over at @h4ng_ten and make your Michael Myers tattoo dreams come true.

Hellraiser is back!

Doug Bradley’s portrayal of Pinhead will live on in infamy (skin-famy?) for generations. This back tat shows the Lament Configuration in all its hellish glory, too. Jamie Clayton, the new Hell Priest in Hulu’s Hellraiser, is now the leader of the Cenobites to a generation of fans. In fact, she should be seeing some ink paying homage to her new iteration in the very near future.

Wednesday Adams For Every Day of the Week

The new series Wednesday starring Jenna Ortega, Christina Ricci, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Gwendoline Christie hits Netflix on November 23. Until then, there is only one Wednesday Addams and she is immortalized here. This scene in Addams Family Values, where Wednesday drinks from a bottle of poison is a classic. Ortega has big shoes to fill and we definitely think she’s going to knock it out of the park.

The Art of Art the Clown

Damien Leone, the director of Terrifier 2 took notice of this incredible work and shared it with fans. This is from the @earthwrecktattoo shop and apparently took nine hours to complete. That’s the kind of pain that Art likes to dish out. If you’ve seen the new sequel and managed not to use one of the barf bags they pass out in the theater, you might need it for this marathon session. Thanks to @elscxrpion. for showing us what true passion and endurance looks like.

Dead Alive Remembered

Kris Bushing is the tattoo artist on display here. Dead Alive is still the goriest film I’ve ever seen and this artwork pops off of the skin and shows exactly how insane actor Tim Balme (Lionel Cosgrove) was by the end of Peter Jackson’s beloved gore fest.

Show us your ink and any of your favorite tattoos over on @DreadCentral! Stay scared.



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