11 spooky illustrations to get you in the spirit of Halloween

With Halloween just around the corner, get your creative juices flowing with this gothic horror styled art. Want to know how to draw Halloween-inspired designs? From the fantastical to the down right scary, these artworks will show you exactly how its done.

01. Halloween Knight

halloween knight

"What lurks in the dark? Playing pretend does not mean pretending to be brave," says artist Michael Manomivibul. His cute yet scary illustration is a brilliant tribute to all those little trick or treaters who come a-knocking at your door.

02. Jealousy

jealousy halloween

"I wanted to create something epic and mysterious and ended up drawing this story of a powerful bloodthirsty witch who found that the object of her desire was in love with someone else," says illustrator, Alexanda Petruk, who renders her traditional paintings digitally for an eye-catching end result.

"Sometimes when I draw I realise that stories are even more important to me then images and this artwork is a bright example."

03. Smoke


Illustrator and monster maker, Crystal Sully enjoys scaring people and getting reactions from her art. "This piece is a character from my IP who's name is 'Smoke' because of his ability to control fire that consumes him," she reveals. We love the killer detail on this Halloween-worthy wolf, he is a truly frightening formidable beast!

04. Things that go bump in the night

things that go bump in the night

Anyone with a cat will tell you, they certainly do go bump at night! Maggie Ivy was inspired to create this striking illustration by last year's weekly challenge during October called "Month of fear". "The prompt was 'Things that go bump in the night'," she explains. "I wanted to play with the idea of scale."

05. Lady of the Dead

lady of the dead

"Based off of the original mythos of Mayan tradition, the Lady of the Dead was the goddess who oversaw all death in their culture. "It eventually became entwined in modern day Dios de los Muertos, so I chose to depict a marrying of the two ideas, showing the goddess with customary flowers and colorations of the modern day celebration," says illustrator Sara Diesel.

Although Day of the Dead traditionally is held in South America a couple of days after Halloween, Lady of the Dead certainly makes an artistically striking costume choice!

06. Chucky

halloween chucky

It's not all child's play for artist, Ryan Sawyer who has expertly captured the terrifyingly murderous doll with cross-hatching. "I really love how they updated Chucky with that 'scar' design in 'Bride of Chucky'.

"He has that plastic exterior, but a more meaty, realistic-looking eyeball and flesh underneath. Adds an additional layer of insanity to his overall appearance," the artist says.

07. The Devil

the devil tarot

If you are a fan of Lovecraft, look no further than this unique Cthulu inspired tarot illustration by Alix Branwyn.

"The Devil card is a blend of Cthulhu and aspects of the traditional Rider Waite devil card and Eliphas Levi's image of Baphomet that their devil imagery was based on," she says.

Alix has been a horror junkie since she was a child, "binging on both movies and as many books as I could get my mother to buy."

08. Queen Anne's Revenge

queen annes revenge

"The zombie-fied Anne Boleyn attacking her former husband King Henry VIII (who had her beheaded in 1536) was an idea inspired by watching The Tudors," reveals Kristina Gehrmann.

"Although I don't specialise 100 per cent in horror art myself, I enjoy the thrill from works that always find new, original ways to depict creepy scenarios that are truly scary."

09. Illusory

illusory halloween

If dark fairytales are more your bag, check out this Pan's Labyrinth inspired piece by Kelly McKernan, created for Gallery 1988's "Crazy 4 Cult 7" show in NYC.

"I'm not really a horror aficionado (I get nightmares too easily!), but I do really enjoy genre mixing with horror," she says.

Kelly's also has a Beetlejuice-inspired illustration, which is available to own just in time for Halloween! Check out her indiegogo campaign!

10. Jack Pumpkin

jack pumpkin

Is there anything that screams All Hallow's Eve more than jack-o-lantern? Probably not. Illustrator Iris Compiet is no stranger to dark arts: "I tend to gravitate towards the horror side of things, have always done so. Yet I stay away from the obvious blood and gore stuff. Instead I like to seek out the subtle feeling of unease, of despair, of horrific feelings," she admits.

"To me horror is more about a feeling, about the little hairs in the back of your neck, about a shiver and shudder. The whispers in the dark, the scary tales at night. The folktales, the urban legends. The seemingly normal, the darkness that's in each and everyone of us. There's never black or white, good or bad but both and everything in between."

11. Utrechtenaar

utrechtenaar halloween

"I specialize in surreal horror I draw heavily from mythology, dreams, and Gothic literature. My personal goals are not always to necessarily terrify, but to create a sort of fusion of the nightmarish and the beautiful," says Vlada Monakhova.

Vlada's ghostly illustration was done on commision for Strange Horizons for a story about a descent to the ancient Roman catacombs and the strange, time-bending encounters that ensue there.

"The word is relating to the title of the story, which takes place in Utrecht – it's a Dutch word for 'homosexual', dealing with the persecution of gay people specifically.

"The painting itself is of a secondary character of the story, who's essentially a time-lost ghost appearing as three people in one, and the protagonist meets him in the catacombs under Utrecht."

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Alice Pattillo

Alice Pattillo is a freelance journalist with a passion for heavy metal, horror, science fiction, fantasy and comics. She has over seven years experience in magazines, formerly working as a staff writer at Creative Bloq, Imagine FX, Computer Arts and 3D World, as production editor for Guitar World and Guitar Player and online editor of Metal Hammer.