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Brad Stevens
Brad Stevens

11 Spooky Halloween Tattoos

Brad Stevens
Brad Stevens

For some of us, every day is Halloween. What better way to celebrate the spookiest holiday of the year with indelible body art?

1. Trick and Treat

This adorable tattoo has all the Halloween bases covered. Witch? Check? Ghost? Yup. Pumpkin? Hell, yeah. The person who has this tattoo—which was created by Adam Gibson of Good Times Tattoo in Salt Lake City, Utah—should get free candy corn for life.

2. Bridezilla

This lovely traditional-style Bride, inked by Matt Houston of Gastown Tattoo Parlor in Vancouver, will have Frankie agog. Stitches never looked so beautiful.

3. A True Halloween Lover

You think you love Halloween more than anyone else? Sorry, but this back piece—done by Darcy Nutt of Chalice Tattoo in Boise, Idaho—proves you wrong. It is so full of colorful pumpkin-y goodness that you've gotta smile.

4. and 5. Bewitching

Here are two pin-up witches for the price of one! The black and grey gal has her broom and bats at the ready, while her more colorful counterpart has a kitty and bubbling cauldron. New York Adorned's Brad Stevens has a portfolio full of spooky tattoos (like these ladies in their Halloween costumes), so peruse to your heart's content.

6. Not a Nightmare at All

Nothing says true love like Jack Skellington and Sally cuddled up. The shading and cool cameo-like shape makes this Nightmare Before Christmas tattoo—inked by Red at Dark Circle in Middlesbrough, UK—stand out from the crowd.

7. Straight from the Belfry

What's better than a jaunty bat? Look, it's so spooky yet full of love! This tattoo was created by Meg Knobel of Buju Tattoo in San Diego, California.

8. Delightfully Gorey

edward gorey bat tattoo

The delightful drawings of Edward Gorey are always a wonderful tattoo subject, and this detailed black-and-white batty bat—inked by an artist at A Gypsy Rose Tattoo in New Orleans—is a winner.

9. Even Gorey-er

gorey dracula tattoo

Speaking of Edward Gorey, one of his lesser-known projects was an illustrated version of Dracula, which is also available as a tiny pop-up paper theater. This illustration of Dracula and Lucy, inked by Shawn Dubin of Moo Tattoo in Philadelphia, takes up a nice chunk of skin—the better to see the elegant cross-hatching that's a signature Gorey style.

10. Thanks for the Meows

Halloween Kitty

Can you even deal? A stitched-up black cat, wearing a party hat, popping out of a pumpkin, with little bats and spiderwebs and a lucky 13 for good measure? No, no, we cannot even deal. This tattoo is the work of artist Sunny Buick.

11. Zombie Boy

Rico the Zombie (aka Rick Genest) has walked the runways, shown up in Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" video, and is a spokesperson for L'Oreal's Dermablend make-up. The majority of his body art is by Frank Lewis of Montreal. No matter what kind of haute couture Genest is wearing, he's always ready for Halloween underneath his clothes.

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Big Questions
Where Should You Place the Apostrophe in President's Day?
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Happy Presidents’ Day! Or is it President’s Day? Or Presidents Day? What you call the national holiday depends on where you are, who you’re honoring, and how you think we’re celebrating.

Saying "President’s Day" infers that the day belongs to a singular president, such as George Washington or Abraham Lincoln, whose birthdays are the basis for the holiday. On the other hand, referring to it as "Presidents’ Day" means that the day belongs to all of the presidents—that it’s their day collectively. Finally, calling the day "Presidents Day"—plural with no apostrophe—would indicate that we’re honoring all POTUSes past and present (yes, even Andrew Johnson), but that no one president actually owns the day.

You would think that in the nearly 140 years since "Washington’s Birthday" was declared a holiday in 1879, someone would have officially declared a way to spell the day. But in fact, even the White House itself hasn’t chosen a single variation for its style guide. They spelled it “President’s Day” here and “Presidents’ Day” here.


Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Maybe that indecision comes from the fact that Presidents Day isn’t even a federal holiday. The federal holiday is technically still called “Washington’s Birthday,” and states can choose to call it whatever they want. Some states, like Iowa, don’t officially acknowledge the day at all. And the location of the punctuation mark is a moot point when individual states choose to call it something else entirely, like “George Washington’s Birthday and Daisy Gatson Bates Day” in Arkansas, or “Birthdays of George Washington/Thomas Jefferson” in Alabama. (Alabama loves to split birthday celebrations, by the way; the third Monday in January celebrates both Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert E. Lee.)

You can look to official grammar sources to declare the right way, but even they don’t agree. The AP Stylebook prefers “Presidents Day,” while Chicago Style uses “Presidents’ Day.”

The bottom line: There’s no rhyme or reason to any of it. Go with what feels right. And even then, if you’re in one of those states that has chosen to spell it “President’s Day”—Washington, for example—and you use one of the grammar book stylings instead, you’re still technically wrong.

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

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holidays
10 Things You Might Not Know About Chinese New Year
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Some celebrants call it the Spring Festival, a stretch of time that signals the progression of the lunisolar Chinese calendar; others know it as the Chinese New Year. For a 15-day period beginning February 16, China will welcome the Year of the Dog, one of 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac table.

Sound unfamiliar? No need to worry: Check out 10 facts about how one-sixth of the world's total population rings in the new year.

1. THE HOLIDAY WAS ORIGINALLY MEANT TO SCARE OFF A MONSTER.

Nian at Chinese New Year
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As legend would have it, many of the trademarks of the Chinese New Year are rooted in an ancient fear of Nian, a ferocious monster who would wait until the first day of the year to terrorize villagers. Acting on the advice of a wise old sage, the townspeople used loud noises from drums, fireworks, and the color red to scare him off—all remain components of the celebration today.

2. A LOT OF FAMILIES USE IT AS MOTIVATION TO CLEAN THE HOUSE.

woman ready to clean a home
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While the methods of honoring the Chinese New Year have varied over the years, it originally began as an opportunity for households to cleanse their quarters of "huiqi," or the breaths of those that lingered in the area. Families performed meticulous cleaning rituals to honor deities that they believed would pay them visits. The holiday is still used as a time to get cleaning supplies out, although the work is supposed to be done before it officially begins.

3. IT WILL PROMPT BILLIONS OF TRIPS.

Man waiting for a train.
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Because the Chinese New Year places emphasis on family ties, hundreds of millions of people will use the Lunar period to make the trip home. Accounting for cars, trains, planes, and other methods of transport, the holiday is estimated to prompt nearly three billion trips over the 15-day timeframe.

4. IT INVOLVES A LOT OF SUPERSTITIONS.

Colorful pills and medications
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While not all revelers subscribe to embedded beliefs about what not to do during the Chinese New Year, others try their best to observe some very particular prohibitions. Visiting a hospital or taking medicine is believed to invite ill health; lending or borrowing money will promote debt; crying children can bring about bad luck.

5. SOME PEOPLE RENT BOYFRIENDS OR GIRLFRIENDS TO SOOTHE PARENTS.

Young Asian couple smiling
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In China, it's sometimes frowned upon to remain single as you enter your thirties. When singles return home to visit their parents, some will opt to hire a person to pose as their significant other in order to make it appear like they're in a relationship and avoid parental scolding. Rent-a-boyfriends or girlfriends can get an average of $145 a day.

6. RED ENVELOPES ARE EVERYWHERE.

a person accepting a red envelope
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An often-observed tradition during Spring Festival is to give gifts of red envelopes containing money. (The color red symbolizes energy and fortune.) New bills are expected; old, wrinkled cash is a sign of laziness. People sometimes walk around with cash-stuffed envelopes in case they run into someone they need to give a gift to. If someone offers you an envelope, it's best to accept it with both hands and open it in private.

7. IT CAN CREATE RECORD LEVELS OF SMOG.

fireworks over Beijing's Forbidden City
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Fireworks are a staple of Spring Festival in China, but there's more danger associated with the tradition than explosive mishaps. Cities like Beijing can experience a 15-fold increase in particulate pollution. In 2016, Shanghai banned the lighting of fireworks within the metropolitan area.

8. BLACK CLOTHES ARE A BAD OMEN.

toddler dressed up for Chinese New Year
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So are white clothes. In China, both black and white apparel is traditionally associated with mourning and are to be avoided during the Lunar month. The red, colorful clothes favored for the holiday symbolize good fortune.

9. IT LEADS TO PLANES BEING STUFFED FULL OF CHERRIES.

Bowl of cherries
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Cherries are such a popular food during the Festival that suppliers need to go to extremes in order to meet demand—last year Singapore Airlines flew four chartered jets to Southeast and North Asian areas. More than 300 tons were being delivered in time for the festivities.

10. PANDA EXPRESS IS HOPING IT'LL CATCH ON IN THE STATES.

Box of takeout Chinese food from Panda Express
domandtrey, Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0

Although their Chinese food menu runs more along the lines of Americanized fare, the franchise Panda Express is still hoping the U.S. will get more involved in the festival. The chain is promoting the holiday in its locations by running ad spots and giving away a red envelope containing a gift: a coupon for free food. Aside from a boost in business, Panda Express hopes to raise awareness about the popular holiday in North America.

A version of this story originally ran in 2017.

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