31 Horrific Grim Reaper Tattoo Designs

Think that grim reaper tattoos are just for gothic lovers and Halloween fanatics – think again! While death and it’s infamous messenger are essentially a seasonal part of our world, they are also a pretty common element incorporated into tattoo designs as well. Surprisingly, this tattoo is often worn by women, despite the dark and deep meaning. Most of the tattoo designs featuring the grim reaper tend to be in somber colors and considering the grim theme tends to be big in size due to the details.

  1. This is great placement for this image because it fits his shoulder well and doesn’t seem to large or overbearing. It’s a pretty substantial image yet it seems to go well there. The shading on this is really great and the detail is out of this world good.

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2. This has a little darker shading to it. They used a little bit of red to offset it but otherwise it’s rather dark and ominous. They did a great job shading in order to establish contrast. Notice the three dimensional look of the hooded cloak. the wings have nice details in them as well as do the hands and face. It’s a pretty large tattoo. Would you convert it into a full blown sleeve?

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3. Sides tattoos are pretty gnarly spots because they hit fatty tissue and in her case, ribs as well. This is a pretty classic example but it’s still well done with great imagery and details.

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4. This is a fascinating if not creepy whole back tattoo. There’s quite a bit going on but notice that they don’t vary too much in the color scheme. This helps promote the eery look and feel to the whole piece.

Grim Reaper Tattoo Designs

The majority of people acknowledge the grim reaper as the iconic symbol of death. However, in many cultures and folklore, it is nothing more than the chaperone into the afterlife. The long hair, the grim expression and the sharp scythe makes for a grim appearance and could strike a chord of fear in anyone. Though, in many religions, this is not the original appearance of the reaper. In fact, the only similarity is the long, black hooded robe.

5. The artist totally nailed the face. It seems so deep and those peering eyes are beyond creepy. They did a great job with the contrast and the shading. There is so much detail in his robe.

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6. It’s a little bit bleak as far a the quote goes but otherwise it has nice coloring and details.

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7. The pop of red really brings into focus the entirety of the piece.

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Though dark and lifeless, grim reaper tattoos can be quite the fascinating design element. Many of which, capture details and emotions that only this type of design element could. There are many stories and legends that talk about the appearance of the grim reaper right before death occurs. More religious people have claimed to have witnessed a reaper just before someone close to them passed away in their presence. As such, you may notice a grim reaper present in a tattoo memorial.

8. We thought this was pretty interesting given that the hair isn’t necessarily red. It has sort of a reddish and pink tint to it. It’s still very intense and pretty creepy but if they had stuck with the reds on that are on the bones, it would have been a lot scarier. Do you think he’s coming out of this guy? That’s what it appears like to us.

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9. He’s just playing a simple game of cards. They did a really nice job with showing a lot of contrast in the robe.

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10. This has some good three dimensional qualities to it. They utilized their color scheme really well to show a lot of depth within the picture.

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There are many ways that you can feature the grim reaper when it comes to a tattoo design. Some show him with a hood and the ever present scythe in various positions. Some feature the reaper in a faceless manner, with hollow eyes. While a skeleton or skull can be used to represent the grim reaper, they are most often accompanied into the design with the reaper. Since grim reaper tattoos are associated with death, artists tend to be creative in their designs – though many do restrict the colors to gray and black. However, you will see shades of red and deep oranges blended in around the reaper – giving the final piece a 3D feel that really pops.

11. They did a great job with showing depth here. Often in these images, the face is deep set within the cloak and this is an excellent example.

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More tattoos on the next page…

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