Halloween Tattoos – Ghosts, Bats, Pumpkins & Haunted Houses (2023 Guide)
Halloween is a holiday celebrated each year on October 31, and Halloween 2020 will occur on Saturday, October 31. Many people will celebrate this spooky season not just with amazing and elaborate costums, but with stunning Halloween tattoos, too!
The tradition originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts.
Early on in the Christian tradition, November 1 was set as the date to honor all saints, today known as All Saints Day. Soon, it encompassed some of the traditions of this Celtic pagan holiday, and the evening before was known as All Hallows Eve, and later Halloween.
With time, the holiday evolved into everyone’s favorite autumn festivity with fun activities such as trick-or-treating, carving jack-o-lanterns, festive gatherings, donning costumes and eating treats.
Table of Contents
- Halloween The Horror Holiday
- Halloween Tattoo Symbols & Meanings
- Flash Tattoos For Halloween
- HalloweenTattoo Ideas
- Halloween Bat Tattoo Ideas
- Witch Tattoo Ideas
- Cauldron Tattoo Ideas
- Black Cat Tattoo Ideas
- Jack O Lantern Tattoo Ideas
- Haunted House Tattoo Ideas
- Halloween Candy Tattoo Ideas
- Leatherface Tattoo Ideas
- Scary Clown Tattoo Ideas
- Traditional Ghost Tattoo Ideas
- Cementary Tattoo Tattoo Ideas
- Forearm Medusa Tattoo Ideas
- Tree Forearm Tattoo Ideas
- Forearm Arrow Tattoo Ideas
- Japanese Forearm Tattoo Ideas
- Forearm Wing Tattoo Ideas
- Forearm Grim Reaper Tattoo Ideas
- Forearm Eagle Tattoo Ideas
Halloween – The Horror Holiday
The time of year between fall and winter, life and death, plenty and scarceness, Halloween is a time of celebration and fantasy, even thought the dark one.
Ancient Celts celebrated a festival called Samhain (pronounced sow-in or sah-wen) some 2000 years ago. This was the equivalent of our New Years day as the harvest season ended and the dark days of winter began. Interestingly, the Celtic day began at sundown; the concept of the new year beginning as nights increased in length makes sense in this context.
The word itself literally means “hallowed evening,” and was previously known to early European celebrators as All Hallows’ Eve happening one day before the All Saints Day.
All Hallows’ Eve (October 31) and All Saints’ Day (November 1) both paid homage to saints (“hallows” = saints), meant to remember and pay homage to the loved ones who are deceased.
All that said, Halloween is the spookiest night of the year. And the Halloween fever isn’t contained to the States, either. In fact, people around the world celebrate the holiday in many different ways.
Spooky & Creepy – Halloween Tattoo Symbols and Meanings
The ending of the harvest season, and thus the autumn elements are related to the Halloween celebration. Black, orange, and sometimes purple are Halloween’s traditional colors.
Many Halloween symbols will fall into one of three major categories:
- The Season and the Harvest (corn husks, candy corns, jack-o-lanterns)
- Death and Mortality (skeletons, skulls, ghosts, graveyards)
- Misfortune or Evil (witches, bats, black cats, clowns)
List of Common Halloween Tattoo Symbols and Meanings
The connection to death also brings to mind plenty of images, especially skeletons and ghosts.
Anything that could be considered spooky and relate to death, including graves and cemeteries, are bound to be perfect subject matter for creating Halloween symbols.
Some are portrayed gloomy and dark, others are sometimes being done in a girlish style.
Whichever style you’re going for, here is a list of our top picks:
- Jack-o-Lantern – Traditionally carried by guisers on All Hallows’ Eve in order to frighten evil spirits. There is a popular Irish Christian folktale associated with the jack-o’-lantern, which in folklore is said to represent a “soul who has been denied entry into both heaven and hell”.
- Witch – Witches have been around for eons and were often thought to have mystical powers, partly because of their connection to Satan or the spirit world. Their most notorious gatherings were thought to happen during the two major season changes on April 30 and, of course, October 31.
- Bat – Much of this is to blame on vampire bats, who do suck blood, but just enough for survival without usually killing another animal, such as a cow. Since most vampire tales claim that these mythological creatures transform into bats for flight and to enter places with greater ease, bats have become a symbol of evil and all things ghoulish.
- Ghost – Ghosts have always been a symbol of Halloween. Even during the festival of Samhain, the Celtic people believed ghosts were nearby because the veil between the living and dead was at its thinnest.
- Black cat – Druids and later Christians believed that evil humans could turn themselves into cats, which led the druids to lock the cats in cages and throw them into the sacred fires. So the black cat, with its piercing yellow eyes and arched back became the symbol of the spirit of Halloween.
- Skeleton & Skulls – Skeletons and skulls are striking Halloween symbols because they are a stark reminder of death and human mortality. They remind us that Halloween has always been a holiday about the dead.
- Trick or Treating – On Halloween the veil between the living and the dead is at it’s thinnest. This allowed the dead to walk the earth on Halloween night. This meant that spirits of dead loved ones would return to their homes on Halloween night to visit. Living relatives would leave out food as snacks and even put out chairs for loved ones to rest in.
- Scarecrow – Scarecrows are more than just Halloween symbols, they are a symbol of the fall season and the harvest.
- Owl – They say at Halloween, a witch’s companions are the cat and the owl. The owl’s screech is thought to sound like the cackle from a witch. In Ancient Rome, owls were thought of as evil, or at least harbingers of evil.
- Spider – These arachnids have become part of Halloween imagery because of their connections to witches as well as abandoned haunted houses. They are often affiliated with the extra creepiness one might find in the overhead corners of dilapidated houses of haunts or horrors. Not to mention, the stories tied to writing spiders. It is thought that if a writing spider spins your name in its web, you are destined for death in the near future.
- Corn husk – Corn husk are Halloween symbols that go all the way back to the times of Samhain when agriculture was a big part of the season.
Flash Tattoos For Halloween
Artist Phil Rich tells 16 News Now that Halloween isn’t just a holiday anymore, but a style.
“With nearly 1 in 4 Americans having tattoos today, people now have the ability to profess their love for all things Halloween with a classic Tim Burton tattoo or a potion bottle. These trends are only growing and will continue with the wider acceptance of tattoos and individual styles while classically rendered,” he explains.
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.
Many artists and shops offer deals for Halloween as well. However, don’t forget that it’s a tattoo and getting it as cheap as possible probably shouldn’t be the goal.
It doesn’t have to be just a flash, too, you can also go for some classic tattoo design for men or something like a raven, snake, owl feather or even a mandala tattoo.
Neverthless, Halloween is a fun time to grab a gruesome tattoo from a flash sheet and enjoy an event thrown by your favorite shop.
Halloween Tattoo Ideas
To help you with your research for your next creepy tattoo design, we went on a hunt through Instagram to find the best Halloween tattoo ideas.
Take a spooky look below to check them out all:
Halloween Bat Tattoo
Black Cat Tattoo
Jack O Lantern Tattoo
Haunted House Tattoo
Halloween Candy Tattoos
Scary Clown Tattoos
Traditional Ghost Tattoos
Are you looking for a custom Halloween tattoo design? We got you.
Our expert tattoo artists will provide a quick initial draft to get you going.
Happy inking ❤
About the author
Milena has decided to start an organization that will create a safe environment for everybody to get their first, second or third tattoo and to encourage young people to transform their ideas into tattoos safely, with talent and vision.
You can find her writing about tattoos on Quora or updating our Pinterest profile with awesome tattoo ideas!