45 Gothic Plague Doctor Tattoo Ideas

Tattoos contain some of the most unique, oldest and coolest designs that many tattoo lovers might not be aware of. The plague doctor tattoo is one of the oldest tattoos developed mostly in the American and European regions after the plague hit Western Europe in the 17th century. People considered plague doctors as the life-savers of that generation as they saved hundreds of thousands of people from one of the deadliest plague outbreaks.

These doctors would wear a unique costume that includes a bird face mask with a long beak pointing out and full black suits. This is quite an old tattoo, but many middle-aged men still get it. Many youngsters also get this tattoo as the look and story behind the plague doctor tattoo is quite exciting. Plus, it gives out the perfect fierce look. So are you ready to get a body tag so old and intriguing? In that case, you must stick around and go through these amazing Plague Doctor tattoo ideas and the historical and realistic meanings behind this tattoo.


The Meaning behind Plague Doctor Tattoos


Plague doctor tattoos have a very dense and dark vibe attached to it, due to which many gothic lovers go for this tattoo. The bird-like masks the plague doctor used to wear were among the main highlights that add a lot of meaning to the tattoo. Italian doctors were the first to wear these masks in 1348. The purpose of the long beak masks was to contain different spices, herbs, and dried flowers to stay safe from the plague. Experts had recommended so, as the plague could get transmitted by breathing through the air.

The bird-like mask in this tattoo symbolizes terror and darkness as the plague was quite deadly and claimed nearly 100,000 lives. The plague was also known as the ‘Black Death,’ giving out deadly vibes and is perfect for those who feel hopeless right now.

The plague doctors hold great significance as they symbolize the harbinger of death. The doctors weren’t able to cure the disease, but the fact that they would appear in unique dark costumes caught people’s attention. People who get this tattoo often believe that they can’t escape from fate, and whatever’s destined to happen will come true.

If you’ve been a Halloween and horror movie lover since childhood, this tattoo is something you surely won’t miss out on. Plague doctor tattoo is the only tattoo that offers a suspenseful, dark meaning, and who doesn’t love the suspense in their tattoo? These meanings are quite relatable in today’s world, as even today, everything is not rainbows and unicorns. Due to the Coronavirus outbreak around the world, many people feel hopeless and scared. And this plague doctor tattoo is something that goes very well with the current situation.

Ideal Placement for Plague Doctor Tattoos

These tattoos don’t have a specific placement requirement; you can choose to get your plague doctor tattoo tatted anywhere you like. But it depends on your tattoo design. The most common placements for plague doctor tattoos are your arm and calf. The deadly standing position of the plague doctor suits the arm and calf and goes exceptionally well. You can also choose to get your plague doctor tattoo on your back or chest.

If you’re going for just the mask look, then you can get that tattooed on your chest or neck. The placement relies fully on the design and your comfort level of showing off a tattoo. Sometimes choosing the correct placement becomes a bit tricky. The best way to choose the right placement is by first deciding on your tattoo design, and then you can choose a placement accordingly. No matter where you get your plague doctor tattoo tatted, it will always give out a hollow and deathly vibe if that’s what you’re aiming for.

Plague Tattoo Ideas

Portrait Plague Doctor Tattoo

This portrait plague doctor tattoo is one of the most sophisticated tattoos you will come across that, at the same time, gives out a thrilling horror effect. This tattoo includes a black and grey portrait of the plague doctor, entailing the perfect details. The doctor wears a black and brown inked hat that looks realistic as ever. Underneath the hat, you will notice a few white curly hair strands coming out, showing the doctor is quite aged.

The detailing on the mask is impeccable. The artist has put in a lot of effort to bring out a realistic touch in this tattoo. To create a portrait-like look, the artist has created a circular feature around the plague doctor, indicating it’s a frame.

Feminine Plague Doctor Tattoo

Most of the plague doctor tattoos you will find have masculine features. There’s no proof that female doctors also wore that long beak bird mask. But this tattoo indeed portrays a woman wearing a bird-like mask. This tattoo features a black and grey inked bird mask, and under that, you can see strands of hair coming out with some flowers in the side, inked in grey. The doctor is also carrying a jar and has covered her head with a long grey cloth. There are many features present in this tattoo that highlight a feminine touch.

Monochrome Plague Doctor Tattoo

Monochrome Plague Doctor Tattoo

If you want to go from something small and dramatic, you must try out the monochrome plague doctor tattoo. This tattoo includes just the plague doctor’s mask inked in black, wearing a small hat and a piece of wood going in through one eye. The monochromatic technique works perfectly well on this tattoo as the artist has achieved some fantastic black shading. This tattoo is pretty versatile and would look good anywhere on your body.

Colored Plague Doctor Tattoo

Colored Plague Doctor Tattoo

Most of the plague doctor tattoos contain bold and black ink, but you can switch things up by trying out this colored plague doctor tattoo. This tattoo includes a grey inked plague doctor holding an automatic syringe pointing upwards. This tattoo’s main feature is the color tatted in the background to create a gloomy and smoky effect.

The tattoo artist has used bottle green and blue ink in the background, perfect for the smoky effect. The same reflects in the eyes of the plague doctor. Not to mention, this color is complementing the design of this tattoo very well. You can always change the color to your preference. Other colors that would look amazing in this tattoo are red, purple, pink, and many more.

Linework Plague Doctor Tattoo

Linework Plague Doctor Tattoo

Tattoos include many different techniques that make them so unique and fun to get. So, if you want to add a unique touch to your tattoo, you can try out this linework plague doctor tattoo. It incorporates a plague doctor standing and pointing out its pointy finger made out of linework. The tattoo artist has successfully used the linework technique to highlight the spooky feature in this tattoo. It also includes a few different lines inked in black around the plague doctor’s head, bringing out a fun, creative touch in this tattoo.


Why does the plague doctor mask have long beaks?

The reason for the long beaks was to protect the doctor’s from catching the plague as they were in contact with people affected by it. This beak protected them from deadly diseases and included different spices, herbs, and dried leaves to act as a shield or protective barrier against the plague.

What were plague doctors addressed as?

When plague doctors initially started their services, they were known as Medico Della Peste. You could also call your tattoo that if you plan to get a tattoo of a plague doctor.

How much will my plague doctor tattoo cost?

The cost of a plague doctor tattoo depends on the size and design of the tattoo. The bigger the tattoo, the more you will have to pay. Most of the plague doctor tattoo include some out of this world detailing and shading; hence, you may expect to pay a higher price for this tattoo than other tattoos. The cost also depends on the tattoo parlor you’re going to. Some tattoo parlors charge on an hourly basis; hence this makes a massive difference in the price.

How long will it take to get a plague doctor tattoo?

The time required to complete your plague doctor tattoo depends on a few factors, such as the size, design, placement, and skills of the tattoo artist. The bigger the tattoo, the more time it will take, especially if you’re getting it done in a sensitive place that causes you a lot of pain. It takes a maximum of 2-3 hours for a medium-sized plague doctor tattoo. However, sometimes it can go up to 6 hours if there is a lot of detail required in the tattoo.



With the help of these few plague doctor tattoo ideas, you can now achieve the perfect gloomy and scary look in your tattoo just in time for Halloween. Go through all the designs carefully, and choose one that suits you the best!