With Halloween fast approaching you might be tasked with any number of seasonal designs that give you the opportunity to let your dark side loose. Without the right fonts, though, your finished work might not manage to get everyone screaming.
Fear not, because we've rounded up 13 gloriously ghastly free fonts guaranteed to spook everyone senseless. And not only are they all free, most of them can be used for commercial projects, too.
01. Double Feature
It's hard to beat The Rocky Horror Picture Show for a bit of Halloween viewing, and if you want that Rocky Horror vibe for a design then Double Feature should do nicely. Based on the Rocky Horror title font with plenty of dripping blood, it's ghoulishly bold and free for both personal and commercial use.
For a sexy, vampiric vibe, get your teeth into Nosferotica. A horror font designed by Sinister Fonts, it's a terrifyingly tall and thin serif, and while it's all-caps, the lowercase set is more bottom-heavy while the uppercase is top-heavy – mix them up for an unsettling effect. It's free for personal and commercial use.
If all this vampire talk's getting a bit much, here's the antidote: a font inspired by Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Created by GemFonts, Buffied is modelled on the Buffy title font, comes with an upper and lowercase set, and it's free both for personal and commercial use.
04. Halloween Spider
Feeling arachnophobic? Stay away from this eight-legged font, then. Halloween Spider is a bold brush script with nice thick strokes, and adorned with both spiders and spider webs. Try layering it in different colours and cutting out the spiders and webs in the top layer to add to the effect. It's free for personal and commercial use.
05. Fiddums Family
Created by BoltonBros, Fiddums Family is gloriously gothic and inspired by the creepiest, kookiest clan of them all, the Addams Family. Featuring some excellently ornate touches, including some seriously over-the-top swashes, it's a freeware font that's good for personal and commercial use.
06. Vintage Halloween
As well as standard fonts, we've also found some handy dingbat fonts that'll make it easy to populate a design with plenty of ready-made Halloween imagery. First up is Vintage Halloween from Woodcutter, with a stack of useful pumpkins, bats, spiders, skeletons and more, all fully vectorised and free for personal and commercial use.
07. Freaky Halloween
A more stylised dingbat font, Freaky Halloween features 26 glyphs covering most of the Halloween bases, rendered in a minimal, cut-out fashion. Perfect for designs with a more simple look, it's free for personal and commercial use.
08. Wild Wood
There are few things scarier than being alone in the woods at night, especially if you've seen The Blair Witch Project. And if you want to evoke that creepy forest feeling, Wild Wood, with its letterforms sprouting gnarled branches, ought to do the job. It's free for personal use.
Ideal for Halloween designs or maybe for death metal album covers, Spiderfingers features tall, grungy letterforms that taper down to viciously sharp points. Designed by Sinister Fonts, this is another freeware font you can use for both personal and commercial work.
10. Ink and Bones
Nothing says Halloween like a spooky skeleton, and if that's the sort of feel you're after then Ink and Bones does exactly what it says on the tin. Its hand-drawn letters and symbols are built out of bones, and while it's all-uppercase, the lowercase letters are solid strokes while the uppercase set is highlighted by some outlined bones. It's free for personal and commercial use.
11. Castle Dracustein
Mix up your horror brands with this sinister font from, appropriately enough, Sinister Fonts. Perfectly evoking the look of vintage horror movie posters, Castle Dracustein is another Halloween font that tapers down for a striking visual effect, and its eroded edges just add to the creepiness. It's free for personal and commercial use.
No, that isn't a typo. Hallowen is a spooky outline serif font by Peter Olexa, and it wouldn't look out of place on the poster for a Tim Burton film. It's an all-caps font with a set of smaller glyphs in the lower case, and it really comes alive if you alternate between them, and it features some lovely spiral terminals for added visual interest. It's free for personal use only.
13. Ill October
Finally, here's one last set of Halloween dingbats. Featuring plenty of skulls, spiders, snakes and more besides, Ill October is another minimal dingbat font packed with glyphs that look like they've been carved into a pumpkin, and it's free for personal and commercial use.