Crunchy copper leaves, pumpkin spiced lattes and flickering candles: the cosiest signs that autumn is around the corner. And even better - Halloween!
Colourful, sugary spider sweets adorn the shelves, pumpkins line patches waiting to be picked (with that obligatory Insta snap of course), and it’s finally on trend to leave the cobwebs untouched in your house.
Thinking of getting a Halloween tattoo to mark the spoopiest time of year? We’ve rounded up our favourites (and flashes), sure to send a chill down your spine.
Tattoo by Casey Marie
What does spoopy mean?
"Spoopy [spoo-pee] is an internet slang term used to describe something that is 'spooky' but in a comical or cute way, such as a puppy in a ghost costume or a goofy Halloween video. It is based on a viral picture of a Halloween decoration that misspelled spooky as spoopy (dictionary.com)."
Usually small, cute and what the Japanese would deem kawaii, spoopy tattoos feature the likes of Halloween Hello Kitty, Pusheen cat nibbling on some candy corns or a cheeky little vampire or ghoul. They don’t always have to be feminine though, there are plenty of ways to add a darker, more gender neutral side to Halloween-inspired ink.
The tattooing world has always held a special place for Halloween in its heart. One fan of all things spooky season is Wigan-based tattooist, Kira of @ginger_cnut_tattoo.
"I love the autumn season as a whole to be honest - as a ginger that burns bad in the sun I've never been a summer person," she says . "Being able to wrap up warm and have hot chocolates and watch the trees turn orange was always the best.
"I love Halloween specifically because… who wouldn’t?! I always try and dress up my studio and house. I'm a big fan of horror movies, ghost stories, ghost hunting and gruesome tales and lore, so to have a whole month of it is so much fun.
"At my studio we have a Friday the 13th 1st birthday/Halloween flash day planned where we are all going to be dressing up - think I'm going to be Chucky! I'm also working as a scare actor again this year at Farmageddon in Ormskirk which I absolutely love - scaring the living daylights out of grown men!"
Spoopy tattoo ideas
Scary, but make it sweeter than a Halloween candy haul. Go for ghosts, ghouls and gourds, with a playful and vibrant colour palette. Have fun with autumn colours and bold lines, perhaps with a nod to autumn leaves and cinnamon infused drinks - like a cute ghostie sipping on a PSL or a fluffy, wide-eyed kitty on a broom.
Or perhaps include a nod to your favourite spooky film, TV thriller or alternative anime. From Studio Ghibli to Stranger Things, Halloween-loving tattooists can't wait to conjure up spoopy tattoo designs based on the likes of Hello Kitty, Pusheen and Nightmare Before Christmas.
Tattoo by @raybies.ink
Still looking for spoopy ideas? Here are a few Halloween inspired themes to get you started…
• Ghosts and ghouls
• Witches, broomsticks and cauldrons
• Black cats and bats
• Spiders and cobwebs
• Sweets and candy corn
• Zombies and vampires
• Skeletons and gravestones
• Frankenstein's Monster
• Pumpkin spice and all things (not) nice
Tattoo by @nolseytattoo
Tattoo by @draculatattoos
"I love how creative Halloween tattoos are. Honestly, the weirder the better."
"I love that Halloween is the time of year to celebrate Samhain, where the seasons change. I’m a practicing witch so I believe that it’s when the veil between this world and the next becomes thin, enabling us to connect with the dead. It’s when all the spooky things happen!" explains Bristol-based tattoo artist Casey Marie at @caseymarietattoo.
"I love how creative Halloween tattoos are. They can be creepy, spooky and even gruesome! Honestly, the weirder the better. All Halloween tattoos are a great conversation starter no matter who you are. I have a couple of halloween tattoos - a jack-o’-lantern, a potion bottle and a crystal ball with a skull inside."
Tattoo by Casey Marie
How to find a Halloween tattoo flash near me
Social media is your key to finding the flash of your dreams, whether Halloween or not. But with so many talented tattoo artists loving spooky season all year round, you only have to search the likes of “Halloween flash sheet” or #spoopytattoos to find some incredible ink worth scrolling for.
As well as Kira in the North and Casey Marie down in Bristol, we also spoke to Hayley in the East Midlands (@hayleyblackwoodtattoo), who creates a Halloween flash every year.
"Halloween is in the heart and not just October"
"Soon as I feel a nip in the air I get this excitement hit me for autumn and Halloween. I think it’s like that nostalgia feeling - I always call it Christmas for goths," Haley says. "I think it shows because I have stop myself from drawing sheets and sheets of flash!"
"I like the almost retro side of Halloween over the horror side of Halloween. Cute lil pumpkin guys, sheet ghosts, bats and black cats. Don't get me wrong I love the gory side too but one of those 90's ghosts with the retro sound effect would win my heart over blood and guts every time. I definitely have a following that lives for the spooky vibe too as October is usually my busiest month for doing mostly my flash, with it trickling on in to November and December too.
"If I'm honest I'm lucky because I get to do spooky stuff all year round because Halloween is in the heart and not just in October."
- Spook-tacular Glow in the Dark Tattoos for Halloween
- Why Autumn is The Best Time to Get Tattooed
- Ignorant Tattoos: All About One of Tattooing's Most Controversianl Styles
For more tattoo inspo, skin stories and aftercare advice, read the Stories & Ink Journal.