Looking for a Halloween font that's more trick than treat? Let these creepy five send a shiver up your spine, without scaring your pocket book—because all are free for personal use. They'll all run on Windows and Mac, so the only surprises are the ones you write yourself.
To find all these fonts in one place, saunter over to the "Halloween fonts that aren't afraind to say "Boo!" file collection.
Sharpen your Needleteeth
If there is such a thing as a traditional Halloween font, any of the four in Needleteeth Suite could well be it.
For the full shiver-inducing effect, mix-and-match the paired Needleteeth fonts to achieve the look you want.
All of the Needleteeth Suite fonts are solidly for display purposes—even Needleteeth Regular doesn't work well at sizes smaller than 24 point—and all are best for short, shocking statements. Needleteeth displays all uppercase, but includes lower case glyphs at a slightly different size. The fonts also include numbers and common punctuation.
Needleteeth Suite is entirely free for personal and commercial use; all Savage asks is for you to send him examples of how you've used his fonts. A horror artist as well as a designer of creepy, spooky, spine-tingling fonts, Savage's work includes the Autumn Harbinger and Zombo-o-Lanterns desktop wallpapers.
Go dingbatty for Trick or Treat
What Halloween Font collection would be complete without spooky dingbats, especially some that look like bats? Trick or Treat 2.0 from Jess Latham at Blue Vinyl is definitely part trick, but all treat. The Trick or Treat 2.0 collection of graphics includes pretty much every Halloween icon you can think of: bats, spiders, skulls, ghosts, witches, devils, candy, cats, owls, haunted houses, and an entire murder of crows.
Trick or Treat 2.0 includes 26 different graphics, one for each upper and lower case letter. Each is intricately drawn; some are silhouettes, others contain more detail. Unlike some dingbats fonts, every one of the "bats" in Trick or Treat 2.0 is executed in Jess Latham's unique style, so your look will remain consistent regardless of how many different images you use in one document.
The download includes both TrueType and OpenType versions (don't install them both; then neither will work correctly). In addition, Jess has included a separate Mac download on his Blue Vinyl site. Trick or Treat 2.0 is free for personal use. For commercial use, contact Jess Latham directly.
Feel the chill of Autumn
Although this TrueType outline font from Wino Sutarmin Kadir at Fun Record is called Autumn, it's really deep dark winter. So deep, you can almost hear the twigs snapping in the cold. If you're tired of the usual dripping-blood Halloween fonts, try this one instead.
Autumn is composed of sticks intertwined to form glyphs. It includes all upper and lower
case letters but no punctuation or numbers, so plan your horrific exclamations accordingly.
One of the reasons this font gives me the creeps is that none of the twigs are straight. Even the letters that ordinarily contain straight lines are slightly crooked in Autumn's out-of-the-ordinary glyphs. This makes Autumn tricky to read, however, so keep it to 60 points or larger, and use sparingly.
Autumn is available for personal use for an optional donation to Fun Record. For commercial use, contact Wino Sutarmin Kadir directly.
Weave a spellbinding web with Halloween Spider
Got bats in your belfry? Well, with Halloween Spider you can have cobwebs on your copy too. Halloween Spider, designed by Claude, is a TrueType font that pairs bold uppercase glyphs with spiders that seem to walk across well-placed webs.
Halloween Spider doesn't include numbers or special characters, and the punctuation is limited to a period, question mark, and necessary exclamation point. Because this font will make you exclaim!
Halloween Spider is well-designed, integrating the block caps and spider-filled webs with style and flair that will make any arachnophobe squirm. Even so, the spiders blend into the background if you use Halloween Spider too small (although the letters are recognizable even at 12 points). Use this sparingly as a display or poster font (larger than 24 point) for the best arachnid impact.
Halloween Spider is free for personal use. For commercial use, contact Claude directly.
Use Buffied for high-stakes Halloween hijinks
Even if you've never seen the show that inspired Graham Meade of GemFonts to create this font, Buffied is delightfully shiver-inducing. It sets a mood without knocking you over the head with blood, guts, or obvious Halloween imagery.
It's possible the Buffied TrueType outlines font was originally penned by a vampire with a quill and ink, but it was certainly a refined vamp, one well-schooled in calligraphy and artistic flair.
The letters in Buffied are well-balanced, making them relatively easy to read for such a stylized font. Even so, any smaller than 36 points, and Buffied begins to become illegible. Buffied includes all upper and lowercase glyphs, plus numbers, common punctuation, a few international characters (for example, letters with grave, tilde, and circumflex accents). This version also includes alternates for six letters (lowercase A, F, S, O, U and E).
Buffied is free for personal use. Commercial use is not allowed without contacting Graham Meade.