Learn techniques to help you create high-class horrorshow effects using Photoshop, Illustrator, pens and even a little human blood*.

With Halloween just over a week away, you're no doubt looking to tap your creative talent to produce artwork and decorations in the unholy spirit of the season. Here we've collected 13 of our favourite tutorials that detail effects that'll help turn your most disturbing ideas into truly nightmarish visions – plus an inspiring guide to that mine of messed up artwork, heavy metal album covers.

Click on the images to get to the tutorials.

Horror film poster effects

Learn how to hide your maniac behind shattered glass in this step-by-step guide by Mark Mayers.

Bring the wolves to your door

Dan Mumford reveals how he created this lycanthropic poster for punk band Gallows.

Celebrate the Day of the Dead

Bring Mexico's Día de los Muertos to wherever you are.

Design a highbrow horror-movie poster

Karim Fakhoury explains how to create a creepy, unsettling piece of poster art

Paint a fire sprite

Create a fiery figure from a photographic model shot.

Skeleton on a fixie -- hell yes!

Ollie Munden details how to create a mix of horror and hipster that could be called Funny Bones: the Shoreditch Years.

Create a stylish modern cyborg

Fabio Sasso shows you some techniques for creating a cyborg from photographic sources in Photoshop, tapping into the movie heritage of the cyborg, but mixing it with the glossy ‘Bleach-Bypass’ look of modern sci-fi TV shows such as V and Battlestar Galactica.

Conjure a nightmare vision of a wolf in a boy's clothing

Mix natural and unnatural elements to produce a disturbing but melancholic piece.

Skulls and owls

Joshua Smith, aka maverick illustrator Hydro74, has a style that’s instantly recognisable – combining the thick, clean lines of graffiti with the iconography of tattoos and the symmetry and patterns of vector art.

Here he takes you through how he created a work based around his regular motifs of skulls and swirls mixed with that illustration icon, the owl.

Make a skull out of type

Unlock the power of Photoshop's Distort tool to create this enigmatic image.

Creepy chimeras

Chimeras – a mix-and-match approach to animal part favoured by Greeks for many mythical monsters – are great for Halloween. Here Fabio Sasso puts a new spin on Alice's Cheshire Cat.

Build a fairytale asylum

How Stephen Chan and Andriana Katsiki (AKA Wundercloud) created this unusual artwork.

X-ray specs

See your insides revealed with the quick guide to producing X-ray effects.


If you're looking for inspiration, check out our guide to the latest generation of heavy metal artwork for album covers, posters and t-shirts, which has reinvented the genre to make rock art hip again.

* We're joking about the blood. Unless you cut yourself with a sharp pen or pencil...