Do you find beauty in things that are considered dark and mysterious?
From dark fairy tales and Victorian motifs to gargoyles and ravens, the Gothic subculture draws inspiration from various elements, such as horror, romanticism, and medieval architecture. Modern Goth tattoos often take the macabre and bring the charm out of the darkness.
Get bewitched by these Gothic tattoo ideas for your next piece of body art:
One of the classic symbols of the Goth subculture is the skull. Skulls can be tattooed in a number of different ways to bring a variety of themes, such as with thorns and roses for a dark romance aesthetic.
“A rose can symbolize falling in love and youth, and a rose with thorns can mean there is another side to love and [to] be careful. Roses and thorns can also mean [that] with love comes sacrifice, and there may be pain, or the pain one has experienced through love. Roses can honor our loved ones, and bring peace in turbulent times,”Iron Brush
A tattoo of a skull with a rose can represent duality – life and death, health versus decay.
While bats are often associated with the Gothic style and can be depicted flying, resting, or wrapped around objects, these creatures of the night have a positive connotation, too.
“In China, the bat is a symbol of happiness, longevity, and good luck. An image of five bats represents long life, wealth, good luck, happiness, and prosperity,”After Inked
One of the characteristics that make bats amazing creatures is their ability to fly in huge hoards while never hitting each other. This is due to echo location (reflected sound). This ability is linked with clairaudience, making a bat tattoo representative of intuition and dreams.
Ravens are often seen as a symbol of death and a bird connected to the spiritual world.
“It can also be associated as a source of power, straddling as it does the worlds of the living and the dead therefore often depicted as a messenger between the two,”Tattoo Stylist
You could opt for a minimalist raven tattoo just inking a black silhouette of the bird or a more detailed piece. One of the best placement options for a large, detailed raven tattoo is the chest. The body of the bird can be placed on the sternum, while the wings can be tattooed spread across the chest or underneath the breasts.
Gargoyles (stone statues of demonic creatures) are a common feature of Gothic architecture and can make for a striking design choice for tattoos. These carvings weren’t only placed on buildings for aesthetic purposes, they were also used to divert water away from the buildings.
These carvings of demons were common in the architecture of Catholic churches. This was in an effort to illustrate a realistic image of what a damned afterlife would entail, and it was common to “fight fire with fire” when it came to spirituality.
“In many cultures, using evil imagery was a way to feel protected against the evil itself. It’s sort of a deterrent for demonic creatures when they see one of their own,”Tatt Mag
A gargoyle tattoo can represent overcoming evil and keeping evil forces at arm’s length. It can also represent being a protector and can be the perfect addition to a Goth-themed tattoo sleeve.
Some of the first fairytales were extremely dark. For example, in the original story of The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen, the prince does not fall in love with Ariel and she has to choose between never becoming a mermaid again and murdering the prince.
Hansel and Gretel, Beauty and The Beast, and Little Red Riding Hood are more examples of disturbing fairytales.
If you are a fan of a certain fairytale, you may choose one of the story’s symbols for your Gothic tattoo. For The Little Mermaid, a mermaid tail tattoo could serve as a reminder to stay true to yourself.
Black Rose Tattoo
If you love the idea of a floral tattoo, but want to make it Goth, a black rose tattoo could be the perfect choice for you.
“The black rose is often a symbolic tattoo idea linked with death, grief, and mourning, or is incorporated into themes of duality that balance life and death, or good and evil,”Authority Tattoo
Of course, tattoo meanings are often so dependent on the person getting it – you can have your own personal meaning for a black rose tattoo.
When it comes to the placement of your rose tattoo, it is important to consider the size of your tattoo, aftercare, pain, and how easily you want to hide your ink.
Horror Icon Tattoo
If you are attracted to the Goth subculture, you probably have a favorite horror movie. From Dracula to Frankenstein, there are many dark movies to gain tattoo inspiration from.
You can create a large tattoo design with many elements of the movie, or you can choose just one symbol from your horror movie tattoo, such as vampire teeth.
The Gothic subculture offers a rich source of inspiration for those looking for tattoo designs on the dark side. From classic Gothic symbols such as skulls and ravens to disturbing fairytales and horror icons, there are so many different styles and motifs to be inspired by.
Whether you’re drawn to dark romanticism, medieval architecture, the mystique of the undead, or general macabre imagery, there’s a Gothic tattoo idea for you. Getting a Gothic tattoo is a way to celebrate the darker side of life, and to express your love of all things mysterious.