150+ Unique Nightmares Tattoo Ideas & Design / 2018

Before making this step remember that the tattoo is not going anywhere unless you cover it or laser it off. Here are some questions to answer before you move on with the scary nightmare tattoo:

  1. Do you want to look funky? 
  2. Do you love gore and thriller movies? 
  3. Do you want to highlight your thrill and menace? 
  4. Can you have visible tattoos at work? 

If you are brave enough to proceed and already have a set idea in your mind, I say do it. All you need is a good artist and a creative idea to have an amazing tat.


Basically a scary gory nightmare tat is meant to say that the owner is not to be messed with. But there might be a few other renderings. For example, if the owner has tackled his nightmares and is not scared anymore he wants to depict his victory over the fear. Sometimes people make demonic or satanic tattoos due to their personal religious views. 

And some people just love scary pictures and unconventional art. They are not scared of wearing something different and attention grabbing.

Symbolism and Origins

Scary tattoos depict the uncontrollable power. A zombie or a dead person dream means that you cannot let go of something or someone. If you see monsters or vampires chasing you in your dreams it means that you are scared of confronting difficult scenarios. 

Finding a correlation between your nightmare and your real life will help you tackle the phobias and nightmares forever. If you have had vivid nightmares in the past, you might want to save the memories and meaning in a nightmare tattoo. So, are you ready to face your daemons? If you still wish to proceed then read on. You have a huge variety to pick out from:

    1. Zombies, 
    2. Vampires, 
    3. Werewolves, 
    4. Scarecrows, 
    5. Deamons, 
    6. Monsters, 
    7. Eyes, those can look very creepy, 
    8. Clowns,
    9. Bats, 
    10. And all the horror movie villains. 

Where to Put a Tat?

I would say that when it comes to scary tattoos girls prefer to make something smaller and restrained, for example a bat at the back of the neck or a zombie Mickey Mouse on the thigh, a vampire Hello Kitty at the inner arm, etc. Although I have seen girls with some really big scary 3D tats. Before going for a full scale 6 hour piece you need to have some experience and know exactly what you want.

Boys love to make big visible tats putting them on the shoulders or calves. Also, nightmare themes work really well as sleeve tats. So, if you are not a virgin and have been inked before I suggest you create a sketch together with your artist and just go for it.

Scary Tattoo Styles

So what style should you go with? There are many styles that can make for a beautiful scary tat:

  1. Photo realism, 
  2. 3D, 
  3. Black and gray, 
  4. New School, 
  5. Illustrative, 
  6. Color horror, 
  7. Surrealism, 
  8. Trash polka,  
  9. Sketch work, 

I have not seen many cases of people adding lettering or quotes to their horror tats but who knows maybe you might want to add it. Whatever makes it even more unique and personal, right? 

Male/Female Preferences

Women love nightmare tattoos as much as men do. Some female preferences include new school zombie portraits of some iconic cartoon characters. Girls also love characters from the scary movies and TV series, a huge full blown zombie back piece would not work on the female body. 

Men love zombies, deterioration, blood and realism going for bolder bigger designs; they also love horror movie characters. Male tattoos might be bolder scarier and more visual, giving you chills up your spine. 

Celebrity Tats

A female rapper Kreayshawn has a vampire Hello Kitty tattoo on her calf to celebrate 40 years of her favorite cartoon character. It is a small cute design. Charlotte Sometimes, an American singer and songwriter, has a vampire character from “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” on her left inner arm. 

My favorite Krysta Cameron from the band Iwrestledabearonce has a scary ink as well; it is a Beetlejouce character on her right thigh.

A female vocalist from a band New Years Day, Ash Costello has a couple scary tats on her body. She’s got Captain Spaulding from the Rob Zombie movies House of 1,000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects, as well as bat wings tattooed at the back of her neck.

Alexia Rodriguez from the band Eyes Set to Kill has got a couple of horror tattoos as well. One is a day of the dead girl with stitches on her face placed on her lower inner arm. And the second tat is a huge colorful Frankenstein on her left shoulder.