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?

Frankenstein Tattoos:

Frankenstein is a story that has delighted and frightened readers since 1818, now two hundred years!

nikko-hurtado---frankenstein---tattoo------09032015120525
An electrifying monster done by Nikko Hurtado.
️Kyle ‘EGG_ Williams, Uk ,Grindhouse tattoo productions
A gorgeous realistic black and grey piece of the monster and a man with a torch. Done by Kyle Williams at Grindhouse Tattoo in the UK.
Jordan Croke Second Skin Tattoo, Derby UK
A very blue Bride of Frankenstein done by Jordan Croke at Second Skin Tattoo in Derby UK.
Jordan Croke
Another one done by Jordan Croke.

Frankenstein is the story of a mad doctor that brings the dead back to life. Only to find that he has made a monster.

Alejandro Mazakre
Neo traditional green monster done by Alejandro Mazakre.
Keely Rutherford London
Cute blackwork love tattoo by Keely Rutherford in London.
Tom Chippendale
An adorable monster out for some Halloween fun done by Tom Chippendale.

Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein when she was 18, and had it published when she was 20. She wrote it for a writing contest for ghost stories, and she shocked the world!

Audie Fulfer jr. tattoo artist in Fresno CA
Terrifying realistic and colourful monster done by Audie Fulfer jr. Tattoo artist in Fresno CA.
Kyle Cotterman
A realistic and bruised looking monster done by Kyle Cotterman at Distinction Tattoo in Kettering Ohio.

When the book initially came out, readers were disgusted and horrified, but by 1823 it became widely popular, as gothic literature was becoming all the rage.

Bob Tyrrell
Black and grey portrait by Bob Tyrrell.
Mike DeVries (@mikedevries_art) @MDTattooStudio
The monster under candlelight done by Mike DeVries at MDTattooStudio.

In 1910 the first Frankenstein film was made by Thomas Edison, a one-reel 15 minute short film, thought by some to be the first horror movie.

Debora Cherrys
Neo traditional portrait of the monster and his bride done by Debora Cherrys in Madrid.
Nicholas Keiser •Materia Tattoo @materiatattoo -Downingtown ,PA
A very colourful neo traditional monster and rose done by Nicholas Keiser at Materia Tattoo in Downingtown ,PA.

Many others have been made including Frankenstein in 1931, Bride of Frankenstein in 1935, Son of frankenstein in 1939, The Ghost of Frankenstein in 1942, and many more!

Fredao Oliveira
Brutal blackwork 3/4 sleeve of the monster and flowers done by Fredao Oliveira in Brasil.
Nick Sarich
Another green monster, this time done by Nick Sarich at Timeless Tattoos in Chicago.

Fans of gothic literature and horror movies often get Frankenstein tattoos, mainly of the monster, whose name is not actually Frankenstein. Many relate to the monster because he is a misunderstood creature. He may have some violent tendencies, but what he really wants is to be understood and feel love.

Gary Parisi
An electrifying portrait of the Bride of Frankenstein done by Gary Parisi at MAYDAY! Tattoo Co. Chicago.
paul acker
A beautiful Bride of Frankenstein done by Paul Acker at The Séance Tattoo Parlor in Bensalem PA.
franky
The monster also done by Paul Acker.

Frankenstein tattoos are often done in realism, black and grey, neo traditional, and American traditional, as well as black work.

John Claude
A little green monster done in American traditional style by John Claude in Cheltenham, England.
Steve Wimmer
The monster and the castle and storm that created him done by Steve Wimmer at The Grand Reaper in San Diego, CA.

“Even broken in spirit as he is, no one can feel more deeply than he does the beauties of nature. The starry sky, the sea, and every sight afforded by these wonderful regions, seems still to have the power of elevating his soul from earth. Such a man has a double existence: he may suffer misery, and be overwhelmed by disappointments; yet, when he has retired into himself, he will be like a celestial spirit that has a halo around him, within whose circle no grief or folly ventures.”
― Mary Wollstonecraft ShelleyFrankenstein