Goth as a subculture was born under the massive influence of gothic rock enthusiasts, in which this music style is a subsidiary genre of post-punk. Its visual attributes range from all-black outfits, dyed hair, dark make-up, and piercings to tattoos. Talking about tattoos, you may understand that goth and skull are inseparable, but do not limit your goth tattoo ideas only to such illustrations.
There is more to goth tattoos than just a skull and anything dark. You can even choose the color yet still get the gothic sense. The key is in the philosophical message behind your goth tattoo.
We specifically listed 20 dark tattoo ideas for you to channel your inner goth. Here we do offer not only gothic illustrations for your tattoos but also some gothic tattoo letterings whose fonts are exceptional. While a hand tattoo is good, we encourage you also to explore other parts of your body to get inked.
BEST Goth Tattoo Ideas
1. Head Spider Web Tattoo
You may remember when you were little and screamed like a girl, running from that one creature called the spider. Now that you are a grown-up man with minimum hair and have convinced yourself to make peace with one of the ultimate symbols of Goth, a spider.
So, you should consider having this goth spider tattoo. To add more dimension, you can wear a pair of spike hoop earrings in either or both earrings if you already got your ears pierced. Well, tattoos on the head are one of the most painful ones. So, if you are a beginner, you better consider your choice or try to have this design on other body parts, for example, the back.
2. Memento Mori Tattoo
A true fan of goth surely adores skull tattoo ideas, especially when they come in dark shades. For instance, this particular design is completed with the Latin salutation phrase of Memento Mori or translated as “Remember that you must die.”
The Brothers of Death prominently used the phrase as a reminder that death is inevitable. Thus, every living day should be cherished and appreciated. Learn how to really live the phrase by reading Muriel Spark’s book Memento Mori before getting inked. Given a pretty big design, consider your upper arm, lower calf, or thigh as a spot for the tattoo.
3. Skull Arm Band
Opt for more classic goth tattoo ideas by showcasing a group of skulls circling your arm. It goes without saying that the skull is one of the staples of gothic elements.
If you’re still unsure about deciding the right size for your arm, we recommend you try the skull temporary tattoos to get the perfect measurement before obtaining the real one. Nonetheless, you are always welcome to try a small one on your forearm if you are a beginner.
4. Eagle and Lady-themed Full Sleeve Tattoo
Although tattoos are decorative attributes, always do some research on the meaning of goth tattoos to make yours more purposeful and thoughtful. If you dig deeper, there was once a western tribe of Goths, namely Visigoths, who managed to overpower the Roman Empire. One of the famous artifacts of Visigoth is the eagle fibulae.
As you might already know, the eagle represents power and freedom in many traditions. But if you want to make your goth tattoo design scarier, pair the dark eagle with an evil nun sitting next to a graveyard. Allow a larger part of your body, such as the upper arm or back, to have a more detailed design.
5. Goth Tattoo Lettering: Angel
Can you read the gothic tattoo lettering displayed above? You are not alone. We needed to read the full explanation first to get the “Lost in Chaos” writing. A perk of having goth tattoo lettering is that people do not have to be able to read it right away since it is very personalized.
The key secret to keeping it looking gothic is the font. There are many gothic fonts out there for you to choose from, in which you can always have a Gothic tattoo lettering book design to see more preferences in black lettering ideas and gothic decorative fonts and to test out the fonts’ suitability to your style. In addition, you better give up your back for this tattoo design because it requires a wide area.
6. Goth Bunny Tattoo
A perk of devoting yourself to goth is the fact that you can turn everything into its scariest and darkest versions, including cuddly and irresistibly cute bunnies! Jackalope, or a species of hybrid rabbit, reminds us of a Japanese Gothic Lolita girl, cute but deadly.
If this message is not loud enough for people to get the gothic tattoo meaning, you can always reiterate your style through additional accessories to accentuate your overall gothic look. Try this pair of rabbit earrings to complement. Paint your nails black to accentuate your bold personality.
7. Bat Back Tattoo
When possible, do not hide your back tattoo, especially if they mean the world to you! However, one might admit that it is a bit tricky to choose an outfit that goes well with your back tattoo. Note that if you have colorful tattoos, choose a simpler and plain outfit to tone down your whole look. The safest options for this are: First, go for the total black tattoo ink, or always have a plain backless shirt to prevent clashing styles.
Whether you like your bat tattoos to be inked as simple silhouettes or as detailed works of art, its simplicity would turn heads—making it one of the best dark tattoo ideas for you to execute. Moreover, your backless outfit would show off your bat back tattoo beautifully. This goth tattoo is certainly among the darkest ideas that we have, so it’s worth considering!
8. Add A Little Feminine Element
After all, being part of the goth subculture means being true to yourself and being free. It is not always dark and desperate here—think about the neon-headed Cybergoth; thus, never lose or deny your true self since goth itself is about embracing freedom. This gothic lipstick tattoo is proof that you can add a touch of femininity and playfulness to your goth tattoo.
Although goth goddesses out there would go for a goth lipstick in real life while pulling out an all-black outfit, let the feminine element in your tattoo be standout with its cheerful shades to balance the darkness. And since it’s a big tattoo, consider revealing areas like your calf, upper arm, or back to have one.
9. Baphomet Chest Tattoo
Contrary to popular belief, some people are confident that Baphomet is the epitome of balance as it represents both male and female, good and evil, dark and light, parallel and paradox. History aside, while exploring goth tattoo meaning, we can somehow perceive the existence of Baphomet as similar to that of goth.
Moreover, Baphomet has its indefinite bizarre nature that reminds us of goth, that we are free and not limited to certain restrictions. Baphomet tattoos are gender-neutral. Even a girl can get one to emphasize their “bad girl” look. But if you want to accentuate your femininity, obtaining a dark Baphomet chest tattoo is a perfect choice. Show it off on your chest or back to create the best appeal.
10. Full Neck Tattoo
Gothic full neck tattoos seem like you scream for goth and even feel bolder and more expressive than getting a hand or full sleeve tattoo. Neck tattoo allows you to remove all the jewelry needed to enhance your look. But some may still fancy those accessories to feel confident. However, choosing the right jewelry would be so challenging, particularly the necklace.
The rule is to keep your studded or colorful necklaces away if you have a fully inked neck. But there is indeed an exception to every rule, and it applies to a white pearl choker to create a beautiful contrast among the dark neck. You can also choose the silver ones to add glam but keep it bold.
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11. Gothic Tattoo Lettering: Strength, Respect, Loyalty
Suitable gothic fonts can make significant differences to the whole look of goth tattoo lettering. Any words can acquire a gothic feel if the fonts can support building the vibe, whereas choosing unsuitable fonts that do not match your style and personality would make your tattoo look tacky.
Strength, respect, and loyalty are words whose meaning can break down the negative stereotypes about the goth culture. When placed on the upper neck, the script can make for some killer neck goth tattoo ideas. As for the font, you can always choose your most favorable gothic-style lettering. But since the space is limited, you better choose one that features a thin character.
12. Haunted Castle Tattoo
Talking about gothic architecture, you may want to expand your entertainment choice by reading Ray Russell’s Haunted Castle: The Complete Gothic Stories which you can also use the book as a source of inspiration for dark tattoo ideas besides imagining gothic castle architecture through a literary experience.
The haunted castle has most elements Gothic has to offer; dark, suspense, mystery, and gloom, to name a few. Instead of being busy exploring the gothic tattoos meaning, bring the spooky tale to life by getting your very own haunted castle tattoo that would speak for itself. Consider your back if you want to have a full view of the tale. Alternatively, the upper arms are great for the best display.
13. Gothic Finger Tattoo
When considering having a hand tattoo, never estimate the significant effect made by the most delicate parts, namely the fingers. Finger tattoos can make gothic statement pieces, too, even with a simple design. We recommend you get flame finger tattoos that depict bravery and spirit, but make sure your flame design is suitable to the length of your fingers—longer fingers mean you have extra room to create a more dramatic flame movement.
Another option for you to choose is the gothic tattoo lettering. For finger tattoos, opt for the tall gothic kind of font whose size is alterable. For a more impressive overall look and to add more dimension, don’t forget to wear long fake nails.
14. Goth Moth Throat Tattoo
Goth and moth do not only sound a tad similar. But after looking for a gothic tattoo meaning, it turns out they are also closely related. Considering its gradual change from a caterpillar, the moth is a symbol of life-altering events.
There is even a specific moth named Gothic (Naenia typica) due to its pattern similarity to Gothic architecture, making it one of the awesome goth tattoo ideas. Note that extra carefulness should be at your utmost attention if you want to place the tattoo on your throat or upper neck, as this space has a lot of nerve endings. You can also try on the back of the neck if you feel tattooing on the front neck is too risky.
15. Demon Baby Girl Tattoo
While looking for goth tattoo ideas, you will then realize that black and grey ink can go with any tattoo style. It can also give a strong Gothic impression, even for symbols that represent womanhood, like this demon baby girl.
This design is a perfect depiction of femininity and satanism with a dash of gothic tattoo lettering to emphasize its meaning. The black and grey shading techniques applied to this tattoo make the total design look realistic. Knowing this quirky design, there is no better body area to have the tattoo other than the calf and upper arm.
16. Crow Tattoo
In many traditions, the crow is a sign of bad omens, such as death, unfortunate news, uncommon realms, and catastrophic events. Other reasons this creature becomes one of the common favorite gothic tattoos are its jet-black color and intimidating eyesight.
However, the gothic tattoo meaning of crow can be different depending on how many crows you choose to have because this creature is also a symbol of intelligence and wisdom. One crow means bad luck, two crows mean good fortune, and three crows depict health and blessing. If a crow tattoo is among the dark goth tattoo ideas you want to realize soon, you can add a claw bracelet to your jewelry collection to accentuate your look.
17. Gothic Crosses Leg or Thigh Tattoo
Another goth tattoo idea is the quite prominent gothic crosses. However, Gothic crosses are not used for religious purposes like those of Christians, because the gothic tattoo meaning of these crosses is to represent pain, darkness, and spirituality. While it is commonly found to see gothic crosses as a hand tattoo, we suggest you consider other parts of your body, like the legs or thighs.
Bear in mind that the upper outer part of your thigh is the least painful area to get tattooed, but the whole thigh part is less visible, which may minimize the chance of your tattoo getting noticed. Given the larger surface to accommodate longer designs, legs are an ideal part of showing off your gothic crosses.
18. Gothic Dragon Tattoo
It might be surprising to see dragons on a list of goth tattoo ideas due to their close relationship with Chinese mythology. Historically, the various interpretations of dragons are divided into two big regions: east and west. Its positive associations in the east include prosperity, wealth, good luck, blessings, and spiritualism.
Meanwhile, the dragon is closely associated with bad fortune and demonic evil based on western belief. Because this design is commonly used by many people, you have to equip yourself with other attributes to go all-out gothic to emphasize your goth identity, for instance, by getting a dragon-illustrated bag.
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19. Girl In A Knife Tattoo
If this tattoo reminds you of a Japanese Gothic Lolita girl, you are right. That is exactly the implicit message of what this gothic tattoo’s meaning is all about. What elements of the cute-but-deadly concept describe better than this dark tattoo? This design is also an eye-opener for us to realize that the goth tattoo ideas you can explore do not always come in black color.
Unsure what to wear to channel your Gothic Lolita girl within you? Incorporate your cute-but-deadly tattoo with lace outfits, like a black lace top or a Harajuku goth mini skirt, for a beautifully intriguing look.
20. Third Eye In The Head Tattoo
It is not without reason that the third eye is placed on the forehead. This placement is to give a sense of extraordinary sight. But this eye tattoo design really attracts us due to its placement on the head without eliminating the beauty beneath its gothic tattoo meaning. T
The eye symbolizes gifted vision more than both eyes are capable of, the crescent moon means enlightenment according to Gothic literature, and the triangle reminds us of the Trinity—all elements placed on the head, one of the most painful parts of your body to get inked. If you have low pain tolerance, you better consider forearm, upper arm, or back of calf instead.
21. Gothic Pumpkin Girl Tattoo
When we talk about goth style, it is usually identical to Halloween since both have a similar look and feel. Therefore, we recommend this gothic pumpkin girl tattoo for you who are currently on the search for a new gothic tattoo to add to your tattoo collection. In addition, the striped socks and pumpkin head are two of the main elements that make this tattoo look even more gothic to have.
You can choose between the forearm or upper arm to tattoo this design. If you love to display tattoos, choose the forearm. It will also be better to consider the smaller one if this one is your first gothic tattoo to make it less painful. Match the tattoo with your Halloween accessories, like skull necklaces or bracelets, or even paint the face with your favorite gothic character.
22. Skull Castle Tattoo
A haunted castle is always loved by those who are into gothic style, especially if the castle includes a pile of human skulls in front of it. This particular tattoo will be a cool addition to your body art since there’s nothing more gothic than a haunted castle with skulls and baths flying above it.
We recommend back of your forearm for this tattoo design because of the flat surface. Thus, it will make it easier for artists to create complicated designs. Complete your look with all-black outfits, piercings, and gothic accessories to match the theme.
23. Color Gothic Girl Tattoo
Although goth tattoos, images, and graphics usually come in black and white, having a new gothic tattoo with color can actually make a cool addition to the art collections in your body. When we say color, of course, it means colors that represent your goth style, like red or dark gray. For gothic girls out there, this color gothic girl tattoo can be a great choice.
She looks so bold but lovely, a perfect one for those who have such a personality. She looks so bold but lovely, a perfect one for those who have such a personality. Having a quite huge size, you better choose your forearm or calf to make one.
24. Ouija Board Gothic Tattoo
Ouija board games are always full of mystery. It is also one of the most famous gothic games ever. Therefore, we can totally understand why many people use the design or the Ouija board as one of the best tattoo inspirations for gothic style lovers out there. It is simple yet sparks the eerie vibes of the popular board that calls the spirits and ghosts to come around your house.
This one, however, comes in a heart shape, with a size that is actually not too big nor too small so that you can have it on your arms or on the back of your neck. However, if you want to show it off as your first tattoo to everyone, we highly recommend the forearm or side of the neck to have this tattoo on.
25. Moon Face Tattoo
Art knows no boundaries, and the same fact goes for tattoos. If you love the art of tattoos, especially gothic tattoos, you might want to take a look at this small gothic moon tattoo on your face. Moreover, to make it look even more gothic, you can add some piercings on your nose and ears.
In addition, don’t forget to put on your gothic makeup, too! Match the tattoo with your bold, all-black outfits and gothic accessories. Bring on those skull-related necklaces and bracelets you have to spice up your look. Also, paint your nails black to match the vibes.
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Tattoos are not for everyone, especially since the painful process makes some people rethink having one. They are also permanent. Thus, before making one, you must carefully consider the design and size you want. As for the gothic tattoo, it speaks volumes about your love for this theme.
In general, the tattoo is dominated by black, which gives the impression of being brave, firm, and bold. If this is your first time trying to make a gothic tattoo, choose a smaller one with a less complicated design. Also, pick an area that isn’t too painful. Avoid the neck, let alone the head. Instead, the forearm, upper arm, or calf can be an alternative.