Plague Doctor Tattoos:

Plague doctors are commonly associated with the 14th Century epidemic, though there is no historical evidence to suggest that the grotesque healers had yet come into play.

Black and grey plague doctor and rose done by Luke Wasser at Sink or Swim Tattoos, Aurora.

Neo traditional smoking doctor and coffin done by Michela Zanni at Skin Cake Tattoo.

The believed inventor of the plague doctor uniform is Charles de l’Orme, the chief physician to Louis VIII. He created it in 1619, and it was used for over 100 years. The terrifying suit was made to look like a bird, with a long leather beak, thick goggles, a black leather coat over top a lighter leather shirt, black goat skin boots, leather gloves, and a black top hat also made of leather to indicate that the wearer was a doctor.

Muted colours in a neo traditional style done by Anderson Escaleira at Maza Tattoo.

Black work doctor with a candle done by Nate Kemr.

Plague doctors would stuff the end of the beak with herbs and spices such as mint, cloves, garlic, and myrrh to battle the noxious smells coming from the plague victims. Sometimes these herbs were set aflame so that the smoke would also protect the doctor. The smoke would then trickle out of the beak, making the doctor appear even more demonic and reaper-like.

American traditional doctor and flower done by Charlotte Louise at Lucky Cat Tattoo Parlour in Glasgow.

American traditional doctor and “memento more” done by Nicholas Chaney at Electric Chair Tattoo in South Wales.

Along with the uniform, many plague doctors would carry a long staff used for examining patients, as well as beating back some of the more aggressive ones. Some patients also believed they had been given the plague by God as some sort of punishment, and thus would occasionally ask the doctor to beat them with their canes as a form of repentance.

Gorgeous neo traditional half sleeve done by Francesco Garbuggino.

Hyper realistic doctor and cemetery done by Paul Vaughan at Rendition Tattoo Studio.

This suit was created because it was believed that the bubonic plague was spread through “foul air”, though in fact we now know that the plague was really spread through sharing bodily fluids, as well as pests such as rats and fleas.

Great contrast in the dark browns and blacks and red flowers. Done by Friedrich Uber.

Gruesome black and grey plague sleeve done by Róbert A Borbás.

The suit would have helped to protect the wearer from the plague to some degree, but not enough to stop the doctors from contracting the deadly sickness. This was in part due to air holes at the end of the beak, where bodily fluids such as blood and pus would enter when the doctor would perform bloodletting and lancing on the unfortunate victims (bursting the large pus-filled cysts).

American traditional plague doctor done by Gordie at Rebel Waltz Tattoo in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

American traditional style smoking doctor and rat done by Shawn Beatty at Soul Survivor Body Art in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Because the majority of these doctors were inexperienced or even completely unqualified, the treatments were often cruel and unusual, performed with no scientific or medical reasoning. Treatments included the fore mentioned bloodletting and lancing, covering the open and festering cysts with human excrement, and even pouring hot mercury on the cysts and then putting the patient into a large oven to burn the cysts off. These methods often just accelerated an already painful death.

Realistic black and grey doctor done by Jordan Croke at Second Skin Tattoo in Derby, UK.

Trash polka style doctor done in black and red by Thorant at The Scarlett Tattoo Studio in Bedford UK.

As a tattoo, plague doctors are often done in a heavy black work style (due to the nature of the uniform). They are also popular in realism, American traditional, neo traditional, and black and grey.

Horrifying black work bird/doctor done by Merry Morgan at Northgate Tattoo in Bath, Somerset.

Colourful neo traditional piece done by Tim Stafford Violet Crown Tattoo in Austin Texas.

Which morbid piece is your favourite?

The Simpsons, Treehouse of Horror Tattoos

Since its first episode as part of second season in 1990, the Treehouse of Horror has been a huge hit with Simpsons fans. Dark, witty, and chalk full of pop culture references, Treehouse of Horror is always sure to be a spooky addition to your Halloween festivities.

Many episodes are based loosely off of various monster movies, horror, and thriller movies and books, such as; Nightmare on Elm Street, Frankenstein, Psycho, Amityville Horror, Twilight Zone, The Exorcist, Poltergeist, The Shining, The Monkey’s Paw, King Kong, Night of the Living Dead, Dracula, The Raven, Clockwork Orange, and more.

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Bart trick or treating as an executioner by Jason Ochoa while guest tattooing at Flying Panther in San Diego, CA.
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Good old Flanders/Satan by Jeff Ortega at Evil From The Needle in London.
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Smilin’ Homer J. by Joshua Davis at Wicked Inklination in Muswellbrook.
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Grim Reaper Bart by Justin Dion at Sovereign Tattoo.
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Hyper realistic, murderous Krusty the Clown doll by Mike DeVries at Redemption Tattoo in Northridge CA.

Three little bangers by Sara Eve at Artisan Tattoo in Pittsburgh PA.

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Dotwork zombie Homer by Sebastian Camargo.
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The Shining Homer by Wes Pratt at New Tribe Tattoos in Toronto.

The Treehouse of Horror episodes also often feature a fun alien duo, Kang and Kodos, who are always up to some sort of mischief.

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Kang and Kodos by Omar Powers at Trader Bobs Tattoo Shop in St. Louis.
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Kang or Kodos in a traditional rose by Drew Cottom at Amillion Tattoo.

What is your favorite Treehouse of Horror episode?

Lighthouse Tattoos

Lighthouses are buildings or towers that provide a guiding light for ships at sea. The first lighthouse, or  first tower to be fully exposed to the sea, was built by Henry Winstanely at the Eddystone Rocks from 1696 to 1698.

Lighthouse tattoos can have a practical sort of meaning  for sailors , fishermen, or people in the navy. They can also have different meanings, such as a guiding light home, or a reminder to follow the light (metaphorical light, spiritual light, or real light). Lighthouse tattoos can also be for protection, hope, inspiration, warning, and safety. Lighthouses can be done in many different styles including black and grey, new school, traditional, trash polka, realistic, neo traditional, and minimalistic.

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Black and Grey, bold line work piece Done by Phil TwoRavens.
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New School piece by Pat Whiting
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Super realistic Trash Polka style partial sleeve done at Buena-Vista tattoo. Mix of black and grey and bright bold blue contrasts well.
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Stormy Black and Grey killer rib piece done by Stefano Alcantara.
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Stunning Realistic Black and Grey Sailor featuring a storm and lighthouse done by Mumia in Portugal. Look at those old eyes and the detail in the beard and lighthouse.
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Realistic stormy half sleeve by Bolo Art.
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Extremely detailed, tiny lighthouse and seascape done by Lesha Lauz.
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Traditional Lighthouse in a bottle done by Matthew Houston.

What kind of lighthouse tattoo is your favorite?