Fall is the time of year between life and death, plenty and scarcity. Halloween is a time of celebration and fantasy, even though it is a dark one.
Some 2000 years ago, the ancient Celts celebrated a festival called Samhain (pronounced sow-in or sah-ween). As the harvest season ended and the dark days of winter began, it was the equivalent of our New Year’s celebration. The Celtic day began at sundown; the concept that a new year begins as the nights get longer makes sense in this context.
As the name suggests, All Hallows’ Eve occurs one day before All Saints Day and was known to early Europeans as All Hallows’ Eve.
Both All Hallows’ Eve (October 31) and All Saints’ Day (November 1) commemorate saints (“hallows” = saints), commemorating the deceased loved ones.
However, Halloween is the spookiest night of the year. The holiday isn’t confined to the United States, either. People around the world celebrate it in many different ways.
SPOOKY & CREEPY – HALLOWEEN TATTOO SYMBOLS AND MEANINGS
The Halloween celebration celebrates the end of the harvest season and thus the autumn elements. Halloween’s traditional colors are black, orange, and sometimes purple.
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
In addition to images of death, skeletons and ghosts also come to mind when we think about death. The subject matter of Halloween symbols is sure to include anything that could be considered spooky and relate to death, such as graveyards and cemeteries.
- All Hallows’ Eve guisers typically carry Jack-o-Lanterns to ward off evil spirits. According to Irish Christian folklore, the jack-o’-lantern represents a soul denied entry into both heaven and hell.
- A witch is regarded as having mystical powers and is often believed to be connected with Satan or the spirit world, resulting in their connection to eons of history. It was believed that their biggest gatherings occurred on the 30th of April and, of course, on the 31st of October.
- Bat – Many of these are caused by vampire bats, which eat blood, but only enough to survive without killing the host. Bats have become symbols of evil and of all things ghoulish in mythology because vampires are thought to change into bats for flight and to enter places with more ease.
- Halloween has always been associated with ghosts. Even during the festival of Samhain, Celtic people believed ghosts were nearby as the veil between the living and the dead was at its thinnest.
- Druids and Christians believed that evil humans could transform into black cats by locking them in cages and throwing them into sacred fires. With its piercing yellow eyes and arched back, the black cat became the symbol of the spirit of Halloween.
- Skeletons and skulls – Halloween symbols of death and the human condition, skeletons and skulls are striking. During the holiday, they remind us that death has always been an underlying theme.
- Halloween is considered the most dangerous holiday of the year due to the thin veil between the living and the dead. Death can walk the earth at night on Halloween due to the thin veil. It meant that their ghosts would return on Halloween night to visit their homes. Family members would leave food out as snacks and even put out chairs for their loved ones to rest.
- Scarecrows – Scarecrows are more than just Halloween symbols; they are a symbol of the harvest and the fall season.
- Halloween legend says an owl and a cat are the companions of witches. Owls are thought to sound like witches when they screech. At least in Ancient Rome, owls were considered bad or harbingers of evil.
- Because of their connections to witches and haunted houses, spiders have become part of Halloween imagery. Usually they are associated with the extra creepiness found in the corners of dilapidated haunted houses or horrors. Not to mention the stories about writing spiders. If a writing spider spins your name in its web, you are destined to die soon.
- 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
In an interview with 16 News Now, artist Phil Rich says Halloween is no longer just a holiday, but a style.
“Now that nearly 1 in 4 Americans have tattoos, people can show their love for all things Halloween with a Tim Burton tattoo or a potion bottle tattoo. The acceptance of tattoos and individual styles while classically rendered is only growing and will continue to do so,” he says.
Since a long time ago, Halloween, horror, and tattoos have blended together. That’s why so many horror conventions, such as Spooky Empire, bring in tattoo artists who specialize in scary tattoos.
There are many artists and shops that offer Halloween deals as well. Keep in mind, however, that it’s a tattoo and getting it as cheap as possible probably shouldn’t be the goal.
There are plenty of classic tattoo designs for men, as well, like a raven, snake, owl feather, or even a mandala.
Nonetheless, Halloween is a fun time to get a gruesome tattoo from a flash sheet and attend an event hosted by your favorite tattoo shop.
HALLOWEEN TATTOO IDEAS