Whether you're designing an invitation for a costume party or you're trying to create that perfect Halloween card, there always seems to be the need for a spooky font once autumn rolls around. That's not to say that the rest of the year should be fright-free, though, so whenever you're searching for something that's a little scary, a little spooky, or even a little campy, these fonts could come in handy.
And once you've found the perfect font for your project, check out our list of spooky open source music options ... and get ready to sleep with the lights on.
Note: All of the fonts listed below are open source fonts released under a Creative Commons license type, SIL Open Font License, or a General Public License. Because they're open source, you can make any changes you want to the source files, create derivatives, and use them in whatever end product that you're working on, but you should check each font's license before you use it since some do require attribution. They're also all free of charge.
Anarchy Sans is a somewhat gritty, hand-drawn, sans-serif font that was created by Doctor Wat. The font can be downloaded from the Open Font Library, and it was released under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0) license.
Blackout is another sans-serif font, but this one fills in the interiors of a lot of letters. Designed by Tyler Finck and available from The League of Moveable Type, it's available in three styles -- Midnight, 2AM (pictured), and Sunrise -- and it was released under a SIL Open Font License.
Dark Garden is a hand-drawn font created by Michal Kosmulski that has thorns (or spikes) poking out of each letter. It's available on SourceForge, and it was released under both a General Public License with Font Exception and a SIL Open Font License.
The Fell Types are a little different from the other fonts in this list, partly because they're actually based on several typefaces and font decorations from the 1600s. The creator, Igino Marini, started digitizing the old fonts in 2000, and the result has been a nice collection of old-style fonts that are both beautiful and eerie ... perfect for autumn. The fonts are available on his website, and they were released under a SIL Open Font License.
GNUTypewriter resembles an old typewriter font, but the edges are a little fuzzy and uneven. Designed by Lukasz Komsta, it can be downloaded from the Open Font Library and it was released under a SIL Open Font License.
Guttural is one of the campier fonts that made it onto our list, but it definitely falls under the scary heading. The numbers are particularly good for invitation addresses, and it has some fun dingbats thrown into the mix, too. Designed by Meztone Design, Guttural is available from FontSpace under a Creative Commons (by) Attribution license.
Nosifer Caps is a fun font with a thick, shapely outline ... and blood droplets. The font, which is all caps, was designed by Typomondo and it's available from Font Squirrel under a SIL Open Font License.
Piedra is a thick, rough font with notches missing from the outlines. Designed by Sudtipos, it's available from Font Squirrel under a SIL Open Font License.
Skullphabet is a display font that has skulls added to each letter and number -- some replacing a standard cutout and other just added for fun. The all cap font was designed by Skull-A-Day, and is available on FontSpace under a Creative Commons (by-sa) Attribution Share Alike license.
vSHandprinted, according to its listing, was designed to imitate a ballpoint pen, and the quick strokes add a hurried and personal touch. Designed by Thomas von Strong, the font is available from the Open Font Library under a SIL Open Font License.